European stocks have steadied on Tuesday even as concerns prevail about the early days of Donald Trump’s administration. The U.S. dollar wallowed near seven-week lows on Trump’s protectionist trade stance giving a boost to the sterling, gold and oil. Overnight, U.S. stocks fell but closed off their day’s lows as Trump vowed to impose a major border tax on companies that move overseas while the new president also abandoned the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade deal and announced plans to renegotiate the terms of NAFTA at an appropriate time. In today’s European markets, Germany’s DAX added 0.2 percent, U.K.’s FTSE 100 added 0.3 percent, France’s CAC 40 added 0.1 percent while the Euro Stoxx 50 added 0.2 percent as of 9:45 GMT.
President Trump will have breakfast today with the heads of Ford and Fiat Chrysler. The new president aims to put pressure on the auto industry to boost U.S. employment. It should be noted that this meeting marks the first time the CEOs of the Big Three carmakers meet jointly with a U.S. president since the July 2011 session with President Obama.
At 9.30am, the UK supreme court will rule on whether parliament must give its approval before Britain can begin its departure from the European Union. Investors will be tuning in to determine whether Prime Minister Theresa May needs parliamentary approval to trigger formal Brexit talks. It should be noted that if a majority of justices decide, as is widely expected, that parliamentary support is required, then the judgment could specify that legislation is needed. UK public finance figures were also released at 9.30am GMT, covering December. Britain borrowed around £6.421bn to balance the books last month according to the figures released this morning.
Oil climbed on Tuesday as a weaker U.S. dollar and production cuts announced by OPEC and other producers buoyed the markets. It should be noted however, that an increase in drilling activity in the United States has kept profits rather modest. Indicatively Brent crude LCOc1, the international benchmark for oil prices, was up 52 cents, or 0.9 percent, at $55.75 as of 9:50 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 added 49, or 0.1 percent to last trade at $53.12 a barrel.