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March

MPs seize control to vote against everything

Published: Thursday 28 March 2019

  • MPs seize control to vote against everything
  • NZ business confidence slumps – Reserve Bank of New Zealand comments later
  • US growth slowdown expected in Gross Domestic Product numbers
     

By David Johnson

It would be hilarious if it were not so important. After Members of Parliament ‘seized control’ over the Brexit voting in Parliament, they proceeded to do what I alluded to yesterday and vote against everything. So we now know even more of what they don’t want and practically nothing about what they really, really want. Maybe a zig-a-zig-ah would help?
 
Sterling standing strong against currency peers
Eight votes and eight ‘Nays’ takes the UK a step closer to an EU exit under World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules, which is misnominally referred to as a ‘no deal’ Brexit. The fact that UK retail sales slumped this month was largely ignored by the markets as Sterling continued to knock on the upper end of its trading ranges across the board. We are expecting a small scale rise in house prices as measured by the Nationwide housing index, but no one will really care as far as the markets are concerned, because events in Westminster are significantly more important in the long term.

New Zealand Dollar takes another hit
Overnight, the New Zealand Dollar took another hit as the ANZ survey showed a sharp drop in business confidence. An index reading of minus 38 was much worse than the forecasts and worse than last month, too. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) was clearly right to talk about rate cuts this week. Maybe that will be sooner rather than later. Governor Orr speaks later today, so every nuance of his words will be closely monitored.

US Dollar buyers and sellers, beware!
This afternoon’s US economic growth data release is the biggie for US Dollar buyers and sellers. A slowdown from 2.6% to 2.4% is forecast but it could be worse than that, judging by recent releases. If the worst end of that concern is realised, US Dollar weakness will ensue. The caveat is that we might hear developments in the US versus China trade talks any time soon and that would set the cougar amongst the collard doves. Throw in a few Federal Reserve speeches this afternoon and we can expect some USD volatility today
 
Here comes the Easter bunny...
And, unless you have managed to avoid any shops at all in the last few weeks, you will be aware that Easter is approaching. In true Scots style, a chip shop in Airdrie, North Lanarkshire, is promoting its battered and fried Cadbury’s Creme Egg. I am sure there are many other ways to assault you heart and arteries, but few would taste like that. I just hope they remember to take the foil off first.


Are you afraid of the dark?
Bob and Eddy are taking a shortcut across a cemetery when Bob says, “I don’t like coming this way. It is haunted, you know.”

‘Don’t be daft,” says Eddy. “You watch too many movies. There’s no such thing as ghosts.” Just then, they heard a tap, tap, tap noise. They stopped and Bob said, “Knickers to this. I’m off!” and started running.

“Don’t be an idiot,” shouted Eddy.

When Bob had disappeared out of the graveyard and down the high street, Eddy started walking towards the noise. Tap, tap, tap, he heard intermittently. Then, through the headstones, he saw an elderly guy working on a headstone.

“Blimey,” said Eddy. “You scared my mate half to death. What are you doing working on a headstone in the dark?”

Eddy bent down and read “Geoffrey Blenkinsop, 1910 to 2007”
The old guy looked at him and said, “Blenkinsopp has two ps. Those damned stonemasons misspelt my name.”
 

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