It’s deja vu all over again, with global markets a sea of green, buoyed by US-China trade talk sentiment following a Bloomberg report that the US is considering a 60-day extension to the China March 1 tariff deadline (even if implicitly this confirms that there was virtually no progress made in the last few months, refuting the optimism of an imminent deal that helped push stocks over 17% from the December lows.
The big news catalyst overnight hit late on Monday night following a report that Trump was considering pushing back the deadline for imposition of higher tariffs on Chinese imports by 60 days, after earlier telling reporters that trade talks are “going along very well” and, with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in China, investors had been daring to hope for good news.
And while traders were happy to bid up risk assets for one more day on a variation of the same positive news that has hit wires – or Trump’s twitter feed – for the past two months, they ignored a tweet from the editor in chief of China’s Global Times who said that “speculations of trade negotiations will be extended are inaccurate.”
I learned from source close to China-US trade talks that speculations of trade negotiations will be extended are inaccurate. The only thing that is certain now is the talks are underway.
— Hu Xijin 胡锡进 (@HuXijin_GT) February 14, 2019
This is also a reminder that bullish expectations have been disappointed before – in fact every single time – and so the reaction in Asian markets was muted with Shanghai stocks closing flat, having jumped 2% on Wednesday to levels last seen in late September.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the Pacific, S&P futures levitated, now well above their 200 DMA, while European shares climbed for a fourth day to a three month high on, what else, optimism about U.S.-China trade talks though news that Germany only dodged recession by the narrowest of margins as its economy stagnated in Q4 following a Q3 contraction, left the euro feeling unloved on Valentine’s Day.
Strong results from Nestle, AstraZeneca and plane giant Airbus – which announced the discontinuation of its iconic A380 superjumbo – offset by a report from Credit Suisse which showed that trading losses eclipsed wealth-management gains, lifted the European STOXX 600 index 0.5% to put it on course for its best week since early November. A U.S. proposal for new sanctions on Russian banks and oil and gas firms sent shares in Moscow tumbling more than 2 percent and ignited rouble FX volatility gauges, while Russia’s 10-year bonds dropped the most since since November.
Earlier, MSCI’s index of Asia-Pacific shares ex-Japan eased 0.15%, though that was off a peak last seen in early October. Japan’s Nikkei touched its highest this year as a weakening yen boosted export stocks. China also shrugged off solid trade numbers, which however were distorted as exporters front-loaded their activities just before the Chinese New Year holidays. Beijing reported exports surged 9.1% in January from a year earlier, confounding expectations for a fall, while imports dipped by a surprisingly slight 1.5%.
“Cupid continues to shoot out bullish arrows across financial markets with last week’s blip almost forgotten about for now,” DB’s Jim Reid said in a morning note (see below).
However, as Reuters notes, “the euro did not share the feeling however” and the common currency struggled near a three-month low following the latest German GDP numbers, with fallout from global trade disputes and Brexit threatening to heap even more pressure on Europe’s rapidly slowing economy.
Elsewhere in FX, the dollar held its gains against most G10 peers during the European trading session, with the Bloomberg dollar index surging above 1,200, resuming its recent levitation and confounding many traders who were expecting it to slide. The greenback is now at its highest level since mid-December.
Meanwhile, the recent improvement in risk appetite undermined the safe haven yen and propelled the dollar to its best levels of the year so far at 111.05. The Australian dollar, often used as a liquid proxy for China risks, gained 0.4 percent to $0.7114 and S&P 500 futures added 0.15 percent. The Aussie dollar had already got a small lift when Chinese trade data handily beat expectations in a welcome relief for the global economy. The pound slumped ahead of another parliamentary vote on British Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit plan.
Treasuries steadied alongside the dollar, and oil advanced. European core sovereign bonds edged higher and the single currency fluctuated after data showed the euro region’s biggest economy stagnated in the fourth quarter, but dodged recession.
Oil continued its rebound as falling shipments from Saudi Arabia and Venezuela outweighed gains in U.S. crude stockpiles. And the pound edged lower ahead of Parliament’s latest set of votes on Theresa May’s Brexit strategy, and on dovish remarks from a Bank of England policy maker.
In the latest Brexit news, ERG is said to have told the Chief Whip they will not back the government today unless the motion on leaving the EU was changed (currently includes an amendment which Brexiteers believe removes the option of leaving without a deal) which the government refused. UK PM May spokesman says a no-deal Brexit remains on the table, and PM May is expected to speak to other EU leaders today. Separately, BoE’s Vlieghe says he considers appropriate pace of monetary tightening is somewhat slower:
- The degree of future monetary tightening will in part depend on how large GBP appreciation is
- In the case of a no-deal scenario I judge that an easing or an extended pause in monetary policy is more likely to be the appropriate policy response than a tightening
- If a Brexit deal is made, a path of Bank Rate that involves around one quarter point hike per year seems a reasonable central case
- As before, this future rate path is a forecast not a promise, and just as there is considerable uncertainty around the forecast for growth and inflation
- The BoE would hike rates after a no-deal Brexit if needed, even if it is politically unpopular
In commodity markets, oil prices found support as top exporter Saudi Arabia said it would cut crude exports and deliver an even deeper output cut. U.S. crude was up 56 cents, or 1 percent, at $54.42 a barrel, while Brent crude futures rose 97 cents to $64.50, its highest since November. Meanwhile, spot gold edged up 0.18% to $1,308.56 per ounce.
Economic data include PPI, retail sales and initial jobless claims. Coca-Cola, Nvidia and Duke Energy are due to report earnings
- S&P 500 futures up 0.3% to 2,756.75
- STOXX Europe 600 up 0.5% to 366.79
- MXAP down 0.1% to 156.96
- MXAPJ down 0.1% to 515.58
- Nikkei down 0.02% to 21,139.71
- Topix up 0.03% to 1,589.81
- Hang Seng Index down 0.2% to 28,432.05
- Shanghai Composite down 0.05% to 2,719.70
- Sensex down 0.5% to 35,870.44
- Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 0.07% to 6,059.39
- Kospi up 1.1% to 2,225.85
- German 10Y yield fell 1.1 bps to 0.112%
- Euro up 0.06% to $1.1268
- Brent futures up 1.5% to $64.53/bbl
- Italian 10Y yield fell 5.9 bps to 2.425%
- Spanish 10Y yield fell 0.6 bps to 1.228%
- Brent futures up 1.5% to $64.53/bbl
- Gold spot little changed at $1,306.46
- U.S. Dollar Index down 0.04% to 97.09
Top Overnight News
- President Donald Trump is considering pushing back the deadline for imposition of higher tariffs on Chinese imports by 60 days as the world’s two biggest economies try to negotiate a solution to their trade dispute, according to people familiar with the matter
- A no-deal Brexit is more likely to require an easing than a tightening of monetary policy, according to Bank of England policy maker Gertjan Vlieghe
- Bank of Italy Governor Ignazio Visco dismissed concerns over increasingly tense relations between the Bank of Italy and the nation’s populist administration, saying that the central bank isn’t under attack and that its independence requires it to be accountable.
- U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May faces a revolt from pro-Brexit members of her Conservative Party in a vote Thursday to give her more time to secure binding changes to the divorce accord with the EU
- A no-deal Brexit would be “extremely harmful” to British industry, eroding investment years into the future, the president of the U.K.’s biggest business lobby said
- Chinese export growth unexpectedly rebounded in January, while imports fell, with companies trying to ship goods before Lunar New Year holidays likely boosting the result
- Just hours after Morgan Stanley cut its recommendation on Russia amid “complacency” over new sanctions, the U.S. Senate introduced legislation to punish the country — spurring a selloff in assets
- Trump is eyeing a path to avoid another government shutdown where he would reluctantly accept the congressional border-security deal and attempt to tap other funds for his wall
- U.K. housing market stayed in the doldrums at the start of the year as Brexit caused both buyers and sellers to hesitate on deals
Asian equity markets were indecisive as the momentum from Wall St, where stocks notched a 4th consecutive gain and extended on YTD highs, was counterbalanced by cautiousness amid Chinese trade data and as senior level US-China trade talks began in Beijing. ASX 200 (-0.1%) was relatively flat following a deluge of earnings releases although the energy sector outperformed after the recent gains in crude prices, while Nikkei 225 (flat) was also flimsy due to mixed GDP data and a choppy currency. Elsewhere, Hang Seng (-0.2%) and Shanghai Comp. (-0.1%) declined at the open following another substantial liquidity drain by the PBoC and amid tentativeness heading into the key trade data which was expected to show continued ill-effects from the US-China trade dispute. Chinese stocks then only partially recovered despite the data topping estimates across the board with many wary due to Lunar New Year distortions and as the data also showed imports from US fell by 41.2% Y/Y, while reports that President Trump was mulling a 60-day extension to the tariff deadline was only gradual in its support. Finally, 10yr JGBs were higher following the less than inspiring Japanese GDP data which despite showing that Japan’s economy returned to an expansion, the headline Q/Q growth fell short of estimates and there were also downward revisions to the prior readings. Furthermore, the BoJ were present in the market for JPY 580bln of JGBs with the bulk concentrated on 5yr-10yr maturities. US President Trump is said to weigh 60-day extension for tariff deadline according to sources, while there had been earlier comments from President Trump that the trade deal with China is going very well. This was however downplayed by the China Global Times Editor
Top Asian News
- India January Wholesale Prices Rise 2.76% Y/y; Est. 3.70%
- Asia Stocks Hover Around Highest Since October Amid Trade Talks
- Ant Financial Agrees to Buy U.K. Payments Firm WorldFirst
- The Tariffs No One Seems to Want Edge Closer to Trump’s Arsenal
Following an earnings filled open, major European indices are predominantly in the green [Euro Stoxx 50 +0.4%] with some slight outperformance in the CAC (+0.6%) and SMI (+0.6%), following earnings from Airbus (+4.9%) and Nestle (+3.1%); with the latter the largest Co. in Europe carrying a 3% weighting in the Euro Stoxx 600. Sectors are also predominantly in positive territory, although there is some slight underperformance in Financial names; weighed on by the likes of Credit Suisse (-1.6%) who have moved lower following earnings, where they proposed a dividend of CHF 0.26 vs. Exp. CHF 0.30. Other notable movers include, AstraZeneca (+4.9%) who are higher after their earnings beat on expectations, with Legrand (+7.3%) also in the green after earnings. Towards the bottom of the Stoxx 600 are Telenet (-4.4%) who’s full-year operating profit missed expectations. Elsewhere, Wirecard (+7.4%) are higher, with latest reports in German press suggesting that short sellers were aware about the FT article relating to the Co before it’s publication.
Top European News
- Puma Falls Most Since December on Profit Forecast Short of Views
- RBS Said to Be Among Eight Banks in Euro Bond Cartel Probe
- EU Crackdown on Tax Breaks Takes Hit as Belgium Wins Court Clash
- Commerzbank Delivers on Costs as Zielke Cuts Some Targets
In FX, the Dollar continues find buyers on dips, and the latest pull-back in the DXY was notably shallow before the index reclaimed 97.000+ status on its way to another fresh ytd best (albeit marginal at 97.291). The Buck remains supported on encouraging US-China trade developments and prospects that President Trump will sign-off on the bipartisan funding proposal in time to avoid another Government shutdown, but also as major and EM currency counterparts weaken further on independent/specific bearish factors.
- NZD/AUD – Some erosion of momentum due to the aforementioned general Greenback bid, but the Kiwi and Aussie are still outperforming in wake of overnight Chinese trade data showing a larger than expected surplus. Nzd/Usd is holding firm above 0.6800 and also deriving support from cross-positioning as Aud/Nzd ducks under 1.0400 and Aud/Usd retreats faster from 0.7130+ peaks again to test support around 0.7100.
- EUR/CHF/JPY/GBP/CAD – All narrowly mixed vs the Usd, with the single currency trying to keep tabs on the 1.1300 handle, but weighed down by the latest weaker than expected German macro release as the former Eurozone powerhouse stagnated in Q4 following contraction in the previous quarter. Meanwhile, the Franc is edging closer to 1.1000, with sub-forecast and deflationary Swiss producer/import prices a drag, and its safe-haven peer has also extended losses through 111.00 to new 2019 lows. The Pound lost more ground ahead of today’s Brexit vote, with Cable only saved by short covering/profit taking after testing the 55 DMA (1.2813) and withstanding broadly dovish rhetoric from BoE’s Vlieghe. Elsewhere, the Loonie is pivoting 1.3250 ahead of Canadian manufacturing sales and new home price data, with the ongoing recovery in crude only mildly supportive.
- EM – As noted above, regional currencies are underperforming against the Usd, and with the Rub and Try also negatively impacted by sanctions and data misses respectively. Rouble back below 66.7500 and Lira under 5.3100 at worst.
In commodities, WTI (+1.0%) and Brent (+1.5%) continue on their upward trajectory with prices underpinned by trade hopes alongside lower Saudi output forecasts. In early EU trade, Russian Energy Minister Novak noted that there are no proposals as of yet to lift oil production due to tail risk from Venezuela. Furthermore, Novak stated that Moscow are aiming to cut February output ahead of schedule. Overnight, Chinese trade balance numbers were released wherein imports of crude in January topped 10mln BPD, +5% Y/Y/. ING notes that despite the Y/Y increase, this is still off from record levels seen at the back-end of 2018; 10.48mln BPD in November and 10.35mln BPD in December, “the very strong imports seen towards the end of last year seem to reflect refiners using their import quota licences before the end of the year” says ING. Metals are relatively mixed with gold (Unch) flat ahead of the widely watched trade talks in Beijing. Elsewhere, copper climbed higher following a wider-than-expected trade surplus from China, the world’s largest consumer of the red metal. Furthermore, copper imports into China rose by 12% from December to just under 480k tonnes in January, the highest level since September 2018; according to customs data. Finally, Dalian iron ore rebounded after declining over 4% in the last two sessions, though the recent Vale-induced rally in the base metal have reportedly damped appetite at Chinese Steel mills.
In terms of the day ahead, it’s busy in the US this afternoon with the January PPI (+0.2% mom core reading expected) report due out alongside the December retail sales report (+0.4% mom core reading expected) and the latest weekly initial jobless claims reading (-9k decline to 225k expected). Later on we’ll get November business inventories. Away from that the Fed’s Harker will speak again today while the BoE’s Vlieghe is also due to speak this morning. Italian Finance Minister Tria is also due to speak this afternoon. As highlighted earlier expect politics to also be a focus with the Brexit vote and US-China trade meetings.
US Event Calendar
- 8:30am: PPI Final Demand MoM, est. 0.1%, prior -0.2%; PPI Ex Food and Energy MoM, est. 0.2%, prior -0.1%
- 8:30am: PPI Final Demand YoY, est. 2.1%, prior 2.5%; PPI Ex Food and Energy YoY, est. 2.5%, prior 2.7%
- 8:30am: Initial Jobless Claims, est. 225,000, prior 234,000; Continuing Claims, est. 1.74m, prior 1.74m
- 8:30am: Retail Sales Advance MoM, est. 0.1%, prior 0.2%; Retail Sales Ex Auto and Gas, est. 0.4%, prior 0.5%
- Retail Sales Control Group, est. 0.35%, prior 0.9%
- 9:45am: Bloomberg Consumer Comfort, prior 58.2
- 10am: Business Inventories, est. 0.2%, prior 0.6%
DB’s Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap
Today is the day I’m always late for work as its an annual battle to fight my way through the deluge of cards posted through my letter box first thing in the morning. Not to mention the balloons and other assorted gifts. So Happy Valentine’s Day everyone. In the real world I’ll probably end up empty handed again apart from cards from my children although I learnt something a little upsetting yesterday. When I’ve come from work over the last couple of weeks one of the twins has pointed at me and has started saying “Dada”. It’s really sweet. Over dinner last night I was saying to my wife how lovely it was to get such a greeting and that it makes my day. She looked a bit sheepish and said that she’d be meaning to tell me something. She went on to say that every man he has seen over the last couple of weeks he has pointed at and said “Dada”. This includes our builders, the gardener, the postman, the Sainsbury’s delivery man and other Dads who go to the same classes. Sigh. Next she’ll be telling me the cards I get from them tonight weren’t done by them.
Cupid continues to shoot out bullish arrows across financial markets with last week’s blip almost forgotten about for now. Given that much of the mini sell-off last week was due to European growth being downgraded, it will be interesting to see if Germany can avoid a technical recession (+0.1% expected) in today’s Q4 GDP release and what the headlines and sentiment will be after. More on that in the day ahead. The big data release yesterday was US CPI but that did little to disturb this week’s rebound. Indeed market sentiment continues to be dictated by the twin pillars of the prospect of the US government staying open past Friday and at the margin more positive than negative US-China trade sound bites. The latter should take on more focus today and tomorrow following the news we noted in yesterday’s EMR from the South China Post that China President Xi Jinping will be meeting with US representatives Lighthizer and Mnuchin tomorrow. This opens the possibility of getting more detailed commentary from the US and/or China sides as to how talks are progressing. In the meantime Lighthizer and Mnuchin are due to meet delegates from China today including perhaps Vice-Premier Liu He. Adding to the positive sound bites around trade talks, Trump said overnight that “I think it’s going along very well, They’re showing us tremendous respect.” Further, Bloomberg has also reported overnight (citing sources) that President Trump is considering pushing back the deadline for imposition of higher tariffs on Chinese imports by 60 days from March 1 to give negotiations more time to continue.
Despite positive trade headlines, markets this morning in Asia are trading mixed with the Nikkei up (+0.08%) while the Hang Seng (-0.42%), Shanghai Comp (-0.30%) and Kospi (-0.10%) are all down. However, all the indices are off their lows since trade headlines trickled in. Elsewhere, futures on the S&P 500 are up +0.11% and all G10 currencies are largely trading up (0.1%-0.5%) against the greenback with the exception of the Japanese yen. Overnight, China also released its January trade stats with exports unexpectedly rising +9.1% yoy (vs -3.3% yoy expected) while imports declined -1.5% yoy (vs. -10.2% yoy expected) leaving the trade surplus at $39.16bn (vs. $34.30bn expected). In terms of China’s trade with the US in January, exports to the US dropped by -2.4% yoy in dollar terms while imports slumped by more than -41% yoy leading to China’s January trade surplus with the US at $27.3bn vs. a peak of $35.5bn in November 2018, although November’s numbers are likely to have been impacted by front loading of China’s exports to the US ahead of tariff implementation in December. Interestingly though China’s January trade surplus with the US at $27.3bn is still higher than the average January trade surplus (c. $21.65bn) with the US over the past 4 years. Elsewhere Japan’s preliminary annualised Q4 GDP growth came in line with consensus at +1.4% qoq annualised with business spending standing at +2.4% qoq (vs. +1.8% qoq expected) while private consumption stood at +0.6% qoq (vs. +0.7% qoq expected).
As for the government shutdown, yesterday the Washington Post reported that Trump is likely to sign the legislation in order to avert a shutdown but then also likely pursue an executive order to reallocate federal funds towards barrier projects. In public remarks, Trump said, “a shutdown would be a terrible thing, I don’t want to see another one, there’s no reason for it,” so hopefully that will prove conclusive. The House of Representatives is set to vote later today, where passage is almost assured, before sending the bill to the Senate tonight for approval before President Trump gives his final approval or veto.
Back to markets where the S&P 500, DOW and NASDAQ rose another +0.27%, +0.46% and +0.08%, respectively, by the closing bell last night. All three indexes had jumped higher at the open, with the S&P 500 up as much as +0.62%, but all three subsequently retraced after Republican Senator Marco Rubio announced a plan to change tax laws to make share buybacks less favourable. Currently, buybacks boost equity prices but investors can defer their tax liability and pay it at a time of their choosing. In contrast, dividends are taxed as ordinary income. Rubio’s plan would equalize the tax treatment between the two techniques. This follows a Democratic proposal from Senators Sanders and Schumer, which would place different limits on buybacks. So there may be hints of a bipartisan consensus forming on the topic, which would presumably be negative for equity markets all other things being equal. S&P 500 companies bought back around $650 billion of their own shares last year, on a net basis. This compares with around $450 billion in 2017.
Even though markets fell from the morning highs, that’s four consecutive daily gains for the S&P and it’s put the index at within just 1.37% of the December highs. Impressively it’s also back to within 6.42% of the all-time high from back in September after being off as much as 19.78% at one stage and over 20% intra-day at the lows. Meanwhile rates sold-off marginally post yesterday’s ever so slightly stronger than expected US CPI print. The move was hardly eye-watering though with Treasuries rising from a low 2.679% to 2.713% post the data, before closing at 2.708% and +2.0bps on the day. The 2s10s curve flattened -0.9bps while the USD (+0.47%) resumed its upward march once again to reach a two-month high. That move weighed on emerging markets, as EM currencies posted their worst day since last August, dropping -0.89%, and EM equities shed -0.71%. HY credit spreads tightened -3bps. Nick in my team yesterday put out a note showing that although its tempting to favour US HY over European on growth differentials, he shows how cheap Euro HY is on a relative basis. See the report here .
It was a similar story for markets in Europe where the STOXX 600 closed +0.60%. That puts the week-to-date move at +1.93% and the YTD move now at +6.30% and back within 0.15% of last week’s YTD highs before growth and trade fears resurfaced. We are still -10.35% below 2018’s high which compares to the equivalent figure of -6.39% mentioned above for the S&P500. The FTSE MIB (+0.93%) was up a little more than most but the IBEX (-0.01%) was the notable underperformer with the risk of a snap election rising in Spain. Yesterday, parliament rejected the Socialist Party’s 2019 budget with Casado – leader of the opposition People’s Party – telling reporters that there is now no excuse for PM Sanchez to delay an election, with Bloomberg citing April as the likely month the election would take place. Recent polls suggest that political support is fairly fragmented at the moment in Spain with a centre-right coalition most likely. Spanish bonds were flat yesterday which compared to a -6.0bps rally for BTPs.
Coming back to that US CPI report, the core reading for January was confirmed as rising +0.2% mom and in line with expectations although the unrounded reading was a slightly more hawkish +0.2395% (it wont be long before we add a 5th decimal!). That meant the annual rate held at +2.2% yoy compared to expectations for +2.1% while both the 3m (+2.2%) and 6m (+2.6%) annualized rates remain solid and consistent with inflation at or slightly above the Fed’s target.
Over at the Fed it was a busy day for speeches, with Atlanta President Bostic, Cleveland President Mester, and Philadelphia President Harker all speaking. None are voting members of the FOMC this year and all delivered fairly boilerplate remarks, focusing on the strong US economy but elevated uncertainties. Bostic said “we can take our time” to get to neutral, which is perhaps revealing as it suggests that he views current rates as still-below their neutral level. Mester suggested that a switch from inflation rate targeting to price level targeting has some appeal, which is a topic that will become more prominent when the Fed launches their planned policy review in June. Finally, Harker reiterated his previous view in favour of one hike this year and one next year, though it is noteworthy that he does not seem to have shifted his views over the last two months, despite a shift on the rest of the committee. The center of the committee seems to have moved toward the doves, but the doves have not yet moved any further.
Meanwhile, Brexit headlines have hit a lull with PM May having bought further time. A reminder though that the neutral motion vote is due today with some indications that the ERG might pull support leading to a government defeat. This is however just symbolic. The real fun and games will occur in two weeks time. Sterling closed-0.35% last night with yesterday’s January inflation data in the UK doing little to move the dial either. Core CPI rose three-tenths to +1.9% yoy as expected which puts the next focus on the labour market data next week which is arguably more important given the BoE tightening bias which is predicated on firming domestic costs.
As for the other data that was out yesterday, the December industrial production print for the Euro Area was confirmed at a much weaker than expected -0.9% mom (vs. -0.4% expected). That did however more closely reflect the country level data last week so the consensus reading was a little misleading. The euro finished -0.51% yesterday.
For those of an accounting bent, as companies begin to adopt the new Human Capital Reporting standard, Luke Templeman on my team has calculated the “Human Capital Return on Investment” for European stocks – one of the key requirements. This feeds directly into fair valuation calculations and just one unexpected outcome was that in 2018, share price returns were more correlated with “Human Capital RoI” than they were with a stock’s Return on Equity. Click here .
In terms of the day ahead, this morning the big focus will be on the preliminary Q4 GDP print in Germany, due about an hour after this hits your emails. The consensus expects a +0.1% mom reading which as a reminder follows a negative reading in Q3 (-0.2% qoq). However given the slim margins it’s not impossible that Germany could be in a technical recession. Also due out this morning is Q4 employment data in France followed later by the second reading on Q4 GDP for the Euro Area (no change from +0.2% qoq flash expected). Meanwhile, it’s busy in the US this afternoon with the January PPI (+0.2% mom core reading expected) report due out alongside the December retail sales report (+0.4% mom core reading expected) and the latest weekly initial jobless claims reading (-9k decline to 225k expected). Later on we’ll get November business inventories. Away from that the Fed’s Harker will speak again today while the BoE’s Vlieghe is also due to speak this morning. Italian Finance Minister Tria is also due to speak this afternoon. As highlighted earlier expect politics to also be a focus with the Brexit vote and US-China trade meetings.