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Hold on to your seats, folks: the House of Lords is set to begin debating the Brexit bill today.
Two weeks after it sailed through the House of Commons largely unamended by MPs, the Lords are expected to push for amendments including requirements for the government to give greater influence to parliament in the negotiations with the EU and to guarantee unilaterally the rights of EU citizens living in the UK.
Major votes are not expected until March 7, but markets will be watching with a keen eye this week and next.
They are already focused on UK house prices, which grew at their weakest rate in almost four years in February, according to Rightmove. The pound, however, was flat at $1.2416 in late afternoon Asia trading.
In equities, futures tip the FTSE 100 index to open 0.2 per cent higher in London, while Wall Street and the rest of the US is taking Monday off for Presidents’ Day. Tokyo’s Topix index is up 0.2 per cent in late afternoon trading, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index has notched a 0.3 per cent rise while the S&P/ASX 200 index in Sydney is off 0.2 per cent.
Today’s corporate earnings reports are few and far between, but include Bovis Homes and Covestro.
The economic calendar is similarly quiet, almost eerily so (all times London):
- 07.00: Germany producer inflation
- 10.00: EU President Donald Tusk and US Vice-president Mike Pence press briefing in Brussels
- 15.00: Eurozone consumer confidence
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