It was a lackluster morning session in Asia today as the markets wait for the next step in the close, closer, closest saga of trade deal negotiations. There were no new developments and no data points to drive direction as we head into the US Thanksgiving holidays.
US indices were mixed, drifting between losses of -0.03% and gains of +0.03%. The out-performer was the Australia200 index, which advanced 0.77% led by the communication services sector. The Hong Kong index eked out small gains of 0.11% as we head toward the weekend and the risk of a resumption of protests.
In the currency space, FX pairs were little changed with GBP/USD an under-performer after the latest opinion polls showed a slight narrowing in the Conservative Party’s lead over its opponents.
GBP/USD Daily Chart
UK Shop prices fall for sixth month
The British Retail Consortium’s shop price index fell 0.5% m/m in October, an acceleration from the -0.4% seen in September and the sixth month in a row it has been in negative territory. This would suggest there are no immediate threats to UK inflation but might also create an issue for the bottom lines of the UK retailing sector. The BRC noted that the economic and political uncertainty had weakened demand for non-essential items and hence pushed retailers into making deeper price cuts to entice buyers.
A busier calendar
It’s mid-week and the data calendar is reaching its peak of the week for data flows. For Europe, we have to be content with just German import prices for October and a speech by ECB’s Lane.
The US calendar hots up with a flow of personal income/spending data for October (both at +0.3% m/m) followed by the first estimate of Q3 GDP growth. That’s expected to maintain the same expansion rate as Q2 of +1.9% annualized. Durable goods orders and pending home sales for last month follow, with the latest Fed Beige Book report concluding the session ahead of the Thanksgiving Day holiday tomorrow.
The full MarketPulse data calendar can be viewed at https://www.marketpulse.com/economic-events/
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