- Eurozone economy slowing – is the European Central Bank worried?
- Brussels Brexit talks loom large
By David Johnson
Trading is rather subdued at the start of the day, as Asian markets are already in holiday mood. For now, the Euro is trading higher, for the most part, followed by Sterling. Meanwhile, the Australian and New Zealand Dollars have turned soft again.
Eurozone economy slowing – is the European Central Bank worried?
The European Central Bank (ECB) accounts of the 25th October monetary policy meeting will be the main focus for markets today. The ECB is so far sticking with its plan to end its asset purchase programme after December 2018. Also, interest rates are expected to stay at current levels, at least until Summer 2019. There is little chance of any hint in the meeting minutes for a change in policy. Nevertheless, the Eurozone economy is clearly slowing down. Q3’s dismal growth of 0.2%, as well as the dip in Germany, are generally viewed as being down to temporary factors. But we’d still be eager to see if ECB policymakers are maintaining this view.
Brussels Brexit talks loom large
Theresa May will return to Brussels for Brexit talks this weekend as the UK and EU strive to do a deal in time for Sunday's summit of European leaders.
Fishing is the latest point of contention. The EU 27 are concerned that "taking back control" of the UK's waters might mean fewer fishing opportunities for their fleets, as once Britain leaves the EU, those waters will become exclusively UK waters again, under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
Gibraltar is another sticking point. According to a Downing Street spokesperson, Mrs May spoke to Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, on Wednesday evening and said discussions would continue following "good engagement" between the countries and the government of Gibraltar.
German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, has indicated that she will not attend Sunday's meeting of European leaders – which has been called to approve both the declaration and the withdrawal deal – unless the text on future co-operation is agreed in advance.