Incisive market commentary from David Morrison

Stay ahead with our market commentary and webinars from our in house market strategist

Open a Live AccountOpen a Demo Account
+ Show blog menu



Collapse 2017 <span class='blogcount'>(348)</span>2017 (348)
Expand November <span class='blogcount'>(26)</span>November (26)
Expand October <span class='blogcount'>(24)</span>October (24)
Expand September <span class='blogcount'>(33)</span>September (33)
Expand August <span class='blogcount'>(26)</span>August (26)
Expand July <span class='blogcount'>(32)</span>July (32)
Expand June <span class='blogcount'>(28)</span>June (28)
Expand May <span class='blogcount'>(35)</span>May (35)
Expand April <span class='blogcount'>(31)</span>April (31)
Collapse March <span class='blogcount'>(38)</span>March (38)
Bounce in oil helps to steady equities - AM Briefing
30 Mar 2017
US stock indices consolidate - Video Update
29 Mar 2017
Risk appetite returns - AM Briefing
29 Mar 2017
S&P500 - Topping out, or consolidating? PM Bulletin
28 Mar 2017
Risk appetite returns after the Trump wobble - AM Briefing
28 Mar 2017
Beware hidden relationships between seemingly unrelated markets - Trading Guides
27 Mar 2017
Risk assets slump in wake of Trump’s healthcare debacle - AM Briefing
27 Mar 2017
Congress vote puts markets on hold - AM Briefing
24 Mar 2017
Markets on hold ahead of crucial vote - Video Update
23 Mar 2017
Tranquil markets await big data - AM Briefing
23 Mar 2017
Investors rattled after equity sell-off - Video Update
22 Mar 2017
US Markets Snap 109-Day Streak - AM Briefing
22 Mar 2017
Crude oil update - PM Bulletin
21 Mar 2017
European markets stable on the open - AM Briefing
21 Mar 2017
Dollar slips after G20 communique - AM Briefing
20 Mar 2017
FOMC post-mortem - Video Update
16 Mar 2017
Rate hike sends stocks higher - AM Briefing
16 Mar 2017
FOMC rate decision and Dutch election in focus - Video Update
15 Mar 2017
Oil rally gives markets lift - AM Briefing
15 Mar 2017
Crude trades at lowest levels since production cut agreement - PM Bulletin
14 Mar 2017
Politicians take centre stage again - AM Briefing
14 Mar 2017
Trading Psychology: Risk Management - Trading Guides
13 Mar 2017
Article 50 deadline approaches - AM Briefing
13 Mar 2017
European stocks push higher after Draghi’s hawkish stance - AM Bulletin
10 Mar 2017
Non-Farm Payroll look-ahead - PM Bulletin
09 Mar 2017
Fed rate hike seems certain - AM Briefing
09 Mar 2017
Market expects Fed to hike rates next week - Video Update
08 Mar 2017
Another twist in the French election - AM Briefing
08 Mar 2017
Odds slashed on Fed rate hike - PM Bulletin
07 Mar 2017
Investors lacking direction this morning - AM Briefing
07 Mar 2017
Fibonacci Retracement - extensions - Trading Guides
06 Mar 2017
Equities slip in early Monday trade - AM Briefing
06 Mar 2017
Modest profit-taking sees US indices post rare loss - AM Briefing
03 Mar 2017
Crude struggles to break above resistance - Video Update
02 Mar 2017
UK baffled by the origins of their favourite brands - PM Bulletin
02 Mar 2017
Fresh record highs for major indices - AM Briefing
02 Mar 2017
All eyes turn to the Fed - Video Update
01 Mar 2017
Markets react positively to Trump speech - AM Briefing
01 Mar 2017
Expand February <span class='blogcount'>(36)</span>February (36)
Expand January <span class='blogcount'>(39)</span>January (39)
Expand 2016 <span class='blogcount'>(483)</span>2016 (483)


Early moves

Little movement in Europe as PMIs impress

It’s been another mixed open for European stock indices this morning although overall there’s a slightly softer tone. It’s all been something of an anti-climax after yesterday’s anticipated House vote on repealing and replacing Obamacare was delayed. It’s unclear what may happen next although the president is pushing for the vote to take place today. Mr Trump has also said that without a vote he’ll move on to other issues and leave the controversial Affordable Care Act in place.

The outcome of the vote is viewed as a crucial test of the Trump administration’s ability to push through legislation not just on healthcare, but also on tax reform, future spending and regulatory roll-back. Trump can only afford to lose the votes of 22 Republicans, but ahead of the debate it appeared that as many as 30 representatives from the GOP were threatening to defy their president. This would be an early and unwelcome defeat for the new president and would undoubtedly delay any chances of fresh fiscal stimulus coming through this year. Given that the stock market rally since the November election has been based on Trump’s campaign promises, any possibility that these may not get through Congress raises the risk of a sharp market sell-off. Investors have been banking on fiscal stimulus to offset monetary tightening from the Fed, particularly as there are fears that US growth appears to be less robust than it was even a few weeks ago.

PMI data came out this morning for Germany, France and the European Monetary Union, with all exceeding expectations. The real surprise, though, was that it had little effect on the stock markets, with traders instead looking towards larger political events to judge their next moves. When PMI figures come in above 50, this is usually seen as a positive and so can create bullish sentiment for the euro.

Stock Market Update

 RBS and NatWest to close more than 150 branches

PwC and MF Global settle $3 billion lawsuit

Royal Bank of Scotland announced this morning its plan to close a total of 158 high street branches, many of them NatWest, as the trend towards online banking continues to threaten the necessity of physical bank branches. RBS are joining the queue of a long line of banks in the UK to do so, with the likes of Lloyds, HSBC and Yorkshire building society all announcing closures in the past nine months. RBS is receiving some criticism for the move, as it emerged these 158 branches will not include the 86 closures they mentioned late last year.

The high-profile court case between PwC and the administrator of MF Global, a former client of the accounting firm, has been settled halfway through the trial. The court battle, a $3 billion malpractice suit over MF Global blaming PwC auditing errors for the former broker crashing into bankruptcy, was settled with MF Global only having one witness left to present, to an undisclosed but mutually satisfactory amount.

Commodities Update

Saudi exports to US in decline

Gold lower as dollar strengthens

With an early morning report that Saudi exports to the US are falling by 300,000 barrels a day, crude prices have moved higher this during European trade giving a brief moment of relief for a market under heavy pressure. Despite the small movements higher, both contracts are set for roughly 2% declines for the week, as stockpiles continue to grow. The decrease in trade between the two nations comes off the back of a sharp increase in US shale production, something which is helping to keep crude prices low.

As the dollar regains some strength ahead of the vote in Congress, gold takes a slight hit. However, it remains in a tight range, with politics continuing to lead the way. President Trump allegedly warned that if the healthcare bill is rejected, he is looking to swiftly move onto tax reform, which explains the move higher for the dollar as the tax reforms are presumed to be good for US business. Silver prices have barely moved this morning, as the small move in the dollar is not enough to dent its current position.

Forex Update

Dollar Index pushes higher

The Dollar Index moved higher this morning as investors believe the Trump administration may simply move onto tax reforms, should their healthcare bill be rejected later on today by Congress. However, there are still doubts on what a rejection at Trump’s first attempt in Congress could signal for the remainder of his Presidency. Throughout his campaign Trump was pushing for tax reforms and infrastructure spending, policies which gained him strong support. This doubt has helped to keep the Dollar Index below 100, despite today’s move up.

In other currency news, the pound has fallen back below $1.25, mainly due to the rise in the dollar. Meanwhile the euro moved back above $1.08 after strong PMI data on the open from France, Germany and the European Monetary Union.

Upcoming Events

Amongst today’s significant economic data releases and events we have already had stronger than expected PMI data for the Eurozone, Germany and France. In the afternoon there is CPI out of Canada, all before Congress are expected to vote on the Trump administration’s healthcare bill.


Spread Co is an execution only service provider. The material on this page is for general information purposes only, and does not take into account your personal circumstances or objectives. Nothing in this material is (or should be considered to be) financial, investment or other advice on which reliance should be placed. No opinion given in the material constitutes a recommendation by Spread Co Ltd or the author that any particular investment, security, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person.


Posted by Michael Campbell

Category: AM Bulletin

Add a comment Add comment            


© 2018 Spread Co Limited. All Rights Reserved.

Spread Co Limited is a limited liability company registered in England and Wales with its registered office at 22 Bruton Street, London W1J 6QE. Company No. 05614477. Spread Co Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Register No. 446677.

Spread betting and CFD trading are leveraged products and can result in losses that exceed your deposits. Ensure you understand the risks.

Losses can exceed deposits. Click here to learn more.