US stocks rebound

Equity indices in the US recovered from early lows to finish marginally higher yesterday and are ahead of where they ended 2019 despite escalating geo-political tensions at the start of this year.  Bond yields in the core markets crept higher as well, following steep falls on Friday, and the dollar has given up some of its gains against the euro, to trade just below $1.12, and the pound, to trade at $1.3150, while oil prices have edged down from their highs

The composite PMI of economic activity in the Euro area nudged up in December to its best level (50.9) since August last year, which is consistent with continuing positive but still modest growth in GDP.

In the UK, optimism amongst firms in the services sector rose to its highest level since September 2018, according to the latest PMI data, with a number “predicting a short-term boost to business activity when the first stage of Brexit is resolved”

The House of Common begins a three-day debate today on the Withdrawal Agreement Bill before it moves to the House of Lords, as the UK prepares to formally leave the European Union at the end of this month

Data due today includes CPI inflation and retail sales in the Euro area and the ISM index of non-manufacturing activity and the trade balance in the US