The Halloween "witch hunt" – does it matter?
- The Trump Twitter feed unaccountably failed to combine accusations of a "witch hunt" with Halloween. The escalation of the Russian affair has market importance if it undermines the president's authority in Congress (unlikely as it is already limited), if it distracts Congress from other tasks (i.e. tax reform) or if it is seen as influencing the mid-term elections.
- The Bank of Japan did what the Bank of Japan always does so splendidly – nothing. Policy was left unchanged. This is conspicuous because the Bank of Japan is alone among the major central banks in not participating in the simultaneous, if not synchronized, policy tightening.
- The Catalan crisis has moved on with Spain taking direct control of the region. Markets will focus on the imminent regional elections. Meanwhile, European data is of interest with Euro area flash consumer price estimates due. Spain and Belgium saw numbers as expected yesterday, but German data was lower than anticipated.
- The US offers consumer confidence data – never especially reliable on a good day. The complications of natural disasters may affect the data now. The complications of politics may affect the data in the coming months, as consumers do allow political bias to sway their survey responses.