Morning briefing: Five things you need to know before market opens

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New Delhi | Published: March 26, 2019 9:42:47 AM

The pound turned lower after Prime Minister Theresa May stumped for her Brexit deal before a parliamentary vote.

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Brexit is becoming even more of a mess, Trump counterpunches after Mueller’s report and Airbus locks in huge deal with China. Here are some of the things people in markets are talking about.

Brexit Out of May’s Hands
Theresa May lost control over the Brexit process after conceding she doesn’t have the votes to get her unpopular divorce agreement ratified in Britain’s Parliament. The House of Commons voted 329 to 302 late on Monday local time to strip power away from May over what happens next.

That paves the way for members of Parliament to demand she pursues radical Plan B options, potentially including a second referendum, keeping the U.K. in the EU’s customs union, or even canceling Brexit. Here’s a guide to what’s happening.

Trump Says “People” Behind Probe Will “Be Looked At”
President Donald Trump warned that unspecified “people” who prompted Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation would be investigated, and said he wouldn’t object if the special counsel’s report is publicly released. The investigation turned out “100 percent” as it should have, Trump told reporters at the White House on Monday. Mueller said in a report that he didn’t find evidence the president or his campaign collaborated with Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 election, according to a letter Attorney General William Barr sent to Congress on Sunday.

READ ALSO | U.S. Treasury yields hit lowest since late 2017, global stocks fall

Trump’s indication that unnamed people responsible for the probe would be investigated was vague. He didn’t name anyone, and he made similar remarks on Sunday, suggesting that retribution and score-settling is on his mind, but White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley told reporters that Barr hadn’t been directed to open any investigations of Democrats.

Airbus Secures Huge China Deal
Airbus SE secured a $35 billion jet deal from China during a state visit by President Xi Jinping to the French capital, dealing a fresh blow to Boeing Co. as it grapples with the grounding of its best-selling jet. The mammoth order comprises 290 A320-series narrow-body planes and 10 A350 wide-bodies, French President Emmanuel Macron’s office said at a briefing Tuesday.

Boeing’s 737 Max narrow-body, the chief rival to the A320, has been idled following two crashes in five months. The U.S. planemaker is also struggling with the fallout from a China-U.S. trade war that’s seen sales to the Asian nation dry up.

Treasuries Rise, Dollar Sinks
Asia shares looked ready to open mixed after U.S. stocks fluctuated in New York. A rally in Treasuries sent benchmark yields briefly below 2.4 percent for the first time since December 2017, while the dollar retreated. Technology shares led losses in the S&P 500 Index as Apple Inc. slumped during Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook’s address.

Consumer and industrial companies gained. Treasury 10-year yields extended their slide into a second day as investors wager the Federal Reserve will need to cut rates amid an economic slowdown. The pound turned lower after Prime Minister Theresa May stumped for her Brexit deal before a parliamentary vote.

Thai Election Mess
Thailand’s first election since the 2014 coup is turning out to be even more chaotic than many observers expected, setting the stage for renewed tumult after five years of military rule. More than 24 hours after polls closed, election authorities faced calls to resign for repeatedly delaying the full results and failing to account for mounting irregularities, including one candidate whose vote totals dropped 80 percent at one point during the count.

After the Election Commission finally released some seat totals, it issued a correction about an hour later. Based on the limited information available, allies of exiled tycoon Thaksin Shinawatra were set to win the most seats, followed by the military-backed Palang Pracharath party. Now both of them are racing to win over allies to form a majority in the 500-member lower house of parliament.

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