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What to Watch: Theresa May in parliament, Nissan downgrade, stocks surge again

Alanna Petroff
Senior Economics Correspondent at Yahoo Finance UK

Here are some of the top business, market, and economic stories you should be watching today in the UK, Europe, and abroad:  

Theresa May addresses parliament on Brexit

Prime minister Theresa May will tell British MPs on Tuesday that they must hold their nerve over Brexit to force the European Union to accept changes to the divorce deal.

The United Kingdom is on course to leave the EU on 29 March without a deal unless May can convince the bloc to reopen the divorce deal she agreed to in November and then sell it to sceptical British MPs.

Prime minister Theresa May will address members of parliament on Tuesday. Photo: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Images

“The talks are at a crucial stage,” May will tell parliament on Tuesday, according to remarks supplied by her Downing Street office. “We now all need to hold our nerve to get the changes this House has required and deliver Brexit on time.”

The EU has refused to reopen the Brexit divorce deal, though May insists she can get legally binding changes to replace the most contentious part of the deal, which is related to the Irish border.

Nissan’s weak outlook

Japan’s Nissan Motor (7201.T) slashed its annual profit outlook on Tuesday and said it booked roughly £63m in charges related to under-reported compensation for ousted chairman Carlos Ghosn.

Ghosn, who was arrested and detained in Tokyo in November, has been indicted in Japan on charges of under-reporting his salary at Nissan from 2010 to 2018. He has denied the deferred pay was illegal or required disclosure.

The Japanese automaker cut its full-year profit forecast by about 17%, to 450 billion yen from 540 billion yen, based on persistent weakness in global sales.

The downgrade was part of Nissan’s quarterly results announcement, its first since Ghosn’s arrest on allegations of financial misconduct.

Nissan is one of the biggest automakers in the UK and recently announced it would build its X-Trail SUV solely in Japan instead of Britain, creating another setback for the UK car manufacturing industry.

Stock market overview

European stock markets were rising on Tuesday, continuing a recovery rally that kicked off on Monday.

Investors are hopeful there could be positive results from a new round of US-China trade talks this week. Market sentiment has also gotten a boost on news US lawmakers reached a tentative deal that could help avert another partial government shutdown, which is due to start on Saturday.

Britain’s FTSE 100 (^FTSE), Germany’s DAX (^GDAXI), and France’s CAC 40 (^FCHI) were all rising by about 0.5% to 1% in morning trading. 

This comes after Asian markets locked in gains for the day. Japan’s Nikkei 225 (^N225) led the way with a large 2.6% jump.

US stock futures were also rising ahead of the open, with the S&P 500 (ES=F), Dow Jones industrial average (YM=F), and Nasdaq (NQ=F) all indicating they’d jump at the start of the trading day.

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