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Boeing 737 Max on its way to becoming a domestic U.S. jet, Brexit vote loss means more Brexit votes, and an oil market mystery. Here are some of the things people in markets are talking about today.

FAA vs. the world

The number of regulators around the world grounding flights of Boeing Co.’s 737 Max aircraft continues to grow, with Hong Kong becoming the latest to ban the jet from its airspace. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration is becoming increasingly isolated in its position that it’s still safe to fly, with even President Donald Trump criticizing how complex modern aircraft have become. Shares in Boeing dropped more than 6 percent yesterday and are lower again in pre-market trading this morning. 

Brexit mess

Yesterday’s defeat for Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal in Parliament can only mean one thing: more Brexit votes in Parliament. At 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time MPs will hold a series of votes which are expected to show they do not want to leave the European Union on March 29 without a deal. This will be followed by more votes on Thursday to decide what it is they actually want. Any extension to the timetable would have to be agreed to by the EU side, who have said they would need “credible justification” for such a move. Also in Parliament, Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond is due to give his Spring Statement budget, which must surely come with some large Brexit caveats. 

Who’s hedging?

There was a surge in volume in Brent $60 puts through 2019 this week, with 16 million barrels changing hands in June, August and September, ICE Futures Europe exchange data show. More than 8 million similar contracts changed hands in the over-the-counter market, according to people familiar with the matter. While the buyer seeking protection from falling oil prices is unknown, speculation pointed to Petroleo Brasiliero SA, given the timing and size of the trades. A barrel of West Texas Intermediate for April delivery was trading at $57.38 at 5:45 a.m. amid signs of a drop in U.S. supplies. 

Markets mixed

Overnight the MSCI Asia Pacific Index slipped 0.5 percent while Japan’s Topix index closed 0.8 percent lower in the wake of worse-than-expected machinery orders data. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was 0.2 percent higher at 5:45 a.m. as gains for carmakers and miners offset a slide in retailers following disappointing results. S&P 500 futures pointed to little change at the open, the 10-year Treasury yield was at 2.618 percent and gold was higher.

Coming up…

At 8:30 a.m. U.S. durable goods orders for January is released, with the headline number expected to slip 0.4 percent. Producer price inflation for February is due at the same time. At 10:00 a.m. construction spending for January is expected to show a 0.5 percent increase from the previous month, and the oil inventory report will be published at 10:30 a.m. 

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