Daily Brief

Less is more

Polls and the pound 

More than 4 million people watched the Friday night special Question Time edition, with audience members grilling the four main political leaders. None survived the debate unscathed, and it wasn’t so much a question of who won, but who came off lightest. The polls are still pointing to a Conservative victory come December 12, with the pound holding steady in response. The latest series of polls put the Tories ahead by more than 10 percentage points

The Conservatives released their manifesto 18 days before the general election, and it holds some key dates for Brexit once again. PM Johnson is promising to bring back the Withdrawal Agreement Bill before Christmas, with the manifesto ruling out extending the transition period beyond 31 December 2020. This tight turnaround to finalise a trade deal also means the EU is privy to knowing the UK’s upcoming deadlines. Compared to other major parties, the manifesto is rather minimal – 59 pages compared to Labour’s 105

However, a number of the press think the Conservatives are deliberately pitching shorter promises in their manifesto to keep the focus firmly on getting Brexit done. The safety of a ‘less is more’ approach seems to be working as the pound started the week without wobbles in comparison to the 2017 manifesto release. In the last election the manifesto release coincided with a sharp drop in support for the Tories that lead to the hung Parliament of present. 

Data driven 

While all eyes in the UK are on the leadership race, there’s plenty of data releases for the rest of the world. The Aussie may have a busy week, with tomorrow’s offering Governor Philip Lowe’s speech at the Annual Australian Business Economists Dinner in Sydney. There’s also the quarterly construction data due mid-week to gauge how well the industry has been performing, as well as private capital expenditure. Investors will be hoping for markers of economic health from Wednesday’s Q3 Capex data. 

An optimistic dollar 

Will the US dollar be thankful this week? Consumer confidence coming out tomorrow could make the week unusually busy for the Greenback, despite a shorter week due to Thanksgiving. The Kiwi and the Loonie also have some significant releases to keep buyers on the lookout this week, but Euroland is data light. Investors will be looking out for any mentions of the US-China trade war in President Trump’s upcoming Thanksgiving message. Optimism surrounds the impending deal after Trump hinted it was “potentially very close.” His administration is looking carefully at the Hong Kong Bill, while at the same time the latest news suggests pro-democracy parties are leading in the local elections. Hong Kong could therefore renew further tensions between Washington and Beijing, affecting market sentiment and the dollar.

GBP: Conservative manifesto released

GBP: Conservative manifesto released

AUD: Plenty of data to drive sentiment

AUD: Plenty of data to drive sentiment

USD: Consumer confidence pending

USD: Consumer confidence pending

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