Jan 22, 2019, by Lorcan Roche Kelly
There’s still no sign that the longest government shutdown in U.S. history is ending as House Democrats say they will reject legislation Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is expected to put forward to advance a proposal from President Donald Trump. Even with 800,000 federal workers set to miss a second paycheck at the end of this week, and absenteeism increasingly becoming an issue, neither side seems willing to compromise. Democrats plan their own votes in the House pushing a plan to reopen the government, which once again does not include funding for a border wall.
The U.K.’s main opposition party is backing a series of votes in Parliament which includes the option for another referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union. The move came after Prime Minister Theresa May outlined her so-called Plan B for Brexit following last week’s defeat of the deal she had negotiated with the EU, with Plan B looking suspiciously like trying Plan A again. At least data on the U.K. economy this morning gives May something to be happy about: Wages are growing at the fastest pace since 2008 and unemployment fell to 4 percent in the three months through November.
The great and the good in the global economic community have descended on the Swiss town of Davos for the annual World Economic Forum. Perhaps the most notable thing about this year’s event is the long list of last-minute pullouts. Trump’s plans fell victim to the shutdown, Theresa May is staying at home to find a solution to Brexit, and French President Emmanuel Macron has his own worries. Still, you can follow all the breaking news and developments from the meeting on Bloomberg’s live blog.
Overnight, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index slipped 0.6 percent while Japan’s Topix index closed 0.6 percent lower as investors in the region reassessed their earlier optimism over a breakthrough on trade between the U.S. and China. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was 0.3 percent lower at 5:45 a.m. Eastern Time with the banking sector the biggest loser following disappointing earnings from Switzerland’s UBS Group AG. S&P 500 futures were pointing to a drop at the open following yesterday’s holiday. The 10-year Treasury yield was at 2.757 percent and gold was higher.
It’s a quiet day in eco data, with existing home sales numbers for December the only major indicator getting an update. That’s at 10:00 a.m. In earnings, it’s the turn of some blue chips to report, with Johnson & Johnson and IBM Corp. among those due to update shareholders.