U.S. Markets Closed for MLK Day
Trading volumes were likely to remain light with U.S. Financial Markets Closed in observance of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. In observance of the holiday, which was signed into law in 1983 by President Ronald Reagan, there will be no trading on the Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500, and the Nasdaq Composite indexes. Fixed-Income Markets will also be closed, which means no trading in the 10-year Treasury note. The CME Group’s Globex, which operates options and Futures Exchanges, will have only partial disruptions to its normal schedule. According to the company, its Crude Oil and energy markets will close at 1:00PM ET. Other global markets will operate on a normal schedule, Currency Markets are also operating as usual.
China Posts Slowest Growth in 28 Years
China’s economy cooled in the fourth quarter, dragging 2018 growth to the Lowest In Nearly Three Decades as faltering domestic demand and bruising U.S. tariffs weighed. Fourth-quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew at the slowest pace Since The Global Financial Crisis, easing to 6.4% on-year as expected from 6.5% in the third quarter, The National Bureau Of Statistics said. That pulled full-year growth down to 6.6%, the slowest annual pace since 1990. GDP in 2017 grew a revised 6.8%. The weak data underlined the view that Beijing will have to roll out more stimulus to avert a sharper slowdown.
British PM May to Reveal Her ‘Plan B’ For Brexit
British Prime Minister Theresa May is due to lay out a ‘Plan B’ for Brexit to lawmakers as she looks to secure a fresh withdrawal agreement before the March 29 deadline to leave The European Union (EU). May will make a statement in parliament at about 19:30 ( UAE Time ) and put forward a motion in parliament on her proposed next steps on Brexit. After May’s motion is published, lawmakers will be able to propose amendments to it, setting out alternatives to the prime minister’s deal. After her Brexit Divorce deal was rejected by 402 lawmakers in the 650-seat parliament last week, May has been searching for a way to get a deal through parliament. With just over Two Months left until The U.K. is due to leave The EU, there is no agreement in London on how it should Leave The World’s Biggest Trading Bloc. The uncertainty kept Sterling Pound sidelined, with GBP/USD at 1.2850 by (14:20 UAE Time), having briefly been as high as 1.3000 last week.
Global Stocks Mixed
World Stocks were mixed, as investors reacted to data showing the Chinese economy slowed last year and as a note of caution set in with British Prime Minister Theresa May set to present her ‘Plan B’ for Brexit to parliament later in the day. Asian Stock Markets closed mostly in positive territory, with Chinese Markets leading gains as hopes for more stimulus from Beijing boosted sentiment. The Shanghai Composite rose more than 0.5%, while Japan’s Nikkei added 0.2%. In Europe, the region’s major bourses edged slightly lower, with most sectors trading in the red. London’s FTSE 100 bucked the negative trend, with a weaker pound and the latest Brexit uncertainty providing an accounting boost for British Blue Chips.
Oil Prices Slip
Oil Prices declined, turning lower after hitting their strongest levels of the year as weak China GDP Data underlined worries over a Global Economic Slowdown, The Asian Nation is the world’s second-largest Crude Oil Consumer. International Brent Crude Oil Futures were at $62.58 per barrel, down 12 cents, or around 0.2% from their last close, Brent reached a six-week high of $63.08 earlier in the session. U.S. West Texas Intermediate Crude Futures were down 16 cents, or about 0.3%, at $54.03 a barrel. WTI earlier rose to its best level since Dec. 5 at $54.39.