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Strike up the band: Donald Trump has decided not to withdraw from Nafta… for now.
The decision not to pull the US out of the North American Free Trade Agreement – with Mr Trump instead agreeing with his Canadian and Mexican counterparts to “proceed swiftly” with negotiations to update the agreement – came in hastily arranged calls between the three leaders after news leaked that the White House was considering unveiling an executive order laying the groundwork for a US withdrawal.
Instead the White House released a statement announcing it had “agreed not to terminate Nafta at this time”, sending the Mexican peso and Canadian dollar on a rally. The former is now up 1.2 per cent at 18.9712 per dollar, while the latter is half a per cent firmer against the dollar at C$1.3548.
Asian markets turned in a muted performance on Thursday, following on from a lower close on Wall Street after Donald Trump’s tax reform proposals failed to excite US investors. In Sydney the S&P/ASX 200 is up 0.1 per cent, while Tokyo’s Topix has shed 0.1 per cent and in Hong Kong the Hang Seng has risen 0.3 per cent.
Futures tip the FTSE 100 to dip 0.5 per cent at the open in London, while the S&P 500 is expected to open flat in New York when trading begins.
Corporate earnings reports out today include BBVA, Deutsche Bank, Bayer, Lufthansa, SNB, Nordea, WPP, Pret, AstraZeneca, Cobham, Meggitt, Renault, Schroders, SEB, Heathrow Airport, GAM and Dong Energy.
The economic calendar for Thursday is slightly less daunting (all times London):
- 08.00: Spain consumer price index
- 08.30: Sweden Riksbank interest rates decision
- 11.00: UK CBI retail sales
- 12.00: Germany consumer price index
- 12.45: European Central Bank interest rates decision