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Sterling kept within its recent trading range on Thursday but this week could prove its second best so far this month as expectations that the Conservative Party may win a majority in the Dec. 12 national election fuel investors’ optimism. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservatives have a 10-point lead over the main opposition Labour Party, a poll showed. Johnson speaking on Thursday told reporters he would end the ‘unbearable’ uncertainty around Brexit if he wins the election, saying that political paralysis was affecting investment decisions in the country.
Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage said earlier this week he would not contest the 317 seats the Conservatives won in the 2017 election, a step that could pave the way for a majority in parliament for Johnson’s Brexit deal. However, Farage dismissed demands to stand down candidates fighting the Labour Party, saying his main aim was to win seats in parliament to hold Johnson to account over Brexit.
Germany has narrowly avoided a recession, according to new official data. The country's economy grew by 0.1% in the third quarter of the year after contracting in the previous three months. Germany is known to be a strong exporter of manufactured goods but recent slowdown in the global economy has effected German exports. The value of total German exports - including services - is about 47% of the country's whole economy, its gross domestic product or GDP. The growth figure was positive but the economy remains very weak.
14:30 – USD: Core Retail Sales m/m – Forecast at 0.3% from previous -0.1% 14:30 – USD: Retail Sales m/m - Forecast at 0.1% from previous -0.3%
UK Labour Market Slows
14 Nov 2019
Sterling finished Tuesday’s trading session higher, despite opening lower against EUR and USD, as a You Gov poll showed the Conservatives had extended their lead in the polls.
As morning trade commenced, GBP was put under pressure as optimism surrounding the Brexit Party’s decision not to contest Conservative-held seats on the 12th December faded and UK labour market data slowed.
The release of the UK unemployment rate indicated that unemployment fell back to 3.8%, its lowest level since 1975, but the number of people in work had fallen by 58,000. This makes it the largest drop in employment for four years. Wage growth also underwhelmed investors as it fell 0.2% to 3.6%, despite being forecast at 3.8%.
As the afternoon session progressed, sterling began to recover as the latest You Gov poll showed the Conservatives had extended their lead in the polls. The latest polling showed the Conservatives with 42% share of the vote, compared to Labour's 28%. This is significant for the GBP as the 14 point lead points towards a Conservative majority ,which would help Johnson pass his Brexit deal in the UK parliament.
08.00 - EUR: Harmonized Index of Consumer Prices (YoY) (Oct) Expected to remain at 0.9%. 10.30 - GBP: Consumer Price Index (YoY) (Oct); Expected to remain at 1.7%. 14.30 - USD: Consumer Price Index (YOY) (Oct) Expect to remain at 1.7%.
Weak Economic Data Leaves Sterling...
14 Nov 2019
The pound traded stable on Wednesday as weak economic data, which should hurt sterling, were more than offset by supportive political developments in Britain.
Inflation fell in October to its lowest level in nearly three years, official data showed on Wednesday to 1.5% , adding to expectations that the Bank of England’s next move might be an interest rate cut.
On Wednesday, Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage said he would stand down no more candidates beyond the 317 Conservative seats from which his party had already withdrawn. Johnson’s office said he would promise later on Wednesday to get Britain out of its Brexit “rut” if he wins next month’s vote, saying the world is baffled by why the country is so “hesitant about its future”.
More than three years after voting to leave the EU, the country is still struggling to agree on what its relationship with Europe will be after the divorce; the lack of clarity has dried up domes.
The U.S. dollar was stable on Wednesday after October consumer price inflation was greater than expected and Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell offered an optimistic outlook for the economy, further solidifying the case for the central bank to pause its monetary easing cycle.
U.S. consumer prices jumped by the most in seven months in October, a report from the Labor Department on Wednesday showed, as the cost of healthcare surged by the most in more than three years. The Fed uses interest rate hikes to rein in inflation, making a near-term cut slightly less likely.
In addition, Powell on Wednesday said he saw “sustained expansion” ahead for the country’s economy, with low unemployment boosting household spending and the full impact of the three interest rate cuts in the past three months still to be felt.
Boosting demand for safe-haven assets were the police crackdown against protesters in Hong Kong and a speech by U.S. President Donald Trump in which he threatened to raise tariffs on China and criticized European Union trade policies before a Nov. 14 deadline to decide whether to raise tariffs on European and Japanese carmakers.
09.30 – GBP: Retail Sales MoM; Forecast at 0.2% against previous of 0.0% 13.30 – USD: PPI MoM; Forecast at 0.3% against previous of -0.3% 15.00 – USD: Fed Chair Powell Testifies on the economy before the House Budget Committee
Rational Thinking: Sterling falls to 2-...
12 Nov 2019
Last Week GBP:
MPC members vote to cut rates.
Policy ease in event of disorderly Brexit.
China and US may remove tariffs.
US may drop levies on EU vehicles.
German import/exports beat forecasts.
Trade data fails to lift euro.
Week ahead: USD
Trump to speak on trade policy.
Powell to testify in Capitol Hill.
Data heavy week ahead.
0.3% Q3 economy growth.
Positive data favours Tories.
Sterling hits 6 month-high
12 Nov 2019
Sterling gained on Monday, hitting a six-month high versus the euro and posted its biggest daily rise in nearly a month against the greenback after the Brexit Party said it would not contest previously Conservative held seats in the UK’s election.
In what represents a significant lift for Boris Johnson ahead of the 12th December election, Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage said he did not want anti-Brexit parties to win, so was standing down candidates in seats won by the Conservatives in 2017. The pound strengthened on the news as it reduces the likelihood of a hung parliament, analysts believe the market is supportive of a clear result.
The pound had started the session well ahead of Farage’s announcement, after data showed the UK economy dodged recession in the third quarter of 2019, expanding 0.3%. The GDP figure showed British employers’ hiring plans have risen from an 18 month-low, an unusually upbeat sign for the labour market.