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This month’s ZEW survey is expected to show once again that investors are slightly less downbeat about Germany’s future but are even more concerned about the current economic environment in Europe’s largest economy. The ZEW is scheduled to announce the survey results Tuesday at 1000 GMT.
A poll of economists said the ZEW’s forward-looking economic sentiment reading is set to rise to -14.0 from last month’s reading of -15.0, the component’s lowest level since January 2015.
The current conditions component is expected to fall for the fifth consecutive month, according to the consensus, which predicts a decline to 23.0 from 27.6. The mood measure for the current environment has fallen by nearly two-thirds since September and plunged to its lowest level in four years last month. (LiveSquawk - Continue Reading)
Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar told German Chancellor Angela Merkel his government couldn’t accept the return of border controls on the island of Ireland even if the U.K. crashed out of the European Union without a deal, a person familiar with the matter said.
At the chancellor’s request, the two leaders held a 40-minute call last month during which Merkel sought to better understand Varadkar’s stance on the question, according to the person, who asked not to be identified as the conversation was private.
Merkel was concerned that the Irish premier’s position risked undercutting the EU’s negotiating position on the so-called backstop, which is designed to keep the border invisible, according to the person. (Bloomberg – Continue Reading)
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez called a snap election, pitching the country into a period of fresh political uncertainty after a parliament veto of his budget laid bare his minority government’s inability to pass key legislation.
Sanchez said the vote will be held on April 28, when he’ll seek to renew his tenuous grasp on power and hold off the advances of three right-wing groups that could potentially form a governing alliance.
New elections loom as opposition parties focus the ire of conservative-minded Spaniards on Sanchez’s policy of reaching out to separatist politicians in Catalonia who tried to split the region from Spain in 2017. Sanchez’s attempt to pass his budget for 2019 failed on Wednesday when it was rejected in parliament after talks to broker the support of Catalan pro-independence parties broke down. (Bloomberg – Continue Reading)
Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Friday trade talks with the United States will continue in Washington next week and that he hopes the two sides will be able to reach a mutually beneficial deal in the upcoming negotiations, state media reported.
Xi said during a meeting with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that talks in Beijing this week made progress and that China is willing to solve economic and trade disputes with the United States via cooperation, according to a report by Xinhua.
Lighthizer and Mnuchin said during the meeting that they maintain hope although there is still much work to be done, and that they are willing to work with China to reach a deal that is in line with the interests of both countries, according to Xinhua. (Reuters – Continue Reading)
US December retail sales were much weaker than economists and pundits had predicted, with key gauges falling the most month on month since the Great Recession as 11 out of 13 categories, including non-store or online sales, posted declines.
Total sales fell 1.2pct in December from November, the largest percentage fall since September 2009. The delayed report defied anecdotes and private reports of strength in not just foot traffic but consumer spending into the holiday period. Traders, on average, were anticipating a rise of 0.1pct. The Dollar Index fell as did US Treasury yields and US stock index futures on the report. The main indices turned mixed in early afternoon trade.
“December’s sharp decline in retail sales is perplexing and contrasts with strong job growth, low unemployment, improving wage gains, and healthy gains in disposable personal income,” said Mickey Levy, chief economist at Berenberg Bank. (LiveSquawk – Continue Reading)
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