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Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 69% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how spread bets and CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Volumes of goods purchased fell in November despite Black Friday - BRC

British retail sales growth remained sluggish in November, despite Black Friday deals.

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The Reserve Bank of Australia

As expected, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) held interest rates steady, keeping rates at a 12-year high of 4.35%. The bank said that economic data received since November has been broadly in line with expectations. RBA Governor Michele Bullock said that the decision to hold the cash rate steady at this meeting would allow time to assess the impact of the increases in interest rates on demand, inflation, and the labour market. Since assuming the top job in September, Michele Bullock raised interest rates by another quarter point last month after four steady outcomes. She has since warned that inflation has become increasingly driven by domestic demand, requiring a more "substantial" response from interest rates.

The Caixin survey

China's service activity expanded at a quicker pace in November, according to the Caixin survey. The private sector survey showed that services PMI rose to a three-month high of 51.5 in November from October's 50.4, but it remained softer than the long-run series average. This paints a mixed picture of the service sector in China. Last This week's'sfficial survey, which looks at larger companies, unexpectedly contracted for the first time since December last year, prompting calls for more stimulus measures. The Caixin survey also revealed that employment fell for the first time since the start of 2023, as some firms maintained a cautious approach to hiring.

The People's Bank of China

The Yuan was a little changed on Monday. Even though it strengthened in November, the Chinese currency remains weak against the dollar. Recent data on property sales, investment, and home prices extended declines in October, putting more pressure on authorities to step up efforts to prevent contagion across the broader financial sector. But more stimulus would mean further weakening of the yuan, something that Chinese authorities want to avoid. The People's Bank of China (PBOC) governor last week said monetary policy will remain accommodative to support growth but urged structural reforms over time to reduce the economy's reliance on infrastructure and property.

British retail sales

British retail sales growth remained sluggish in November, despite Black Friday deals. The British Retail Consortium (BRC) said spending in its members' stores increased 2.6% on a like-for-like basis in annual terms in November, unchanged from the previous month and well below the 4.1% rise a year ago. The BRC data is not adjusted for inflation. The latest date showed headline inflation at 4.6% in the UK, which means the BRC sales growth represents a fall in the volume of goods purchased. The survey showed that the cost-of-living crisis has taken its toll on Christmas spending for many households. Food and drink and personal care categories drove sales growth, while spending on expensive items.

US ISM

In US economic news, investors will be keeping track of the latest US ISM services purchasing managers' index (PMI) data for November, which is expected to rise to 52 from 51.8. US employment data will keep the market on its toes throughout the week, with Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTs) job openings data also set to be released this afternoon. The number of job openings is expected to decrease by 253,000 compared to last month's 9.3 million.

Ashtead

Ashtead posted earlier this morning. an adjusted pretax profit of $697 million for the first half and revenue of $2.87 million. The equipment rental company's update comes after a November profit warning reset expectations for its performance. Chief executive Brendan Horgan said the slowdown was due to a quiet wildfire and hurricane season in the US, as well as writer and actor strikes. Expectations for US growth have dropped from 13–16% to 11–13%, which will be mirrored across the group as the US made up 85% of sales for the first quarter. The group said this morning that its markets in North America remained robust with healthy demand.

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