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UK economy; could this be the worst year since the financial crisis? - EMEA Brief 08 Feb

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  • Bank of England believes the UK economy is set for the worst year since the financial crisis, as its growth forecasts for 2019 decline from 1.7 percent to 1.2 percent due to a slow economy and Brexit doubt
  • Trump to sign order to ban Chinese telecommunication equipment from US wireless networks
  • May travels to Dublin to discuss Brexit negotiations as she believes a deal could be agreed with Parliament if binding changes can be made to the backstop
  • Asian stocks decline after concerns between the US and China trade war, as Trump refuses to meet Xi before the trade deadline. Hang Seng index fell 0.18 percent, Nikkei 225 by over 2 percent, and ASX 200 decreases by 0.34 percent
  • Oil prices fell this morning; Brent crude futures declined 0.8 percent to $61.14 per barrel along with US Crude futures which slipped 0.85 percent to $52.19 per barrel
  • Amazon founder Jeff Bezos accuses the National Enquirer’s parent company, American Media Inc, of blackmail, as they wanted Bezos to stop investigating how they gathered his private messages of an affair
  • Thai King’s sister enters election as prime minister, breaking the tradition of Thai royalty staying out of politics
  • Tata Motors shares plummet over 29 percent, lowering its current fiscal years profit margin guidance for JLR, following their biggest quarterly loss
  • Sears saved as chairman Eddie Lampert buys the company for $5.2billion through an affiliate of his hedge fund ESL investments, saving around 45,000 jobs
  • Senator Richard Shelby believes congressional negotiators will agree to a deal by Monday, avoiding another government shutdown

Asian overnight: Hopes over a positive conclusion to US-China trade talks were dashed when Donald Trump stated that he will not be meeting his Chinese counterpart before the 1 March deadline is reached. Unsurprisingly, the prospect of another ramp up in tariffs between the worlds two biggest countries significantly dented global market confidence, with Asian markets all trading in the red (China remains on a bank holiday). The Australian dollar suffered heavy losses overnight, as the country suffered the same fate as the UK and eurozone after the RBA wrote down growth forecasts thanks to poor prospects for a US-China breakthrough.

UK, US and Europe: Looking ahead, a quiet economic calendar sees German trade balance and Canadian employment numbers take centre stage. Also keep an eye out for the latest Baker Hughes rig count.

Economic calendar - key events and forecast (times in GMT)


Source: Daily FX Economic Calendar

1.30pm – Canada employment data (January): 9300 jobs created last month. Unemployment rate expected to rise to 5.8% from 5.6%. Market to watch: CAD crosses

Corporate News, Upgrades and Downgrades

  • SSE has cut its earnings forecast due to a delay in receiving government support. Adjusted EPS for the year is now expected to fall 6% to 64-69p, from a previous 70-75p forecast
  • Shaftesbury said that footfall had been ‘robust’ in the run up to Christmas and over the festive period

Bankia upgraded to neutral at Credit Suisse
Orange Belgium upgraded to buy at ING
Travis Perkins upgraded to outperform at R
Thales upgraded to buy at Citi

Centrica downgraded to neutral at Citi
Gem Diamonds downgraded to underperform at BMO
Proximus downgraded to sell at ING
Unite Group downgraded to hold at Liberum


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  • Amazon founder Jeff Bezos accuses the National Enquirer’s parent company, American Media Inc, of blackmail, as they wanted Bezos to stop investigating how they gathered his private messages of an affair

"Alexa send my nudes to my secret admirer" "Sending your nudes to the National Enquirer"

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Hi all - we have a Brexit round table today which unfortunately won't be live, but we will be able to publish the video afterwards. This will be with Simon French from Panmure Gordon, and Robert Oulds from Bruges Group. It should be a great discussion, and if you have any questions you wanted to put to the panel please add a comment and make sure to tag me with the @ symbol. 

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