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Reality returns for markets as US honeymoon and holiday end

For the last couple of weeks, trading has been dominated by dramatic readjustments in the markets following the US election. Although by last week, these moves were looking a bit overdone the honeymoon was extended through the US Thanksgiving holiday because traders didn’t want to rock the boat. With the big Turkey, football and shopping festival now over, the reality of an uncertain world appears to be setting back in and corrections starting.

Despite the positive news of the OECD raising its growth forecasts for many countries. Stock markets around the world are in retreat this morning with US index futures for the Dow and S&P trading down 0.3% this morning. The FTSE is down 0.6% and the Dax is down 0.9%. Italy’s FTSEMIB is down 1.3% on anticipation that this coming weekend’s constitutional referendum could end in a No vote leading PM Renzi to resign and throwing the country into political turmoil.

Crude oil is down 0.2% with WTI trading just above $45.00 heading in to Wednesday’s big OPEC meeting. With negotiations coming to a head, the knives are starting to really come out. A meeting between OPEC and non-OPEC producers that has been set for today was cancelled on Friday with Saudi Arabia wanting OPEC to get its act together first before meeting with others. Over the weekend the Saudis suggested the oil market could rebalance in 2017 even without a deal. Overall, it looks like the Saudis are prepared to cut but want Russia, Iran and Iraq to cut as well not just freeze production. For the last several months Oil has been trading in a $40-50 range. Currently it’s sitting near the middle but whether we end up with a deal or not could send oil to one end of the range or the other later in the week. 

The US Dollar has started to backslide a bit following a major rally against major currencies with gold, JPY, EUR and CAD all on the rebound this morning and GBP (which has outperformed the others lately) holding steady. Signs have started to emerge that the free ride for Donald Trump’s economic program that markets have been pricing in may encounter more bumps and opposition from both sides of the floor. On Friday, the Green Party filed for a recount in Wisconsin and has indicated plans to file for recounts in Pennsylvania and Michigan this week. So far this has attracted more press coverage outside the US than within it but that could change at any time, particularly if the Clinton campaign were to get more directly involved. At this point it looks more like a nuisance but if this snowballs, it could quickly restore risk, uncertainty and volatility to overly complacent markets. 

Corporate News

There have been no major corporate announcements this morning. 

Economic News

OECD 2016 GDP growth forecasts

    US        raised to 1.5% from 1.4%
    UK        raised to 2.0% from 1.8%
Eurozone    raised to 1.7% from 1.5%
    Japan         raised to 0.8% from 0.6%
    China        raised to 6.7% from 6.5%

Upcoming significant economic announcements include:

There are no major announcements scheduled for North America today. It’s Cyber Monday so we could hear more about sales results.

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