Fast Europe Open: So you’re leaving the EU

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Less than a day out from the triggering of Article 50, it’s a good time to take stock of what exactly has happened – and what still lies ahead.

For those just now returning from a nine-plus-month stint living secluded in the depths of a remote cave, Theresa May triggered a two-year countdown to Britain’s break from Europe on Wednesday by serving notice to Brussels that she intends to end their 44-year relationship.

Anxious readers can click here for rolling updates on whether the UK has in fact left the EU. (Spoiler: not yet.)

For those who like it straight from the source, the FT has decoded and annotated Mrs May’s Article 50 letter, while Lex has provided insight into how trade negotiations could have a mostly negative impact on corporate valuations.

European diplomats welcomed the conciliatory tone of Mrs May’s formal notification — even as it came with a more hostile linking of the Brexit trade deal and continued security co-operation in Europe — but Germany’s Angela Merkel pushed back at the attempt to speed through the accord with Europe.

Ms Merkel struck a hard line on the sequencing of talks, and the European Parliament was similarly stern. Thursday’s agenda will center on Brexit minister David Davis, who will today reveal the government’s plans for importing EU rules and regulations into UK law.

Asia Pacific markets are mixed despite a positive lead from Wall Street, with investors still processing the outlook for monetary policy at the European Central Bank. In Sydney the S&P/ASX 200 index is up 0.4 per cent in afternoon trade, while Tokyo’s Topix is down 0.5 per cent and the Hang Seng is down by the same amount in Hong Kong.

Futures tip the FTSE 100 index to open up 0.1 per cent in London, and the S&P 500 is expected to rise the same amount when trading begins in New York.

Corporate earnings reports out today include H&M, Buzzi Unicem and Booker Group.

The economic calendar for Thursday is here, there and everywhere (all times London):

  • 08.00: Spain consumer price inflation
  • 09.00: Austria manufacturing PMI
  • 10.00: Eurozone consumer confidence (final)
  • 11.00: Portugal industrial production and retail sales
  • 13.00: Germany consumer price inflation
  • Belgium consumer price inflation data is also expected out today.
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