Five Things You Need to Know to Start Your Day
Good morning. Negotiators are eyeing changes to the Brexit text, automotive tariffs are set to take center stage and Europe's largest bank disappoints. Here’s what’s moving markets this morning.
The European Union has no intention of re-opening the withdrawal agreement and so negotiators from the U.K. and European sides are now working on new text surrounding the controversial backstop that Prime Minister Theresa May can then try to sell to a skeptical Parliament – a Parliament that has just seen the Labour Party split. Seven MPs have resigned and created The Independence Group, likely increasing U.K. political uncertainty, even if that may seem an impossible feat, and probably weighing more on the pound, which hedge fund manager Crispin Odey is shorting again.
Another voice has joined the chorus of monetary policy makers concerned about the severity of the economic slowdown. Peter Praet, the European Central Bank’s chief economist, said the central bank might push back any plans to raise interest rates as a first step to tackle any deeper downturn that should emerge. Germany’s Bundesbank sees growth in subdued mode and a bank model suggests economic momentum is at the weakest since the financial crisis.
Global trade tensions are likely to once more turn their focus squarely back on the embattled car industry. U.S. President Donald Trump has on his desk a Commerce Department report with conclusions about the threat that imported cars pose to national security. The EU said it would react in kind if the U.S. slaps tariffs on European cars and Angela Merkel is getting ever more ruffled by the diplomacy tactics Trump employs.
Results from HSBC Holdings Plc fell short of estimates, marking an inauspicious start to three days of big U.K. bank reports. Still, it affirmed its major targets despite the miss. The numbers from HSBC will set the tone for a busy week ahead on the U.K. bank earnings front, with Lloyds Banking Group Plc and Barclays Plc still to come and likely to be examined for any indications about how Brexit is hitting the British economy. HSBC, by the way, noted the U.K. economy among the key risks in its outlook.
The week is going to be dominated by central bank policymakers delivering speeches and the ball really gets rolling on Tuesday with the ECB’s Luis de Guindos, Carlos Costa and more from Peter Praet expected. We’ll also have investor confidence numbers out of Germany, Italian industrial orders data and unemployment numbers in the U.K., plus inflation from Sweden which is closely eyed by krona watchers.
What We’ve Been Reading
This is what’s caught our eye over the past 24 hours.
- Activist short-sellers are wary of Germany. Here’s why.
- This company is considered Japan’s number one candidate for world internet domination.
- What the tech bubble looked like in the 17th century, courtesy of the Odd Lots podcast.
- China is hoping to build the first power station in space.
- Making socially-responsible investments in emerging markets is proving a good strategy.
- A new law could mean more Italian songs being played on Italian radio.
- Climate change could mean a comeback for CDs.
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