Employment, trade, policy and politics. A fun Friday
It is US employment report Friday. Markets and the media will focus on the least reliable parts of the report (non-farm payrolls). Economists and policy makers will revel in the details of the data. The underlying trends in the US labor market signal ongoing strength.
The US has its "high powered" economic delegation in China. In case it was not clear, the US "high powered" economic thinkers are Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, Trade Representative Lighthizer, and Economic Adviser Kudlow. Initial reports suggest the talks are going well. We expect a deal will be done. As long as the US president can Tweet out "we won" (or words to that effect) there does not need to be much substance to any agreement.
The ECB's Weidmann is speaking again. Weidmann's policy view - "tighten, before it is too late" - is well known. It is unlikely that there will be any change. We expect the ECB to end bond buying by the end of the year.
UK local election results are due – a matter so parochial that no one would normally care. However, the uncertainties of national politics and the eternal tedium of the UK-EU divorce process make this somewhat more market relevant.