August 13, 2021
“The greenback has held gains and remains near a 4-month high against other major currencies, supported by strong US producer prices yesterday. Market participants continue to search for more hints from the Federal Reserve on plans to wind back stimulus with a number of Fed officials this week supporting tapering in the coming months.”
Tim Hallinan, Trading Director
The head of the Federal Trade Commission, Lina Khan, has indicated that antitrust enforcers ought to more often block mergers that threaten competition as opposed to the Justice Department and FTC relying on traditional remedies to fix and then approve deals. Since President Biden elected Khan in June, enforcement has been enhanced and her view may complicate a $4.4 billion acquisition by Lockheed Martin. Elsewhere, the US Health Secretary is the latest federal department to make Covid-19 vaccination compulsory after it mandated jabs for its healthcare workforce
The UK economy grew by 4.8 per cent in Q2 according to official figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), boosted by strong consumer spending in the wake of eased Covid-19 restrictions.. The second-quarter growth is the best performance of any advanced economy, 1.6 percent higher than in the US, and demonstrates a strong rebound rom the contraction experienced in the first three months of 2021.
Sterling is weaker against most other major currencies this morning. Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has announced that 600 British troops will be deployed in Afghanistan in coming days to evacuate British nationals, as Taliban insurgents make advances towards Kabul. Senior Conservative MPs have criticised the Biden administration’s decision to withdraw troops. Elsewhere, Home Secretary Priti Patel is adopting the responsibilities of the vacant security minister post on a permanent basis.
The euro is stronger against the pound and largely unchanged against the dollar overnight. Europe is currently in the midst of a heatwave dubbed “Lucifer” and Italy yesterday may have reported the highest temperature in European history at 48.8 degrees Celsius. 15 Italian cities have announced a red alert in response due to fears over the health of the population and Calabria continues to grapple with wildfires. Elsewhere, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has called on the Afghan government to engage with the Taliban and reach an inclusive settlement
The dollar is stronger against the pound and steady against the dollar in early morning trade. The Pentagon has too announced that the US will send 3000 troops to Afghanistan to help evacuate remaining embassy staff as the Taliban continues to advance through the country. Meanwhile, The Texas State Senate yesterday approved controversial voting reforms following a 15-hour Democrat filibuster. If enacted, the bill will restrict postal votes, remove early voting options and increase criminal repercussions for voting law violations.
Most Asian shares slipped Friday as the spread of the delta Covid-19 variant and China’s regulatory curbs restrained sentiment despite another record high close on Wall Street. The technology sector led losses on a slide in Chinese Internet giants and a retreat in chipmakers that hurt South Korean equities. U.S. and European equity futures were steady after the S&P 500 hit a fresh peak and the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 rose. U.S. Treasury 10-year yields were near a one-month high. Oil dipped as traders grappled with the impact of the delta variant on demand. Bitcoin traded around $45,000.
Main Economic Data/Central Banks/Government (All Times GMT)
8:45 a.m.: France July CPI
9:00 a.m.: Spain July CPI
9:00 a.m.: Turkey June current account balance
9:30 a.m.: Sweden July CPI
12:00 p.m.: U.K. sells bills
7:00 p.m.: Baker Hughes U.S. rig count
Sweden sovereign debt to be rated by S&P
Earnings include Alba, Bank Norwegian, Energiekontor, GSW, Nagarro, Powerschool Holdings, Cresco Labs, Dillards, Marathon Digital, 23andme, SelectQuote