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The latest on Trump, world trade and the UK economy
Thursday 14 Jun 2018 Author: Tom Sieber

There is plenty of macro news to digest at present; much of it centred around US president Donald Trump.

For now, the markets seem relaxed about the battles being fought with the US and its traditional allies over trade, despite Trump rejecting a communique previously agreed at the G7 summit in Canada on 8 and 9 June.

We discuss these issues in more depth in in this week’s Aequitas column but the World Trade Outlook Indicator, an index compiled by the World Trade Organisation, implied some softening momentum in the second quarter.

A reading of 101.8 was down from 102.3 for the first three months of the year. The third quarter update is out in August.

Trump’s next stopping point was Singapore for a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un which optically at least seems to have reduced some of the tensions between the two countries.

Closer to home, two key releases revealed some worrying signs for the UK economy. The Office for National Statistics reported the biggest monthly fall in output for the UK manufacturing sector for five years and a widely-followed survey from recruitment firm ManPower showed hiring intentions for UK firms were at their lowest level since 2012.

Resulting pressure on sterling is good news for the overseas focused FTSE 100 but more negative for the FTSE 250 mid cap index which has a greater domestic focus. (TS)

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