UK indices nervously await GDP readings and Boris-Varadkar compromise

Moving gingerly rather than negatively, the pound Sterling and FTSE were both full of anticipation after the first bell. They both held off on their regular market-opening movements and awaited the outcome of both the August monthly GDP readings and the talks between Boris Johnson and Leo Varadkar.

July revealed a surprisingly positive story for the UK, but it is feared some of the miasma of stale market and political sentiments will have leached into GDP performance in August. Similarly, Boris Johnson will be speaking with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in an attempt to revive some incarnation of his new (non) backstop chop suey, following the EU’s outright rejection – which was followed by a condemnation of the prime minister’s approach. Should the talks prove as fruitless as the others preceding it, expect indices to react negatively, as a the increased likelihood of a No Deal outcome never fails to make markets shiver.

Speaking on the market’s movements, Spreadex Financial Analyst Connor Campbell commented,

“On the day the latest trade talks between the US and China actually begin, the UK markets have a data-distraction to tide them over this morning.”

“After a better than forecast reading for July, August’s monthly GDP reading is set to act as a reminder, if it was needed, that the UK economy is struggling with the uncertainties of pre-Brexit. Analysts are expecting a dreary 0.0% reading, a sharp comedown from the previous 0.3% – let’s just hope it doesn’t turn negative.”

“There’s likely little joy to be found in the manufacturing and industrial production figures either. The former is estimated to fall from 0.3% to 0.1% month-on-month, with the latter set to suffer a similar slide from 0.1% to 0.0%.”

“Ahead of this the pound pushed 0.1% higher against the dollar, straining to keep off its recent 5-week lows, but shed another 0.2% against the euro, leaving it at its worst price since September 5th. The FTSE, meanwhile, added a handful of points as it remained short of 7200.”

“The session’s UK data might not come to mean much, however, dependent on what kind of news leaks out of the impending meeting between Boris Johnson and Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, the pair seeking to find a compromise on the issue of the Irish border after talks collapsed with the EU.”

Elsewhere in political and macro economic news, there have been updates from; Hong Kong protester shooting and China’s strategy, the Supreme Court’s ruling, the collapse of Thomas Cook (LON: TCP), ECB stimulus, the bid for the London Stock Exchange (LON: LSE), Lloyds Banking Group PLC (LON: LLOY), Hilary Benn’s Brexit delay bill, Barclays (LON: BARC) and Deutsche Bank (ETR: DBK).

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Senior Journalist at the UK Investor Magazine. Also a contributing writer at the Investment Observer, UK Property Journal and UK Startup Magazine. Postgraduate of King's College London with a specialisation in Business Ethics. Interested in Development Economics and David Hume.