- Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Canada where she faces extradition to the US for violating US sanctions, leading to growing tensions between the China and US that create further doubt about the cease-fire on the tariff war declared over the weekend. Shares in Asian suppliers to Huawei sank on Thursday after the arrest was made pubic.
- Asian markets fell on Thursday ahead of the highly awaited OPEC meeting to be held in Austria today. The Hang Seng was down 2.62%, the Nikkei fell 1.91% and the Shanghai composite slipped 1.26% during the morning trading session.
- The UK could face “protracted and reported rounds of negotiations” if it tries to exit a backstop customs union with the EU.
- The FTSE 100 closed 1.44% lower at 6.921,84 on Wednesday, with a general decline in its constituents led by Ashtead Group PLC, Melrose Industries PLC and NMC Health PLC who lost 5.83%, 5.05% and 5.05% respectively.
- European stocks were trading lower on Wednesday as continuing worries about global trade leave investors with concerns regarding the future of economic growth. The Dax was down 1.19% whilst the CAC and the IBEX were down 1,36% and 0.55% respectively.
- US markets are expected to continue the sell-off on Thursday as DOW futures drop almost 400 points. As stock markets remained closed on Wednesday for the official mourning day of former US president George H.W. Bush, the growing tensions between China and the US continue to place uncertainty on the viability of the two countries honouring the cease-fire declared over the weekend, leaving investors feeling weary, which is putting downward pressure on the stock market.
- Palladium has become one of the best performing precious metals in the year, dethroning gold as the most valuable precious metal. The metal hit $1,257 per ounce, surpassing the price of gold for the first time since 2002. The demand for palladium is expected to rise as tougher emission laws come in to place.
- Copper has drifted to a one-week low as US-China tensions resurface.
- Join us today at 1pm to discuss the future of Base Metals where you can ask your questions to our guest experts Daniel Lacalle and John Meyer, either via youtube, twitter, facebook or by posting them on the comments section on the following link: https://community.ig.com/blogs/entry/271-igcommoditychat-base-metals/
Asian overnight: The arrest of a senior Huawei executive provided the spark for a fresh round of selling in Chinese equities, adding to a broadly grim session for Asian markets. Tech stocks in Hong Kong suffered heavily, with the overall index down 2.9%. Oil prices have begun to get the jitters ahead of the OPEC meeting today, with the decision expected at 5pm London time.
UK, US and Europe: A full text of advice written by the attorney-general Geoffrey Cox was published on Wednesday, a day after MPs found the government to be in contempt of parliament by not publishing the document, in which Mr Cox states that the backstop which would keep the UK in a customs union with the EU, would “endure indefinitely” until and alternative solution was applied to avoid a hard boarder.
The general negative correlation between the sterling and the UK equity market is starting to diminish. In the past, we have seen that as the pounds weakens, the FTSE100 gains strength. This inverse relationship has faded and we are now coming to see a positive correlation between the sterling and the equities market. This is most likely due to the growing concerns that Britain will leave the EU with a “no deal”, which is seen to be catastrophic for the UK economy.
The OPEC meeting is the main event, with a cut of 1.4 million barrels in daily output the baseline expectation. Anything less than this may result in fresh downward momentum in crude. Aside from this, the calendar is rather quiet although we do have the US trade balance later today.
Economic calendar - key events and forecast (times in GMT)
Source: Daily FX Economic Calendar
1.30pm – US trade balance (October): deficit to hold at $54 billion. Market to watch: USD crosses
3pm – Canada Ivey PMI (November): expected to fall to 60.8 from 61.8. Market to watch: CAD crosses
Corporate News, Upgrades and Downgrades
- DS Smith said that first half revenue rose 16% to £3.07 billion, while adjusted operating profit was 32% higher at £304 million (both in constant currency terms).
- Ted Baker has appointed law firm Herbert Smith to look into allegations of inappropriate behaviour. The firm added that group sales were down 0.2% for the 16 weeks to 1 December.
- Hiscox and Spirax-Sarco will be joining the FTSE100 replacing Just Eat and Royal Mail. Changes will be effective from start of trading on Dec. 24.
Faroe Petroleum raised to equal-weight at Barclays
Genus upgraded to buy at Kepler Cheuvreux
Takeaway raised to sector perform at RBC
Capgemini downgraded to equal-weight at Barclays
Klovern downgraded to reduce at Handelsbanken
Petra Diamonds downgraded to hold at Panmure Gordon
Sage downgraded to add at AlphaValue
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