Brexit shenanigans dominated the headlines last week as the UK’s departure from the EU drags on, and on, and on. While Prime Minister Johnson eventually reached a majority agreement, it failed to go to a vote in the House of Commons over the weekend as MPs deemed the narrow window of, 3 days, too narrow. The EU will now decide on allowing a further delay beyond the deadline of 31st October. In the meantime, Johnson has called for elections to be held on 12th December, the last day that community halls and other social spaces are available before the festive period; a two-thirds majority would be required for the vote to go ahead.
Central banks held little surprises; in his last appearance as Chair of the ECB, Mario Draghi remained dovish in his final address. While Draghi will formally hand over the reins to his successor this week, we look back to his famous speech in 2012, where he promised to do “whatever it takes” to save the Euro and he will leave the ECB having achieved this. In the week ahead, the US Federal Reserve meets on 29th, consensus is that there will be a further cut to interest rates.
Economic data last week was mixed; the Eurozone edged marginally higher from a reading of 50.1 in September to 50.2 in October, hanging on the expansionary territory, however, underlying data showed that France had done better than expected while Germany continues to slow. In the US, PMI preliminary data moved up from 51 to 51.2, despite disappointing durable goods orders.
Results season in the US was more positive; with a third of companies’ data now available, over 80% surprised to the upside pushing growth rates cautiously in to positive territory. It was a similar story in Europe, with more positive surprises than negative news, however, growth struggled and was marginally negative.