UK Markets close in 3 hrs 9 mins

Markets to focus on US presidential debate, global manufacturing PMIs and China data

Suban Abdulla
·4-min read
Factory and services sector activity data in the UK, Eurozone and the US will help markets gauge how various economies are faring. Photo: Getty
Factory and services sector activity data in the UK, Eurozone and the US will help markets gauge how various economies are faring. Photo: Getty

Investors will split their focus over the coming week between Asia and a raft of data on global PMI sector conditions, to ascertain whether economies are losing momentum.

All eyes will be on China on Monday, which will see a host of data releases covering Q3 Chinese gross domestic product (GDP) growth, readings for fixed asset investment, industrial production as well as retail sales in September.

Also on Monday, European Central Bank (ECB) president, Christine Lagarde, and Federal Reserve chief Jerome Powell are due to take the podium.

Meanwhile, factory and services sector activity figures in the UK, Eurozone and the US on Friday will help markets gauge how various economies are faring.

As ever, the twin issues of coronavirus — amid tighter local restrictions — and Brexit drama are sure to keep investors on their toes.

Other developments markets will also digest:

UK: BOE’s Haldane speech, retail sales, flash PMI

Thursday will see a reading on UK consumer confidence for November with retail sales figures in September due on Friday. Photo: Nathan Stirk/Getty
Thursday will see a reading on UK consumer confidence for November with retail sales figures in September due on Friday. Photo: Nathan Stirk/Getty

With prime minister Boris Johnson’s Brexit deadline shifted, the country can go back momentarily to worrying about COVID-19, especially with the new “three-tiered traffic light system” in place for many regions including London.

However, on Friday, the PM essentially announced that Brexit talks were “over” after telling companies to prepare for an “Australian-style” deal. Downing Street also told EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier not to return to London in the week ahead.

The announcement did not rattle investors overly, as markets quickly shrugged it off and the pound showed some resilience.

Setting the stage in the UK, the FTSE (^FTSE) and pound face inflation data on Wednesday, with the latest figures for monthly public sector borrowing requirements on the slate.

It comes as the UK’s credit agency’s Moody’s downgraded Britain’s rating on Saturday blaming COVID-19 and Brexit uncertainty for the decision.

Thursday will see a reading on UK consumer confidence for November with retail sales figures in September due on Friday.

Bank of England’s (BOE) chief economist, Andy Haldane, is also due to give a speech on Thursday at the third annual Understanding Social Macroeconomics conference.

Company results to watch for:

  • Bellway (BWY.L) — finals (Monday)

  • Manchester United (MANU) — Q4 (Wednesday)

  • William Hill (WMH.L)— Q3 (Wednesday)

  • Unilever (ULVR.L) — Q3 (Thursday)

  • Barclays (BARC.L) — Q3 (Friday)

Other key releases: The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) industrial order expectations on Thursday.

Watch: What is a no-deal Brexit and what are the potential consequences?

Eurozone: Countries in Europe are also in the grip of a fresh round of coronavirus-related restrictions, including curfews in Paris and the shuttering of non-essential retailers in Ireland, which will be an issue that will remain near the top of investors’ minds.

As for releases, there’s German PPI on Tuesday, consumer confidence on Thursday and the latest flash manufacturing and services PMIs for the Eurozone and its biggest economies Germany and France out on Friday.

A second wave COVID-19 cases in France and other parts of the EU may have impacted activity at the start of the quarter, so markets will be poised for that.

US: Election saga continues with second presidential debate, Beige Book

The final debate between Trump and Biden is set for Thursday, October 22 at Belmont University in Nashville. Photos: Jim Watson and Saul Loeb / AFP via Getty Images
The final debate between Trump and Biden is set for Thursday, 22 October at Belmont University in Nashville. Photos: Jim Watson and Saul Loeb / AFP via Getty Images

It is a quiet week on the economic data front in America.

On Thursday, US president Donald Trump and Democratic opponent Joe Biden will face off in the second and final presidential TV debate in Nashville.

Following a chaotic first debate, a cancelled debate after Trump refused to engage in a virtual one after testing positive for COVID-19 — the pair are sure to bring out the fireworks in the final event ahead of the 3 November election.

Also on Thursday, US jobless claims will peak investor’s interests ahead of private sector PMIs on Friday, which will see October’s prelim services, manufacturing, and composite data released.

With markets watching for a pick in services, those figures in particular will be a key driver.

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday will also see housing sector figures for September in focus. But with mortgage rates in the country hovering close to historic lows, it’s unlikely to move markets or the dollar much.