European Market Open: Brexit transition to end
Joshua Warner December 31, 2020 7:11 AM
European markets are set to open mixed today ahead of the Brexit transition period coming to end this evening, paving the way for the coronavirus pandemic to return to centre stage as we enter 2021.
FTSE 100 to open lower
The FTSE 100 is set to open 0.1% lower at 6506.5 from 6515.6 at the end of play yesterday.
UK markets are open for a half-day and will shut at 1230 GMT.
CAC to open higher
France’s CAC 40 is set to open 0.2% higher at 5578.8 from 5568.5.
French markets are only open for a half-day today, while German markets are closed for the day.
Brexit transition period to end
Four-and-a-half years after voting to leave the EU, the last stage of Brexit will finally take place at 2300 GMT tonight, when the transition period formally ends. UK politicians overwhelmingly backed the Brexit deal struck on December 24 during a vote yesterday, stamping its divorce from the EU into law. EU ambassadors have provisionally accepted the deal and the bloc intends to formally ratify it during January.
Although the deal has tried to minimise disruption, Brexit will bring about huge changes that businesses will have to adapt to. The UK is leaving the Single Market and Customs Union, and many sectors – such as financial services – remain largely uncovered by the new deal.
COVID recovery becomes central focus for 2021
The central focus for markets heading into 2021 is how economies will be able to recover from the pandemic by rolling-out vaccines and relaxing restrictions. Confidence has grown in recent months as both the UK and the EU started to vaccinate their populations, although surging cases and hospitalisations shows most countries are still not out of the woods.
The UK introduced tougher lockdown restrictions on more parts of the country yesterday, major European nations like Germany and France have also seen a recent spike in cases, while the US reported its highest-ever daily death toll yesterday.
The UK’s approval of the AstraZeneca-Oxford university vaccine – which is cheaper to produce and easier to distribute than the widely-used Pfizer-BioNTech jab – has raised hopes that life can get back to normal quicker.
Forex.com analyst Joe Perry has a look at what the roll-out of vaccines could mean for markets next year.
US to place new tariffs on EU goods
The US government has said it will increase tariffs on certain goods from the EU as part of the dispute over aircraft subsidies. This will include tariffs on aircraft parts and certain wines and other alcoholic spirits. The US has not said when they will be introduced but said the details would be ‘forthcoming’. The two sides have been in a dispute over how they subsidise their plane makers (Airbus in the EU and Boeing in the US) for well over a decade.
Forex: Narrow movements
GBP/USD traded at 1.36272 in early trade, slightly higher than the 1.36246 at the end of trade yesterday – when it hit its highest level since April 2018.
EUR/USD was slightly down this morning at 1.22916 from 1.22973 yesterday – when it also hit its highest level since April 2018.
Meanwhile, EUR/GBP was broadly flat at 0.90183 from 0.90263.
Commodities: Oil prices edge higher
Brent traded at $51.60 in early trade, up from $51.48 at the close yesterday, while WTI edged higher to $48.38 from $48.34.
The EIA natural gas storage change, providing an insight into US stockpiles, is scheduled at 1700 GMT today.
Gold traded at $1888 an ounce this morning, down from $1894 at the end of play yesterday.
Market-moving events in the economic calendar
The headline event in the economic calendar today is due at 1330 GMT, when US initial and continuing jobless claims will be released.
Disclaimer: The information on this web site is not targeted at the general public of any particular country. It is not intended for distribution to residents in any country where such distribution or use would contravene any local law or regulatory requirement. The information and opinions in this report are for general information use only and are not intended as an offer or solicitation with respect to the purchase or sale of any currency or CFD contract. All opinions and information contained in this report are subject to change without notice. This report has been prepared without regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any particular recipient. Any references to historical price movements or levels is informational based on our analysis and we do not represent or warranty that any such movements or levels are likely to reoccur in the future. While the information contained herein was obtained from sources believed to be reliable, author does not guarantee its accuracy or completeness, nor does author assume any liability for any direct, indirect or consequential loss that may result from the reliance by any person upon any such information or opinions.
Futures, Options on Futures, Foreign Exchange and other leveraged products involves significant risk of loss and is not suitable for all investors. Losses can exceed your deposits. Increasing leverage increases risk. Spot Gold and Silver contracts are not subject to regulation under the U.S. Commodity Exchange Act. Contracts for Difference (CFDs) are not available for US residents. Before deciding to trade forex and commodity futures, you should carefully consider your financial objectives, level of experience and risk appetite. Any opinions, news, research, analyses, prices or other information contained herein is intended as general information about the subject matter covered and is provided with the understanding that we do not provide any investment, legal, or tax advice. You should consult with appropriate counsel or other advisors on all investment, legal, or tax matters. References to Forex.com or GAIN Capital refer to GAIN Capital Holdings Inc. and its subsidiaries. Please read Characteristics and Risks of Standardized Options.