02 Jul 2020
Market Brief - Where's Boris?
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Well, your second guess was close enough, it’s a third runway for Heathrow.
|Today's data releases||Key levels|
|09:00||UK BoE member Haskel speech||Support
|09:30||UK BoE member McCafferty speech||GBP/USD||1.3102
|15:00||US S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices (YoY)||GBP/EUR||1.1308
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Well your second guess was close enough, it’s a third runway for Heathrow. In the UK the big news in the past 24 hours was MPs backing controversial plans to build a third runway at London's Heathrow airport. The government won a key vote in the Commons by 415 votes to 119 - a majority of 296. Conservative MPs were whipped to support the government’s plans whilst Labour gave their MPs a free vote despite their official policy being opposition to the plan. In the end, the SNP abstained. The decision led to the reactions you’d expect with the Confederation of British Industry celebrating the decision whilst Greenpeace UK said it was ready to join others to legally challenge it. One notable absentee from last night’s vote was Boris Johnson who previously said he would lie down in front of the bulldozers if plans for the new runway were approved. He was away in Afghanistan at the time and shouts of “Where’s Boris?” were heard from Opposition MPs highlighting the awkward situation. In the grand scheme of things this vote feels like yet another step in what is proving to be a marathon rather than a sprint – I feel as though there is plenty more to come on this.
In the wider world, equities – stocks and shares to you and I – had a major sell off with the FTSE 100 down 2.24% and the S&P 500 down 1.37%. This was triggered by a story in the Wall Street Journal that reported the Trump administration was looking at imposing harsh restrictions on Chinese investments in the US. According to the article, the considered proposal is looking at blocking firms with at least 25% Chinese ownership from buying US tech firms. The mood deteriorated shortly after as China’s Vice Premier noted that “China and the EU firmly oppose trade unilateralism and protectionism and think these actions may bring recession […] to the global economy”. To make things worse, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin later said in Tweet that the considered restrictions would apply not just specifically to China, but "to all countries that are trying to steal our technology". Alongside this, Harley Davidson the iconic American motorcycle brand said it would shift production of motorcycles shipped to the EU to its overseas facilities, in order to limit the impact of the rising tit-for-tat tariffs. I’m not convinced Trump’s devotees will be thrilled by this but one feels like he will spin it. Importantly the market losses have been pared in part as White House top economic adviser Peter Navarro indicated in a CNBC interview a softer stance on investment from overseas, saying that no investment restrictions were being planned. For now we wait and see how it develops.
Finally, in the obligatory Brexit news, German automaker BMW joined a rising chorus of businesses warning they will have to pull back on investment in the U.K. if a Brexit deal isn’t reached that ensures goods can flow freely to the European Union. “The ongoing uncertainty surrounding the Brexit negotiations is not helpful when it comes to making long-term business decisions,” BMW said Monday in a statement. “In particular, the lack of clarity surrounding future customs arrangements remains a cause for concern.” Currency-wise GBP/USD had a relatively quiet day yesterday whilst GBP/EUR grinded lower with it now just off its low for the month. In the latter pair, this 1.13 to 1.15 range seems to be holding for now.
The day ahead
Just after we go to press we have two Bank of England members speaking – Jonathan Haskel, a new member, at 1000 and then an old favourite, Ian McCafferty at 1030. In a similar vein two Fed members are speaking as we finish for the day with Bostic speaking at 1800 and Kaplan at 1845. Besides the speeches, the data points of note are the latest release of US house price data at 1400 and the Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index at 1500. All in all it could well be an uneventful day central banks comment-wise and data-wise with the focus squarely on the developing trade war situation. Enjoy the heatwave and my heart goes out to all you allergy sufferers out there – we will get through it!
Thought of the day
More penalties have been awarded at the 2018 FIFA World Cup than at any previous event. A new record was set last night when referee Enrique Caceres gave one to Portugal and then one to Iran, the 19th and 20th penalty of the tournament. The previous record was set at 18 in 1990, 1998, and 2002. There is no wonder that more penalties have been awarded at this tournament as Video Assistant Referees (VAR) have been introduced. VAR is only used when the officials have made a ‘clear and obvious error’ in one of four key areas; goals, penalties, straight red card and mistaken identity. In your role as CFO, FD or Treasurer we hope that you do not look back at some of your currency purchases having made any ‘clear and obvious errors’, which is why the dealing team here at Investec are on hand to proactively assist you and offer effective ways to manage your FX exposure so you can look at your trades with confidence and not suffer any hindsight penalties. Please give your dealer a call on 0207 597 4000 to understand what products you can add to your portfolio to help manage your risk more efficiently.