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Kroger workers wrongly fired for refusing to wear aprons with LGBT logo, lawsuit says

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Kroger workers wrongly fired for refusing to wear aprons with LGBT logo, lawsuit says

Grocery store giant Kroger is accused in federal court filings of violating the Civil Rights Act when it reportedly fired two employees who did not want to wear a store apron supporting the LGBTQ community.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a federal agency tasked with enforcing anti-discrimination laws in the workplace, filed suit Monday in federal court against the Kroger Co. on behalf of two store employees in Arkansas, Brenda Lawson and Trudy Rickerd, who say they believe homosexuality is a sin.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 bars discriminatory employment practices on the basis of religion.

“(Kroger) refused to accommodate the religious beliefs of Lawson and Rickerd, and disciplined and terminated them because of their religious beliefs and in retaliation for requesting a religious accommodation,” the EEOC said in the complaint.

A representative for Kroger did not immediately respond to McClatchy News’ request for comment.

Kroger is an Ohio-based grocery store chain with locations in 35 states, including California, Florida, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas.

It was deemed one of the best places to work for LGBTQ equality in 2020 by the Human Rights Campaign with a perfect score on the Corporate Equality Index, according to its website. Kroger was also named the Human Rights Campaign Company of the Year in Greater Cincinnati.

“At The Kroger Co., we embrace diversity and inclusion as core values, and we ingrain these in everything we do,” the website for Kroger Pride states.

Lawson and Rickerd worked at a Kroger store in Conway, Arkansas — just north of Little Rock — until mid-2019, according to court filings. Lawson had worked in the deli department since August 2011, and Rickerd had been a cashier and file maintenance clerk since October 2006.

Both women hold “sincerely held religious beliefs that homosexuality is a sin,” the EEOC said in the complaint.

Kroger reportedly instituted a change in its employee dress code policy in 2019 that mandated workers wear a new apron with a rainbow heart embroidered on it, according to the lawsuit.

The logo was believed to be a show of support for the LGBTQ community, the EEOC said.

“Although (Lawson and Rickerd) personally holds no animosity toward the individuals who comprise the LGBTQ community, the practices of that community violate (their) sincerely held religious belief,” the lawsuit states. “(Lawson and Rickerd) believed wearing the logo showed (their) advocacy of the community, which (they) could not do.”

Lawson reportedly asked a store manager if she could wear her name tag over the logo and submitted multiple written requests seeking an exemption.

Rickerd submitted a handwritten letter asking permission to wear a different apron, according to the complaint.

“I respect others who have a different opinion and am happy to work alongside others who desire to wear the symbol,” she wrote in the letter. “I am happy to buy another apron to ensure there is no financial hardship on Kroger.”

But their requests were denied, according to the EEOC.

Lawson was fired on June 1, 2019, for reportedly violating the dress code, according to the lawsuit. She was 72 years old at the time. Rickerd was fired for the same reasons on May 29, 2019, at the age of 57.

The EEOC alleges Kroger violated the Civil Rights Act by refusing the women’s request for a religious accommodation and unlawfully retaliating against them. They are seeking an injunction barring the grocery chain from future discriminatory practices, back pay, relocation and job search expenses, compensation for emotional pain and suffering, and punitive damages.

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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4 Top Stock Trades for Monday: RAD, NCLH, PENN, UNH

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7 Sin Stocks To Buy That Will Outperform the S&P 500

While the S&P 500 and a wide range of stocks continue their September slide, many investors are understandably jittery, wondering if a second market crash is coming this year. In response, they’re searching for industries that can offer more stability, but also growth and income over the coming quarters. One such group are the so-called “sin stocks,” which benefit when humans indulge in vices.Although there may be different definitions of sin stocks, these businesses include those in alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, gambling, adult entertainment, weapons and defense industries. What is viewed as a sin stock today may also change over time.Recent research by David Blitzo of Robeco Asset Management in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and Frank J. Fabozzi of EDHEC Business School in Nice, France, highlights how “various studies … [of] the historical performance of sin stocks … [show] they have delivered significantly positive abnormal returns.”InvestorPlace – Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsThat is to say, sin stocks outperform the broader market time and again, and that isn’t based on one study; it’s based on many studies, by different researchers at different times.Sales figures from companies back up the anecdotal evidence that even in economically difficult periods, tobacco and alcohol consumption remain fairly stable. In fact, during the early weeks of the pandemic, alcohol sales in the U.S. increased by 27%. * 7 Hot Stocks to Buy on Robinhood Now Therefore, for investors whose convictions allow them to invest in these firms, such stocks can provide meaningful diversification during volatile market periods. On the other hand, some sin stocks, particularly casino stocks, have suffered greatly as gambling locations remain closed due to lockdowns.With all that in mind, here are seven sin stocks to invest for the long-run: * Advisor Shares Vice ETF (NASDAQ:ACT) * Constellation Brands (NYSE:STZ) * ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF (NYSEARCA:MJ) * iShares U.S. Aerospace & Defense ETF (CBOE:ITA) * Smith & Wesson (NASDAQ:SWBI) * VanEck Vectors Gaming ETF (NASDAQ:BJK) * Vanguard Consumer Staples Index Fund ETF (NYSEARCA:VDC)Most sin industry stocks also bear juicy dividends. Thus, they could be appropriate for investors seeking passive income, especially in a low-interest environment such as this. Sin Stocks to Buy: Advisor Shares Vice ETF (ACT)Source: Shutterstock 52-Week Range: $16.16 – 26.95Dividend Yield: 2.41%Net Expense Ratio: 0.99 % per yearOur first choice is an exchange-traded fund (ETF), best for investors who would rather not risk capital on one company. The AdvisorShares Vice ETF concentrates mainly on U.S.-listed alcohol and tobacco companies. It may also hold stocks of firms conducting federally legal cannabis business, per the U.S. government.As regular InvestorPlace readers likely know, marijuana remains illegal at the federal level in the U.S. At the state level, legal status depends on the laws of the individual state. Outside of Canada, which was the first G7 country to nationally legalize cannabis, the size of the legalized marijuana industry remains very small. Yet that market is expected to reach $40 billion by 2023.In terms of ETF composition, cannabis-related firms top the list with a 40.9% weighting. Next are alcohol (27.1%), Restaurant & Entertainment (12.2%), and Tobacco with Cannabis Exposure (11.3%). Close to 80% of the companies come from North America, followed by Europe (13.3%).ACT’s top ten holdings comprise around 60% of total net assets, which stand close to $10 million. ACT’s top five companies are Boston Beer (NYSE:SAM), Thermo Fisher Scientific (NYSE:TMO), Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT), Turning Point Brands (NYSE:TPB) and Abbvie (NYSE:ABBV). A closer examination of the holdings shows that there is considerable emphasis on life-sciences. For example, in Canada, Thermo Fisher undertakes cannabis compliance activities. Another holding is Scotts Miracle-Gro (NYSE:SMG), which is known for its fertilizer products, used by marijuana producers.So far in 2020, the fund is up around 3%. Yet since the lows seen in early spring, ACT is up around 55%. In fact, on September 16, it hit a 52-week high.Any decline toward the $22.5-level would make the fund more attractive for long-term investors. However, we’d like to underscore the high management fee as well as the fact that it is still a smaller size fund. Constellation Brands (STZ)Source: ShinoStock / Shutterstock.com 52-Week Range: $104.28 – $210.65Dividend Yield: 1.62%Victor, New York-headquartered Constellation Brands’ website highlights that it is the fastest-growing large consumer packaged goods (CPG) company in the U.S. at the retail level. And in addition to the U.S., the global alcoholic beverage company has operations in Mexico, New Zealand and Italy as well.The group produces and markets beer, wine and a diverse range of spirits. Several of its well-known brands include Corona, Modelo, Pacifico, Robert Mondavi, SVEDKA Vodka, Casa Noble Tequila and High West Whiskey.In 2018, Constellation Brands took a considerable stake in Canada-based Canopy Growth (NYSE:CGC), providing the company with managerial and financial backing. There may be investors who are hoping that Constellation Brands, which holds a 38% stake in the company, will acquire the remaining shares of Canopy Growth. Given the question marks surrounding the cannabis industry and the global economy, we don’t expect such an acquisition to happen in the near-term.Year-to-date (YTD) the stock is down about 2%. Part of the weakness in price may come from the fact that its wine and spirits business has seen lower shipments in 2020. But the beer business is strong, posting the tenth consecutive year of rising shipments. * 7 Hot Stocks to Buy on Robinhood Now Since the lows seen in March, the shares are up about 80%. As a result of the rapid increase, forward P/E and P/S ratios have also been pushed up, standing at 20.75 and 4.33 respectively. We’d look to buy the shares around $170. ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF (MJ)Source: Shutterstock 52-Week Range: $8.81 – $23.44Dividend Yield: 10.76%Expense Ratio: 0.75%Our next choice is an ETF from the cannabis space. The ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF tracks the Prime Alternative Harvest index. MJ stock invests in companies that have exposure to global medicinal and recreational cannabis legalization moves.Pharmaceuticals (56.4%), Tobacco (24.7%) and Biotechnology (9.1%) are the top 3 sectors for MJ, which has 35 holdings. The top ten holdings comprise about 60% of total net assets, which are around $550 million. MJ’s top five companies are GW Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:GWPH), Cronos Group (NASDAQ:CRON), Canopy Growth (NYSE:CGC), Corbus Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:CRBP) and Aurora Cannabis (NYSE:ACB).It’s important to note that U.K.-based GW Pharmaceuticals, a leading cannabinoid-focused biotech company, is MJ’s largest holding, accounting for 11.1% of its assets. Its drugs are widely used to treat spasms in multiple sclerosis patients. The fund also owns shares of the companies providing ancillary products and services to the cannabis companies.So far in 2020, Canada-based marijuana stocks have been plumbing new lows. Producing cannabis is capital-intensive, meaning pot firms make substantial initial and ongoing investments. These companies are also vulnerable to supply and demand issues.Over the past year, a wide range of Canadian regulatory logjams have resulted in supply problems for companies like Cronos, Canopy Growth, and Aurora Cannabis. Plus, most of the demand for cannabis is currently limited to Canada where there is still a resilient black market. As a result, the next few months may see consolidation in the industry north of the border.YTD, the fund is down about 36%. It is likely that MJ may re-test its lows seen earlier in March. Investors who are able to spare risk capital may consider investing for the long-run around $7.5. iShares U.S. Aerospace & Defense ETF (ITA)Source: Shutterstock 52-Week Range: $112.47 – $240.62Dividend Yield: 2.26%Expense Ratio: 0.42%The iShares U.S. Aerospace & Defense ETF provides exposure to U.S. companies that manufacture commercial and military aircrafts and other defense equipment. ITA, which has 35 holdings, tracks the Dow Jones U.S. Select Aerospace & Defense Index.The top ten companies comprise 75% of net assets under management, which stand close to $2.7 billion. Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT), Raytheon Technologies (NYSE:RTX) and Boeing (NYSE:BA) are the top three holdings for ITA. Put another way, investors are relying on a few major players for returns. * 7 Hot Stocks to Buy on Robinhood Now Many analysts concur that U.S. defense spending is likely to remain high. However, the headwinds affecting orders, especially for Boeing, may stay with us for some time. This fact is potentially already reflected in the price, which is down close to 30% YTD.Contrarian and dividend-seeking investors may find this fund appealing. Smith & Wesson (SWBI)Source: Supakorn Pe / Shutterstock.com 52-Week Range: $4.16 – $22.40Dividend Yield: 1.26%Springfield, Massachusetts-based firearms manufacturer Smith & Wesson is our next stock. The company was founded in 1852. Earlier in August, it spun off American Outdoor Brands (NASDAQ:AOUT) as a separate entity.In August, the company released FY 2020 annual report and highlighted that nationwide firearm demand remained extremely high. Sales numbers and anecdotal evidence suggest that guns have recently been flying off the shelves in many parts of the country.During the year, the group introduced 230 new firearms. A third of those were brand new products, while the rest were line extensions. Net sales for the fiscal year were $678.4 million, an increase of 6.3% from a year ago. The firearms segment gross sales represented a 10% increase over fiscal 2019 sales. The company’s gross margins have been climbing and now stand at a robust 40.2%.YTD, SWBI shares are up close to 70%. The upcoming U.S. Presidential election may bring volatility in the stock price. However, long-term investors may consider buying the dips. Its P/S and P/B ratios stand out, at 1.01 and 1.95 respectively. VanEck Vectors Gaming ETF (BJK)Source: Shutterstock 52 Week Range: $ 20.02 – 43.73Dividend Yield: 3.23%Expense Ratio: 0.65%The VanEck Vectors Gaming ETF provides exposure to companies in the global gaming industry. That includes casinos and casino hotels, sports betting, lottery and gaming services, and gaming technology and equipment.BJK, which has 42 holdings, tracks the MVIS Global Gaming Index. The top sector allocation is Consumer Discretionary (91.1%), followed by Real Estate (9.2%).The top ten holdings constitute over 55% of net assets, which stand around $53 million. Flutter Entertainment (OTC:PDYPY), Galaxy Entertainment Group (OTC:GXYEF) and Draftkings (NASDAQ:DKNG) are the top three firms in BJK.At present, in the U.S., DraftKings and FanDuel, which is part of Europe-based Flutter Entertainment, are the two main online platforms for sports and sports fantasy betting. DKNG stock, which went public in late April, is up over 400%. Flutter Entertainment, which is one of the largest gambling companies in the world by revenue, is also up about 23%. * 7 Hot Stocks to Buy on Robinhood Now However, the fund as a whole is down about 9% so far in 2020. Investors who want to capitalize on the potential of sports betting as well as the growth in fantasy sports both in the U.S. and worldwide may want to do further due diligence on the fund. We’d look to buy the dips. Vanguard Consumer Staples Index Fund ETF (VDC)Source: Shutterstock 52-week range: $120.70-$172.31Dividend Yield: 3.05%Expense Ratio: 0.10% per yearOur final pick is another ETF. However, it’s not a pure play on sin stocks. Instead the Vanguard Consumer Staples Index Fund ETF provides exposure to a range of large-, mid-, and small-cap U.S. stocks in the consumer staples sector. As a result, this fund is defensive in nature.VDC, which has has 94 holdings, tracks the Spliced US IMI Consumer Staples 25/50 Index. The most important sectors (by weighting) are Household Products, Soft Drinks, Packaged Foods & Meats and Hypermarkets & Super Centers. In total, these four sectors make up about three-quarters of the fund.The top ten holdings comprise 65% of total net assets, which stand at $6.5 billion. These are businesses with competitive positions and strong balance sheets and revenue streams. Among those ten companies are two businesses that would be considered sin stocks, i.e., Philip Morris International (NYSE:PM) and Altria (NYSE:MO).Phillip Morris International is a global cigarette and tobacco manufacturing company, whose products are sold in over 180 countries outside the U.S. The most recognized brand is Marlboro. Altria’s subsidiaries, on the other hand, include Philip Morris USA, which is engaged in the manufacture and sale of cigarettes in the U.S. as well as several other brands which manufacture, produce and market tobacco products and wine.In 2020, the fund has returned about 0.3%, i.e. it’s flat. Given the health and economic uncertainties due to the pandemic, market participants may consider allocating some capital into VDC. We’d look to buy the dips, especially around $155 or below.On the date of publication, Tezcan Gecgil did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article.Tezcan Gecgil has worked in investment management for over two decades in the U.S. and U.K. In addition to formal higher education in the field, she has also completed all 3 levels of the Chartered Market Technician (CMT) examination. Her passion is for options trading based on technical analysis of fundamentally strong companies. She especially enjoys setting up weekly covered calls for income generation. She also publishes educational articles on long-term investing. More From InvestorPlace * Why Everyone Is Investing in 5G All WRONG * America’s 1 Stock Picker Reveals His Next 1,000% Winner * Revolutionary Tech Behind 5G Rollout Is Being Pioneered By This 1 Company * Radical New Battery Could Dismantle Oil Markets The post 7 Sin Stocks To Buy That Will Outperform the S&P 500 appeared first on InvestorPlace.

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If Democrats attack her over ‘People of Praise’ membership, they’ll regret it

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If Democrats attack her over 'People of Praise' membership, they'll regret it

All faiths are at least a little bit weird to those outside of them. Imagine telling someone unfamiliar with Catholicism, “Every chance I get, I eat some bread that I believe is the body of God’s only son, who was executed in Jerusalem under Tiberius.” Totally normal, right? 

So to all of my friends who think that the religious practice of Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, who is a member of a charismatic ecumenical community called the People of Praise, ought to bring out the bulldog in Kamala Harris and other Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee, I say dear God, no. 

First, you cannot fight bigotry with bigotry; religious intolerance is just as wrong as any other kind of othering. Indulging it won’t get us a more tolerant America. 

And Senators, treating her like the kook that she is not is just what the president is counting on you to do. Unless you want to star in Trump campaign commercials that he’ll say prove Joe Biden is “against God,” don’t even think about it.

Yes, women leaders in the People of Praise were until recently referred to as ‘handmaids’ — a biblical reference to Mary, the mother of Jesus. In the Gospel of Luke, when the angel tells her, “You will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus,” she responds, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.”  

But the group was not the inspiration for Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel ‘The Handmaid’s Tale.’ “What the people in that book are going through is horrible,” says Joannah Clark, who runs a People of Praise school in Portland, Oregon and has known Barrett since college.

More: I’ve known Amy Coney Barrett for over 20 years. Her intellect — and heart — is unrivaled.

The group does not require a “loyalty oath” or arrange marriages or force women to keep having children. It puts a premium on intellectual life and values education for men, women and children. Its well regarded schools are attended by many non-members.

It does have a view of marriage that I don’t share and you might not, either, but that St. Paul certainly did. (As the Church is subordinate to Christ,” says his letter to the Ephesians, “so wives should be subordinate to their husbands in everything.”) 

You know that favorite pro-choice rejoinder, ‘If you don’t like abortion, don’t have one?’ If deferring to your husband at home and speaking in tongues in prayer is not your brand of theological vodka, then don’t join the People of Praise, or any Pentecostal church in the world. But don’t be the kind of hypocrite who embraces only those differences that line up with your own cultural views.

Just as Biden is not coming for your guns or your suburbs, neither is he coming for your religious liberty. But could we please make sure Dianne Feinstein is aware, so she doesn’t repeat the folly of her 2017 “dogma lives loudly within you” gift to Republicans at Barrett’s confirmation hearing for her appointment to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit?

Brilliant and decent judge

I have talked to Republicans who know Amy Coney Barrett personally and love her, and to Democrats who know her and don’t. But I give special weight to Notre Dame law professor Mark McKenna, who doesn’t think Trump should even be able to fill this seat in the middle of an election and doesn’t agree with his former colleague Barrett on much, in terms of either politics or legal philosophy. 

Yet he sees her as brilliant, decent and operating in good faith.  “Religious attacks are both gross and totally politically misguided,” he says, and is right on both counts.

When Justice Sonia Sotomayor visited Notre Dame five years ago, McKenna remembers, she “spoke movingly about how her faith has shaped her as a justice” and nobody found that in any way suspect. The legal giant Barrett will presumably replace, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, drew inspiration for her work from her Jewish faith, too. Why is Barrett’s orthodox Catholicism and membership in a charismatic Christian community any different?

More: Women like my mom nicked the glass ceiling. Ruth Bader Ginsburg stood on their shoulders.

As for the kind of justice Barrett will be, Trump was never going to pick even a Merrick Garland, Barack Obama’s moderate choice to fill Antonin Scalia’s seat four years ago. His current nominee is unambiguously conservative and does seem to think Roe was wrongly decided. But as McKenna asks, what’s the endgame in choosing any Supreme Court justice? “If it’s ‘who can get us the results we want,’ then we don’t have a rule of law any more.” 

That’s exactly how Trump has said he looks at the court, and it’s what Missouri Senator Josh Hawley is advocating when he says Republicans shouldn’t vote to confirm any nominee who doesn’t want to overturn Roe. It’s not, however, how the high court was ever supposed to function, and those who know Barrett see her as someone with a far less partisan view of its role, and hers. 

Trump is so overtly transactional that he says out loud that he has to seat his nominee before Election Day so that the person he picks can in turn pick him after he disputes the results. But in Bush v. Gore, the Supreme Court had to look at counting ballots in a way Florida law hadn’t contemplated. That’s not going to be the case in 2020. 

I also can’t help wondering whether a wholesome person like Barrett, who doesn’t curse or enjoy hearing others do so, is really the fan of our p-grabbing, soldier-mocking, handicap-denigrating president that he expects all of his nominees and appointees to be. Nobody tell him, but I don’t think she’s the political hack he’s hoping for.

By all means, Democrats, go after the fact that this shouldn’t be Trump’s choice to make and that he’s trying to undo the Affordable Care Act in the middle of a pandemic. But heap scorn on the People of Praise and you’ll regret it.

Melinda Henneberger, a graduate of Notre Dame, is an editorial writer and columnist for The Kansas City Star and a member of the USA TODAY Board of Contributors. Follow her on Twitter; @MelindaKCMO 

You can read diverse opinions from our Board of Contributors and other writers on the Opinion front page, on Twitter @usatodayopinion and in our daily Opinion newsletter. To respond to a column, submit a comment to letters@usatoday.com.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Amy Coney Barrett is a brilliant and decent jurist

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The Week Ahead – Data, Covid-19, Geopolitics and More to Keep the Markets Busy

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The Week Ahead – Data, Covid-19, Geopolitics and More to Keep the Markets Busy

On the Macro

It’s a busy week ahead on the economic calendar, with 79 stats in focus in the week ending 2nd October. In the week prior, 32 stats had been in focus.

For the Dollar:

It’s a particularly busy week ahead on the economic data front.

Early in the week, September consumer confidence figures will be the key driver on Tuesday.

The market focus will then shift to September ADP nonfarm employment change figures due out on Wednesday.

While finalized 2nd quarter GDP numbers are also due out, these are unlikely to have a material impact on the day.

On Thursday, August inflation and personal spending figures are due out along with the ISM Manufacturing PMI for September.

With the weekly jobless claims also due out, there’s plenty to consider ahead of Friday’s labor market numbers.

At the end of the week, September’s nonfarm payroll and the unemployment rate will also have a material impact.

Trade data, finalized Markit survey PMIs, factory orders, and Michigan consumer sentiment figures should have a limited impact in the week.

Throughout the week a plethora of FOMC members’ speeches is also scheduled.

On the geopolitics front, the markets will also get the first of the Presidential debates on Wednesday. It could be a humdinger of a week…

The Dollar Spot Index ended the week up by 1.85% to 94.642.

For the EUR:

It’s also a busy week ahead on the economic data front.

Early in the week, key stats include prelim inflation figures for September and economic sentiment figures for the Eurozone.

Following disappointing August inflation figures, expect any pickup in deflationary pressure to test the EUR.

On Wednesday, French and German consumer spending and German unemployment figures are due out.

Eurozone inflation figures will also be in focus ahead of another busy day on Thursday.

On Thursday, Manufacturing PMIs for Italy and Spain will be in focus. Expect plenty of interest in the numbers.

Barring any marked deviation from prelim, however, finalized numbers from France and Germany will be brushed aside. The Eurozone’s finalized PMI will influence, however.

Other stats in the week include the Eurozone’s unemployment rate that should have a limited impact.

On the monetary policy front, ECB President Lagarde is scheduled to speak on Monday and Wednesday.

With geopolitics also front and center, the EU leader summit later in the week will also need monitoring. Brexit will undoubtedly be a hot topic.

The EUR/USD ended the week down by 1.77% to $1.1631.

For the Pound:

It’s a relatively quiet week ahead on the economic calendar. September’s finalized Manufacturing sector PMI on Thursday will be the key driver.

Finalized 2nd quarter business investment and GDP numbers are also due out on Wednesday. Barring any deviation from prelims, however, the numbers will likely have a muted impact on the Pound.

The lighter economic calendar will leave the Pound in the hands of Brexit and COVID-19.

The GBP/USD ended the week down by 1.32% to $1.2746.

For the Loonie:

It’s a relatively quiet week ahead on the economic calendar.

July GDP and August RMPI numbers are due out mid-week.

Expect July’s GDP to have the greatest impact on Wednesday.

From elsewhere, economic data from the U.S and China will also influence crude oil prices and the Loonie.

The Loonie ended the week down by 1.38% to C$1.3386 against the U.S Dollar.

Out of Asia

For the Aussie Dollar:

It’s a relatively busy week ahead on the economic calendar.

On Wednesday, August building approvals and private sector credit figures are due out. We would expect the private sector credit figures to have the greatest impact.

On Thursday, the focus shifts to manufacturing numbers for September, ahead of August retail sales figures on Friday.

With RBA reliant upon consumer spending to support economic recovery, the retail sales figures will draw plenty of attention.

Market risk sentiment and economic data from China will also influence, however.

The Aussie Dollar ended the week down by 3.54% to $0.7031.

For the Kiwi Dollar:

It’s a relatively quiet week ahead on the economic calendar.

Key stats include August building consents and September business confidence figures.

Expect the business confidence figures to have the greatest impact on the day.

From elsewhere, China’s manufacturing PMIs will also influence in the week. We’ve seen plenty of Kiwi Dollar sensitivity to economic data from China.

The Kiwi Dollar ended the week down by 3.15% to $0.6546.

For the Japanese Yen:

It is a busier week than usual on the economic calendar.

In the 1st half of the week, September inflation figures are due out along with August industrial production and retail sales figures.

In the 2nd half of the week, the 3rd quarter’s Tankan survey numbers are due out that will draw plenty of interest.

The Japanese Yen ended the week down by 0.97% to ¥105.58 against the U.S Dollar.

Out of China

It’s a relatively busy week ahead on the economic data front.

September’s private sector PMIs are due out on Wednesday. Expect the Caixin Manufacturing PMI to have the greatest impact on risk sentiment on the day.

Going into the week, industrial profit figures due out on Sunday that will also draw interest.

Expect the markets to be sensitive to any major speed bumps amidst U.S-China tensions.

The Chinese Yuan ended the week down 0.81% to CNY6.8238 against the U.S Dollar.

Geo-Politics

UK Politics:

It could be quite a week for the Pound. September is coming to a rapid end and the EU Leaders’ Summit is later in the week.

As things stand, Britain and the EU are nowhere near a blueprint. With the Internal Market Bill now also in the loop, is it judgment day? The markets have been waiting since the summer of 2016 to get a sense of what Brexit will look like.

With Johnson at the helm, the risk has always been for Britain to pull out of talks. Is this the week that the curtain comes down on the EU and its demands?

U.S – China

There’s never a dull moment. With the Presidential Election debates kicking off this week, China will likely remain a hot topic.

With Trump trailing Biden, time is running out, and smear tactics are more than likely. The markets may not like it, however.

U.S Politics

Presidential Election fever is picking. Brokers are calling for more margin to manage an anticipated spike in volatility. Trump continues to attack China on COVID-19 and tech.

The first of the Presidential Election Campaigns in the week ahead will set the tone.

Investors will get a sense of who the market favors during the course of the debate…

This article was originally posted on FX Empire

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