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US government on cusp of shutdown

Geo-political uncertainties are weighing on global growth as concerns over a slowdown are mounting.

Hype around imminent Fed rate cut cools down

US President Donald Trump said yesterday, 20 December he would veto the latest federal budget unless it includes money for his wall along the Mexican border. This raised the prospect of a government shutdown if a deal could not be struck by midnight today, 21 December.

This is a sign that Trump’s presidency faces many more bumps in the road after losing the House of Representatives in November’s mid-term election.

US stock markets and the Dollar fell further on shutdown fears, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq dropping 1.6 per cent and the Dollar slipping against a basket of currencies.

Meanwhile, UK Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd became the first Cabinet minister to publicly mention the idea of a second referendum if the Brexit withdrawal agreement does not pass a meaningful vote anticipated in mid-January. In an ITV interview with Robert Peston yesterday, she said she “could see there would be a plausible argument for it”, if the UK heads for a no-deal Brexit, putting her at odds with Prime Minister Theresa May.

Today the UK  and US will release their final top-tier data for 2018, starting with GDP data at 09:30 (GMT) and 13:30, respectively. With concerns over a dramatic slowdown in global growth in 2019, the releases could cause volatility in the markets ahead of the festive break.

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