The resounding historic defeat for UK Prime Minister Theresa May whose deal to leave the European Union (EU) was rejected by 432 parliamentarians against 202, an unprecedented margin of 230, doesn’t bode well for both the UK and the EU.
On the one hand, a political setback of such a magnitude after two years and a half of harsh talks will likely plunge the UK into greater instability that may potentially deteriorate its financial standing worldwide as uncertainty generally deters investors and business people. On the other hand, in the people’s eyes, the EU could appear like it is actively working against democratic values by promoting a “no Brexit” approach as implied by Donald Tusk, the head of the European Council, who asked that “if a deal is impossible, and no one wants no deal, then who will finally have the courage to say what the only positive solution is?”
Overtly calling for the cancellation of the Brexit – yet voted by the British people in June 2016 – could be considered like “another anti-democratic move” by unelected Brussels-based EU officials and boost the still growing anti-EU sentiment in the UK as well as in other parts of the EU.
According to consulting firm Cyceon, the Yellow Vest political crisis that is currently ongoing in France stems in part from the disrespect in 2008 by former President Nicolas Sarkozy who signed the Lisbon Treaty of the 2005 referendum that voted against the “European project of constitution”. More than a decade later, the effects of such a move that’s been widely perceived as contradicting directly with the democratic will for the elite’s “sake of the Nation” has so large repercussions in French politics that incumbent President Emmanuel Macron has never seemed so close to be defeated by a “populist” candidate in 2022.
If managing to “cancel the Brexit” would serve the EU interests, it could be shortsighted since it would likely grow and accelerate the anti-EU and the anti-elites wave that is sweeping across Europe. From that standpoint, Theresa May is therefore utterly right when she says the government must respect the people’s vote, meaning the Brexit has to happen whether you like it or not.
The market has been volatile over the last three months especially when the S&P 500 finished 2018 approximately 20 percent lower from its record high in September. The bearish sequence that started in early October sent the volatility index (VIX) into panic territory, meaning above 22.75 points, after months into soft territory, meaning below 15.95 points.
Since then, the S&P 500 has recovered about half of its loss as it stands 11.89 percent below its latest record high, the same elsewhere with minus 10.69 percent for the DJIA and almost minus 20 percent for its German counterpart the DAX 30.
Besides, Switzerland-based and world’s largest wealth manager UBS believes investors should keep their money in the stock market. “You have to stay invested, whatever your risk tolerance can bear,” Mark Haefele, global chief investment officer at UBS Global Wealth Management, told clients at the UBS Wealth Insights forum in Singapore.
In the meantime, an anonymous trader sold 19,000 put options on the S&P 500 index at strike price 2,100 and at expiration date December 18, 2020, whether it is a bullish bet or some hedging for some previous existing investing is not known however.
Foreign Minister Wang Yi reiterated China’s support for Africa’s “economic autonomy and sustainable development” while on an official visit to Addis Ababa, the capital city of Eastern African country Ethiopia.
Chinese people treated more than 200 million local patients, helped Africa build more than 10,000 km of highways, 6,000 km of railways and hundreds of airports, ports and power stations over the last decades, Wang stressed.
Rejecting “rumors” according to which the growing economic ties between China and Africa resulted in a growing debt burden for the latter, the Chinese official implied that other countries might be attempting in discrediting China’s support that he depicted as “a model not only for South-South cooperation but also for international cooperation with Africa”.
According to official statistics, China became Africa’s largest trade partner in 2009, rising from less than $20 billion in 2002 to a staggering $215 billion in 2014.
Latest available annual figures showed a relative slowdown in bilateral trade with $170 billion in 2017, however up 14.1 percent year-on-year. China’s exports to Africa reached US$94.74 billion, up 2.7%; China’s imports from Africa reached $75.26 billion, up 32.8%; the trade surplus was $19.48 billion, down 45.2% year-on-year.