Euro slides on soft PMIs, Spain voices Brexit text objection

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23 November 2018


An underwhelming set of business activity data in the Eurozone and a negative headline out of Brexit dragged the common currency fairly sharply lower on Friday morning.

he Euro edged towards its weakest position in a week off the back of some soft PMI figures that suggested the Eurozone economy was likely to put in another disappointing performance in the final quarter of the year following a soft Q3. The crucial composite PMI, arguably the single most important indicator of growth out of the Euro-area, declined unexpectedly to just 52.4 in November from 53.1. Economists’ had pencilled in only a modest drop. Both the manufacturing and services sectors fell short of expectations, with the performance of the German economy particularly worrisome.

These weak prints will, we believe, heap further pressure on the European Central Bank to keep its policy unchanged deep into next year. The market is now barely pricing in a rate hike from the ECB by October 2019. We think we could be waiting until 2020, particularly should core inflation remain stubbornly low.

Sterling slips as Spain voices Gibraltar concerns

The Pound also slipped against the US Dollar this morning after Spain submitted an eleventh hour objection to the Brexit deal. Citing objections over Gibraltar, Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has stated he would veto the deal if changes were not made. This throws a spanner in the works ahead of Sunday’s crucial EU summit. That being said, the EU appears firmly on course to accept the deal this weekend following yesterday’s report that the rest of the bloc had agreed on the political exit text.

The real test remains whether Theresa May can get enough MP support to force the deal through a government vote. According to multiple sources yesterday, over half of Tory backbenchers have now stated that they would not back the deal.

US PMIs to be releases this afternoon

Activity in the US was very quiet yesterday, unsurprising given markets were closed across the pond due to the Thanksgiving holiday. Trading was instead driven largely by events elsewhere, predominantly in the UK.

We should see activity pick up in the US today with the release of this afternoon’s manufacturing and services PMIs for November, expected to come in largely in line with previous.