World Fist Update

Labour suffers exodus from party

There are just 50 days until Britain leaves the European Union and its almost madness to think that nobody knows what is going to happen. Last Wednesday European Council president Donald Tusk said there is a “special place in hell” for those who promoted Brexit without a plan to execute it. Although the graphic nature of these words ruffled a few feathers back in Westminster, unfortunately in the midst of the current Brexit stalemate, these words ring true.

Overnight deepening cracks emerged with a split in the Labour Party, as seven politicians quit in a protest against Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership. Meanwhile, Theresa May is leading a last ditch attempt to persuade EU leaders to save her Brexit agreement, whilst facing rebellion from Cabinet ministers who want to stop the UK leaving without a deal.

The next key Brexit date on the calendar is February 28, the self-imposed deadline agreed by May and Jean-Claude Juncker, to discuss progress made by both sides. Following that, in early-mid March a second “meaningful vote” will be held which obliges the British parliament to hold a vote on the withdrawal agreement before the European parliament has its say.

Today’s minutes take centre stage

The RBA minutes headline todays trade, with focus being drawn as to whether or not a dovish approach to interest rates will continue. Since the beginning of February, interest rate markets have definitively shifted to pricing a rate cut as the most likely course for the RBA this year, over and above that of a “hike” or “hold”.

Economists are also bringing Australia’s current position to a comparison of the US in 2008. High household debt, prices falling and consumers have fewer means to keep consuming or protecting themselves from a period of economic disorder.