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It may seem like an eternity since the June referendum, but the truth is Brexit has only just begun.

Theresa May signed the historic letter that starts Britain’s exit from the EU on Tuesday evening, amid new signals that the prime minister is willing to compromise to prevent the UK’s 44-year relationship with Europe ending in acrimonious divorce.

The official Article 50 exit process will begin on Wednesday at just after 13.00 in Brussels when Sir Tim Barrow, Britain’s ambassador to the EU, presents Mrs May’s letter of withdrawal to Donald Tusk, the European Council president.

After wobbling at the week’s outset Wall Street rebounded on Tuesday, with the S&P 500 rising 0.7 per cent as a fillip for crude prices helped bolster energy stocks, and the dollar firming somewhat after a recent slide.

In Asia Pacific equities, Sydney’s S&P/ASX 200 index is up 0.1 per cent. Futures tip Tokyo’s Topix index to climb 0.8 per cent at the open, while in Hong Kong the Hang Seng index is expected to rise 0.5 per cent when trading begins.

Corporate earnings reports out today include Shimao Property, GCL Poly Energy, Far East Horizon, Joy City Property, Li & Fung and China Agri-Industries Holdings.

The economic calendar for Wednesday should be stored in a cool, dry place when not in use (all times Hong Kong):

  • 07.50: Japan retail sales
  • 10.00: Vietnam Q1 GDP, as well as March consumer price inflation, imports, exports and trade balance, retail sales and industrial production
  • 13.00: Japan small business confidence
  • 15.00: Thailand interest rates decision

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