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Sterling slips as Brexit shenanigans continue

Published: Friday 05 April 2019

Bad news for the German economy again

German data was very poor on Thursday. The markets were expecting a small uplift in German factory orders but the actual number for February was a decline of 4.2%. In addition, Germany’s economic institutes slashed their growth forecast for Germany to just 0.8% this year; lower still if the UK leaves the EU without some kind of trade continuity arrangement. We have spent the last three years being told that the UK will suffer if we leave without a deal but that clearly cuts both ways. Perhaps Barnier and Juncker et al should take note. We have to now consider what will come from Today’s German industrial production numbers which are also forecast to show small gains.

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US jobless claims best in 49 years – USD stronger

Thursday was a day of strong data from North America. US initial jobless claims fell to their lowest level for 49 years in March. The US Dollar strengthened significantly on the news. The big news for today is the US employment report. It would be amazing if the unemployment rate fell below 3.8%, but another gain in employment is possible and that must surely start to push wages higher.

And in Canada, the Ivey Purchasing Managers' Index was well above expectations at 54.3. The markets had expected something like 51.2. As you might expect, the Canadian Dollar strengthened against all comers. We are expecting largely flat data on the Canadian employment report this afternoon, so maybe the CAD will slow its advance as well.
Bored of Brexit - Part Two

Whilst these are big data events, the real crux is still the UK’s departure from the EU. Thursday was full of rumour and speculation about a soft Brexit, a second referendum and defectors, but we are none the wiser as a result. Sterling dropped a cent against the Euro and USD through the day.

A week today Britain will either be leaving with or without a deal, or not leaving, or delaying the departure, or goodness only knows what… They say a week is a long time in politics. Three years of this piffle and poppycock is more like an eternity. When will it all end? Please make them stop.

Fifty shades of…?

A woman is drinking cocktails with her friends when they all spot a tall, elegant, well-built and very handsome man arrive with his friends. None of them can take their eyes off him and quite a few naughty remarks are made between them about the handsome stranger. Then the woman notices that the man is looking back at her. At first she thinks she is imagining it but there is no doubt he is maintaining eye contact for just a few moments too long each time she catches his eye.

The other women in her group are just starting to comment on it when he comes straight across the room and stands in front of her. He says, “I couldn’t help noticing you looking at me. I hope you like what you see because I find you very attractive as well. I have to ask, would you be up for some fun?” Her friends all suddenly need to powder their noses and she finds herself alone with this handsome stranger.

“What did you have in mind?” she says in the most flirtatious voice she can muster, lowering her chin a little and gazing up at him with seductive eyes.

“Well let’s make it challenging.” he says. “I promise I will do anything you desire, no matter how strange or kinky, but the challenge is that you have to be able to make your demand in just three words.”

“In just three words?” she checks, in what she hopes is a low seductive voice.

“Just…three…words,” he confirms in a deep whisper, close to her ear.

“OK,” she says. “I’ve got an idea. Just three words?”

He nods with a smile.

She looks him in the eye and says, “Wallpaper my lounge!”

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