Investing.com – Asian stocks were mixed in morning trade on Thursday. The Brexit saga continues to unfold as U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May said she would resign if Parliament backs her Brexit deal.
China’s Shanghai Composite fell 0.4%, while the SZSE Component edged up 0.1%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was little changed. Shares of China Construction Bank Corp (HK:0939) fell about 1.5% after the company reported its first profit drop since 2015 in the first quarter of 2019.
Down under, Australia’s ASX 200 was up 0.3%.
In the U.K., May said she would stand down as Prime Minister after her Brexit deal is done.
“I am prepared to leave this job earlier than I intended in order to do what is right for our country and our party,” May said.
“I ask everyone in this room to back the deal so we can complete our historic duty — to deliver on the decision of the British people and leave the European Union with a smooth and orderly exit.”
Members of Parliament voted on Wednesday on eight possible Brexit options, but rejected all of them, leaving May’s deal, which was already rejected twice in House of Commons, the only one in play.
CNBC said in a report on Thursday that it expects May to bring a third vote to Parliament “in the coming days.”
On the Sino-U.S. trade front, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are set to have a new round of trade talks with Chinese officials in Beijing today. It was reported earlier that the two sides are hoping to strike a deal before the end of April.
Citing an unnamed U.S. official, Reuters reported that the U.S. and China have made progress in trade talks, with “unprecedented movement on the touchy issue of forced technology transfers.”
“They’re talking about forced technology transfer in a way that they’ve never wanted to talk about before – both in terms of scope and specifics,” the source said.
“If you looked at the texts a month ago compared to today, we have moved forward in all areas. We aren’t yet where we want to be,” the official said, adding that the talks “could go to May, June.” A deal could happen in April, but there are still some “sticking points,” the source added.