By Yakob Peterseil
Means and ways
The European Union agreed to delay Brexit by three months to Jan. 31 after French President Emmanuel Macron dropped his opposition to the plan. While the move eases the risks of a no-deal divorce, Boris Johnson still looks likely to fall short of the two-thirds majority he needs to secure an early general election in today’s House of Commons vote. That’s because an extension on its own doesn’t satisfy the opposition Labour Party’s position that it won’t support a snap poll until the risk of a no-deal Brexit is completely removed. There are still other ways for the prime minister to get the election he wants though, including through a no-confidence vote.
HSBC said it’s embarking on its biggest overhaul in years after third-quarter profit missed estimates. The bank warned of significant write-offs to come, likely to cover its European businesses and technology spending. While HSBC is heavily exposed to turbulence in Hong Kong, the bank said earnings there have been resilient. Other results to watch today include Alphabet Inc., AT&T Inc. and T-Mobile US Inc.
President Donald Trump scored a win over the weekend with the killing of Islamic State commander Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, but back in Washington, business grinds on. The House’s impeachment inquiry resumes today with another slate of witnesses, after testimony last week bolstered the investigation into whether the president pressured the government of Ukraine for his personal political benefit. Last night wasn’t a great one for Trump either, with the president drawing jeers from the hometown crowd at the World Series.
Overnight the MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed 0.3% while Japan’s Topix index was little changed as investors took profits following recent gains. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was 0.2% lower at 5:45 a.m. Eastern Time with investors bracing for a big week of corporate earnings. S&P 500 futures pointed to a positive start, the 10-year Treasury yield was at 1.842% and gold edged higher.
It’s a jam-packed week for central banks and economic data, with monetary decisions due from the Federal Reserve, Bank of Japan and Bank of Canada, while U.S. GDP figures arrive on Wednesday and payrolls follow on Friday. The earnings slate is also full, with Facebook Inc., Mastercard Inc., GE Co., Pfizer Inc., Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., Bayer AG, Sony Corp. and Volkswagen AG among big names reporting this week.