British shares continued to lag their European peers today after Prime Minister Theresa May's resounding defeat in a parliamentary vote on her Brexit deal.

But in the face of continuing political uncertainty, investors focused on results and merger and acquisitions news. 

A defeat for May had largely been priced in already, though its magnitude came as a surprise. 

Analysts and investors interpreted the outcome as a positive for the market, making a "softer, later" Brexit more likely.

But uncertainty ahead of a no-confidence vote in May's government today kept trading muted.

After opening 0.2% higher, the FTSE 100 closed down 0.47%. Shares on the Paris CAC were up 0.51%, while the Frankfurt DAX gained 0.27%.

The Dublin ISEQ index closed 1.04% higher.

The FTSE was dragged down by multinational exporter stocks like Unilever and Diageo, which make the lion's share of their earnings in foreign currencies and were bruised by sterling rising. 

Bank shares were the biggest boost to European indexes as investors bet that a disruptive no-deal Brexit was less likely after the parliamentary vote.

Trading in Asian equities earlier this morning also broadly mirrored overnight resilience in the face of the latest setback for British Prime Minister Theresa May.