The midterm elections are set to take place in America tonight and should give us an idea of what the US public think of Trump’s presidency so far. It is fair to say that former reality television star has divided opinion throughout his tenure and his campaigning for the midterms has been no different. Polling stations open on America’s eastern seaboard at 11am BST and there is much to win and lose for Democrats and Republicans.
All 435 seats of the House of Representatives are up for grabs, while 26 Democratic seats and 9 Republican seats in the Senate are in play. If the Democrats are able to win one or both Chambers of Congress, that would give them enough power to severely limit Trump’s political agenda. It will be fascinating to see the result, especially as the midterms are often seen as a referendum on the current administration.
Speaking of referenda, over the weekend, there were reports that a Brexit deal is almost agreed and that an all-UK customs arrangement will be part of it. A Sunday Times report said that an all-UK customs deal will be written into the legally binding Brexit agreement. This would ultimately mean that there would be no need for an Irish ‘backstop’ deal to avoid a hard border. Sterling strengthened against the euro and dollar on Monday and has been on a bit of a roll these past few days; only extremely positive US economic data on Friday caused a blip.
Other talking points included the UK service sector hitting a seven-month low, with a number of companies citing Brexit-related uncertainties and concerns over the global economic outlook. New car sales in the UK dipped by 2.9% in October, while US service sector growth dipped from the previous month, but still showed very impressive figures.
Today we composite and services PMI from Germany and the eurozone, as well as factory orders from Germany. However, the headlines will be dominated by the midterm elections, with updates expected throughout the day and long into the night.
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