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  • The date for the signing of a trade agreement between the US and China has been delayed. Xi Jinping is concerned that any future meeting could see Trump simply walk away from the table (much like the recent meeting with Kim Jong Un) and rather than participate in the intricacies of “The Art of the deal” the Chinese have emphasized that any future meeting should only be scheduled post the agreement on all of the associated details.
  • The votes of Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in the House of Commons resulted in the consensus expectations being met. However, these votes were overshadowed by the comments of the speaker of the House (John Bercow) who indicated he would not allow an anticipated third vote on Theresa Mays Withdrawal Agreement with the European Union unless material changes had been made to the same. Focus will now turn to the EU summit where the length of the extension (if approved) may be agreed.
  • In spite of the economic negatives associated with Brexit, the UK unemployment rate is at a healthy low level of 3.9% and UK employees are experiencing nominal wage growth of 3.4% y/y. Some economists attribute this to ease of the hiring and firing process for UK companies relative to less flexible process of any capital expenditure plans they may consider.
  • US inflation remains relatively well controlled (see graph) as the Federal Reserve have a two day meeting this week where expectations are that there will be no move in interest rates. Of more significance for Investors, will be the comments from Jay Powell in the subsequent press conference. Thus far he has made some rookie errors in his official communications and the equities market has reacted negatively – there will be limited patience for further mishaps.