Daily Report 22nd March - EU offers two-stage Brexit delay.
Good morning everyone.
Overnight at the EU leaders’ summit, they essentially provided an unconditional two-week extension to the Brexit deadline to 12th April if the Withdrawal Agreement is not passed by the House of Commons next week. By that date, the UK will need to decide whether to accept a long extension to Article 50 and take part in European elections, or to leave the EU with no deal. Should the House of Commons pass the deal next week, the UK will leave the EU on 22nd May (just before European elections take place), providing time for the deal to be ratified and an orderly withdrawal.
There are no UK data releases in the calendar. Attention will be on this morning’s preliminary ‘flash’ Euro zone manufacturing and services PMI surveys for March proceeded as usual by the reports for Germany and France. Overall, the PMI's are expected to signal Euro zone Q1 GDP growth of around 0.2%q/q, which would match the sluggish Q4 performance but would at least provide evidence that activity may be stabilising.
Later this afternoon the US Markit PMI ‘flash’ surveys for manufacturing and services will be released along with existing home sales. Attention, though, is likely to be limited, especially given the Fed policymakers’ signal earlier this week that they don’t expect to increase interest rates this year.