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Steely determination

| Posted by: Paul Donovan | Tags: Paul Donovan

  • US President Trump is launching a national security investigation into steel imports on national security grounds. This could lead to significant tariffs. It was always possible that if parts of Trump Twitter feed were thwarted by Congress and the Constitution, Trump would focus on an area where the president has power to act alone – trade. 
  • Markets and the population are calm ahead of Sunday's first round French presidential election. The euro has remained steady, and there are no queues of people trying to withdraw euros from banks for fear they might become francs. A terror attack in Paris led candidates Le Pen and Fillon to cancel rallies. 
  • Those reliable barometers of intentions, the opinion polls, have Macron in first place followed by Le Pen, but with the top four candidates remaining close in terms of support. There is an expectation of an improved turnout of voters (five years ago the turnout was nearly 80%). 
  • More (economic) opinion polls are due with the release of business sentiment purchasing managers data today. The tendency to exaggerate the real economy is likely to persist. The World Bank and IMF continue with meetings in Washington over the weekend.