Here are the top five things you need to know in financial markets on Tuesday, March 12:

 

1. British Lawmakers Vote on May's New Brexit Deal

British Members of Parliament (MPs) vote Tuesday evening on whether to accept or reject Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal ahead of the scheduled March 29 departure from the European Union.

In a last-ditch attempt to persuade skeptical Brexiteers to accept her deal, May secured what she said were legally binding assurances from the EU over the most contentious part of the deal, the so-called Irish backstop.

British lawmakers, who on Jan. 15 voted 432-202 against her deal, were on Tuesday studying the assurances with lawyers. The government's top lawyer, Geoffrey Cox, is due to give his opinion ahead of the vote due around 3:00PM ET (19:00 GMT).

If lawmakers vote down May's deal, she has promised a vote on Wednesday on whether to leave without a deal and, if they reject that, then a vote on whether to ask for a limited delay to Brexit.

The pound was up 0.6% at $1.3230 by 5:45AM ET (09:45 GMT). It's risen over 1.5% in the last two days amid hope that a disorderly 'hard Brexit' can be avoided.

 

2. U.S. Inflation Data Up Next

The Commerce Department will publish February CPI figures at 8:30AM ET (12:30 GMT).

Consumer prices are expected to have risen 0.2% last month, according to estimates, compared to January's flat reading. On a yearly base, CPI is projected to climb 1.6%, the same gain recorded a month earlier.

Excluding the cost of food and fuel, prices are forecast to have gained 0.2% last month and 2.2% from a year ago.

Data on Monday showed U.S. retail sales rose moderately in January, lifted by an increase in purchases of building materials and discretionary spending.

 

3. Boeing's Crisis Escalates

Singapore and Australia were the latest countries to suspend operations of all Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in and out of their airports on Tuesday, after the U.S. company's latest model suffered a second fatal crash in less than five months.

Nearly 40% of the in-service fleet of 371 Boeing 737 MAX jets globally is grounded, according to industry publication Flightglobal, including 97 jets in the biggest market, China.

The scare has wiped billions of dollars off the market value of the world's biggest planemaker.

Boeing (NYSE:BA) shares were down 1.8% in premarket trade. It closed 5% lower on Monday.

 

4. Wall Street Set for Higher Open

U.S. stock index futures traded slightly higher, with Wall Street set to extend the strong gains seen on Monday.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a gain of 22 points, or roughly 0.3%, the S&P 500 futures added 6 points, or about 0.2%, while the blue-chip Dow futures were up 25 points, or 0.1%.

U.S. stocks jumped on Monday as the technology sector led a broad-based rebound following five straight sessions of losses, helped in part by upgrades from banks who said the sell-off at the end of last year had gone too far in some cases.

Elsewhere, European stocks were mixed, with London's FTSE weighed down by a stronger pound ahead of the Brexit vote.

Earlier, markets in Asia rose strongly across the board. Japan's Nikkei stock index jumped 1.8%, while the Shanghai Composite jumped over 1%.

Read more: Q4 Retail Earnings Scorecard: 2 Turnaround Surprises, 1 Lagging Initiative: Jesse Cohen

 

5. API Oil Supply Report

In commodities, the American Petroleum Institute is due to release its weekly report for the week ended March 8 at 4:30PM ET (21:30 GMT), amid expectations of a gain of about 2.8 million barrels.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were up 59 cents, or around 1% at $57.38 a barrel. They're now less than 1% away from a new high for 2019.

Meanwhile, international Brent crude oil futures tacked on 67 cents, or 1%, to $67.25 per barrel.

Traders pointed to the ongoing political and economic crisis in Latin American OPEC-member Venezuela as an oil price driver.

Venezuela's opposition-run congress on Monday declared a "state of alarm" over a five-day power blackout that has crippled the country's oil exports and left millions of citizens scrambling to find food and water.

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