MACRO NEWS

 

May severely weakened in UK vote; Tories lose majority
Prime Minister Theresa May’s gambit to improve her Brexit bargaining position by calling a snap election did exactly the opposite, increasing the uncertainty around the Brexit process. The Conservative Party lost its outright majority in the House of Commons but will be able to form a government with the backing of the 10 members of Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party. Politically, May is seen as living on borrowed time, and could be replaced as party leader in the near future. Early indications are that May’s failure to secure a larger parliamentary majority undermines the case for a “hard” Brexit, which the Tories campaigned for. That is one reason — along with a weaker pound — that markets have taken the election outcome in stride so far. A softer Brexit is seen as less disruptive to UK business interests. One side note: A very poor showing by the Scottish National Party is seen as halting momentum toward a second referendum on Scottish independence.

 

ECB drops rate-cut reference
With the economy on the upswing, European Central Bank president Mario Draghi announced on Thursday that the bank is dropping its bias toward cutting interest rates, but it retained its bias toward increasing quantitative easing, if necessary. The bank raised its growth forecast while at the same time cutting its inflation outlook. Risks to the economy are now broadly balanced, he said. The overall tone of Draghi’s press conference was decidedly dovish.

 

Former FBI chief testifies
Former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee regarding the FBI’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 US presidential election and President Donald Trump’s desire that the Bureau end its investigation of his former national security advisor Michael Flynn. Comey said he would leave it to Special Counsel Robert Mueller to decide whether the president’s conduct rose to the level of obstruction of justice. With Mueller’s investigation in an early phase, there will likely be many months of continued policy paralysis in Washington.

 

Eurozone economy leads the pack
Purchasing managers’ indices released this week show that the eurozone continues to outperform other developed economies. The eurozone composite PMI, which measures both manufacturing and services, stood at 56.8, unchanged from April. Meanwhile, the United States clocked in at 53.6 and the UK at 56.7, just below April’s 56.8 three-year high. Japan’s composite PMI registered 52.6 and China’s 51.5.

 

Catalonia schedules referendum
The president of the Spanish region of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont, announced on Friday that an independence referendum will be held on 1 October. The Spanish government strongly opposes the referendum on constitutional grounds, as it did in 2014 when the country’s constitutional court ruled a previous vote invalid. Under the Spanish constitution, Madrid could resort to suspending the region’s autonomy to thwart the plebiscite.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD

 

Date

Country/Area

Release/Event

Sun, 11 Jun

France

Parliamentary elections, round one

Tue, 13 Jun

United Kingdom

Consumer price index

Tue, 13 June

eurozone

ZEW economic sentiment index

Tue, 13 June

United States

Producer price index

Wed, 14 Jun

China

Retail sales and industrial production

Wed, 14 Jun

eurozone

Industrial production

Wed, 14 Jun

United States

Retail sales and Consumer Price Index

Wed, 14 Jun

United States

FOMC meeting, Yellen press conference

Thu, 15 Jun

Switzerland

SNB interest rate decision

Thu, 15 Jun

United Kingdom

BOE interest rate decision

Thu, 15 Jun

United States

Industrial production

Fri, 16 Jun

Japan

BOJ interest rate decision

Fri, 16 Jun

eurozone

Consumer price index

 

 

 

Stay focused and diversified

In any market environment, we strongly believe that investors should stay diversified across a variety of asset classes. By working closely with your financial advisor, you can help ensure that your portfolio is properly diversified and that your financial plan supports your long-term goals, time horizon and tolerance for risk. Diversification does not guarantee a profit or protect against loss.

 

The information included above as well as individual companies and/or securities mentioned should not be construed as investment advice, a recommendation to buy or sell or an indication of trading intent on behalf of any MFS product.

 

Securities discussed may or may not be holdings in any of the MFS funds. For a complete list of holdings for any MFS portfolio, please see the most recent annual, semiannual or quarterly report. Full holdings are also available on the individual Fund Summary tab in the Products section of mfs.com.

 

Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

 

Sources: MFS research; The Wall Street Journal; The Wall Street Journal Online; Bloomberg News;Financial Times; Forbes.com; CNNMoney.com; NBCNews.com.

 

This content is directed at investment professionals only.

 

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