Asian shares lose ground on Brexit pause
Revenue warnings from Texas Instruments raised worries about the global tech sector
Tokyo — US stock futures and Asian shares slipped on Wednesday as revenue warnings from Texas Instruments raised worries about the global tech sector and after British MPs forced the government to hit the pause button on the latest Brexit deal.
European shares are expected to fall, with pan-European Euro Stoxx 50 futures trading down 0.72%, German DAX futures losing 0.79% and FTSE futures off 0.23%.
S&P500 mini futures dropped 0.2% while Japan's Nikkei was up 0.1% after falling as much as 0.4%. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.6%.
On Tuesday on Wall Street, the S&P 500 lost 0.36%.
After the bell, Texas Instruments, whose broad line-up of products makes it a proxy for the global chip industry, forecast current-quarter revenue to fall 10%-17% from a year earlier, well below estimates.
Texas Instruments shares tumbled 9.8% in after-hours trade, driving down other chipmaker shares including Intel and Nvidia.
Worries that the global microchip industry is being squeezed by a downturn in demand and the prolonged US-China trade dispute sent some Asian chip-related shares lower.
Taiwan’s TSMC fell 0.9% while South Korea’s SK Hynix shed 1.6% and Japan’s Tokyo Electron slumped 4.3%.
“Given a recent rally in semiconductor shares, some adjustments will be inevitable,” said Nobuhiko Kuramochi, chief strategist at Mizuho Securities.
“But our investor survey has shown that many investors are still cautious on the sector so a bit of weakness in the industry would surprise few of them,” he added.
In the currency market, sterling dipped 0.15% to $ 1.2851, falling further from five-month highs of $1.3012 set on Monday.
But the pound still kept hefty gains made over the past fortnight on growing expectations that a no-deal Brexit will be avoided even though it is still not clear what the path ahead will be.
On Tuesday, the British parliament voted in favour of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Brexit plan, but then rejected his timetable to fast-track legislation to take Britain out of the EU. That effectively meant Britain would be unable to finalise its exit by Johnson’s October 31 deadline.
The next step, Johnson said, would be waiting for the EU to respond to a request to delay the October 31 Brexit date, which the prime minister reluctantly sent to Brussels on Saturday after being forced to do so by legislators.
A source in Johnson’s office said on Tuesday that a new election is the only way to move on from the Brexit crisis if the EU agrees to a delay until January.
“Broadly speaking, there are two scenarios. There will be a short extension before the parliament will agree on Johnson’s plan. Or there could be a general election, which would need a longer extension,” said Kyosuke Suzuki, director of forex at Societe Generale.
“But it now seems unlikely that Britain will crash out of the EU on October 31,” he said.
Receding worries about a no-deal Brexit also underpinned the euro, which stood at $1.1122, flat on the day and a tad below Monday’s two-month high of $1.1180.
The yen ticked up 0.15% to 108.31 yen per dollar, in a slow recovery since hitting a two-and-a-half-month low of 108.94 on Thursday.
The dollar was broadly weak, ahead of a Federal Reserve policy meeting next week at which policymakers are expected to cut interest rates by 0.25 percentage point.
Oil prices fell after industry group data showed US crude stocks rose more than expected last week.
Still, on the whole the market held firm after China signalled progress in trade talks with the US and Opec and its allies pondered deeper production cuts.
Brent crude futures fell 0.52% to $59.39 a barrel while US West Texas Intermediate crude lost 0.81% to $54.04 per barrel.