- May’s Winning Offer to Brexit Rebels: A Vote on Final EU Deal
Prime Minister Theresa May kept her plan to trigger Brexit on track after defeating a rebellion from some of her own Conservative Party colleagues by promising them a vote on the final deal with the European Union.
May’s administration overcame an attempt in Parliament to force her to give lawmakers more power to shape the final Brexit agreement by 326 votes to 293 on Tuesday, even though seven Tory members of the House of Commons voted against her.
The rebel Conservatives — including former ministers — and opposition legislators demanded a binding vote on the terms of the U.K.’s departure from the bloc before it is too late for the final agreement to be changed. They wanted the option of sending May back into negotiations on seeking better terms if the proposed U.K.-EU accord is not good enough.
But the premier’s opponents were defeated after Brexit Minister David Jones promised lawmakers in London on Tuesday a vote on the “final draft agreement” with the EU. That accord will cover both the exit deal and the new trading relationship with the bloc, and the vote will take place before it is sent to the European Parliament for ratification, he said.
Jones warned that the fallback option for the U.K., if Parliament decides to throw out the final deal, would be World Trade Organization terms with higher tariffs.
“It will be the choice between leaving the European Union with a negotiated deal, or not,” Jones told the Commons. “To send the government back to the negotiating table would be the surest way of undermining our negotiating position and delivering a worse deal.”
May’s government is seeking permission from lawmakers to trigger the start of the Brexit process by invoking Article 50 of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty. Members of Parliament are debating a draft law that would give the premier the authority to fire the starting gun on Brexit, a law she was forced to produce after Supreme Court judges ruled she had to seek the approval of Parliament first.
The prime minister wants lawmakers to pass the bill quickly so she can meet her deadline of triggering Article 50 by March 31. So far all attempts to change the wording of the draft law have failed. The Commons will discuss further amendments on Wednesday before a final vote on the bill before it goes to the upper, unelected House of Lords.
The offer from Jones initially satisfied some opponents of May’s plans, but his promise did not go as far as the rebel Conservatives wanted, when it became clear that the choice in the future vote would be to accept the deal or to leave the EU with no deal at all.
Former Chancellor of the Exchequer Kenneth Clarke and ex-ministers Anna Soubry and Claire Perry all voted against May’s plan. Andrew Tyrie, the chairman of the Commons Treasury Committee, also voted against the government.
Two of the cabinet ministers May fired when she took office last year — Nicky Morgan, the former education secretary, and George Osborne, who served as chancellor — abstained from voting.
During the debate, Clarke summarized the minister’s offer as a “take it or leave it” vote. If lawmakers chose to reject the deal, the U.K. would have no trading agreement with the EU and would have to revert to WTO terms, Clarke said.
Keir Starmer, the Brexit spokesman from the main opposition Labour Party, initially welcomed Jones’s announcement, though he said questions remained over the impact the final vote would have.
Other lawmakers were more skeptical. The government is “treating Parliament with contempt,” said the Green Party’s Caroline Lucas. “They’re offering a ‘choice’ between an extreme Brexit and a cliff edge.”
Global Oil Drops as Coronavirus Infections Rises in India and Other Nations
Oil prices declined on Monday during the Asian trading session amid rising concerns that the surge in coronavirus in India and other nations could force regulators to enforce stronger measures at curbing its spread and eventually affect economic activity and drag on demand for commodities like crude oil.
Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, declined by 22 cents or 0.33 percent to $66.55 per barrel at 8:19 am Nigerian time on Monday, following a 6 percent surge last week.
The US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) declined by 18 cents or 0.29 percent to $62.95 per barrel, after it gained 6.4 percent last week.
The decline was after India reported 261,500 new coronavirus infections on Sunday, taking the country’s total cases to almost 14.8 million, second to only the United States that has reported over 31 million coronavirus infections.
“With … a resurgence of virus cases in India and Japan, topside ambitions continue to run into walls of profit-taking,” said Stephen Innes, chief market strategist at Axi.
Businesses in Japan believed the world’s third-largest economy will experience a fourth round of coronavirus infections, with many bracing for an additional slow down in economic activity.
While Japan has had fewer COVID-19 cases when compared with other major economies, concerns about a new wave of infections are fast rising, according to responses in Reuters poll.
On Tuesday, April 20, 2020, Hong Kong will suspend all from India, Pakistan and the Philippines because of imported coronavirus infections, authorities stated in a statement released on Sunday.
India’s COVID-19 death rose by a record 1,501 to hit 177,150.
Global Markets Near Record Peaks and Will Get Stronger: deVere CEO
As the FTSE 100 hits 7,000 points for the first time since the Covid pandemic, global stock markets are poised to “get even stronger”, says the CEO of one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory and fintech organisations.
The observation from Nigel Green, the chief executive and founder of deVere Group, comes as London’s index jumped over the important threshold in early trading in London, gaining over 0.5% to 7024 points.
Mr Green notes: “London’s blue-chip index is up 40% since the worst lows of the pandemic.
“This landmark moment represents the wider optimistic sentiment gripping global markets which are near record peaks.
“We can expect global stock markets to get even stronger as investors look to seize the opportunities from economies reopening.
“They are looking towards economies rebounding in a post-pandemic era due to the monetary and fiscal stimulus, pent-up cash and demand, and strong corporate earnings.
“The current ultra-low interest rate environment and the under-performance of bonds will also act as a catalyst for stock markets.”
However, the CEO’s bullish comments also come with a warning.
“I would urge investors to proceed with caution as there are some headwinds on the horizon, including relations between the U.S. and China, the world’s two largest economies, which could be coming to a tipping point in coming weeks.
“As such, in order to capitalise on the opportunities and mitigate risks, investors must ensure proper portfolio diversification.”
Mr Green concludes: “A variety of factors are going to drive global stock markets. Investors will not want to miss out and should work with a good fund manager to judiciously top-up their portfolios.”
Refinitiv Expands Economic Data Coverage Across Africa
Building on its commitment to drive positive change through its data and insights, Refinitiv today announced the expansion of its economic data coverage of Africa. The new data set allows investment managers, central bankers, economists, and research teams to use Refinitiv Datasteam analytical data for detailed exploration of economic relationships and investment opportunities among data series covering the African continent.
Securing reliable, detailed, timely, locally sourced content has not been easy for economists who have in the past had to use international sources which often can take many months to update and opportunities to monitor the market can be missed. Because Africa is a diverse continent, economists and strategists need more timely access to country-specific data via national sources to create tailored business, policy, trading and investment strategies to meet specific goals.
Africa continues to develop critical infrastructure, telecommunications, digital technology and access to financial services for its 1.3bn people. The World Bank estimates that over 50% of African inhabitants will be under 25 by 2050. This presents substantial opportunities for investors who can spot important trends and make informed decisions based on robust and timely economic data.
Stuart Brown, Group Head of Enterprise Data Solutions, Refinitiv, said: “Africa’s growing, dynamic and fast evolving economies makes it a focal point for financial markets today and in the coming decades. As part of LSEG’s commitment to empowering the global markets with accurate and timely data, we are excited about making these unique datasets available via the Refinitiv Data Platform. Our economic data coverage of Africa will provide our customers with deeper and broader inputs for macroeconomic analyses and enable more effective investment strategies and economic research.”
Refinitiv Africa economic data coverage:
- Africa economics content comprises around 500,000 nationally sourced time series data covering 54 African nations
- Content is sourced from national statistical offices, central banks and other key national institutions
- The full breadth of economics categories in Datastream including national accounts, money and finance, prices, surveys, labor market, consumer, industry, government and external sectors
- International sources including OECD, World Bank, IMF, African Development Bank, Oxford Economics & more provide comparable data & forecasts across the continent
Refinitiv® Datastream® has global macroeconomics coverage to analyze virtually any macro environment, and better understand economic cycles to uncover trends and forecast market conditions. With over 14.2 million economic times series map trends, customers can validate ideas and identify opportunities using Refinitiv Datastream. Access its powerful charting tools, 9,000 pre-built chart templates and chart studies for commonly used valuation, performance, and technical and fundamental analysis.
Refinitiv continually grows available data – the China expansion in 2019 covered a unique combination of economic and financial indicators. Refinitiv plans to expand Southeast Asia covering Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines and Malaysia with delivery expected in 2021. This ensures that Refinitiv will have much needed emerging market economic content.
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