• US equities close lower after worse-than-expected corporate earnings
  • UK inflation data surprises to the downside
  • Markets will watch E19 “Flash” PMI data today at 09:00 BST

US equities closed slightly lower yesterday after worse-than-expected corporate earnings figures. Their Asian counterparts also came under pressure overnight despite reports that Presidents Trump and Xi could possibly endorse a trade deal as soon as 27th May 2019 (Reuters)
In data, the US February Trade Balance was narrower than expected, falling to an eight-month low
GBPUSD traded in a tight range yesterday between c.1.3030 – 1.3070 amid a lack of Brexit-related news. UK data released yesterday came out slightly below expectations with CPI at 1.9% YoY compared to the market consensus of 2.0% YoY
Following the release, Barclays Research revised the core CPI inflation forecast down for 2019 by 0.1pp to 1.9% as lagged GBP appreciation will likely weigh on core goods inflation
Looking ahead, UK Retail Sales are released today at 09:30 BST. Following strength in the first two months of the year, credit card spending data and retail surveys have signalled a more subdued outlook for March
Markets will also watch the E19 “Flash” PMI data today at 09:00 BST. Barclays Research expects composite PMI to continue its trend higher because of strong services activity, while manufacturing sentiment should show signs of bottoming out
Elsewhere, Brent oil prices fell slightly yesterday after a US Government report which showed that inventories were not as low as an industry report had suggested on Tuesday (Reuters)