European trading week starts on a cautious note

European shares started the week on a cautious footing, in most cases only barely higher, with caution spilling over from Wall Street over whether the Federal Reserve will cut rates by as much as the market expects or not. These concerns dominated currency trading too, helping the dollar trade higher against the pound, the euro and the yen.

The earnings season in the US remains in full swing this week with investors paying close attention to the number of companies citing China trade tensions as the main reason for lower earnings. In the past week companies from a wide variety of industries have blamed trade frictions for their lower performance, including financials, clothing and shoe makers, chemicals and freight companies.

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Asian shares, particularly on China’s stock markets, closed lower Monday as a new Nasdaq-type stock market started trading in Shanghai, seemingly sucking out interest and liquidity from the other markets. The new STAR market, which lists 25 Asian tech companies, managed to attract massive interest from domestic retail investors on the first day of trading with some shares gaining more than 500%.

Pound marginally lower ahead of Tory vote count

The damage to the pound has been fairly marginal this morning after a battering last week, mainly because Parliament had already voted to make it harder to push through a no-deal Brexit. We will know who takes over Theresa May’s job on Tuesday once all the votes have been tallied. But with the legal framework already in place to prevent a hard Brexit, the pound may end up treading water for a while.

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