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THE DAILY MACRO BRIEF: Brexit breakthrough, US political tensions, China responds to the US…

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10/17/2019 | 08:05am EST

The Brexit situation had an unexpected breakthrough: Boris Johnson has finalized a deal with the EU. However, the deal doesn’t have the backing of the DUP, so it might be difficult to get it through Parliament. In the US, political tensions keep rising…


The end of the Brexit saga? Finally, following years of talks, Brexit might be happening. After days of marathon negotiations, the United Kingdom and the European Union have agreed on a new Brexit agreement. However, the Irish unionists of the DUP are not supporting the deal due to concerns over the border between Eire and Ulster and the backstop. Still, the deal is a welcome development, although nothing is certain: Boris Johnson will have to obtain the support of British parliamentarians, where Theresa May had failed on a very close text, except for the Irish border.

In Washington, political tension has risen even higher after the incomprehensible decisions of the White House in Syria, which have been severely criticized even in the Republican ranks. Insults are now raging between Donald Trump and his Democratic opponents. The American President has clearly succeeded in diverting some media attention away from the skidding negotiations with China and the Ukrainian affair. But at what cost! Wall Street remains rather stoic in the face of this political storm, despite poor macroeconomic statistics yesterday.

The United States supports Hong Kong, China responds. New event in the tensions between the two powers. This time it is not about trade, but about the vote of a bill by the American Congress in favor of civil liberties in Hong Kong. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang has called on US legislators to stop interfering in China's internal affairs before going too far. It is hoped that all this will not affect the progress of trade negotiations.

Turkish markets are under American pressure. The United States has filed criminal charges against one of the country's largest banks, Halkbank, accusing the institution of participating in a massive plot to violate Iran's prohibitions on access to the US financial system. The share lost 7% after the announcement of these lawsuits and the flagship Istanbul index (BIST 100) has dropped 5% since October 11.

Today's economic highlights

A flurry of indicators is due today in the United States: the Philly Fed index, housing starts & building permits, weekly unemployment registrations, industrial production and weekly oil stocks.  Several speeches by central bankers are also planned.


Romain Fournier
© MarketScreener.com 2019
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