Five Things You Need to Know to Start Your Day

(Bloomberg) --

Good morning. U.K. cabinet members are dismissing reports of an attempt to remove Prime Minister Theresa May, Friday’s slump in equities has spread to Asia, the eurozone is about to get a fiscal uplift, and two European emerging market currencies are in the spotlight. Here’s what’s moving markets. 


Weekend newspapers were rife with reports that members of Theresa May’s cabinet are circling the U.K. prime minister ahead of a possible ouster over her handling of Brexit, although some of those touted as potential replacements were quick to dismiss such speculation. She’s under pressure to name a date when she will step down, Bloomberg reports. A petition calling for Article 50 to be revoked has surpassed five million signatures, and after an estimated one million took to the streets of London to demand a second referendum, Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond called that option a “perfectly coherent proposition.” Parliament is set for a round of indicative votes on alternatives to May’s exit deal this week.

Slump Spreads

Friday’s slump in equities spread to Asia, with Japanese shares heading for their biggest slide year-to-date. Aside from Brexit and recent weak data and central bank signals, trade talks could again be a key driver of market direction this week, as representatives from Washington resume negotiations in Beijing. Trump has said a deal is “close,” but there’s still a significant risk that talks could break down over key issues like the White House’s decision to allow the sale of fighter jets to Taiwan, as well as the broader matter of U.S. tariffs, according to Bloomberg Economics. Separately, Trump declared vindication on Sunday after the U.S. attorney general’s assessment that there was no collusion with Russia during the 2016 campaign and that there wasn’t enough evidence to find that Trump obstructed justice.

Fiscal Fix

The euro zone is about to get a timely boost, just as soft economic data is heightening concern over a slowdown. An increase to government spending in Germany and French tax cuts introduced in response to the recent Yellow Vest protests will give the single currency area its biggest fiscal uplift for a decade, according to analysts at Morgan Stanley. While its size will pale in comparison with President Donald Trump’s stimulus that turbocharged U.S. growth after his election, it should offer some support to growth, the bank says.

Heavy Price

There’s plenty of excitement in Europe’s emerging markets. After Turkey’s lira slid as much as 5 percent on Friday, the country’s central bank attempted to reassure investors over the weekend that a recent slump in its foreign reserves doesn’t reflect any extraordinary developments. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s comments that bankers will “pay a heavy price” for last year’s currency frenzy, along with Turkey announcing an investigation into JPMorgan Chase & Co., probably won’t have helped sentiment. Meanwhile in Hungary, Prime Minister Viktor Orban unleashed another onslaught on European Union institutions in an interview with public radio on Sunday. Orban has faced criticism for centralizing power and silencing critical voices. Hungary’s forint was slightly weaker against the euro overnight, while the lira pared some of Friday’s decline.

Coming Up…

It’s all got a bit dovish in central bank world recently, and after global bond yields slid on Friday, speeches from members of the European Central Bank and the U.S. Federal Reserve at a few different conferences will be followed closely today. We’ll also get the latest reading of Germany’s IFO business climate survey after a big miss for the country’s manufacturing purchasing managers index on Friday. Meanwhile, Apple Inc. is expected to unveil an original video programming service and a premium magazine subscription plan at an event in California later. 

What We’ve Been Reading

This is what’s caught our eye over the weekend.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.