30 May 2020
Market Brief - G6+1: the US stands alone
As the UK basked in glorious sunshine over the weekend, there was a much darker cloud resting over Montreal, Canada, as the G7 summit descended into farce.
|Today's data releases||Key levels|
|09:30||UK trade balance & industrial/manufacturing production||Support||Resistance|
|12:00||NIESR GDP estimate||GBP/USD||1.3205||1.3467|
|16:00||Merkel meets IMF's Lagarde||GBP/EUR||1.1309||1.1520|
As the UK basked in glorious sunshine over the weekend, there was a much darker cloud resting over Montreal, Canada, as the G7 summit descended into a farce. In an extraordinary outburst, senior aides to the US President, Donald Trump, accused his G7 counterparts of stabbing him in the back. Mr Trump said that he would not sign the G7 communiqué that endorsed “a rules-based international order” and had been agreed with the leaders of Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Canada and Japan. With former BFF, President Macron, accusing Trump of “incoherence and inconsistency”, while Chancellor Merkel referred to Trump’s comments as “sobering and depressing”, this marks a new low in relations between the US and Europe. With Trump’s scheduled visit to the UK rapidly approaching, we’re sure this is the last thing our battle weary PM needs who is already struggling with Tory infighting, rising opposition, public dissatisfaction and of course, Brexit. Or come to think of it, maybe the Trump visit will provide her with the distraction she needs!
It does seem that Trump had his eyes elsewhere, namely the historic meeting with Kim Jong-un set to take place on the resort island of Sentosa tomorrow. This will be the first between a sitting US President and a North Korean leader. With nuclear disarmament the key goal for Trump and his team, all eyes will certainly be on how talks progress but with both leaders known for their unpredictability any number of outcomes are possible here so it will certainly make for intriguing headlines.
The week ahead
With the World Cup set to begin on Thursday, there are a number of key events this week that will whet the appetite. Firstly the EU Withdrawal Bill is set to return to the Commons on Tuesday and Wednesday, with the government trying to overturn up to 15 amendments from the House of Lords. In particular the debate on the Lords version of a ‘meaningful vote’ could prove problematic for the PM. The US takes centre stage on Wednesday evening with the FOMC decision. As economic momentum continues, along with the labour market tightening and core inflation measures firming, we still predict a 25bp increase in the Fed funds target rate range to 1.75%-2.00%. Then on Thursday it’s the turn of the ECB and while a timetable for higher rates remains off the schedule for now, we expect a serious discussion about winding down QE over Q4 this year. While several senior Governing Council (GC) members have made upbeat comments over inflation, the evidence on economic activity is unconvincing and we doubt the GC will want to commit itself to halting asset purchases at this stage.
Thought of the day
South Africa and England rugby fans were treated to a thrilling game of rugby in the first Test match at Ellis Park. For the Boks it was a momentous occasion, a new team and a new coach and a new captain. Was this the dawn of a new Springbok era? A former Springbok as coach (I was a big fan of Rassie Erasmus as a Bok flanker), the country’s first ever black Captain and playing in the Highveld at the ground, historically, that South Africa never lose at. Yet, twenty minutes in to the first half and that dream was shattered… Eddie Jones’s England, who were overdue a good game, stormed into a commanding 24- 3 lead! Game over surely? The young Boks however, were in no mood to throw in the towel – with their backs against the wall and facing humiliation in their back yard, how would they respond? Surely there was no way back, surely the new coach was not up to the task and obviously the new captain was a political appointment? Wrong, wrong, wrong… just like currency markets, when you think you know all the answers, the unexpected inevitably happens. It was a fightback reminiscent of the great Bok teams of old, the men in green and gold came back to win by 3 points (final score 42-39) to leave Eddie Jones and his men having to pick up the pieces.