Forex & Commo Market News

Jan 24 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- Gold edged lower as investors sought details on the severity of the China virus after the World Health Organisation stopped short of announcing the outbreak as a global emergency.
- London copper edged higher after the World Health Organization (WHO) said a new coronavirus outbreak in top metals consumer China is not yet a global emergency, but prices were set for their biggest weekly drop in 17 months.
- Chicago soybean futures slid for a third consecutive session, with the market poised for a second weekly decline amid pressure from a lack of Chinese buying.
- Raw sugar futures on ICE fell back on Thursday after climbing to a two-year high earlier, while arabica coffee rebounded from a recent two-month low.
- Malaysian palm oil futures fell for a second straight session, hit by weak demand from India and China, with a strengthening ringgit also weighing on prices.

- The euro hovered near a seven-week low against the dollar after the European Central Bank was seen as more cautious than expected, while anxiety over China's coronavirus outbreak propped up the safe-haven yen.

- Amazon's motion to stay the Pentagon's JEDI cloud contract raises the stakes in the company's bid protest litigation. Rival Microsoft won the huge enterprise cloud computing contract, worth up to $10B over a decade, last year following criticism of Amazon's efforts to obtain the deal by President Trump and other bidders. Amazon says the decision was swayed by pressure from Trump, a charge that Pentagon officials have rejected. Following Amazon's bid protest, Defense Department officials initially agreed to limit performance of the contract into February, but not beyond that. That's why Amazon chose to file its motion late Wednesday.
- German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she was hopeful the European Union would soon strike a trade deal with the U.S. but she also pushed back against President Donald Trump's bilateral approach to resolving conflicts, endorsing instead multilateral agreements and international organizations. In a speech to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Ms. Merkel warned against a new multi-polar world split between China and America. Climate-change deniers, she said, "try to create anti-factual narratives through emotion." She warned policies to reduce harmful emissions were polarizing societies, pitching rural against urban populations. The shift to electric mobility, she said, would be the biggest challenge facing German industry.
- The European Union and U.S. will get a trade deal, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte says. Rutte says he is optimistic about it. "We know what is important for Trump, we know what is important for Europe," he says in an interview with Bloomberg at the World Economic Forum in Davos. "Europe is united on trade," he says.
- Blackstone Group CEO Stephen Schwarzman says the trade deal sends an important message to the Chinese people: "this isn't going one way up anymore." Speaking at a Wall Street Journal event at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Schwarzman said the escalating tensions between the two nations took a toll on everyone. Schwarzman has ties to China and made numerous trips to the country to help broker the deal. It's a "good sign" for the relationship, he said, though issues remain.

Jan 23 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)
- Oil prices fell to their lowest in seven weeks, sliding more than 1% on concern that the spread of a respiratory virus from China may lower fuel demand if it stunts economic growth in an echo of the SARS epidemic nearly 20 years ago.
- Gold prices edged lower as cautious investors awaited a policy decision by the European Central Bank due later in the day, although mounting concerns over a virus outbreak in China provided a floor under prices.
- London copper edged lower, falling for a seventh straight session, as a jump in inventories and the spread of a flu-like virus in top metals consumer China weighed on prices, even with production closures looming in Africa.
- U.S. wheat futures edged higher as fears of tighter global supplies pushed prices towards a near 18-month high.
- Raw sugar futures on ICE hit two-year highs on Wednesday as bullish technical signals prompted more fund buying, although good producer selling and signs the market may be getting overbought kept gains in check.
- Malaysian palm oil futures fell 1.5%, giving up nearly half their gains from a rally in prices in the previous session on prospects of lower demand from India.

- The safe-haven Japanese yen firmed and the Chinese yuan weakened, as traders kept a wary eye on the spread of a virus in China, while the battered Australian dollar jumped after a surprise drop in unemployment.

- Boeing yesterday pushed back the expected return of the 737 MAX until at least the middle of the year. The following is a selection of comments from airlines, suppliers and analysts reacting to the news. United Likely Won't Fly the MAX This Summer.
- United Airlines says it doesn't expect to be able to fly the 737 MAX this summer after Boeing pushed back its forecast for when regulators will sign off on the plane. The carrier has already struck the plane from its schedules until early June, but executives say they're reassessing that and expect to delay plans further after Boeing said it doesn't think regulators won't clear the plane to return until midyear. Summer is the busiest and most lucrative time of year for airlines, and a second consecutive summer without the plane is a significant setback. The absence of the MAX has already hampered United's domestic growth plans, though the carrier hasn't detailed the costs of the grounding.
- President Donald Trump says Boeing's troubles have "had a tremendous impact" on the US economy. "This is one of the great companies of the world, let's say, as of a year ago, and then all of a sudden things happened," the president says in a CNBC interview. "I am so disappointed in Boeing." Boeing is off 2.6% to $305.12.
- MAX Suppliers Still 'Digesting' Guidance. Universal Stainless says it's had minimal cancellations of around $800K for materials eventually used on the Boeing 737 MAX, with some orders pushed back a quarter. CEO Dennis Oates says suppliers are still digesting Boeing's latest guidance, but his company is ready to "pull the trigger" if customers start pulling back from orders. Universal Stainless provides specialty alloys for aircraft engines, landing gear and other parts, and Oates flags continued strength from Airbus, military customers and maintenance shops.
- TUI could take a further EUR220 million-EUR270 million hit if Boeing extends the grounding of its 737 MAX fleet to September, Bernstein says. TUI had previously said it could book a cost of EUR130 million, based on the assumption that the aircraft would return to service in April. TUI shares are down 4.2%.
- Air Canada says it will remove the Boeing 737 MAX from its schedule until June 30, after Boeing pushed out its estimates for when the aircraft is expected to be cleared by regulators to return to service. The Canadian carrier, which has 24 MAX aircraft in its fleet, said the decision was meant to give customers more certainty when planning and booking their travel. Another Canadian carrier, WestJet, said yesterday it was removing the MAX from its schedule until June 24.
- Universal Stainless, which provides specialty alloys for aircraft engines and landing gears, says it's still assessing the impact of the Boeing 737 MAX production halt. The company's 4Q results fell short of expectations, and though aerospace sales hit an annual record, they fell 8% sequentially in the quarter. Universal, which also supplies Airbus and a number of defense contractors, had previously said reduced MAX output hadn't hit orders. More commentary on upcoming investor call. Shares fall 0.9%.
- Heavy pre-open volume in Boeing suggests the stock could test the sub-$300 territory it's not visited since Dec. 2018. Sell-side analysts scramble to downgrade after latest 737 MAX guidance has regulators not giving a green light until 3-4 months later than planned, potentially pushing charges and compensation to $16B and beyond. A resumption of buybacks now viewed as a 2022 event, at best. Stock marked around $309 in pre-open trade, down around 1%.
- President Donald Trump says Boeing's troubles have "had a tremendous impact" on the US economy. "This is one of the great companies of the world, let's say, as of a year ago, and then all of a sudden things happened," the president says in a CNBC interview. "I am so disappointed in Boeing." Boeing is off 2.6% to $305.12.
- The business community is pretty supportive of President Trump's economic policies, Carlyle Co-Founder and Chairman David Rubenstein tells Bloomberg at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Mr. Rubenstein says that, from an outsider's perspective, it may be hard to understand why President Trump is being impeached when the U.S. economy is performing well.
- DP World, one of the world's biggest ports and terminals operators, is expecting a pickup in trade amid signs of detente on the U.S.-China trade front, according to Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, the company's chairman and chief executive. He said the trade spat delayed shipments from lots of customers, who are now ready to "accelerate" orders. "I don't have a forecast, but we can feel it. The people we trade with, who use our ports, they are booking more cargo," he said at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
- An international digital tax would be a fair way to ensure that adequate levels of taxation on digital businesses are maintained, while avoiding singling out any one country, says Bruno Le Maire, France's Minister of Finance. Speaking at Davos, Le Maire says that talks are underway with U.S. Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin, and that a trade war over the issue would be foolish. France passed a bill introducing a tax on digital businesses in July, but it was met with objections from the U.S. which argued that it amounted to an onerous levy on American business. France has since suspended the tax, but Le Maire says that it will be reintroduced if an agreement with the U.S. isn't reached.
- Panelists at the World Economic Forum in Davos are concerned the actions of the U.S. and its allies and those of Iran could escalate Middle East tensions. Mevlut Cavusoglu, Turkey's foreign minister, says: "We don't want Iraq to be a confrontation zone between Iran and the U.S. and between Iran and some Gulf countries." Jane Harman, director of The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars warns of "proxy wars all over the place," including Libya, Yemen and Syria. "We've gone from cold war to hot proxy war," she says, adding the killing of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani was "unusual" given it was carried out "without informing our allies in a third country." "It's all tactics and no strategy ... it's my worry those tactics will lead to a dangerous miscalculation."

Jun 22 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)
- Oil prices eased, extending declines as the International Energy Agency (IEA) forecast a market surplus in the first half, helping ease concerns about disruptions that have slashed Libya's crude output.
- Gold prices slipped as the dollar firmed and investors played down any immediate impact on the global economy from the outbreak of a new coronavirus in China.
- London copper prices hovered around a two-week low as concerns over a flu-like virus in China weighed and as inventories climbed by a third overnight.
- Chicago wheat rose for a third straight session with prices climbing to their highest since August 2018, underpinned by tightening global supplies and strong demand.
- New York cocoa futures touched a 20-month high on Tuesday, boosted by concerns about dry weather in Ivory Coast.

- Malaysian palm oil futures fell for a second straight session, hit by weak demand from top importers China and India, while traders awaited data on January production.

- The yuan dipped and the Australian dollar hit a six-week low as investors feared the outbreak of a new coronavirus in China could create more headaches for the Chinese economy, which is already slowing because of the U.S.-China trade war.

- An international digital tax would be a fair way to ensure that adequate levels of taxation on digital businesses are maintained, while avoiding singling out any one country, says Bruno Le Maire, France's Minister of Finance. Speaking at Davos, Le Maire says that talks are underway with U.S. Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin, and that a trade war over the issue would be foolish. France passed a bill introducing a tax on digital businesses in July, but it was met with objections from the U.S. which argued that it amounted to an onerous levy on American business. France has since suspended the tax, but Le Maire says that it will be reintroduced if an agreement with the U.S. isn't reached.
- Panelists at the World Economic Forum in Davos are concerned the actions of the U.S. and its allies and those of Iran could escalate Middle East tensions. Mevlut Cavusoglu, Turkey's foreign minister, says: "We don't want Iraq to be a confrontation zone between Iran and the U.S. and between Iran and some Gulf countries." Jane Harman, director of The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars warns of "proxy wars all over the place," including Libya, Yemen and Syria. "We've gone from cold war to hot proxy war," she says, adding the killing of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani was "unusual" given it was carried out "without informing our allies in a third country." "It's all tactics and no strategy ... it's my worry those tactics will lead to a dangerous miscalculation."
- The impeachment trial of U.S. President Donald Trump is unlikely to affect U.S. equities but the 2020 presidential election may have an impact, says Aviva Investors. Chief Investment Officer for multi-asset investment and macro-economics, Peter Fitzgerald, says the impeachment is "all noise". "I don't think it's going to have any real impact," he says. Still, the election could have an effect--particularly on drug companies and healthcare providers--if a Democrat keen on healthcare reform becomes the party's candidate. "There will be some risks later in the year around the election, but it's difficult to say what they'll be until we know who the (Democrat) candidate is," he says.
- Canada's Liberal government will introduce legislation next week to ratify the revised North American free-trade pact, or USMCA. PM Justin Trudeau unveiled the timetable at a cabinet retreat in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Trudeau said it was important to ratify the deal as quickly as possible, adding officials were speaking to opposition parties about the schedule. Lawmakers in the US and Mexico have already ratified the pact, following last-minute changes made in December to appease the Democrat-led House. What's unclear is how long the Canadian ratification will take, as Trudeau is running a minority government. As a result, the opposition parties control legislative committees and they could demand hearings on the USMCA's impact on the economy. The Conservatives have said it would back USMCA ratification, but do so with some misgivings.
- Chinese Vice-Premier Han Zheng was more critical of the US and its approach to trade than other Chinese officials since the signing of a trade agreement between the two. Han told the World Economic Forum in Davos, "Despite the protectionist and unilateral moves by some countries China will not stop pursuing higher quality opening up and will not follow their footsteps to move in the opposite direction of globalization."

Jan 21 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)
- Oil prices fell nearly one percent as investors expected Libya's oil production to eventually resume following a force majeure declared by the oil exporter on two major oilfields amid a military blockade.
- Gold prices rose to a two-week high as the spread of a new virus in China stoked fears of a wider epidemic, sparking a sudden bout of risk aversion and sell-off in Asian stocks.
- Industrial metals fell, pulled lower as negative sentiment spilled over from the stock markets after person-to-person transmission of a new virus was confirmed in China, and following a rating downgrade for Hong Kong.
- Chicago corn slid nearly 1%, easing after notching its biggest one-day gain in more than three months in the previous session with Chinese demand likely to provide a direction to the market.
- White sugar futures on ICE hit a two-year high on Monday in holiday thinned trade, boosted by momentum fund buying amid further signs of shrinking supply, while London cocoa steadied.
- Malaysian palm oil futures slumped more than 2%, squeezed by expectation of rising output and market worries over lower exports after major customer India imposed curbs this month.

- The yen pulled ahead and the yuan fell against the dollar as the spread of a pneumonia-like virus in China sparked a sudden bout of risk aversion and sent Asian stocks skidding.

- Chinese Vice-Premier Han Zheng was more critical of the US and its approach to trade than other Chinese officials since the signing of a trade agreement between the two. Han told the World Economic Forum in Davos, "Despite the protectionist and unilateral moves by some countries China will not stop pursuing higher quality opening up and will not follow their footsteps to move in the opposite direction of globalization."
- Investors in January kept cash positions at the lowest levels since March 2013 as their outlook for the global economy improved, Bank of America's monthly fund manager survey shows. Cash levels held at 4.2% for the third straight month while a net 36% of fund managers surveyed said they expect a pick-up in global growth over the next year, up 7 percentage points from the last survey. November's U.S. Presidential elections is considered the biggest tail risk facing the market, with the trade war coming in at second place for the first time since May 2019. "Investors are bullish but not euphoric," says Michael Hartnett, chief investment strategist at Bank of America.
- "I know millennials are supposed to be socialists, but, actually, be careful here," says President Trump's top economic advisor, Larry Kudlow at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Kudlow says that millennials' participation in the 2020 election is soaring and their wages are rising more than 5% per year. "If we all think back at when we were starting careers, when you're working and paying taxes, the job is important and being rewarded is important...[So] I don't think they're gonna vote socialists, frankly," he says. Kudlow concludes that he thinks President Trump is going to do much better among younger voters than people expect.
- In the U.S., middle and lower wage earners are growing the fastest, Larry Kudlow of the National Economic Council says at Davos. The economic situation of the middle and lower classes is improving "much faster than their managers", Mr. Kudlow says, adding that he hasn't seen such a development since the 1980s. On this note, the White House economic advisor says that "inequality is diminishing", and that the U.S. is becoming a more "inclusive economy."
- Senate Republicans could soon determine whether Judy Shelton wins a seat on the Federal Reserve board of governors. The former campaign adviser to President Trump is a controversial pick because of her heterodox policy views. Republicans control 53 of 100 Senate seats. A key hurdle: whether she wins unanimous support from Republicans on the Senate Banking Committee, where the GOP has a one-vote majority. In an interview last week, Sen. Richard Shelby (R., Ala.) said he backed Shelton's candidacy. Sen. Pat Toomey (R., Pa.) said he wanted to meet with Shelton first. "I just don't know her," he said.
- The U.S. economy will grow 3% in 2020, National Economic Council Director Lawrence Kudlow says following "Trump's terrific speech" at Davos. President Trump's top economic advisor says the U.S. economy was almost growing by 4% until the Fed tightened, and he sees faster growth, citing trade deals and the Fed's policy change as positive economy movers. "[The] Fed's changed policy was very, very important," Kudlow says.
- European investors' concerns about a eurozone recession have eased but the economic outlook remains weak, according to the Bank of America's January fund manager survey. Some 86% of investors surveyed are no longer concerned about a recession in the coming year, compared to 71% in the December survey. However, the proportion of respondents who expect the eurozone economy to recover in the next 12 months fell to 28% from 40%. "Tail risks are moving into politics (US elections /geopolitics) from trade war and business cycle concerns, Bank of America analysts say.
- Martin Sorrell, former CEO of WPP PLC, says he has noticed optimism among CEOs at Davos for the phase one trade deal between China and the US, but he doesn't see it that way. "I think the underlying issue here this week will be friction between the US and China," he says at the CEO Council lunch at Davos. He says he's worried that phase two will be more difficult to sign and that the turbulence might be more serious after the election.
- A key part of Pimco's broader investment strategy remains a "very big" diversification of global investments, says Joachim Fels, global economic advisor at the investment-management firm at a press event in Frankfurt. Within global bonds, Pimco has preference for U.S. Treasurys versus Europe and Japan, because U.S. Treasurys have "significantly higher" price potential, he says. In the U.S., Pimco likes secured mortgage bonds, while selected emerging markets still offer relatively higher yields. Fels says Pimco also holds a basket of relatively high-yielding currencies.
- U.S. President Donald Trump's Davos speech on Tuesday was a "typical sales pitch", UBS Group AG Chairman Axel Weber says in comments at the Wall Street Journal's CEO Council lunch in Davos. "What we saw from Donald Trump was a typical sales pitch of the CEO in Davos overselling the company's achievements and underreporting on some of the risks that are there," Mr Weber says, noting that "the endpoint isn't as vibrant as he portrayed." However, while Mr. Weber says UBS doesn't "buy the stories", it is raising its investment in the U.S. "because it's a good place to invest."
- The U.S. will join the one trillion trees initiative, U.S. President Donald Trump said at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The initiative was launched by WEF founder and Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab at Davos and aims to plant one trillion trees by the end of the decade. Reforestation programs can be an effective way to fight climate change, according to the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. However, experts say other measures such as reducing CO2 emissions by setting targets are needed in order to limit the rise in global average temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2030. President Trump has faced criticism for pulling out of the Paris Agreement, which requires nations to strengthen their actions to limit global warming.
- President Trump repeated complaints about higher rates in the U.S. than abroad in his address to the World Economic Forum in Davos. The U.S. is "forced to compete with nations that have negative rates, meaning they are paid to borrow money - something I could get used to very quickly." He imagined being asked to repay a loan and saying, "How much am I getting?" The U.S., he said, is prospering even though the U.S. Federal Reserve "raised rates too fast and lowered them too slowly."
- Gold prices are flat, shedding earlier gains fueled by the outbreak of coronavirus in China. The precious metal is up less than 0.1% at $1,561 a troy ounce as the New York futures market reopens following the long weekend. Meanwhile palladium prices continue to advance, gaining 0.9% to $2,245 an ounce. Up ahead, precious-metal traders will continue to monitor news on the transmission of coronavirus ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday. "There is a growing concern amongst market participants that China won't be able to control the spread of the virus as its citizen travel within and outside the country," says Jim Reid of Deutsche Bank. Traders will also monitor President Trump's comments at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Jan 20 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

Jan 20 - New York will remain closed today due to Martin Luther King Day.

- Oil prices rose to their highest in more than week after two large crude production bases in Libya began shutting down amid a military blockade, setting the stage for crude flows from the OPEC member to be cut to a trickle.
- Gold traded in a narrow $3 range as strong U.S. economic data encouraged investment in riskier assets while limited risk hedging supported the metal.
- London copper prices rose, as better-than-expected data from top consumer China boosted sentiment, but trading volume was low ahead of a long holiday in China.
- U.S. corn futures jumped 3.7% on Friday, more than recovering from the prior day's 3.1% drop, buoyed by a mix of short-covering and expectations of increased export demand for U.S. supplies, traders and analysts said.
- New York cocoa futures on the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) rose on Friday, hitting their highest in a year and a half on technical momentum and worries over this season's crop outlook.
- Malaysian palm oil futures climbed more than 1%, rebounding from last week's sharp fall on firmer rival soybean oil prices and a weaker ringgit, though worries about demand from top edible oil buyer India capped gains.
- The dollar began the week on a firm note as economic data pointed to strength right across the U.S. economy, while optimism on the outlook for China supported Asian currencies.

Jan 17 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- Oil prices were steady as reports of sluggish economic growth in China, the world's biggest crude importer, raised concerns about fuel demand and countered optimism from the signing of the Sino-U.S. trade deal earlier in the week.
- Gold prices edged higher but traded in a tight range as investors stayed on the sidelines in the absence of news catalysts.
- London copper prices edged up after two sessions of losses, lifted by better-than-expected data from China - the world's biggest consumer of the malleable metal.
- U.S. soybeans edged lower and were on track to post their biggest weekly slide in five months on worries China will not honour its pledge to buy large amounts of U.S. supplies.
- Raw sugar futures on ICE settled lower on Thursday as the market adjusted after hitting a two-year peak earlier due to tightening supplies and bullish technical momentum, while cocoa prices also rose.
- Malaysian palm futures traded flat, putting them on track for their worst weekly decline since 2012 as India's import restrictions on the refined product weighed.
- The dollar scaled an eight-month high against the yen after upbeat U.S. retail sales and jobs data, while the yuan got a lift after China's economic data brightened the mood already cheered by a Sino-U.S. trade deal.

- A New York bankruptcy judge approved a $10.3M sale of Iranian Princess Ashraf Pahlavi's former Manhattan residence yesterday. The buyer of the seven-story townhouse, located near the UN building, is an anonymous corporation. Princess Ashraf's brother, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, was deposed during Iran's Islamic Revolution of 1979. She died in 2016 at the age of 96. For more, see https://on.wsj.com/38s4kzV.
- The head of the IMF says the phase-one deal between the US and China "is certainly good news, but is not sorting out all the complexities of issues between these two large economies and for sure is not resolving the fundamental questions that need addressing in the trade system so it can succeed in the future." Kristalina Georgieva says at an event at the Peterson Institute for International Economics that trade tensions are costing the world economy 0.8% of global gross domestic product, or the equivalent of $700B, of which just a third of the amount is tariffs, and the rest is made up of companies not investing. "We have some reduction of this uncertainty, but it is not eliminated, trade truce is not the same as trade peace," she says, adding she expects a shrinkage of the negative effect with the trade deal, but not its eradication.
- The White House said it is moving forward with the nominations of economists Judy Shelton and Christopher Waller to the Fed's board of governors. Ian Katz, financial policy analyst at Capital Alpha Partners, says Shelton's defense of the gold standard, nonchalance towards Fed independence and recent shifting views on monetary policy make her a "magnet for controversy." "If she gets a confirmation hearing, it will be a circus," Katz writes in a client note Friday. GOP Senators haven't much crossed swords with President Trump, but they take Fed independence from direct White House interference seriously. That makes her confirmation a close call, he said. "We would be a little surprised if she makes it all the way through."

Jan 16 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)
- Oil prices rose after the signing of an initial Sino-U.S. trade deal that sets the stage for a surge in Chinese purchases of American energy products, while U.S. crude inventories fell more than expected.
- Gold prices edged lower, as optimism over a preliminary trade deal between the United States and China increased risk appetite, although concerns about tariffs and unresolved core issues remained.
- Copper prices fell on investor doubts that the recently signed U.S.-China trade agreement would improve metals demand.
- Chicago soybean futures lost more ground, with the market dropping to its lowest in almost a month, as doubts emerged about China's demand for U.S. supplies as promised in a trade deal between the two countries.
- Raw sugar futures on ICE rose on Wednesday towards the prior session's two-year peak, supported by tightening supplies.
- Malaysian palm oil futures fell for a fourth straight session as lower-than-expected exports dragged on prices, with traders worried India will place more curbs on shipments from Malaysia.

- Asian currencies inched higher supported by hopes the U.S.-China trade deal could herald warmer relations between the world's two biggest economies and help to revive global growth.

- The U.S.-China trade agreement should help ease lingering concerns about the U.S. manufacturing sector. RBC Capital Markets says it has been surprised by persistent weakness in the U.S. ISM manufacturing data. But RBCCM's sense is that a move higher is near. The signing of the phase one trade deal should allay worries further as U.S.-China trade policy is seemingly now on cruise control until after the election. It is doubtful President Trump wants to do anything to upset the apple cart insofar as the economy is concerned as this is a major selling points heading into November, it says.
- Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun is happy with the trade deal the U.S. and China signed Wednesday. He says Boeing "applauds Presidents Trump and Xi...for their leadership in building a fair and mutually-beneficial trading relationship between the United States and China." Calhoun points out Boeing has a partnership with China that spans nearly 50 years. Boeing stock edges lower.
- Billionaire activist investor Nelson Peltz got some awkward attention while attending today's White House press conference on the trade-deal signing. In acknowledging his presence, the president asked Peltz "how is General Electric doing?" in a sarcastic nod to his fund Trian's disastrous bet on GE that dates back to 2015. Perplexingly, Trump says Nelson would "straighten it out" and that "he came in nice and late. He didn't get in too early, that's for sure." The harsh reality is Trian came in quite early with a loud endorsement of former CEO Jeff Immelt, and GE shares are down more than 50% from when Trian announced its $2.5B investment.
- Corn futures on the CBOT are slightly higher in reaction to President Trump's mentioning of ethanol during his remarks ahead of the signing of the phase one trade agreement. Most active corn futures are now 0.1% higher, after trading down 0.3% before the start of the ceremony. During his remarks, Trump made comments about ethanol, although its not clear what the deal does for ethanol specifically. "We are very optimistic about the potential of this agreement for American agriculture and the renewable fuels industry-with the inclusion of ethanol and key co-products like distillers grains-and are looking forward to more specific details on the agreement," says the Renewable Fuels Association on Wednesday.

Jan 15 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- Oil prices slipped on concerns that the pending Phase 1 trade deal between the United States and China, the world's biggest oil users, may not boost demand as the U.S. intends to keep tariffs on Chinese goods until a second phase.
- Gold rose as investors sought safer assets amid uncertainty about the effectiveness of a Sino-U.S. Phase 1 trade deal after a top U.S. official said tariffs on Chinese goods would stay in place.
- London copper prices dropped from an eight-month high, snapping a seven-session winning streak after the United States said it would keep tariffs on Chinese goods, potentially dampening any boost to global growth.
- Chicago wheat futures edged higher, gaining for a second day and trading near a 1-1/2 year high, with potential export curbs by Russia underpinning prices.
- Sugar futures on ICE hit two-year highs on Tuesday, extending a rally this year amid tightening supplies and technical buying, while cocoa futures also gained.
- Malaysian palm oil futures reversed early gains as diplomatic tensions between Malaysia and India continued to weigh on the market, but a weaker ringgit capped losses.
- The safe-haven yen held firm and riskier Asian currencies softened a little, as currency investors awaited the signing of the U.S.-China trade deal with trepidation.

- In an interview, Centene CEO Michael Neidorff says investors are overreacting to political developments, and he is "beyond surprised" at how shares of managed-care companies have been moving around due to political developments. "There is no rational reason to let a Des Moines Register poll," affect investment decisions in the sector, he says. Neidorff says the US can't afford a single-payer government health-care system, and he doesn't expect one to be enacted. "Single payers control cost by limiting access," he says, arguing that private companies are more effective. "All we're talking about with Medicare for all is politics, we're not talking about good policy." He suggests that whatever does happen with future health-policy changes, Centene can "adjust and adapt."
- Grains traders are hopeful Wednesday's phase-one trade deal will codify requirements for Chinese buyers to purchase more US agricultural products. However, some traders are concerned that even with today's deal obligating China to purchase more agriculture annually, the deal could potentially fall apart after the US 2020 election. "Who the next administration is where my concern lies," says Dan Basse of AgResource. "If Trump wins another 4 years, the pressure grows to get a more structural China deal - [and] Phase 2 or 3 could take the wheels off Phase 1 as China is unlikely to change cultural practices, and tariff hikes return." Meanwhile, a Democratic president could embolden China to test US resolve on enforcing existing deals, Basse says.
- White House officials will soon send to the Senate two nominations to the Federal Reserve's Board of Governors that were first announced by President Trump more than six months ago, according to people familiar with the matter. Trump announced his selections of economists Judy Shelton and Christopher Waller in July on Twitter, but the White House hasn't formally submitted the nominations pending reviews of the candidates' finances and writings. Shelton is likely to face scrutiny from the Senate Banking Committee over her past advocacy for returning to a gold standard and her more recent defense of Trump's public pressuring of the central bank to lower interest rates.
- What will be most important for market participants is not the signing of the phase one trade agreement between the US and China, but the details in the 86-page agreement, says CBA. The agreement is expected to be released in conjunction with its signing. The more specific the agreement, the more credible it is likely to be seen. Nevertheless, the US Trade Representative and US Treasury Secretary have already indicated detailed purchase amounts (of are assume agricultural products amongst others) will be included in a confidential annex to the agreement.

Jan 14 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- Oil prices edged higher as investors focused on the signing of a preliminary trade deal between the United States and China, the world's top oil consumers, and on expectations of a drawdown in U.S. crude oil inventories.
- Gold prices fell to their lowest in nearly two weeks as risk appetite was whetted by stronger-than-expected China economic data and the imminent signing of a preliminary U.S.-China trade deal.
- London copper prices slipped from an eight-month high hit in the previous session, as cautious investors awaited a raft of Chinese data, which will indicate whether a pick-up in economic activity has been maintained.
- Chicago soybean futures ticked lower although losses were limited by expectations that a Washington-Beijing Phase 1 trade deal will boost demand for U.S. supplies.
- Arabica coffee futures on ICE slumped to a 1-1/2 month low on Monday, extending their retreat from last month's more than two-year peak, while raw sugar prices turned lower after earlier climbing to a 14-month peak.
- Malaysian palm oil futures fell for a second session, dragged down by a stronger ringgit and weaker rival vegetable oils, while India's directive to halt all palm oil imports from Malaysia also weighed on prices.

- The yen plumbed eight-month lows while China's yuan climbed to its highest level since July, as the U.S. Treasury Department reversed its decision in August to designate China as a currency manipulator.

- Geopolitics has taken a toll on some of Shake Shack's international growth, with the high-end burger chain closing three locations in Russia in the last year or so. "It's become nearly impossible to operate there," CEO Randy Garutti says at the annual ICR Conference in Orlando. Tweets from the president and changes to the country's beef supply proved tough for the chain's handful of Russia locations. Street protests in Hong Kong have also reduced business for the company's locations there, though they remain open, Garutti says. "It's definitely a moment of challenge," Garutti says.
- Scotiabank Economics, in its 1Q Global Economic Outlook Report, says "uncertainty is here to stay so long as President Trump remains in office." Although US actions on trade have "exacted a significant toll on manufacturing and have inhibited business investment, domestic demand is expected to cushion downside risks," Scotiabank says. The group says a trade detente between the US and China "has no tangible impact on our view, other than reducing a major tail risk." Scotiabank Chief Economist Jean-Francois Perrault says "a few days into the new year, President Trump has already reminded us that event risk will remain a feature of his presidency." The group also says growth in Canada is expected to be flat in 2020 relative to 2019, and China's annual economic growth is expected to fall below 6% by 2021.
- President Trump will be the keynote speaker at the American Farm Bureau's annual convention on Sunday, making it the third year in a row Trump has been the head guest, the Farm Bureau says. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler will also be in attendance. Trump's speech comes as US and Chinese delegations get set to sign a phase one trade deal in Washington this week -- one that US farmers hope uncorks pent-up export demand for US products. Farmer approval of Trump's performance rose to 82% in December, according to Farm Journal, an all-time high despite anxiety among corn growers about a gasoline-ethanol blending mandate coming to fruition.

Jan 13 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)
- Oil prices held steady as fears of conflict between the United States and Iran eased, with investors shifting their focus to this week's scheduled signing of an initial U.S.-China trade deal, which could boost economic growth and demand.
- Gold prices fell as Asian stocks touched 19-month highs ahead of the planned signing of an interim trade deal between Washington and Beijing, which has encouraged investors to plough back into riskier assets.
- Copper prices rose, ahead of a signing of the U.S.-China Phase 1 trade deal later in the week, although gains were limited as investors exercised caution in the run-up to macro data announcement from top metals consumer China.
- Chicago soybean futures rose for a second session, underpinned by hopes of a Phase 1 trade deal this week between the United States and China - the world's biggest soybean importer.
- Raw sugar futures on ICE rose to a 14-month peak on Friday as harvest delays in Thailand and India helped to tighten supplies.
- Malaysian palm oil futures eased on the back of a stronger ringgit and hopes of a rise in production, but tighter supplies and higher biodiesel mandates in Indonesia and Malaysia supported prices.

- The imminent signing of a preliminary Sino-U.S. trade deal helped Asian currencies rally, but sterling fell on fresh hints of a Bank of England rate cut.

- RBC Capital Markets advises selling GBP/USD, with a target of 1.2750 and a stop at 1.3120. It established the position at 1.3002, citing risks of the Bank of England cutting interest rates. "Until much later in the year, Brexit developments are likely to be subordinate to conventional monetary policy in driving GBP," RBC says. "Large moves in GBP on relatively small rates moves over the last week are evidence of a market that has built significant long GBP positions after the election," it says, adding these positions could be unwound as traders price in "a greater risk of a January rate cut." GBP/USD hits a two-week low of 1.2961 after BOE policymaker Gertjan Vlieghe warned he could vote to cut rates if data don't improve.

Jan 10 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)
- Oil prices dropped extending days of losses as the threat of war in the Middle East receded and investors switched attention to economic growth prospects and the rise in U.S. crude oil and product inventories.
- Gold prices fell and were set for their worst week in five as easing tensions in the Middle East prompted investors to move back to riskier bets.
- London copper was little changed after U.S. President Donald Trump said a Phase 2 trade deal with China may have to wait until the end of the year, tempering bullishness over exchange inventories near a nine-month low.
- Chicago corn rose, with prices underpinned by prospects of a U.S. report showing lower production as adverse weather conditions across the Midwest during the growing season in 2019 curbed yields.
- Arabica coffee futures on ICE hit a 1-1/2 month low on Thursday, extending their retreat from two-year highs hit last December, while sugar and cocoa both rose.
- Malaysian palm oil futures edged down, as traders book profits ahead of the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) December supply and demand report, but expectations of lower stockpiles supported prices.
- The dollar looked set to post its best week in two months, buoyed by easing Middle East tensions and upbeat U.S. economic data as investors turn to crucial jobs figures due later in the day.

- Investors concerned about environmental, social and governance issues within corporations should avoid "abnormally undertaxed" sectors including chemicals, hospitality and casinos, says Sustainable Market Strategies, an independent investment consultancy. Lower corporate taxes under the Trump administration have helped propel returns in the short run, but have also opened up investors to reputational and financial risks in their portfolios as firms overuse tax avoidance strategies, it says. "With populism on the rise on both sides of the political spectrum, investors should steer away from abnormally undertaxed sectors," Sustainable Market Strategies says.
- The luxury sector would see limited impact from disruptions in the Middle East unless US-Iran tensions escalate on an international scale, Equita SIM analysts say. The Middle East region accounts for 4% of luxury spending globally, or EUR12 billion according to a Bain-Altagamma report, but most of this is generated by tourism, the Italian investment bank says. "Although geopolitical tensions might discourage travel and spending flows in the region, we assume the same flows could be at least partly redirected to other destinations, namely Europe and Asia," Equita SIM says. Most luxury-goods stocks trade moderately higher, with sector bellwether LVMH up 1% and Italy's Salvatore Ferragamo up 0.3%.
- PM Brent crude oil is up 0.3% at $65.68 a barrel and WTI futures are up 0.4% at $59.83 a barrel, although both benchmarks have now shed all of the gains made since Jan.1 with Brent flat year-to-date and WTI down 1.7%. In the short term there may be more room for risk premium to leak out of oil prices, but it is still worth watching out for developments in U.S.-Iran tensions in the months ahead as Iran is keen to improve its negotiating position with the Trump administration, Helge Martinsen at DNB Markets says.
- The aerospace and defense sector should keep growing in 2020 despite uncertainties around Boeing's 737 MAX, U.S. elections and global trade tensions, Credit Suisse says. Among other factors, growth will be driven by ageing fleets and tensions in Asia, the Middle East and Europe that should drive the defense-equipment industry, the bank says. However, "how this year will unfold for most European names will be determined by the return to service of the 737 MAX," it says.
- Gold prices fall as the U.S. and Iran back away from open conflict, prompting investors to sell the haven metal. Gold futures are 0.8% lower at $1,547.20 a troy ounce after President Trump moved to de-escalate hostilities with Tehran, signaling that the U.S. wouldn't launch further military strikes after Iran targeted bases housing American troops. The decline is hurting shares in gold miners: AngloGold Ashanti shares are down 3.8% and Gold Fields sheds 5.5%. Gold prices and mining shares had surged as tensions rose following Washington's decision to kill Iranian general Qassem Soleimani last week. Gold traders will now turn their attention to Friday's jobs report in the U.S., which will give clues about the outlook for the American economy and interest rates.
- Although China's pork-fueled consumer inflation is beginning to lose steam, rising oil prices will probably add to inflationary pressures this year, says Fan Lei, an economist at Sealand Securities. "Last year the biggest driver was pork. This year the biggest uncertainty is definitely oil," Fan says. He expects a 10% increase in oil prices to lift China's CPI by 0.2-0.3 percentage point. "If oil prices surpasses $70, it's going to definitely affect China's monetary policy," he says. Oil prices, which had been surging on rising U.S.-Iran tensions, slid Wednesday, after both countries appeared to back away from conflict. U.S. crude futures ended $3.09, or 4.9%, lower at $59.61 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
- AM Brent crude oil is down 3.5% at $65.87 a barrel and WTI futures are down 4.2% at $60.08 a barrel with both benchmarks relinquishing nearly all of the gains that have built in the period since a U.S. airstrike killed Iranian general Qassem Soleimani. President Donald Trump said Iran appears to be backing away from conflict with the U.S. compound earlier bearish EIA data. "The rhetoric and wording of the statement suggests that no imminent escalation is likely and I think that's given investors some confidence there," says Ehsan Khoman, head of MENA research and strategy at MUFG. "Risk premium has been taken away from the curve," he says.
- US oil prices slide further, dropping 4.2% to $60.02 a barrel after President Trump says no American or Iraqi lives were lost in Iran's missile attack Tuesday, and says the US stands "ready to embrace peace with all who seek it." WTI had spiked to $65 a barrel overnight, immediately in the aftermath of Iran's attack, which was seen as retaliation against a US airstrike that killed a top Iran commander. "Oil prices should remain volatile but should stay supported as a complete end to the US-Iran conflict seems unlikely," says Edward Moya at Oanda, noting Wednesday's weekly data showing an unexpectedly bearish rise in US oil inventories also pressured oil lower.

Jan 09 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)
- Oil prices climbed after a rocket attack on Baghdad triggered fresh concern over the potential for conflict in the Middle East, a day after markets were roiled by an Iranian missile strike on Iraqi bases hosting U.S. forces.
- Gold prices inched up as investors preferred to stay put with the safe-haven metal even though the chances of an escalation in U.S.-Iran conflict waned after the two sides softened their stance.
- London copper moved higher on track for a fourth straight session of gains, as most industrial metals rallied on signs that Iran and the United States were keen to de-escalate the Middle East standoff.
- Chicago soybean futures rose for a second session on Thursday, with prices supported by signs of de-escalation in tensions between Iran and the United States, although expectations of a record crop in Brazil limited gains.
- Wheat and corn futures edged higher.
- Raw sugar futures on ICE slipped on Wednesday, heading away from a 14-month high as crude oil prices retreated from four-month peaks hit in frenzied early trading after a rocket attack by Iran on American forces in Iraq.
- Malaysian palm oil futures surged, buoyed by India's move to restrict imports of refined palm oil while signs of de-escalation in Iran-U.S. tensions soothed concerns of a wider conflict disrupting export shipments.
- The Japanese yen and Swiss franc retreated as the United States and Iran backed away from further conflict, with markets flipping back to the old habit of more risk-taking on hope of a U.S.-China trade deal.

- The US presidential election in November is the top political risk investors face this year, with most of them worried about Democratic candidate Elizabeth Warren making it to the White House, James McCormack, global head of sovereign and supranational ratings at Fitch Ratings tells investors in London. Speaking at the rating agency's 2020 credit outlook event, McCormack says most of the investors the rating agency has met with had said they're "very worried" about the potential for "significant change" in policy direction under a Warren presidency. Among her known policy plans are creating a wealth tax, canceling student loan debt for most borrowers and breaking-up big technology companies.
- Gold prices fall after President Trump said "the United States is ready to embrace peace with all who seek it," in a press conference addressing the flare-up in tensions with Iran. Spot gold prices are down 1% at $1,558.50 a troy ounce in New York. The price of the precious metal surged in recent days, as investors bought haven assets to protect their portfolios against the risk of a broader conflict between the U.S. and Iran. The advance began Friday after the killing of Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, and continued late Tuesday after Iran fired missiles targeting U.S. troops in Iraq.
- The dollar will continue to outperform negative-yielding currencies including the euro, Japanese yen and the Swiss franc in the first quarter of 2020 despite rising U.S.-Iran tensions, Credit Suisse says. "We are not yet minded to change our positive view on the USD relative to major currencies solely on the basis of Iran tensions," Credit Suisse analysts say in a note. It is "very difficult to present a clear timeline of when, how and with what significance the next phase of U.S.-Iran conflict--if there is to be one--will play out."
- The FTSE 100 falls 38 points, or 0.5%, to 7,535 after Iran fired a series of ballistic missiles against two Iraqi bases housing American troops Wednesday in retaliation for the U.S. killing of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani. Gold and oil prices rise on the escalating U.S.-Iran tensions, sending mining and energy stocks higher. BT Group shares rise 2.3% after regulator Ofcom said it would ease regulation on the telecom giant's ageing copper network in areas where full fibre broadband is rolled out. NMC Health slumps 17% after two investors sold shares worth GBP374mln in the troubled healthcare group. Anglo American falls 2.2% after launching a takeover bid for struggling U.K. miner Sirius Minerals.
- President Donald Trump's rhetoric that China will buy twice the amount of agricultural goods is likely to prove difficult to achieve because of quotas on the quantities of wheat, corn and rice that can be imported tariff free, says Commerzbank. "China has no intention of raising the annual quotas for duty-free or duty-reduced imports of agricultural products specifically because of the agreement" on China-U.S. trade sealed recently, the bank says. The quotas are primarily to protect domestic farmers from competition and have long been criticised by the U.S., it says.

Jan 08 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)
- Oil prices were about 1% higher, but well below highs hit in a frenetic start to the trading day after a rocket attack by Iran on American forces in Iraq raised the spectre of a spiralling conflict and disruption to crude flows.
- Gold soared as much as 2% to vault over the $1,600 ceiling for the first time in nearly seven years, as investors flocked to safe havens, after Iran launched retaliatory missile strikes against U.S. forces in Iraq.
- London copper steadied after an early dip, lifted by low inventories and tight supplies amid concerns about any impact from Iran's strike on U.S. forces, while a weaker dollar also supported prices.
- Chicago soybean futures slid for a second session, with prices weighed down by expectations of a record production in Brazil and concerns over Chinese demand hit by African swine fever.
- Raw sugar futures on ICE retreated from a 14-month high on Tuesday, with a drop in crude oil prices helping to halt the recent advance, while arabica coffee slumped to a one-month low.
- Malaysian palm oil futures reversed early losses on tightening supplies, but gains were capped by news of lower imports from India and Iran's missile attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq.

- The US and China are expected to release the text of a phase one trade agreement only after the pact is signed in Washington next week, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R, Iowa) said. Farmers and companies are eager to see how strong the language will be on China's commitments to buy American exports and to stop the theft of intellectual property and forced transfer of technology. Sen. Grassley said he expects the text to be available immediately after the signing, set for January 15.
- Gold prices are holding steady at close to their highest level in almost seven years, bolstered by demand from investors seeking protection against the risk of conflict between the U.S. and Iran. But market participants warn that bullion producers and owners are likely to sell physical metal to take advantage of the surge in prices, putting downward pressure on the market. "I think the gold price will be dictated in the near term by this situation [in the Middle East]," Barry Canham, head of metals at INTL FCStone, tells Dow Jones Newswires. "How it pans out obviously nobody knows." But Canham adds that "the high gold price has encouraged scrap flows...so it's not a one-way market by any means." New York futures are down less than 0.1% at $1,568 a troy ounce.
- Tanker freight and insurance rates hold steady despite rising U.S.-Iran tensions, with owners hoping that crude carriers moving oil through the Straits of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf won't be targeted again by Iran's Revolutionary Guard. Four tankers were attacked or raided by Iranian commandos last year, sending daily rates above $150,000 a day. "We are now at between $90,000 and $120,000 and traffic across the Hormuz is uninterrupted," says the CEO of a major European tanker operator. "The talk among owners and insurers is that tankers won't be targeted for now, but with tensions at a peak after the killing of the Iranian general, things can change very fast."
- Brent crude oil is down 0.9% at $68.29 a barrel and WTI futures are down 0.8% at $62.77 a barrel after the benchmarks hit their highest levels since May and April respectively on Monday. After tough talk from all parties, "the market continues to await any signs or hints on how Iran may retaliate to last week's US airstrike" which killed high-ranking Iranian general Qasem Soleimani, ING says. Investors are nervously watching Saudi oil facilities--with Iran blamed for September attacks on Abqaiq and Khurais among others--and Iraqi supply, after President Trump threatened sanctions. Although Chevron has already pulled out its foreign workers from Iraqi Kurdistan and the backdrop looks optimistic for oil prices, ING still sees a supply surplus this quarter.

Jan 07 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)
- Oil prices slid as investors reconsidered the likelihood of Middle East supply disruptions in the wake of the United States killing a top Iranian military commander.
- Gold prices slipped further from the previous session's near seven-year high, as Middle East tensions cooled and investors booked profit, while palladium touched a new high.
- London copper prices inched upwards for a second session, tracking equity markets, as inventories of the metal continued to drop, although trade and geopolitical uncertainties capped gains.
- Chicago soybean futures rose for a second session on hopes of increased Chinese demand although gains were capped by expectations of a bumper harvest in Brazil.
- Raw sugar futures on ICE rose on Monday, boosted by further gains in crude oil as tensions in the Middle East simmered after a U.S. air strike in Baghdad killed the head of Iran's elite Quds force.
- Coffee and cocoa prices, meanwhile, were both on the retreat.
- Malaysian palm oil futures recovered from early losses on bargain buying, but gains were capped by worries of a disruption to supplies in case of an escalation in Middle East tensions.
- The Swiss franc held gains against the dollar as traders sought save-havens amid heightened anxiety about potential Iranian retaliation to a U.S. drone strike that killed its most prominent military commander.

- Academic work into the effect of trade tariffs continues to show President Trump's repeated statement that China is bearing the brunt of the costs is wrong. "Using another year of data including significant escalations in the trade war, we find that US tariffs continue to be almost entirely borne by US firms and consumers," a paper made public by the National Bureau of Economic Research says. The key for the propagation of tariff costs comes down to how a given industry's supply chain reorganizes to deal with what Trump imposed on the sector, the paper says. The paper says in the steel sector, the tariffs have backfired. "Tariffs have caused foreign exporters to drop their prices substantially, enabling them to export relatively more than in sectors where tariff passthrough was complete."
- Gold prices jump to their highest level in almost seven years as tensions between the U.S. and Iran encourage investors to buy haven assets, putting the precious metal on course for its longest winning streak in two years. New York futures are up 1.8% at $1,578.70 a troy ounce and are on track to rise for a ninth consecutive day. "The move that we've seen in the past few days is clearly related to the escalation in the Middle East," says Norbert Ruecker, head of economics at Julius Baer. "The attack sent some tremors that were felt beyond the oil market itself and resulted in a flight to safety, which is exactly what we've seen in the gold market."
- Bond spreads of semiconductor equipment company ASML are unlikely to move significantly on the report by Reuters that the U.S. government has pressured the Dutch administration to block the sale by ASML of an EUV machine to a Chinese chip producer, says ING. The Dutch bank doesn't expect ASML's bond spreads to widen or tighten. ASML's bonds "trade inside Philips, IBM and Orange and we therefore don't see upside either," says ING's Hendrik Wiersma. ING's preferred bond on the curve is ASML's 1.375% bond maturing in July 2026.
- Oil prices continue to rise after tensions between the U.S. and Iran ratcheted higher and Washington warned of potential attacks on energy facilities in the Middle East. But Jeffrey Currie, an analyst at Goldman Sachs, says crude is unlikely to rise much further from here. Short-term oil prices have risen further than longer-term futures, tipping the market deeper into backwardation. Based on Friday's move, Currie calculates that traders are "immediately and preemptively pricing in an outage of [800,000 barrels a day] for three months or a 30% chance of a much larger [2.7 million barrels a day] outage for three months." This would represent a severe outage, given that the southern Iraqi port of Basra exported 3.2 million barrels a day of oil in December.
- The chances of a significant selloff in euro-denominated credit default swaps on the back of U.S.-Iran tensions look limited, says Commerzbank. Credit default swaps are derivatives contracts that allow investors to buy and sell protection against a company's default. Their spreads widen in a selloff, as investors price in higher risk. Tensions in the Middle East could hurt prospects of a "swift signing" of a U.S.-China phase-one trade deal, which could drive CDS spreads wider, says the bank. Yet the bar for this to happen is "quite high," it says. CDS tracked by the Markit iTraxx Europe Main index widened 1.1 basis points into the weekend, driven by rising tensions between the U.S. and Iran. Still, the index ended the first week of 2020 below 45 basis points, the bank notes.
- For fund managers anxious about the impact of hostilities between the U.S. and Iran on their investments, gold will provide better protection than oil, says Jeffrey Currie at Goldman Sachs. The price of both commodities has surged following America's targeted killing of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani. Reasons why oil won't rally much further including abundant strategic stockpiles of oil in the U.S., significant spare production capacity in OPEC, and large crude inventories in China and Saudi Arabia, he says. Currie says gold has performed well during previous bouts of military tension, such as at the start of the two Gulf wars and after the Sept. 11 attacks. "Additional escalation in U.S.-Iranian tensions could further boost gold prices," he says.
- Gold prices hit their highest level in more than six years as escalating tensions between the U.S. and Iran encourage investors to buy haven assets, while rising oil prices prompt them to hedge against higher inflation. The precious metal is 1.4% higher at $1,574.10 a troy ounce in New York, the most expensive it has been since April 2013. Earlier Monday, most-active gold futures rose as high as $1,590.90 a troy ounce. "Clearly the longer the current tension and uncertainty linger, the more of a move towards safe-haven assets we are likely to see," says Wenyu Yao, a metals analyst at ING. Gold's advance comes as government-bond yields fall, making the non-yielding metal more attractive to own.
- Brent crude oil is up 2% at $69.94 a barrel and WTI futures are up 1.7% at $64.14 a barrel after a weekend of escalating tensions between the U.S., Iran and Iraq. Prices surged on Friday after U.S. airstrikes killed Iranian General Qasem Soleimani. Iran has since said it will no longer comply with nuclear enrichment limits and the Iraqi parliament has voted to expel American troops. Investors fear market disruptions if Iran targets Middle East oil infrastructure, with Iran having allegedly been behind numerous previous attacks. The oil market is "expected to be in surplus over the first half of 2020, however any disruptions could change this very quickly," ING's Warren Patterson says. An oil deficit "would likely bring an end to the OPEC+ production cut deal," he says.

Jan 06 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)
- Oil prices shot more than 2% higher, with Brent rising above $70 a barrel, after U.S. President Donald Trump issued a threat to impose sanctions on Iraq amid escalating tensions with Iran in the Middle East.
- Gold surged close to a seven-year peak, as investors flocked to the safe-haven metal on escalating U.S.-Iran tensions, while palladium surpassed the level of $2,000 to hit a record high.
- London copper prices bounced back after a sharp drop in the previous session as the soon-to-be signed trade deal between the United States and China boosted prospects of higher demand.
- Chicago soybean futures slipped for a second session, as concerns over demand for U.S. supplies amid a flare-up of tensions in the Middle East put pressure on prices.
- Raw sugar futures on ICE rose on Friday, boosted primarily by a surge in crude oil prices after a U.S. air strike in Baghdad killed the head of Iran's elite Quds force.
- Malaysian palm oil futures are set to fall for a second session, as rising Mideast tensions stoke concerns about export shipments and traders squared off positions ahead of the Malaysian Palm Oil Board industry performance report due Jan. 10.
- The safe-haven yen touched a three-month high and gold jumped as investors fretted that the killing of Iran's most prominent military commander by the United States could trigger a broader Middle East conflict.

- It's a new year, yet corporate board members share some familiar concerns. When asked in a recent survey what trends might have the greatest effect on their companies over the next 12 months, public company directors cited growing business-model disruptions, a slowing economy and stepped-up competition for workers as top issues, according to an annual governance survey commissioned by the National Association of Corporate Directors. Corporate executives regularly raise such issues as challenges. In the survey, directors also expressed concern about cybersecurity threats and accelerating technological changes. Only about a quarter of respondents cited rising geopolitical volatility as an issue. The survey, released in December, was conducted over the summer--before the latest tensions in the Middle East.
- The dollar's rise on Friday after an overnight U.S. military strike killed the head of the Iranian military is a "reflex of the currency market," says Ulrich Leuchtmann, head of currency research at Commerzbank. "When the bombs fall, investors push into the dollar," he says, noting that the currency, along with the Japanese yen, "remains a well-functioning safe haven" when geopolitical risks arise. However, the rush to safe havens could soon end as investor fears start to fade, Leuchtmann says. "As fast as investors push into 'safe havens' now, they are willing to leave them. And typically they don't wait until peace arrives," he says. The DXY dollar index is last at 96.812, having earlier hit a one-week high of 97.11.
- Democratic presidential candidates would find it hard to argue against a stronger defense budget in 2020 after the US said its airstrike killed an Iranian military leader, according to Citi analyst Jonathan Raviv. Geopolitical risks tend to support defense spending, a boon for defense stocks, Raviv says. "This sort of development could make it politically tougher to oppose arms exports, which has been a trend over the recent year," Raviv says. Defense stocks are up, with Northrop Grumman up 4.5% and Lockheed Martin up 3.5%.
- Higher tensions between Washington and Tehran are pushing the US dollar higher today-- which has an effect on any commodity, but appears to be impacting base metals particularly. Metals on the LME are down across the board, led by nickel, which is off 2.9%. Tin is down 2.7%, while zinc is losing 1.3%, copper is 0.7% lower, lead is off 0.4%, and aluminum is edging down 0.1%. While today's reaction to the US airstrike that killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani is not unexpected, its impact on the US dollar may linger--which will continue to be bearish for metals, says Natalie Scott-Gray of INTL FCStone. "It will be important to follow how far this geopolitical impact will escalate, with possible longer term repercussions on the US dollar likely," says Scott-Gray.
- The U.S. dollar, a safe-haven currency, has risen sharply as investors fret about an escalation of the conflict between the U.S. and Iran after a top Iranian military leader was killed overnight in a U.S. airstrike. The U.S. DXY dollar index jumps to a seven-day high of 97.1100 Friday, according to FactSet. Gains on the dollar are adding pressure on GBP/USD, which is down 0.6% at 1.3058, and EUR/USD, which falls by 0.4% to 1.1132. Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, expects safe-haven currencies to continue to post gains until Iran's response to the death of Qassim Soleimani becomes clearer.
- Defensive stocks are set to outperform and safe-haven currencies to rise while treasury yields are expected to weaken, as investors brace for Iran's response to the death of top military leader Qassim Soleimani in a U.S. airstrike, says Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics. "The wild card is whether turmoil in the Middle East triggers a sustained selloff in equities, depressing business and consumer confidence to the point where [U.S.] labor market and inflation concerns become secondary", he says. While Shepherdson doesn't expect the conflict to escalate into a full-blown war, any response from Iran in that direction could force the U.S. Federal Reserve to cut interest rates, "especially if credit markets seize-up too", he says.
- Eurozone government bond yields trade lower, indicating investor concerns in the wake of a U.S. air strike in Iran which killed a high-level Iranian military leader. "Sentiment turned risk-off as investors ponder the risks of an escalation in the U.S.-Iran conflict," analysts at KBC Bank say. Bond yields trade lower across the board in the 10-year segment, with the German Bund yield trading near 6 basis points lower at -0.285%, according to Tradeweb. Moves are of similar magnitude in the bond yields of other eurozone peers, although Italy continues to outperform with the 10-year BTP yield trading 9 basis points lower at 1.239%, according to Tradeweb. However, low trading volumes may exaggerate moves. Bond yields move inversely to prices.
- An all-out war between the U.S. and Iran could take 0.5%-points or more off the growth rate of the global GDP, as Iran's economy collapses and a surge in oil prices weigh on growth, Capital Economics says. The chances of an outright conflict between the U.S. and Iran has significantly increased after the death of Iran's top military leader Qassem Soleimani in a U.S. airstrike last night, says Jason Tuvey, a senior economist at Capital Economics. "Clearly, the major concern for the world economy is that events spiral out of control and the U.S. launches a full-blown military assault on Iran," he says.
- The Stoxx Europe 600 falls 4 points, or 0.9%, to 405.20 points as risk appetite takes a hit after an Iranian top military leader was killed in a U.S. air strike. "Stock markets and bond yields are lower," says Danske Bank, adding that "markets will await a possible response from Iran with fears rising of a tit-for-tat escalation of the U.S.-Iran conflict." Stocks move broadly lower in the region, with Germany's DAX down 1.4%, France's CAC 40 down 0.5% and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 0.4% lower.
- Sterling falls as investors fret over Brexit uncertainty and await a key survey that is expected to show U.K. construction activity continued to shrink. U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said the Brexit transition period won't be extended beyond the end of 2020, raising concerns that Britain could crash out of the EU without a trade deal. The IHS Markit/ CIPS U.K. construction purchasing managers index for December is due at 0930 GMT. RBC Capital Markets expects the PMI to rise to 45.5 from 45.3 in November. A level below 50 signals a contraction in sector activity. GBP/USD drops 0.4% to 1.3090 and EUR/GBP rises 0.2% to 0.8522.
- The FTSE 100 is expected to open 28 points lower after an Iranian general was killed by U.S. forces in Iraq. Qassem Soleimani, head of Iran's elite Quds Force, was killed in an air attack at the Baghdad international airport early Friday, which is likely to escalate tensions between the U.S. and Iran. "A big fat dollop of geopolitical uncertainty has landed on investors desks," Oanda's Jeffrey Halley says. Meanwhile, investors will be evaluating a batch of economic data, including the IHS Markit/CIPS U.K. construction purchasing managers survey, U.K. consumer credit figures, German unemployment and inflation, and the ISM U.S. manufacturing report.

Jan 03 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- Brent crude futures jumped nearly $3 to their highest since September after a U.S. air strike killed key Iranian and Iraqi military personnel, raising concerns that escalating Middle East tensions may disrupt oil supplies.
- Gold prices climbed to a four-month high, as tensions mounted in the Middle East, while a weaker dollar also provided some support to the metal.
- Shanghai aluminium prices fell, having hit a more than two-week low overnight on signs that stocks in top consumer China were rising again after a protracted drop over 2019, while nickel prices dived.
- The Japanese yen led other safe-haven assets higher after U.S. air strikes on Baghdad airport killed a senior Iranian military official.
- Chicago soybean futures ticked lower although the market was poised for a fifth consecutive weekly gain, underpinned by expectations of higher Chinese demand.
- ICE arabica coffee futures dropped on Thursday as the market extended its retreat from a more than two-year high set in mid-December, while raw sugar and New York cocoa prices also fell.
- Malaysian palm oil futures edged down, as concerns over escalating tensions in the Middle East spurred buyers to book profits.

- The U.S. dollar, a safe-haven currency, has risen sharply as investors fret about an escalation of the conflict between the U.S. and Iran after a top Iranian military leader was killed overnight in a U.S. airstrike. The U.S. DXY dollar index jumps to a seven-day high of 97.1100 Friday, according to FactSet. Gains on the dollar are adding pressure on GBP/USD, which is down 0.6% at 1.3058, and EUR/USD, which falls by 0.4% to 1.1132. Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, expects safe-haven currencies to continue to post gains until Iran's response to the death of Qassim Soleimani becomes clearer.
- Defensive stocks are set to outperform and safe-haven currencies to rise while treasury yields are expected to weaken, as investors brace for Iran's response to the death of top military leader Qassim Soleimani in a U.S. airstrike, says Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics. "The wild card is whether turmoil in the Middle East triggers a sustained selloff in equities, depressing business and consumer confidence to the point where [U.S.] labor market and inflation concerns become secondary", he says. While Shepherdson doesn't expect the conflict to escalate into a full-blown war, any response from Iran in that direction could force the U.S. Federal Reserve to cut interest rates, "especially if credit markets seize-up too", he says.
- Eurozone government bond yields trade lower, indicating investor concerns in the wake of a U.S. air strike in Iran which killed a high-level Iranian military leader. "Sentiment turned risk-off as investors ponder the risks of an escalation in the U.S.-Iran conflict," analysts at KBC Bank say. Bond yields trade lower across the board in the 10-year segment, with the German Bund yield trading near 6 basis points lower at -0.285%, according to Tradeweb. Moves are of similar magnitude in the bond yields of other eurozone peers, although Italy continues to outperform with the 10-year BTP yield trading 9 basis points lower at 1.239%, according to Tradeweb. However, low trading volumes may exaggerate moves. Bond yields move inversely to prices.
- An all-out war between the U.S. and Iran could take 0.5%-points or more off the growth rate of the global GDP, as Iran's economy collapses and a surge in oil prices weigh on growth, Capital Economics says. The chances of an outright conflict between the U.S. and Iran has significantly increased after the death of Iran's top military leader Qassem Soleimani in a U.S. airstrike last night, says Jason Tuvey, a senior economist at Capital Economics. "Clearly, the major concern for the world economy is that events spiral out of control and the U.S. launches a full-blown military assault on Iran," he says.
- The Stoxx Europe 600 falls 4 points, or 0.9%, to 405.20 points as risk appetite takes a hit after an Iranian top military leader was killed in a U.S. air strike. "Stock markets and bond yields are lower," says Danske Bank, adding that "markets will await a possible response from Iran with fears rising of a tit-for-tat escalation of the U.S.-Iran conflict." Stocks move broadly lower in the region, with Germany's DAX down 1.4%, France's CAC 40 down 0.5% and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 0.4% lower.
- Sterling falls as investors fret over Brexit uncertainty and await a key survey that is expected to show U.K. construction activity continued to shrink. U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said the Brexit transition period won't be extended beyond the end of 2020, raising concerns that Britain could crash out of the EU without a trade deal. The IHS Markit/ CIPS U.K. construction purchasing managers index for December is due at 0930 GMT. RBC Capital Markets expects the PMI to rise to 45.5 from 45.3 in November. A level below 50 signals a contraction in sector activity. GBP/USD drops 0.4% to 1.3090 and EUR/GBP rises 0.2% to 0.8522.
- The FTSE 100 is expected to open 28 points lower after an Iranian general was killed by U.S. forces in Iraq. Qassem Soleimani, head of Iran's elite Quds Force, was killed in an air attack at the Baghdad international airport early Friday, which is likely to escalate tensions between the U.S. and Iran. "A big fat dollop of geopolitical uncertainty has landed on investors desks," Oanda's Jeffrey Halley says. Meanwhile, investors will be evaluating a batch of economic data, including the IHS Markit/CIPS U.K. construction purchasing managers survey, U.K. consumer credit figures, German unemployment and inflation, and the ISM U.S. manufacturing report.

Jan 02 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)
- Oil prices kicked off the new year higher as warming trade relations between the United States and China eased demand concerns, while rising tensions in the Middle East fuelled worries about supply.
- Gold prices edged higher as the dollar hovered near a six-month low hit on New Year's Eve amid bets U.S. economic outperformance could be coming to an end.
- London copper rose as much as 1%, as investors cheered a monetary policy easing move by China's central bank and U.S. President Donald Trump setting a date to sign a trade deal with Beijing.
- U.S. wheat, corn and soybean futures posted annual gains in 2019 after an initial U.S.-China trade deal that could boost agricultural exports helped prices rally toward the end of the year.
- ICE arabica coffee futures slipped on the last day of trading in 2019 on Tuesday, but overall posted strong gains in 2019 as investors remained concerned about tightness in global supplies.
- Malaysian palm oil futures rose over 1% on the first trading day of the year, helped by expectations of lower output in December and on likely higher imports from India due to a tax cut.

- Trump suggests some flavored vapes may be pulled from market
President Donald Trump says the federal government will soon announce a new strategy to tackle underage vaping, promising, “We’re going to protect our families, we’re going to protect our children, and we’re going to protect the industry." Trump was vague about what the plan would entail but suggested “certain flavors” in cartridge-based e-cigarettes would be taken off the market “for a period of time."

- President Trump Says He Will Sign Phase One China Trade Deal on Jan. 15
President Donald Trump said he will sign the first phase of a trade deal with China on Jan. 15, Bloomberg News is reporting on Tuesday.
"The ceremony will take place at the White House," he said on his Twitter account Tuesday, adding he will be going to Beijing where he said talks will begin on the second phase of the deal.

Dec 31 - Commodity3 would like to thank you again this year for the trust you have placed in us and wish you all a happy, healthy and successful new year 2020 !

Dec 31 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ)
- Mexico's peso was among the best performing emerging currencies in 2019, closing the year with a 4.1% gain against the US dollar at 18.89, according to the central bank's final reference price. Lack of economic growth and weak investment were offset by falling inflation, attractive interest rates, a trade surplus and government budget discipline. Peso volatility in 2019 was the lowest in five years and the range between the minimum and maximum rates the smallest since 2010, says Banco Base. Among themes to watch for in 2020: USMCA ratification, US elections and trade tensions; and on the local front, economic growth, further Bank of Mexico interest-rate cuts, and Pemex and sovereign credit ratings.
- Volatility in foreign exchange markets is set to rise next year driven by uncertainty over the U.S. election and the risk of a selloff in stocks, says Kathy Lien, managing director of foreign exchange strategy for BK Asset Management. Despite three-month euro volatility hitting record lows, "the U.S. election next year and the risk of stocks coming off their highs, leading to broad based profit taking, we expect volatility to rise in 2020", she says. Also, uncertainty over Brexit and trade negotiations between the U.S. and China are likely to persist into next year, Lien adds.

Dec 26 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)
- Healthcare is one of Brooks Macdonald's preferred sectors for equity investment in 2020, yet uncertainty over the U.S. general election in November has prompted the asset manager to cut its exposure. Senior investment director Robert Seifert says the sector has shown a strong performance, with the MSCI Health Care Index up 19.78% from the beginning of the year to Nov. 29 and that industry reports point to global healthcare spending advancing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5% in 2019-2023. However, it's "increasingly noticeable" that the U.S. Democrats are increasingly closing the gap with Republicans, with the former pledging to reduce medical pricing and demanding greater regulation and public scrutiny, he says.

Dec 24 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)
- Trump, Xi Talk About Deal Progress; Signing Being Arranged
US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping have discussed the progress of the phase-one trade agreement over the phone Friday, with both leaders promising to sign the formal deal "as soon as possible," Caixin Global reported Saturday, citing a report from state-media Xinhua News Agency. Trump was quoted as saying the trade deal was "a good thing." He also said the US will maintain its close communication with China and implement and sign the trade deal as soon as possible. Xi, on the other hand, said the pact was reached on the basis of equality and mutual respect and will benefit both countries as well as the rest of the world. After the call, Trump tweeted the formal signing of the trade deal is being arranged.

- Breaking down the Trump-China trade agreement
President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to Phase 1 of an interim trade agreement on Friday, Dec. 13. The agreement, expected to be formally signed in early January, marks the first significant breakthrough of this near 2-year long trade dispute. The United States and China have a complex economic relationship. The U.S. and China are the world's No. 1 and No. 2 largest economies, respectively. Combined, these two nations account for more than 41% of the world's total economic output. But the relationship between these two global giants has seldom been harmonious, especially when it comes to trade. The U.S. and China are each other's largest single trading partner. In 2018, their combined trade was a massive $659.8 billion. However, Trump has long complained of China's ever-expanding trade deficit with the U.S. In other words, we buy a lot more goods from China than they buy from us. In 2018, the U.S. exported only $120.3 billion of American goods into China. In return, we imported a sizable $539.5 billion of Chinese goods into our country. This resulting trade deficit of $419.2 billion is a record high and is the largest with any one nation. For perspective, America's second largest trade deficit is with Mexico at just $81.5 billion.

Phase 1 immediately goes into effect and includes the bulk of Trump's demands from China. China will buy significant quantities of U.S. agricultural goods, specifically soybeans and pork. China will ramp up its annual purchase of U.S. soybeans to $40-$50 billion a year, nearly two to three times greater than its historical annual purchase. It will also end China's "forced technology transfers." For decades, for American companies to gain access to China's marketplace, they would often have to turn over their intellectual property, trade secrets and technologies to the Chinese government or to a Chinese company. Additionally, the agreement provides greater protections on American copyrights and trademarks and allows greater access to U.S. financial services companies.

Finally, it addresses China's currency manipulation. China is often accused of devaluing its currency. By artificially lowering the value of its currency, China makes its goods cheaper to buy in the global marketplace which unfairly pulls demand away from American manufacturers. Negotiations have already started for Phase 2 - the next stage in this new agreement. Apart from the gains already achieved in Phase 1, Trump will continue to seek greater unrestricted access to China's marketplace. Trump will also look to address China's manufacturing subsidies. China heavily subsidizes its manufacturing industries, which then flood the global marketplace with cheap goods at prices with which U.S. manufacturers simply can't compete.

In return for China's concessions, Trump cancelled a 15% tariff on $160 billion of Chinese goods that was to go into effect last Sunday. Furthermore, his 15% tariff on $110 billion of Chinese goods imposed in September will be reduced to 7.5%. But the remaining 25% tariff on $250 billion of Chinese goods will remain in effect. China has a long history of not honoring its trade agreements, and Trump contends he needs to maintain leverage over China to ensure they live up to their commitments.

This new agreement, along with the recently negotiated U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, has helped continue the ongoing rally in the U.S. stock markets. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, NASDAQ and S&P 500 each continue to set new all-time highs. Though Phase 1 immediately goes into effect, we shouldn't expect an overnight surge in the economy. The agreement will take some time to filter its way through the economy, manufacturing supply chains and farmers' crop production. But in the shorter term, it should start to alleviate some of that cloud of uncertainty this trade dispute has brought to American manufacturers and farmers.

- Healthcare is one of Brooks Macdonald's preferred sectors for equity investment in 2020, yet uncertainty over the U.S. general election in November has prompted the asset manager to cut its exposure. Senior investment director Robert Seifert says the sector has shown a strong performance, with the MSCI Health Care Index up 19.78% from the beginning of the year to Nov. 29 and that industry reports point to global healthcare spending advancing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5% in 2019-2023. However, it's "increasingly noticeable" that the U.S. Democrats are increasingly closing the gap with Republicans, with the former pledging to reduce medical pricing and demanding greater regulation and public scrutiny, he says.

Dec 23 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

Asian shares mixed as markets yawn at Trump's impeachment
- Stocks were mixed in early trading in Asia on Friday after Wall Street posted more record highs, extending the market's gains for the week.
- Japan's Nikkei 225 index edged 0.2% lower to 23,809.33, while the Kospi in Seoul was almost unchanged, at 2,196.45. The S&P ASX 200 in Sydney slipped 0.2% to 6,821.10. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index edged 0.1% higher to 29,538.00.
- Technology companies led stocks higher on Wall Street Thursday, extending the market's gains for the week and pushing the major indexes to more record highs. Reports that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said a trade deal with China was finished and ready for signing after the holidays also spurred buying.

- "Indeed, agreement of the 'Phase 1' deal between the U.S. and China has removed quite a lot of uncertainties in the outlook for 2020, and with the global growth revival trade is looking better and better by the day, equity investors are reveling in the holiday cheer," Stephen Innes of AxiTrader said in a commentary.

- The broad gains on Wall Street erased the S&P 500's slight losses from a day earlier. The benchmark index has notched gains six out of the past seven days. A batch of encouraging earnings reports from several big companies helped keep investors in a buying mood. Rite Aid, Conagra Brands and Micron Technology rose after posting quarterly results that exceeded analysts' forecasts.

- Stock indexes were little changed for much of the day. Stocks, bonds, gold and a measure of fear among investors on Wall Street made only modest moves in the first day of trading after President Donald Trump's impeachment by the House of Representatives."We've kind of known how this was going to play out for months," said Scott Ladner, chief investment officer at Horizon Investments. "That just means that everybody has had an opinion, and whatever opinion that is it's been priced into the market."
- The S&P 500 rose 14.23 points, or 0.4%, to 3,205.37. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 137.68 points, or 0.5%, to 28,376.96, a record.
- The Nasdaq composite climbed 0.7% to 8,887.22, a record. The Russell 2000 index of small-cap stocks added 0.3% to 1,667.09.

More stocks rose on the New York Stock Exchange than fell.
- Treasury yields slipped. The 10-year Treasury yield dipped to 1.91% from 1.92% late Wednesday. The two-year yield was unchanged at 1.62% and the 30-year yield rose to 2.36% from 2.35%.
- The major stock indexes climbed to record highs late last week as investors welcomed news that the U.S. and China had taken steps to de-escalate their trade conflict. Stocks have mostly continued their record-breaking run this week, shrugging off the House's impeachment of President Trump.

- Trump became just the third U.S. president to be impeached after the House voted Wednesday on charges of abuse of power and obstructing Congress in an investigation.

The President had warned months ago that his impeachment would roil markets, but traders say it has virtually no impact. That's mostly because they see it as extremely unlikely that he or his market-friendly policies will leave office before the end of his term. Trump, who has often reveled on Twitter when stock prices are rising, warned in October that "The Impeachment Hoax is hurting our Stock Market."
- A gauge measuring how worried traders are about upcoming swings for the S&P 500 rose only 0.6%.
- Technology and communication services stocks accounted for much of the gains Thursday. Utilities and energy companies were the only decliners.

Investors had their eye on earnings reports from several companies.
- Conagra Brands surged 15.9% for the biggest gain in the S&P 500 after it reported stronger profit and revenue for the latest quarter than Wall Street forecast due in part to sales of frozen and snack foods.
- Micron Technology rose 2.8% after it reported stronger profit for the latest quarter than analysts expected. Its CEO also said it expects this quarter to mark "the cyclical bottom for our financial performance."
- Reports on the U.S. economy were mixed. Fewer workers applied for jobless benefits last week than the prior week, but the number was higher than economists forecast.
- A report by the Philadelphia Federal Reserve said that manufacturing activity was nearly flat in the region last month. The pace of sales of previously occupied homes also weakened last month, as more Americans get priced out of the rising housing market.

- Benchmark crude oil lost 9 cents to $61.11 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude oil, the international standard, gained 2 cents to $66.56 a barrel.

- The dollar was almost unchanged at 109.36 Japanese yen from 109.35 yen on Thursday. The euro also inched higher, to $1.1123 from $1.1122.

Dec 20 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)
- Oil prices held steady near three-month highs, heading for a third consecutive weekly rise, on the back of easing Sino-U.S. trade tensions that have weighed on demand as well as the global economic growth outlook.
- Gold prices inched lower in range-bound trade, pressured by increased risk appetite on hopes of an interim Sino-U.S. deal being signed soon, while investors awaited U.S. GDP data release for fresh cues.
- London copper prices held steady above $6,200 a tonne, heading for their fifth straight weekly gain on easing Sino-U.S. trade tensions and an improving demand outlook in top consumer China.
- Chicago soybean futures ticked higher, with the market set for a third consecutive week of gains on expectations of higher Chinese demand following an initial trade deal between Washington and Beijing.
- ICE raw sugar futures rose on Thursday, edging back towards last week's one-year high amid tightening supplies. Arabica coffee slid from this week's two-year peak.
- Malaysian palm oil futures rose for a second straight session, buoyed by expectations of lower production in early 2020 and tracking strength in rival Dalian and Chicago Board Of Trade vegetable oils.
- Sterling was precariously poised as it headed for its worst week in more than two years, hobbled by familiar fears of a chaotic British exit from the European Union, while firm data helped the dollar arrest its recent slide.

- The Stoxx Europe 600 falls 0.06% and other major European indices are lower after the impeachment of U.S. President Donald Trump causes a slight fall on Wall Street. The DAX drops 0.4%, the CAC-40 is off 0.07% and the FTSE 100 retreats 0.03%. "The Democrats have got their wish and the House of Representatives has passed two motions of impeachment against President Trump," Russ Mould at AJ Bell says. "Whether the U.S. electorate is likely to care remains unclear, but based on the two impeachment episodes of modern times, financial markets are likely to remain unruffled--especially as the Republican majority in the Senate will deny the Democrats the 67% vote they need in the Upper House to remove Trump from office," Mould says.
- Gold prices rise, boosted by a weaker dollar and political uncertainty in the U.S. following the vote to impeach President Trump. The precious metal is up 0.1% at $1,480 a troy ounce in New York. Gold traders will track developments in Washington, where the impeachment process now moves to the Senate. "Markets had little reaction thanks to Republican control of the Senate," says Christian Streckert of Deutsche Bank. Traders will also wait for the Bank of England's monetary-policy decision. The central bank is widely expected to keep interest rates on hold, after the Bank
of Japan left monetary policy unchanged. Central-bank policy matters for precious metals because they pay no interest, and become more attractive for investors when rates fall.
- Neither Brexit nor the impeachment of U.S. President Donald Trump are likely derail the tightening in euro-denominated corporate bond spreads, says Commerzbank. With the impeachment trial being "unlikely to lead to an actual ousting of Trump" and the imminent risk of hard Brexit removed, news on the implementation of the phase-one trade deal between the U.S. and China will "define this year's remaining few liquidity-strapped sessions," says the bank.
- The House Energy and Commerce Committee is circulating a draft consumer-data privacy bill developed by lawmakers in both parties, a signal that month-long negotiations are advancing. The draft, seen by WSJ, would give consumers new rights to access and request deletion of their personal information. But it leaves two big unanswered questions: It doesn't address whether consumers will have a "private right of action" to enforce their new rights or how, if at all, the bill will preempt state laws. Talks among lawmakers in both the House and Senate so far haven't overcome those sticking points.
- The Trump administration is moving forward on a plan to allow the importation of cheaper drugs from other countries as part of its effort to reduce prescription costs. The FDA will announce a rule letting states develop plans to import certain prescription drugs from Canada, and draft guidance from the Health and Human Services Department will be released today that will enable certain medications made and sold in other countries to be imported to the US. Opening up US markets to imported drugs is a central plank of the White House's effort to reduce drug prices. It is also likely to be a major talking point for President Trump as the 2020 election kicks off.
- President Trump is consolidating support among US farmers as the House vote on his impeachment nears. About 82% of farmers either strongly or somewhat approve of the job the president is doing, up from 78% in November, according to a Farm Journal survey of 1,225 farmers and ranchers conducted from Dec. 13 through Dec. 16. President Trump scored points in farm country last week after House Democrats agreed to support the administration's new trade deal with Mexico and Canada, and a partial trade deal with China was announced.

Dec 19 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics ( WSJ DJ Reuters )
- Oil prices remained in touching distance of three-month peaks, extending a robust streak that began a week ago, after data showed U.S. crude inventories had dropped while output cuts by major producers kept supply snug.
- Gold prices gained after the U.S. House of Representatives voted to impeach President Donald Trump, stoking political uncertainty in the world's largest economy.
- Copper prices edged down due to some profit taking and caution by investors after a recent rally, boosted by an interim Sino-U.S. trade deal and hopes of improving demand in top consumer China.
- Chicago soybean futures lost ground, with prices pulling back from a five-week high touched earlier this week, as concerns over Chinese demand and expectations of a record Brazilian crop weighed on the market.
- Arabica coffee futures edged lower on Wednesday in choppy conditions with the next move uncertain after a recent surge to a more than two-year high was followed by a sharp setback.
- Malaysian palm oil futures fell for a second straight day, dragged lower by slowing demand, although a decline in inventories limited the losses.
- The dollar took U.S. President Donald Trump's impeachment in stride while its Australian counterpart rallied after a surprise fall in the country's unemployment rate.

- The Trump administration is moving forward on a plan to allow the importation of cheaper drugs from other countries as part of its effort to reduce prescription costs. The FDA will announce a rule letting states develop plans to import certain prescription drugs from Canada, and draft guidance from the Health and Human Services Department will be released today that will enable certain medications made and sold in other countries to be imported to the US.
Opening up US markets to imported drugs is a central plank of the White House's effort to reduce drug prices. It is also likely to be a major talking point for President Trump as the 2020 election kicks off.
- President Trump is consolidating support among US farmers as the House vote on his impeachment nears. About 82% of farmers either strongly or somewhat approve of the job the president is doing, up from 78% in November, according to a Farm Journal survey of 1,225 farmers and ranchers conducted from Dec. 13 through Dec. 16. President Trump scored points in farm country last week after House Democrats agreed to support the administration's new trade deal with Mexico and Canada, and a partial trade deal with China was announced.
- The next big hurdle for the Fiat Chrysler-Peugeot merger is getting regulatory approval amid diverging national interests, analysts say. China's Dongfeng Motor Corporation will have a 4.5% stake in the merged company and "any concerns the U.S. might have about Chinese influence in a big U.S. employer, could well be something that the U.S. President might use to block the deal," Michael Hewson of CMC Markets says. London Capital Group's Jasper Lawler says the deal has a good chance of getting EU approval, given the impact of the current downturn in the bloc's auto-industry. However, "the bigger challenge could come stateside if the Trump administration gets any inkling that homegrown brand Chrysler is becoming European," Lawler says.
- With the White House set to receive a $738 billion military-policy bill establishing President Trump's long-sought Space Force, House and Senate appropriators are moving to approve $40 million, a tiny sliver of outlays, to begin setting up what will become the sixth branch of the armed forces. Creating the new service
under the umbrella of the Air Force is a significant political win for the Trump administration. The same bipartisan spending package provides another roughly $30 million for acquisitions by the related Space Development Agency. By contrast, Congress is looking to approve more than $154 billion for military pay and support for fiscal 2020, including 328,000 active-duty Air Force personnel.
- Canada will likely be the last country to formally ratify the revised North American trade deal, or USMCA, PM Justin Trudeau says in a year-end interview with Toronto's Citytv station. "We are reasonably confident we will have the votes to" ratify USMCA, Trudeau says, citing Canada's parliamentary calendar. Canada's legislature reconvened for seven days this month, following an October election in which Trudeau's Liberals won re-election but with a minority mandate -- meaning another party's support is necessary to ensure USMCA ratification. Canada's legislature is now off for Christmas and not scheduled to return until Jan. 27. Once parliament resumes, "we will have to try to get to it as quickly as we can," Trudeau says.

Dec 18 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)
- Oil prices fell after U.S. industry data showed a surprise build in crude inventories, but expectations for firmer demand next year prevented a bigger fall in prices.
- Gold prices were largely subdued, with investors awaiting more details on the U.S.-China trade deal, while palladium retreated from last session's record peak.
- Shanghai aluminium scaled a three-month high as easing tensions in the U.S.-China trade conflict fuelled optimism about better demand.
- U.S. wheat futures fell 1%, as traders booked profits, but hopes of rise in demand for North American supplies and Argentina's plans to raise export taxes on the grain kept losses in check.
- Arabica coffee futures on ICE fell sharply on Tuesday after earlier climbing to their highest in more than two years. Raw sugar and cocoa also edged lower.
- Malaysian palm oil futures slipped as a recent rally in prices curbed demand for the vegetable oil.
- The pound extended its slide, as Britain's fixing of a fresh Brexit deadline rekindled fears of a chaotic exit from the European Union, while the dollar won back lost ground.

- Canada will likely be the last country to formally ratify the revised North American trade deal, or USMCA, PM Justin Trudeau says in a year-end interview with Toronto's Citytv station. "We are reasonably confident we will have the votes to" ratify USMCA, Trudeau says, citing Canada's parliamentary calendar. Canada's legislature reconvened for seven days this month, following an October election in which Trudeau's Liberals won re-election but with a minority mandate -- meaning another party's support is necessary to ensure USMCA ratification. Canada's legislature is now off for Christmas and not scheduled to return until Jan. 27. Once parliament resumes, "we will have to try to get to it as quickly as we can," Trudeau says.
- Eli Lilly supports parts of the Senate Finance Committee's Prescription Drug Pricing Reduction Act, which would place a cap on out-of-pocket spending in the federal Medicare program, but opposes its provision that would cap Americans' drug costs, Finance Chief Joshua Smiley says on an earnings call. "We'd like to see patient affordability addressed even further with rebate reform being in addition to the package we would strongly support," Smiley says. "We are, however, opposed to the inflationary caps which we believe artificially control prices and ignore free market principles." Lilly shares rise 2.8% after issuing an upbeat financial outlook for next year.
- California's new labor law, Assembly Bill 5, goes into effect Jan. 1, requiring employers to reclassify many of their independent contractors as employees. Lawyers and advisers are urging clients to be cautious. In large enterprises, the legal position is, "'we don't want to be the test case,'" said Gene Zaino, founder of MBO Partners, who advises self-employed contractors and their corporate clients. Most of the firms he works with, including Fortune 500 firms, are converting contractors to employees. More than 2.8 million Californians earned income in 2016 for non-employee work, according to economists who analyzed Internal Revenue Service data. That is nearly 14% of workers in the state who filed taxes or received tax documents from employers and clients, underscoring the potential reach of the new law.
- Sterling could weaken further as softer U.K. economic indicators increase the prospect of an interest rate cut by the Bank of England, Oanda says. Pound optimism is "quickly fading" after reports the U.K. government will seek to pass legislation to rule out an extension to the Brexit transition period beyond the end of 2020, Oanda's Edward Moya says. GBP/USD is last down 1.2% on the day at 1.3159, having fallen to 1.3132 earlier--its weakest level since before the Dec. 12 election exit poll correctly predicted a landslide victory for the Conservatives. The pair could drop towards 1.3000 but might "eventually look to retest last week's highs around 1.3500, more so on a weaker dollar," Moya says.
- EU pharmaceutical pipeline strength and positive fundamentals will outweigh political risks in 2020 as the time to pass pricing reforms runs out, Jefferies says. New product pipelines enhanced by cutting-edge technology, favorable regulatory attitudes, as well as growth opportunities in China all provide momentum for the industry, the U.S. bank says, while the potential for any drug-price legislation being passed before the U.S. presidential elections is slim at this point. "Novartis is now our favourite EU large-cap Pharma, followed by Roche, Sanofi and GSK. We are cautious on AstraZeneca, and Novo Nordisk is our least preferred stock," Jefferies says.
- The benchmark IPC stock index closes up 0.2% at 44356 and the peso reaches its strongest level in five months as local markets ignored a brief spat over labor attaches in a US bill to implement the recently renegotiated USMCA trade deal among the US, Mexico and Canada. Mexico accepted US assurances the intention isn't for attaches  to act as inspectors, which had been a point of contention for Mexico during negotiations. The peso was quoted in Mexico City at 18.94 to the dollar, compared with 19.03 Friday.

Dec 17 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)
- Oil prices trickled a fraction lower but remained near a three-month high as investors kept the faith with hopes that a fully fledged U.S.-China trade deal is in the pipeline, set to stoke oil demand in the world's biggest economies.
- Gold prices were rangebound, as lack of concrete details about the interim U.S.-China trade deal kept investors from making firm bets, while palladium was just $2 away from surpassing key $2,000 per ounce level for the first time.
- London copper prices eased as investors sought clarity over some key aspects of the interim Sino-U.S. trade deal announced last week.
- Chicago soybeans rose for a fourth consecutive session and hit their highest in five weeks as an initial trade deal between Washington and Beijing raised prospects of increased demand from China.
- ICE raw sugar prices fell on Monday amid excess stocks and as funds slowed their buying after betting the sweetener up to its highest in more than a year last week.
- Malaysian palm oil futures gained for a second straight session, fuelled by concerns over lower stockpiles due to seasonal declines and tracking gains in rival soyoil prices
- The British pound fell after reports UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson was seeking a hard line on Britain's transition period after Brexit, while the Aussie dollar dropped on a downbeat tone from the nation's central bank.

- Certainty around the U.K.'s economic outlook has improved after the general election on Thursday but longer-term jitters remain, Kingswood says. GDP growth had ground to a halt in the three months to October and Monday's flash December PMIs showed business confidence dipping further prior to the election, the investment-management company says. However, increased certainty surrounding the U.K.'s plan to leave the EU, in addition to higher government spending, will likely boost business investment, Kingswood says. Nonetheless, the U.K. economy should still remain a little sluggish at just over 1.5%, given that "considerable uncertainty remains over the timing and scope of any trade deals the U.K. will manage to secure, both with the EU and other major trading partners such as the U.S.," Kingswood's Rupert Thompson says.
- News of the approval of the first phase of a U.S.-China trade deal is good for U.S. farmers, says Michael Magdovitz at Rabobank. "Forty billion dollars is enormous. It's an enormous procurement." The timing is also important. China will need to ramp up purchases early next year if it follows through with a pledge to buy $40 billion in produce in 2020. That would allow American farmers to take advantage of higher prices by planting more corn and soybeans in March. "This could precede an expansion in U.S. farmland after a multi-year contraction in income and acreage," Magdovitz says. China has failed to follow through with promises to buy U.S. produce before, but Magdovitz thinks this time could be different because Beijing has actually signed a deal.

Dec 16 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)
- China's trade concessions in a limited deal with the US don't appear to go beyond what it was prepared to give in 2017, says Robert Daly of the Wilson Center. The agreement doesn't address more fundamental issues, including China's subsidies to state-owned enterprises, its treatment of US companies, its intellectual-property protections and other elements of its industrial policy. "The Trump administration says these issues will be addressed in phases two and three, but ... such promises tend to be overlooked and forgotten in election years," Daly adds. "There is little reason to expect a phase two or three."
- It isn't clear US farmers have $50B of goods to sell to meet obligations China is supposed to take under the new, limited trade agreement between the US and China, says Robert Daly of the Wilson Center. Previous agricultural sales to China were at just roughly $17B. And forcing China effectively to guarantee more purchases may come at the expense of closer allies who will then get sales shutout of the Chinese market, adds Daly, who runs the Kissinger Institute on China and the United States. "The United States is advocating for managed trade rather than free trade," he said. "We are violating the free-market principles which we are simultaneously asking China to respect."
- Moody's says its outlook for the US health insurance sector is stable, but says political risks would remain elevated in 2020, as the US heads toward a presidential election. Access to healthcare is one of the major issues for both Republicans and Democrats, with a number of proposals that could change the face of the industry in the US being considered. Moody's says one such proposal, calling for a single-payer system, "would be an existential threat to the industry." Proposals calling for a limited public option "would be credit negative, but likely manageable," Moody's says. Ongoing legal challenges to the Affordable Care Act could also be disruptive to the sector, if the ACA were ruled unconstitutional, the agency says.
- More Democrats are criticizing the new, limited trade agreement between the US and China. Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer called the deal a sellout. Sen. Chris Murphy now calls it "a total capitulation." He and former Labor Secretary Robert Reich suggest President Trump's tactics have led to a net loss for the country. They total up $39B between losses for farmers and tax money spent for emergency payouts to them, compared to only $29B in upcoming increases in farm purchases from China over what it bought in pre-tariff trade. "The trade war cost America 300,000 jobs, and in exchange, in this 'deal' China made exactly ZERO hard commitments to structural reform," Murphy tweets. "It's a bad deal no matter how you score it ... the pain Trump inflicted on American workers and consumers does not appear to come close to the relatively minor concessions he got from China."
- Leaders at the US-China Business Council say they hope a limited agreement between the US and China will lead to further progress on more trade reforms. The group singles out the deal's monitoring and enforcement provisions as welcome changes. "This is an encouraging first phase that puts a floor under further deterioration of the bilateral relationship," the group's president, Craig Allen, says, adding "both sides must commit to developing a new paradigm and economic relationship" that addresses challenges and issues US businesses face in China.
- Both Iowa senators -- two Republicans and farm advocates in a politically important state for the president -- praise President Trump for his trade tactics and deal with China. "This is a very positive development," Sen. Chuck Grassley says. "This paves the way for a broader agreement that must address non-tariff barriers and intellectual property issues." Both said they expect the deal to benefit their state from China buying more US farm products, especially from hog, corn and soybean farmers. "I'm glad to see there will be no new tariffs going into effect this week," Sen. Joni Ernst says. "It's time for China to follow through."
- Mexico's Senate votes 107-1 in favor of changes made to the US-Mexico-Canada trade pact, or USMCA, just two days after the three governments signed modifications that US Democrats support. The agreement will help Mexico's economic growth, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador says, and although it isn't a panacea, "it is an important link having this agreement with the strongest economy in the world." Mexico was the first country to ratify the initial USMCA, and is the first to approve the modified version. US and Canadian legislative approvals are pending.
- The Aluminum Association of Canada says it believes ratification and implementation of the revised North American trade pact will help fuel sales growth in the years to come. This week, some Canadian lawmakers raised the specter of voting against USMCA because of possible repercussions for aluminum sector. The governing Liberals have only a minority in the legislature, so they need another party's support to get USMCA passed. "We encourage all parliamentarians to vote for the ratification and to facilitate its passage as soon as possible," the group says. The sector had raised worries about Mexico importing foreign aluminum, modifying it and having it counted as North American content for cars. The sector's statement should quell talk of USMCA ratification risk in Canada.
- The US hardwood industry says it's waiting anxiously to see if tariffs placed by China on imported hardwood from the US will be reduced as part of the phase-one trade deal with China. "Immediately decreased or eliminated tariffs are essential for the long-term viability of the industry," Dana Cole, the executive director of the Hardwood Federation, says.
- The US-China trade agreement temporarily removes a dark cloud over the tech industry with Apple front and center, Wedbush's Dan Ives says. "The Street has been laser focused on this additional 15% next round of tariffs and we believe this ultimately signals a green light for tech stocks heading into year end," he says. Had the tariff gone through, it would have been a "major gut punch" for the iPhone maker and would have thrown a major wrench into the company's supply chain and demand for holiday season, he adds. Ives estimates the tariff situation took roughly $20 off Apple shares. He describes the agreement as an "early Christmas present" to the company.
- The Association of Equipment Manufacturers said that the phase one deal between the US and China was a step in the right direction. "We encourage the administration to continue negotiating with the Chinese government for the removal of all the remaining tariffs still in place," Dennis Slater, the organization's president, said in a statement.
- Muted demand growth and increasing supply linked to earlier investments in capacity could continue weighing on the global steel industry in 2020, especially on steelmakers' capacity utilization and margins in Europe, according to Fitch Ratings. Geopolitical tensions, political uncertainty in some countries and progressive environmental reforms in China are a few risks for the sector going into the new year, Fitch says. The rating agency says it expects moderate recovery in the coming 12 months.

Dec 13 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)
- Trump signed off on a phase-one trade deal with China, averting the Dec. 15 introduction of a new wave of U.S. tariffs
- Oil prices extended gains, scaling three-month highs as the United States and China moved closer to a resolution to the 18-month trade war between the world's two biggest economies that has raised big questions about global demand for crude.
- Gold prices were steady as a weaker dollar helped offset pressures from an increased appetite for riskier assets following reports of a breakthrough in Sino-U.S. trade negotiations, while palladium scaled a fresh peak.
- London copper prices topped $6,200 a tonne for the first time in seven months and were set to gain for a seventh session in eight, as Washington and Beijing moved closer to ending their long-running trade row.
- Chicago soybeans jumped 1.6%, with the market set for its biggest weekly gain in more than two months as reports of a trade deal between Washington and Beijing supported prices. Corn and wheat rose for a second session.
- ICE arabica coffee prices hit a two-year high on Thursday on further fund buying and fresh signs of supply tightness. Raw sugar set a new one-year peak, while cocoa settled lower.
- Malaysian palm oil futures gained ground with the market poised for a weekly gain, underpinned by concerns over tight supplies and slowing exports.
- The pound hit multi-year highs against peers after a convincing Conservative Party win in the UK election, which is expected to clear the Brexit political gridlock that has hounded Britain's markets for years.

- Any further gains in GBP/USD are likely to be capped around 1.40 because of uncertainty about phase two of the U.K.-EU talks, UBS says, after the pair hit a 19-month high earlier as U.K. election results trickled in. The deadline for extending the transition period for Britain's exit from the European Union beyond end-2020 is July 1 and worries about the approaching date could keep the pair at 1.30-1.40 until June, UBS says. That suggests a 0.82-0.88 range for EUR/GBP, the investment bank says. UBS's strategy is to be overweight on the pound, as it reckons the currency is cheap based on its measures of fair value. GBP/USD is last up 0.7% at 1.3474, while EUR/GBP is down 0.5% at 0.8296.
- Korean stocks are higher in early trade, tracking gains in Japan and Wall Street after President Trump said the U.S. and China are nearing a trade deal. The benchmark Kospi is up 1.2% at 2164.43 with gains broad-based. Tech giant Samsung Electronics, a heavyweight on the index, climbs 1.3%. Auto makers are higher. SsangYong Motor Co. is up 3.2%, Hyundai Motor adds 1.3% and Kia Motors gains 1.0%.
- UK exit polls have been quite accurate in recent years so FX markets should be confident in pricing in a comfortable Conservative majority, says Sean Callow, currency strategist at Westpac. It should make no real difference to sterling exactly how large the majority is, with the key point being the government will be able to pass legislation with ease, unlike the past two years, he adds. Near term GBP/USD could extend towards 1.36, he adds. The pair is now at 1.3498.
- The S&P 500 and Nasdaq hit all-time highs after President Trump said on Twitter the US and China were close to a trade deal. The S&P gains 0.9% to 3168 and the Nasdaq increases 0.7% to 8717, beating records set in late November. The Dow rises 0.8% to 28132, setting an intraday record but falling a bit short of its all-time closing high. Chevron gains 2.2% as it moves forward with a multibillion-dollar project in the Gulf of Mexico. Oil prices rise 0.7% to $59.18. Facebook falls 2.7% after WSJ reported the FTC is considering seeking a preliminary injunction against the company over antitrust concerns. Ten-year Treasury yields rise to 1.896% from 1.786% as investors shed haven assets.
- Small businesses tend to be more confident in the economy than their larger, multinational peers because the bigger companies have more exposure to the US-China trade war, Simona Mocuta, a senior economist at State Street, tells WSJ. "Sentiment among the larger corporations and multinationals is weaker because for them, trade uncertainty is more of a headache," Mocuta says. The National Federation of Independent Business' Small Business Optimism Index posted its largest gain since last year. US negotiators have offered to slash existing tariffs by as much as half on roughly $360B of Chinese-made goods as well as to cancel a new round of levies set to take effect Sunday, WSJ reports, citing people briefed on the matter.
- Relations between the US and China will be "permanently altered" even years after the Trump administration, one chief executive predicts, suggesting that current trade battles could have long-lasting effects. In an interview with WSJ, Motorola Solutions CEO Greg Brown says he foresees an enduring split with China, and notes that a decoupling with the world's second-largest economy will likely have a "contracting effect" in the US. Brown says at his company, which makes communication technology used by governments around the world, many clients remain wary of China because of security concerns. Still, he said he would like to see more bi-lateral and multilateral trade agreements in the US, as well as immigration reform.
- As the 2020 election season heats up, the water and sewer industry "will be paying close attention to infrastructure proposals of the presidential candidates, how the proposals would be funded, and likelihood of Congressional support for increased federal appropriations that will assist local utilities in meeting their infrastructure needs," Fitch ratings says. Fitch says surveys from the Environmental Protection Agency estimated over $740B in capital investment will be needed to address water and sewer needs over a 20-year horizon. "Given federal
budget deficit concerns as well as the discord between the political parties, Fitch views dramatic escalation in water and sewer infrastructure appropriations as unlikely over the near term," the agency adds.
- U.S.-China trade developments and the outcome of Thursday's U.K general election should have more impact on the euro than European Central Bank policy in the short-term, says TD Securities. "There is little of consequential relevance that augurs for a sustained uplift in EUR/USD--particularly through the 200-day moving average," TD Securities analysts say. "We think there are other factors outside of the ECB's handle that might dictate whether this fails to hold or not--U.S.-China trade and the U.K. election are the most pressing near-term factors." The ECB left interest rates and its quantitative easing programme unchanged Thursday after its first policy meeting under new President Christine Lagarde. EUR/USD is last at 1.1117, having earlier risen to a one-month high of 1.1155, just shy of the 200-day average at 1.1156, according to FactSet.
- After nearly two years of trade disputes that have cut deeply into US farm exports, grain traders and farmers are concerned they may have permanently lost export business to rivals in South America and Eastern Europe. USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue isn't as worried, saying the low cost and high quality of US crops and meat will bring buyers back once trade issues get resolved. "If we get a level playing field, we can get those markets back," he says at a farm conference in Omaha, referring to giant agricultural purchasers like China.
- After trading slightly lower Wednesday, oil is riding the wave brought on by a flurry of US-China trade-negotiation news. WTI futures are up 1% today at $59.36 a barrel in reaction to reports US negotiators have offered to eliminate up to 50% of US tariffs on $360 billion worth of Chinese goods as part of a deal ahead of the Dec. 15 deadline to avoid a new round of tariffs. The Dow is up more than 200 points on the reports, and other commodities are enjoying upticks as well. EIA data showing a decline in oil stockpiles has also been a driver for prices this week.
- Farmers shouldn't count on another round of trade-related payments from the USDA next year, says USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue. He urges farmers to plant whatever they normally would to maximize profits, and warns farmers against feeling entitled to another multi-billion dollar rescue package from the government. "If markets move and we get back to trade, I'd be hopeful we don't need a third [trade payment program]," he tells reporters at a farm conference in Omaha. While the US is near to ratifying a new North American trade deal, trade tensions with China have continued to drag on the US ag sector.
- USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue says he's holding out hope for the USMCA trade deal to get ratified before the year's end, hopefully by Christmas. "Chapter by chapter, verse by verse, it's an improvement on the Nafta we've had," Perdue says at a Farmers Business Network conference in Omaha. President Trump, he says, is focused on figuring out a phase-one trade deal with China, and Perdue cites positive signs like the relaxing of some tariffs on US soybeans and pork, and opening up to US chicken exports after being closed for about four years.

Dec 12 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)
- Oil prices edged higher with the market mood switching to relief as OPEC forecast a supply deficit next year, from doom and gloom over data showing a surprise increase in U.S. crude inventories.
- Gold prices were little changed as investors waited to see if the United States would slap fresh tariffs on Chinese goods this weekend, while palladium continued its record run on fears of a deepening supply deficit.
- Nickel prices hit their highest in nearly two weeks, as investors who bet on falling prices had to buy in at a strong support level.
- Chicago wheat futures lost ground for a second session, trading near a three-week low, as plentiful global supplies and stiff competition in the world market weighed on prices.
- ICE arabica coffee prices hit their highest in more than two years on Wednesday as technical signals prompted more fund buying and further signs of supply tightness emerged.
- Malaysian palm oil futures slipped slightly as the market took a pause after climbing to its highest since 2017 in the previous session, though losses were limited by concerns over tightening supplies.
- The dollar nursed its steepest losses in weeks, as the Federal Reserve's forecast that it would hold rates through 2020 sparked an unwinding of long positions in the greenback.

- Although the words and actions of President Trump are always watched by grains traders, this week finds grains traders focusing more on the President than usual. This is because of the looming Dec. 15 deadline for a US-China trade deal. Although traders were happy yesterday to hear news that both sides were looking to delay imposing any tariffs next week, there's still a lot of mystery on what's happening and when -- leaving traders looking at Trump for answers. "The US ag marketplace will be listening/hunting for any fresh news that would hint at the decision that US President Trump will make on China trade," says AgResource. Trump's Twitter feed so far Wednesday doesn't mention anything about the negotiations.
- Relations between the West and China are more fractious than they were when the owner of Hong Kong's stock exchange bought the London Metal Exchange in 2012. But CEO Matthew Chamberlain, who worked on the deal as a banker with UBS, says geopolitical tensions haven't led to stricter regulation of the LME. "I think we're actually very fortunate that our regulatory structure has always been a U.K. regulatory structure," Chamberlain says. "That means that actually it doesn't really matter who owns us." He goes on: "I have not heard any concerns about LME's ownership." Chinese acquisitions of companies in the U.S. and U.K. face growing scrutiny from governments worried that Beijing could access sensitive data and financial information.
- Provisions that help labor unions and a last-minute agreement to strip some protections for big drugmakers won't be enough to get the US Chamber of Commerce to back down from supporting the new US-Mexico-Canada Agreement. "You give some you get some. And I think this deal is a really good deal," Chamber Chief Executive Thomas Donohue says. The Chamber has made ratification of the deal its No. 1 priority. And Donohue says what it does to bolster the country's relationship with its two biggest trading partners and closest geopolitical allies far outweighs compromises the Trump administration had to make to get support from House Democrats. He expects it to help create more jobs and economic growth. "This is a relationship that we have to foster and continually strengthen for our own security and wellbeing. This trade deal is going to make that far more possible and positive," he adds.
- As the US moves into a presidential election year, healthcare will remain one of the most prevalent discussion points among candidates in 2020, Fitch says. The agency doesn't expect significant changes to take place in the structure of the nation's healthcare system for the next few years. However, Fitch also "believes that public resistance to transformational change in the way healthcare is delivered and financed is slowly eroding as healthcare costs account for an increasing share of consumer expenditures." Fitch's sector and rating outlook for the US health insurance sector is stable, and it says a trend of solid revenue is expected to continue in 2019 and extend into 2020.
- An agreement on passing the USMCA trade deal through Congress will be a boon for US agriculture, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue says. "The agreement improves virtually every component of the old Nafta, and the agriculture industry stands to gain significantly," says Perdue, who deemed the deal "a big win" for US farmers and ranchers. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced earlier the House of Representatives will vote on ratifying the agreement next week, with a Senate vote soon thereafter. Grains futures are little moved, waiting on the release of December WASDE at noon. Corn futures are unchanged, soybeans are up 0.3%, and wheat is down 0.2%.
- Investors sell off U.K. government debt, pushing yields to a one-month high, in reaction to a wider selloff in U.S. government debt after the Wall Street Journal exclusively reported that the U.S. and Chinese trade negotiators were laying the groundwork for a delay in a fresh round of tariffs set to kick in on Dec. 15. The yield on the 10-year gilt hit 0.803%, according to Tradeweb. It last trades at 0.792%.
- Treasury yields tick higher after House Democrats say they have reached an agreement with the Trump administration on a trade deal with Mexico and Canada. Previously, Treasurys had been bouncing between small gains and losses, indicating little change in the economic outlook since Friday's strong jobs report. The 10-year yield was recently 1.845% vs. 1.829% Monday.

Dec 11 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- Oil prices fell after industry data showed an unexpected build in crude inventory in the United States and as investors waited for news on whether a fresh round of U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods would take effect on Sunday.
- Gold was little changed, with market activity largely subdued ahead of the U.S. central bank's economic policy statement and a fast-approaching tariffs deadline, while palladium hovered near previous session's record.
- Copper prices in London retreated from a 4 1/2-month peak hit in the previous session, as subdued automobile sales in China sparked demand worries for the metal.
- Chicago soybean futures lost ground, snapping a six-session winning streak, as concerns over Chinese demand and expectations of a record Brazilian crop weighed on the market.
- ICE arabica coffee prices hit their highest level since October 2017 on Tuesday as funds bought into the market on signs of supply tightness.
- Malaysian palm oil futures slipped weighed down by slowing demand and a lower-than-expected drop in inventories.
- The British pound slipped early after a poll showed a narrowing lead for Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Conservative Party in an election scheduled for later in the week, while U.S. dollar movement looked to the Federal Reserve's policy meeting.

Dec 10 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- Oil prices slipped for a second straight session as the cons of a slowing global demand outlook outweighed the pros of OPEC's agreement with associated producers at the end of last week to deepen crude output cuts in early 2020.
- Gold was trading in a tight range ahead of a two-day rate-setting meeting by the U.S. central bank, with investors awaiting clarity on whether a next round of U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods will come into effect this weekend.
- London copper took a breather, coming off a four-month peak hit in the previous session, as markets looked ahead to the British election and the next potential round of U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports.
- Chicago soybean futures gained for six consecutive sessions, as Chinese purchases boosted hopes of a trade deal between Washington and Beijing, even as expectations of a record crop in Brazil capped gains.
- ICE raw sugar prices hit a nine-month peak on Monday as bullish technical signals prompted more fund short covering. Arabica coffee set a fresh one-year high, and cocoa edged lower.
- Palm oil futures were set to snap a six-session winning streak after data showed Malaysian palm oil inventories fell less than expected last month.
- The dollar and yen mostly held the safe-haven high ground, with investors wary of a looming deadline for U.S. tariffs on China, the British election and upcoming Federal Reserve and European Central Bank meetings.

- US East Coast ports are likely to see volumes outpacing their West Coast counterparts, which have a higher exposure to the effects of tariffs on China, Fitch says. Over time, as trade issues with China continue, "revenues may start to decline at West Coast ports," Fitch says. The firm says overall US infrastructure growth will move in step with slower GDP growth next year, which is expected to fall below 2%. "Volume growth remains favorable for US airports, ports and toll roads," according to Fitch, adding "some softness in growth may take hold to the extent issuers are exposed to global economic markets and protectionist trade policies."
- The health-care sector within State Street's coverage universe will be difficult to figure out over the next 12 months amid competing policy proposals in the US presidential election, State Street's chief investment officer for active quantitative equity tells WSJ. "The health-care providers--we used to like those quite a bit" due to strong fundamentals, Olivia Engel says. "We don't right now because of the volatility around the election outcome."
- Finance Minister Bill Morneau says Canada remains committed to ensure big US digital companies pay "their fair share of tax," although the country would prefer to do so in a coordinated, global effort, through the OECD. The Liberals promised during this fall's election campaign, which they won, to ensure multinational technology companies pay corporate tax on the revenue they generate in Canada. Morneau faced questions on whether Canada will follow through, following Trump administration move last week to slap duties of up to 100% against $2.4B of French-made goods in retaliation for France's 3% digital tax. Morneau said his preference is to work within an international system,because that was digital companies would be hard pressed to skirt such taxes.
- The World Trade Organization's top court, the Appellate Body, will cease hearing new appeals Wednesday, barring an unlikely last-minute shift by the US. The gridlock will undermine WTO members' ability to punish countries that don't abide by the organization's rules. That will have a knock-on effect on businesses from steel to agriculture and aviation. In a landmark case, the appeals court found EU subsidies to Airbus to be illegal, leading to US duties on $7.5B worth of EU exports. The Appellate Body similarly found some US subsidies to Boeing to be illegal, and the EU's award is due next year. Without a functioning WTO appeals court, countries mostly won't be able to enforce WTO rules and shield their industries from protectionist measures.

Dec 09 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- Oil prices fell after data showing China's overall exports of goods and services shrank for a fourth straight month, sending shivers through a market already concerned about damage being down to global demand by the Sino-U.S. trade war.
- Gold was steady as investors await cues from the U.S. Federal Reserve on interest rates later this week, while trying to size up the chances of a new round of U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods.
- Copper scaled a 4-1/2-month peak, after Chinese data over the weekend showed solid imports of the metal last month, signalling an improvement in the manufacturing sector despite the impact of the Sino-U.S. trade tussle on demand.
- Chicago soybean futures rose for a fifth straight session to their highest in almost two weeks after China last week said it will waive import tariffs for some U.S. soybean and pork shipments.
- ICE arabica coffee pulled back on Friday after setting a one-year peak as funds continued to cover their short positions amid a dearth of selling from top producer Brazil.
- Raw sugar hit a nine-month high.
- Malaysian palm oil futures rallied for a fifth straight session and hit a near 2-year high, on fears of a sharp fall in supply.
- The dollar held firm after data showed surprise strength in the U.S. jobs market, but the currency was restrained from moving higher by worries about an escalation in the U.S.-China trade war.

- In the run-up to the U.K.'s key Dec. 12 general election, sterling's valuation risk premium has disappeared against the U.S. dollar and actually reversed against the euro, says Michael Metcalfe, head of global macro strategy at State Street. The current valuation of the pound "seems to imply a belief that Brexit will indeed get done, along with some kind of trade deal in 2020," Metcalfe says, adding that sterling seems "to price in a lot of certainty into what could still be very uncertain times, even if Thursday's result did bring some temporary relief" from a majority win by the ruling Conservative party as polls indicate, he adds. GBP/USD is last up 0.2% at 1.3163, while EUR/GBP is last down 0.1% at 0.8412.
- Sterling and the euro should extend gains against the dollar Tuesday if the U.K.'s Conservatives strengthen their lead over Labour in a closely watched opinion poll for Thursday's general election, BMO Capital Markets says. YouGov will publish its second and final multilevel regression and post-stratification poll, which successfully predicted the outcome of the 2017 election, on Tuesday at 2200 GMT. "If the Conservatives/Labour gap is 11% or better, we would expect the rallies in GBP/USD and EUR/USD to continue, with the GBP likely to outperform," BMO FX strategist Stephen Gallo says. GBP/USD is last up 0.2% at 1.3165 and EUR/USD is up 0.1% at 1.1075.

Dec 06 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)
- Oil slipped in early Asian trade, with U.S. crude moving further away from a two-month high after OPEC agreed to increase output curbs in early 2020 but failed to promise further steps after March.
- Gold was en route to a weekly gain as uncertainty about the fate of U.S.-China trade deal gripped investors ahead of a U.S. jobs report that could offer further insight on the state of the American economy.
- Copper prices edged up, set for a third straight weekly gain, following U.S. President Donald Trump's upbeat rhetoric on trade talks with China, although concerns about demand for the metal kept gains in check.
- Chicago wheat futures were set for their biggest weekly decline in almost four months, giving up some of gains made in November, as ample world inventories and a lack of demand for U.S. supplies pressured the market.
- ICE raw sugar futures rose to a nine-month high on Thursday, boosted by fund short covering and tightening supplies. Arabica coffee climbed, touching its highest in more than a year, and cocoa eased.
- Malaysian palm oil futures touched their highest level in more than two years and overtook soyoil on the Chicago Board of Trade for the first time in almost nine years on supply shortage worries of the tropical product.
- The dollar headed for its worst week since October, dragged down by nervousness on trade and hints of weakness in the U.S. economy, with domestic factors leaving the resurgent kiwi and British pound the main beneficiaries.

- Don't count out the possibility that the Trump administration could file an antitrust lawsuit against a large technology company ahead of the election next year, Cowen analyst Paul Gallant says in a video about 2020 issues. "We do think there is a reasonable chance that the Trump administration brings a lawsuit against at least one of the big tech companies," Gallant says. That is especially true if Democrats choose Elizabeth Warren as their candidate, as she has focused on antitrust issues and the president may look to neutralize her on that front, according to Gallant. Should the government file a suit, it wouldn't necessarily say at the outset what the proposed remedy would be, Gallant tells WSJ.
- Representatives for the USDA will engage in seven agribusiness trade missions in 2020, in an effort to reach out to areas of the world that could increase their consumption of US agriculture, the agency's Foreign Agriculture Service says. The missions will be led by Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney, and will travel to North Africa in March, the Philippines in April, Spain and Portugal in June, the UK in September, Australia and New Zealand in October, Peru in November, and the UAE in December. It's the most trade missions the USDA has led in one year, says McKinney -- with four of the stops being first-time destinations for USDA outreach.
- Amazon's AWS Chief Executive Andy Jassy alluded to political interference in the Pentagon's decision to award Microsoft a $10B government contract in October in a session with reporters on Wednesday. "If you do a truly objective and detailed apples to apples comparison of the platforms, you don't end up in the spot where the decision was made," Jassy said. "You end up with a situation where there was significant political interference," he added. Amazon is currently appealing the award. "When you have a sitting president who's willing to share openly his disdain for a company and the leader of that company, it makes it really difficult for government agencies, including the DOD, to make an objective decision without fear of reprisal."

Dec 05 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Refinitiv)

- Oil prices fell in muted trading ahead of OPEC talks in Vienna later, trimming some of the sharp gains made the previous session on both the possibility of producers agreeing further output cuts and a sharp drop in U.S. crude inventories.
- Gold prices edged up as conflicting signals from Washington and Beijing prolonged the uncertainty about a trade deal, a day after positive comments by U.S. President Donald Trump knocked the bullion off its one-month high.
- Benchmark London copper prices dipped amid scepticism over the chances for a near-term preliminary trade deal between Washington and Beijing, despite U.S. President Donald Trump sounding positive again about the prospects.
- U.S. soybeans rose for a third straight session on signs that a trade deal between Washington and Beijing was edging closer, although expectations of a record Brazilian crop capped gains.
- ICE raw sugar futures climbed to a nine-month high on Wednesday, supported by tightening supplies, while London cocoa prices eased as the pound strengthened.
- Malaysian palm oil futures hit their highest in more than two years, rising for a third consecutive session, underpinned by a weaker ringgit and prospects of tighter supplies next year.
- The dollar wobbled as an earlier boost from upbeat trade comments by U.S. President Donald Trump ran out of steam and investors remained on edge over Sino-U.S. tensions.

Dec 04 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Refinitiv)
- Oil prices rose ahead of a meeting of OPEC and its allies to discuss whether to extend production curbs to support the market, while industry data showing that U.S. crude stockpiles fell more than expected helped to lift prices.
- Gold prices hovered near a one-month high hit in the previous session, as comments from U.S. President Donald Trump dashed market hopes for a quick preliminary agreement with China, driving support for safe-haven assets.
- Nickel prices slid, with the Shanghai benchmark hitting its lowest in more than four months, on concerns that an expanded and longer trade war may dent demand for the key ingredient in stainless steel and electric vehicle batteries.
- Chicago wheat futures fell for a third consecutive session, dropping to their lowest in more than a week on pressure from ample world supplies.
- ICE raw sugar futures rose on Tuesday, heading towards a recent nine-month peak as funds covered short positions amid tightening supplies, while arabica hit a one year high.
- Malaysian palm oil futures extended gains into a second session despite some profit taking, as a weaker ringgit supported prices.
- The yen and Swiss franc held gains against the dollar as appetite for safe-havens spiked after U.S. President Donald Trump warned a trade deal with China might not be in place until after the 2020 U.S. presidential election.

- Stock indexes in Hong Kong, Japan and Korea fell roughly 1% after U.S. markets fell following President Trump's comments suggesting the U.S.-China trade war could continue after next year's presidential election. The moves might have been more dramatic except investors have gotten accustomed to volatile trade headlines in recent years, says Helen Qiao, chief Greater China economist at Bank of America. "We have been very cautious about this actually getting done," she said; "I don't think we can completely rule out a deal" by the end of the year. But she added: "Whether it's a no deal or it's a mini deal, I'm just not sure whether the market will get very excited either way. It probably will be disappointed" regardless of the outcome.
- Industrial-metal prices fell after President Trump suggested the trade conflict with China could continue into 2020. Copper initially proved more resilient than the US stock market, which fell in response to Trump's comments. But after a steady decline, the metal was down 0.8% at $5,810 a metric ton in early evening trading on the London Metal Exchange. Nickel dropped 2.5% to $13,360 a metric ton, in a move that Malcolm Freeman, chief executive of Kingdom Futures, says was exacerbated by put options being triggered. In mining news, Glencore CEO Ivan Glasenberg told investors "demand for copper has not been great," but added that consumption in China had picked up toward the end of the year.
- Soybean futures on the CBOT traded 0.2% higher overnight after closing down 0.7% Monday, despite comments from President Trump in London that a trade deal with China might not come to fruition until after the 2020 election. "In some ways I like the idea of waiting until after the election," Trump said during a sitdown with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg. For US farmers and grain traders, Trump's comments suggest that a quick deal to secure more agricultural buying from China will not materialize before the Dec. 15 deadline to enact more tariffs on Chinese goods. Meanwhile, corn traded 0.3% down overnight, while wheat rose 0.6%.
- US oil prices erase overnight increases and turn lower early in NY after President Trump says he has "no deadline" to conclude a trade deal with China, and that "in some ways I like the idea of waiting until after the election" of November 2020. "Today's risk-off tone occurred after President Donald Trump said he has no deadline for a trade deal with China and after tough talk on the EU suggests the transatlantic trade war is about to enter an ugly phase," says Edward Moya at Oanda in NY. WTI falls 0.8% to $55.54/bbl. Investors are also watching this week's OPEC's meeting, and upcoming weekly US inventory data.
- New tariffs could be detrimental to French luxury companies Kering and LVMH, according to ING's Alyssa Gammoudy, and could have a small negative impact on the companies' credit on Tuesday. In response to the introduction of a French tax on digital revenues that affects big U.S. technology companies, President Trump proposed to impose tariffs on around $2.4 billion of French products, including sparkling wine, cheese, handbags and makeup. These additional tariffs would be applied after the end of a public consultation period at the beginning of 2020 and could reach 100% on the targeted products. LVMH shares closed 1.5% lower, while Kering fell 1.9%.

Dec 03 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ)
- Kering and LVMH are highly vulnerable to U.S. tariffs on French luxury products, with an exposure of 20% and 24%, respectively, ING's Alyssa Gammoudy says. While ING expects the tariffs to have a slight negative impact on the stock prices of both companies, they are likely to effect Kering more than LVMH, Gammoudy says. In response to a French tax on digital revenues that hits large American tech companies, President Donald Trump proposed on Monday tariffs on $2.4 billion of French products, including sparkling wine, cheeses, handbags and makeup. The levies would be imposed after a public comment period concludes in early 2020 and could be up to 100%.
- European stocks reacted in mixed fashion after the U.S. slapped tariffs on Brazil and Argentina and threatened new duties on French goods. The Stoxx Europe 600 edged 0.01%, or 0.06 points higher to 401.05 and the DAX gained 0.4%, though the FTSE 100 dropped 1.1% and the CAC-40 fell 0.4%. "Severely stung by Trump restoring tariffs on Brazil and Argentina Monday, the markets coped surprisingly well with U.S. President Donald Trump's overnight threat to France," says Connor Campbell of Spreadex.
- French luxury companies are in sharp decline on Tuesday in the Paris stock exchange following the threat by the Trump administration of imposing duties of up to 100% on $2.4 billion worth of French products. LVMH loses 1.7%, Kering 2.2% and Hermes 2.3%. "The markets fear that luxury could be a victim of this threat," an analyst says. According to a document sent by the U.S. trade representative, the list of products to be taxed includes bags, makeup products and cheese.
- France shouldn't reconsider the new digital-services tax, says Secretary of State for Economy and Finance Agnes Pannier-Runacher in response to the U.S. threatening to slap retaliatory tariffs on $2.4 billion worth of French products. "It is very clear that we do not have to back down on a subject that makes sense from an economic perspective and that is a matter of tax justice," says Pannier-Runacher in an interview with Sud Radio. "We need to be pugnacious on the subject," she says, stressing the fact that the digital tax will not only penalize American companies, but also applies to French platforms.
- Italy could be next after the U.S. threatened to levy duties on French imports following a digital tax introduced by the country, Equita's Luigi De Bellis says. He notes that Italy, along with Austria and Turkey, is considering initiatives along the same lines as the French tax. If similar goods are targeted by the U.S., this could expose Italian luxury brands to duties. The category on average makes nearly 20% of its sales in the U.S. De Bellis says that the tax would probably be passed on in the form of higher prices, which dampen sales volumes in an already sluggish luxury consumption environment.
- A combination of positive noises over the prospects of a phase-one trade deal between the US and China and signs of stabilization in the latest economic data are likely to fuel a narrative that the global economy is on the mend and, more fundamentally, the world has stepped back from protectionism. Capital Economics warns investors not to overplay the news, however. While the world economy is expected to turn the corner in 2020, the pace of recovery will be weak by past standards. Meanwhile, the trade war isn't ending--it's merely shifting to a new phase that is focussed less on tariffs and more on issues around technology, investment and industrial strategy, it adds.
- US stocks fall on a bearish manufacturing report and more trade worries as President Trump reinstates tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Brazil and Argentina, accusing those countries of devaluing their currencies. Coming off the best month for stocks since June, the Dow declines 1% to 27783, the S&P is off 0.9% to 3113 and the Nasdaq falls 1.1% to 8567. The trade-sensitive tech and industrial sectors are among the worst performing stocks. Energy is one of the only positive sectors, as oil prices rise 1.4% and Exxon gains 0.6%. But Apache sinks 13% on a disappointing report on its offshore oil project off Suriname.
- Aluminum prices outperformed after President Trump said he would impose tariffs on imports of the metal from Brazil and Argentina. The metal rose 1.7% to $1,790 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange, whereas copper, lead and zinc prices all declined. President Trump said the unexpected decision was a response to "a massive devaluation" in the Brazilian and Argentine currencies, "which is not good for our farmers." The move represented the second jolt to the aluminum market in less than a week, after Rio Tinto declared force majeure on aluminum shipments from its Canadian operations following a rail strike. Still, the metal remains 3.4% cheaper than at the start of the year, and analysts say prices are likely to come under renewed pressure from weak auto sales.

Dec 03 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Refinitiv)
- Oil prices rose, as OPEC and its allies discuss whether to deepen a supply cut pact ahead of meetings this week, although prospects after Saudi Arabia's planned listing of Aramco fuelled uncertainty for traders, limiting gains.
- Gold prices were trading in a narrow range as investors stayed on the sidelines, even as U.S. President Donald Trump's move to slap tariffs on Brazil and Argentina stoked fresh global trade tensions.
- London copper prices slid, with most industrial metals coming under pressure, as manufacturing data from China failed to assuage lingering doubts of an economic slowdown.
- Chicago soybeans edged higher after hitting a near three-month low in the previous session, with abundant global supplies and uncertainty over a U.S.-China trade deal limiting the gains.
- ICE raw sugar futures fell on Monday, retreating from the prior session's nine-month high. New York cocoa prices fell to a three-week low, while Arabica coffee hit a fresh 1-year high.
- Malaysian palm oil futures extended losses for a second straight session as weaker rival oils and a firmer ringgit weighed on sentiment.
- The dollar traded near a one-week low versus the yen and near the lowest in almost two weeks against the euro, on concern about weak U.S. manufacturing data and signs of new fronts in the U.S. trade war.

- Hog futures on the CME fall 3.8%, with traders attributing the downward movement to dismay over President Trump reinstating tariffs on steel and aluminum exports from Brazil and Argentina. "Trump slapping tariffs on [metal] in South America seems to have soured market sentiment," says Dennis Smith of Archer Financial Services. For hogs, the move makes it appear less likely that a deal between the US and China can be reached ahead of a Dec. 15 deadline for implementing tariffs on Chinese goods--meaning the large supply of US pork stateside will find a home among Chinese pork consumers. Cattle futures, meanwhile, are down 0.5%.
- European markets follow American stocks lower after fresh trade concerns and U.S. manufacturing figures spark an equity retreat, IG analysts say. Monday's ISM reading was disappointing, and President Trump's decision to reimpose tariffs on Brazil echo the "tariff man" fears felt by traders earlier this year, the Swiss bank says. U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross's comments probably also compounded the bear sentiment, IG says. Mr. Ross told Fox News that President Trump will impose increased tariffs on China if the two countries don't reach a trade deal before Dec. 15. The Stoxx Europe 600 falls 1.6%, Germany's DAX falls 2.1% and France's CAC retreats 2%.
- U.S. tariffs on Brazilian and Argentine aluminum are unlikely to have a significant impact on the price of the metal, analysts say. Brazil produced 660,000 metric tons of smelted aluminum in 2018, according to the U.S Geological Survey, just 1.1% of global output. China, the world's biggest producer, made 33 million tons of the metal, followed by Russia and India on 3.7 million tons apiece. Aluminum is outperforming on the London Metal Exchange, rising 1.4% to $1,784 a metric ton. But Edward Meir of ED&F Man Capital Markets says he's "not reading too much into it. The U.S. aluminum market is pretty well supplied. Premiums, which are what you have to monitor, have been sliding." Meir adds: "Brazilian aluminum is not on the same scale as Russian aluminum."
- The euro rises 0.6% on the day to a 10-day high of $1.1085 after weaker-than-expected U.S. manufacturing data. The Institute for Supply Management said its manufacturing index fell to 48.1% in November from 48.3% in October with a level below 50 indicating a contraction in sector activity. Economists in a WSJ poll expected the index to come in at 49.2%. "Global trade remains the most significant cross-industry issue," says Timothy Fiore, chair of the ISM's manufacturing business survey committee. By contrast, the eurozone final purchasing managers' index for manufacturing released earlier was unexpectedly revised higher. Also weighing on the dollar, U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted he would restore tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Brazil and Argentina.
- President Trump's announcement that tariffs on Brazilian and Argentine steel and aluminum exports would resume as a result of alleged currency manipulation by the two nations has traders wondering if China is taking notes on the short lifespan of US trade deals. "The move by Trump signals that trade deals with the US are of limited value," ING says. "A definitive exemption from tariffs was only granted to Argentina and Brazil last year after they agreed to limit their steel exports to the US. Clearly, such agreements can be discarded when the political winds shift." The US and China are still in negotiations for at least a partial trade deal guaranteeing increased purchases of US agricultural goods by China.
- U.S. President Donald Trump will probably be unsuccessful in his attempts to weaken the dollar, Capital Economics says. Trump wants a weaker dollar to boost U.S. exports and eliminate the trade deficit but the currency is "not especially high in our view" and the president is "unlikely to prevent it from rising over the next couple of years," says Simon Gambarini, market economist at Capital Economics. The dollar should strengthen as the gap between the Federal Reserve's interest rates and other major central banks narrows in 2020 and as the U.S.-China trade war continues to support the attractiveness of the safe haven currency, he says.
- The restoration of steel and aluminum tariffs on Argentina and Brazil announced Monday by the Trump Administration is a factor pulling industrial base metal prices down across the board. Aluminum, copper, zinc, lead, and tin prices are all down in trading on the London Metal Exchange today, led by zinc--which is off 1.3% to $1,911 per metric ton. Tariffs on steel and  aluminum were imposed in 2018, with the South American nations reaching deals with the US to be exempt from them that May. In a series of tweets Monday morning, President Trump said that he was restoring the tariffs thanks to "a massive devaluation of their currencies, which is not good for our farmers."

Dec 02 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Refinitiv)
- Oil prices rose more than 1% as signs of rising manufacturing activity in China pointed to increasing fuel demand, and hints that OPEC may deepen output cuts at its meeting this week indicated supply may tighten next year.
- Gold prices fell as investors turned to riskier assets on signs of economic growth following reports of an expanding Chinese factory sector and a rising dollar reduced demand.
- London copper prices bounced back, with the market supported by factory activity returning to growth in top industrial metals consumer China.
- Chicago wheat futures traded near last session's five-month highs, with the market supported by concerns over tightening supplies and short-covering.
- Raw sugar prices hit their highest in nine months on Friday as funds covered short positions amid tightening supplies and producers scaled back selling.
- Malaysian palm oil futures fell nearly 2%, slipping from a two-year high hit in the previous session, as lacklustre export data clouded outlook and traders locked in gains.

- At a meeting in Ottawa with Canada's PM Justin Trudeau, Mexico's chief trade envoy for North America, Jesus Seade, said he's optimistic that negotiations between Congress and the Trump administration will produce an improved North American free-trade pact. "I think we are getting there and I can tell you, honestly, that what was a very good agreement is getting to be a much better," Seade said at the start of his meeting with Trudeau. He added House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has raised "valid" issues regarding the revised trade pact, now known as USMCA. Trudeau said "there's still a little more work to do" before negotiations can successfully conclude between Pelosi and the administration.
- The euro could come under further pressure after Germany's Social Democrats announce the result of a leadership contest Saturday, MUFG Bank says. The SPD has been looking for a new leader since Andrea Nahles resigned in June and she will be replaced by one of two leadership teams -- one that wants to remain in Germany's coalition government with the CDU/CSU, and another that wants to leave. "If the SPD vote for a change of direction and potentially setting the stage for leaving the coalition government it could trigger a modest euro sell-off at the start of next week, and will raise uncertainty over the stability of the government," MUFG currency analyst Lee Hardman says. EUR/USD falls 0.2% to a seven-week low of 1.0983, according to FactSet.
- Commodity markets fell as tensions between the U.S. and China add to concerns about the trajectory of the world economy. The price of industrial metals fell, led by nickel which dropped 2.7% to $13,980 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange. Copper, which is particularly sensitive to investor sentiment about China's growth prospects, fell 0.9% to $5,892.50 a ton, erasing the gains it had made so far this year. Brent crude--the global benchmark for oil--slipped 0.2% to $62.88 a barrel. The decline came after President Donald Trump signed a bill in support of Hong Kong protesters, prompting criticism from China.

Nov 29 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Refinitiv)
- Oil prices slipped in quiet trade with the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday limiting activity, while investors awaited a meeting of OPEC and its allies next week that may result in the extension of an output cut agreement to support the market.
- Gold prices were little changed, but remained on track for their worst month in three years as hopes for an interim U.S.-China trade deal buoyed demand for riskier assets.
- Nickel prices in London and Shanghai lost more ground, with both markets poised for a fourth weekly decline on concerns over slowing Chinese demand.
- U.S. soybean futures slid to a two-month low on Wednesday on technical selling and expectations that increased rains will benefit crops in rival shipper South America.
- ICE white sugar prices edged up on Thursday in quiet, holiday thinned trade, as funds continued to scale back short positions, though producer selling of excess stocks capped gains. 
- Malaysian palm oil futures reversed earlier losses to trade 1.5% higher, supported by stronger rival oils and Indonesia's decision to cut its fossil fuel consumption.
- The dollar was headed for its highest weekly finish against the safe-haven yen since May, as data showing the U.S. economy is on a firm footing had investors scaling back rate-cut bets.

- European stocks are lower on fresh U.S.-China trade jitters after President Trump signed a bill backing Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters, potentially provoking a hostile response from Beijing. The Stoxx Europe 600 drops 0.2%, or 0.87 points to 408.94 while the CAC 40 retreats 0.3% and the DAX falls 0.3%. "Though this was already perceived as negative news in recent days, the lack of any fresh or substantial developments in trade talks with China has hit market confidence," says ActivTrades analyst Pierre Veyret. "Investors betting on a phase-one deal before Christmas now seriously doubt the possibility of such an outcome and are making stock exposure adjustments in their portfolios."
- Rising tensions between the U.S. and China over Hong Kong boost gold prices in thin holiday trading in New York. The precious metal is up 0.2% at $1,456.50 a troy ounce, while silver is 0.1% higher at $16.93 a troy ounce. Both metals had fallen in recent weeks, as signs of robust growth in the U.S. economy and rising optimism of striking a trade deal with Beijing prompted investors to move out of haven assets. But President Trump signed a bill designed to show solidarity with pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong on Wednesday, prompting criticism from China. Trump had previously expressed reservations that the law could complicate trade negotiations. Trading is likely to be quiet because of Thanksgiving.
- The Trump administration's move to restrict the business US companies can do with Chinese telecom giant Huawei Technologies is weighing on growth at Keysight Technologies. Huawei lowered its direct orders from the maker of network equipment, switches, wireless products and other items by $40M in the company's latest quarter compared with last year, executives said on a call about quarterly results. Keysight also expects revenue headwinds of 5% and 3% in its fiscal 2020 1Q and 2Q, respectively, due to the issue. "The products that we're able to ship is limited," Keysight executive Mark Wallace said on the call.
- LME three-month copper futures are flat on the day at $5,942.50 a metric ton, hanging onto their 1.5% gains so far this week. Prices also began the day almost flat as optimism about a putative US-China 'Phase One' trade deal countered weak Chinese industrial data. Still copper saw above-average turnover, Marex Spectron says, after reports that China's finance ministry had issued stimulus in the form of Special Purpose Bonds for 2020. Markets may see lower volumes on Thursday with US investors celebrating the Thanksgiving public holiday.
- The prospects for European pharmaceuticals are positive in 2020, sustained by continued advances in research as well as a benign risk outlook, says Barclays. The bank's analysts say that despite a mild economic recovery, continued market uncertainty and central bank policy will provide support to defensive stocks. "Notwithstanding the old adage that pharmaceuticals does not perform in a US election year (which looms in 2020), we believe the present political gridlock in Washington and the current administration's limited success in introducing reform measures to date implies risk of an adverse outcome from a policy perspective is low," Barclays adds, and lists Roche as its top large-cap pick.
- The euro should fall against the dollar in coming months as there is unlikely to be any major improvement in U.S.-China trade relations beyond a phase-one trade deal, BMO Capital Markets says. "If there is no breakthrough beyond a phase-one trade deal between the U.S. and China, or European economic data stagnates and U.S. data remains OK, the euro should trade on the weaker side," Stephen Gallo, FX strategist at BMO, says. BMO's latest forecasts, as of October, see EUR/USD falling to 1.09 in three months and 1.08 in six months, from 1.1006 currently.

Nov 28 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Refinitiv)
- Oil prices fell extending losses from the previous session after official data showed U.S. crude and gasoline stocks rose against expectations as production hit a record.
- Gold inched up as investors bought the safe-haven metal on doubts about whether the United States and China will seal a trade deal after President Donald Trump signed a legislation supporting Hong Kong protesters.
- Shanghai nickel dropped to its lowest in almost four months due to lower demand from the stainless steel industry, nickel's main consumer.
- U.S. soybean futures slid to a two-month low on Wednesday on technical selling and expectations that increased rains will benefit crops in rival shipper South America.
- ICE raw sugar prices edged up on Wednesday as funds continued to scale back short positions against a backdrop of tightening supplies, while coffee futures were also slightly higher.
- Malaysian palm oil futures fell as traders booked profit after a short recovery in the previous session, while a U.S. holiday and lack of market-moving news kept investor sentiment subdued.
- The safe-haven yen rose and risk-sensitive currencies fell after U.S. President Donald Trump's formal endorsement of Hong Kong's anti-government protesters, seen as potentially derailing recent Sino-U.S. progress on trade.

- Asian markets down as Trump sparks China anger with HK law
Asian markets mostly fell Thursday as optimism over the China-US trade talks took a jolt after Donald Trump signed into law a bill supporting Hong Kong's pro-democracy protests, prompting an angry response from Beijing. Global equities have been surging in recent weeks -- with Wall Street hitting multiple records -- on expectations the much-vaunted negotiations would result in a partial pact soon.
- Trump on Wednesday put his name to the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, which requires the president to annually review the city's favourable trade status and threatens to revoke it if the territory's freedoms are quashed. He also agreed to legislation banning sales of tear gas, rubber bullets and other equipment used by Hong Kong security forces in putting down protests that have wracked the city since June and have battered its economy.
- China hit out at the decision, calling it "extremely abominable", and threatened "firm countermeasures", though it did not specify what they would be. Hong Kong's government expressed "extreme regret" at the move. China's foreign ministry summoned the US ambassador and lodged a protest. It called on the US to "refrain from putting the bill into practice, and immediately stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs and China's internal affairs, so as to avoid further damage to China-US relations and bilateral cooperation in important areas".
- The prospects for European pharmaceuticals are positive in 2020, sustained by continued advances in research as well as a benign risk outlook, says Barclays. The bank's analysts say that despite a mild economic recovery, continued market uncertainty and central bank policy will provide support to defensive stocks. "Notwithstanding the old adage that pharmaceuticals does not perform in a US election year (which looms in 2020), we believe the present political gridlock in Washington and the current administration's limited success in introducing reform measures to date implies risk of an adverse outcome from a policy perspective is low," Barclays adds, and lists Roche as its top large-cap pick.
- The euro should fall against the dollar in coming months as there is unlikely to be any major improvement in U.S.-China trade relations beyond a phase-one trade deal, BMO Capital Markets says. "If there is no breakthrough beyond a phase-one trade deal between the U.S. and China, or European economic data stagnates and U.S. data remains OK, the euro should trade on the weaker side," Stephen Gallo, FX strategist at BMO, says. BMO's latest forecasts, as of October, see EUR/USD falling to 1.09 in three months and 1.08 in six months, from 1.1006 currently.
- Brent crude oil is flat at $63.23 a barrel and WTI futures are flat at $58.38 a barrel with both benchmarks holding most of their gentle gains from Tuesday. "Yet again, it appears that it was trade talk news which was the key driver behind yesterday's price action," ING strategists note, pointing to reported comments from President Trump that negotiations were progressing toward a "Phase One" deal. Gains came despite API data signaling a build in U.S. inventories and ahead of both EIA data today and the U.S. public holiday on Thursday.

Nov 27 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Refinitiv)
- Oil eased following an industry report showing a surprise build in U.S. crude stockpiles, but hopes surrounding the signing of the first phase of a U.S.-China trade deal prevented a bigger drop in prices.
- Gold prices edged lower after U.S. President Donald Trump's comments that Washington was close to an interim trade deal with China boosted demand for riskier assets.
- Shanghai copper prices hit a two-week high as positive signals from the Sino-U.S. trade negotiations fanned hopes of improving global appetite for the metal.
- Chicago soybeans gained ground, with bargain-buying underpinning prices after five consecutive sessions of decline to a two-month low, although stiff competition from South America limited gains.
- ICE arabica coffee futures fell on Tuesday after earlier matching a one-year high, as a weakening Brazilian real prompted producers to sell.
- Malaysian palm oil futures fell for the third straight session, as palm oil on the Dalian Commodities Exchange continued to fall on a surge of Chinese palm imports.
- The dollar posted modest gains, as traders looked ahead to a possible outcome to drawn out U.S.-China trade talks, while a forecast for monetary policy easing knocked the Aussie.

- Mobile advertising company Phunware has landed President Trump's re-election campaign as a client, the company announced in a quarterly earnings call earlier this month. The Austin, Tex.-based company makes software that companies use to track users across various devices to serve them targeted advertising. During 3Q the company added American Made Media Consultants LLC as a client, which does business as both "Trump-Pence 2020" and the "Keep America Great" Campaign, said CEO Alan Knitowski. It also added Verizon Communications to its client list.
- Central banks have limited ability to mitigate the negative fallout from global trade conflicts, Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz says. "There is a role for monetary policy, but it is a very narrow one," Poloz says in an interview with the UK-based Central Banking publication. "Monetary policy can cushion the blow briefly, and then we will all have to take a lower standard of living." The biggest implication policymakers have to grapple with from global trade uncertainty is a loss of business confidence. Canada got a taste of this, Poloz says, after President Trump initially targeted Nafta for an overhaul or else to be scrapped. Canadian business investment initially declined at the start of Nafta talks, and has struggled to recover even though the US, Canada and Mexico agreed on a revamped deal.

Nov 26 - DJ Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Refinitiv)
- Oil prices were steady, hanging onto gains from the previous session, after comments from the United States and China kept alive hopes that the world's two largest economies are soon to agree on ending their trade war.
- Gold fell to a two-week low as talks between top negotiators from the United States and China boosted prospects that an interim trade deal could be reached soon, denting demand for the safe-haven metal.
- Shanghai lead prices slumped over 1.5% to their lowest in a year and a half, as inventories more than doubled from the end of September amid a global economic slowdown.
- Chicago soybeans futures edged higher as the market took a breather after four sessions of losses amid optimism over trade talks between Washington and Beijing.
- ICE arabica coffee futures climbed to a one-year high on Monday, boosted by tightening supplies, while producer selling helped to stall the recent run-up in raw sugar prices.
- Malaysian palm oil futures dropped more than 1%, tracking cheaper rival oils on the Dalian Commodities Exchange amid higher imports
- A telephone call between top U.S. and Chinese trade negotiators lifted the dollar to a two-week high against the yen while China's yuan edged up, due to optimism that the two sides will soon agree an interim deal to halt their trade war.

- Mobile advertising company Phunware has landed President Trump's re-election campaign as a client, the company announced in a quarterly earnings call earlier this month. The Austin, Tex.-based company makes software that companies use to track users across various devices to serve them targeted advertising. During 3Q the company added American Made Media Consultants LLC as a client, which does business as both "Trump-Pence 2020" and the "Keep America Great" Campaign, said CEO Alan Knitowski. It also added Verizon Communications to its client list.
- Central banks have limited ability to mitigate the negative fallout from global trade conflicts, Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz says. "There is a role for monetary policy, but it is a very narrow one," Poloz says in an interview with the UK-based Central Banking publication. "Monetary policy can cushion the blow briefly, and then we will all have to take a lower standard of living." The biggest implication policymakers have to grapple with from global trade uncertainty is a loss of business confidence. Canada got a taste of this, Poloz says, after President Trump initially targeted Nafta for an overhaul or else to be scrapped. Canadian business investment initially declined at the start of Nafta talks, and has struggled to recover even though the US, Canada and Mexico agreed on a revamped deal.
- Telaria, which operates a digital-ad marketplace for streaming television, expects strong gains from political ad spending for the 2020 US election, said CEO Mark Zagorski in an early November earnings call. As more households reduce or eliminate their consumption of linear TV, he predicted more of that spend would shift to streaming TV. "We believe CTV will play a pivotal role in the upcoming elections for the next year," Zagorski said. "We believe Telaria is in a strong position to capitalize on the upcoming political campaign season." He cited a recent report from Advertising Analytics and Cross Screen Media estimating that US political ad spend for the next election cycle could reach $6B, with approximately $1.6B of that projected for digital video.
- The Turkish lira is at risk of weakening further after Bloomberg reported Monday that the country will test a component of its newly acquired Russian air defense system. "The news is likely to irritate U.S. lawmakers who are firmly in favor of imposing punitive economic sanctions on Turkey," Priotr Matys, FX strategist at Rabobank, says. Any indication from U.S. President Donald Trump that his "positive attitude towards Turkey is fading" would "likely trigger a major squeeze higher in USD/TRY and EUR/TRY." USD/TRY is attempting to "break above the downside trendline from the October high [of 5.9382]," which if successful would be a "bullish short-term signal with the November 5.7955 high as the initial target," Matys says. USD/TRY is last up 0.5% at 5.7414.

Nov 25 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Refinitiv)
- Oil prices rose as positive noises from Washington over the weekend rekindled hopes in global markets that the United States and China could soon sign an interim deal to end their bitter trade war.
- Gold prices edged down to a one-week low after the United States and China expressed willingness to sign an initial trade deal by the year-end, lifting demand for riskier assets and boosting the dollar.
- Prices of industrial metals mostly increased, as some positive signals from Washington rekindled optimism that the United States and China could soon sign a trade deal.
- Chicago wheat futures rose for a second straight session, underpinned by lower planting in the United States and a decline in Australia's production.
- ICE arabica coffee futures retreated on Friday after hitting a one-year high in the previous session on heavy short-covering by funds amid signs of tightening supplies. 
- Malaysian palm oil futures fell, retreating from a two-year high hit in the previous session, although a weaker ringgit limited losses.

 - Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz says the rest of the world is now experiencing the economic pain Canada faced in recent years after President Trump said he wanted to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement. Speaking at an event in Toronto, Poloz says global trade conflicts are resulting in a process of deglobalization, with trade flows shrinking and companies holding off on investment. He says Canada began to experience some of those difficulties earlier than the rest of the world because of uncertainty over the future of Nafta. Now the damage from lower trade and investment is universal, Poloz says. Other countries "are now experiencing what we experienced, first, around Nafta uncertainty."
- Venezuela's Citgo Petroleum can potentially be auctioned off to satisfy a $1B arbitration debt, a US appeals court reaffirmed. The Houston-based refiner is being targeted by several multinational companies that won arbitration awards against Venezuela, which bought Citgo in 1990. A Philadelphia appeals court on Thursday reaffirmed prior rulings allowing for Citgo to be seized as compensation. For that to happen, the Trump administration would also have to give its permission. Venezuela's opposition government, desperate to protect the company from creditors, can still appeal to the US Supreme Court.
- Sub-trend growth is expected to continue into 2020, UBS says in its "Year Ahead 2020" report. UBS cites geopolitical tensions as the primary source of unease for investors. For UBS, 2020 will be a "year of choices" for policymakers, electorates and investors alike. "The two-way uncertainty around our base case is greater than usual," according to UBS, which says market performance in 2020 will depend largely on political decisions. The bank recommends investors seek investments that are less sensitive to political outcomes: quality and dividends within equities, a middle-of-the-road approach in bonds, and precious metals over cyclical commodities.
- Oil prices fall as tensions between the U.S. and China raise worries that the two countries will fail to reach a deal, keeping trade restrictions in place and hurting demand for commodities. Brent crude and WTI are both down 0.2%, at $62.21 and $56.85 a barrel, respectively. The decline comes after President Trump criticized China's efforts to break the trade impasse. Traders continue to monitor events in the Middle East, after a statement by Yemen's Houthis saying they had intercepted a Saudi coalition warplane boosted oil yesterday. This was denied by Saudi Arabia, "but still it has served as a reminder of the high geopolitical tension in the Middle East," Helge Martinsen of DNB Bank says.
- Copper prices fall as worries that the U.S. and China will fail to reach a trade agreement weigh on stock markets and industrial commodities. The red metal is down 0.4% at $5,828 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange, while aluminum and zinc are also lower. The declines come after President Trump criticized China's efforts to break the trade impasse, saying "I don't think they're stepping up to the level that I want." Still, Bloomberg reports that China's chief trade negotiator has said he is "cautiously optimistic" about reaching a deal. Tight supplies are giving copper some support. In a monthly report, the International Copper Study Group says demand for refined copper exceeded production by 330,000 metric tons in the first eight months of 2019.
- Canada's newly appointed environment minister struck a conciliatory tone Wednesday, telling reporters the Liberal government has a duty to address the "legitimate economic concerns" emanating from the country's energy-producing regions about new environmental policy. Jonathan Wilkinson said the government has begun to "think through the economics on how we actually move through this energy transition" to a lower-carbon economy. Promises by re-elected Liberals during the election campaign of a more aggressive climate-change policies -- including a promise by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to fight "oil barons" and reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 -- fueled an uproar in western Canada, home to Canada's energy patch, where economic prospects aren't as bright as other regions. The anger threatens to boil over in a national-unity crisis, political observers warn.

Nov 22 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Refinitiv)
- Oil prices pulled back from their highest levels in nearly two months amid continued uncertainty over whether the United States and China will be able to reach a partial trade deal that would lift some pressure on the global economy.
- Gold prices held steady as doubts prevailed over an interim trade deal being reached between the United States and China this year. Benchmark London copper prices slipped, set for a second straight weekly decline, on conflicting signals over an interim trade deal between the world's two biggest economies.
- Chicago soybean futures were on track for a third weekly loss as fears that completion of an interim Sino-U.S. trade deal could be pushed into next year weighed on the market.
- ICE arabica coffee futures hit the highest in a year on Thursday as funds covered their short positions amid tightening supplies, while sugar prices slipped.
- Palm oil futures rebounded from earlier losses to trade higher, lifted by prospects of lower production and stockpiles, though cheaper rival oils on the Dalian Commodities Exchange and a stronger ringgit capped further gains.
- The dollar trod water as a week of mixed messages on the prospect of Sino-U.S. tariff rollbacks left traders on edge and currency markets paralysed, ahead of the release of closely-watched manufacturing data.

- Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz says the rest of the world is now experiencing the economic pain Canada faced in recent years after President Trump said he wanted to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement. Speaking at an event in Toronto, Poloz says global trade conflicts are resulting in a process of deglobalization, with trade flows shrinking and companies holding off on investment. He says Canada began to experience some of those difficulties earlier than the rest of the world because of uncertainty over the future of Nafta. Now the damage from lower trade and investment is universal, Poloz says. Other countries "are now experiencing what we experienced, first, around Nafta uncertainty."
- Venezuela's Citgo Petroleum can potentially be auctioned off to satisfy a $1B arbitration debt, a US appeals court reaffirmed. The Houston-based refiner is being targeted by several multinational companies that won arbitration awards against Venezuela, which bought Citgo in 1990. A Philadelphia appeals court on Thursday reaffirmed prior rulings allowing for Citgo to be seized as compensation. For that to happen, the Trump administration would also have to give its permission. Venezuela's opposition government, desperate to protect the company from creditors, can still appeal to the US Supreme Court.
- Sub-trend growth is expected to continue into 2020, UBS says in its "Year Ahead 2020" report. UBS cites geopolitical tensions as the primary source of unease for investors. For UBS, 2020 will be a "year of choices" for policymakers, electorates and investors alike. "The two-way uncertainty around our base case is greater than usual," according to UBS, which says market performance in 2020 will depend largely on political decisions. The bank recommends investors seek investments that are less sensitive to political outcomes: quality and dividends within equities, a middle-of-the-road approach in bonds, and precious metals over cyclical commodities.
- Oil prices fall as tensions between the U.S. and China raise worries that the two countries will fail to reach a deal, keeping trade restrictions in place and hurting demand for commodities. Brent crude and WTI are both down 0.2%, at $62.21 and $56.85 a barrel, respectively. The decline comes after President Trump criticized China's efforts to break the trade impasse. Traders continue to monitor events in the Middle East, after a statement by Yemen's Houthis saying they had intercepted a Saudi coalition warplane boosted oil yesterday. This was denied by Saudi Arabia, "but still it has served as a reminder of the high geopolitical tension in the Middle East," Helge Martinsen of DNB Bank says.
- Copper prices fall as worries that the U.S. and China will fail to reach a trade agreement weigh on stock markets and industrial commodities. The red metal is down 0.4% at $5,828 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange, while aluminum and zinc are also lower. The declines come after President Trump criticized China's efforts to break the trade impasse, saying "I don't think they're stepping up to the level that I want." Still, Bloomberg reports that China's chief trade negotiator has said he is "cautiously optimistic" about reaching a deal. Tight supplies are giving copper some support. In a monthly report, the International Copper Study Group says demand for refined copper exceeded production by 330,000 metric tons in the first eight months of 2019.
- Canada's newly appointed environment minister struck a conciliatory tone Wednesday, telling reporters the Liberal government has a duty to address the "legitimate economic concerns" emanating from the country's energy-producing regions about new environmental policy. Jonathan Wilkinson said the government has begun to "think through the economics on how we actually move through this energy transition" to a lower-carbon economy. Promises by re-elected Liberals during the election campaign of a more aggressive climate-change policies -- including a promise by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to fight "oil barons" and reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 -- fueled an uproar in western Canada, home to Canada's energy patch, where economic prospects aren't as bright as other regions. The anger threatens to boil over in a national-unity crisis, political observers warn.
- Apple CEO Tim Cook's big moment with President Trump in Texas quickly shifts from an event about job creation to an airing of grievances about impeachment. Standing on the factory floor for the Mac Pro beside Cook, Trump shifts from talking about the facility to calling impeachment a hoax. "We're opening up massive Apple plants," Trump says. "We have the greatest economy that we've ever had in the history of our country and the best unemployment numbers we've ever had. But we have a fake press. We have a phony press." He also said the press was "dishonest" and Nancy Pelosi was "incompetent."
- President Donald Trump raises the possibility that Apple products could be spared from the next round of tariffs. Asked after a tour of a manufacturing plant for Apple's new Mac Pro if Apple should be exempt from tariffs on imports of China-made products, Trump said the administration is "looking at that." He says he wanted to treat Apple on a somewhat similar basis as its competitor, Samsung, which primarily makes its smartphones outside China.
- Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Jelena McWilliams is optimistic financial regulators can get an interagency proposal to revise the Community Reinvestment Act, she said at an industry conference in New York. McWilliams said the regulatory agencies "generally agree" on several issues. She said "we need to reassess" and give banks more certainty with CRA and said that banks should know going into those exams how they performed on CRA requirements. "Banks are doing a very good job" complying with CRA, she said. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has made its own proposal to rework CRA, but the FDIC and Federal Reserve Board haven't joined the OCC's proposal.
- Hog futures on the CME are down over 4%, following a report from Reuters citing unnamed sources saying that a "Phase One" trade deal between the US and China may not be completed this year. For a hog market looking for China to come in and purchase higher amounts of US pork exports, reports of a delay on a deal are very bearish. However, some traders maintain that the scope of the devastation of African swine fever make the fall seen in US hog futures untenable. "You cannot lose anywhere from 25%-30% of the entire global supply of pigs and see US hog prices collapsing at the same time," independent trader Dan Norcini says.

Nov 21 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ refinitiv)
- Oil prices retreated after gaining more than 2% in the previous session on bullish U.S. crude inventory data, as a fresh spat over Hong Kong fuelled concerns of a further delay in any U.S.-China trade deal.
- Gold prices held steady, supported by concerns that U.S. legislation on Hong Kong could increase tensions between the United States and China and delay an interim trade deal.
- Copper prices dropped, after touching a one-week high in the previous session, as a possible delay in a much-awaited "phase one" trade deal between Washington and Beijing weighed on sentiment.
- Chicago soybeans ticked up, recovering from a nearly two-month low touched in the previous session, although gains were limited by concerns that a U.S.-China trade deal could be pushed into next year.
- ICE raw sugar futures rose on Wednesday, boosted partly by a slow start to the 2019/20 cane crushing season in India, while arabica and robusta coffee gained as funds scaled back bearish positions.
- Malaysian palm oil futures rose for a fourth consecutive session to hit a two-year high, as a supply shortage forecast boosted rival oils on the Dalian exchange.
- The yen rose against the dollar after sources close to the White House told Reuters that a U.S.-China trade deal is unlikely this year, shattering investor hopes a partial agreement was imminent and spurring demand for safe havens.

- Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Jelena McWilliams is optimistic financial regulators can get an interagency proposal to revise the Community Reinvestment Act, she said at an industry conference in New York. McWilliams said the regulatory agencies "generally agree" on several issues. She said "we need to reassess" and give banks more certainty with CRA and said that banks should know going into those exams how they performed on CRA requirements. "Banks are doing a very good job" complying with CRA, she said. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has made its own proposal to rework CRA, but the FDIC and Federal Reserve Board haven't joined the OCC's proposal.
- Hog futures on the CME are down over 4%, following a report from Reuters citing unnamed sources saying that a "Phase One" trade deal between the US and China may not be completed this year. For a hog market looking for China to come in and purchase higher amounts of US pork exports, reports of a delay on a deal are very bearish. However, some traders maintain that the scope of the devastation of African swine fever make the fall seen in US hog futures untenable. "You cannot lose anywhere from 25%-30% of the entire global supply of pigs and see US hog prices collapsing at the same time," independent trader Dan Norcini says.
- Retail assets such as lower-quality shopping centers are facing growing pressure, even as low interest rates are expected to support asset values in most property types into a slower growth period in 2020, according to an S&P Global Ratings report. Political risk from Brexit, policy uncertainty in Latin America, growing sentiment for rent regulation in Germany and the Hong Kong unrest are clouding landlords' prospects in 2020, S&P says. The rating agency says it sees growing negative ratings bias and expects more debt issuance and higher M&A activity. "While we expect the real estate sector to remain fairly resilient if there's a slowdown in 2020, weaker-positioned assets in the retail or office sector could underperform if tenant risk rises," S&P says.
- The trade-and-diplomatic row between Beijing and Ottawa appears to be reshaping Canada's tourism sector. Statistics Canada says as of September, France replaced China as the second-largest source of overseas travelers to Canada by air. China had been the second-largest source country for overseas travelers since 2016. For the first 9 months of 2019, the number of Chinese travelers arriving in Canada fell nearly 10%, to 468K, versus the comparable year-ago period. Travelers from France, meanwhile, rose 7.4% to 477K in the January-to-September period versus the previous year. Tensions between China and Canada have escalated since Canadian authorities arrested Huawei's CFO nearly a year ago in Vancouver at the behest of the US. Since that arrest, China has detained two Canadians on national-security grounds.
- The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is willing to finalize the regulator's own proposed changes to the Community Reinvestment Act, Comptroller Joseph Otting said at an industry conference, but added that he doesn't think that will be needed. The OCC plans to issue a proposed rule next month, and that will be followed by a 60-day comment period. It's the regulator's goal to issue the final rule this April or May, Otting said. Fellow financial regulators the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Federal Reserve Board haven't joined in on the OCC's proposal.
- Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting says at an industry conference that the OCC wants to make complying with the Community Reinvestment Act -- a regulation to push banks to do business in low to moderate income areas -- more transparent. Otting said with bank consolidation, banks have "pulled away" from places like Native American country, disaster zones and rural America, but that the OCC needs to figure out how to tell banks about how the regulator views CRA. "We're going to give you a list of here's all the things that qualify for CRA," Otting said, adding later, "I'm convinced that if banks get clarity they'll do more." Otting said there's a myth that CRA is bad business, but that it's "very profitable" and "very enriching."
- The euro falls versus the dollar as fresh concerns over U.S.-China trade tensions dent risk appetite. U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to raise tariffs on Chinese goods if the two countries failed to reach a trade deal, and the U.S. Senate passed legislation aimed at protecting human rights in Hong Kong where China is clamping down on pro-democracy protests. Pessimism over U.S.-China trade is causing "risk-off" sentiment and boosting demand for safe havens, says MUFG Bank currency analyst Fritz Louw. The trade dispute is also "bad for the eurozone and therefore bad for the euro." However, "volatility has been low over the past two weeks" with the euro stuck around $1.10. EUR/USD falls 0.2% to 1.1057. EUR/JPY falls 0.3% to 119.91 as the yen benefits from safe-haven flows.
- Health care is the issue voters want most to hear about during the Democratic presidential debate on Wednesday. Of voters who said they would watch the debate, 65% said they wanted to hear about health care, according to a survey by sentiment-polling firm Dynata. Health care was followed by the economy and jobs, an issue that 57% of debate-watching voters said they wanted discussed. In third place was gun control, a topic that 54% of viewers said they wanted discussed. More than a quarter (29%) said they wanted presidential candidates to discuss impeachment. Nearly half (44%) of voters indicated TV debate performance influences their feelings about the candidates.
- A public C-band auction raises uncertainty about the proceeds to Intelsat and likely extends the timeline for monetization, S&P says. S&P says FCC Chairman Ajit Pai backing a public auction is a negative development for Intelsat relative to the private auction the C-Band Alliance proposed. Intelsat is a member of that group. Satellite companies say FCC lacks authority to confiscate the spectrum without adequate compensation, while members of Congress argue companies shouldn't reap a windfall from a public resource, S&P notes. "We expect this debate to continue and believe it could even lead to litigation, which would likely delay any auction until 2021 or even 2022," S&P says. S&P says its ratings and outlook on Intelsat aren't affected by the announcement given the uncertainty.

Nov 20 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics ( WSJ DJ refinitiv)
- Oil prices slipped for a third day as a surge in U.S. stockpiles reinforced concerns about lacklustre global economic growth, while hopes ebbed for any movement on the U.S.-China trade war.
- Gold inched up as trade and political tensions ratcheted up between United States and China, stoking demand for the risk-averse precious metal.
- London copper edged lower amid conflicting signals on the Sino-U.S. trade talks, but Shanghai copper jumped to its highest in more than a week after China's central bank vowed to step up credit support to prop up the slowing economy.
- Chicago wheat futures climbed for a third consecutive session to a one-week top as declining condition of the U.S. crop and tightening supplies in the Southern Hemisphere underpinned prices.
- New York cocoa futures on ICE pulled back on Tuesday, having hit a 1-1/2 year high in the previous session on nearby supply tightness, while raw sugar prices remained rangebound.
- Malaysian palm oil futures extended gains and rose 2.2%, as palm oil on the Dalian Commodities Exchange reached a record high.
- The dollar and the safe-haven yen edged higher, but not much, as a lack of clarity on U.S.-China trade talks kept investors cautious.

- A public C-band auction raises uncertainty about the proceeds to Intelsat and likely extends the timeline for monetization, S&P says. S&P says FCC Chairman Ajit Pai backing a public auction is a negative development for Intelsat relative to the private auction the C-Band Alliance proposed. Intelsat is a member of that group. Satellite companies say FCC lacks authority to confiscate the spectrum without adequate compensation, while members of Congress argue companies shouldn't reap a windfall from a public resource, S&P notes. "We expect this debate to continue and believe it could even lead to litigation, which would likely delay any auction until 2021 or even 2022," S&P says. S&P says its ratings and outlook on Intelsat aren't affected by the announcement given the uncertainty.
- T. Rowe Price says the slowing economic environment in the US and concerns around the ongoing China tariff war this year led to a high demand for safety, attracting investors to lower-beta companies with high valuations for much of the year. But investors are grappling with elevated risks due to increased geopolitical uncertainty. Price says with some exceptions, valuations are roughly in line with historical norms around the world.
- The world economy is set for "shallow" growth in 2020, Salman Ahmed, chief investment strategist at Lombard Odier Investment Managers, says at a press event in Frankfurt.Major issues between the U.S. and China remain unaddressed, while the U.S. presidential election is a major risk for U.S. assets, according to Lombard Odier IM. The risk of global recession is relatively low, however, or less than 20%, in the coming 12 months, Ahmed says.
- U.K. economic data has softened but there is still not enough evidence to support an interest rate cut by the Bank of England, Thushka Maharaj, global multi-asset strategist at J.P. Morgan says. "The data flow has weakened and that was motivation for the Bank of England to turn dovish," she says, referring to the BOE's November meeting when two policymakers voted for lower rates, citing a cooling labor market, subdued inflation, slower U.K. growth, a weaker global outlook and Brexit uncertainty. Future policy action will "depend on the outcome" of the December 12 U.K. general election, Maharaj says, adding: "I don't see any need to rush on a rate cut" as "[we] still don't have the green light on the data front."
- The fact that the US and China have struggled to agree to even a "phase one" deal to end the trade war reflects a more fundamental issue, which is that trade deals are hard to do, Capital Economics chief economist Neil Shearing says. "This is one reason to doubt that a lasting agreement between the US and China is in sight, but it also has implications for how any post-Brexit negotiations between the UK and EU are likely to play out," he says. US equities were kept in check by less optimistic US-China trade headlines overnight. Media reported Chinese officials are pessimistic about the possibility of coming to an agreement on trade owing to Trump's reluctance to roll back tariffs.

Nov 19 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Refinitiv)
- U.S. oil prices fell for the second straight day amid market jitters over limited progress between China and the United States on rolling back trade tariffs, while rising U.S. inventories also jangled nerves.
- Gold held steady after hitting its highest in over one-and-a-half weeks, propped up by doubts about a trade deal between the United States and China.
- London copper slid for a second straight session, with renewed doubts over a U.S.-China trade deal weighing on market sentiment.
- Chicago corn futures ticked higher with the market rising from a two-month low touched in the previous session, while soybeans recovered from their lowest in nearly seven weeks as a slow pace of U.S. harvest underpinned prices.
- New York cocoa  futures ended lower after hitting a 1-1/2 year high on Monday as traders booked profits, while sugar edged higher and arabica coffee prices eased.
- Malaysian palm oil futures recovered from two consecutive sessions of losses to trade higher, as rival oils became costlier and as the ringgit weakened.
- The dollar nursed losses as receding hopes for a preliminary trade deal between the United States and China hurt demand for the greenback.

- The fact that the US and China have struggled to agree to even a "phase one" deal to end the trade war reflects a more fundamental issue, which is that trade deals are hard to do, Capital Economics chief economist Neil Shearing says. "This is one reason to doubt that a lasting agreement between the US and China is in sight, but it also has implications for how any post-Brexit negotiations between the UK and EU are likely to play out," he says. US equities were kept in check by less optimistic US-China trade headlines overnight. Media reported Chinese officials are pessimistic about the possibility of coming to an agreement on trade owing to Trump's reluctance to roll back tariffs.
- The dollar slips after President Trump tweeted that he met with Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell to discuss the US currency and negative interest rates. The ICE Dollar Index was recently down 0.3% at 97.73, near its lows of the day, weighed down by losses against the yen and euro. Trump has complained the strong dollar and comparatively high interest rates hurt US economic performance. "Everything was discussed including interest rates, negative interest, low inflation, easing, Dollar strength & its effect on manufacturing, trade with China, E.U. & others," Trump tweeted earlier this morning.
- Twitter made the provocative decision recently to ban election-related advertising. Digital-ad trading company The Trade Desk is hoping to muscle in on some of the spend Twitter is leaving on the table. "We view that as a humongous opportunity," said Trade Desk CEO Jeff Green, referring to the 2020 US election. "I know that a number of tech companies, ad-funded tech companies, have decided to sit out this election. And I think that's a mistake, not just because of the opportunity that political ads represent but also, I just think there's a civic duty, a role that we play in helping that process get better." Other companies that have policies banning ads endorsing electoral outcomes include Pinterest, Microsoft's LinkedIn and TikTok.
- Bondholders circling Venezuela's Citgo Petroleum won't try to foreclose on the company until a judge weighs in on their claims. They are locked in litigation with Venezuela's US-backed opposition government, which desperately wants the asset shielded from seizure after a $913M debt default. The Trump administration has protected Citgo through mid-January. Now, bondholders will wait longer to try to foreclose, pending the outcome of legal proceedings in New York that will stretch on for months longer.
- The International Maritime Organization has set aside for now proposals by French President Emmanuele Macron and groups of big shipowners to introduce mandatory slow steaming for ships as a way to cut down pollution levels. The global regulator chose instead to push with making ship engines more efficient through a set of mandatory targets, leading to 50% less carbon emissions by 2050 compared to 2008 levels. Ocean going ships emit up to 3% of greenhouse gas emissions, or about as much as Germany.

Nov 18 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Refinitiv)

- Oil prices were little changed following steady gains in the previous week with investors awaiting fresh clues over prospects for a trade deal between the United States and China, shrugging off concerns over steadily rising oil supplies.
- Gold prices eased as optimism grew about U.S.-China trade ties following a report of "constructive talks" over the weekend, while losses were capped by a softer dollar.
- London copper gained more ground as hopes of a Sino-U.S. trade deal kept investor optimism afloat, underpinning prices.
- Chicago soybean futures rose for a third consecutive session on hopes that a trade deal between Washington and Beijing could be signed soon following a report of "constructive talks" between them over the weekend.
- Raw sugar prices on ICE slipped on Friday as fund short covering ran out of steam amid a weak real and excess stocks from last season. Coffee prices also fell while New York cocoa hit another 1-1/2 year high.
- Malaysian palm oil futures edged higher after shedding more than 0.4% earlier in the session, as rival oils on the Dalian Commodity Exchange jumped on gains in soybean oil on the Chicago Board of Trade.

Nov 15 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Refinitiv)
- Oil prices rose as OPEC's outlook for oil demand next year fuelled hopes that the producer group and its associates will keep a lid on supply when they meet to discuss policy on output next month.
- Gold prices fell as risk appetite was whetted by comments from White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow that the United States is nearing an interim trade pact with China.
- Copper prices in London snapped a five-session losing streak as comments from a senior U.S. official that Washington and Beijing are getting close to an interim trade pact lifted hopes of demand for the metal, used as a gauge of economic health.
- Chicago wheat futures were on track for their fourth week of decline, with stiff competition from the Black Sea region hitting U.S. sales in the global market.
- Cocoa futures on ICE pulled back late in the session after trading at 1-1/2-year highs on Thursday, boosted partly by nearby supply tightness, while raw sugar and arabica coffee prices edged up.
- Malaysian palm oil futures dropped nearly 1% and were headed for their biggest weekly fall since late August, tracking losses in rival oils on the Chicago Board of Trade and the Dalian Commodity Exchange.
- The dollar and riskier trade-exposed currencies found some support as fresh hopes for a breakthrough in Sino-U.S. trade talks were tempered with caution.

- The global economy will need greater fiscal stimulus if trade tensions continue to grow as monetary policy loses its potency, says Silvia Dall'Angelo, senior economist at Hermes Investment Management. Monetary policy tools are "constrained and possibly ineffective" against a backdrop of "high policy uncertainty and structural issues," she says. "It is unlikely monetary policy has enough room to offset the impact of an outright trade war, should it happen, without significant fiscal easing." A greater role for fiscal policy "looks appropriate," yet politics mean an imminent "fiscal bazooka" is unlikely. Next year's U.S. elections in November mark a key milestone and "might provide more clarity," she says.
- The Turkish lira weakens after a long-awaited meeting between President Trump and Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ended Wednesday without a resolution on key issues on which the two sides have been divided. These include policy on Syria, Turkey's purchase of Russian S-400 missile defences, and the U.S. case against Turkey's state lender Halkbank. USD/TRY is last up 0.4% at 5.7644.
- UBS Global Wealth Management is advising investors with euro- or dollar-denominated portfolios to remove currency hedges on U.K. equity holdings. Sterling should rise to $1.38 by end-2020 and remain steady against the euro--with EUR/GBP to stay around 0.86 by the end of next year--, according to the asset manager's forecasts. The forecasts are based on a smooth Brexit transition period leading to a trade agreement between the U.K. and the country's largest trading partner, the European Union. UBS GWM says the forecasts favor removing currency hedges. It points to "relatively high hedging costs."
- Like other US markets, grain traders are keeping an eye on any developments to come out of the first public hearings in the House of Representatives over the impeachment of President Trump, and may move depending on how damning any testimony given is. "The Chinese will certainly be paying close attention, as anything that can weaken President Trump strengthens the Chinese position at the negotiating table," says Jeff Kaprelian of the Hueber Report. However, pressure on Trump could cause a deal to materialize sooner, says Craig Turner of Daniels Trading. "If the economy is at the center of his reelection campaign, then he can't look weak on trade," says Turner. Grain futures on the CBOT began Wednesday trading lower.
- Public hearings on the impeachment inquiry into President Trump, which start today, could cost US employers more than $2B an hour in lost productivity, outplacement firm Challenger Gray & Christmas says. Challenger reckons about 75.4 million US workers who use the Internet at work are interested in politics or likely to watch or follow updates on the hearing. At an average earnings rate of $28.18 an hour, that adds up to $2.1B for each hour employees  spend tuning in when they would otherwise be working.

Nov 14 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Refinitiv)
- Oil rose after industry data showed a surprise drop in U.S. crude inventories, while comments from an OPEC official about lower-than-expected U.S. shale production growth in 2020 also provided some support.
- Gold prices inched up as Asian equities turned lower after weaker-than-expected economic data out of China weighed on risk appetite, boosting demand for safe-haven assets.
- Copper prices in London rebounded from a two-week low as lower stockpiles and supply uncertainty in top producer Chile helped offset the impact of dismal economic data from China, the world's biggest user of the metal.
- Chicago soybeans edged up, with bargain buying driving the market higher after prices dropped to a one-month low on dwindling hopes for a trade deal between Washington and Beijing.
- London sugar futures on ICE jumped to close to four-month high as weather conditions contribute to global supply concerns.
- Malaysian palm oil futures fell for a third straight session, as rival oils on China's Dalian Commodities Exchange became cheaper, although a weaker ringgit limited losses.
- Doubts over whether the United States and China will be able to reach a preliminary trade deal helped to lift safe-haven currencies such as the yen and the Swiss franc, while pulling the yuan lower.

- Europe retreats as Trump talks tough.
European markets went into retreat as investor sentiment underwent an about-face following hawkish comment on global trade by Donald Trump, the US president, and an unexpected slowdown in US inflation. Indices across the world lost ground while bonds rebounded and safe-haven commodities strengthened. On Tuesday night, in a speech made after markets closed in Europe, Mr Trump accused the EU of imposing “terrible” trade barriers, raising fears that the tariff war between the US and China, driven by the White House’s protectionist economic policy, could blow up on a transatlantic front. The president faced a deadline to take a decision on EU car tariffs yesterday, but was widely expected to kick the can down the road for a further six months. Europe’s top indices all lost ground, with Spain dropping particularly far after its socialist party reached a coalition deal with the far-left Podemos party.
- Public hearings on the impeachment inquiry into President Trump, which start today, could cost US employers more than $2B an hour in lost productivity, outplacement firm Challenger Gray & Christmas says. Challenger reckons about 75.4 million US workers who use the Internet at work are interested in politics or likely to watch or follow updates on the hearing. At an average earnings rate of $28.18 an hour, that adds up to $2.1B for each hour employees spend tuning in when they would otherwise be working.
- Copper remains under pressure amid uncertainty over the future of U.S. trade policy. President Trump's speech before the Economic Club of New York was light on specifics regarding China. However, Mr. Trump did elaborate on U.S.-EU trade, describing tariffs and trade barriers in the bloc as "very, very difficult," and "in many ways worse than China." Trump's comments do not suggest "tariffs on U.S. auto imports from the EU will be postponed for a further six months, as was rumored yesterday," says Daniel Briesemann of Commerzbank. LME three-month copper futures were recently 0.4% lower at $5,833.50 a metric ton.
- The Stoxx Europe 600 drops 0.6%, or 2.47 points to 404.43 in the wake of a pessimistic tone from President Donald Trump on U.S.-China relations. The DAX falls 0.8% and the CAC-40 is off 0.5% after Asia markets finished mostly lower, with China's Shenzhen A-Share the only index to edge into positive territory. "European markets are following their Asian markets sharply lower today, following somewhat disappointing comments from Donald Trump yesterday," says IG's Josh Mahony. "It was hoped Trump's appearance at the Economic Club of New York would boost markets, yet he instead chose to warn of the threat that tariffs would be ramped up again if no deal were struck with China."
- It could be a nervous day for Turkish lira's traders, who will be watching closely a meeting between Turkey's President Erdogan and U.S. President Trump in the White House today, says Rabobank. "The positive relationship between the two presidents is the key reason why Turkey has so far avoided being heavily penalised for purchasing the S400 air defence system from Russia," it adds. It says the lira and local assets will breathe a sigh of relief if both leaders emerge from their meeting with broad smiles and stress that they are fully committed to much stronger ties, despite "the foggy weather in our relations" as President Erdogan put it. USD/TRY is last 0.2% lower at 5.7631.
- Corporate bonds of European automakers are unlikely to substantially outperform in the near term, despite reports signaling that the U.S. will delay imposing tariffs on imported European cars, says Commerzbank. Concerns about fundamentals remain after Continental's Q3 loss and Nissan's profit warning on Tuesday, the bank says. However, a delay in U.S. tariffs would remove a major tail-risk for the autos category at least temporarily, and Commerzbank expects to continue to see improved risk-reward in the sector. "We hence feel confirmed in our sector upgrade to marketweight," it says.
- Soybean futures on the CBOT showed little movement after President Trump said that a partial trade deal with China was "close" and that the Chinese government was "dying to make a deal." Soybean futures on the CBOT inched down, with the January contract trading down 0.1%. A trade deal would be particularly beneficial for US soybeans, although the spread of African swine fever in China is hurting potential demand for US exports by lessening China's need for soy animal feed. Speaking in front of the Economic Club of New York, Trump also said that if no deal was reached, new tariffs would be levied.
- A phase one U.S- China trade deal would lift the euro to $1.11, from $1.1016 currently, but the boost is likely to be short-lived, Rabobank's Jane Foley says. Even if Washington and Beijing reach an initial agreement, there is a "risk of another resurgence of tensions" once the countries enter talks for the next phase of a deal, she says. Rabobank therefore sees the euro falling to $1.08 in the next three months. A trade deal would be positive for the euro because it is expected to boost global growth and is "likely to be good" for German exports, Foley says.

Nov 13 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ refinitiv)
- Oil prices dipped as prospects for a trade deal between the United States and China dimmed, weighing on the outlook for the global economy and energy demand.
- Gold prices rose after a speech by U.S. President Donald Trump dashed hopes for a positive sign on a U.S.-China trade deal, prompting investors to seek safety in the metal.
- Copper prices in London were on track to fall for a fourth straight session, while Shanghai prices slid to a near two-week low after U.S. President Donald Trump gave no new details on negotiations for a U.S.-China trade deal.
- Chicago soybean futures edged up as a slow pace of U.S. harvest supported prices, although worries that U.S.-China trade talks are stalling kept a lid on the market.
- New York cocoa futures on ICE hit their highest in a year and a half while London cocoa also rallied on signs nearby supplies may be tightening.
- Malaysian palm oil futures extended early gains, recovering some lost ground after the previous session's sharp fall, due to a weaker ringgit, stronger rival Dalian palm oils and bullish export data.
- The beaten-up New Zealand dollar soared 1% after the central bank unexpectedly left interest rates on hold, while most other major currencies were little changed.

- Corporate bonds of European automakers are unlikely to substantially outperform in the near term, despite reports signaling that the U.S. will delay imposing tariffs on imported European cars, says Commerzbank. Concerns about fundamentals remain after Continental's Q3 loss and Nissan's profit warning on Tuesday, the bank says. However, a delay in U.S. tariffs would remove a major tail-risk for the autos category at least temporarily, and Commerzbank expects to continue to see improved risk-reward in the sector. "We hence feel confirmed in our sector upgrade to marketweight," it says.
- Soybean futures on the CBOT showed little movement after President Trump said that a partial trade deal with China was "close" and that the Chinese government was "dying to make a deal." Soybean futures on the CBOT inched down, with the January contract trading down 0.1%. A trade deal would be particularly beneficial for US soybeans, although the spread of African swine fever in China is hurting potential demand for US exports by lessening China's need for soy animal feed. Speaking in front of the Economic Club of New York, Trump also said that if no deal was reached, new tariffs would be levied.
 - A phase one U.S- China trade deal would lift the euro to $1.11, from $1.1016 currently, but the boost is likely to be short-lived, Rabobank's Jane Foley says. Even if Washington and Beijing reach an initial agreement, there is a "risk of another resurgence of tensions" once the countries enter talks for the next phase of a deal, she says. Rabobank therefore sees the euro falling to $1.08 in the next three months. A trade deal would be positive for the euro because it is expected to boost global growth and is "likely to be good" for German exports, Foley says.

- US government bond prices were little changed as investors looked ahead to President Trump's speech at the Economic Club of New York where he is expected to discuss trade. Bond yields have risen along with stock prices as expectations have increased for an agreement between the US and China. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note was a recent 1.929% compared with 1.930% Friday. Yields have risen to roughly the highest in more than three months as investors have felt more comfortable taking risk after the Federal Reserve's three rate cuts this year have eased financial worries, cooling some of the demand for safe assets.- Frans van Houten, the chief executive of Dutch medical technology company Philips is calling for comprehensive regulation of health data. "Data collection must serve patient care, not financial motives: There will be no Google model in the healthcare sector," he says in an interview with German daily Handelsblatt. Nevertheless, he expects U.S. internet giants, such as Google and Amazon, to continue to push into the sector and says Europe should try to understand how it could integrate their innovations into its health-care system. The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that Google is gathering personal health data of millions of Americans in a project with hospital chain Ascension but hasn't informed patients.
- The euro is steady against the dollar in cautious trade ahead of a highly-anticipated announcement from the Trump administration on European automobile tariffs. Imposing import tariffs on European Union cars and auto parts would represent a "marked escalation in ongoing global trade developments," and lead to "negative economic impacts and political backlash" for Donald Trump so the market expects the U.S. President to say Wednesday that he will delay the decision by another six months, MUFG Bank's Fritz Louw says. "Most of this positivity is already priced into the euro and so we expect limited upside for the euro," he says. EUR/USD is last flat at 1.1035.
- Industrial growth in China has stabilized, but there are low expectations for reacceleration in 2020, Bank of America says, recounting a series of recent meetings with industrial companies in China. The Chinese government's fiscal-policy response to the slowing growth also hasn't been significant, the investment bank says. In the meetings, the BofA says investors were optimistic on trade issues being resolved but notes that China's geopolitical tensions with the US, and increasingly Europe, would cloud over relations for the long term.
- Moody's says its outlook for sovereign creditworthiness in 2020 is negative as a disruptive political environment exacerbates credit challenges. The ratings company says the starkest manifestation of this is trade disruption, mainly from the standoff between the US and China. The antagonistic political environment is also weakening global and national institutions, lowering the shock-absorption capacity of sovereigns with high debt burdens and low fiscal buffers. "Overall, the global environment is becoming less predictable for the 142 sovereigns we rate," Moody's says, "Event risk is rising, raising the spectre of reversals in capital flows that would crystallize vulnerabilities facing the weakest sovereigns."
- Cotton futures on the Intercontinental Exchange fall 1.5% to roughly 63.75 cents per pound, as President Trump's walk back from claims that the US and China are talking about dropping tariffs once a partial trade deal is signed threw cold water on sentiments that a partial deal was about to be reached. Over the weekend, Trump commented that negotiations were going "very nicely" between the two sides, but news stories about tariffs being lifted were not accurate. After hitting a nearly four-month high, cotton futures have slid -- falling 3.4% since Oct. 30.
- Over the weekend, President Trump said that while negotiations between the US and China are going "very nicely," reports of an agreement between the two sides to drop tariffs were not accurate. This has become a weight on commodities prices as trading begins Monday, and soybeans is one agricultural products that reacts strongly to developments in the US-China trade saga. Soybeans traded down 0.6% overnight. The market is also continuing to react to the results from Friday's WASDE report from the USDA--which showed production and yield estimates untouched from the previous month, a surprise for traders looking for cuts to both.

Nov 12 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Refinitiv)
- Oil prices rose, reversing early losses on hopes that U.S. President Donald Trump may signal progress on trade talks with China in a speech later in the day.
- Gold prices were flat, as investors looked for clues from U.S. President Donald Trump on the status of trade talks with China, while the political unrest in Hong Kong provided some support to the safe-haven metal.
- London nickel prices fell for a seventh straight session, hitting levels last seen before Indonesia confirmed in September it would expedite a ban on nickel ore exports to the start of 2020.
- Chicago corn futures recovered from a one-and-half month low hit in the last session, though gains were capped due to a slow pace of U.S. exports this year.
- Raw sugar was rangebound on Monday as an expected tightening in supplies this season was offset by expectations that Brazil's Center-South region would produce above year-ago levels.
- Malaysian palm oil futures fell after two days of gains, although higher prices of rival edible oils limited losses.
- Sterling held gains in Asian trade, having hit a six-month high versus the euro and rising as much as 1% against the dollar overnight, as the risk of a hung parliament in UK elections eased slightly.

- Cotton futures on the Intercontinental Exchange fall 1.5% to roughly 63.75 cents per pound, as President Trump's walk back from claims that the US and China are talking about dropping tariffs once a partial trade deal is signed threw cold water on sentiments that a partial deal was about to be reached. Over the weekend, Trump commented that negotiations were going "very nicely" between the two sides, but news stories about tariffs being lifted were not accurate. After hitting a nearly four-month high, cotton futures have slid -- falling 3.4% since Oct. 30.
- Over the weekend, President Trump said that while negotiations between the US and China are going "very nicely," reports of an agreement between the two sides to drop tariffs were not accurate. This has become a weight on commodities prices as trading begins Monday, and soybeans is one agricultural products that reacts strongly to developments in the US-China trade saga. Soybeans traded down 0.6% overnight. The market is also continuing to react to the results from Friday's WASDE report from the USDA--which showed production and yield estimates untouched from the previous month, a surprise for traders looking for cuts to both.
- An unpredictable and disruptive political and geopolitical environment will exacerbate the gradual slowdown in trend gross domestic product growth in 2020, says Moody's Investors Service. The rating agency says the outlook for global sovereign creditworthiness for next year is negative. This backdrop will aggravate a long-standing structural bottleneck and increase the risk of an economic and financial shock, it says. The starkest manifestation of the impact of geopolitical tensions is the disruption to trade, mainly resulting from the standoff between the U.S. and China, Moody's says. Meanwhile, an increasingly populist tone around the world is undermining domestic policy effectiveness. The ratings firm rates 142 sovereigns, encompassing $63.2 trillion in debt outstanding.
- Hong Kong stocks slide in early trade, tracking its mainland peers after President Trump disputed an earlier statement by China's Commerce Ministry that tariff relief would be part of the first phase of a trade accord. The Hang Seng Index is down 1.3% at 27287.61 as Trump's comments weakened the stocks' major boost since the start of the month. Meanwhile, a potential Alibaba IPO in Hong Kong expected this month has also affected liquidity in the market, KGI says. Most stocks on the HSI are in the red. Tech supplier AAC Technologies is leading the declines with shares down 3.8%.

Nov 11 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ)

- Oil prices fell amid renewed doubts over the prospects of a trade deal between the United States and China, while concerns over excess supplies also weighed on the market.
- Gold prices rose, after touching a three-month low in the previous session, on lingering concerns over the U.S.-China trade deal and the prospect of a slowing global economy.
- Nickel prices fell, as stocks in China's exchange warehouses rose to a 1-1/2-year high and top ore producer Indonesia resumed exports.
- Chicago corn futures lost ground, giving up last session's gains as a firmer dollar and weak demand put pressure on prices, although losses were capped by a lower-than-expected U.S. production forecast.

- Arabica coffee futures on ICE climbed to a four-month high on Friday, extending a short-covering rally, while raw sugar futures were slightly lower.
- Malaysian palm oil futures rose to a near two-year high as the country's production unexpectedly dropped in October, while exports jumped.
- The dollar held near multi-week highs amid optimism that the United States and China would roll back tariffs that have hurt global growth.

Nov 11 - Markets sink as Trump denies plan to end tariffs ( WSJ DJ Refinitiv )

- Donald Trump ended the week by disappointing global investors, sending shares down across Europe.
- The FTSE 100 closed the day down 47.03 points, or 0.64%, to 7,359.38 after the US President denied claims that all tariffs would be rolled back if he reaches a trade deal with China.
- France’s Cac was broadly flat at 5,889.7 points, down 1.28 points. Germany’s Dax fell 0.46% to 13,228.56.

The US president said he has not agreed to scrapping all the tariffs [but] the door was left open to a partial roll-back ” said CMC Market analyst David Madden. The FTSE 100 partly suffered as it was pulled lower by miners, including Rio Tinto and Evraz, which count on China’s massive construction market for much of their sales. Chinese imports fell for the sixth month in a row in October, new figures suggest.
- The pound was down 0.21% against the dollar at 1.2789 while against the euro it rose 0.08% to 1.1605.
- In company news Jet2.com and EasyJet have bought all of collapsed tour operator Thomas Cook’s landing slots in the UK, the company’s liquidators have said. EasyJet snapped up 27 pairs of slots, at Gatwick and Bristol airports, for £36 million.
- British Airways owner International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG) has scaled back its forecasts for airline capacity over the next three years as it posted a rise in passenger numbers last month. The airline giant reduced its forecasts for expected growth in available seats per kilometre to 3.4% for the years from 2019 to 2023, from its previous prediction of 6%.
- Care home investor Target Healthcare has snapped up 39 properties across the UK in an £81.3 million deal. The real estate investment trust has agreed to buy seven care homes in Yorkshire, a facility in Dorset and 31 retirement apartments in Gloucestershire.
- The boss and finance chief of Asian-focused bank Standard Chartered have agreed to cut their pay after facing an angry backlash from shareholders. Chief executive Bill Winters and chief financial officer Andy Halford both said they would allow the board to push through changes to their pension contributions.
- International oil standard Brent crude remained more or less flat over the day at $62.27 (£48.73) per barrel.

Nov 09 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ)
- Cargo volumes at the Port of Long Beach fell 2.4% on-year in October, much less than the 19% dive at the nearby Port of Los Angeles, but still painting a grim picture as the country's two top ocean gateways feel the pain from the US-China trade dispute which has added duties to a vast array of products going in or out. "As the trade war lingers, these tariffs continue to impact the US economy and have created uncertainty for the business of importers and exporters," says Mario Cordero, Long Beach's executive director. "We are hopeful for a prompt resolution of the tariff situation between the US and China."
- Another potential delay emerges in Canada issuing a decision on whether Huawei Technologies will be allowed to participate in the country's 5G network. PM Justin Trudeau said his national security and intelligence advisor, Greta Bossenmaier, would retire in early December. Canada's national security minister, Ralph Goodale, was defeated in last month's election and won't be returning to the cabinet. Ottawa insiders suggested he had a hand's-on role on the file regarding Huawei and the 5G network. Canada is under pressure from the US to block Huawei  articipation, although any decision is complicated by China's arrest of two Canadians on national-security charges. The detention is largely seen as retaliation for Canada heeding a US request to arrest Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou nearly a year ago.

Nov 08 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Refinitiv)
- Crude oil futures fell amid lingering uncertainty on whether, and when, the United States and China will agree a long-awaited deal to end their bitter trade dispute, the gloom compounded by rising crude inventories in the United States.
- Gold prices were set for their biggest weekly decline in 2-1/2-years as optimism for a China U.S. trade deal boosted risk-on sentiment, denting bullion's appeal.
- London copper prices edged down as tepid China data raised concerns of weak demand for the malleable metal, while mixed signals from the U.S.-China trade scene sparked worries over the prospects of sealing a deal.
- Chicago corn futures were on track for their biggest weekly loss in two months, as lower demand for U.S. supplies and harvest pressure weighed on the market.
- Arabica coffee futures on ICE hit their highest in nearly four months on Thursday on fund short covering and as traders bet on further gains for the Brazilian real. Sugar and cocoa fell.
- Malaysian palm oil futures bounced back from early losses to rise over 1% after an industry body forecast a lower-than-expected rise in production and as the ringgit weakened.
- The dollar held its gains versus the yen and Swiss franc as investors bought riskier assets on news that China and the United States had agreed to roll back tariffs as part of an as yet unfinalised preliminary pact to end their trade war.

- Ralph Lauren is pushing through price increases it hopes will offset some rising costs due to tariffs on products imported from China. It began raising prices slightly at its outlet stores this fall, followed by increases at its full-line stores. The company says it's too early to gauge consumer reaction to the new prices. Retailers are bracing for the effect of tariffs. Some, including Target, are telling their suppliers to eat tariff-related costs. About 40% of all clothing and 70% of shoes sold in the US are made in China, according to the American Apparel and Footwear Association.
- The pound could rise to $1.40, from $1.2854 currently, if the U.K. leaves the EU with a deal and demand for the dollar wanes, UBS says. A majority win by the U.K.'s ruling Conservative Party at the Dec. 12 general election "could lead to a Brexit deal being passed, which could see GBP/USD leap into the 1.35-1.40 area," UBS analysts say in a note. GBP/USD "should also find support from fading demand for dollars" as the Federal Reserve has "reduced the rate differential to the U.K. a lot, and stands ready to offset potentially weakening U.S. growth," they say. A "benign" Brexit outcome and a rebound in Europe growth should "further reduce the relative attractiveness of the greenback."
- Nexstar Media and Sinclair Broadcast each said they expect political ad revenue in 2020 to be a key boost in earnings next year. Sinclair CEO Chris Ripley expects it to be Sinclair's biggest political ad revenue year on record, and aims to leverage the newly acquired regional sports networks as another avenue for political advertising. Nexstar said it expects the contribution of political spending in 2020 to ramp up free cash flow.
- A decision by New York City voters to allow the city to create a formal budgetary reserve could burnish its stability during times of economic hardship, S&P says. The "rainy day" fund would be helpful during times when personal income and sales tax collections were softer, the agency says. During times when the city is experiencing recessionary effects, such as those "experienced following the September 11th attacks and the 2008 financial crisis," the rainy day fund "would enhance the city's overall flexibility and insulate its budget," S&P says. New York City had been prohibited by state law from creating such a fund, and would use current-year surpluses to prepay expenditures, where other municipalities may have deposited that money into a reserve fund, S&P says.
- Asked about "Medicare for All" plans from Democratic presidential candidates including Sen. Elizabeth Warren, CVS CEO Larry Merlo says in an interview that there are "more questions than answers" currently. He defends the role of companies like his in the health-care sector, including in government programs like the Medicare drug benefit. "Competition and innovation have done a lot of good things...I don't think that you can ignore the role of the private sector in this country." Also, he says, "what happens to employer-sponsored health care?" Asked about investor concerns about the Democrats' plans, he says, "The investors recognize we've got a long, long way to go."

Nov 07 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Refinitiv)
- Oil prices trod water after losses in the previous session, as traders were cautious amid concerns over a potential delay in sealing a long-awaited interim U.S.-China trade deal and a huge increase of U.S. crude stockpiles.
- Gold prices were little changed as investors maintained a cautious stance amid signs of a delay in Washington and Beijing sealing a long-awaited interim trade deal.
- Copper prices fell as worries of a delay in a highly anticipated trade deal between the United States and China hurt sentiment.
- Chicago corn futures slid for a sixth consecutive session, while soybean traded near one-week low as concerns over slowing demand and a delay in sealing a preliminary U.S.-China trade deal weighed on prices.
- Arabica coffee futures on ICE settled at their highest since late July on Wednesday on concerns about dry weather in Brazil curbing supply. 
- Palm oil futures dropped, giving up some of the last session's gains, as market expectations of higher output in Malaysia, the world's second-largest producer, weighed on prices.
- The dollar fell against the yen as doubts about when the United States and China will sign a preliminary trade deal encouraged traders to square off some of their long positions.

- Asked about "Medicare for All" plans from Democratic presidential candidates including Sen. Elizabeth Warren, CVS CEO Larry Merlo says in an interview that there are "more questions than answers" currently. He defends the role of companies like his in the health-care sector, including in government programs like the Medicare drug benefit. "Competition and innovation have done a lot of good things...I don't think that you can ignore the role of the private sector in this country." Also, he says, "what happens to employer-sponsored health care?" Asked about investor concerns about the Democrats' plans, he says, "The investors recognize we've got a long, long way to go."
- An easing or resolution to the long-running trade dispute between the U.S. and China is likely to be positive for the euro versus the dollar, says MUFG Bank's Fritz Louw. There has been a "clear downtrend" in the euro since the escalation in trade tensions at the end of the first quarter of 2018, Louw says. "The conflict clearly impacted eurozone growth more than U.S. growth as given the importance of external demand to Germany and the positive impact in the U.S. from [President Donald] Trump's domestic tax policies." Any de-escalation of trade conflict "could well see some repricing of euro-zone assets." EUR/USD is last up 0.1% at 1.1083.
- Travel to and within the US grew 2.2% in September compared with the same month last year, but international inbound travel contracted 0.4%, marking the fifth month in negative territory this year, the US Travel Association says. With prolonged trade tensions and the dollar's high value, inbound travel volume is expected to decline 0.6% over the next six months, the association says. The association's Current Travel Index reads 51.1 in September, indicating 117 straight months of growth, but the number reflects slower growth compared with August's 51.5. "There is a global travel boom, but too many of those visitor dollars are going to places other than the US," says Roger Dow, the association's CEO.
- One year out from the next presidential election, 56% of US workers say workplace discussions about politics have become more common in the last four years, according to a Society for Human Resource Management survey. The group surveyed 522 working Americans and finds one-third of respondents view their workplaces as intolerant when it comes to respecting diverse political perspectives. Twelve percent say they've personally experienced bias related to their political affiliations and more than 40% say they've experienced political disagreements at work. Not long ago, Alphabet's Google tried to quell such conversations by asking employees not to engage in "disruptive" political conversations at work.

Nov 06 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Refinitiv)
- Oil prices fell, pulled down by a larger-than-expected build-up in U.S. crude stocks, after gaining for three straight sessions on expectations of an easing of in U.S.-China trade tensions.
- Gold prices edged higher, after falling over 1% in the previous session, as investors took a step back from riskier assets in the absence of concrete developments on the U.S.-China trade front.
- Shanghai lead prices fell to their lowest in three months, as increasing inventories in top consumer China raised worries about a surplus.
- Chicago corn futures ticked higher for the first time in five sessions, helped by bargain buying, although gains were limited as dry weather is expected to boost the U.S. harvest.
- Raw sugar prices on ICE hit their highest settlement in a month on Tuesday but remained within recent ranges overall. Arabica coffee and cocoa prices steadied.
- Malaysian palm oil futures reversed course to edge higher as data showed lower production figures, implying tighter supplies.
- The dollar held the upper hand against its rivals, particularly versus traditional safe-haven currencies, on rising hopes for a U.S.-China trade deal and a string of solid U.S. economic data.

- Private equity has become a target of intense criticism in the US as the next presidential election campaign kicks into gear. But Mario Giannini, chief executive at private-markets investment firm Hamilton Lane, says he doesn't expect political attacks on the industry to go away anytime soon. "Fifteen, twenty years ago, [private equity] was a very small part of the capital markets and didn't get the attention that it gets now," Giannini says during the firm's 2Q earnings call. "I don't think it will go away, whether in the US or in other countries. It's something we will have to deal with and have dealt with. It's part of the reality of the industry having grown and matured."
- FCC chairman Ajit Pai points to recent blowback from Chinese companies and state-owned entities against those who have supported Hong Kong protesters as evidence of how the country could try to do harm to nations that use its telecommunications equipment. After Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey posted a now-deleted tweet supporting protesters in Hong Kong, Chinese broadcasters ignored NBA games during the first week of the season. An e-gaming company suspended a player who had voiced support for protesters and Apple removed a digital image of the Taiwan flag from its list of emojis available in Hong Kong. "If China is willing to use its leverage over basketball, e-gaming and emojis, imagine what could happen if we let Chinese companies' equipment into tomorrow's 5G wireless networks," Pai says at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.
- Plans by Democratic presidential candidates to tax stock trades would be ruinous for US financial markets, says the head of high-speed trading firm Virtu Financial. "It's an absolute disaster," Virtu CEO Douglas Cifu says on a 3Q earnings call. "It really is a tax on the middle class." Last week, Sen. Elizabeth Warren said she would use a financial transaction tax to help pay for her Medicare for All proposal. Sen. Bernie Sanders has also backed a similar plan. Big electronic traders like Virtu account for a huge portion of daily activity in US financial markets and would bear the brunt of the tax, although they argue that it would simply result in costs being passed down to pension funds and ordinary investors.
- International aviation-data sharing and safety exchanges are being disrupted by Beijing and Washington's roller-coaster trade negotiations, with Chinese officials and airlines deciding last minute to skip an international safety summit sponsored by the Flight Safety Foundation nonprofit this week in Taiwan. After decades of close cooperation between Chinese and U.S. aviation regulators to enhance commercial air safety, Beijing has so far carefully avoided taking a public stand on how it plans to lift the grounding of Boeing's 737 MAX jets. The eventual decision is important partly because the jetliner fleet is projected to nearly double in the Asian-Pacific region over the next decade.
- Some of the country's largest states and environmental groups challenge the Trump administration's rollback of energy-efficiency standards for light bulbs. In two separate suits, attorneys general for California, New York and 14 other states, and a coalition of environmental groups including Natural Resources Defense Council and Sierra Club say the administration is illegally slowing the country's move toward more energy-saving bulbs. The Energy Department took a pair of actions in September seeking to preempt an Obama administration effort to subject four types of light bulbs to tighter standards, arguing it isn't economically feasible. "The Trump Administration needs to move on from old-fashioned technologies and yesterday's way of doing business," California Attorney General Xavier Becerra says.

Nov 05 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Refinitiv)
- Oil prices steadied as investors kept an eye on U.S. inventory data due later, following two days of gains on positive economic data and hopes for a Washington-Beijing trade deal.
- Gold prices fell for a second session, as hopes of a Sino-U.S. trade deal bolstered the dollar and sparked appetite for riskier assets, blunting investors' interest in holding the non-yielding bullion.
- Copper prices rose, after producer Antofagasta Plc cut its output forecast from Chile due to nationwide protests in the world's biggest producer of the metal.
- Chicago corn rebounded from a one-week low hit in the previous session, underpinned by the slow pace of U.S. harvest, although a lack of demand capped further gains.
- Arabica coffee prices on ICE eased slightly on Monday after touching a three-month high as funds dashed for cover amid strength in Brazil's real currency and falling exports.
- Malaysian palm oil futures hit a nearly two-year high, as prospects of a supply squeeze due to lower output and strong demand for biodiesel boosted prices.

- Some of the country's largest states and environmental groups challenge the Trump administration's rollback of energy-efficiency standards for light bulbs. In two separate suits, attorneys general for California, New York and 14 other states, and a coalition of environmental groups including Natural Resources Defense Council and Sierra Club say the administration is illegally slowing the country's move toward more energy-saving bulbs. The Energy Department took a pair of actions in September seeking to preempt an Obama administration effort to subject four types of light bulbs to tighter standards, arguing it isn't economically feasible. "The Trump Administration needs to move on from old-fashioned technologies and yesterday's way of doing business," California Attorney General Xavier Becerra says.
- Unlike other futures contracts on the CBOT Monday morning, which are trading lower, soybeans futures are up 0.2%. On Friday, President Trump floated the possibility of signing a trade agreement with China in Iowa this month. Trump officials including USTR Robert Lighthizer and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross have also commented that progress has been made in the ongoing discussions. The comments are buoying soybeans. Meanwhile, corn futures on the CBOT are down 0.9% pre-market open, while wheat is down 0.8%.
- Sterling is little changed as traders assess the latest opinion polls for the Dec. 12 U.K. general election and look ahead to the Bank of England's policy decision Thursday. Weekend opinion polls show the likelihood of a Tory majority win reducing as Prime Minister Boris Johnson's lead shrinks. The pound "struggles with solid offers into the 1.30 mark" against the dollar and "political uncertainties should cap the upside potential" running up to the election, London Capital Group's Ipek Ozkardeskaya says. Meanwhile, the Bank of England is widely expected to keep interest rates unchanged. GBP/USD is flat at 1.2937 and EUR/GBP rises 0.03% to 0.8632.

Nov 04 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Refinitiv)

- Oil prices eased as traders took profit ahead of fresh European and U.S. economic data, despite hopes for some resolution to the U.S.-China trade row that has hurt global economic growth and crimped energy demand.
- Gold prices inched down as signs of progress towards a trade deal between the world's two largest economies and strong U.S. jobs data boosted risk appetite, weighing on the precious metal.
- Shanghai aluminium prices rose to their highest in almost a month on worries of a supply shortage after stocks of the metal used in transport and packaging dropped.
- Chicago soybean futures ticked higher, underpinned by heightened hopes of an initial trade deal between Washington and Beijing although concerns over slowing animal feed demand in Asia kept a lid on prices.
- Arabica coffee prices rose as the currency of top producer Brazil strengthened, ending 4.5% higher on the week.
- Malaysian palm oil futures jumped, boosted by expectations of tightening supplies and strong demand led by biodiesel consumption.
- The euro was poised near major chart resistance against the dollar as investors waited to hear the first official speech from the new head of the European Central Bank later in the session.

Nov 01 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Refinitiv)

- Oil prices edged up after a difficult week, but were still headed for losses of about 4%, hit by a combination of rising global supply and uncertain future demand.
- Gold fell as investors booked profit after strong Chinese factory data shaved fears of an economic slowdown, but the metal was set for a second weekly gain as the uncertainty surrounding a U.S.-China trade deal boosted safe-haven appeal.
- The dollar traded near a three-week low versus the yen before a U.S. employment report expected to show a slowdown in job creation, highlighting concerns about the health of the world's largest economy.
- London copper prices rebounded from a sharp fall in the previous session, as a private survey showed manufacturing activity in top consumer China was better than expected.
- U.S. corn futures fell, though the grain was poised to finish the week in positive territory, as concerns over potential further delays to harvesting crops supported prices.

Nov 01 - Markets Little Changed After House Votes to Formalize Impeachment Probe Into Trump (MT Newswires)

- The US House of Representatives have enough votes (232 to 196)to formalize the impeachment inquiry into President Trump, dealers said. So far no Republicans have voted in favor, while two Democrats have voted nay as well. This isn't a surprise and the markets are little changed, with Wall Street lower and Treasuries firmer, dealers added.

Oct 31 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Refinitiv)

- Oil prices rose as investors banked on more economic stimulus by China after weak PMI data, partly recovering from losses in the previous session on a surprise build in U.S. crude stocks.
- Gold prices climbed as the U.S. dollar weakened after the Federal Reserve cut interest rates for the third time this year, but signalled the monetary-easing cycle would be paused.
- The dollar declined against a basket of major currencies, reversing earlier gains, after the Federal Reserve cut interest rates for the third time this year and its signal for a potential pause in the easing cycle was taken with a pinch of salt.
- London copper was steady and Shanghai copper fell as disappointing China data pointed to weak demand for the red metal, while worries of a supply disruption in Chile, the world's biggest producer, lent some support.
- U.S. corn futures edged lower, falling from a one-week high touched in the previous session, though concerns about further harvest delays provided a floor to losses.

- Raw sugar futures on ICE edged higher on Wednesday on expectations that the market will flip into a wide deficit this season.
- Malaysian palm oil futures recovered from losses to hit a more than 19-month high at the midday break due to strength in rival oils and a bullish exports outlook, though a firmer ringgit capped gains.

- New doubts about the ability of the US and China to reach any agreement past the previously reported Phase One deal has global markets spooked, including the US grain markets. CBOT futures traded largely down overnight, with soybeans flat while corn dropped 0.6% and wheat dropped 0.4%. Bloomberg News reports that Chinese officials are concerned that the mercurial temper of President Trump may cause him to back out of the 'Phase One' deal - which includes new agricultural purchases of US goods by China - before it can be signed. "China reiterated they were only interested in buying needed quantities of agricultural products from the US," says Doug Bergman of RCM Alternatives.
- Twitter shares are off 2% after hours after it says that it's banning political advertising from its platform. In a series of tweets, Chief Executive Jack Dorsey explains he believes political messages should be "earned, not bought." He adds, "Paying to increase the reach of political speech has significant ramifications that today's democratic infrastructure may not be prepared to handle. It's worth stepping back in order to address." Twitter's decision comes as social media companies, particularly Facebook, have faced scrutiny for running political ads that contain misinformation.
- US chicken prices are sagging thanks to an abundant supply, but may soon see gains if China follows through with buying more in the wake of its decision over the weekend to remove a ban on US poultry exports. "Seeing China drop this ban... simply confirms that they need protein," says Dennis Smith of Archer Financial Services. Traders are also looking for US beef and pork exports to grow due to the devastation that African swine fever has had of Chinese hogs. The USDA projects that China's swine herd will fall to 275 million pigs, from 428 million pigs in 2018.

Oct 30 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Refinitiv)
- Oil prices fell as a possible delay in resolving the U.S.-China trade war overshadowed a drop in U.S. crude inventories.
- Gold moved in a narrow range, as cautious investors waited for U.S. Federal Reserve's decision on interest rates later in the day, while weak equities lent some support.
- The dollar traded narrowly as markets braced for a rate cut by the Federal Reserve later, while sterling steadied after Britain's lower house of parliament approved calling an early election in December that might break the Brexit deadlock.
- London copper prices fell, after hitting a six-week high in the previous session, as a possible delay in the trade deal between the United States and China weighed on sentiment.
- U.S. corn futures edged higher, extending gains into a second consecutive session, underpinned by slow progress in harvesting North American crops.

- A Reuters story quoting an unnamed source within the White House says that the signing of the Phase One trade deal between the US and China may not happen when President Trump and Chinese President Xi meet in Chile at the APEC Summit in November. This sapped momentum grains futures had developed on a story published by the South China Morning Post this morning, which had said that the deal would be signed at the summit. As a result, futures on the CBOT retreated -- as grains traders are again forced to wait for an uncertain outcome. "These markets are largely marking time while waiting for greater clarity," says Arlan Suderman of INTL FCStone.
- Most European markets end Tuesday broadly in the red as political uncertainty weighs on the U.K., though U.S. markets rise as drug giants report better-than-expected earnings. The Stoxx Europe 600 drops 0.2%, the FTSE 100 is off 0.3%, the DAX loses 0.02% but the CAC-40 gains 0.2%. U.K. stocks were lower in the face of a potential general election in December, though sterling only managed modest gains. "There are risks on both sides, with an anti-business Labour party weighing against the threat of a Tory-Brexit Party coalition," says Josh Mahony at financial trading firm IG. "The S&P 500 has hit a record high today, amid a raft of better-than-expected earnings from the likes of Merck and Pfizer."
- S&P Global Ratings expects global bond issuance to rise by 12.7% this year over 2018, with the pace of growth slowing to 4.2% in 2020, it says. The ratings firm says economic growth projections remain positive but muted, particularly for 2020, while potential disruptors to financial markets remain largely unresolved and could multiply during next year's election season in the U.S. It also expects the "push-pull tradeoff" between easing monetary policies and slowing economic growth to continue in 2020 and steer private-sector financing conditions which, at this point, will remain generally favorable, says Nick Kraemer, head of S&P Global Ratings Performance Analytics. Global new bond issuance through September 2019 totaled $5.26 trillion, up 10.8% over the corresponding nine months of 2018, S&P Global Ratings says.
- Grains futures are seeing a minor bump from a report from the South China Morning Post, which says that President Trump and Chinese President Xi will sign the Phase One trade deal when the two meet at the APEC Summit in Chile next month. As a result, grains are trading positive -- with corn up 0.5%, soybeans up 0.1%, and wheat up 0.4%. "Nobody wants to be short in the event that China does come in with a big commodity order, but traders also remain wary of building big long positions without seeing proof that the deal will result in a significant uptick in demand," says Arlan Suderman of INTL FCStone. Grains traders have remained skeptical that such a deal will materialize.
- Boeing's chief executive Dennis Muilenburg in June told House investigators he wanted to postpone any appearance before congressional panels until the company's 737 MAX jets were back in the air. But Rep. Peter DeFazio, chairman of the House Transportation Committee, rejected the idea. The Oregon Democrat told reporters recently: "I said that's not going to happen." So given that history and the fact that the planes remain grounded, the 34-year Boeing employee is testifying before both the House committee and the Senate Commerce Committee this week. One Senate aide said the level of interest in the Senate session among lawmakers is comparable to a recent hearing featuring Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
- Brent crude oil futures are down 1.2% at $60.50 a barrel and WTI futures are down 1.3% at $55.09 a barrel. Doubts about the likelihood of OPEC+ extending production cuts in December are weighing on investor sentiment, according to Commerzbank, after remarks by the Russian energy minister to local media on Monday. Still, "Russia has never stated any firm commitment to sign up to an extension of the production cuts, saying that this would depend on the market situation," and "this is nothing new," Commerzbank adds. "We think that Russia will agree to an extension because the advantages - namely profitable prices - outweigh the disadvantages of lower selling volumes."

Oct 29 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Refinitiv)
- Oil prices slipped as investors awaited U.S. crude inventory data for a pointer on oil demand trends, while concerns about slower economic growth overshadowed signs of a thawing in the trade war between Washington and Beijing.
- Gold prices were little changed, hovering around the key $1,490 an ounce level as progress in China-U.S. trade talks sent equities soaring, while anticipation ahead of major central bank meetings in the week provided some support.
- Hopes for an easing in Sino-U.S. tensions buoyed trade-exposed Asian currencies, while growing expectations the U.S. Federal Reserve could take a wait-and-see approach to further easing underpinned the dollar.
- Nickel prices fell, as they erased early gains on the back of supply shortage fear from top producer Indonesia, after investors saw nickel as overpriced.
- Chicago soybean futures ticked down while corn slid for a second session on U.S. harvest progress.

- The worst of the U.S.-China trade dispute is over, says William Hess, co-chief executive at hedge-fund advisory PRC Macro. "Activity levels in the U.S. and China are actually stabilizing," he tells the LME's Metals Seminar, adding that he's optimistic about China's economy in the fourth quarter of 2019 and first half of 2020. "Phase two [of the trade negotiations] is going to take a long time, so it's time to focus on fundamentals" such as consumption and capital investment, Hess says. Haihua Shen, chief investment officer at commodity-focused hedge fund HFZ Fund Management, says some of the differences of opinion between Washington and Beijing are "simply too wide to close. So there will continue to be frictions between the U.S. and China."
- Chinese officials confirmed over the weekend that the US and China has agreed to a deal where China will lift a ban on US poultry in exchange for the US importing cooked poultry from China. News of the deal sent meat stocks higher, led by Sanderson Farms, up 13%, Pilgrims Pride, up 5.9%, and Tyson Foods, up 3.2%. The deal comes as China continues to struggle with African swine fever's decimation of the country's hog herds, creating a protein shortage that US meat suppliers have hoped to tap into but haven't been able to thanks to the US-China trade war.
- Fannie and Freddie's federal regulator took the latest step toward privatizing the mortgage-finance giants, releasing a revamped list of broad policy goals for the companies that now include a requirement they work prepare for a transition out of the 11-year government conservatorship. The move marks the first time a Trump-appointed overseer of the companies has outlined his policy objectives in what's known as a "scorecard," though many of the specific details remain to be worked out over the coming months, such as how much capital the firms must raise once they eventually leave government control.
- JetBlue flags that new US tariffs on Airbus jets also extend to unnamed parts that could inflate its costs and, potentially, lead it to postpone or cancel some future deliveries. JetBlue has 154 Airbus jets due for delivery from Sept. 30 through 2026, according to a regulatory filing. Spirit, which last week outlined an MoU to acquire up to 150 more Airbus jets, flags similar risk factors in its 10Q. American Airlines, another Airbus customer, says only that the 10% tariff applies to aircraft.
- The time is drawing near for the USDA to decide if it will issue a second tranche of market facilitation payments for farmers who have been damaged financially by the ongoing US-China trade war. According to the USDA, a second round of payments following up on the payments made in late August would be issued in November, "if conditions warrant." A second round of payments appear likely, it's the third and final round scheduled for January that seems in limbo. "A January payment is uncertain and will depend on Phase 1 progress between the US/China," says AgResource. "A signed agreement in Chile in November would reduce the odds of a 3rd MFP payment."
- Copper prices start the week higher after further protests in Chile, the world's top producer, and as the metals industry arrives in London for LME Week. The industrial metal is up 0.2% at $2.68 a pound in early trading in the New York futures market, helped by a slight weakening of the dollar. On top of events in London, starting with the LME Metals Seminar on Monday, traders have a busy week of economic data to navigate. The Federal Reserve is expected to cut interest rates for the third time this year, China's manufacturing purchasing managers' index is expected to show activity at commodity-intensive factories contracted again in October, and the monthly Labor Department report will give fresh insight into the U.S. jobs market.

Oct 28 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Refinitiv)

- After strong gains last week, oil prices were slightly lower as data released in China reinforced signs that its economy is slowing, though progress in China-U.S. trade talks has supported prices.
- Gold inched up, after a near 1% jump in the previous session, as investors awaited a U.S. Federal Reserve rate decision later in the week, while progress in U.S.-China trade talks curbed appetite for safe haven assets.
- The dollar traded near its highest in more than two months versus the yen ahead of a U.S. Federal Reserve meeting this week where policymakers are expected to cut interest rates but emphasise their reluctance to ease policy further. 
- Zinc prices rose on the London Metal Exchange, setting the metal used to galvanise steel on course for a fourth straight day of gains, as inventories were at a 12-year low at the start of the annual LME Week gathering.
- U.S. soybean futures edged higher, rebounding from a two-week low touched in the previous session, as market sentiment was buoyed by signs of a thawing in the trade war between Washington and Beijing.

Oct 25 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Refinitiv)
- Oil prices declined after three straight days of gains, as gloomy economic growth forecasts renewed concerns over the outlook for demand.
- Gold rose to a two-week high, holding above the $1,500 ounce psychological level, as weak U.S. economic data spurred expectations for another interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve later this month, while palladium scaled a fresh peak.
- London copper prices inched lower but they were set for a third straight weekly gain, as investors were worried about supply disruption in top producer Chile.
- Chicago soybean futures edged higher after closing largely unchanged in the last session, but gains were trimmed by lower-than-expected purchases by top buyer China.
- The pound nursed losses versus the dollar and the euro after Prime Minister Boris Johnson's call for an election heightened uncertainty over Britain's divorce from the European Union.

- Two real-estate investment trusts with significant exposure to the California rental-housing market commented during 3Q conference calls about what the state's new rent-control law will mean for them and investors. Essex Property Trust, which owns about 40K units in the state, does not expect the law "to have a material impact on our results," CEO Michael Schall said on a call Thursday. Leaders at Equity Residential, with about 38K units in the state, said Wednesday if the legislation had been in place for 2019, it would have reduced the REIT's rent-renewal growth rate and same-store revenue growth. The law takes effect next year and caps rent increases to 5% and inflation on buildings around 15 years old or more.
- Governor Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan plans to make an additional 200,000 salaried workers eligible for overtime pay by raising the state's salary threshold beyond the federal government's requirements. In January, the federal threshold will rise from $23,660 to $35,568. Any worker earning less than the threshold will be eligible for overtime pay. That increase, set by the Trump administration, is far below the increase sought by President Barack Obama, which would have raised the threshold to nearly $50,000. Whitmer's action would set Michigan's new threshold at $51,000. The rule will be written by the state's Dept of Labor and Economic Opportunity. It is unclear when any new rule would go into effect, particularly if state business groups challenge it.
- Delegates with the Congressional Aluminum Caucus have sent a letter to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross asking for the creation of an aluminum import monitoring system, the Aluminum Association says. The letter, signed by 27 members of the House of Representatives, asks Secretary Ross to create the program to assist with countervailing and antidumping duties in limiting the amount of Chinese aluminum entering the US. "Despite [duties], global exports of semi-fabricated aluminum products from China hit record levels in 2018 - and growing further still in 2019, up 6% year-to-date," read the letter. A monitoring program could give authorities "new tools to identify trends and trade flows" to quickly address illegal trading activity.
- Stanley Black & Decker plans to shrink its workforce as part of its goal to cut $200M in annual costs. "We are taking cost actions to help counteract the carryover effect of currency and likely tariff headwinds as well as softness in the industrial and emerging markets," finance chief Donald Allan says on an analyst call. "The cost savings will come from headcount actions across the company as well as executing some footprint rationalization opportunities." The company says it will record a pretax restructuring charge of $150M as a result of the cost-cutting program. The company had nearly 61,000 employees at the end of last year, according to its latest annual filing. Shares slide 3.7%.

Oct 24 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Refinitiv)
- Oil prices dipped after sharp gains in the previous session following a surprise draw in U.S. crude inventories, with concerns over a weak demand outlook adding to downward pressure.
- Gold prices barely moved as investors waited for fresh developments on the Sino-U.S. trade front, and clarity on Brexit, after the European Union delayed a decision on granting Britain an extension.
- Nickel prices touched a more than one-week high, after authorities in Papua New Guinea shut down a nickel project following a slurry spill.
- Chicago wheat futures rose for a second session, buoyed by strong demand and tightening global supplies.
- The British pound stabilised as the Brexit project entered a fresh holding pattern, while the dollar held firm as traders took a breather from Sino-U.S. trade headlines.

- US grains traders are watching political situations in Argentina and Brazil, both of which could affect the competitiveness of US crops on the world market. In Brazil, the passing of pension reform by Brazilian Congress is strengthening the Brazilian real -- a key development when gauging how competitive US soybeans are to their Brazilian competition for buyers like China. Meanwhile, a Presidential election in Argentina could lead to higher export duties on agriculture, if left-wing candidate Alberto Fernandez wins on Sunday. "Polls continue to suggest... Alberto Fernandez will take power, and a boost in export duties is a real possibility," AgResource says.
- Economic challenges in 3Q such as tariff uncertainty and lower prices will likely carry over to 4Q, Norfolk Southern Chief Marketing Officer Alan Shaw says on a call with investors. "Macroeconomic conditions, tariff uncertainty and global weakness continued to negatively influence business investment, manufacturing, and exports," Shaw says. Lower commodity pricing could hurt the raw-materials transporter's markets, such as coal and steel, Shaw says. For the full year, the company sees lower prices in steel, natural gas and seaborne coal, as well as a decline in manufacturing. Norfolk Southern, which missed 3Q earnings expectations, falls 2.8%.
- Jeff Bezos made an impassioned, personal case for immigration last night at a New York gala honoring educational nonprofit iMentor. "Even though we're so currently unwelcoming, still today, this is the place where everybody wants to come," the Amazon founder said. "Nobody's clamoring to get into China. Nobody's clamoring to get into anywhere. They want to come here. This is an amazing competitive advantage." Bezos, whose father immigrated to the US from Cuba, says immigrants bring energy, ideas, grit and determination and adds immigration isn't a zero-sum game, harming some and benefiting others. "When my dad came to this country, he didn't take anybody's job. He made jobs," Bezos says. "And that's true of all immigrants who come here."
- Copper prices fall, brushing off unrest in top producer Chile as worries about the world economy weigh on broader financial markets. The industrial metal is down 0.4% at $5,802.50 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange. It has barely reacted to the protests, as concerns about flagging consumption offset the disruption to supply. Workers at state-owned Codelco, the world's largest copper miner, will join a general strike planned for today, Reuters reports. In a quarterly production report, Antofagasta says the unrest "could potentially disrupt the delivery of supplies" and will cut output by around 5,000 tons. The miner expects to produce 725,000-755,000 tons of copper next year, down from 750,000-790,000 tons this year, as the quality of copper at its Centinela operation declines.
- Texas Instruments pointed to a broad-based weakness tied to US-China trade tensions for a 4Q forecast well below Wall Street targets and the largely disappointing 3Q results, including embedded-processing business performance that one analyst called "demonstrably worse" than peers and a meager return to shareholders--by TI standards--in the form of dividend payouts and stock repurchases in 3Q. But company officials stress that one quarter doesn't say all and urged analysts to look at the broader picture. Shares, which have been trading near record levels, fall 10% to $115.69 in after-hours trading.

Oct 23 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Refinitiv)
- Oil fell after gaining over 1% in the previous session as U.S. industry data showed a bigger-than-expected build in crude stockpiles, but the possibility of deeper output cuts from OPEC and its allies contained the decline.
- Gold prices were steady, as investors awaited more clarity on the Brexit and the U.S.-China trade war, but a rally in the bond markets provided modest support to the bullion.
- Shanghai nickel prices rose, tracking gains overnight in London, buoyed by supply concerns amid falling inventories and following an accident at major nickel producer Nornickel's mine in Siberia.
- Chicago soybean futures rose for a second session with expectations of renewed Chinese purchases supporting the market.
- The pound edged lower after an overnight fall as Brexit hung in the balance, with the British Parliament still divided on how, when or even if to engineer Britain's departure from the European Union.

- Texas Instruments pointed to a broad-based weakness tied to US-China trade tensions for a 4Q forecast well below Wall Street targets and the largely disappointing 3Q results, including embedded-processing business performance that one analyst called "demonstrably worse" than peers and a meager return to shareholders--by TI standards--in the form of dividend payouts and stock repurchases in 3Q. But company officials stress that one quarter doesn't say all and urged analysts to look at the broader picture. Shares, which have been trading near record levels, fall 10% to $115.69 in after-hours trading.
- JetBlue Airways CEO Robin Hayes says he's disappointed in the decision to impose tariffs on Airbus deliveries, flagging the potential for the move to boost fares. "We believe the decision will be detrimental to JetBlue," he says. Still, JetBlue isn't at this point planning changes to aircraft delivery plans this year or next. JetBlue, which posted earnings earlier today, gains 4.8%.
- Prospects for U.S. dollar strength against the Turkish lira are unlikely to fade unless the currency pair falls below 5.76, says Rabobank, noting that a ceasefire between Turkish and Kurdish forces expires later Tuesday. Further fighting in northern Syria "would likely unsettle the lira" as it would "reignite the risk" that the U.S. will impose "far more severe sanctions" on Turkey, Rabobank's Piotr Matys says. "To dent the bullish short-term bias, USD/TRY would have to fall first below the 5.76/75 area," he says, although even that would "not be a reason to capitulate" until the dollar breaks below the 5.65 support level. USD/TRY is last down 0.4% at 5.8375.
- The Stoxx Europe 600 drops 0.3%, or 1.35 points, to 392.87 as markets give a muted reaction to upbeat comments on trade from U.S. President Donald Trump. The DAX rises 0.04% but the CAC-40 is down 0.4%, even after a positive close in Asian markets, with China's Shenzhen A-Share gaining more than 1%. "Given how the President said China has signaled that negotiations over the initial trade deal are moving in the right direction, expectations remain elevated over both sides signing an agreement at a meeting in Chile next week," says Lukman Otunuga at trading firm FXTM.
- Oil analysts expect failure for President Trump's plan to pay for U.S. troops in Syria with oil money. U.S. officials say Monday they are exploring a plan that would keep 300 troops in northeastern Syria safeguarding oil in partnership with the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces. But legal questions would likely prevent either party from taking ownership of the oil, and there is no easy way to get the region's oil out to market, analysts say. An oil company would need to be enticed to invest billions of dollars in reviving bombed-out wells in a war-torn area for the plan to succeed. "No U.S. companies would dare send people there," says Roger Diwan, an advisor to oil-and-gas companies with IHS Markit. "This is about the last place you can imagine any reputable U.S. company venturing."

Oct 22 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Refinitiv)
- Oil prices were little changed as lingering worries over a global economic slowdown that could hurt oil demand offset some signs of progress in U.S.-China trade talks.
- Gold was largely muted, weighed down by buoyant Asian shares that cheered progress in trade talks between the United States and China, but found support from a lack of clarity in the negotiation details.
- Copper prices rose as protests in top producer Chile intensified, raising concerns about supply shortages.
- Chicago corn futures slid for a third consecutive session with prices under pressure from U.S. harvest progress, although losses were limited by concerns over lower yields.
- Hopes the United States and China were making progress to resolve their trade dispute supported the dollar and trade-exposed Asian currencies , while the Canadian dollar rose as the ruling Liberal Party looked to have won a national election.
- Oil analysts expect failure for President Trump's plan to pay for U.S. troops in Syria with oil money. U.S. officials say Monday they are exploring a plan that would keep 300 troops in northeastern Syria safeguarding oil in partnership with the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces. But legal questions would likely prevent either party from taking ownership of the oil, and there is no easy way to get the region's oil out to market, analysts say. An oil
company would need to be enticed to invest billions of dollars in reviving bombed-out wells in a war-torn area for the plan to succeed. "No U.S. companies would dare send people there," says Roger Diwan, an advisor to oil-and-gas companies with IHS Markit. "This is about the last place you can imagine any reputable U.S. company venturing."
- Small-refinery exemptions as described in the EPA's latest proposal involving the Renewable Fuel Standard program are insufficient to fix damage to the ethanol industry done by granting more SREs to gasoline blenders, says the American Farm Bureau Federation. "By proposing to utilize [Department of Energy]-recommended exemptions instead of actual exemptions in accounting for the billions of gallons of ethanol lost to SREs, this fix does little to restore the demand destruction caused by SREs and further undermines the RFS, says the group, calling the proposal a "bait and switch" by the Trump Administration. According to statistics from the USDA, projected ethanol usage of corn for the 2018/19 marketing year has dropped by nearly 5% in the past year.
- Low oil and gas prices aren't energy investors' only worry. Many are now contemplating what an Elizabeth Warren presidency would mean for the shale industry. Sen. Warren has said she would end new drilling leases on federal lands and work to ban hydraulic fracturing if elected. Analysts say the threats are being taken seriously by energy executives and investors alike, prompting flurries of research on her proposals. "It's at the point where people are trying to do their homework about what to do in an election year," says Cowen analyst David Deckelbaum. Any movement out of energy shares would add to the sector's misery. XOP, an ETF that is a popular proxy for oil explorers, has fallen 48% over the past year, compared to a 23% decline in US crude prices.
- Copper prices rise as unrest in Chile raises concerns about supplies from the world's largest producer of the industrial metal. "There is a strike today at several of the key ports that export copper," says Nicholas Snowdon of Deutsche Bank. "If there's a strike at the majority of ports that export copper from the largest exporter, it's an obvious risk." Workers at BHP's Escondida plan to go on strike Tuesday in a show of support with protesters, the president of the mine's union tells Reuters. Escondida is set to produce 1.16 million to 1.23 million metric tons of copper in the 2020 financial year, BHP forecast last week. Copper futures are up 0.6% at $5,857 a ton on the London Metals Exchange.

Oct 21 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ refinitiv)
- Oil prices eased amid persistent concerns about the global economic outlook and the impact on oil demand, while Russia again missed its target to cut oil output last month.
- Gold prices were little changed as investors waited for more clarity on U.S.-China trade negotiations, and Brexit after British parliamentarians delayed a crucial vote on the divorce deal.
- London copper hit its highest in a month as concerns over supply mounted amid intensifying unrest in top producer Chile and as hopes grew of a U.S.-China trade deal.
- Chicago wheat futures lost ground as the market eased from its highest since late June, while tightening world supplies and rising prices in top exporters limited losses.
- Sterling fell over half a percent against the dollar, slipping from five-month highs after the British parliament delayed a crucial vote on a Brexit withdrawal agreement.
- Net export sales of US pork rose to 292,200 metric tons in the week ending Oct. 10, driven primarily by purchases by Mexico and China, the USDA says. Mexico purchased 132,400 tons, while China bought 94,000 tons.  Japan was also a big buyer, purchasing 46,400 tons. This data will likely be bullish for hog futures, as traders have been agitating for tangible results from the trade talks held in Washington last week. Both the US and China have promised increased agricultural export purchases by China following the talks. However, with the data ending Oct. 10, this week's report does not account for post-trade talk buying.
- The Turkish lira gains against the dollar after Turkey agreed with U.S. to pause its military operations in northern Syria for five days to allow the Kurdish forces to withdraw from the safe zone, and in return the U.S. will pull back on economic sanctions. "Turks seem to be reading all this as total victory for Erdogan and Turkey - and a humiliation for the US, and the YPG/Kurds," says Tim Ash of Bluebay Asset Management. USD/TRY is last down 0.8% at
5.7847.
- German 10-year Bund yields, as well as U.S. Treasury yields, have risen by around 15 basis points since Thursday last week, with the chances of a Brexit deal sharply increased, says UniCredit. However, if the U.K. parliament were to reject the deal, 10-year Bund yields could plunge by about 10 basis points next week, it says. If the deal is approved, yields won't rise more than 10 basis points because of a "continued weak outlook for global growth" and the accommodative stance of the European Central Bank, says UniCredit. German Bund yields are last up 0.3 basis points at -0.396%, according to Tradeweb.
- US benchmark oil prices rise for a second straight session, ending up 1.1% at $53.93/bbl due largely to a weaker dollar amid optimism for a Brexit deal for U.K.'s exit from the European Union. News that the US says Turkey agreed to a Syria ceasefire added some late-session price support as it boosted risk appetite. Investors largely shrugged off EIA's weekly US data showing a bearishly large, 9.3M-bbl rise in crude oil inventories, as refined fuels bullishly declined sharply. Kyle Cooper at ION Energy notes total oil and fuel stockpiles declined week-on-week, which he says "reduced the yearly inventory surplus while expanding the deficit to the 5-year average."
- An appearance Thursday by President Trump's economic advisor Lawrence Kudlow on CNBC took a bit of a strange turn when it came to the Federal Reserve. Kudlow was making the case that the Fed, now in rate cutting mode, is moving in the right direction, and he singled out St. Louis Fed leader James Bullard's strong advocacy for easier monetary policy. Then, Kudlow decided to play conspiracy theorist by taking a shot at the central bank, saying "I don't want to get into a lot of Fed bashing. They do the best they can...The deep state board staff of course has not been helpful, oops, did I say that?"
- China intends to increase its purchases of US agricultural goods, a story from the South China Morning Post said Thursday, quoting a spokesman from China's Ministry of Commerce. However, the agreement is tentative and unfinished, as Chinese officials want the US to cancel more of the tariffs imposed during the trade war. Grains futures traded higher overnight in reaction to the news, with wheat up 1.4%, corn up 0.8%, and soybeans up 0.7%. "The presumption is that most of the business will be done in wheat and beans, but there is still the potential for some corn business as well," says Tomm Pfitzenmaier of Summit Commodity Brokerage.

Oct 18 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Refinitiv)
- Oil prices fell after China, the world's largest oil importer, recorded its weakest quarter of economic growth in nearly three decades, dragged down by a trade dispute with the United States.
- Gold prices held above $1,490 as disappointing data from China reinforced concerns that its trade spat with the United States had begun taking a toll on global economies, while the Brexit deal waits for parliamentary backing.
- Copper prices rose as dismal economic growth data from China raised hopes of more stimulus measures, while expectations of a soft Brexit and easing U.S.-China trade tensions lifted sentiment.
- Chicago wheat futures rose, with the market set for a seventh consecutive weekly gain, the longest winning streak since February last year, on the back of short-covering and dryness in Southern Hemisphere's key producers.
- The pound traded near a five-month high against the dollar and the euro after Britain's prime minister Boris Johnson and European Union leaders agreed a new deal for Britain to exit the bloc.

- An appearance Thursday by President Trump's economic advisor Lawrence Kudlow on CNBC took a bit of a strange turn when it came to the Federal Reserve. Kudlow was making the case that the Fed, now in rate cutting mode, is moving in the right direction, and he singled out St. Louis Fed leader James Bullard's strong advocacy for easier monetary policy. Then, Kudlow decided to play conspiracy theorist by taking a shot at the central bank, saying "I don't want to get into a lot of Fed bashing. They do the best they can...The deep state board staff of course has not been helpful, oops, did I say that?"
- China intends to increase its purchases of US agricultural goods, a story from the South China Morning Post said Thursday, quoting a spokesman from China's Ministry of Commerce. However, the agreement is tentative and unfinished, as Chinese officials want the US to cancel more of the tariffs imposed during the trade war. Grains futures traded higher overnight in reaction to the news, with wheat up 1.4%, corn up 0.8%, and soybeans up 0.7%. "The presumption is that most of the business will be done in wheat and beans, but there is still the potential for some corn business as well," says Tomm Pfitzenmaier of Summit Commodity Brokerage.
- The Turkish lira awaits the outcome of a meeting between Turkish President Erdogan and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo this afternoon, says Citi. The U.S. delegation is expected to address the situation in Syria and urge Ankara to stop its military operation in northern Syria. USD/TRY is last flat at 5.8859.
- Hong Kong shares rise, as U.S.-China tensions ratchet up following Beijing's threat of countermeasures over U.S. bills supporting Hong Kong's protesters. The market's resilience is likely supported by a strong start to the U.S. earnings season and hopes of a partial trade deal, trading firm IG says. Caution is still warranted, however, given the mixed signals from weaker-than-expected U.S. retail sales in September, IG notes. The Hang Seng Index is up 1.0% at 26919.39. Developers build on the previous session's gains, as the Hong Kong government plans to boost land supply for public housing and relax the ceiling on mortgage financing schemes. New World Development leads the index with a 4.3% gain, while Henderson Land advances 2.8%.
- While a public option for health insurance in the US would chip away at revenues and profit margins for the insurance industry, a single-payer option "poses an existential threat," Moody's Investor Service says. The agency says adopting new or expanded federal healthcare programs would have benefits for society, but "would also have negative credit implications for much of the healthcare industry." Moody's says a limited public option which largely kept the present employment-based insurance system may have only a small impact on rated companies. Public option programs mean "insurers would have to compete with a new public insurance plan on premium rates and benefits, which could erode their market shares and profit margins," Moody's said.

Oct 17 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Refinitiv)
- Oil prices eased after industry data showed a larger-than-expected build-up in stocks in the United States, although losses were limited by comments by U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on a U.S.-China trade deal.
- Gold prices eased and held below the $1,490 an ounce level, as traders refrained from making any big bets in the absence of fresh developments on the Sino-U.S. trade war front and Brexit negotiations.
- Copper prices edged down because of worries that slowing global economic growth will cause a fall in demand for industrial metals.

- Chicago wheat futures rose for a second session to hit a three-month high, with short-covering by funds and cold weather in the U.S. grain belt underpinning the market.
- The dollar nursed losses amid gathering doubts about a mooted Sino-U.S. trade deal, while the volatile pound was on edge as Britain and the European Union scrambled to secure a last-minute Brexit deal.
- While a public option for health insurance in the US would chip away at revenues and profit margins for the insurance industry, a single-payer option "poses an existential threat," Moody's Investor Service says. The agency says adopting new or expanded federal healthcare programs would have benefits for society, but "would also have negative credit implications for much of the healthcare industry." Moody's says a limited public option which largely kept the present employment-based insurance system may have only a small impact on rated companies. Public option programs mean "insurers would have to compete with a new public insurance plan on premium rates and benefits, which could erode their market shares and profit margins," Moody's said.
- Oil industry support for President Trump might seem ever-lasting given his slashing of regulations and the fact that leading Democrat presidential contenders including Sen. Elizabeth Warren aim to ban fracking. But low oil prices that are hurting the shale boom are also becoming a Trump administration hallmark. "Whether you are fan or foe of the Trump administration, you'll recognize that the president's form of 21st century populism regards high retail fuel prices as a 'third rail' of American politics," says Oil Price Information Service's Tom Kloza, noting a dozen-plus presidential tweets that push for lower oil or gas prices. "The presidential rhetoric tends to get louder when retail gasoline prices in the battleground states approach or surpass $3/gallon."
- Corn futures on the CBOT dropped overnight, as corn farmers are dissatisfied with the latest proposal from the Trump Administration to boost biofuels demand. In a notice Tuesday, the EPA says that it will adjust the way annual renewable fuel percentages are calculated. The Renewable Fuels Association criticized the new proposal, saying that it leaves the door open for the EPA to grant more waivers and for less ethanol to be blended. "It falls short of delivering on President Trump's pledge to restore integrity to the Renewable Fuel Standard and leaves farmers, ethanol producers, and consumers with more questions than answers," says RFA CEO Geoff Cooper. Corn fell 0.7% overnight.
- Singapore shares are up in morning trade as some strong U.S. corporate earnings overnight helped soothe global slowdown concerns. Banking stocks are up, with OCBC gaining 0.7%, DBS rising 0.4% and UOB 0.2% higher. Among conglomerates, Keppel Corp is up 0.3% while Sembcorp Industries is flat. The FTSE Straits Times Index rise 0.3% to 3124.84 and though CMC Markets says Singapore's market has been resilient amid the slowdown fears, investors may be too optimistic about a U.S.-China trade resolution after U.S. Congress supported a bill backing Hong Kong protestors. China's foreign affairs ministry spokesperson has expressed strong opposition to the bill, urging the U.S. to "stop meddling in Hong Kong affairs and China's internal affairs before falling off the edge of the cliff."
- The Trump administration earlier this month unveiled a new biofuels proposal aimed to satisfy farmers, ethanol producers and oil refiners, after ethanol policy moves seen easing refiner compliance sowed frustration in farm country. Now that the EPA has further detailed the proposal, it seems to be satisfying no one. The American Petroleum Institute, which represents refiners, says there is "no logic" in forcing the refining industry to collectively make up for any ethanol-blending exemptions granted to small refiners, and the group pledges to "vigorously challenge this misguided policy." The Renewable Fuels Association, representing ethanol makers, calls the plan "a step backward," since it's based on ethanol recommendations that the group says the EPA has previously ignored. The RFA plans to call on President Trump to "personally intervene."

Oct 16 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Refinitiv)
- Oil prices rose, tracking gains in equities, as investors pinned hopes on a potential Brexit deal between Britain and the European Union and on signals from OPEC and its allies that further supply curbs could be possible.
- Gold prices edged higher after shedding nearly 1% in the previous session, as some optimism about Britain's negotiations to leave the European Union ebbed, while a risk-on sentiment capped the bullion's gains.
- Copper prices dipped as supply fears eased after a leading Chilean producer averted a labour strike, and as demand remained depressed amid the Sino-U.S. trade war. 
- Chicago corn futures slid for a second session, although losses were checked as the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) pegged the rate of harvest behind market expectations.
- The pound pulled back from its highest level in almost five months versus the dollar, erasing some of the rally sparked by signs Britain is closing in on a deal to leave the European Union.
- The Trump administration earlier this month unveiled a new biofuels proposal aimed to satisfy farmers, ethanol producers and oil refiners, after ethanol policy moves seen easing refiner compliance sowed frustration in farm country. Now that the EPA has further detailed the proposal, it seems to be satisfying no one. The American Petroleum Institute, which represents refiners, says there is "no logic" in forcing the refining industry to collectively make up for any ethanol-blending exemptions granted to small refiners, and the group pledges to "vigorously challenge this misguided policy." The Renewable Fuels Association, representing ethanol makers, calls the plan "a step backward," since it's based on ethanol recommendations that the group says the EPA has previously ignored. The RFA plans to call on President Trump to "personally intervene."
- American steel importers are canceling purchases from Turkey after President Trump hiked the tariff rate to 50%. Viral Shah, senior pricing specialist at S&P Global Platts, says "a handful" of contracts have been canceled. They were signed last week for delivery into the U.S. in late November and early December, Shah says, adding that he's "sure there'll be more and more." The tariffs are another blow to Turkey's steel industry, which has become dependent on foreign demand but faces restrictions in several key markets. Sales to the U.S. picked up slightly after the U.S. lowered the tariff on Turkish steel from 50% to 25% in May, though price cuts by American producers have limited the export recovery.
- The risk of a U.S.-China trade war remains a top concern for investors, the Bank of America Merrill Lynch October Fund Manager Survey says. Some 40% of fund managers surveyed consider a trade war to be the biggest "tail risk," an outcome viewed as unlikely but one that is nonetheless on investors' radars. The survey shows 43% of investors think the trade war is the "new normal", compared to 36% who expect the dispute between the U.S. and China to be resolved before the 2020 U.S. presidential election. Central bank inaction and a bond market bubble are seen as the next two largest tail risks after the trade war, which are both cited by 13% of survey respondents.
- Turkey's steel industry has become dependent on exports as the domestic economy has stalled, leaving producers vulnerable to levies on shipments to the U.S. Turkey is the sixth-biggest steel producer in the world, according to Wood Mackenzie, though output is forecast to fall 6% to 35,000 metric tons this year. More than a quarter of the metal that Turkey makes is exported, mainly to the European Union, North America, Middle East and North Africa. "The Turkish steel industry is dangerously exposed to international markets and trade barriers," says Alex Griffiths an analyst at the commodities consultancy. On Monday President Trump raised the tariff on steel imports from Turkey back to 50% in response to Ankara's military offensive in northern Syria.
- The Turkish lira rises against the dollar after U.S. President Donald Trump announced late Monday lighter-than-expected sanctions in response to Turkey's military operation in northern Syria. "On sanctions what is important for investors is the direction of travel," says Tim Ash of Bluebay Asset Management. "It's important that Turkey brings the Syria operation to a close as soon as possible and works to tone down geopolitical noise and tensions [as soon as possible], " he adds. USD/TRY is last 0.3% lower at 5.9071.

Oct 15 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Refinitiv)
- Oil prices fell, after heavy losses in the previous session, as two days of weak Chinese data added to worries about the top crude oil importer's energy demand growth.
- Gold prices held steady as optimism surrounding U.S.-China trade negotiations faded, while investors awaited outcome of a crucial discussion that will determine how Britain will depart from the European Union.
- Nickel prices in London jumped, recouping some of the previous session's sharp losses, as stockpiles remained at a multi-year low.
- Chicago soybeans slid as the market fell from its highest in 16 months on concerns over dismal demand in top importer China, although the decline was checked by adverse U.S. weather.
- The dollar hovered below 2-1/2-month highs against the yen, failing to extend recent gains as optimism over trade negotiations between the world's two largest economies and for an orderly British exit from the European Union started to fade.

- The Turkish lira rises against the dollar after U.S. President Donald Trump announced late Monday lighter-than-expected sanctions in response to Turkey's military operation in northern Syria. "On sanctions what is important for investors is the direction of travel," says Tim Ash of Bluebay Asset Management. "It's important that Turkey brings the Syria operation to a close as soon as possible and works to tone down geopolitical noise and tensions [as soon as possible], " he adds. USD/TRY is last 0.3% lower at 5.9071.
- China's national offshore oil producer CNOOC Ltd. is being impacted by US sanctions on Iran crude, cargo-track Kpler says in a research note. "The sanctions affect 6 vessels partially owned by China LNG Shipping (International) Ltd," it says. "According to market sources, CNOOC is already looking into chartering two vessels to replace the sanctioned fleet." And with such moves by CNOOC, Kpler says this "pushes charter rates higher (in particular an immediate hike in the Pacific basin, due to limited available tonnage)." It notes a Spark Commodities report showing charter rate increases of 29% in the Atlantic and 51% in the Pacific Tuesday-Friday.
- Boycotts from players of Activision's "Hearthstone" game are having a notable financial impact on the company, according to analysts at Cowen. After analyzing iPhone data, the firm says US bookings for the game were at least 18%-23% lower than they would've been without the boycott, and the decline has also extended to other countries. Though Blizzard shortened the suspension levied on Ng Wai Chung, an esports competitor who backed anti-government protesters in Hong Kong during a live interview after winning a match, Cowen has described the boycott as unique and more serious. The one silver lining: the peak impact of the boycott has likely passed, Cowen says. Activision Blizzard shares are off 0.7%.
- Capital Economics says that their model of economy and politics points to a big Trump win in the presidential election next year. "A record-low unemployment rate, subdued inflation and only moderately cooler income growth in the United States will favor the incumbent despite some party fatigue," the firm says in a note, leading the president to a "large" five percentage point advantage in the popular vote. Capital Economics acknowledges that their model has limitations: "Non-economic factors are likely to play an outsized role in this election." Among them, the prospect the president will be impeached and potentially removed from office.

- On Twitter over the weekend, President Trump revealed some details of a 'Phase 1' trade deal between China and the US -- in which Chinese buyers will purchase US agricultural products starting immediately in exchange for tariffs expected to start Oct. 15 being delayed. A deal has not been signed yet, Trump says. Meanwhile, analysts have a mixed take on Friday's announcement. "This agreement doesn't come anywhere close to the comprehensive deal that President Trump has promised," says Raoul Leering of ING. "For now, this mini-deal leaves a lot of uncertainty in place." Because of the Columbus Day holiday, the USDA is closed today and will not confirm any new sales. However, grains futures on the CBOT are down pre-market -- led by corn, down 0.6%.

- The partial trade agreement that the U.S. and China reached last Friday is unlikely to lead to substantial improvements in bilateral tensions over technology, Jefferies says. The deal explicitly excludes Huawei and even if the U.S. does relax its export ban on the telecom giant, it is unlikely to allow 5G-related products of U.S. origin to reach the Chinese company as it remains "highly conscious of national-security risks," Jefferies says. A more likely way in which the U.S. could relax the ban would be by allowing Google to sell mobile software to Huawei, which would benefit the latter's smartphone business and suppliers, Jefferies says.

Oct 14 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Refinitiv)
- Oil prices eased as scant details on the first phase of a trade deal between the United States and China undercut last week's optimism over the thaw that helped to lift crude markets by 2%.
- Gold prices eased, extending falls for a third session as optimism surrounding U.S.-China trade talks increased risk appetite, while a slight uptick in the dollar also weighed on prices.
- Copper prices rose on signs of progress in the U.S.-China trade talks and some supply disruptions, but gains were limited as the markets remained cautious about prospects of a deal between the two biggest global economies.
- Chicago soybean futures gained more ground, with prices hitting a 16-month peak, as progress in U.S.-China trade talks underpinned the market.
- Cotton futures on the Intercontinental Exchange are up 3.6% to roughly 63.6 cents per pound. It's the highest level that cotton has traded at since August 1. The uptick in cotton futures coincides with cautious optimism across agricultural commodities that the US and China may reach a partial agreement in Washington on Friday, which would secure increased US agricultural exports into China in exchange for no new tariffs on Chinese goods. "Good things are happening at China Trade Talk Meeting," wrote President Trump in a tweet Friday morning. "Warmer feelings than in recent past, more like the Old Days."
- Natural gas prices hit a three-year low of $2.07/mmBtu in August amid record-high production, and remain in striking distance of those lows at around $2.25, leading analysts at RBC Capital Markets to wonder if any shake-up in presidential politics may lift prices. They look, for example, at some of Sen. Warren's ambitious plans on the Democrat side that include a total moratorium on all new fossil fuel leases, reinstating a methane pollution role for existing projects, and retiring coal power within a decade. "Our initial read of these policies could balance out to a positive for [natural gas] prices even if the long-term is a different story," say the RBC analysts.
- Sen. Josh Hawley (R., Mo.) said on Twitter that Apple had assured him that their initial decision to ban HKmap.live was a mistake. "Looks like the Chinese censors have had a word with them since. Who's really running Apple? Tim Cook or Beijing?" he wrote. In Hong Kong, Charles Mok, a legislative councillor representing the information technology industry, posted on Twitter a letter sent to Mr. Cook saying the app helped citizens avoid dangerous areas and said people in Hong Kong were watching to see whether Apple choose to uphold free expression and other basic human rights. In a letter to staff, Mr. Cook said that Apple's decision was difficult. He said the company thoroughly reviewed the facts," and we believe this decision best protects our users."
- If investors are wagering on a far-reaching trade deal between the US and China, beaten-down emerging markets and European stocks offer better value than expensive US shares, says Lisa Shalett, chief investment officer at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management. While she remains skeptical of such an agreement that boosts global growth, she thinks export-oriented economies would benefit more than the US in such a scenario. "If we get a real trade deal, the markets that are going to benefit the most are the ones that are dependent on global trade," she says.

Oct 11 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Refinitiv)
- Oil prices climbed early, building on gains in the previous session, after producer club OPEC hinted at making deeper cuts in supply while optimism was revived over talks between the United States and China to end their trade war.
- Gold prices steadied, settling into a narrow range as investors awaited more clarity on global uncertainties including trade and Brexit, helping the metal shake off initial declines driven by hopes for a breakthrough in the U.S.-China talks.
- Shanghai copper rose to a near two-week peak after U.S. President Donald Trump described trade talks with China as "very good", raising hopes of breakthrough in the tariff war between the world's two biggest economies.
- U.S. corn futures rebounded from a 10-day low, though prospects for higher-than-expected North American production were set to drive the first weekly loss in over a month.
- Hopes of progress in U.S.-China trade talks held down the dollar and lifted riskier currencies, while optimistic comments from Europe on Brexit boosted the British pound.
- Major indexes are rallying after President Trump tweets that he will meet with China's Vice Premier for talks tomorrow at the White House. The S&P 500 is up 0.5%, while the Dow is also up 0.5%, after both indexes were little changed earlier in the day. Reports that Chinese officials might leave Washington Thursday had dented some optimism about trade discussions overnight, but Trump's tweet could fuel more hopes for a ceasefire on tariffs.
- The U.S. move to blacklist 28 Chinese entities for their involvement in alleged rights abuses in China's Xinjiang region reduces the likelihood of a U.S.-China trade deal in Washington this week, but over the medium term, both sides will seek to keep the issues separate, Teneo says. The business consultancy notes that the blacklisted companies lack the strategic importance of others facing U.S. sanctions, including national champion Huawei, and highlights the Chinese foreign ministry's relatively restrained language in condemning the move. Key factors to striking a deal remain U.S. election politics and the outlook for the U.S. economy, Teneo adds.
- The closing of Peru's Congress by President Martín Vizcarra last week didn't trigger drastic reactions from investors, in part because Peruvian economic fundamentals remain solid despite the political uncertainties, says Daniel Dancourt, a Lima-based partner at investment firm HMC Capital. "In a way, markets are calm. I think everyone was at some level expecting some sort of resolution," he says. "The government wasn't really working with the standoff between Congress and the executive." The Peruvian sol traded at about $0.30 Wednesday, roughly 2% weaker than a mid-September peak.
- Apple has joined the list of American companies under fire in China over the Hong Kong protests after approving a crowd-sourced map app that allows protesters to track police movements. Critics say HKmap.live will help protesters commit crimes and evade arrest. The app uses a dog emoji--a widely used insult for police officers during the protests--to denote police presence. The challenge Apple now faces is "how to keep Chinese consumers onside along with the Chinese government, but not fall foul of Western consumers and governments, especially the Trump administration," says Duncan Clark, a Beijing-based technology consultant. The app's developer tells WSJ they don't think the app is illegal in Hong Kong, adding it merely consolidates information that is publicly available elsewhere.

Oct 10 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Refinitiv)
- Oil prices fell on concerns of lower fuel demand as talks this week between the United States and China, the world's two largest oil users, are not expected to help end the trade war between them, adding to anxieties about the global economy.
- Gold prices scaled one-week highs, holding ground above $1,500 an ounce, as investors flocked to the safety of bullion following contradictory reports about Sino-U.S. trade talks.
- London copper advanced following reports that the United States is weighing a currency pact with China and could suspend a tariff hike planned next week.
- Chicago soybean futures ticked higher, trading below a near three-month high hit in the previous session, as expectations of Chinese buying of U.S. supplies supported the market.
- The dollar eased against major currencies and the yuan firmed as global markets remained fixated on Sino-U.S. trade talks in Washington, amid mixed signals over whether the two sides are making any progress in resolving the dispute.

- Sterling volatility is likely to persist amid concerns about the U.K. leaving the EU without a deal, says Kleinwort Hambros, the wealth management unit of Societe Generale. GBP/USD rose on a parliamentary vote to block a no-deal Brexit but the currency pair's gains have since reversed as hopes of an agreement before the Oct. 31 deadline fade. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will need to request another delay to Brexit if he fails to secure a deal by Oct. 19. "While sterling is undervalued, Brexit news will dominate volatile trading around current levels for now," says Kleinwort's Fahad Kamal. GBP/USD is last up 0.01% at 1.2226.
- The Trump administration is proposing to loosen rules that, for government health programs, generally block doctors from being paid to refer their patients for care and also ban financial inducements for patients to get medical services. Trump administration health officials said the changes open up specific exceptions aimed at making it easier for health-care providers to implement arrangements that reward efficiency and quality of care. The new proposal also includes new protections that are supposed to enable health-care providers to share cybersecurity protections. The proposal is likely to be closely watched, since the rules surrounding referrals affect many aspects of doctors' hiring and pay setups.
- A common complaint among fund managers is that President Trump's policy-by-Twitter approach to office creates uncertainty that is hard for investors to model and forecast. But Gregory Perdon, co-chief investment officer at British private bank Arbuthnot Latham, says the opposite is true. "Trump's approach is more predictable than the market realizes," he says. "Everything is based around securing his re-election." One of the President's main aims in pushing the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates, Perdon says, and this is to push down borrowing costs in the mortgage market. "Trump's actions are really geared around securing a refinancing boom." Perdon says the objective is to lower interest costs for voters, which could in turn boost consumer spending and prop up economic growth.
- The Stoxx Europe 600 rises 0.3%, or 1.16 points to 379.87 as dealers stay wary ahead of U.S.-China trade talks. The DAX is up 0.8% and the CAC-40 advances 0.5%. "This week's U.S.-China trade talks now look over before they've even begun, so markets are re-evaluating the chance of progress," says Jasper Lawler at London Capital Group. "It's now priced in that positions have hardened on either side, so investors have dimmed the selling while they wait for the talks to begin."
- While practically all retailers in the US will feel the effect of higher tariffs on Chinese goods, the pain won't be spread evenly, S&P Global Ratings says. Tariff pain will be felt most by smaller companies as well as those selling a large share of Chinese goods. Also feeling the squeeze will be companies with "little to no power to renegotiate supplier contracts or impose higher consumer prices." The agency also expects "tariffs will result in more weak retailers and an increase in distressed credits--those with ratings of 'CCC' or lower." Larger companies and sellers of luxury goods will probably feel less pain from tariffs, which the agency said could total 30% by the end of the year.

Oct 09 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)
- Oil prices slipped for a third consecutive session as tensions escalated between the United States and China prior to this week's trade talks, raising uncertainties for global economic growth and oil demand.
- Gold prices held onto the previous session's gains, as sagging hopes for progress in U.S.-China trade negotiations sapped risk appetite, with markets watching closely for clues on monetary easing by the U.S. Federal Reserve.
- Shanghai copper fell to its lowest in over a month as an expanding trade dispute between the United States and China intensified concerns over demand.
- Chicago soybeans rose for a second session, trading near a three-month peak, as forecasts for a snowstorm in the U.S. Midwest growing region threatened supplies.
- The dollar steadied as hopes for a breakthrough in U.S-China trade talks waned, sending investors into less risky assets, while the pound wallowed near a month low on deepening uncertainty over Brexit.

- While practically all retailers in the US will feel the effect of higher tariffs on Chinese goods, the pain won't be spread evenly, S&P Global Ratings says. Tariff pain will be felt most by smaller companies as well as those selling a large share of Chinese goods. Also feeling the squeeze will be companies with "little to no power to renegotiate supplier contracts or impose higher consumer prices." The agency also expects "tariffs will result in more weak retailers and an increase in distressed credits--those with ratings of 'CCC' or lower." Larger companies and sellers of luxury goods will probably feel less pain from tariffs, which the agency said could total 30% by the end of the year.
- The Turkish lira rises against the dollar after U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday tweeted that "Turkey is an important member in good standing of NATO. He is coming to the U.S. as my guest on November 13th," referring to Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Investors' worries weighed on the lira Monday due to Ankara's planned military operation in northern Syria and Trump's threat to Turkey's economy. USD/TRY trades 0.5% lower at 5.8062, having fallen as low as 5.7818, according to FactSet.
- Turkey's main BIST-100 stock index trades 1.4% lower amid investors' worries over Turkey's planned military operation in northeastern Syria and after President Donald Trump tweeted that he would "totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey" if that country did anything "off limits." BBH says the heightened uncertainty "comes at a time when geopolitical risk is already elevated," so emerging market and risky assets should remain under pressure, led lower by Turkish assets, says.
- Turkey's larger current account surplus "should help to reduce the likelihood of another sharp lira selloff," says MUFG. The lira has fallen sharply against the U.S. dollar, with USD/TRY hitting a four-week high at 5.8467 early on Tuesday, according to FactSet, as investors fret about a U.S.-Turkey showdown. U.S. President Donald Trump said he would "obliterate" the Turkish economy if Ankara's planned military offensive in northern Syria is considered "to be off-limits." "Turkey's economy has become less reliant on external financing in the near-term but would still be vulnerable to the further U.S. sanctions," MUFG says. USD/TRY is last down 0.3% at 5.8180.

Oct 08 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)
- Oil prices rose, buoyed by overnight gains in industrial commodities, while unrest in oil-producing countries Iraq and Ecuador raised concerns of supply disruption, adding to support.
- Gold prices slipped to a near one-week low, declining for a third straight session, weighed down by a firmer dollar ahead of upcoming trade talks between China and the United States.
- Most industrial metals lost ground as a U.S.-China trade deal looked uncertain, weighing on demand outlook of industrial metals.
- Chicago corn futures rose for a second straight session, with a slower pace of U.S. harvest and concerns over forecasts for a freeze looming for the country's northwestern grain belt supporting prices.

- A paper recently made public by the National Bureau of Economic Research said President Trump's anti-Fed tweets were having a clear market effect and helping pull the Fed toward rate cuts. Goldman Sachs is pushing back at the finding. The firm says in a note to clients that "our results show only weak evidence for the notion that the market moves its monetary policy expectations in response to Presidential tweets criticizing the Fed. Statistically, the moves in the fed funds futures market following such tweets are not significantly different from those in any given market interval, and the cumulative impact across all of these tweets in our sample is only -10bp." Last week, Fed Vice Chairman Richard Clarida also pooh-poohed the paper, saying "there are problems with that study."
- Farmers are still maintaining their support for President Trump even if they aren't happy USMCA hasn't been signed yet or the trade war with China resolved. "We don't want additional regulations that make it harder for us to farm," says Wanda Patsche, co-owner of CW Pork. Patsche also says while she and her colleagues are happy that the Trump Administration is trying to help them survive via market facilitation payments, that alone isn't enough. "We are willing to do our fair share, but we're not willing to break our legs--it feels like our legs are breaking," Patsche says.
- US benchmark oil prices reverse earlier gains to end the session just 0.1% lower at $52.75 a barrel as investors turn bearish ahead of US-China trade talks later this week. "The break below $53.00 signals the focus on trade is concentrated on the economic woes of the global economy and the lack of any development between the US and China in the tariff battle," Austin, Texas, firm Enverus says. Additionally, traders say a strong dollar--the WSJ Dollar Index is trading 0.3% higher--was also pushing oil lower since crude prices are set in US currency, so stronger US currency tends to weaken oil prices.
- Trade tensions with China have hurt farmers and agribusiness companies lately. Cargill's head of operations and supply chain Ruth Kimmelshue says "over time there will be normalization." At the WSJ Food Forum, she says Cargill encourages both governments to find a solution as quickly as possible. "The longer it takes, the more irreversible the changes will be," she says.
- Oil prices continue to rebound from a 5.5% slide last week, rising 1.7% to $53.69 a barrel. "The market is trading higher after being overdone to the downside last week," says Dan Flynn at Price Futures, noting last week's intraday low of $50.99. "With inconsistent inventory data due to the storms in the Atlantic traders started to realize the geo-political risk in the Middle-East is far from over." Flynn says the news of US troops pulling out of Syria surprised the Pentagon, adding "some look at this as betrayal to the Kurds whom the US supported against ISIS for years."
- New research distributed by the National Bureau of Economic Research says President Trump's trade war with China is hurting the economic livelihood of Americans. The tariffs cause a tangible decline in consumption, the paper says, adding "the consumption response corresponds with a decline in employment growth. These results suggest that Chinese retaliation is leading to concentrated welfare losses in the US."
- Options investors are loading up on stock protection, a sign that a stock rally could be ahead, according to Credit Suisse. When an options measure called skew--which gauges the cost of protection on the S&P 500 index--is as high as it has been, average S&P 500 returns over the past month are typically higher than they are otherwise, according to the firm's analysis. The S&P 500 has jumped 1.9% over the subsequent month when skew is this high, compared to 1.1%. "Interestingly, steep skew has historically been more of a contrarian indicator for the market," Credit Suisse says. "If we get a positive turn of events--whether it's on trade, politics, or econ--the upside rally could catch investors off guard."
- Washington politics may impact oil exploration and production companies with a presence in New Mexico such as Devon, EOG and Concho, say analysts at Goldman Sachs. "There is increasing focus on New Mexico Permian (DVN, EOG, CXO among others) risk if there is a change in US leadership in 2021 that results in restrictions on federal land as proposed by some prospective candidates," analysts say. Crude oil production in New Mexico has more than doubled in three years to 888k bpd in July vs 392k in July 2016, and the Land of Enchantment is now the third-largest crude oil producer after Texas and North Dakota.
- The Turkish lira was the weakest link in the emerging-market sector in early trading as Turkey's incursion into northern Syria seems imminent, says Rabobank. "If it wasn't for President Erdogan convincing Trump that Turkey can't wait any longer to create a bigger buffer with Syria (as Turkey has reached its limits for hosting refugees), USD/TRY would have been trading significantly higher, i.e. at least around 6.00," says Rabobank. USD/TRY trades 0.8% higher at 5.7426.

Oct 07 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- Oil prices fell, extending last week's heavy losses, with traders fearing the global economic slowdown will weigh on future oil demand growth while pegging hopes for a rebound on progress in talks this week on ending the U.S.-China trade war.
- Gold prices ticked up as investors were cautious ahead of this week's Sino-U.S. trade talks following a report that Beijing would likely disagree to a broad trade deal with the United States.
- Copper prices firmed after strong U.S. jobs data eased fears of a possible recession in the world's largest economy, with investors awaiting the latest round of U.S.-China trade talks starting later this week.
- Chicago corn futures rose, recouping some of the previous session's losses on expectations of lower U.S. yields and tighter global supplies.
- The yen gained slightly and the yuan slipped as investors nervously awaited U.S.-China talks this week for signs of whether the two sides can de-escalate or end their punishing trade war.

- As the ad industry girds up for a record-breaking election cycle in terms of ad spending, traditional media is expected to again command the lion's share, as it has for generations. Political ad spending on TV is expected to reach $4.78B in 2020. About $2.85B will be spent for online political ads, including social-media advertising, according to September forecasts from Borrell Associates, a marketing research firm. Both figures are components of the record-breaking $12.6B in total political ad spending that Borrell estimates for the 2020 election cycle.
- The Turkish lira was the weakest link in the emerging-market sector in early trading as Turkey's incursion into northern Syria seems imminent, says Rabobank. "If it wasn't for President Erdogan convincing Trump that Turkey can't wait any longer to create a bigger buffer with Syria (as Turkey has reached its limits for hosting refugees), USD/TRY would have been trading significantly higher, i.e. at least around 6.00," says Rabobank. USD/TRY trades 0.8% higher at 5.7426.

Oct 04 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)
- Oil futures were higher ahead of the weekend but remained on track for large weekly losses on fears that slower global economic growth will hurt fuel demand, even as Saudi Arabia said it has fully restored oil output after recent attacks.
- Gold prices rose for a fourth straight session as weak U.S. economic data fanned fears over sluggish growth, with investors awaiting a key jobs report that could cement expectations for further rate cuts by the Federal Reserve.
- London nickel prices were set for their fourth straight session of gains, as inventories fell near a seven-year low ahead of an exports ban from top supplier Indonesia.
- U.S. corn futures edged lower, though the grain was poised to post its biggest one-week gains in four months as the market digested a widely-watched forecast that showed lower-than-expected North American supplies.
- The dollar stepped back after a soft U.S. service sector survey inflamed worries that pressure from U.S. trade disputes with China and other countries could spill over into the broader U.S. economy and eventually tip it into a recession.

- Grains traders are watching for an official announcement from the White House regarding a new aid package for US biofuel, which would particularly benefit ethanol -- a corn-based fuel that's been hurt by recent regulatory decisions in favor of gasoline refiners. If the aid package is enough to reverse the trend of ethanol refineries closing across the Midwest due to poor margins, then corn futures may bounce higher on the CBOT on Friday -as ethanol refineries are a key source of corn consumption for farmers. Overnight, corn futures traded 0.1% lower.
- Costco is using a variety of strategies to deal with tariffs the Trump administration has levied on Chinese imports. The retailer looks to accelerate shipments on goods before tariffs take effect or before duties are set to rise, executives tell analysts on a call. It also has gone to its suppliers to try to figure out how to reduce costs for products and sought to source merchandise from countries other than China, they say. However, supply chains outside of China aren't as robust, with executives saying there is a limited ability simply to switch other producers outside of that country.
- Hess remains one of the best long-term stocks to own among E&P's, Morgan Stanley says, as the NY-based company and Exxon prepare to start pumping offshore oil from the tiny South American nation of Guyana. "Despite a volatile market backdrop, [Hess's] attractive value proposition appears to be intact," the firm says. "With first oil in Guyana now just months away, years of portfolio repositioning and returns-focused investments should soon begin to deliver visible results." Morgan Stanley also notes Exxon and Hess are 4-for-4 with successful exploration wells this year, and say both the ruling and opposition political parties in upcoming Guyana presidential elections have given thumbs up to Exxon and Hess's activities.
- The stock market was already hit by a sharp recession after the Arab oil embargo of 1973 when President Nixon faced impeachment. When the House impeached President Clinton in 1999, a tech bubble was already in place, later dragging equities to a more than 50% decline. In President Trump's case, "The past is not much of a modern prelude," Citi says. For now, market weakness tends to be more in reaction to the below-50 ISM manufacturing report than the Trump impeachment inquiry, Citi says. What's likely to happen in late 2020, apart from the election, is more volatility given the shape of the yield curve that could spell trouble for equities, the investment bank says.

- Pork from European Union countries is among the goods subject to the 25% tariff levied by the US late Wednesday. Among the forms of EU pork subject to the tariff include pork sausages, offal, ham, shoulders, and preserved products -- which includes popular cured products like prosciutto and soppressata. Over 75,000 metric tons of pork under the program were imported into the US from EU countries in 2018, according to data from the US International Trade Commission. Hog futures finished down 1.2% at 69.1 cents per pound Wednesday.
- The new tariffs the Trump administration will impose on $7.5B in goods produced in Europe following a victory at the WTO includes a long list of foods. Among the items facing duties are seemingly high-grade offerings like green olives, cherry juice, blue-veined cheese and preserved pork products, which may hit various salamis and prosciuttos. Some cheaper items make the list too, like processed cheese and butter substitutes. Other products on the tariff list, like yogurt, could potentially help big food companies like General Mills, which has been trying to grow its yogurt business faster.
- Sterling upside on the back of U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Brexit deal proposal presented Wednesday is likely to be limited, as there's no certainty that either the EU or even the U.K. parliament would accept it, says ING. "While the first response from the EU wasn't dismissive, previous comments from the Irish officials suggest the bar for acceptance of such a proposal remains high," it says, adding that the conservative party's loss of a parliamentary majority hinders its approval. Johnson's proposal would create a customs frontier in Northern Ireland and a regulatory border between the region and the U.K. By contrast, PM Theresa May's rejected withdrawal agreement would have kept the entire U.K. in the customs union until a trade deal was agreed. GBP/USD is flat at $1.2310.
- After the World Trade Organization ruling over Airbus-Boeing conflict on Wednesday, the U.S. said it will impose new tariffs on a list of E.U. exports from Oct. 18. "New aircraft, excluding military, over 30,000kg will face a 10% import duty," while all other tariffs are at 25%, Jefferies said. Following the WTO news, Airbus closed 2% lower on Wednesday. However, the European plane maker regained ground on Thursday and trades 3.95% higher at EUR118.88.
- American tariffs on European food, drink and agriculture could add further pain to the continent's struggling economy. In 2018, the European Union sold EUR137.53 billion worth of agri-food products to countries that aren't members of the bloc, according to the European Commission. That equated to 7% of the EU's total exports. The U.S. was by far the biggest single recipient of these goods, buying EUR22.26 billion worth of them, or 16%. The next biggest importer, China, bought less than half that amount. Americans are particularly fond of European spirits, wine, vinegar, water and beer. They also bought EUR1.1 billion worth of pasta, pastries, biscuits and bread, EUR924 million of olive oil and EUR876 million of cheese.

Oct 03 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- Oil futures rebounded, reversing losses earlier in the day, as fears over the worsening global economic outlook that hit prices hard in the previous session gave way to modest hopes for progress in resolving the U.S.-China trade war.
- Gold prices were little changed, following an over 1% jump in the previous session, as investors awaited more data to gauge the health of the U.S. economy.
- London copper and aluminium prices climbed off recent lows, underpinned by a weaker dollar, as trading was thin due to China's major Golden Week holiday.
- U.S. wheat futures edged higher, rebounding from losses of 2% in the previous session, although gains were still held back amid signs that North American supplies remain uncompetitive into key markets in Asia.

- Pork from European Union countries is among the goods subject to the 25% tariff levied by the US late Wednesday. Among the forms of EU pork subject to the tariff include pork sausages, offal, ham, shoulders, and preserved products -- which includes popular cured products like prosciutto and soppressata. Over 75,000 metric tons of pork under the program were imported into the US from EU countries in 2018, according to data from the US International Trade Commission. Hog futures finished down 1.2% at 69.1 cents per pound Wednesday.
- The new tariffs the Trump administration will impose on $7.5B in goods produced in Europe following a victory at the WTO includes a long list of foods. Among the items facing duties are seemingly high-grade offerings like green olives, cherry juice, blue-veined cheese and preserved pork products, which may hit various salamis and prosciuttos. Some cheaper items make the list too, like processed cheese and butter substitutes. Other products on the tariff list, like yogurt, could potentially help big food companies like General Mills, which has been trying to grow its yogurt business faster.
- Sterling upside on the back of U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Brexit deal proposal presented Wednesday is likely to be limited, as there's no certainty that either the EU or even the U.K. parliament would accept it, says ING. "While the first response from the EU wasn't dismissive, previous comments from the Irish officials suggest the bar for acceptance of such a proposal remains high," it says, adding that the conservative party's loss of a parliamentary majority hinders its approval. Johnson's proposal would create a customs frontier in Northern Ireland and a regulatory border between the region and the U.K. By contrast, PM Theresa May's rejected withdrawal agreement would have kept the entire U.K. in the customs union until a trade deal was agreed. GBP/USD is flat at $1.2310.
- After the World Trade Organization ruling over Airbus-Boeing conflict on Wednesday, the U.S. said it will impose new tariffs on a list of E.U. exports from Oct. 18. "New aircraft, excluding military, over 30,000kg will face a 10% import duty," while all other tariffs are at 25%, Jefferies said. Following the WTO news, Airbus closed 2% lower on Wednesday. However, the European plane maker regained ground on Thursday and trades 3.95% higher at EUR 118.88.

- American tariffs on European food, drink and agriculture could add further pain to the continent's struggling economy. In 2018, the European Union sold EUR137.53 billion worth of agri-food products to countries that aren't members of the bloc, according to the European Commission. That equated to 7% of the EU's total exports. The U.S. was by far the biggest single recipient of these goods, buying EUR22.26 billion worth of them, or 16%. The next biggest importer, China, bought less than half that amount. Americans are particularly fond of European spirits, wine, vinegar, water and beer. They also bought EUR1.1 billion worth of pasta, pastries, biscuits and bread, EUR924 million of olive oil and EUR876 million of cheese.

Oct 02 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- Oil rebounded from several days of falling prices after industry data showed a surprise drop in U.S. crude inventories, offsetting weak economic readings in the United States that have depressed global stock markets.
- Gold prices inched down as investors booked profits after the metal rose as much as 1% in the previous session, though dismal U.S. manufacturing data kept a floor under the prices.
- London copper recovered from a near one-month low touched during the previous session, as the dollar weakened on poor U.S. manufacturing data.
- U.S. soybean futures retreated from a more than two-month high hit in the previous session as some traders unwound positions, though recent Chinese purchases and lower-than-expected estimates for North American supplies capped losses.

- As President Trump contends with a formal impeachment inquiry in Congress, his backing among US farmers is strengthening, according to a Farm Journal survey conducted Sept. 27. About 76% of the 1,138 farmers surveyed either strongly approved or somewhat approved of President Trump's performance near the end of a tumultuous month for farmers, as China resumed purchases of soybeans and several US biofuel plants halted production, blaming Trump administration energy policies. Trump's support level in the Farm Journal poll had weakened in August. Over the course of September, futures prices for soybeans, corn, wheat, hogs and cattle all have climbed.

Oct 01 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)
- Oil prices rebounded on reports that production at the world's largest oil producers fell during the third quarter, although a resumption in Saudi supply and demand concerns continued to keep a lid on prices.
- Gold prices fell to a near two-month low, weighed down by a stronger dollar, while hopes of progress in the U.S.-China trade talks lifted equity markets in a further hit to the bullion's appeal.
- London copper fell to near a one-month low due to a stronger dollar, but trading was thin as traders in top consumer China went on a long holiday.
- U.S. soybean futures held steady, having hit a more than two-month high earlier, as the U.S. Department of Agriculture surprised the market with smaller-than-expected forecasts for inventories.

- The U.S. dollar is likely to continue to strengthen this week, whether or not the White House's reported plan to move trade tensions into capital markets goes ahead, says Danske Bank. The U.S. government is said to be looking to restrict capital flows into China and limit Chinese companies from trading on U.S. exchanges, which could fuel risk-off sentiment and boost safe-haven demand for the dollar. The recent rise in the dollar is unlikely to come to a halt, Danske says. Further out, the dollar may start falling if the U.S. Federal Reserve cuts interest rates more than markets expect, "getting ahead of the global curve and propelling risk markets higher." This "appears somewhat illusive," however, Danske says. EUR/USD is last down 0.3% at 1.9015.
- The White House's plans to restrict capital flows into China and to limit Chinese companies from trading on U.S. exchanges is likely to worsen market sentiment surrounding the ongoing trade dispute between the world's two largest economies. "While no confirmation was received on this front, the idea of the trade war moving into a war on capital flows will lead to a risk-off environment," says Hussein Sayed, chief market strategist at FXTM. Whether the White House would implement such restrictions or just use them as a tool to gain leverage in the upcoming trade negotiations, the message is negative for financial markets, Sayed says.
- The U.S. government's possible restrictions on capital flows toward Chinese companies are unlikely to come to fruition, Jefferies says. The measures, which may include delisting Chinese companies' from U.S. stock exchanges and curbing U.S. government pension funds from investing in Chinese markets, will go against WTO principles of allowing countries equal access to each other's markets, Jefferies says. Further, a delisting attempt of over 300 American depositary receipts of Chinese companies would lead to the ADR market "effectively closing as a means of raising offshore capital," the U.S. bank adds, and harm the U.S.'s role as a conduit for international capital.
- Fortunately for risk markets and before traders in China and Asia had a chance to react, the U.S. Treasury has talked down last Friday's hysteria, saying there are no current plans to stop Chinese companies from listing on U.S. exchanges, says Stephen Innes, strategist at AxiTrader. Still, the statement didn't exactly clarify the White House position, nor did it rule out other courses of action. "Floating this story at a time when U.S.-China harmony is most needed suggests the U.S. administration isn't exactly rolling out a red-carpet welcoming party for China's high-level trade negotiators for next week's trade talks," he adds.

Jan 09 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- U.S. oil prices hit their highest since 2015 again as speculators bet on further price rises amid OPEC-led production cuts and a dip in American drilling activity, though some warned the rally could run out of steam.
- Gold prices inched down amid expectations for more U.S. interest rate hikes this year.
- London copper inched up in early trade as an advancing U.S. dollar lost steam, while Shanghai copper recovered from a drop in the previous session to trade marginally higher.
- Chicago wheat fell for a fourth consecutive session with prices pressured by improved weather conditions in the U.S. southern Plains although a lack of protective snow cover kept a floor under the market.
- The yen jumped after the Bank of Japan trimmed its buying of long-dated Japanese government bonds in market operations, helping to stoke speculation about a future exit from its massive stimulus policy.   
- As a result of tax reform, Visa is improving 401(k) benefits for its U.S.-based employees, according to a company spokeswoman. Visa will increase its 401(k) match beginning in February. Currently Visa contributes $2 for every $1 an employee contributes, up to 3% of base pay. Visa will raise that to 5% of base pay. The company is also "exploring other global employee benefits and investments...which [it] hope[s] to unveil in the near future," says a spokeswoman.
- Former lawmakers urged President Donald Trump to preserve Nafta, citing withdrawal from the trade agreement as the fastest way to undermine any tax benefits or regulatory relief farmers might otherwise see from his administration. As Mr. Trump addressed farmers at an annual meeting in Tennessee, former Senators Max Baucus (D., Mont.) and Richard Lugar (R., Ind.), now co-chairs of a non-profit organization advocating for free trade for farmers, warned that withdrawing from Nafta would be akin to levying a new tax on farmers. They cautioned that U.S. farmers would suffer retaliatory action if the U.S. imposes tariffs on its trading
partners and said American growers already are disadvantaged since Trump pulled the U.S. from a key Pacific trade agreement.
- President Trump used a speech to farmers to highlight benefits of the GOP's tax overhaul, tout his deregulatory agenda and sign executive orders aimed at improving broadband access across rural America. Addressing farmers at an annual convention of the American Farm Bureau Federation, Trump called the recently-passed tax cut "historic relief for farmers," saying family farms would be spared from a "deeply unfair estate tax," and told a welcoming crowd that he was "putting an end to the regulatory assault on your way of life." Signing two orders to expand internet connectivity in rural areas, he said: "You are going to have great, great broadband."
- United Natural Foods CFO Mike Zechmeister says the tax policy changes are impacting how it assesses returns on potential investments. The natural foods distributor saw a four percentage point difference in returns on a recent investment before and after the tax bill, for example. "The tax savings are real," Zechmeister tells investors gathered at the annual ICR Conference. "You could take a project that may be unattractive in the past or one you would have passed on, and it becomes a project you could go forward with."
- US auto industry stands to benefit from the recently passed tax legislation, which will likely boost earnings per share by an average of 5%-6%, Barclays estimates. The tax reforms are expected to cut nominal tax rates for most US auto manufacturers and parts suppliers, even though the reduction in actual taxes paid will be "slightly less impacted" due to widespread use of losses carried forward, Barclays says. Auto parts suppliers domiciled overseas for tax purposes, such as Adient, Aptiv and Delphi Technologies, won't gain much from lower US corporate tax rates, but also may face lower risk from another part of the tax legislation--a hike in levies targeting unremitted foreign earnings, it says.
- United Natural Foods, up more than 5% as its CFO outlines "significant" financial benefits from the tax bill. The Providence-based natural food distributor expects the taxes it pays overall to fall to around 28% in its 2019 fiscal year from 40% currently. CFO Mike Zechmeister tells investors gathered at the annual ICR Conference that the reduced corporate tax will result in around $17M in savings during its current fiscal year, and it will also benefit from a one-time boost on deferred liabilities. The company expects an aggregate rate reduction of as much as 17 percentage points this year, and 13 percentage points in 2019. "That is a meaningful increase to our free cash flow," Zechmeister says.
- Changes to the US tax code could help push Caterpillar's stock price to $200 by the end of the year, JPMorgan analyst Ann Duignan says. The recently passed federal tax law's provision allowing 100% depreciation on new and used equipment will likely prolong the replacement cycle in US construction, she says. That's in addition to a lower corporate tax rate that will boost free cash flow. "As a result of our analysis, we believe that the stock remains undervalued, despite the significant outperformance last year," she said in a note. Caterpillar stock was up about 70% in 2017. Caterpillar shares were up 2.6% to $166.13.
- USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue touted accomplishments of the Trump administration and his own agency ahead of a planned presidential address to farmers at an annual trade convention. Perdue listed what he sees as trade victories, including opening China to American beef and rice, for farmers worried about the fate of Nafta. Speaking at a meeting of the American Farm Bureau Federation, he said USDA has begun rolling back burdensome regulations, targeting 27 rules that will save $56M annually, and urged farmers to flag the "silliest, most onerous rules" they think should be ditched. As for farmers' tax burden, Perdue tells the crowd that thanks to Trump's recent tax overhaul, "Help is not only on the way. It's already here."
- The parent of Alaska Airlines, like Southwest Airlines, American Airline and JetBlue Airways before it, said it plans to award $1,000 bonuses later this month to 23,000 employees, in celebration of the new federal tax bill. The corporate tax-cut windfall will reduce the tax rate to 21% from 35%, effective this year, which should save millions in tax liabilities and allow airlines to invest more in planes, products and their employees, although some of the savings may also go toward share buybacks. Alaska Air shares are down 1% to $72.97.
- Former Navy acquisition chief and acting Navy secretary Sean Stackley joins L3 Technologies, complementing the deal-hungry defense company's M&A team and continuing the run of Obama-era Pentagon officials who've popped up on corporate boards and management teams. Former defense secretary Ash Carter joined the Delta Air Lines' board while his deputy, Bob Work, is now a Raytheon director. Ex-Air Force secretary Deborah Lee James is now on the Textron board while Leidos added former Pentagon acquisition chief Frank Kendall to its director roster, with his deputy Katharina McFarland joining Engility.
- Eli Lilly (LLY) CEO David Ricks said the U.S. tax overhaul will cause American companies to make investments based more on business factors than taxes. "On the next decision you face it really re-balances the calculus on where to build a plant or make hires," he tells the WSJ on sidelines of JP Morgan healthcare conference in San Francisco. He expects Lilly to have "more infrastructure" in the US within the next 7 years as a result of the overhaul. In September the drug maker announced plans to cut 8% of its work force including many jobs in its home state of Indiana. Ricks also sees the mix of Lilly acquisition targets shifting to more US companies than foreign firms. Though Lilly already had a lower tax rate than the former top US corporate rate due to operations abroad, he sees Lilly's total tax bill coming down.
- J.P. Morgan says the introduction of the U.S. tax reform has done very little to lift the market's downbeat view of potential U.S. growth," which is expected to be smaller compared with other countries or areas around the world. This explains why the U.S. dollar hasn't benefited much from either the introduction of the tax reform or from good economic data, it says. "The global economic activity surprise index is at a post-GFC high," J.P. Morgan says, highlighting eurozone, as well as German growth, which for the first time ever "outpaced the U.S. for four consecutive years." J.P. Morgan adds: "This lack of economic exceptionalism ... is turning out to be more of a drag on the currency."