Global market report - December 13

World investors were in cautiously optimistic mood today as the trade outlook perks up, but the diplomatic row over the arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou is ongoing

James Gard 13 December, 2018 | 7:00PM
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North America


US equity markets are finely poised at the moment ahead of next week’s Federal Reserve meeting. On the one hand, trade progress is supportive of equity prices, and on the other, the row over the arrest of the Huawei executive seems to be intensifying – despite the release of Meng Wanzhou on bail yesterday. China’s detention of two Canadians raises the prospect of a tit-for-tat diplomatic rift, an echo of the wider trade row between the US and China, which has seen retaliation and counter-retaliation in recent months.

Weekly jobless figures are due on today, following Friday’s disappointing monthly job creation figures. The forecast is for a drop in unemployed people to 225,000, in the week to December 8. The US Monthly Budget statement is also due.

US retail sales figures are due on Friday, and again the figures are expected to point to a slackening in growth. October’s 0.8% rise is forecast to drop to a gain of just 0.1%.

Cloud computing and software giant Adobe (ADBE) and retailer Costco (COST) are some of the biggest companies reporting earnings today.




Theresa May’s survival as Conservative Party leader supported the pound’s rise back above $1.265. But the split nature of the vote suggests that political turmoil has only be postponed, and this trimmed sterling’s gains. After steady progress in recent days back towards the key 7,000 points level, the FTSE 100 lost momentum as the morning progressed.

TUI (TUI) leads the FTSE 100 after the travel operator’s full year results put some distance between it and Thomas Cook (TCG), which has had a year to forget.

The European Central Bank kicks off the last of the western central banks’ final meetings of the year. Now that quantitative easing runs out this month, will President Mario Draghi drop any interests about the likely timing of interest rate rises?

Eurozone exchanges were modestly higher, with Italy and Spain out in front. Rome’s compromise with the EU over the country’s budget deficit has helped bond and equity prices, particularly bank stocks.



A solid but unspectacular trading session on Wall Street set the tone for some modest gains in Asia Pacific today. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was the biggest gainer in percentage terms, closing followed by China’s Shanghai Composite, with a day on day rise of over 1%.

Japan’s Nikkei was not far behind with a rise of just under 1% as the index moved steadily back towards the 22,000 points level. Since October’s bout of volatility, the Nikkei has struggled to hold above 22,000.


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James Gard

James Gard  James Gard is senior editor for


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