The week ahead wouldn’t be the same without quickly touching on the latest developments in the U.K. Brexit saga.
With the House of Lords passing the lower house’s Brexit bill late Friday, PM Boris Johnson is now legally obligated to head cap in hand to Europe and request another extension to the October 31st date if no deal is agreed by the October 19th. Having failed to overturn the bill, fired near 30 of his own MP’s, and failed to lure Labour into an early election, PM Johnson’s next move will be to challenge the bill’s legality in court while Parliament is in suspension. He may sell it as all part of his cunning Brexit plan; the rest of the world will likely view it as a desperate rear-guard action.
Saudi Arabia sent shockwaves through the oil industry over the weekend, with King Salman removing the Minister of Energy and replacing him with one of his sons. The general feeling is that the outgoing minister, Khalid al-Falih, had not delivered high enough oil prices since 2016. Oil could reach higher as the market speculates that incoming minister, Prince Abdulaziz al Salman, could accelerate a tightening of supplies, both to balance the state budget and ahead of Saudi Aramco’s IPO.
The Non-Farm Payrolls delivered a lower than expected 130,000 jobs on Friday. While disappointing, it wasn’t the end of the world. Markets quickly shook it off preferring to concentrates on Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s speech later in the evening. He didn’t give too much away, continuing his mantra that the Fed would act “appropriately” to maintain growth. The street interpreted that as a Fed Funds rate cut is still on track for the mid-Septemeber FOMC meeting and Wall Street duly moved higher into the week’s end.
China’s balance of trade came