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The European Central Bank holds its first meeting of the year on Thursday as concern grows about weak economic growth at home and risks abroad from global trade tensions and Brexit.
Having ended its stimulus scheme in December, ECB chief Mario Draghi is likely to be pressed on how the central bank will address further economic weakness.
The window to restock monetary ammunition is closing for the world’s major central banks.
With economic growth slowing and inflation lagging in big economies like the U.S. and euro area, a push to escape crisis-era policy settings that include rock bottom interest rates appears at risk of stalling. That will leave less firepower to fight off the next economic downdraft, threatening a prolonged downturn. (BBG-Continue Reading)
Investors are likely to signal increased concerns over the state of Europe’s biggest economy when the ZEW economics institute releases the results of its January survey on Tuesday (1000 GMT).
A poll of economists said they expect the ZEW’s forward-looking economic sentiment reading to fall to -18.8 from -17.5 in the previous month. The current conditions indicator is expected to decline to 42.8 from the 45.3 reading in December. Last month, the ZEW indicator of Eurozone economic sentiment rose to -21.0 from -22.0.
High Street failed to build on a promising November performance as sales in stores last month fell short of expectations thanks to customers beating the Christmas rush by shopping early and taking their business online.
The Office for National Statistics said headline retail sales decreased by 0.9pct m/m in December to fall well below the previous 2.0pct revised figure. The December reading missed economists’ expectations of a 0.8pct decline. Sales also disappointed on an annual basis, rising 3.0pct y/y versus November’s revised 3.4pct gain.
Retails sales excluding auto-fuel displayed a similar pattern: On the month, sales fell -0.9pct from a revised 3.4pct print in November. Annually, sales increased 3.0pct from a previous 3.6pct. (LS – Continue Reading)
USD: No Signs Of An End To The Government Shutdown: As the US government shutdown enters its 28th day there are still no signs of the impasse ending. Both the Republicans and the Democrats will be stepping very carefully, desperate to avoid a miscalculation that could see them lose the blame-game. Financial markets are also stepping carefully around these issues, but without clear evidence of the impact this is having on the US economy, are prepared to look for the positives in 2019. The Fed pause is a large positive for risk and investors are also tentatively responding to better mood music coming through on US-China trade relations.
A WSJ report yesterday that Treasury Secretary Mnuchin wanted cuts on Chinese trade tariffs was quickly denied – but the more constructive tone here could last through the month ahead of fresh trade talks in Washington 30/31 January. (ING – Continue Reading)
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