Morning Brief – UK Trade Deals

Humphrey Percy
Chairman and Founder
Mon 25 Mar 2024

UK Trade Deals

While there have been deals signed with Australia in 2021 and New Zealand in 2022, the past post Brexit years in respect of trade deals have been more about which deals have not been agreed that should have been rather than those that did get signed: Canada due to the UK refusing to relax rules on GM food and chlorinated chicken imports from Canada. Then there’s the UAE which is a major UK trade partner and a willing counterpart and where we have somehow not managed to ink a deal. While the much heralded TCCPS Pacific Nations Trade Deal will hopefully be big for Britain, it is yet to come to fruition. Then there was the triumphed Tokyo trade deal with Japan that did not bear too much examination and which has gone very quiet. Some of the ones that have been announced  might just take attention away from dreamt about trade deals with the USA and China, but don’t hold your breath.
GBP/USD 1.2602.


The surprise interest rate cut last week from the Swiss National Bank may lead to other Central Banks making earlier moves than they might otherwise have done in order to steal a march on other economies. Looking at what happened immediately after the cut is instructive: the Swiss Franc or CHF fell 1% versus EUR and 2% versus USD. So the thinking goes, as long as an earlier cut does not undo the hard anti inflationary work of the past many months, it will deliver an economic stimulus to the economy by making its exports cheaper and stimulating additional demand. Think Swiss watches, Nestle, Roche and Novartis products.
USD/CHF 0.8976.


It may come as a surprise to some who regard it as upmarket with a corresponding price point but the Algarve in Portugal has been named as the best value destination region for bargain hunting holiday Brits this year. A basket of 8 holiday staples including drinks, meals and hotels have come in with a fall of 1.2% in the Algarve. So what? Well that basket overall is a full 30% cheaper than the same set of staples in Spain’s Costa del Sol. Hold the Malaga sangrias and straw donkeys, it’s off to Albufeira for Vinho Verde and sardinhas assadas.
GBP/EUR 1.1655.

The Ivy

First it was one restaurant and a brand and now there is a chain plus spin off brand Ivy Asia plus Selfridges’ Brasserie of Light all under the group name Troia which unfortunately means slut in Portuguese . The initial cost to him was GBP32 million but owner Richard Caring has put the group up for sale for GBP 1 billion. Undaunted by the more than full price or the struggles of the restaurant trade with higher in costs, staff costs and rent to name just a few, Sheikh Mansour owner of Manchester City is taking a close look. To justify such a ticket price further economies will have to be made which means that the Ivy chain will offer an even less enjoyable experience to diners going forward than it does since the bean counters have been running it.
EUR/USD 1.0805.

Night Moves

This day in 1977 American singer Bob Seger finally hit the big time when this his 7th album went platinum. Before that his popularity was constrained to the Michigan State area but after this number, he went global.

I was a little too tall could’ve used a few pounds
Tight pants points hardly renown
She was a black haired beauty with big dark eyes
And points all her own sitting way up high

Way up firm and high
Out past the cornfields where the woods got heavy
Out in the back seat of my ’60 Chevy
Workin’ on mysteries without any clues

Workin’ on our night moves
Trying’ to make some front page drive-in news
Practicing our night moves in the summertime, oh
In the sweet summertime

We weren’t in love oh no far from it
We weren’t searching for some pie in the sky summit
We were just young and restless and bored
Living by the sword

And we’d steal away every chance we could
To the backroom, the alley, the trusty woods
I used her she used me but neither one cared
We were getting our share

Practicing on our night moves
Trying to lose the awkward teenage blues
Workin’ on out night moves

Oh I wonder
Hey we felt the lightning yeah
And we waited on the thunder
Waited on the thunder…

Discussion and Analysis by Humphrey Percy, Chairman and Founder

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