OPENING CALL: The Australian share market is expected to open higher. The SPI Futures contract expected to open up 14 points.
The U.K. Supreme Court’s ruling that Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s five-week suspension of Parliament was unlawful ramps up the pressure on Mr. Johnson to reach a Brexit deal with the European Union.
The leader of e-cigarette maker Juul Labs abruptly exited and two tobacco giants abandoned their blockbuster merger, as the regulatory pressure to combat underage vaping
Each Market in Focus
Australian shares falter, tracking weakness across the region as the political turmoil around President Trump’s impeachment inquiry and rising worries about a U.S.-China trade deal dampen investor sentiment toward risk. In the steepest daily loss in a month, the S&P/ASX 200 ends down 0.6% at 6710.2, led by drops in energy and mining stocks.
Telecom and consumer sectors also weaken, countering modest gains in yield-driven utilities and property trusts. Afterpay Touch rallies 13% after its external auditor files an interim report to the government’s financial intelligence agency affirming it hasn’t identified money laundering or terrorism financing via its systems.
U.S. stocks climbed intraday after President Trump voiced optimism about a trade deal with China, overshadowing some of the worries about political uncertainty in Washington.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 0.6% in afternoon trading. The S&P 500 gained 0.6%, and the Nasdaq Composite climbed 1%. Mr. Trump told reporters that a deal with Beijing could happen “sooner than you think,” news media reported. A trade war largely instigated by Mr. Trump has weighed on the market in recent weeks.
The indexes were in negative territory earlier, hitting session lows after the White House released a memo about a phone call at the heart of a political drama in Washington. The previous day, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced an impeachment inquiry into whether Mr. Trump interacted improperly with his Ukrainian counterpart.
Nike helped lift the Dow. The footwear maker’s shares jumped 4% after it posted higher sales, boosted by gains in China.
Shares of Philip Morris International surged 6%, while Altria Group fell 1%, after the two tobacco giants ended merger talks. Altria owns a 35% stake in embattled e-cigarette maker Juul Labs.
Pelosi announced the impeachment inquiry into Trump late Tuesday following a chorus of criticism in the wake of reports that the U.S. president pressed Ukraine’s head of state to investigate Democratic presidential candidate Joseph Biden and his son Hunter.
Joe Biden and his son, according to a summary of a July telephone call released by the
White House on Wednesday.
Prices for gold moved up in electronic trading Wednesday after the news, which
pressured U.S. benchmark stock indexes, but the haven commodity fell Wednesday as the ICE
U.S. Dollar Index traded up by 0.7% and benchmark stock indexes climbed.
Oil prices fell after weekly government data showed a second consecutive increase in stockpiles, highlighting investors’ anxiety about excess supply.
U.S. crude futures slid 1.4% to $56.49 a barrel, while Brent, the global gauge of prices, fell 1.1% to $62.39 a barrel.
Oil prices have shed most of the gains they posted last week after Sept. 14 attacks on Saudi Arabian oil facilities, falling back to their recent trading range. Saudi Arabia has said it would soon have exports back to normal, and worries about softening demand have continued to hurt crude.
Adding to those concerns: The Energy Information Administration, or EIA, said Wednesday that crude stockpiles rose by 2.4 million barrels last week, compared with analysts’ expectations for a 200,000-barrel decline. U.S. oil production rose back to a record 12.5 million barrels per day, illustrating the shale industry’s ability to produce plenty of oil.
that low mortgage rates may be encouraging home building.
Downbeat manufacturing figures from Germany and other eurozone economies to start the week and increasing pressure on U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson to reach a Brexit deal have made the growth outlook in the U.S. look more attractive, analysts say. The U.K. Supreme Court Tuesday ruled that Mr. Johnson’s five-week suspension of Parliament was
unlawful, challenging his pledge to take the U.K out of the European Union.
While some data points have shown a slowdown in the U.S. manufacturing sector, stability in consumer spending and the labor market has fueled bets that domestic growth will remain steady. Those wagers have also lifted U.S. stocks and kept them near records.
The Stoxx Europe 600 index fell 0.8%. Meanwhile, the British pound declined 0.9% against the U.S. dollar and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 equity index slipped 0.2%. Britain’s Supreme Court ruled that Prime Minister Boris
Johnson acted unlawfully by suspending Parliament, ramping up pressure on him to reach a Brexit deal with the European Union.
The ruling hurts Mr. Johnson’s authority and could complicate negotiations with Brussels, reducing the chances of a Brexit deal being reached by the end of October, according to analysts at UniCredit.
Among the biggest losers in European equities was EDF, whose shares dropped 6.4%. The company said the estimated cost of nuclear reactors it is building in the U.K. will be higher than it had projected earlier.
The Shanghai Composite benchmark declined 1% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 1.3%. Equity investors took note of Mr. Trump’s comments at the United Nations that he wouldn’t accept a “bad” trade deal with China, which further dimmed expectations around high-level negotiations scheduled to resume next month in Washington. He also listed a
number of complaints against China, which he said had abused its membership in the World Trade Organization by using it to carry out an unfair trade agenda.
Hong Kong shares closed lower as investor sentiment continued to take hits from global uncertainties — the latest blow being news of an impeachment inquiry against President Trump. The benchmark Hang Seng Index fell 1.3% to end the day at 25945.35.
Tech stocks were among the worst performers on the index, with AAC Technologies down 3.1% and Sunny Optical Technology 3.0% lower.
Indian shares closed lower, led by financial stocks, amid a sell bias in the market. After rising for three straight sessions on the government’s latest economic booster dose, the BSE Sensex settled 1.3% lower at 38593.52.
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