Global stocks are mostly trading with increases on Wednesday despite the continuing uncertainty about Brexit deal. The concerns around global growth weighed on investor sentiment and an impasse in the UK on a Brexit deal rippled across European markets.
The risk of a “disorderly” Brexit has never been higher, the EU’s chief negotiator has said, following MPs’ second rejection of Theresa May’s deal. Michel Barnier said the EU “cannot go any further” in trying to persuade MPs to back the agreed terms of exit and the UK had to break the impasse. He questioned what the purpose would be of extending the talks beyond 29 March.
Asian markets recap
The main stock indexes in the Asia-Pacific region ended today’s trading session with declines against the vote of the British Parliament on the Brexit agreement late last night, which raised concerns about the UK’s exit from the EU.
Japanese blue-chip index Nikkei 225 posted a decline of 213.45 points, or 0.99%, to 21,290.24 points. The shares of the automobile giants Toyota and Honda ended with a decrease of 0.31% and 0.33%, respectively, while Sony and Canon increased by 0.46% and 0.70%. The Japanese government announced today that the main orders in the machine-building sector declined by 5.4% month-on-month in January, which is a third consecutive decline. This is another sign for the slowdown of the country’s economy. The decline is much higher than the average forecast of 1.7% made by analysts of the Nikkei business daily and follows the 0.3% decline in December.
In China, the continental index Shanghai Composite wiped out 33.36 points, or 1.09%, to 3,026.95 points. The stocks of Alibaba Group rose by 0.12%, while China Petroleum & Chemical Corp added 1.24% to their value.
Hong Kong’s index Hang Seng dropped by 147.15 points, or 0.51%, to 28,773.72 points. The shares of China Unicom and China Mobile rose by 2.15% and 0.60% respectively.
On Tuesday, Taiwan’s company Foxconn responded to a lawsuit filed by Microsoft for patent infringement, saying that as a maker working on a contract had never been necessary to pay a fee to the US software giant. Microsoft filed a complaint against the Foxconn – FIH Mobile unit in California. It requires to receive unpaid patent amounts used in customer devices, including China’s top smartphone maker. The shares of Foxconn rose by 0.49% within the session ended.
The South Korean index Kospi declined by 0.41% to 2,148.41 points, while Posco’s shares rose by 1.14%.
In Australia, the local index S&P ASX 200 declined by 0.22% to 6,161.20 points, with shares of energy companies dropping by 0.88% in total.
European markets mid-session recap
German stocks recovered the early loss with DAX 30 trading with an increase of 5 points, marginally unchanged, to 11,528.94 points at 11:50. The index started the session with sharp decreases amid raised concerns about Brexit agreement, reaching a daily low 11,491 points at 08:23 GMT. The stocks of Volkswagen rose by 1.10%, while those of BMW are up by 0.4%. Meanwhile, the chemical giant BASF wiped out 0.2% of its market capitalization, while manufacturing conglomerate Siemens is down by 0.37%.
French stocks are on the rise today with CAC 40 rising by 0.41% to 5,291.99 points at mid-session. The index is moving up since it started the session with a daily low of 5,263 points. The stocks of automakers are on the rise with Renault appreciating by 0.82% and Peugeot is up by 0.56%. The shares of Airbus gained speed against the crisis in Boeing, rising by 1.54%, but airlines continue to suffer a blow with Air France KLM moving down by 0.5%.
Britain’s main stock index inched higher on Wednesday, led by gains in oil majors although investors remained cautious after Prime Minister Theresa May’s revised Brexit deal was defeated in parliament on Tuesday. The blue-chip index FTSE 100 appreciated by 0.19% to 7,164.66 points. Oil heavyweights Shell and BP boosted the main bourse as oil prices rose on ongoing supply cuts from producer group OPEC and US sanctions against Iran and Venezuela. The index was also supported by Standard Life Aberdeen which rose 3 percent after posting full-year results and saying that it was doing away with a dual-CEO management structure.
Wall Street pre-session recap
Wall Street stock index futures rose slightly Wednesday as investors continued to monitor political and economic uncertainties across the globe.
At 08:10 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were up 42 points, implying a gain of 53 points at the open. Futures on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 also traded higher.
A slew of data is expected on Wednesday. Durable goods orders and producer price index numbers are due at 8:30 a.m. ET, followed by construction spending data at 10 a.m. ET.