European markets open higher ahead of crucial Brexit vote

European stocks open higher Tuesday morning, with market participants braced for a showdown in Westminster over the U.K. government’s Brexit[1] plan.

Stoxx 600[2] was up by 0.8 percent with almost every sector in positive territory.

Market focus is largely attuned to an all-important vote on Prime Minister Theresa May[3]‘s much-maligned Brexit deal on Tuesday.

Remarkably — with less than 75 days to go before the country is set to leave the EU — May’s template to withdraw from the bloc faces virtually certain defeat[4].

That leaves the prospect of a complete collapse of government, a disorderly exit from the bloc or even the entire Brexit process being scrapped altogether over the coming weeks[5].

Sterling has fallen more than 10 percent against the U.S. dollar since reaching a peak of $1.4335 in April 2018, in part due to rising fears over the course of the Brexit process. The U.K. currency was trading at around $1.2905 Tuesday morning.

On the data front, France and Spain are both expected to publish a final reading of annual inflation figures for December at around 8:00 a.m. London time. The euro area will publish trade balance data for November later in the trading session.

In Asia, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares, excluding Japan, rose around 0.5 percent. It comes after China signaled more supportive measures to stabilize its cooling economy.


  1. ^ Brexit (
  2. ^ Stoxx 600 (
  3. ^ Theresa May (
  4. ^ virtually certain defeat (
  5. ^ over the coming weeks (