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Little market reaction to escalating Catalan dispute

The response given by the Catalan President Carles Puigdemont to the Spanish government’s ultimatum last week did not provide the clarity the central government was seeking on whether or not the Catalan parliament would formally declare independence. As a result, the central government therefore has decided to invoke Article 155 of the Spanish constitution, for […]

Still a long road to US tax overhaul

The US Senate this week approved a budget resolution, which effectively allows it to side-step Democrats’ opposition to start formulating tax cuts. The bottom line is that the Senate vote increases the odds of some tax cuts actually happening, but we think that the road to the finish line will be bumpy and that any […]

Euro construction momentum could remain strong

Since the beginning of the year, euro area capital expenditure has picked up noticeably. The acceleration has been mainly driven by the construction sector (which accounts for almost 50% of total capital expenditure), while business equipment has continued to expand strongly. Construction activity is still 19% below its pre-crisis (2008) level, and has room to […]

President Xi reveals grand plans for China

This week, in a speech to the 19th Communist Party Congress, Xi Jinping, party general secretary and the president of China, outlined his vision for China through to 2050. Xi argued that China has embarked on a new stage of development. On the political front, he believed that China has become stronger and will move […]

Contrasting outlooks for precious metals

While gold prices have risen about 12% per troy ounce since the beginning of this year, we still have a constructive view of the gold price over the next 12 to 18 months. But does this mean that the outlook for precious metals in general is positive? Notwithstanding fluctuations in the US dollar, gold has […]

Soft bank lending contrasts with euphoric business sentiment

US business activity seems to be continuing apace and all forward-looking indicators, in particular sentiment surveys, are flashing green. But there is an important blemish in this otherwise rosy picture: bank lending has been soft, and recent data is not showing any signs of an uptick. In September, commercial and industrial (C&I) bank lending was […]

Chinese growth forecast remains intact

Chinese GDP for Q3 2017 came in at Rmb21.2 trillion (USD3.2 trillion), growing by 6.8% y-o-y in real terms, slightly below the pace of expansion in the first half of the year (6.9%). Several points are worth highlighting. First, China’s economic transition is well underway. The tertiary sector, mainly services, continues to be the main […]

ECB preview: slower, longer, stronger

Recent ECB communication has been remarkably consistent in signalling a ‘slower for longer’ QE extension into 2018. In light of these signals, we expect the ECB to announce at its 26 October meeting that asset purchases will be extended for nine months, until at least September 2018, at a reduced pace of EUR30bn per month, […]

The BoJ’s ETF purchases mark a major shift for Japanese equity market

Although it has made no major monetary policy announcement since September 2016, the Bank of Japan (BoJ) has actually been tapering its government bond purchases ever since. As a result, equity ETF purchases have steadily increased over the past year from 3% of total BoJ purchases to 9% recently, above the initial implicit target of […]

Suspense in Catalonia

This morning, the Catalan president failed to answer clearly whether Catalonia had declared independence or not. He reiterated that he had placed last week’s unilateral declaration of independence on hold in order to open up a “two-month process” to try to reach a deal with the central executive. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy warned that […]

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