In what is beginning to look more like a high stakes poker game then legitimate politics the Prime Minister said he would ask MPs to agree on Monday to a general election before Christmas. If they disagree he indicated that he would freeze his Brexit legislation making it impossible for Parliament to make any progress in debating the current proposal. While the stock market had plenty of other issues to keep it occupied including strong results from Barclays and lower production levels at Glencore, currency markets were stunned into inaction with the pound treading water against both the dollar and the euro.
A weaker close on Wall Street also contributed to the FTSE’s decline particularly after Amazon reported the first drop in quarterly profits since 2017 and warned that there would be more declines during its busiest season in the year.
Euro bounces on German IFO data
The euro regained some strength against the dollar after the German IFO Business Climate index remained steady in October rather than continuing to slide. Only a day ago the country’s PMI data showed that German manufacturing is still suffering and is firmly in contraction territory. Investors took the IFO numbers as positive news because while the PMI data is a record of the current situation the IFO number is a forward looking piece of information indicating that businesses are feeling slightly more positive about the outlook over the next few months.
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