SGM-FX View of london

Morning Brief – Thursday 28th

UK Pensions Claimants living in Europe

 

There are approximately 400,000 pensioners living in Europe and all of them are wondering what a No Deal Brexit means for them and what it will mean with or without a Deal for GBP. SGM-FX have a growing number of pensioners who fall into this category and to whom we give certainty on what their pensions will buy in Europe. 

Those 400,000 are mostly divided in  order of size as follows; Ireland 140K, Spain 100K, France 70K, Germany 50K and Italy 40K. Each year while the UK is in Europe, pensions are uprated for those living in the 27 countries by the largest of Average Earnings, Inflation or 2.5%. 

What happens after the UK exits? With the PM’s Deal the situation remains unchanged. With no deal, uprating will continue in 2019 and 2020. After that, it is unclear. What pensioners living in Europe must do however is achieve certainty about what their GBP pensions will buy in EUR in advance. SGM-FX can help with that.

 

 

 

Markets

 

GBP still buoyant but lower than the highs seen yesterday and so many of our clients are locking in the best rates for buying ZAR, USD and EUR in particular that have been available for nearly two years as identified in our Briefing previously.

The SGM-FX shopping enthusiasts are scratching their heads at the tills to understand why Marks and Spencer paid GBP750M for Ocado and how they justify it. It works out at £1041 for each and every one of the 720,000 Ocado customers acquired by M+S which is a lot of smoked salmon sandwiches before they turn a profit on that trade!

Elsewhere the Dow has dipped beneath 26,000 again, FTSE stands at 7,100and Dax is weaker at 11,475. Oil up with WTI strong at $57 and Gold weaker at $1321.

 

 

 

Technology

 

 

Retailers are being forced to address declining High Street sales and the remorseless progress of Amazon by making shopping more “experiential”.

SGM-FX “athlete” Richard claims that he was watching a cartoon version of himself leaping over planes and buildings while encountering dancing pandas on a screen while trying out some new Nikes.

We listened to this with a certain amount of scepticism and put it down to Rich overdoing it on some fine South African red Pinotage wine after work. Either way he has had his leg encased in a plastic boot and has been looking to his colleagues for sympathy.
No chance!

 

 

 

 

Discussion and Analysis by Humphrey Percy, Chairman and Founder

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Morning Brief – Wednesday 27th

Focus on Asia driving equity markets

 

More news about President Trump meeting North Korea’s President Kim in Vietnam yesterday and depending on how things develop with China, he is contemplating inviting President Xi to his Mar a Lago Estate in Florida for a summit. There Is plenty of gold there to make the Chinese feel at home! Trump spent a further $7 million on gold leaf for the 20,000 sq ft ballroom and there are 4 suites with gold plated basins.The 128 bedroom mansion built by cereal heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post in 1927 which Trump bought in 1985 for $5M is now a private club and the president calls it the “Winter White House.”
So far this year the Shanghai Composite Index of shares has increased by 21%, the Dow is up 11.75%, the FTSE up 5.4% and the Dax is up 10%.

 

 

GBP On a 21 Month High

 

Markets were happy to extrapolate the possibility of a delay to the UK leaving or, hold the front page, possibly not leaving the EU. Before you bin the English sparkling wine and contemplate the likelihood of endless years of cheap French champagne, remember not everyone in the mother of Parliaments thinks that is a good idea at all. Expect further abrupt moves in both sentiments and also GBP in the coming weeks!

 

 

China-Aggressor or Influencer?

 

With recent news about Huawei and much written about China’s motives, it has not taken long for market commentators to make the jump and writing with so called received wisdom that China is about to replace the USA as the leading world economy. This is simply wrong: the rise of China has been exaggerated. The measure of Purchasing Power Parity is not the appropriate yardstick for global economic clout. China is notorious for releasing inaccurate (ok then exaggerated) economic statistics and there is reason to estimate that Chinese growth is less than half the official figure of 6.4%.
China is slated to overtake the USA in terms of size of economy sometime between 2030 and 2040. That will depend on Chinese growth being consistently strong going forward. Other measures of power: militarily the USA spends 3 times as much as China; in terms of soft power defined as “economic and cultural influence” China ranks 27 out of 30 in the Soft Power Index whereas despite all of Presidents Trump’s efforts, the USA is consistently in the top 4. In terms of influence in Asia Pacific, China is counter balanced by Japan, India, Australia and of course the USA.
So how should China be regarded? More as a nation seeking influence than more sinister gains? No doubt the USA’s relative share of the global economy will shrink as China and other nations grow their economies , but this needs to be viewed from the correct perspective. But what is clear is that the West needs to wake up to other companies like Huawei that are only too happy to help themselves.
To give credence to China wishing to influence and to be an acceptable member of the global elite club: As Michael Caine might have said: China is the second largest funder of UN peacekeeping forces. Not many people know THAT!

 

 

 

 

 

Discussion and Analysis by Humphrey Percy, Chairman and Founder

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Morning Brief – Tuesday 26th

Global Markets

 

Good news from Asia with reports on substantial progress on negotiations between the US and China on trade. Chinese stocks rose 5.6%-the most since 2015- accompanied to a much lesser extent by all other Asian indices. 

 

GBP remains firm against EUR and USD which weakened slightly against the EUR. Now with news from the desert of Sharm al Sheik that the Prime Minister is contemplating extending the 29-03-19 leave date from the EU, markets are buying GBP. Also Labour are now backing a second Referendum which is also giving markets cheer- another case of buy the rumour sell the fact..!?.

 

FTSE slightly firmer at 7183 and Dow Jones strong at 26,205 on President Trump postponing the date for boosting tariffs on Chinese imports. Oil WTI down 3% at $55.31.

 

 

 

 

Emerging Markets and Forex Risk

 

During the 1980s and 1990s emerging and frontier market currencies were much more risky than they are today. Crises in Africa and Latin America meant that volatility and price spikes were a normal part of life. Between 1987 and 1994 almost a quarter of those currencies including Russia, India and Brazil fell by 20% or more against the USD. That fell to less than 15% between 1995 and 2002 and to less than 5% between 2003 and 2017. While there will always be significant price moves in these currencies, it is notable how much less frequent those have become. For SGM-FX and our business in less frequently traded currency pairs this is closely watched.

Take the USD versus the Turkish Lira: 1 year ago 3.75, 6 months ago 6.96 and now 5.27. It’s the exception that proves the rule which is why all those exposed to Emerging market currencies should have a hedging strategy in place and well understood-even if that strategy includes significant risk appetite. SGM-FX are on hand to help.

 

 

 

 

Parking your car

 

What’s all this? SGM-FX branching out?! No not a bit of it: it’s all to do with the price of Palladium which has reached $1500 an ounce ie more expensive than gold. Thieves in the metropolitan areas of the UK have taken to jacking up petrol powered cars and ripping out the chassis to get at the catalytic converters which funnily enough contain palladium. It’s a definite progression from stripping lead off church roofs. In case you are interested lead is quoted on the London Metal Exchange at $2024 a TONNE which divided by 35,274 ounces puts the price per ounce of lead at under 6 cents. Mind where you park!

 

 

 

 

 

Discussion and Analysis by Humphrey Percy, Chairman and Founder

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SGM-FX View of london

Morning Brief – Monday 25th

Purchasing Power Parity and the Big Mac Index

 

More about Purchasing Power Parity or PPP which we wrote about last week: the old benchmark which best describes this measurement was started by the Economist newspaper in 1986 and monitors a basket of shopping containing just one item: the cost of a Big Mac in the world’s different countries.

 

The idea is that the USA represents parity and therefore the other countries are either expensive or cheap versus parity. As we all know, life is not exactly not like that and Big Macs do not revert to the mean ie Switzerland has consistently been one if not the most expensive country in the world. Nor is it likely any time soon that Filipinos will earn enough in 10.7 minutes to buy themselves a Big Mac.

 

Nevertheless it IS instructive to see the most expensive country, Switzerland at $6.57 versus the cheapest, Egypt at $1.75. Plus the fastest time to earn the cost of a Big Mac, Hong Kong at 8.6 minutes versus the longest time, Kenya at 172.6 minutes.

 

As at July 2018:

 

Figures

Six most expensive (July 18, 2018) This statistic shows the most expensive places to buy a Big Mac

  1.   Switzerland – $6.57 (6.50 CHF)
  2.  Sweden – $5.83 (51.00 SEK)
  3.  United States – $5.51 (5.51 USD)
  4.  Norway – $5.22 (42 NOK)
  5.  Canada – $5.08 (6.65 CAD)
  6. Euro area – $4.75 (4.56 EUR)

Six cheapest (July 18, 2018) This statistic shows the least expensive places to buy a Big Mac

  1.  Egypt – $1.75 (31.37 EGP)
  2.  Ukraine – $1.91 (50 UAH)
  3.  Russia – $2.09 (130 RUB)
  4.  Malaysia – $2.10 (8.45 MYR)
  5.  Indonesia – $2.19 (31,500 IDR)
  6.  Taiwan – $2.27 (69 TWD)

Six fastest earned (July 2015) This statistic shows the average working time required to buy one Big Mac in selected cities around the world in 2015.

  1.  Hong Kong – 8.6 min
  2.  Luxembourg – 10.3 min
  3.  Japan, Tokyo – 10.4 min
  4.   Switzerland, Zurich – 10.6 min
  5.  United States, Miami – 10.7 min
  6.   Switzerland, Geneva – 10.8 min

Six slowest earned (July 2015) This statistic shows the average working time required to buy one Big Mac in selected cities around the world in 2015.

  1.  Kenya, Nairobi – 172.6 min
  2.  Philippines, Manila – 87.5 min
  3.  Mexico, Mexico City – 78.4 min
  4.  Indonesia, Jakarta – 66.7 min
  5.  Egypt, Cairo – 62.5 min
  6.  Ukraine, Kyiv – 54.7 min

 

Markets

 

The UK market starts the week absorbing the fact that Theresa May has promised a vote (now) by 12-03-19. Does she have a deal with Brussels within her grasp? Will Parliament vote it through?

 

GBP has started trading in Australia at exactly where it left off in NYC on Friday night. So far the markets are giving TM the benefit of the doubt…

Last an oldie but goldie….
(yet another) sign spotted in a local pharmacy window by eagle eyed Alex, SGM-FX Head of Compliance:
Viagra- it may not make you James Bond but it will certainly make you Roger Moore.
Such a professional that Alex!

 

 

Discussion and Analysis by Humphrey Percy, Chairman and Founder

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Morning Brief – Friday 22nd

Taking stock at the end of the last full week in February 2019

 

The U.S. equity market has returned to its previous high over the past 3 months at 25,850 but will have to add a further 1000 points to reach its high of 6 months ago and highest to date. FTSE steady at 7167.

Gold is $5 weaker at $1333.

Oil WTI is still above $56.

Sentiment mixed on the FOMC-Federal Reserve Committee regarding whether U.S. rates should rise further-irrespective of whether they do, it will not be by much. What is clear is that the Fed is agreed that they should reduce their balance sheet ie not replace assets as they run off.

In Brussels there are plenty of rumours but little hard fact so far on whether there is a real prospect of finding a compromise on the Northern Irish border that will be acceptable to both Europe and the UK Parliament. More talk this morning about a 3 month delay. If that is so, it will need to be accompanied by some hard news of progress.

In Europe as referenced earlier in the week the Purchasing Managers Index shows that the slowdown in the region is in fact continuing.

Currency wise GBP remains firm versus USD and EUR and represents especially good value against the ZAR.

 

 

“Conventional” 21st Century Warfare

 

In 2008 a Turkish oil pipeline caught fire; in 2010 Iran’s nuclear power centrifuges broke down and then mostly stopped working; in 2012 the Chevron computer network crashed. Those were all caused by a digital virus named Stuxnet.

 

Also in 2012 30,000 computers at Saudi oil firms crashed causing disruption in the oil supply. That was caused by a digital virus called Shamoon.

 

In 2015 computer systems at 3 separate European hotels crashed. Those hotels had hosted delegations from the US, UK, France, Germany, Russia and China to discuss the Iran nuclear programme. That was caused by a third virus named DuQu.

 

The names of Stuxnet, Shamoon and DuQu may not be as familiar to Westerners as sadly are Semtex, Shoe Bombers and Suicide Bombers, but in years to come they will become much better known. 

 

We are all aware of daily or even hourly multiple attacks on our computer systems by hackers; those hackers are not necessarily sole agents acting for their own benefit. But whoever they may be, we all need to take increasing care with our digital fingerprints and allowing others access to our digital lives.

 

 

So this is less likely to be about: Who? You? than You Too.

 

Last but not least….

 

 

The hazards of working in the world of Foreign Exchange:

 

Despite being attacked by a spider as he slumbered at home after a hard day in Eastcheap which left him with wounds to his face, SGM-FX loyalist James battled through from the badlands of South London yesterday having persuaded his GP to allow him to come to work to help address the Brexit concerns of our clients.

 

Before you scoff at these fearsome(?) creatures, there are at least four types of biting British spiders including the Woodlouse Spider, The Lace Weaver Spider, the fearsome sounding Giant House Spider and the Wasp Spider pictured below. Also below is James showing off his (current) best side.

 

Nice weekend all!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Discussion and Analysis by Humphrey Percy, Chairman and Founder

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Morning Brief – Thursday 21st

Global Economic Ranking over the years 2000 to 2023

 

While we are all clear as to the size of the two largest economies ranked by their Purchasing Power Parity, once we get beyond them let’s be honest while we can normally hazard a guess at the largest of the next largest world economies, we are hazy once it comes to where they have moved in the past 20 years.

 

A chart recently produced by the IMF is instructive: India is moving inexorably towards the number 3 slot-as described two weeks ago by SGM-FX; Japan moves down to 4, Germany down to 5 and then Indonesia moves up to 6 from 13!! France moves under the leadership of Le petit Napoleon, Emmanuel Macron himself from 6 to 10-hardly a testament to Gallic Growth and the UK broadly static moves up from 10 to 9 one position ahead of France.

 

 

Recently in from behind German lines

 

SGM-FX’s own Gunner Graham has recently returned from deep inside the German border in preparation for the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 Draw which as we all know takes place at 1300CET on Friday 22-02-19 at the House of European Football in Nyon, Switzerland.

 

Despite it being a mission undertaken to check out the health of the German economy, management suspect it was rather more predicated by Arsenal’s prospects following the draw. The following is relevant to both the Eurozone and also to UK plc given the proximity and trading volumes between the two:

Following the recent German zero growth release which just keeps Germany out of technically being in recession, it looks as if that figure will in fact need to be revised down and will consequently be minus. The German economy  has been driven by exports over the past 10 years and much of those exports go to China in the shape of high grade engineering products. Germany’s economy is consequently closely linked to that of China and recently the Chinese state run economic stimulus programme has slowed right down. At the same time the USA is set to announce new tariffs on EU car exports which will not only be a blow to VW, BMW and Mercedes but also to Deutschland AG.

 

So with German industrial production hurting a lot, it would normally be time for the Central Bank to stimulate the economy by cutting interest rates. However as we all know, the European Central Bank has already done that and interest rates are negative; so other than sending them further negative which prompts the question as to how much more can be done in that direction, interest rate management as an economic stimulant is not an option for Germany and therefore the rest of Europe will suffer given Germany’s position as the largest European economy.

 

Once the German growth number is revised downwards, expect the EUR to weaken further against the USD and GBP.

 

 

 

Never mind the match prospects, travelling Arsenal fans will have to decide whether a weak post Brexit GBP or a weak no growth Germany will win out in GBP/EUR!

 

 

Markets

 

Yesterday the ZAR was jolted by the news that the South African government was to inject $5 Billion over the next 3 years into troubled Eskom the state electricity supplier. As described last week Eskom is symptomatic of the challenges faced by the new President of SA who was elected on the anti corruption ticket.

Gold continues its climb-up a further 0,2% to $1343. GBP remains firm despite further convulsions yesterday in the UK Parliament with the resignation of 3 Conservative MPs.

 

 

 

Discussion and Analysis by Humphrey Percy, Chairman and Founder

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Morning Brief – Wednesday 20th

UK Labour Market

 

Employment figures yesterday showed that 32.6 million were employed and 1.36 million unemployed representing 4% of the working population which is the lowest since 1975. Weekly earnings increased by 3.4% for the year to Dec 2018 and was the highest increase since 2011. Apart from demonstrating the ongoing strength of the employment market, inflation watchers will be watching the earnings growth trend carefully.

 

 

Global Markets

 

GBP rallied sharply against the USD and EUR in the course of the day on the back of optimism that the Brexit stalemate could end shortly. This new found optimism also boosted the EUR versus the USD. 10yr UK Govt bond yield was steady at 1.17%.  FTSE weakened by 0.5% to 7179 and WTI oil steady at $56

 

 

Robots and Artificial Intelligence: Citizen A.I.

 

As highlighted in our Daily Briefing ten days ago, part of our future will be heavily dependent on Robotics and Artificial Intelligence. 

 

By way of illustration: Just near Mount Fuji in Japan is a factory full of yellow robots making more yellow robots. There is no light, heating or air con as robots don’t need any of those-nor do they need coffee or lunch breaks. 24/7 Fanuc Corporation produce robots-10,000 per month with the capacity to increase to 30,000 per month. More and more yellow robots rolling off the line…

 

McKinsey predict that 30% of activities in 60% of all occupations are automatable. That means that coming to a desk near you at some point will be a “cobot” or collaborative robot. One robot in an office can do the work of 2-5 humans. 

 

Citizen A.I. Is the working title for the programmed “cobot” that may soon be sitting at the desk next to your own.

 

If it all sounds a bit futuristic, think again, that future may be closer than you think. Watch out for Robert the Robot as Citizen A.I. may come to be known by his workmates!

 

 

 

 

 

Discussion and Analysis by Humphrey Percy, Chairman and Founder

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Morning Brief – Tuesday 19th

Real Estate- Mainstream Market Indicator rather than Middle Class Porn?!

 

Conflicting stories in Real Estate World have got SGM-FX Analyst Charles M. Porter scratching his head overnight: last year the largest property deal was the purchase of iconic City building the Walkie Talkie by Lee Kum Lee for £1.3Billion. Surely a testament to the faith that foreign investors shared for the UK ahead of Brexit? The Walkie Talkie is readers will recollect best known for its distinctive shape and for lying in the shadow of the global HQ of SGM-FX in Eastcheap EC3.

 

Scroll forward to February 2019 and we have recently seen Goldman Sachs entering into a 25 year sale and leaseback deal for their London offices for £1.2 Billion. So a definite move reflecting concern for commercial real estate values and GBP. Swiss giant UBS have leased their building so a neutrally Swiss move, and not exactly a symbolic show of support for the UK.

 

Conversely just this week Citibank has put in a bid for the ownership of its tower in Canary Wharf also for…£1.2Billion. So what does that get you in the way of space? It’s a huge number but in return it’s a huge space: 1.2 Million square feet at £1,000 per square foot. Take the current rate of commercial rentals in Canary Wharf and that means that the real estate team at Citi will have paid for the building in less than 20 years. So a vote for UK plc, a vote for GBP and a well-priced real estate hedge to boot.

 

 

 

The state of the Markets

 

Well the UK market received a major shot in the arm with the resignation of 7 Labour MPs to form an Independent Party. 

 

No perceptible net effect on anything very much in the market BUT this development should not be under estimated: it may just be a lifeline for the embattled PM: not that they will/will not vote for her version of Brexit but they are less of a threat rather than more in the way of support for the Government. 

 

FTSE closed at 7219 off by 0.24%. GBP was unchanged versus USD and EUR. WTI unchanged at $56. Is there a theme developing here?!

 

The US market took all this in their stride- they were off on hols for Presidents Day. This is of course to commemorate the first and great President of the USA, George Washington.

 

 

 

 

Digital Advertisers and the Impact of Technology

 

 

We are all of course aware of social media but what’s crept stealthily up on us are the subliminal effects of placement and “slebs” and what that does to each and every one of us. Belatedly politicians are waking up to just what that means in the hands of “digital gangsters”. Astonishingly this was the description applied to the mainstream FAANGS rather than internet fringe sites.

 

What is less known are the uses to which these mediums are being put: alcohol, gambling, cosmetics and diet drugs to name four.

 

Well known rap stars and faces repeatedly featured on YouTube ie those previous unknowns who have now become mainstream. Snapchat, YouTube and Instagram comfortably command 6-8 hours of a typical teenager’s day!

 

On top of that are the newer media stars from Love Island, TOWIE and other much watched shows. If this sounds fanciful the numbers of followers that many of these closely watched attractive young command are measured in 10 million plus watchers which means that the economics are simply colossal.

 

Traditional advertising executives have been fast to jump on this bandwagon.

 

So now advertising is reaching a much larger market and getting into their sub-conscious from a very young age. Regulators are way behind the curve in policing this market and have little chance of stopping abuses and harmful content to this most impressionable market segment. So next time your teenager is on Facebook for example. Remember that he or she will be exposed to both conventional and also so called “dark adverts.”

 

Anecdotally we at SGM-FX are seeing business from sources that reflect technology and its longer and longer reach (rather than the dark corners of the internet) for both our Corporate and also our Private Client client bases.

 

We are not however (yet) seeing that much extra business from impressionable teenagers and twenty somethings!

 

 

 

 

 

Discussion and Analysis by Humphrey Percy, Chairman and Founder

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SGM-FX View of london

Morning Brief – Monday 18th

Hard Brexit and the current market environment

 

Now that markets have dissected the UK Parliament vote on Thursday night, collective wisdom is pointing towards an increase in the likelihood of a hard Brexit ie a NoDeal Brexit.
Guess what? GBP currency traders do not like the sound of that while conversely the FTSE with its large component of Stocks with foreign earnings, ie beneficiaries of a weaker GBP, has rallied and closed Friday at 7236.

 

As we start the third week of February, the Dow stands at 25,883 the high of the day on Friday. Oil WTI is a whisker below $56 the high for the past month. Gold remains above $1300.

 

Prime Minister May has put in a strong plea for party unity. President Trump has waded into the row on the 800 or so Westerners turned terrorists who represent an awkward problem for their respective governments now that they want to go home and have their illegal terrorist activities forgiven and forgotten.

 

Saudi Crown Prince MBS has chosen this particular time at the point of the Munich security conference to demonstrate his own global statesman credentials by proposing a bid of £3.8billion for Manchester United. Inconvenient (for him) references to the Khashoggi murder in Istanbul last year will no doubt be raised again shortly.

 

 

Hard Cheese?

 

Research in 2015 by Mintel reflected that only 13% of consumers chose Cheddar as a special occasion cheese. It’s not only all Brie and Camembert these days when it comes to that celebratory meal: while continental soft cheese sales rose 6.4% in the past year, continental hard cheese sales were up by 6.0% in the year to July 2018.

 

The men in white coats and clipboards at the Cheesery have totted up the numbers and it appears that 90% of people eat cheese monthly and 67% twice a week. If this trend continues, more and more cheese consumed in the UK will come from abroad despite more than 700 different cheeses being produced in the UK.
So continental cheeses in the same way as imported fruits such as the banana and the avocado before them are becoming an expected and increasingly large part of consumer expectations for that special meal.

 

The cheese monsters at SGM-FX have been putting their collective minds to this and are ready to provide cheese hedges to protect cheese importers and ultimately the British consumer from unwelcome price rises in the event that GBP weakens.
Will the next development be French Brie in British mousetraps? Sacre Bleu!

 

 

 

 

Discussion and Analysis by Humphrey Percy, Chairman and Founder

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Morning Brief – Friday 15th

It’s Official: to understand the British and Brexit (you non Brits) you need to appreciate….Marmalade!

 

 

So first things first: for the classical scholars among you, recipes go back to Pliny and Martial. Marmalade is either shop bought or home made and like a number of great institutions-the monarchy, tea and democracy is non British in origin with the oranges historically coming from Asia.

 

The word comes from a Portuguese description of quince paste, but was derived from the Greek word melimelon or honey apple.
So there you have it: a Peruvian Bear named Paddington keen to integrate into a British family-the Grubers?!-adopted that most British of culinary excellence, the marmalade sandwich …which is of course foreign in its antecedents!

 

 

The German Economic Locomotive and Europe

 

Yesterday morning Germany announced their Q4 Growth figure which was precisely zero. While ardent Brexiteers will no doubt seize on this with cries of triumph, this is anything but as without the German locomotive to pull the Eurozone train, it is a poor look out for the region and the huge market on the UK’s doorstep.
The second set of stats yesterday concerned the fact that the Germans could (just) say legitimately that they were not in recession. Again this is not a matter for British self congratulation: a recession is defined as two successive quarters with negative growth.

 

German carmakers in particular have had a tough time as funnily enough with the necessity of them complying with the emission controls that they were meant to be complying with anyway, they incurred additional costs which eroded their margins on all those VWs, Audis, BMWs and Mercedes.
This last point gives some credence to the argument that German carmakers are very keen NOT to see a No Deal Brexit.

 

South Africa’s Eskom reduces the 45,000 megawatt output by 4,000 megawatts

 

In case you missed it, President Cyril Ramaphosas’s grace period nicknamed Ramaphoria has come to a grinding halt with the announcement that the 56 million citizens of South Africa face a rolling period of power cuts for the foreseeable future.
This has spooked the markets with ZAR weakening in the past 24hrs despite Eskom’s problems being out there publicly and for a long time. ZAR has weakened against both GBP and USD as this is symptomatic of the scale of the problems faced by the President who was elected on the pledge to root out corruption which was and still is embodied in Eskom.

 

UK Parliament and Brexit

 

Last night’s vote in Parliament brought the fragile Conservative Party unity to an end with mass abstentions resulting in the Government’s defeat for what was a largely symbolic vote since it is not legally binding. Whatever it really meant, the market did not like it with GBP weakening against both USD and EUR.

 

Surprisingly weaker US Retail Sales brought the market up short with the Dow weakening to 25,439. Oil WTI firmed to $54.39. FTSE now open is trading at 7191. Markets do not like uncertainty and the UK market is no exception, marmalade sandwich anyone?!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Discussion and Analysis by Humphrey Percy, Chairman and Founder

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