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Tightening control

Today’s news headlines:

‘Beijing passes national security law for Hong Kong’ – China’s top legislative body passed a new national security law for Hong Kong in response to last year’s anti-government protests. Full details of the law are yet to be released, but it is expected to draw countermeasures from the US and other Western countries as it threatens the autonomy of one of the world’s largest financial hubs. Critics argue that the legislation will undermine the rule of law in the city and violate the freedoms given to the region in the 1997 handover to China. (Financial Times)

‘Britons reduce spending and lift savings in virus crunch’ – Prompted by the coronavirus pandemic, Britons curbed regular spending patterns and chose to save more as the economy plunges into what might be the deepest recession in living memory. National household spending fell by 2.7%, the largest dip on record as consumers spent less on non-essential goods and services. The saving rate is expected to climb further as wages have been subsidised by the government furlough scheme. (Bloomberg)

Today's events, rates, and data 

  • Sterling fell around 0.5% yesterday as markets grow concerned over Brexit-related risks and how the UK government will pay for their planned infrastructure programme. Upbeat Chinese manufacturing data caused a move higher in Asian stocks and both US and European futures. The US Dollar and gold held steady whilst oil fell.

Today's events

Japanese Prelim Industrial Production: -8.4% vs -9.8% previously
Chinese Manufacturing PMI: 50.9 vs 50.6 previously
Chinese Non-Manufacturing PMI: 54.4 vs 53.6 previously
UK Final GDP: -2.2% vs -2.0% previously
Canadian GDP: 1.30pm
US Chicago PMI: 2.45pm
US CB Consumer Confidence: 3.00pm
Fed Chair Powell Testifies: 5.30pm

Interbank rates:

GBP/USD: 1.2270
GBP/EUR: 1.0948
EUR/USD: 1.1210
USD/CAD: 1.3685