European Shares Seen Lower Amid Brexit Woes

European stocks may drift lower at open on Wednesday as investors await yet another make-or-break parliamentary vote on Brexit.

A delay to Brexit looks inevitable after MPs voted by 391 to 242 to reject Prime Minister May’s revised plans for the U.K.’s exit from the European Union.

The result plunged the country into fresh instability just 17 days before the planned exit day of March 29.

Parliament will vote later today on whether Britain will crash out of the EU with no deal. If that fails, a further vote on Thursday will decide whether to extend the Brexit deadline.

Asian stocks fell in cautious trade, with weak machinery orders data from Japan and Brexit-related uncertainty keeping underlying sentiment cautious.

Investors also awaited key industrial output and retail sales data from China due on Thursday to determine immediate market direction.

Gold held near a two-week high and the British pound edged up while oil prices continued to rise, helped by planned cuts to Saudi exports and a reduced forecast for U.S crude output.

U.S. special envoy Elliott Abrams reportedly said that the U.S. is planning some “very significant” Venezuela-related sanctions in the coming days.

Overnight, U.S. stocks ended mixed as Boeing shares continued to fell on safety concerns following another deadly crash involving its most popular plane.

Inflation remained in check last month, helping spur expectations the Fed will continue to refrain from raising interest rates in the near future.

The Dow dropped 0.4 percent, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rose 0.4 percent and the S&P 500 added 0.3 percent.

European markets also ended Tuesday’s session on a mixed note ahead the crucial Brexit vote, with British Attorney General Geoffrey Cox saying there is a legal risk that could affect Prime Minister May’s revised Brexit deal.

The pan European Stoxx 600 edged down 0.1 percent. The German DAX slid 0.2 percent, while France’s CAC 40 index inched up by 0.1 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 rose 0.3 percent.

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