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BOV Market Watch - Week Ending 16 Nov 2018
16 Nov 2018
German economy shrinks for the first time since 2015. Germany’s economy has gone into reverse, adding another worry to European stability, as Italy escalated its budget dispute with the European Union. Europe’s largest economy unexpectedly shrank by 0.2 percent in the three months through September compared with the previous quarter, data published this week by Germany’s statistics agency showed. That was the first quarterly contraction since 2015. The hope is that the setback is due largely to new car emissions tests that temporarily disrupted production. However, the data are likely to fuel fears that the Eurozone’s expansion is running out of steam. Germany’s manufacturing sector, which accounts for almost a quarter of the country’s economic output, may also be feeling the pain of trade tensions and China’s slowdown.

UK inflation steady in October after high street price war. Inflation in the UK did not rise as expected in October, figures published this week by the Office for National Statistics show. This raises questions about Britain’s underlying price pressures as the country heads to Brexit. Consumer prices rose at an annual rate of 2.4 percent last month, in line with September’s rate. Economists had expected inflation to rise to 2.5 percent. However, a price war on the high street, especially among food retailers, drove down the cost of weekly purchases and held back consumer inflation. These downward pressures were partly offset by the highest auto fuel costs in almost four years and a 2.2 percent jump in energy bills after British Gas raised tariffs for more than three million housholds. Bank of England policy makers say gradual interest-rate hikes will be needed to keep inflation falling toward its two percent target, assuming a disorderly Brexit is avoided.

US consumer prices rose in October on higher fuel prices. US consumer prices increased by the most in nine months in October underpinned by gains in the cost of auto fuel and rents. The Labour Department said this week that its Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose by 0.3 percent last month after inching up by 0.1 percent in September. In the 12 months through October, the CPI increased by 2.5 percent, picking up from September's 2.3 percent increase. The rise in prices was in line with economist estimates. Inflation pressures are building, partly driven by the lowest unemployment rate in nearly half a century and strong domestic demand. On the other hand, annual wage growth recorded its largest increase in more than nine years in October. Steadily rising inflation is likely to keep the Federal Reserve on track to raise interest rates again at its monetary policy meeting next month.

Saudi Arabia to slash oil exports to support the price of crude. Saudi Arabia said it will cut its oil exports unilaterally by 500K barrels per day next month. The oil ministers from Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) met last weekend to halt a market slump that had seen crude oil prices decline by 20 percent since early October. A broader OPEC output cut was also debated, but with Russia warned against "hasty decisions". A verdict was postponed until the next full OPEC meeting scheduled to take place in Vienna on 6 December.
Industrial production in China was up by 5.9 percent on year in October, the National Bureau of Statistics said. That exceeded expectation for a 5.8 percent increase, which would have been unchanged from the September reading. The bureau also said that retail sales climbed 8.6 percent on year, missing estimates for a gain of 9.2 percent, which again would have been unchanged from the previous month. NBS spokeswoman Liu Aihua said the slower consumption growth was partly caused by the shift of Mid-autumn Day festival from October last year to September this year.

Important  Information
This documents is issued by Bank of Valletta p.l.c. (the Bank) for information purposes and personal use only. This document is not and should not be construed as an offer or recommendation to sell or solicitation of an offer or recommendation to purchase or subscribe for any investment. This information may not necessarily be appropriate and suitable to your particular investments requirements and risk profile. It is therefore recommended that if you require investment advice or wish to discuss the suitability of any investment decision, including if the financial instrument being considered in this research note carries a higher risk than your risk profile, you should immediately seek financial, legal or tax advice from your professional advisers as appropriate. Opinions, estimates and projections in this report constitute the current judgment of the author as of the date of this report. The Bank has obtained the information contained in this document from sources it believes to be reliable but it has not independently verified the information contained herein and therefore its accuracy cannot be guaranteed. The Bank makes no guarantees, representations or warranties and accepts no responsibility or liability as to the accuracy or completeness of the information contained in this document. The Bank has no obligation to update, modify or amend this report or to otherwise notify a reader thereof in the event that any matter stated therein, or any opinion, projection, forecast or estimate set for the herein changes or subsequently becomes inaccurate. Income from an investment may fluctuate and the price or value of the financial instrument described in this report, either directly or indirectly, may rise or fall. Furthermore, past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results. Bank of Valletta p.l.c. is licensed to conduct investment services by the Malta Financial Services Authority.
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Bank of Valletta p.l.c. is a public limited company regulated by the MFSA and is licensed to carry out the business of banking and investment services in terms of the Banking Act (Cap. 371 of the Laws of Malta) and the Investment Services Act (Cap.370. of the Laws of Malta).