European markets to open lower as Brexit takes center stage

European markets were expected to open slightly lower Wednesday as investors pause for guidance on the likelihood of an imminent Brexit deal between the U.K. and the EU.

The FTSE 100 was seen down around 16 points at 7,195, the DAX was expected to open around 27 points lower at 12,603 and France’s CAC 40 was set to edge around 6 points lower to 5,696, according to IG data.

Brexit negotiations continued into the early hours of Wednesday as U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson seeks to hammer out a deal with the bloc ahead of a meeting of European leaders this week.

British news outlets reported Tuesday night that the two parties were on the brink of a deal after the U.K. made concessions to EU demands over the Irish border. A draft deal could be published Wednesday if the details are finalized.

Asia-Pacific markets reacted positively to the news, led by Japan’s Nikkei 225 which jumped 1.56 percent in early trade.

Tensions between the world’s largest economies heated up once again overnight as China threatened countermeasures to a U.S. bill supporting protests in Hong Kong.

Embattled Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam on Wednesday ruled out yielding to the demands of pro-democracy protesters as violence escalates across the city. Lawmakers disrupted Lam’s annual policy address on Wednesday, heckling and throwing objects at her.

On the data front, Italian industrial orders for August are due for publication at 9:00 a.m. London time, before U.K. consumer price index (CPI) inflation figures for September at 9:30 a.m. and equivalent Italian inflation data at 10:00 a.m.

Rio Tinto’s Western Australia iron ore business was reported to have rebounded positively in the third quarter late on Tuesday night, while ASOS, Roche, and Carrefour are all due to report earnings Wednesday.

Source: CNBC