Crawling over the line
Today's news headlines:
'Rishi Sunak heads to Belfast to sell Northern Ireland trade deal'. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak arrived in Belfast this morning seeking support from business leaders after reaching a conclusion with the European Union over post-Brexit trading agreements for Northern Ireland. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has hailed Sunak's Windsor framework as a 'new chapter' in UK-EU relations. However, Democratic Unionist Party leader Jeffrey Donaldson has said he needs more time to give his final verdict on the proposition. A handful of senior DUP figures have not shared von der Leyen's sentiment and have claimed that Sunak's framework does not go far enough. (Financial Times)
'Hong Kong ends Covid mask mandate after 945 days to focus on economy'. In an attempt to regain its place as a mecca for business and tourism in Asia, Hong Kong has finally removed its last major Covid restriction. From today, the government will no longer enforce the wearing of masks. Hong Kong's Chief Executive, John Lee, announced yesterday that the region can now concentrate its focus on its economy and development, which has been in a three-year slump since the start of the pandemic. Cathay Pacific stocks reacted well to the news, rising 2.6% yesterday. Meanwhile, local cosmetics retailer Sa Sa soared over 5% in the afternoon trading session. (Financial Times)
European stock markets opened cautiously this morning as investors digested CPI data out of France and Spain, revealing stubbornly high consumer prices, despite the European Central Bank's aggressive hikes in interest rates. A further 50 basis-point hike is priced in for the ECB's March meeting, with markets predicting an additional 75 basis points of moves over the summer.
Swiss GDP q/q (Q4 2022): 0% vs 0.2% previously
Canadian GDP m/m (December): 1:30PM
US Conference Board Consumer Confidence: 3:00PM
US Richmond Manufacturing Index: 3:00PM
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