Britain warned the European Union that it could effectively override the withdrawal agreement it signed unless the bloc agrees to a free trade deal by October 15. Britain is reportedly planning new legislation that will override key parts of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement. If implemented, the move could jeopardise the treaty and stoke tension in Northern Ireland. Britain left the EU on Jan. 31 but negotiations for a new trade deal before the end of the transition arrangement in December have so far stalled on state aid rules and fishing. Without a deal, nearly $1 trillion in trade between Britain and the EU could be thrown into uncertainty. Sterling touched a one-week low of 89.6 pence against the euro.
German industrial output rose far less than expected in July, suggesting Europe’s largest economy faces a slow return to production levels that preceded the crisis unleashed by the coronavirus pandemic. Industrial output rose by 1.2% on the month, a third successive increase after record drops in March and April. Activity in the construction sector, which had expanded during the lockdown, shrank by 4.3%, dragging on the overall figure. The automotive sector, which had faced headwinds before the crisis linked to falling demand and an expensive shift to electric vehicles, saw activity expand by almost 7% month-on-month but production levels were still around 15% lower than in February.
The S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 started the week little changed with US markets shut today for a holiday after the worst week for the Nasdaq since March. Prior to Thursday, the index was up 42% this year. European stock futures on the other hand, are pointing firmly higher after a mixed session in Asia. London’s FTSE 100 bounced from a near four-month low as the pound weakened on growing prospects of the UK leaving the European Union without a trade agreement. The export-heavy FTSE 100 was up 0.9%, after ending Friday with its biggest two-day slide in nearly a month following a tech-led plunge on Wall Street. UK stock markets have rallied since crashing to multi-year lows in March, propelled by historic global stimulus, but they have lagged their European and US peers with the domestic economy on course for its worst recession in three centuries.
The EURUSD rate steadied above $1.18 today as traders took stock of the latest US jobs data and prepared for the European Central Bank meeting on Thursday to see if policymakers will introduce yet more stimulus. US financial markets are closed for the Labour Day holiday so trading volumes are likely to be lower than usual. In a quiet start to the trading week, the euro last stood at $1.1844, unchanged on the day. Against the yen, the dollar traded at 106.15, down slightly on the day. The Chinese yuan was little changed and last fetched 6.8327 per dollar after customs data indicated that the country’s exports marked the strongest gain since March 2019 while imports fell.