OPENING CALL: The Australian share market is expected to open higher. The SPI200 futures contract expected to open up 20 points.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson was set to put his Brexit deal to a vote in Parliament on Tuesday, in the first test of whether he was won over enough lawmakers to his plan to pull the U.K. out of the European Union.
Investors are selling off shares in Boeing as the plane manufacturer was hit with downgrades and continues to face intense questions from regulators and elected officials about its safety practices and its grounded 737 MAX planes.
Each Market in Focus
Australian shares ticked into positive territory in the final minutes of trading, supported by gains among the big banks and miners. Snapping a run of weakness the past two sessions, the S&P/ASX 200 added 2.8 points to settle at 6652.5, having been down by as much as 0.6% early in the day.
BHP gained 0.6% and Rio Tinto was up 0.3%, while National Australia Bank led the major lenders with a rise of 0.4%. Still, Treasury Wine dived 12% on news its CEO will depart and Wisetech sank 12% and entered a trading halt to prepare a response to a negative research report.
U.S. stocks inched higher intraday to start a busy week of corporate earnings, while investors continued to track developments in the U.K.’s divorce from the European Union.
The S&P 500 ticked up 0.7%, while the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.9%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up 0.2%, weighed down by a decline in the shares of Boeing after the Wall Street Journal reported that Congress was intensifying scrutiny of the plane maker.
This is the busiest week of the quarter for corporate earnings, and results so far have beaten analysts’ expectations. Those expectations were low, however, with analysts as of Sept. 30 estimating a 4% decline in third-quarter earnings for S&P 500 companies, according to FactSet.
Shares of oil-field services company Halliburton added 5.5% Monday after reporting cost cuts and a better-than-expected outlook. Even with the rally, the stock is down 27% year-to-date.
Silver futures finished higher, taking advantage of a rise in appetite for riskier assets while gold posted back-to-back declines as traders kept watch on Britain’s circuitous effort to leave the European Union and awaited developments in the U.S.-China trade fight.
December silver rose 2.4 cents, or 0.1%, to settle at $17.602 an ounce after trading as high as $17.895 during the session. Gold for December delivery on Comex, meanwhile, ended $6, or 0.4%, lower at $1,488.10 an ounce.
Month to date, prices for most-active silver futures trade around 3.4% higher, while gold futures have climbed by 1%, according to FactSet data.
Oil futures settled at a nearly two-week low, as investors failed to shake worries that growing signs of economic weakness will eventually hurt demand for crude oil.
West Texas Intermediate crude for November delivery fell 47 cents, or 0.9%, to end at $53.31 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after the U.S. benchmark contract posted a 1.7% weekly decline. The November contract, expires at Tuesday’s settlement.
Global benchmark Brent crude for December lost 46 cents, or 0.8%, to finish at $58.96 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange, following a weekly skid of 1.8%.
The dollar was flat against a basket of currencies, with small gains against the euro and Japanese yen balanced by declines against the British pound and many emerging market currencies.
The pound, in particular, is volatile as investors weigh the consequences of a weekend vote that force the U.K. to request another Brexit extension from the EU. The pound was recently up 0.2% against the dollar, while the WSJ Dollar Index was down less than 0.1% at 90.46.
The pan-continental Stoxx Europe 600 index rose 0.6%, led by banks and the automotive sector.
In European equity markets, U.K. medical-equipment company Smith & Nephew fell 8.7% after its chief executive said he would step down at the end of the month.
Wirecard rose 6.8% in German trading after the electronics payment company said it commissioned an auditing firm to look into allegations made in a report in the Financial Times about its accounting practices.
Hong Kong stocks ended the session flat ahead of company earnings this week. The Hang Seng Index edged up 6.10 points to 26725.68 as investors stayed on the sidelines following China’s weak economic data released last Friday.
China Life Insurance provided the most support, jumping 5.0% after the company guided for a surge in its net profit for the first three quarters. Tech stocks offset the gains, with Techtronics Industries losing 2.8% and Sunny Optical falling 2.5%.
Singapore shares closed higher, in line with broadly stronger Asian equities. The FTSE Straits Times Index gained 0.8% to close at 3139.15.
Sembcorp firms surged on Temasek’s bid for a controlling stake in local conglomerate Keppel Corp., a move analysts say could give the state investment firm flexibility to steer the consolidation of Singapore’s offshore-and-marine industry.
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