Prepared by Jeff Halley, Senior Market Analyst
The reports were inconclusive about the rapaciousness of the US consumer on Black Friday; it really depended on which retail analytics firm you listened to. The general feeling though was that footfall and online held their own, but didn’t reach the frenzied levels of retail anarchy of years past.
That hasn’t deterred the marketers across the globe though, anxious to make sure we continue buying stuff that we probably don’t really need. Today is Cyber Monday – although I would prefer it was still Sunday – which is a Western Hemisphere version of Singles Day from what I can tell. Instead of falling down the sales funnel by physically going to a shop, elbowing aside fellow bargain hunters, and buying something on sale, today you get to overwhelm servers by clicking for that bargain online instead.
With so much riding on the US consumer as the consumer of last resort, the combined data from Friday and today’s shopping days will be monitored closely. With so much good news baked into global asset markets that a trade deal will get across the line in some shape or form shortly, less than spectacular sales data could weigh on markets this week.
Markets should probably not expect too much help from China either. On Saturday official China Manufacturing PMI data rebounding to 50.2, well above the 49.5 expected. The week-long holiday in October may have skewed the figures though. That was the sum total of the good news though with South Korean Balance of Trade, released Sunday, falling to $3.35 billion. Exports tanked 14.30% YoY, and imports fell an equally unimpressive 13.0% YoY —both much worse than expected, with the effects of the US-China trade war still plain to see.
The clouds continued to blow in