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Politics predominates

| Posted by: Paul Donovan | Tags: Paul Donovan

  • The US attorney general reportedly offered to resign, and the person who is presidential spokesperson (for now) refused to confirm that US President Trump had confidence in the attorney general. Why should investors care? Because it suggests, once again, that the Russian question will dominate the political agenda rather than policy reforms.
  • The de facto blockade of Qatar by some key Middle Eastern economies has extended to shipping. Nonetheless, the oil price reaction is rightly muted. At this point, it is unlikely that energy supplies will be directly affected. Any reaction should just reflect the uncertainties of increased political risk.
  • The first poll in the UK following the weekend's terrorist attack shows support levels essentially unchanged for the major parties, with a seven-point lead for the Conservatives. Investors remain cautious, given the track record of UK opinion polls.
  • The Euro area is waiting for tomorrow's ECB decision, where a change of tone is certainly possible. Inflation is not far from normal, growth is around trend, making it hard to justify continuing the current quantitative policy position.