Tuesday, 14th March: After European market close last night, PM Theresa May was given permission to trigger Article 50 after the Parliament passed the legislation that allows May to start the divorce proceedings. May has previously said she would trigger Article 50 “by the end of March” but with EU celebrations to mark the 60 anniversary of the EU’s founding treaty on March 25th, as well as the Dutch elections (tomorrow) and the Scottish National Party conference this weekend, it looks like it will be in the final days of the month that May will pull the trigger.
After a relatively good day yesterday, buoyed by the anticipation of Article 50 coming to light and Nicola Sturgeon’s Scottish referendum comments, the pound fell back against the dollar and euro as European markets opened this morning. GBP/USD fell to 2 month lows before paring back slightly; at the time of writing it is lower by 0.39% at $1.2160. GBP/EUR is -0.27% @ €1.1430.
When filling in forms, it is important to disclose all relevant information, especially when you have been involved in drafting the policy of having to declare such information. The Bank of England’s newly appointed deputy governor, Charlotte Hogg, has today resigned from her role, after failing to declare her brother’s role at Barclays Bank, despite admitting she helped write the Bank’s codes of conduct. In Hogg’s new role she also gained a seat on the BoE’s Monetary Policy Committee, who are due to announce their latest interest rate decision on Thursday. Despite her resignation, she will not leave immediately and will still take part in this week’s meeting. Hogg has been the Bank’s chief operating officer since 2013, but only faced MPs on the Treasury Committee following her promotion to deputy governor, afterwhich her brother’s job was discovered.
Staying with politics, this time in mainland Europe (there’s a lot going on in the region this year), the French presidential candidate Francois Fillon has today been put under formal investigation on suspicion of embezzlement. It is alleged that Fillon paid his welsh wife, and two of his children, hundreds of thousands of Euros of public money, for work it seems they may not have done. The allegations have followed him round for much of his campaign, and has previously said he would quit the race for presidency should he be put under investigation (no word of him doing so so far). Until recently, he had been favourite to win the upcoming elections but has now slipped in to 3rd place behind Le Pen and Macron.
As markets closed here in the UK, it was a sea of red across our screens. The FTSE 100 closed -0.13%, the FTSE 250 dropping 0.41%. In CAC the fall was felt by 0.51% while German markets were relatively flat. The S&P 500 and Dow Jones both trade negatively ahead of the Fed’s meeting tomorrow.