Equities in the US and Europe closed out a very volatile week with financials in decline on news of a possible multi-billion dollar fine against German lender Deutsche Bank souring sentiment towards the wider financial sector, including on this side of the channel.
Another decline in crude oil futures on the back of reports of increased exports from Libya and Nigeria was weighing on markets too.
Acting as a backdrop, investors were keeping an eye on developments at the European Union’s extraordinary post-Brexit summit in Bratislava and a spate of US data due out later in the session.
“They will likely agree to deepen cooperation in security and defense policies and could announce some concrete initiatives. However, we think they are unlikely to come up with proposals for the euro area as positions are different across member states”, economists at Barclays Research told clients in a research note.
In any case, trading was expected to remain restrained ahead of next week’s central bank policy meetings in the States and in Japan.
Equity markets look set to end a choppy week with no clearer idea of where to go to from here than they did at the end of last week. One thing is certain there is increasing anxiety that for all the narrative from central bankers it is increasingly obvious that it is going to be extraordinarily difficult for policymakers globally to improve economic conditions in any significantly meaningful way from where we are now without politicians help. This looks some way off and helps explain this week’s weakness in equity and bond markets.
Gold, which tends to suffer when yields and the dollar rise, was down $6 over the week at $1,308.
Having now moved beyond last week’s ECB decision to keep policy unchanged and yesterday’s similar action from the Swiss National Bank and Bank of England attention now turns to next week’s Bank of Japan and US Federal Reserve decisions where there is likely to be a similar outcome.
Consumer price inflation in the States was forecast to rise to a 1.0% year-on-year pace in August from the 0.8% clip observed in the month before, with core prices seen accelerating to a 2.3% year-on-year pace from 2.2% in the month before.
“Domestic price pressures have continued to build as slack in the economy has diminished, providing the main driver of higher inflation. We expect these trends to continue for the rest of 2016,” Barclays said in a note sent to clients on 9 December.