Good morning. The pound sunk to its lowest level in more than a month against the dollar and euro yesterday, after an apparent breakdown in Brexit talks.
The currency fell below $1.22 during the session, sharply sinking after No 10 sources said Angela Merkel, the German chancellor had described the prospect of a deal without Northern Ireland remaining in the Customs Union as “overwhelmingly unlikely”.
Reports from the BBC and Sky said Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister, claimed the demand meant a deal was “essentially impossible”.
5 things to start your day
1) The next Metro Bank chairman: who might replace flamboyant founder Vernon Hill? Few bosses in the UK banking sector are as eccentric as American billionaire Vernon Hill, the Metro Bank founder who has compared opening a bank account in London to “having your teeth drilled” and initially made a fortune running Burger King franchises.
2) Europeans have followed Brits and fallen in love with online shopping: While Britain has led the way in its adoption of e-commerce, with online purchases as a share of total retail sales above 15pc and well on their way to 20pc by 2021 according to Euromonitor, Europe is now also fast becoming a market of online shopping devotees.
3) A Chinese CCTV firm with over one million cameras in Britain has been blacklisted by US President Donald Trump for allegedly spying on persecuted Muslim minorities.
4) In July, Boeing announced it expects to pay airlines $4.9bn in coming years to cover cancelled 737 Max flights. The model has been grounded for months after two fatal crashes. Now pilots are suing the aircraft manufacturer for $100m (£82m) for allegedly “deliberately misleading” them about the scandal-hit 737 Max aircraft. The case could spark a wave of lawsuits around the world.
5) The US Federal Reserve has confirmed its openness to further rate cuts while adding it will begin expanding its balance sheet in response to recent unexpected funding issues. Chairman Jerome Powell appeared to confirm market expectations of a 25 basis-point cut at its October meeting on Tuesday night, stating the Fed will “act as appropriate to support continued growth, a strong job market, and inflation moving back to our symmetric 2pc objective”.
What happened overnight
Asian stocks fell the most in a week on Wednesday as the United States and China’s broadening dispute over trade and foreign policy showed little sign of coming to an end, weighing on global economic growth.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.44pc. Chinese shares fell 0.47pc after briefly touching a five-week low. Australian shares were down 0.76pc.
The US Treasury yield curve steepened in Asia after US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell signalled further interest rate cuts and the resumption of bond purchases to address a recent spike in money markets rates.
US stock futures rose 0.22pc in Asia, but sentiment was weak after the S&P 500 ended 1.56% lower on Tuesday in response to the US visa restrictions.
Japan’s Nikkei slid 0.7pc, its biggest decline in a week. Hong Kong shares are down 0.66c, nearing a four-week low due to persistent worries about often violent protest against China’s rule of the former British colony.
Coming up today
Trading update: GVC
Economics: Mortgages (US)