European Morning Briefing: U.S. Rally to Bolster Stocks; Euro Dented

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Snapshot:

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Stocks to extend gains; EUR/USD 1.1955-58; bund yield 0.338%; Brent crude $53.78; gold $1325.30

-U.K.'s May Wins Vote on Brexit Bill but Debate Over How to Exit EU Rages On

-U.N. Security Council Adopts New Sanctions Against North Korea

-HSBC Seeks $220 Million Claim From China Huishan

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Watch For: Eurozone long term interest rates statistics; U.K. inflation; Italy Labour Cost Index; no major earnings scheduled; Apple holds California media event

Headline News:

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British Prime Minister Theresa May won a key vote on Brexit legislation early Tuesday, but she faces tough battles ahead in getting Parliament to support her vision for how the U.K. should exit the European Union after more than four decades.

Lawmakers voted 326-290 in favor of a bill designed to transpose more than 10,000 EU laws on to the U.K. statute book. The bill would come into effect on March 29, 2019, the day the U.K. is scheduled to leave the bloc and aims to prevent a legal vacuum once Britain leaves the EU.

However, critics argue the bill hands too much power to the prime minister and her cabinet because it allows them to alter laws without parliamentary approval.

The bill's difficult journey through the early stages of parliamentary scrutiny -- normally a formality -- signal further hurdles along the line for Mrs. May, who lost her party's majority in an election gamble earlier this summer. While negotiations with the EU over Britain's departure have reached an impasse over issues such as how much the U.K. owes the bloc as part of its divorce, a bigger issue for Mrs. May could be getting a divided Parliament and country behind her negotiating aims.

Mrs. May said the bill gives "certainty and clarity" ahead of Brexit. "Although there is more to do, this decision means we can move on with negotiations with solid foundations and we continue to encourage MPs from all parts of the U.K. to work together in support of this vital piece of legislation," she said.

The United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted new sanctions against North Korea on Monday after U.S. officials eased their demands to convince China and Russia to approve the measure.

The U.S., which drafted the initial resolution while pledging the harshest possible sanctions yet, rolled back its initial insistence on a complete oil embargo and asset and travel freezes targeting North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, diplomats said.

Despite the compromises, U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley said of the adopted resolution: "This will cut deep."

Stocks:

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European shares are likely to extend gains Tuesday, with DAX futures up 25 points and FTSE 100 futures up 21 points.

Investors continued to buy risk assets and sell havens Tuesday, as Asian stocks extended gains while the yen and gold fell further.

"The world's financial markets are the very picture of calm and tranquility, where the short sellers are getting squeezed and the bulls are once again dominating," said Chris Weston, chief market strategist at IG Markets in a note to clients.

Japan's Nikkei Stock Average rose 1% and hit its best intraday level in a month as the yen continued to pull back. Taiwan's Taiex rose 0.4% and it could set a fresh 27-year closing high. It was lower on Monday ahead of Apple's widely anticipated product launch. Taiwan is home to many key Apple suppliers.

In the U.S., the S&P 500 set a fresh record closing high, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average finished above 22000 for the first time in nearly a month. Both also logged their biggest point gains since March 1.

"Investors were relieved that Hurricane Irma did not cause as much damage to Florida as Harvey did to Texas," said Kathy Lien, head of forex strategy for BK Asset Management in New York.

Forex:

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The euro extended losses against the dollar in Asia, with EUR/USD at 1.1949, haven fallen roughly 0.6% Monday.

Cautious comments from European Central Bank board member Benoit Coeure appeared to have undermined the euro late in the European session.

CBA said while Mr. Coeure said "euro strength may have less of an impact on growth than, for example, after the Great Financial Crisis," he warned that a persistent exchange rate shock could drag down inflation.

The dollar was broadly higher in Asia, extended Monday's gains, but it remains to be seen if it can sustain a period of consistent strength, said Greg Gibbs, currency strategist at Amp GFX.

The dollar's rebound is more noticeable against safe havens such as the yen, the Swiss franc and gold, he said but safe haven demand has retreated on the passing of Hurricane Irma and some easing of tensions with North Korea.

U.S. Congress and President Trump have also had some success with the passage of hurricane relief spending and kicking the debt ceiling a little farther down the road, Mr. Gibbs said. This has given the dollar a reprieve, but it may have limited capacity to turn the trend, he added.

Martin Arnold at ETF Securities in London said the ongoing strength of the U.S. economy will likely support the dollar, keeping the Federal Reserve in tightening mode. Moves higher, however, will be gradual and Mr. Arnold predicated on political risks fading, something that will take time given investor focus on the "incompetence of the Trump administration," he added. Assuming the trend continues, better investment and jobs should encourage accelerating wage growth, likely making the Fed keen to curb inflation pressures with higher rates.

The WSJ Dollar Index logged its biggest one-day rise since Jan. 18 Monday and it was essentially flat in Asian trading at 85.06. Elsewhere, USD/JPY was 109.36-37, EUR/USD was 1.1955-58 and GBP/USD was 1.3177-79.

Bonds:

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The selloff continued in Japanese fixed-income Tuesday as safe havens came under pressure again, sending the benchmark 10-year Japanese government bond's yield higher by 2 basis points to 0.015%.

Additionally, foreign investors have resumed buying super JGBs, said Nomura. This allows sellers back into the market, causing yields to rise. The newest 20-year tenor's yield was up 1 basis point at 0.535%. Meanwhile, the 3-year and 30-year bonds were up 1.5 basis points and half a pip, at 0.820% and 1.015% respectively.

U.S. government-bond prices slipped Monday, as investors piled into riskier assets like stocks. The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note settled at 2.125% compared with 2.058% on Friday.

Later this week, bond investors will get a fresh look at inflation, with the producer-price index expected to be released on Wednesday and the consumer-price index scheduled for Thursday.

While various measures of the U.S. economy have picked up this year, inflation readings have remained largely muted, adding to investors' view that the Fed will be unlikely to raise rates quickly.

That's helped keep yields in a narrow range, despite expectations at the start of the year that policy changes from the Trump administration would kick-start economic growth and inflation and in turn, sap demand for Treasurys. The yield on the 10-year note finished 2016 at 2.446%.

"We think the market will continue to trade in a tight range until we see changes on the inflationary front," Mr. Heckman said.

Energy:

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Oil futures were essentially flat in Asia after WTI rebounded Monday, further narrowing the gap with Brent.

Widening above $6/barrel to levels not seen in some time, some investors are looking for that spread to shrink as U.S. oil demand and production return to pre-Harvey levels.

At 0159 GMT, October Nymex WTI was down 2 cents at $48.05 and November Brent eased 6 cents to $53.78.

Production cuts by OPEC and its allies have nearly halved the excess of oil inventories in just seven months, the group's secretary general Mohammed Barkindo told an Oxford energy event Monday.

"The rebalancing process is underway," he said. Commercial oil stocks in industrialized nations fell to 195 million barrels above their five-year average in July, a 43% decline compared to 340 million when the coalition of producers started to turn off the spigots on Jan 1.

Metals:

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London spot gold prices extend losses in Asian trading, as tensions over North Korea stayed calm, while the dollar gained strength.

But with the UN imposing fresh sanctions on North Korea, investors remain wary about the likelihood for fresh geopolitical tensions. Physical demand is also expected to pick up with Asia heading into its peak buying season period.

At 0223 GMT, spot gold was 0.1% lower at $1,325.30/troy ounce.

Write to paul.larkins@wsj.com

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September 12, 2017 00:16 ET (04:16 GMT)