Asian shares rise after changes to Brexit deal

SHANGHAI: The pound jumped on Tuesday and Asian shares rose after the European Commission agreed to changes in a Brexit deal ahead of a vote in the British parliament on a divorce agreement.

European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker agreed to additional assurances in an updated Brexit deal with British Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday, but warned UK lawmakers would not get a third chance to endorse it.

Sterling, which had risen ahead of the talks between May and Juncker, extended gains in hopes the changes may be enough to sway rebellious British lawmakers who have threatened to vote down May’s plan again on Tuesday.

The pound was up 0.7 per cent, buying $1.3239 and taking its gains for two days to more than 1.6 per cent.

In early trade, MSCI‘s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.3 per cent, following on from a rally on Wall Street overnight.

Australian shares were up 0.4 per cent, while Japan’s Nikkei stock index jumped 1.6 per cent.

The amended Brexit deal gave a further boost to investors’ appetite for riskier assets, after global equity indexes climbed overnight on gains in technology stocks and expectations of more stimulus from China.

US shares rebounded from a week-long losing streak, with news that US chip supplier Nvidia Corp has agreed to buy Israeli chip designer Mellanox Technologies Ltd for $6.8 billion helping to boost tech shares.

A nearly 7 per cent gain in Nvidia shares helped to propel the Nasdaq Composite 2.02 per cent higher, to 7,558.06 points.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.79 per cent, with gains tempered by a 5.3 per cent drop in Boeing shares after some airlines grounded the company’s new 737 MAX 8 passenger jet following a second deadly crash of the airliner in five months.

The S&P 500 gained 1.47 per cent to 2,783.3.

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