Asian Markets Fall; Brexit Set for Another Delay
Asian markets fell in morning trade on Wednesday following news that the deadline for the U.K. to leave the European Union is likely to get delayed again.
China’s Shanghai Composite and the SZSE Component dropped 0.3% and 0.2% respectively by 10:40 PM ET (02:40 GMT).
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index lost 1.0%.
While not a directional driver, the Financial Times reported overnight that Beijing is considering replacing Hong Kong’s chief executive, Carrie Lam, by March.
Citing people briefed on the deliberations, Lam’s successor would remain in place until the end of her term in 2022.
Separately, the city’s Financial Secretary Paul Chan unveiled a range of relief measures worth about HK$2 billion ($255 million) yesterday.
The measures, including a HK$1.37 billion in fuel subsidy for taxis and some minibuses targets, mainly tourism and the transportation industry.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 was little changed at 22,561.0.
Co-working company WeWork officially announced that the Japan-listed SoftBank has reached a deal to taking control of the company.
SoftBank will provide $5 billion in new financing and up to $3 billion in a tender offer for existing shareholders, according to a press release. Following the offer, the Japnese conglomerate’s stake in WeWork will be increased to approximately 80%.
South Korea’s KOSPI dropped 0.6%.
Major Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) supplier LG Display is set to report its third-quarter earnings later in the day. Samsung (KS:005930) Biologics’s earnings report is also due.
Down under, Australia’s ASX 200 was down 0.3%.
In the U.K., lawmakers voted to block Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plan to rush his Brexit deal into law, reducing the possibility for the U.K. to leave the EU on October 31.
“One way or another, we will leave the EU with this deal, to which this House has just given its assent," Johnson said after the vote.
“Let me be clear: our policy remains that we should not delay, that we should leave the EU on Oct. 31 and that is what I will say to the EU and I will report back to the House,” Johnson told the Commons.