May Receives Another Blow

GBP

Prime Minister Theresa May was under intense pressure to name a date for her departure after her final Brexit gambit failed, overshadowing a European election that will show a United Kingdom still riven by divisions over its EU divorce.

Prominent Brexit supporter Andrea Leadsom resigned from Prime Minister Theresa May’s government on Wednesday, piling pressure on the British leader after a new Brexit gambit backfired and fuelled calls for her to quit.

Leadsom’s resignation further deepens the Brexit crisis, sapping an already weakened leader of her authority. Almost three years since Britain voted to leave the European Union, it is not clear when, how or even if Brexit will happen. May might still try to press on with her new Brexit plan, which includes a vote on whether to hold a second Brexit referendum — once her legislation passes the first stage — as well as closer trading arrangements with the EU.

The chairman of the powerful Conservative 1922 Committee, which can make or break prime ministers, told lawmakers that she planned to campaign in the European poll on Thursday before meeting with the group on Friday to discuss her leadership.

May has so far fended off bids to oust her by promising to set out a departure timetable once parliament has had a chance to vote again on Brexit, but a new discussion on a possible date could now take place on Friday. On Tuesday, finance minister Philip Hammond warned that if the impasse over Brexit was not resolved in the next few weeks, there was a real risk May’s successor would shift towards pursuing a ‘no deal’ exit.

USD

Federal Reserve officials signalled they were in no rush to change interest rates even if the economy continued to strengthen, according to minutes from their April 30th to May 1st policy meeting, and some were worried about persistently low inflation.

Price increases eased to 1.6 per cent annually in March, well below the Fed’s goal of 2 per cent. Inflation has not sustainably reached the Fed’s target since the central bank formally adopted it in 2012, and has been languishing below the dividing line for much of the past quarter-century.

Fed policymakers left rates unchanged at the meeting, continuing a wait-and-see approach that they adopted early this year. The central bank lifted rates nine times between the end of 2015 and the end of last year, with four of the increases coming under Powell.

Those moves have drawn criticism from President Trump, who has called the Fed a threat to the United States economy and a drag on growth and has urged it to start lowering rates.

Key Announcements

08.30 – EUR: German Flash Manufacturing PMI; Forecast at 44.9 against previous of 44.4
08.30 – EUR: German Flash Services PMI: Forecast at 55.2 against previous of 55.7
12.30 – EUR: ECB Monetary Policy Meeting Accounts