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  • richard evans

Petrol at 149.9p/litre. Time to switch to electric?

Good morning

GBP continues to make gains against USD and EUR, with GBPUSD now just above 1.3500 and EURGBP just below 0.8400 (GBPEUR 1.1910), the thought of a rate rise next month seems to be the driver although there also some positive sounds coming from UK/EU talks, with EUs Sefcovic seeming to tone down threats of retaliation if UK should trigger Article 16. A reported agreement on medicine supplies could act as a test for other goods. Watch this space I guess. UK retail sales numbers will be out early tomorrow morning, there isn’t much else on offer from UK or EU until then.

Feds Evans says it will take until mid-2022 to complete tapering plans, not agreeing with those who were thinking Fed may act quicker given the sharp rise in inflation, such as Bullard. Evans did add that he is less confident now that a few months ago that inflation will recede next year. If we do hear more comments that tapering could be accelerated, I’d imagine USD would have to strengthen on the notion that interest rate rise expectations would also be brought forward.

The EU are due to open talks with Belarus over the border dispute. More news from EU on Covid and it doesn’t sound good at all. Now Czech Republic ban unvaccinated people from public events as they hit record daily test, Merkel says fourth wave is hitting with full force.

Some focus on Turkey today where their central bank is expected to cut rates 100bps to 15% although some are looking for just a 50bps cut. TRY is already weak, USDTRY is up at 10.75 and EURTRY 12.20. There are real fears that further rate cuts could weaken TRY further and set off some sort of financial crisis. It is a major issue, with higher interest rates making life difficult but a weak currency also brings its own pressures. I’m not in the market for a villa but I’m guessing a villa in Turkey doesn’t cost quite as much as it did a while ago in GBP terms. Big risk mind you. With GBP pushing higher against EUR I’d still be inclined to put my money into Spain or Portugal.

Oil prices fall back a little on news China will release some oil from its strategic reserves and an idea that US will do the same. WTI is not $77.70 having been above $80 yesterday, Brent crude just about $80, down from over $82.00. I filled my car up with petrol yesterday which cost 149.9p/litre. Quite a frightening level. The lease on my petrol car is up for renewal. Do I make the switch to electric?

Amazon has said it will stop accepting payments from Visa credit cards issued in the UK from 19th January, due to what they say are high fees. That is quite a big deal I reckon. Visa are obviously disappointed and say they will try to resolve the situation but Amazon want lower transaction fees and Visa so far are not playing ball. We do use Amazon quite a lot, and our main credit card is a Visa card. Question now is whether I tell my wife this latest news.

- 13.30 US initial jobless claims, philly fed survey

- 14.30 Feds Williams speaks

- 14.30 ECBs Lane speaks

- 19.00 Feds Evans speaks

- 23.30 Japan CPI

- 00.01 UK GfK consumer confidence

- 07.00 UK retail sales

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