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Market Watch

The Marketplace - 28th April 2017
Good Morning, Today sees a number of important data releases including Eurozone inflation and GDP in the UK and the US. In addition, the US Congress must by the end of the day pass a budget ‘continuing resolution’ to avoid a partial government shutdown. As tomorrow is President Trump’s 100th day in office he will not want to mark this with such an outturn. But such is the fractious nature of US politics at the moment this outcome cannot be ruled out. Remember end of month flows will also be in play so expect some volatility. GDP growth in both the UK and the US is expected to have decelerated in Q1 compared to Q4 2016. In the UK, both surveys and official data have pointed to a slowdown. The latter show that services output fell in January, while construction and industrial production was weak in both January and February. Analysts expect the first estimate of Q1 GDP to slow to 0.5% q/q from Q4’s 0.7% q/q pace. If realised this would be the slowest growth rate since Q1 2016. In the US, indications for Q1 have been mixed. ‘Soft’ data such as business surveys rose sharply. But the ‘hard’ data used to calculate GDP point to more subdued growth. Markets expect Q1 GDP growth to be only 1.2% annualised from 2.1%. As at least some of this slowdown may reflect faulty seasonal adjustments we expect growth to pick up again in Q2. As always stay in touch with the desk for all of the latest updates on 0844 815 3240 or email us at

The Marketplace - 27th April 2017
Good morning, The main focus today is the ECB policy announcement at 12:45BST and President Draghi’s press conference at 13:30BST. Investors expect policy rates to be left unchanged and no new announcements for the asset purchase programme. The reduction in monthly purchases from €80bn to €60bn starting this month has been telegraphed well in advance, with deflation risks having largely disappeared. A Le Pen Presidency in France remains a tail risk, however, and the markets anticipate the ECB will maintain its downside interest rate bias for now. Ahead of the ECB announcement, Sweden’s Riksbank is expected to keep policy rates unchanged at -0.5%. It extended its bond purchase programme back in December through H1 2017, despite reservations from some members. Economic activity is strengthening, so markets will be watching to see whether QE will be extended beyond the expiry in June. Today’s EU confidence surveys are expected to confirm a broadening of the economic recovery in the Eurozone. Preliminary German and Spanish CPI inflation data for April should also support expectations for a rise in the Eurozone figures tomorrow. We look for a rise in German EU-harmonised measure of inflation to 1.8%y/y from 1.5%y/y. There will be a number of UK economic surveys to provide colour on activity at the start of Q2, ahead of tomorrow’s preliminary official estimate of Q1 GDP growth. The CBI distributive trades survey is due this morning, while the GfK consumer confidence report will be released as we enter Friday. Analysts anticipate a slight fall in consumer confidence to -7 from -6 which would be a four-month low. As always stay in touch with the desk for all of the latest updates on 0844 815 3240 or email us at

The Marketplace - 26th April 2017
Good Morning, US President Trump is expected to make an announcement on tax reform later today. Reports suggest that he plans to unveil tax cuts, including a 15% corporation tax rate, and a 10% repatriation tax on companies’ stockpile of overseas earnings, although a border-adjustment tax may not be forthcoming. These measures were discussed with Congressional leaders yesterday, some of whom may question whether the proposed fiscal measures are revenue neutral. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and the EU’s ‘Brexit’ negotiator Michel Barnier will pay a ‘flying visit’ to PM Theresa May in London today. Media reports suggest that it will be a private meeting focusing on the process of Brexit talks. This weekend’s special summit of EU-27 leaders (excluding the UK) will formally approve negotiating guidelines unveiled in response to the triggering of Article 50. Formal negotiations are expected to start after the UK’s general election on 8th June. The Bank of Japan is expected to announce no change to its policy in the early hours of Thursday, hence maintaining the current pace of asset purchases, the target for 10-year bond yields at 0% and its policy rate at -0.1%. Despite reports that the BoJ is conducting policy exit simulations, current stimulus measures are likely to be in place for some time, given that inflation remains well below the 2% target. The ‘core’ measure excluding fresh food, for example, is only at 0.2%y/y for February, although it has moved out of negative territory. As always stay in touch with the desk for all of the latest updates on 0844 815 3240 or email us at