UK construction PMI figures showed a drop to 50.6 in January 2019 from 52.8 in December, which was some way below the 52.4 the markets had been expecting. The reading is the slowest expansion in the British construction sector since a decline in March 2018. The survey found that Brexit anxiety has led to hesitancy among clients, who are currently unwilling to commission new projects until more is known about what is going to happen. Indeed, commercial construction projects declined for the first time in ten months.
The FTSE 100 gained 21 points yesterday morning, to hit 7040 – the highest level since early December, with oil companies leading the way. Shares benefited from a small drop in sterling’s value against the dollar, as the Brexit crisis continues. We also saw that hard Brexiters have warned Theresa May that the only proposal they are likely to support in order to break the Brexit impasse, is the ‘Malthouse compromise’. This essentially calls for the removal of the backstop from the Brexit proposals and will rely on alternative technological arrangements.
With 52 days to go until Brexit, it is not yet known whether the necessary technology exists.
Today we will see services PMI readings from Germany, the eurozone, the US and the UK. We will also see retail sales from the eurozone and new car sales figures from the UK in January. All in all, it is a relatively busy Tuesday, although any Brexit-related news could steal the headlines once more, especially if a breakthrough is forthcoming, even if it looks as if MPs are still as divided as ever.
There’s a lot of uncertainty hovering around what with Brexit and falling confidence in the eurozone, so do make sure to protect your budget with a forward contract. Speak to your Personal Trader on 020 7898 0541 to find out more.