Russia willing to talk despite continued military build-up, EU to reduce future reliance on Russian Gas.
February 18, 2022
GBP/USD 1.3626 GBP/EUR 1.1984 EUR/USD 1.1370 USD/CAD 1.2683 EUR/CHF 1.0466 EUR/SEK 10.5821 EUR/NOK 10.1404 EUR/DKK 7.4386 USD/ILS 3.1928 AUD/USD 0.7214 NZD/USD 0.6719 USD/SGD 1.3436 USD/JPY 115.16 USD/CNH 6.3211 USD/INR 74.6961 EUR/ILS 3.6314 GBP/ILS 4.3520 USD/ZAR 14.9893
UK retail sales are expected to bounce back 1.2% today, following a 3.7% slump in December. Despite the expected growth, it is likely that soaring prices will continue to impact consumer behavior moving forward. Meanwhile, UK office occupancy reached its highest rate since the pandemic, at 27%.
The UK political landscape remains uncertain, as labour and the liberal democrats begin informal discussions into an electoral pact, targeting the removal of the incumbent conservative government.
The FTSE trades 0.25% higher in early trading, the pound trades up 0.1% against the dollar, and flat against the euro.EUR
Eurozone consumer confidence is expected to have marginally improved in February up 0.5% from the previous month. The race to compete against Macron in the French elections, is heating up with Le Pen, Zemmour and Pecresse separated by only 2 points.
The EU is expected to announce plans to impose minimum gas stockpiles on member states to better prepare for next winter, and ease reliance on Russian supplies.
European equities have edge higher in early trading following a sell-off yesterday, as investors digest White House claims that an invasion could once again be ‘imminent’. The STOXX and CAC are currently trading up 0.1% and 0.35%.USD
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov next week. This comes despite reports suggesting Russian-backed separatists have increased shelling on Ukrainian forces. Short-dated treasuries rallied following the release of FOMC minutes on Wednesday.
US stocks gained with the NASDAQ and S&P500 closing 0.77% and 0.7% higher respectively.ASIA/PACIFIC
Japan’s inflation slowed last month by 0.2%, consolidating the BOJs opinion that it should be measured with its removal of stimulus.
Hong Kong continues to suffer with a coronavirus surge, the government continues with the policy requiring infected persons to isolate in hospital. Plans are underway to offer rapid testing to all residents.
The Hang Seng closed the Asian session down 1.88%, and the Nikkei closed 0.41% lower. The CSI finished up 0.48% outperforming other Asian markets.ILSThe shekel continues its gradual decline from weekly highs of 3.267 seen on Monday following strong growth data. USDILS is down -1.72% over the week.Data & Events
FR – Jan CPI
UK – Sells bills
EU – Consumer Confidence Feb
US – Jan Leading Index
US – Monetary policy forum
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