Jeremy Leaf, the north London estate agent, agrees that political uncertainty is damaging to the housing market.
We hope that the UK housing market could rise when (or if?). We have more clarity about the UK's exit from the EU.
‘On the high street, business remains difficult with realistic buyers and sellers taking advantage of the situation.
Once the barriers to Brexit clarity are removed, then we feel that further increased demand will inevitably be released.
Economists are warning that the UK housing market has slowed down, and it is likely to get worse … t
In another sign of weakness, the growth of mortgage lending in the UK has reached almost three low.
Net mortgage borrowing increased by £ 711m in February, down from £ 801m in January.
UK mortgage approvals are slipping to a minimum of six years
Newsflash: Mortgage approvals in the UK have fallen to their lowest level in nearly six years.
Only 35,299 new homebuy loans were agreed in February, according to new figures from industry body UK Finance.
That is down from 39,555 in January, and this is the weakest level since April 2013.
City economists had expected a small rise in mortgage approvals, to around 39,600, as the market warmed after the traditional lull.
So this can show that potential buyers are sitting tightly until Brexit is sorted out, or unable to raise enough money to move.
More to follow … t
Bang & Olufsen, a high end TV and stereo manufacturer is also under the cosh today.
The shares of the Danish consumer luxury electronics manufacturer have dived over 20% this morning, after he announced his second sale notice this year.
B&O admitted that whole-year revenue was expected to increase by 10% this year. Back in December, he said they would be flat – news that cut a third of its value.
Following today's blow, economist Per Hansen from Nordnet said that B&O now faces a “real confidence crisis.” T
B&A products are firmly targeted to richer users. Its Bluetooth headphones cost more than £ 200, while its wireless speakers bring a four figure price tag. Beautiful, undoubtedly, but also vulnerable to economic annoyance.
Another profit warning! This time by Ferguson, FTSE 100 plumbing and heating equipment supplier.
Ferguson has warned shareholders that market conditions have deteriorated recently, earning earnings, so profits will be at the lower end of expectations.
It now expects organic revenue growth to slow down to between 3 and 5%, down from 6.8% in the last six months.
Ferguson operates in the US, UK and Canada, so it's awkward from economic prospects in those countries.
Shares have fallen by almost 9% this morning, to the bottom of the FTSE 100 leader board.
Ocado's online grocery chain gets bad.
Shares in Ocado have jumped 4%, having announced another international connection – this time with Coles in Australia.
The £ 80m deal will give Coles access to the Ocado technology platform for food distribution, with the UK company building and maintaining automated warehouses in Australia. That's a timely boost to Ocado, a few weeks after his warehouse in Hampshire suffered a huge disaster.
With little good news this morning, it is not surprising that Europe's stock markets are always at an early stage of trading.
The UK FTSE 100, the German DAX and the French CAC are all shameful that investors reflect on the health of the eurozone economy.
Samsung South Korean technology company has stunned overnight traders with an unexpected profit warning, due to a slide in memory chip prices.
The world's largest smartphone seller warned that it will estimate the market for the first quarter of this year, because it lowers prices for LCD screens and semiconductors.
In a regulatory file, it revealed: t
“The company expects the scope of price reductions in the main memory chip products to be more than expected.” T
Chip prices have been hit by the sale of less weak phones than the iPhone X, and the overall economic slowdown.
So Samsung's profit warning could be a significant sign that Big Tech hit hard times ….. especially as this is its second profit warning in three months.
France's industrial confidence is also falling
More euro area distress! France's industrial confidence has fallen to the lowest level in almost two and a half years.
The INSEE statistics agency has just reported that its monthly industrial confidence index has fallen to 102 points this month, from 103 in February. That is the lowest reading since November 2016.
Another sign is that manufacturers are in the drums. More encouragingly, service sector companies are more positive, bringing the wider INSEE measure of private sector confidence up to 104 out of 103.
Reuters believes that French companies are shaking their concerns about the “yellow vest” protests: t
Business confidence has plummeted in December following a series of protests over the high cost of violently converted living, triggering some of the worst riots and vandalism in decades during the shopping season before a busy holiday.
Although confidence in the most obvious service sector was stable in March, it came back in the wholesale industry and had not changed in retail.
Consumer confidence in Germany is falling
News news: German consumer confidence has hit, adding to concerns that the eurozone economy is finding it difficult.
The market research group, GfK, has reported that morale has declined this month, with the Germans saying they are somewhat less willing to shoot out on new goods.
The survey of around 2,000 Germans showed that income expectations had dropped slightly and a tendency to buy had fallen to its lowest level since December 2016.
This GfK consumer feelings index was dragged down to 10.4, worse than forecasts of 10.8, and down from 10.7 a month ago. That will add to the concern that the global economy is lacking in steam.
The German economy has been struggling for several months, as its exporters have been caught in an American trade dispute with China, and the EU.
RCH Buerkl, GfK researcher, explains:
Although consumers certainly do not assume that Germany will decline this year, they see economic activity as being rethinking prominently.
Buerkl is also concerned that Brexit has engaged German consumers… and that it could continue to drag the economy:
The lack of certainty about the nature and date of the UK's departure from the EU, as well as the growing trade conflict between the EU and the US, is clearly creating greater uncertainty among consumers. Barriers to trade, such as an increase in customs duties, currently create a burden on German exports.
Introduction: Markets are still elaborate
Good morning, and welcome to our continued attention to the world economy, financial markets, eurozone and business.
Global stock markets continue to be caught by concern that we might be heading towards recession.
After two days of losses, there is a frightening feeling in the City today. Shares may increase higher, but there is not much momentum behind any rally.
Asian markets also seem rather mixed – China Shanghai Composite has lost 1.5% today, while Japan is Nikkei returned from Monday route (-3%) with 2% increase.
As the eurozone area slows down, China finds it difficult to reach a trade agreement with America, and the UK was short of Brexit's mess, with little to support investors.
And the recent steady decline in government bond yields (such as nervous traders driving bond prices higher) fires the tensions.
After a surge of money to US Treasury, longer-term debt in the US now offers poorer profits than shorter bonds. That suggests that markets are priced in a sharp decline, perhaps even a recession.
David Madden o GMC Markets he said:
Investors are aware that the US economy is in rude health, and growth is thrown into cooling in 2019, but at the same time they don't want to ignore the movements in product curve inversion as it is reliable recession indicator.
On the corporate side, City traders will be given drinks on their mind as a tonal manufacturer Fevertree and brewer Irn-Bru AT Top reporting financial results, together with United Utilities and dress uniform Moss Bros..
We will also have a health check on the US economy, with new data about consumer confidence and house prices. Do Americans feel more flakes than their friends in Germany?
- 7.45am GMT: French CMC for Q4 2018 (final estimate)
- 1pm GMT: Index S & P / Case-Shiller US house prices in January
- 2pm GMT: US consumer confidence data for March