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LGT Navigator: Trade conflict and "Impeachment" remain in the spotlight

December 2, 2019

In Asia, stock markets started the last month of this year with a friendly tone and thus did not follow the negative trend of Friday. In New York, the stock market indices had recorded slight losses on “Black Friday”, a decisive day for the retail sector, after record highs had been reached before the Thanksgiving holiday. The market's focus continues to be on the trade conflict and the ongoing impeachment proceedings against the US president.

US Politics Washington Impeachment

US president Donald Trump will not participate in the ongoing impeachment proceedings against him in the House of Representatives. Trump is not going to join the next hearings that begin on Wednesday and will thus not comply with the Democrats' request. The president's attorneys will also not attend and will point to “serious procedural shortcomings”. However, the White House wanted to keep the right open to participate in the trial at a later date. On Wednesday, four constitutional experts will be heard before the House of Representatives' Justice Committee and members of the House will vote on a report prepared by the Intelligence Committee on the allegations against Trump in the Ukraine affair. The Justice Committee will then have to put forward any charges before the House of Representatives votes on whether the President should be removed from office. If a majority in the House of Representatives votes in favor, there will be a trial against Trump in the Republican-controlled Senate.

ECB Executive Board candidates support current ECB policies

Before their hearing in the EU parliament on Tuesday, the two candidates for the ECB Executive Board, Isabel Schnabel and Fabio Panetta, defended the ECB's expansive monetary policy. The German economic advisor Schnabel stressed that inflation in the euro area still does not coincide with the ECB's goal, which is why a monetary policy that supports the economy is still necessary. Italy's deputy central bank chairman Panetta said that the benefits of the ECB's measures, including negative interest rates, still outweigh the side effects. Both candidates are expected to be formally appointed at the EU summit in December. Today, ECB President Christine Lagarde will answer questions from the European Parliament today.

Slightly higher inflation in the euro zone

In November, consumer prices in the euro countries rose by +1.0% year-on-year, a greater extent than expected. Economists had expected the inflation rate to rise from +0.7% in the previous month to +0.9%. Price increases in November were driven by around +2% higher prices for food, alcohol and tobacco. Higher prices were also paid for services, which rose by +1.9% on average. The core inflation rate, excluding the often volatile prices for energy and food, climbed from +1.1% in October to +1.3% in November (consensus +1.2%).

German unemployment rate at lowest level since reunification

Despite the weakening economy, unemployment in Germany fell surprisingly sharply in November. With 2.18 million registered unemployed people, the number of unemployed fell by 24,000 compared to the previous month. However, the jobless rate remained unchanged at 4.8%. Although the economic weakness is still noticeable on the labor market, commented the Ministry, companies of a recent study by the Munich economic research institute Ifo are again looking for more personnel despite the economic downturn. However, this did not apply to the industrial sector, which continues to suffer from the uncertainties caused by the trade conflict.

Continued weak economic growth in Italy

Italy's gross domestic product expanded in the third quarter by only +0.1% compared to the previous quarter. Thus, the growth rate remained consistently weak over the three preceding quarters. The third-largest economy in the euro area is supported primarily by private consumer spending. Meanwhile, investments and exports declined. For the current year, the Italian Ministry of Economics is forecasting GDP growth of +0.2% or slightly higher.



Economic Indicators December 2

MEZ Country Indicator Last
09:15 SP Markit PMI Manufacturing 46.8
09:30 SZ PMI Manufacturing 49.4
09:45 IT Markit PMI Manufacturing 47.7
09:50 FR Markit PMI Manufacturing 51.6
09:55 GE Markit PMI Manufacturing 43.8
10:00 EZ Markit PMI Manufacturing 46.6
10:30 UK Markit PMI Manufacturing 48.3
15:45 US Markit PMI Manufacturing 52.2
16:00 US ISM Manufacturing PMI 48.3

Earnings Calendar December 5

Country Corporate Period
US Kroger Q3



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