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MACROECONOMICS


In Europe, like the US, the political challenges appear even more formidable


than economic


head w i nds . Brexit looms large. It hangs over


the UK


like a heavy cloud and has not put it in the best light. The problem is straightforward, but the solution is


anything


but. A slight majority of the UK favored leaving the EU in a non-binding r efe r e nd um in mid- 2016. Nearly everything else seems like spin. There does not appear to be a majority, at least in parliament, for any one style of a relationship with the EU.


It can redouble preparations for an unceremonious departure with no agreement.


FX It can return the issue


as investors generally thought Brexit was sterling negative and the


harder the exit the more


negative. The broader equity market may outperform the FTSE 100, with its international exposure. A decision not to leave the EU would alter the ca l c u la t i on s at the Bank of England, and the risk of a rate hike in Q2-Q3 would


seem to increase.


Russia appears intent on fostering and widening tensions in the United States and Europe


to the people to get more precise instructions (second referendum).


A game of brinkmanship will be played out in Q1 19.


It is The


House of Commons will vote on the 500-page-plus withdrawal agreement negotiated over a year and a half in mid-January.


widely expected to be rejected. The EC has made it clear they are not open to re-negotiation. The ball is squarely in the UK's court.


It can, as the European Court of Justice ruled, unilaterally revoke the triggering of Article 50, which set Brexit into motion. The event market PredictIt shows wagers favor the UK not leaving the EU at the end of March 2019 68%-32% (December 22). In this scenario in which the UK does not leave, sterling would likely appreciate


The EC itself will be in transition in 2019. The first part of the year will feature j o c k e y ing


for position, shaping of slates and alliances


for the European


Parliament election in late May. Smaller and more radical parties often do better in European Parliamentary elections than they do in national ones. There is broad dissatisfaction with the elites, and this will be translated into strong showing by extreme parties. The challenge emanates chiefly from nationalist forces, which will likely siphon more


support from the FX TRADER MAGAZINE January - March 2019 13


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