Today's Highlights

  • Sterling unmoved by Parliament ‘seizing control'

  • New Zealand Dollar stronger on trade surplus

  • German data continues to cause concern

 

Current Market Overview

So, the House of Commons has taken control over the next rounds of voting to determine what Members of Parliament believe is the best Brexit plan. That'll be interesting. So far, all they have agreed on is what they don't want. It is far trickier to agree on what you do want. These votes are not binding and could be ignored by the Prime Minister, so the headlines that claim parliament has seized control are a little disingenuous.

Sterling stands steady

Traders treated the news with a ho-hum shrug of their shoulders. Sterling twitched, but is currently pretty well exactly where it started Monday. We will get mortgage approvals data this morning and a speech from Bank of England member Ben Broadbent this morning, too. They need to make their minds up soon because, as of Friday close of business, we are supposed to stop being part of the EU gang.

Brexit spells trouble for Eurozone

That, according to the highly respected German Ifo institute, is going to be very painful for German manufacturers who are already suffering a significant slowdown, as reported by the recent Markit survey and other Purchasing Managers' Indices (PMI). The overnight release of the Gfk German consumer sentiment index reflects that drop in optimism. Other than some French data which went with the forecasts this morning, there is nothing of any import from the EU today, so the Euro will be wafted along by Brexit news... if there is any.

Disappointing EU data today

Before we get to that, there is a slew of EU data this morning. Purchasing Manager's Indices (PMI) abound and the forecasts were mixed; overall,. the results were not good. The Euro has not gained as much as the Pound on the Brexit delay announcement, but is also set for a bumpy ride this morning.

Interesting US data expected

By way of contrast, the US data diary has some interesting items. Housing Starts and Building Permits are a great bellwether for the US economy, but the forecasts are quite poor. We are expecting a small gain in the Consumer Confidence Index, though, so that should balance the dollar's performance a little.

New Zealand Dollar buyers, beware!

Overnight news that New Zealand's Trade Balance moved to a surplus in February and shrank the annual deficit has strengthened the New Zealand Dollar. That won't be enough to push the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) into a rate hike when they meet this evening. However, it might change the tone of their statement and that could further strengthen the NZD. Beware if you are a Kiwi Dollar buyer.

Wit and wisdom

And on this day in 1973, the great Noel Coward died. An extraordinarily accomplished songwriter, composer, actor, dancer and director, who will most likely be most widely remembered for being Mr Bridger in The Italian Job, opposite Michael Caine. If that was his only epitaph, it would still be a great one.

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