Good morning,

GBP: Speech from Labour

The economic calendar for today’s trading is very thin, with no significant entries to discuss. Ulster Bank released its economic research into the performance of Northern Ireland’s economy and have found a substantial drop in new orders, exports, employment and overall output. This would suggest that they are heading for a “two-year dip” following the biggest drop in business activity since the end of 2012 – a fairly obvious casualty of the stalled Brexit talks and lack of progress over the last three years. As cross-party talks get back underway, the Shadow Brexit Secretary has been subject to a confirmatory vote. Sir Keir Starmer warned The Guardian that, without a referendum, he would expect up to 150 Labour MPs to vote down a new deal.

Tom Watson, of the Labour Party, will be marking the 25th anniversary of the death of former Labour leader John Smith by pleading with voters to back Labour during the European elections. His position will bid “nasty nationalism” against the “compassionate outward-looking” Labour Party. Two separate polls place the Brexit Party with the biggest share of the vote, with the Tories in fourth place, behind Labour and the Lib Dems.

USD: Trade war and locking horns

Trade talks during last week made for very difficult trading conditions and really shook up investor sentiment. Friday evening finished with a deadlock situation, and the weekend has done little to alleviate this. Cautious optimism remains the mood in camp, and there are whispers of further meetings between Trump and Xi, perhaps at the Japanese G20 meeting in June. The US has offered a calendar month for China to make concessions or risk facing tariffs on all of their imports. If this is the case, we could see tariffs landing as early as August. Ultimately, this increases the likelihood that trade “risk-on” sentiment is dragged out into the second half of the year.

Have a great day.