Another meaningful Brexit week?

Mike van Dulken and Artjom Hatsaturjants at Accendo Markets, commented to morning:

Another meaningful Brexit week?

FTSE 100 called to open +25pts at 7255, testing this year’s 7260 highs (mid-Feb), extending last week’s bounce off the floor of a post-Christmas rising channel. Bulls need a break above 7260 while Bears require a fall back below 7240. Watch levels: Bullish 7265, Bearish 7235

Calls for a positive open come after a strong start to the trading week in Asia, where all major indices gained ground (China +2.2%) ahead of Wednesday’s Fed policy update. Investors expect no change to interest rates, but a halt to reductions of its $4tn balance sheet, effectively pausing the quantitative tightening (QT) which it was using to reverse its quantitative easing (QE).

Oil prices are higher after Saudi oil minister Al-Falih said he is confident that oil producers would reach full compliance with crude production cuts (perhaps even exceed them) in the coming weeks. Gold trades around $1300, off Friday’s highs amid improved appetite for riskier assets.

In corporate news this morning;

FTSE Banks may react to official merger talks between Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank. Major new European competitor or merely a national marriage of convenience of two sick banks?

The UK’s FCA is looking to block the appointment of Ben Gunn as new deputy Chairman of Metro Bank, as well as shake up the challenger bank’s board in the wake of its accounting scandal. Mr Gunn has already spent over 9 years on the board, breaching FCA corporate governance rules.

AstraZeneca says saracatinib for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (lung disease) granted orphan drug designation by US FDA, qualifying it for certain tax incentives. Drug completed P1 development.

The Mail on Sunday reports Marks & Spencer planning to open a number of larger food stores as it prepares to enter its JV with Ocado.

Domino’s Pizza denies Sunday Times report that CEO David Wild was “misleading” investors about positive progress in negotiations with the chain’s Franchisee Association.

Sports Direct would look to buy Debenhams if it collapsed, according to the FT, citing Sports Direct deputy CFO Chris Wootton who would replace Ashley as CEO if the latter led Debenhams.

Serco signs 7-year A$115m contract to operate and manage Adelaide Remand Centre for South Australia Department for Correctional Services, with potential 5-year extension.

JD Sports reaches final agreement to acquire Footasylum in 82.5p/share all-cash offer (£90.1m), a  77.4% premium to 15 March closing price, before deal announced. Already owns 18.7% of shares.

HICL Infrastructure announces £50m investment in Dutch public-private partnership (PPP) project. Also activates contingency plans on 2% of portfolio afterInterserve goes into administration.

Equiniti has been appointed by law firm DWF to administer its IPO (valued at £366m, largest listed law firm, biggest listing of 2019) and as share registrar thereafter.Shore Capital says FCA approved acquisition of Stockdale Securities.

Smart Metering Systems signs agreement with SSE as preferred national supplier of integrated smart meters and Meter Asset Provider to a potential 200K small business customers.

In focus today:

Macro data is limited to US NAHB Housing (2pm), forecast a shade higher (63 vs 62), a third month of recovery from Dec’s lowest (56) since May 2015.

Speakers include the European Central Bank’s Guindos (1.15pm; Remarks at the Asociación para el Progreso de la Dirección in Madrid) and outgoing Chief Economist Praet (3.10pm; Keynote speech at conference “From micro to macro: market power, firms’ heterogeneity and investment”).

Major events this week include Meaningful vote 3 with the UK Parliament voting on the same Brexit deal, again. But only if the PM believes it will pass, likely requiring full DUP and ERG support, to deliver a hitherto elusive majority. If it passes, the UK leaves with her deal on March 29th. If not, she will request a 3-month Brexit delay at Thursday’s EU summit, to get her deal through and avoid MEP elections.

UK and US Central Banks meet this week. No policy changes expected, but the BoE’s latest views on Brexit will be key within its statement and minutes. For the Fed it’ll all be about latest projections, given the current pause in hiking, and plans for its multi-trillion dollar balance sheet.

Major data of the week includes UK Jobs and Wages tomorrow, UK Inflation on Wednesday, UK Retail Sales on Thursday and PMI Manufacturing and Services on Friday.

UK Earnings this week come from Antofagasta, ASOS, John Wood and Ocado (Tuesday), Ferrexpo, Genel and Kingfisher (Wednesday), Next (Thursday and Smiths Group (Friday).

From the US we have FedEx, Nike and Tiffany and from Europe we get BMW, Enel and HeidelbergCement.

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Accendo Markets

Accendo Markets is an online trading services provider, offering CFDs, spread betting and forex to retail (private) clients. Accendo Markets was established in 2007 and has since gone on to win various awards including ‘2018 Winner of Best CFD provider’ at City of London Wealth Management awards and 2017 & 2018 Best CFD Research Service in ADVFN’s International Financial Awards Accendo Markets Ltd. is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). For more information, visit www.accendomarkets.com