European markets mostly lower as Brexit hits another roadblock

European markets traded mostly lower Wednesday morning after British lawmakers forced Prime Minister Boris Johnson to pause the progression of his Brexit deal.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 fell 0.3 percent in morning trade, tech stocks dropping 1.4 percent to lead losses, on the back of a bleak Texas Instruments revenue forecast, as most sectors traded in negative territory.

Lawmakers on Tuesday night voted in principle for Johnson’s Withdrawal Agreement Bill to proceed through parliament, but rejected the prime minister’s plans to get it approved within three days, which offered a limited time frame for MPs to review the legislation.

Focus now turns to the EU for a verdict on whether to grant an extension to the October 31 deadline, a move recommended by EU Council President Donald Tusk, and for how long.

Should the deadline be extended to January 31, Johnson could call a general election in a bid to consolidate his mandate, with his ruling Conservative Party leading in the polls.

Earnings in focus

PSA Peugeot Citroen reported rising third-quarter revenues before the bell on Wednesday despite a gloomy outlook for the auto market. Revenue rose to 15.58 billion euros ($17.35 billion) from 15.43 billion euros a year earlier. The French carmaker expects automotive markets to decline by 1 percent in Europe, 5 percent in Latin America and 7 percent in China.

Dutch brewer Heineken trimmed its profit forecast for the year after a drop in third-quarter sales in the Americas, causing its shares to fall 1.6 percent in early trade.

AkzoNobel saw its core profit jump 23 percent in the third quarter and announced a 500 million euro ($556 million) share buyback, leading the stock 1.1 percent higher.

Biggest movers

Pandora shares jumped 12.2 percent to lead the Stoxx 600 in early trade after Carnegie upgraded the Danish jeweler’s stock to hold from sell, according to Reuters.

Norwegian financial services group Storebrand climbed 5.8 percent early in the session after strong third-quarter results, while compatriot insurance company Gjensidige Forsikring suffered contrasting fortunes following its earnings report, sliding 5.2 percent to the bottom of the European blue chip index.

Source: CNBC

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