- U.K. Confidence Falls to Lowest Since Just After Brexit Vote
Sentiment among U.K. households fell to its lowest level since just after the Brexit vote as the rising cost of living and inconclusive general election deterred Britons from spending on big-ticket items.
GfK’s consumer-confidence index dropped to minus 10 this month, the weakest since the minus 12 recorded July 2016, the first full survey after the European Union referendum, the market-research firm said Friday. Its survey of 2,000 Britons, carried out before and after the June 8 election, found their attitude toward the economy and their personal finances deteriorated. A gauge of their inclination to make major purchases also plunged to the lowest in a year.
The findings point to continuing pressure on consumer spending, the engine of the British economy. With Prime Minister Theresa May reliant on the support of a Northern Ireland party to stay in power as complex EU negotiations get under way, households are facing heightened political uncertainty at a time when rising inflation triggered by the weaker pound is eating into their incomes.
The survey “reveals a sharp drop in confidence among consumers across all measures,” said Joe Staton, head of market dynamics at GfK. “The twin pressures of higher prices and sluggish wage growth are squeezing household finances and adding to widespread fears of a Brexit-induced economic slowdown.”
The pound fell against the dollar on Friday after data showed Britons saved a smaller proportion of their incomes than at any time on record in the first three months of the year, and household incomes adjusted for inflation fell for a third straight quarter. Sterling was at $1.2991 as of 9:34 a.m. London time, down 0.1 percent on the day.
June’s decline left the index of overall confidence just shy of last year’s post-referendum low, reflecting consumers “negative sentiment” about their personal financial situation and expectations for the wider economy, Staton said. GfK carried out its survey between June 1 and June 15.
“The latest consumer confidence survey suggests that the squeeze on real earnings is starting to weigh on sentiment,” said Paul Hollingsworth, an economist at Capital Economics in London. While it’s “likely to intensify over the coming months, and could weigh further on confidence, we don’t expect it to be long-lasting.”
In a separate report on Friday, Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking said business confidence rose this month and hiring intentions strengthened “significantly,” citing a survey of 300 companies. Still, firms’ economic optimism fell to a five-month low, the bank said in its latest Business Barometer, suggesting some concern about wider prospects remains.
Lloyds also conducted its study before and after the election, and post-vote data — accounting for more than half of the responses received — indicate the mood among businesses soured.
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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