Traders Await Brexit Delay Decision

British politics will remain in focus as Prime Minister Johnson is pushing for a general election on 12 December. Mr Johnson will need the support of two thirds of MPs in order to get approval for the move. He is unlikely to get the support as senior Labour Party politicians have said they will only support such as move if Boris rules out the possibility of a no-deal scenario.

The Labour Party are doing all they can to box in Boris, but the SNP plus the Lib Dems are trying to push for a pre-Christmas election too. The smaller opposition parties have drawn up a bill that would simply require a majority in the House of Commons, and the aim is to hold an election on the 9 December.

European equity markets had a lacklustre session on Friday as traders were cautiously optimistic the EU will grant the UK an extension in relation to leaving the bloc. A meeting will take place in Brussels today, so hopefully traders will be given some clarity on the situation. There is talk of a delay until the end of January 2020, with the option of leaving sooner should a deal be agreed upon. It was reported the French government only want to approve a shorter extension period but that might just be the French playing politics. According to the latest French flash manufacturing and services PMI reports, the manufacturing sector is barley growing, while the service industry is expanding at a slow rate. A no-deal Brexit is likely to have a damaging impact on the already subdued French economy, so it’s in everyone’s interest to grant the UK some sort of extension.

On Friday, the S&P 500 traded above its previous record close as the trade sentiment in relation to China ticked up. A US trade representative said that ‘headway’ was made in relation to specific trade issues. It was also announced that both sides were close to finalising some sections of the trade deal.

Adding to the positive mood was the continuation of the reporting season. Nearly 40% of the S&P 500 constitutions have revealed their quarterly figures so far in this earnings season, and 78% of those companies topped forecasts.

Overnight, equity markets in Asia traded higher on the back of optimism surrounding the US-China trading relationship. It is believed that both sides are close to wrapping up phase one of the trade deal.

It is fair to say there is a dis-joint between the US stocks markets and the economy. At the back end of last week there were some underwhelming consumer reports. The durable goods update showed a decline of 1.1%, while the final reading of the University of Michigan consumer sentiment was 95.5, down from 96. The reports suggest that consumers are holding back on spending, which is possibly linked to the cooling of earnings.

UK CBI realised sales will be posted at 11am (UK time), and traders are expecting the reading to be -20, which would be a sharp fall from the -16 in September.

EUR/USD – has been driving higher since the start of the month, and a break above 1.1200 might put 1.1249 on the radar. A move lower might bring the 50-day moving average at 1.1035 into play.

GBP/USD – remains in the recent aggressive upward trend and a sizeable break above the 1.3000 area might bring 1.3178 into play. A move lower might put the 200-day moving average at 1.2714 on the radar.

EUR/GBP – is still in the bearish trend, and a break below 0.8575 could pave the way for 0.8471 to be targeted. If it manages to hold above the 0.8600 mark, it might retest 0.8786.