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  • richard evans

Coming to America

Good morning

US clocks went back this weekend. Option expiries now back to 15.00 london time, US economic data back to the normal 13.30 and 15.00.

We saw stronger US employment numbers Friday, headline +531k, unemployment rate down to 4.6%. US stocks ended on a high although futures prices this morning have seen those gains trimmed. A quiet start to the week data-wise but Wednesdays US CPI release will be closely watched.

ECBs Lane made it clear ECB still regard inflation as transitory and that they won’t put recovery at risk with an unnecessary tightening of economic conditions. EURUSD now at 1.1570.

China trade balance makes a record surplus in US dollar terms, up at almost $85 billion as exports rise, from over $66 billion last month. China stocks moved higher despite a lot of Asian markets trading lower.

GBP continues to struggle after the BoE kept rates on hold last week and while markets still see potential for a rate rise, it is now unclear whether this will come in 2021 or early 2022. The ongoing tussle with the EU over the NI protocol is also weighing on GBP, as is the fishing dispute with France. There is some talk the UK will withdraw £15 billion of funding to EU research projects if things get difficult between the two sides, while FT report EU could even ditch the entire Brexit deal. News that UK and Australia and UK could see a trade agreement by year-end isn’t really doing much to help GBP at the moment. GBPUSD currently 1.3490, EURGBP 0.8575 (GBPEUR 1.1660).

Covid cases continue to rise. Austria and the Netherlands introduce more restrictions in an attempt to get some control over the most recent surge in cases. Austria have gone so far as to say unvaccinated people cannot go to hotels, cafes, restaurants, hairdressers or ski-lifts. German infection rates are now at the highest since the start of the pandemic. In Easternm Europe the numbers are even worse. There seems little doubt this winter will be a tough one, although there is stil the hope that vaccines, boosters and the recently announced Covid tablet will help keep people safe from serious illness and hospital beds.

Despite that, the US have lifted the UK travel ban after some 18 months. BA and Virgin put their rivalry to one side and celebrated with a simultaneous take-off from Heathrow on parallel runways, both flights bound for New York.

Finally, I am pleased to report another victory for my U15s. A dominant 5-0 win takes us into the next round of the Middlesex cup. Things start getting harder from here though and our next round will be against a team who are going to prove our toughest opponents so far this season. Going to have to be on top form for that one.

- 15.30 Feds Powell speaks

- 21.45 NZ electronic card sales

- 23.50 Japan current account

- 00.01 UK BRC retail sales

- 00.30 AUS NAB business confidence

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