Daily Brief

Daily Brief

See recent articles

Probably three months

Voting for an election

Sterling had another wooden spoon day on Thursday, thanks to continued disappointment at the government's failure to win parliamentary approval for its Withdrawal Agreement Bill. On Friday, the pound and every other major currency knocked off early for the weekend and nothing moved. Over the four days sterling has lost an average of 0.4%.

Having put his Withdrawal Agreement Bill on hold, the prime minister turned his attention to persuading the opposition into a general election.

It is possible that the government will ask the Commons to vote today on a general election. If so, and if the question is a straight yes/no, the answer will probably be no. The Lib Dems and the SNP have stated they would support an election but there are doubts about the sincerity of their demand for no-deal to be ruled out. This means confusion as usual, however the EUs announcement of another extension could push more MPs to vote in favour of a general election than before. 

Not many chinks of light

Thursday's round of provisional purchasing managers' indices did little to engender optimism among investors. With the notable exception of France, almost all the readings came in below forecast. German and US consumer confidence also missed the mark.

The French PMIs showed a "solid increase in activity at the start of the fourth quarter" while, to the east, the "downturn in [the] German economy continues as employment falls for first time in six years". The euro zone as a whole was "mired close to stagnation" while in the States a "modest rate of business activity growth [was] sustained in October".  

US durable goods orders fell by more than expected and the University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index was down by half a point at 95.5. GfK reported that the German consumer climate was "under pressure" as IFO found sentiment among German business executives unchanged in October.

Get ready for Brexit on 31 January

The EU 27 today agreed to postpone B-Day to 31 January, with a 'flextension' that affords the option for an earlier exit if Parliament were to approve the Withdrawal Agreement Bill. In Westminster, it seems likely that the prime minister will fail to win sufficient support for his election.

The delay and the likely rejection of a general election have both been priced into the pound this morning. 

Economic statistics are not plentiful on today's agenda. Europe's meagre contributions are euro zone money supply and loans and the CBI's distributive trades survey of UK retail activity. The Chicago Fed publishes its national activity index and the Dallas Fed prints its regional manufacturing business index. US wholesale inventories and the trade deficit ought not to trouble investors.   

GBP: Steady as Article 50 extension granted

GBP: Steady as Article 50 extension granted

EUR: Still held back by German manufacturing

EUR: Still held back by German manufacturing

USD: Consumer confidence softens

USD: Consumer confidence softens

Weekly roundup

Weekly roundup

Go to Weekly round up
Personal payments

Personal payments

With a personal account you can enjoy competitive exchange rates and low fees on all your payments.

Find out more
FX business solutions

FX business solutions

We provide tailored services to help companies make global payments and manage their foreign exchange risk.

Find out more
Travel money

Travel money

Order your travel money for branch collection or secure it on our explorer multi-currency Mastercard®.

Find out more