Forex & Commo Market News

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.

Sep 30 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- Oil prices edged up after China's factories unexpectedly ramped up production in September, easing concerns about demand at the world's largest crude importer amid an ongoing trade war with the United States.
- Gold prices edged lower, as the dollar firmed on easing fears of an escalation in the U.S.-China trade war after a report that the United States does not currently plan to de-list Chinese companies from U.S. stock markets.
- Most base metals advanced after a private survey showed China's factory activity improved in September, largely due to a rebound in domestic demand.
- U.S. soybean futures edged higher, rebounding from a one-week low touched in the previous session, though concerns about a protracted trade war between Washington and Beijing capped gains.

- Markets mull the political twists of impeaching Trump.
Revelations about Donald Trump's interactions with Ukraine's president are shaping up to be the most serious threat to his presidency so far, surpassing even the special counsel investigation into Russian election interference that dogged the first two years of his administration. A whistleblower complaint released alleging that Mr Trump abused his power when he asked Ukraine's Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate Joe Biden in a July telephone call compounded the damage from a rough transcript of the conversation the White House released earlier this week. Yesterday, markets continued to analyse the impeachment moves but the US-China trade dispute, in particular, for signs of potential damage to the US economy. And figures showed US consumer spending barely rose in August and business investment remained weak, suggesting the US economy was losing momentum as trade tensions linger.
Consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of US economic activity, edged up by only 0.1%. In another report, the US commerce department said orders for non-defence capital goods excluding aircraft, a closely watched proxy for business spending plans, dropped 0.2% last month amid weak demand for electrical equipment, appliances and components, and computers and electronic products.

The whistleblower Ukraine complaint emboldened Democrats pursuing Mr Trump's removal from office, while Republicans - many of whom had criticised the house's move toward impeaching the president - largely refrained from comment.
Mr Trump hurt himself further after telling US diplomats in a private meeting on Thursday that "we're at war" and the whistleblower was "almost a spy," according to video obtained by Bloomberg News.
"That is a gross mischaracterisation of whistle-blowers," Senator Susan Collins, a Maine Republican, told reporters.
Mr Trump evaded consequences after Robert Mueller's investigation because the special counsel could not tie the president directly to Russian interference in the 2016 election and did not clearly accuse him of obstructing the probe. But in the Ukraine affair, the most damaging facts are rooted in the president's own words, recorded in a five-page memorandum that largely corroborates the whistleblower's complaint.
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham earlier this week issued a statement calling the whistleblower complaint "nothing more than a collection of third-hand accounts of events and cobbled-together press clippings - all of which shows nothing improper." Mr Trump, she said, "has nothing to hide."
Late on Thursday, senate intelligence committee chairman Richard Burr, a North Carolina Republican, said his panel would also conduct an investigation of Mr Trump's Ukraine actions. He said he is "committed to make sure that we get to the bottom of what questions need answers".
It is illegal for foreigners to contribute to US political campaigns or for American politicians to solicit their contributions. The memorandum shows Mr Trump asking Mr Zelenskiy for an investigation into Mr Biden, who was at the time the frontrunner to challenge the president's re-election in 2020 - a request that could be construed as the president seeking a non-monetary contribution to his campaign. The department of justice conducted a preliminary review of the whistleblower complaint and determined a criminal investigation was not warranted. But congress could decide otherwise.
For purposes of impeachment, the constitution leaves it to lawmakers to decide whether the president's actions amount to "high crimes and misdemeanours".

Sep 27 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)
- Oil prices fell after fresh Chinese economic data revived concerns of slowing economic growth, and while a faster-than-expected recovery in Saudi crude oil output this week eased concerns of major supply disruptions.
- Gold prices were little changed, but the metal was on track for a third weekly fall in four as a strong dollar offset positive impacts of political and trade worries.
- London copper ticked higher on signs of progress towards a trade deal between the world's two largest economies, but was set to post a weekly decline on concerns over Chinese demand.
- Chicago soybean futures lost ground, but the market was set to end the week on a positive note as recent purchases by top importer China renewed optimism about a possible trade deal between Washington and Beijing.

- Cosco Shipping Energy Transportation Co. halts share trading in Hong Kong after Washington blacklists its tankers and gas carriers for allegedly helping Iran move illicit crude cargoes. At least 50 Cosco ocean tankers will likely be affected by the U.S. ban, which warns global ports and other parties to stop doing business with the state-run, Chinese shipping behemoth. The move will also likely complicate efforts to resolve a year-long trade dispute between the U.S. and China.
- The risks are increasing on a daily basis for the tobacco industry and Imperial Brands' troublesome trading update may not be a one-off exception, says AJ Bell's Russ Mould. "Political and regulatory pressures are coming down hard on the sector and resulting in fewer U.S. retailers and wholesalers ordering or promoting vaping products," says the analyst, adding that competition is also fierce, particularly in places like Australia. "Unfortunately the cigarette industry can no longer be seen as a defensive investment given the increasing political and regulatory concerns," Mould adds. Shares fell 10% to 1,853 pence.
- The U.S. dollar continues to benefit from investors seeking safe-haven assets, says Hussein Sayed, chief market strategist at FXTM. Wednesday's strong rally leaves the DXY dollar index inching closer to the two-and-a-half-year high of 99.37, reached on September 6, he notes, last trading at 99.04. Despite the impeachment inquiry against U.S. President Donald Trump, the dollar "continues to cement its place as the major safe haven currency", he says. A Brexit-fueled political crisis in the U.K., the EU nearing a recession and depressed bond yields across the developed economies are some of factors underpinning investor demand for dollar's safety. However, if the dollar "continues to march higher," he warns to "expect Trump to push the Treasury Department to intervene in the currency."
- Industrial-metal prices slip, after rallying when President Trump voiced optimism about a trade deal with China. Trading is thin ahead of a week-long holiday in China, the world's largest commodity consumer, starting on Tuesday. Copper, which has been highly sensitive to tensions between Washington and Beijing, is down 0.1% at $5,784.50 a ton. Most base metals remain on course to rise over the course of the week, however. Trump's comments alleviated concerns that the trade conflict could continue into 2020, hurting demand for commodities. The president, whose officials are due to meet Chinese counterparts in early October, reportedly said a deal with Beijing could happen "sooner than you think."

Sep 26 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- Oil prices were steady after falling the previous two sessions on industry concerns about rising supplies and signs of slowing demand.
- Gold prices inched up as a sharp drop in the previous session attracted some bargain hunters, but a stronger dollar as U.S. President Donald Trump hinted at a Sino-U.S. trade deal kept the gains in check. 
- Copper prices held steady in thin trade, as market participants refrained from taking big positions ahead of a week-long holiday in top metals consumer China from Oct. 1.
- Chicago corn futures slid for a second session as domestic harvest gathered pace.
- The dollar consolidated, staying near multi-week highs against most major currencies while slipping against riskier ones after U.S. President Donald Trump said there could be a trade deal with China soon.

- The FTSE 100 Index is set to open 12 points lower at 7278 after a mixed Asia trading session, though Wall Street shrugged off the planned impeachment inquiry into U.S. President Donald Trump. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained nearly 163 points as upbeat comments from Trump about chances of a U.S.-China trade deal lifted sentiment. Reports that Japan and the U.S. have reached an initial agreement on trade also helped the mood, modestly lifting Japan's Nikkei, though China's Shenzhen A-share was off more than 2%. Political turmoil continues to weigh in London, where Prime Minister Boris Johnson caused outrage with comments to lawmakers after Parliament resumed following its unlawful suspension.
- The Senate is poised to vote Thursday to confirm Eugene Scalia as Labor Secretary, succeeding Alexander Acosta, who stepped down in July, according to a Senate leadership aide. The move comes just two days after a Senate panel approved Mr. Scalia, a corporate attorney and son of late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, in a party line vote.
- The Trump administration's new overtime rule will usher about 1.3 million more Americans into overtime pay eligibility come Jan. 1. But millions of workers who had previously been queued up to earn time-and-a-half pay when working more than 40 hours a week are being left out. Under President Obama's 2016 rule, 8.2 million additional Americans would have benefited as compared to the new rule, according to analysis from Heidi Shierholz at the Economic Policy Institute. That includes 3.2 million workers who would have gotten new overtime protections and 5 million who would have seen their protections strengthened. The Obama rule was blocked by a court. It would have increased the overtime salary threshold to $47,476; the Trump rule is increasing it to $35,568. Since 2004, the threshold has been $23,660.
- Livestock futures rise following news the US and Japan have reached what President Trump calls an enhanced trade agreement. Trump says the deal will open Japan to $7B-worth of US agricultural products, including beef and pork. In May, Japan dropped its restrictions on accepting imports of US beef. Grain futures are still trading lower this afternoon, but hog futures are now up 2.9%, while cattle futures are up 0.5%. Trump says the deal will include lower or eliminated tariffs for US wheat and corn as well, and this deal would precede a more comprehensive deal to be signed in the future.
- Grain futures on the CBOT are down across the board, lead by soybeans -- which falls 0.8%. One big reason behind it is comments on the US/China relationship made by President Trump on Tuesday. "Trump brought up US/China trade during his speech at the UN yesterday with not very nice things to say," says Doug Bergman of RCM Alternatives. Soybeans have typically been the most reactive grains commodity to US-China developments. Meanwhile, wheat is down 0.6% and corn is down 0.3%.
- US stock futures fall a day after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced an impeachment inquiry into whether President Trump interacted improperly with a foreign official. This comes as investors weigh progress in trade talks with China after Trump's comments at the United Nations that he wouldn't accept a "bad" trade deal. Nike shares jump 6.3% premarket after the athletic apparel maker's results handily tops Wall Street estimates. Philip Morris International shares rise 6% premarket after calling off its planned merger with Altria, which gains 2.4%. The dollar gains against the euro and the yen, while Treasurys edger lower. S&P futures fall 6.75 points.
- The U.S. dollar erodes some of Tuesday's losses, partially driven by the announcement that President Donald Trump is facing an impeachment inquiry, with the DXY dollar index moving back above the 98.50 level, but it could be set for more weakness ahead, says MUFG. "The U.S. dollar has strengthened modestly overnight," it says. However, the impeachment inquiry sets the stage for a highly divisive election campaign, MUFG warns. Heightened political uncertainty in the run-up to the 2020 election "could further undermine the outlook for business investment and growth in the U.S., and pose some downside risks for the U.S. dollar in the year ahead." DXY is last up 0.2% at 95.5660.
- USD/SGD is flat as investors focus on soft U.S. economic data and risks of a Trump impeachment. Maybank says momentum for the currency pair is mildly bearish, and any volatility this week is likely to be USD-led as impeachment proceedings progress in the U.S. The investment bank puts support at 1.3720 and resistance at 1.3800. USD/SGD is at 1.3766 versus 1.3756 late Tuesday in New York.

Sep 25 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- Oil prices fell for a second day on worries that fuel demand could fall after U.S. President Donald Trump doused recent optimism over China-U.S. trade talks and reignited concerns about global economic growth.
- Gold prices inched lower as some investors booked profit, but the metal remained supported below a three-week peak hit in the prior session as the launch of a formal impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump stoked political worries.
- Copper prices in London and Shanghai were little changed as U.S. President Donald Trump's criticism of China's trade practices hurt hopes of a trade deal. 
- Chicago soybeans rose for a third consecutive session, buoyed by China's move to give waivers to buy some U.S. soybeans exempt from tariffs, but the ongoing trade war between the two countries kept gains in check.
- The dollar steadied in Asian trade but remained on the defensive after the launch of a formal impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump, while the political uncertainty added to worries about economies strained by the Sino-U.S. trade row.
- Gold prices slip but remain close to a three-week high, after rising on political uncertainty in Washington and anxiety about the U.S. economy. The precious metal is down 0.3% at $1,535.50 a troy ounce in the New York futures market. Silver, which has also benefited from demand for haven assets in recent months, is 0.4% lower at $18.56 a troy ounce. Vivek Dhar, director of mining and energy research at Commonwealth Bank of Australia, says the U.S.-China trade talks in early October are the next key milestone for the gold market. "If talks continue to stall between the two nations, we expect the precious metal to strengthen." He forecasts that gold will peak at around $1,700 a troy ounce in 2020.
- US oil prices fall 2.2% to end at a seven-session low $57.29/bbl amid indications Saudi Arabia is well on its way back to normal production levels after attacks on its oil facilities temporarily created supply risks. "After rising almost 15 percent last Monday after the attack, prices came back to earth on reassuring comments from the Saudis that production would not be offline as long as feared, perhaps returning to full capacity as soon as next week," says Rob Haworth at US Bank Wealth Management. Rising chatter about the possibility Congressional Democrats will open an impeachment inquiry against President Trump also weighed on prices as it sapped investors' risk appetite.
- Stocks are paring their declines after President Trump says on Twitter he has authorized the release of the full transcript of his conversation with Ukraine's president, potentially easing some worries about possible impeachment proceedings and political uncertainty. The S&P 500 is now down 0.5%, while the Dow is down 0.3% after dropping nearly 1% before the tweets. Bond yields are rebounding and gold has erased nearly all of its advance in after-hours trading, indicating investors are moving back toward risky assets.
- US benchmark oil prices are on track for their biggest decline in a week, falling 2.4% to $57.23/bbl on reports Congressional Democrats plan to open an impeachment inquiry into President Trump. The slide in crude prices comes as US equities also fall to session lows. Oil was already in retreat mode amid reports Saudi Arabia could bring production back toward normal by next week following attacks on its oil facilities, and after Trump said in a UN speech he wouldn't accept a "bad" trade deal with China.
- Stocks and bond yields trade around session lows as a growing list of worries pushes investors out of risky assets and into havens. Markets appeared to lose ground after President Trump delivered a rebuke of the World Trade Organization and said he wouldn't accept a "bad" trade deal with China at an address before the United Nations. Selling then appeared to accelerate on reports House Democrats may be lining up in favor of launching impeachment proceedings, says Mohit Bajaj, director of ETF trading solutions at WallachBeth Capital. The S&P 500 is down 1%, while the yield on the 10-year US Treasury note was at 1.651%. "We have all these headlines causing the risk-off move," Bajaj says, although he described stocks' move lower as "a slow drip down," rather than a rapid bout of selling.
- A Senate committee on Tuesday approved the nomination of corporate attorney Eugene Scalia to succeed Alexander Acosta as US Labor Secretary. "Mr. Scalia is well qualified to lead the Labor Department," said Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. The committee voted 12-11 in favor of Scalia, whose nomination will now head to the full Senate.
- US oil prices fall nearly 2% to a session low after President Trump says in a speech at the UN that he won't accept a "bad deal" with China and accuses China of gaming a world trade system. "The American people are absolutely committed to restoring balance to our relationship with China," he says, adding he wants a trade deal that benefits both countries. "But as I have made very clear, I will not accept a bad deal for the American people." Oil markets worry a continued US-China trade fight could hurt the global economy and reduce worldwide demand for crude oil. WTI was recently 1.9% lower at $57.55/bbl.
- U.S. investors could see GBP100 billion shaved off the value of their U.K. stocks if Britain's opposition Labour party takes power and forces companies to hand 10% of their shares to employee funds, according to an analysis by Clifford Chance. The law firm found Labour's proposal for "inclusive ownership funds," aimed at sharing stock dividends with workers, would effectively raise the country's corporate tax rate to around 31%. Dan Neidle, a Clifford Chance partner, said employees would only get around GBP1 billion a year from a policy costing global investors an estimated GBP300 billion, "an astonishing mismatch between cost and benefit."
- Sterling rises after the U.K. Supreme Court ruled that Prime Minister Boris Johnson's decision to prorogue--or suspend--parliament was unlawful. GBP/USD rises 0.4% on the day to 1.2481, from around 1.2446 beforehand. EUR/GBP falls to 0.8812, from 0.8838 beforehand. The wording of the unanimous verdict was strong, ruling that prorogation was void and of no effect. The ruling is a relief to investors, but continued uncertainties surrounding Brexit mean sterling's rise is relatively limited, as the risk of the U.K. leaving the EU without a deal remains.
- Brent crude oil is down 0.9% at $63.16 a barrel and WTI futures are down 0.8% at $58.19 a barrel. Commerzbank notes that the slip is down to a combination of restored Aramco capacity--Reuters reports 75% of downed capacity has been restored --and investors focusing on sagging global growth. While weak economic data from the Eurozone has dampened some of the newfound oil demand after attacks on Saudi Arabia, prices may receive a boost if comments from Saudi officials aimed at reassuring investors prove to be less than accurate. "We would take these reports with a pinch of salt, to some extent. They could also be due to the desire not to jeopardize Saudi Aramco's planned IPO at the end of the year," Commerzbank says.
- Gold is down 0.2% at $1,528.80 a troy ounce, despite persistent recession fears and elevated political risk. "The yellow metal clearly still has plenty of fans but is struggling to gain any upward momentum following a fantastic summer rally. It continues to look vulnerable to a break below $1,480, which could trigger a sharper correction, although a break above $1,530 may change that," says OANDA's Craig Erlam.

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

- Oil prices eased as weak manufacturing data from Europe and Japan focused market attention on the gloomy outlook for demand and away from uncertainty around supply disruptions in Saudi Arabia.
- Gold prices were steady, having risen to a more than two-week peak in the previous session on global slowdown fears and tensions in the Middle East, while an improved Sino-U.S. trade tone weighed on the yellow metal.
- London copper prices edged higher after U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he would meet with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He for trade talks in two weeks.
- Chicago soybean futures edged down, giving up some of the previous session's gains although worries about wet weather ahead of U.S. harvest curbed losses.
- The dollar held firm as the euro struggled on more signs of economic trouble in the euro zone, while sterling wallowed near one-week lows before a key Supreme Court ruling related to the suspension of Britain's parliament this month.

- Sterling rises after the U.K. Supreme Court ruled that Prime Minister Boris Johnson's decision to prorogue--or suspend--parliament was unlawful. GBP/USD rises 0.4% on the day to 1.2481, from around 1.2446 beforehand. EUR/GBP falls to 0.8812, from 0.8838 beforehand. The wording of the unanimous verdict was strong, ruling that prorogation was void and of no effect. The ruling is a relief to investors, but continued uncertainties surrounding Brexit mean sterling's rise is relatively limited, as the risk of the U.K. leaving the EU without a deal remains.
- Brent crude oil is down 0.9% at $63.16 a barrel and WTI futures are down 0.8% at $58.19 a barrel. Commerzbank notes that the slip is down to a combination of restored Aramco capacity--Reuters reports 75% of downed capacity has been restored --and investors focusing on sagging global growth. While weak economic data from the Eurozone has dampened some of the newfound oil demand after attacks on Saudi Arabia, prices may receive a boost if comments from Saudi officials aimed at reassuring investors prove to be less than accurate. "We would take these reports with a pinch of salt, to some extent. They could also be due to the desire not to jeopardize Saudi Aramco's planned IPO at the end of the year," Commerzbank says.
- Gold is down 0.2% at $1,528.80 a troy ounce, despite persistent recession fears and elevated political risk. "The yellow metal clearly still has plenty of fans but is struggling to gain any upward momentum following a fantastic summer rally. It continues to look vulnerable to a break below $1,480, which could trigger a sharper correction, although a break above $1,530 may change that," says OANDA's Craig Erlam.
- The US presidential election is more than a year away, but analysts at Goldman Sachs say they've begun fielding queries on how to play it, with some investors wondering whether to go green. "There is a notable increase in focus by traditional oil and gas investors on solar stocks--SunPower up 195%, First Solar up 57% and SolarEdge up 155% this year--and the renewable theme in utilities," the analysts say. "Many investors have asked if the 2020 presidential election in the US could accelerate this interest increase in clean tech beneficiaries." They also say several investors noted they've become bearish on oil sands-exposed stocks despite recent technological shifts to reduce carbon intensity given pressure around sustainability.
- Attacks on Saudi Arabian oil facilities have sharpened the focus on the world's ability to absorb massive shocks to its energy supplies and raised pressing questions about emergency stockpiles around the globe. Concerns remain high among oil industry players about Saudi Arabia's vulnerability to future disruptions. A key backup in the event that Saudi production is hampered again are substantial oil stores hidden away in tanks and salt mines in governmental emergency stockpiles in the U.S., China, Japan, Germany and France. "In the past the Saudis have always been able to step up to the plate and meet what's missing," said Wood Mackenzie's Ann-Louise Hittle. "This is a different situation because the country with the greatest spare capacity is the one hampered."

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

- Oil prices rose more than 1% on doubts over how fast Saudi Arabia can bring back its full crude output after an attack earlier this month on its largest processing facility and as tensions in the Middle East remained at high levels.
- Gold prices inched lower as investors sought more clarity on U.S.-China trade talks, while escalating tensions in the Middle East provided some support.
- London copper prices edged lower, as mixed signals from the latest round of U.S.-China talks failed to yield signs of a breakthrough in the long-running trade row between the world's top two economies.
- Chicago soybean futures rose, recouping last session's losses, but fears of a protracted U.S.-China trade war capped gains.
- The safe-haven Japanese yen fell against most major currencies, with investors' appetite for riskier assets improving after talks in Washington between U.S. and Chinese trade deputies were described as "productive".

- Attacks on Saudi Arabian oil facilities have sharpened the focus on the world's ability to absorb massive shocks to its energy supplies and raised pressing questions about emergency stockpiles around the globe. Concerns remain high among oil industry players about Saudi Arabia's vulnerability to future disruptions. A key backup in the event that Saudi production is hampered again are substantial oil stores hidden away in tanks and salt mines in governmental emergency stockpiles in the U.S., China, Japan, Germany and France. "In the past the Saudis have always been able to step up to the plate and meet what's missing," said Wood Mackenzie's Ann-Louise Hittle. "This is a different situation because the country with the greatest spare capacity is the one hampered."
- Mexican tomato growers sign an agreement with the Commerce Department that suspends an antidumping investigation against imports from Mexico and the prospects of a 25% duty. Growers says there are some changes from the draft agreement reached in August, and that they welcomed Commerce's commitment to timely inspections of shipments by the USDA and continued access for Mexican growers to sell directly to US retailers. "We were able to secure a number of important provisions that will make this deal work for our distributors and customers," says Mario Robles of the Sinaloa tomato growers association. The agreement includes increased inspections, better enforcement and higher reference prices for Mexican tomatoes.
- A new proposal that will mitigate damage to US ethanol producers from waivers to small gas refineries allowing them to not mix ethanol into their gas may come as soon as this afternoon, US Agricultural Secretary Sonny Perdue said during a press conference. "We hope that can happen this afternoon," Perdue said, adding that such an agreement would come after President Trump meets with US Senators from corn-producing states. Perdue cautioned, the decision is ultimately Trump's, but the president wants to move on to other issues, he said.

Sep 20 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)
- Oil prices were on track to jump more than 7% this week, their biggest weekly rise in months, as early trading saw gains extended on fresh Middle East tensions after a key Saudi Arabian supply hub was knocked out in an attack last weekend.
- Gold prices edged higher and were set for their first weekly gain in one month, supported by a softer dollar and caution about developments in Sino-U.S. trade talks.
- London copper prices rose, after top metals consumer China further cut benchmark lending rate and U.S. data showed August home resales rising to a 17-month high.
- Chicago corn futures ticked lower, but were on track for a second weekly gain as higher-than-expected U.S. weekly exports underpinned sentiment.

- Mexican tomato growers sign an agreement with the Commerce Department that suspends an antidumping investigation against imports from Mexico and the prospects of a 25% duty. Growers says there are some changes from the draft agreement reached in August, and that they welcomed Commerce's commitment to timely inspections of shipments by the USDA and continued access for Mexican growers to sell directly to US retailers. "We were able to secure a number of important provisions that will make this deal work for our distributors and customers," says Mario Robles of the Sinaloa tomato growers association. The agreement includes increased inspections, better enforcement and higher reference prices for Mexican tomatoes.
- A new proposal that will mitigate damage to US ethanol producers from waivers to small gas refineries allowing them to not mix ethanol into their gas may come as soon as this afternoon, US Agricultural Secretary Sonny Perdue said during a press conference. "We hope that can happen this afternoon," Perdue said, adding that such an agreement would come after President Trump meets with US Senators from corn-producing states. Perdue cautioned, the decision is ultimately Trump's, but the president wants to move on to other issues, he said.
- The Chinese delegation in Washington meeting this week to discuss trade will be visiting US farms next week, US Agricultural Secretary Sonny Perdue confirmed during a press conference Thursday. The Chinese delegation wishes to observe US farm operations, and the USDA hopes that this will help when the two sides negotiate a deal in October. Perdue was unable confirm further details about the visit, deferring to USTR Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. Corn futures on the CBOT are up 0.1%, soybeans are up 0.4%, and wheat is down 0.7%.
- Grain traders are watching Washington to see if President Trump announces anything new regarding his biofuel policy. A meeting between the President and US Senators in corn-producing states was confirmed on Twitter by Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) on Wednesday. Should Trump walk back or announce a compromise in response to the ethanol waivers he granted for 31 gas refineries, then corn futures could perk up on the hopes of increased demand from ethanol producers. Ethanol plants have been closing due to poor margins for operation, with the most recent closing announced Wednesday by Siouxland Energy Cooperative. Corn futures are trading 0.3% higher on the CBOT.

Sep 19 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)
- Oil prices edged higher in Asian trade after days of turbulence, with markets soothed by Saudi Arabia's pledge to restore full production by end-September at facilities knocked out in drone and missile attacks last weekend.
- Gold prices were little changed after declining up to 1% in the previous session as lack of clarity on the U.S. Federal Reserve's future monetary policy easing kept markets cautious.
- London copper edged lower and was headed for a fourth straight session of falls, after the U.S. Federal Reserve signalled a higher bar for future rate cuts and as weak demand outlook for the red metal continued to weigh on the market.
- Chicago wheat futures slid, easing from their highest in more than five weeks although concerns over supplies from the Southern Hemisphere provided a floor under the market.
- The dollar found broad support after the U.S. Federal Reserve cut interest rates, as expected, but offered mixed signals about future easing, while weak employment figures hit the Australian currency.

- Asked about employee morale at a Federal Reserve regularly attacked by the president, Chairman Jerome Powell described it as "very high, very unified," with staff "doing the best job we can serving the American people." On Wednesday, President Trump called Powell a "terrible communicator," saying "Jay Powell and the Federal Reserve Fail Again." Powell declined to comment directly on Trump's criticism, saying the Fed's decision-making will remain independent.
- One challenge for analysts currently is understanding the Fed's median projections for economic growth and rates without getting the individual forecasts, a trend that could make it tougher to figure out what the central bank will do in the last few meetings of 2019. "The overriding message here, then, is uncertainty, which has generated forecasts showing that not much will change in either the economy or policy. Probably, this will turn out to be wrong, but it's just not possible to say with any confidence in which direction, or when," Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, says in a note.
- US oil prices fall sharply for a second session, ending 2.1% lower at $58.11 after US data showed a surprising rise in weekly US oil and product inventory data as refinery activity declined sharply. "Although the total petroleum build is somewhat bearish, it comes at a time of year when total inventories normally build and the reduction in the surplus to the 5-year average is bullish," says ION Energy's Kyle Cooper. "Overall a rather neutral report." Analysts say oil was also pressured lower after Trump, responding to an attack on Saudi oil facilities that he says was likely done by Iran, ordered increased Iran sanctions. Many expected a more aggressive response.
- In his opening statement, Fed Chairman Powell spent a good chunk of his time talking about good US economic fundamentals. But in an indirect way, Powell lays much of the trouble that the US is now seeing at President Trump's feet. He noted "trade policy tensions have waxed and waned and elevated uncertainty is weighing on US investment and exports. Our business contacts around the country have been telling us that uncertainty about trade policy has discouraged them from investing in their businesses." Trade policy, and its rapid shift toward closed borders, is a signature policy of the Trump Administration, and represents a break from decades of American international involvement.
- Another ethanol plant calls it quits, at least for now, blaming Trump-administration energy policies. Siouxland Energy Cooperative, based in top US corn state Iowa, this week moved to idle its Sioux Center plant, blaming exemptions granted by the EPA to oil refineries, which Siouxland board president Kelly Nieuwenhuis said reduced ethanol demand. Siouxland's not among the biggest US ethanol plants, but it's the latest in a string of closures over the past year that the ethanol industry says could cost Farm Belt votes for President Trump next year.
- US benchmark oil prices fall to session lows mid-morning in NY after President Trump says on Twitter he "just instructed the Secretary of the Treasury [Mnuchin] to substantially increase Sanctions on the country of Iran!" The comments follow weekend attacks on Saudi oil infrastructure that the US blames on Iran. While the remarks might seem bullish for prices as they could mean further efforts to restrict Iran oil exports, Phil Flynn says the comments are actually putting downward pressure on oil, saying it "is being viewed as bearish [due to] less change of immediate military response." WTI falls 1.7% to $58.31/bbl.

Sep 18 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)
- Oil prices slipped, extending losses from the previous session after Saudi Arabia's energy minister said the kingdom will restore lost oil production by the end of the month.
- Gold traded little changed as investors waited for cues on the U.S. central bank's stance on monetary easing while a drop in crude oil prices dented demand for safe-haven bullion.
- London copper prices ticked up, while other industrial metals traded in tight ranges, as investors awaited clues on the U.S. Federal Reserve's future monetary policy.
- Chicago corn futures edged higher, recouping some of the previous session's losses on bargain buying although gains were curbed by expectations for crop-friendly weather across the U.S. Midwest.
- The dollar traded near a seven-week high versus the yen as oil markets slowly recovered from a supply shock, but markets were cautious ahead of a U.S. Federal Reserve meeting later in the day that is expected to deliver another interest rate cut.

- U.S.-China trade tensions are a major near-term risk for the eurozone's economy, while longer-term risks stem from rising populist politics, Jean-Marie Mercadal, chief investment officer at OFI Asset Management tells Dow Jones Newswires in an interview. The eurozone is not united enough to face a challenge such as escalating trade tensions, he says. Mercadal describes Brexit as a "mess," and says populism is an issue in some other countries too.
- Where does Riyadh keeps its oil reserves? As of Sept. 15, cargo-tracker Kpler measured 68.1 million barrels held within Saudi Arabia, with about 39 million barrels in the east of the country. In the Suez-Mediterranean pipeline, while "it is not possible to make an accurate assessment," Kpler says approximately 15.6 of SUMED's 26 million barrels are "believed to be Saudi crude." An additional 12.6 million barrels are stored at Yanbu on the Red Sea coast. On Sept. 15, Red Sea tanker assessments showed 27 million barrels in the area but not in the pipeline. Elsewhere, a Saudi-Japanese arrangement means around 27 million barrels are held at Okinawa and a "near-impossible to disentangle" amount of Saudi oil is kept in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and Antwerp and is largely already committed to the European system, Kpler says.
- A softening in the U.S.-China trade war and the appointment of the new Saudi energy minister prompted the biggest weekly increase in rising oil prices in a year early last week, but those bets softened on fears around sagging growth and glutted supplies later in the week. "The market was therefore very ill prepared for the events over the weekend," says Saxo Bank's Ole Hansen. "Following the initial short-covering surge the market has now adopted a wait and see approach," he says, in the absence of an assessment from Aramco on short and potential long term damages as well as uncertainty as to how this latest escalation will impact relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia.
- "Aramco have failed to quell any fears, having not put out a statement after 48 hours," says Global Risk Management trader Edward Marshall, referring to outages at Abuqaiq. "Just like with the Forties pipeline, this increases the likelihood of an extended outage and until we get some soothing words, this is going to look worse and worse," he adds. "You've taken down an artery into the heart of Saudi's fiscal plans and markets haven't fully priced in the extent of the outage," he adds, pointing to good effects in product market pricing, especially distillates and gasoline, with the Saudis likely to become a net buyer. With U.S. officials saying Iran was the staging ground of the attack, armed conflict "would be a one-way ticket for prices," Marshall says.
- A House appropriations subcommittee chaired by Rep. David Price, a North Carolina Democrat, is about to launch a new probe into initial safety approvals for the grounded 737 MAX fleet. The panel is expected to call Daniel Elwell, former acting FAA administrator, as its lead-off witness. Investigators for the House Transportation Committee and Senate Commerce Committee already are separately delving into agency actions regarding certification of the Boeing jet in 2017, and related FAA activities involving pilot-training decisions. The House transportation panel is examining a large volume of documents provided by the FAA and Boeing, but lawmakers and staffers on that subcommittee fret about the willingness of both organizations to fully cooperate answering specific questions.

Sep 17 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)
- Oil fell more than 1% as the market hung on tenterhooks over the threat of a military response to attacks on Saudi Arabian crude oil facilities that cut the kingdom's output in half and sent prices soaring by the most in decades.
- Gold traded steady as most traders stayed on the sidelines ahead of a widely expected rate cut by the U.S. Federal Reserve later this week.
- Industrial metals fell after top consumer China released a slew of weak economic data that raised concerns about demand from the world's second-largest economy.
- U.S. corn futures declined as a report showed better-than-expected condition of crops, though losses were checked by expectations for an increase in demand for oil-substitute ethanol.
- The greenback found broad support amid the geo-political, and economic uncertainties cast by the attacks on Saudi oil facilities, while the Australian dollar was sharply sold after a dovish readout from the central bank.

- A House appropriations subcommittee chaired by Rep. David Price, a North Carolina Democrat, is about to launch a new probe into initial safety approvals for the grounded 737 MAX fleet. The panel is expected to call Daniel Elwell, former acting FAA administrator, as its lead-off witness. Investigators for the House Transportation Committee and Senate Commerce Committee already are separately delving into agency actions regarding certification of the Boeing jet in 2017, and related FAA activities involving pilot-training decisions. The House transportation panel is examining a large volume of documents provided by the FAA and Boeing, but lawmakers and staffers on that subcommittee fret about the willingness of both organizations to fully cooperate answering specific questions.
- As Saudi Arabia works to restore oil production after a major drone attack on its oil facilities that knocked out roughly 5% of global output, President Trump indicates in a morning Twitter posting the US will be fine because rising domestic production makes foreign oil imports less important. "Because we have done so well with Energy over the last few years (thank you, Mr. President!), we are a net Energy Exporter, & now the Number One Energy Producer in the World," Trump says. "We don't need Middle Eastern Oil & Gas, & in fact have very few tankers there, but will help our Allies!"
- The weekend's drone attacks on Saudi Arabian oil-processing installations could boost U.S. shale producers and renewable energy suppliers, says Investec. The production disruption caused by the attacks raises profound questions about Saudi Arabia's key role in oil supply, the investment bank says. "If this can happen once, presumably it can happen again," says Investec's Head of Commodities Callum Macpherson. "This is bad news for OPEC generally as much of OPEC's credibility rests on Saudi Arabia. The beneficiaries could be oil supply from outside the Middle East, especially US shale, but also other forms of energy such as liquefied natural gas and renewables. We may look back on this incident as a critical development in motivating the energy transition."
- Oil prices are slipping after their initial surge in response to the attacks on Saudi energy facilities. Brent crude is up 8.2% at $65.18 a barrel, and WTI is 7.5% higher at $58.95 a barrel. Harry Tchilinguirian, head of commodity strategy at BNP Paribas, says prices could lose momentum throughout the day as producers rush to lock in higher prices by selling in the futures market. The key question in the coming days is how much damage has been done to Abqaiq, a huge processing plant. If the facility is able to ramp up production relatively fast, Tchilinguirian says, buyers of Saudi oil are unlikely to experience shortages because Saudi Arabia has large oil stockpiles and pre-positions supplies next to large consumers.

Sep 16 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)
- Oil prices soared, with Brent crude posting its biggest intra-day percentage gain since the Gulf War in 1991, after an attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities on Saturday shut about 5% of global supply.
- Gold prices jumped 1% as an attack on Saudi Arabia's oil facilities dented risk appetite, boosting demand for the safe-haven bullion, while investors awaited for clues on monetary easing from major central bank meetings due this week.
- Most base metals dropped, with London copper shedding as much as 1.2%, on increasing signs of slowing demand in top consumer China.
- U.S. corn futures rose to a 17-day high as a surge in oil prices led to expectations of an uptick in demand for oil-substitute ethanol. The dollar fell while safe havens and currencies of oil-producing countries rallied.

- The FTSE 100 is expected to open 27 points lower at 7340 after mixed Asia trading, as geo-political tensions rise following an attack on an oil plant in Saudi Arabia. The China Shenzhen A-share was up 0.2% but Hong Kong's Hang Seng was down more than 1%. Oil prices soared 10% after the drone attacks on oil-processing sites owned by Saudi Arabia's state oil company Aramco halved the country's production over the weekend. "This has been the biggest one-time disruption in oil supply in history, which has resulted in the largest single jump in prices [on] record," says Ipek Ozkardeskaya at London Capital Group.
- Eurozone government bond yields drift lower as concerns over Saudi oil, stemming from attacks on key infrastructure, add to prevailing global risks. "Risk aversion from the spiking oil price and geopolitical jitters provide support [to rates] near-term," say Commerzbank's rates strategists. The U.S. Fed is highly likely to cut rates by 25 basis points later this week, but improving U.S. data is taking some steam out of easing speculation for next year and improving trade talk sentiment adds to the steepening bias, they add. The 10-year Bund yield is trading 1 basis point lower at -0.456%.

Sep 13 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)
- Oil futures fell as concerns about global growth and slowing demand lingered despite hints of progress on U.S.-China trade talks, setting up prices for weekly losses after days of swinging back and forth.
- Gold prices edged as improved risk appetite amid signs of a thaw in the long-drawn U.S.-China trade tiff drew investors away from the safe-haven metal, while palladium retreated slightly from a record peak hit in the previous session.
- Base metals edged higher as investors cheered signs of progress in resolving the U.S.-China trade conflict, but the market was quiet due to a public holiday in top consumer China.
- Chicago soybean futures were largely unchanged but they were poised for their biggest weekly rise in nearly three months, underpinned by China making its most significant purchases of U.S. beans since at least June.
- The yen was pinned near a six-week low versus the dollar as signs the United States and China were narrowing their differences over trade ahead of key talks decreased demand for safe haven assets.

- Hog futures skyrocket today as a change in the sentiment among traders brings back buyers to the market en masse. The contract tops out at a close of 63.175 cent per pound, a 5% increase from yesterday's level amid new tweets from President Trump promising more Chinese buying of US agriculture. Meanwhile, cattle futures are continuing to charge back towards the $1 per pound level, with the price up 4.4% since the start of the week.
- The US Coast Guard shut down a portion of Houston Ship Channel Thursday as 22 Greenpeace USA protesters hung from a bridge, blocking ship traffic near Baytown Texas. Greenpeace said it was forming a "blockade" to protest the fossil fuel industry ahead of the Democratic Presidential primary debate scheduled for Thursday in Houston. The group said the climbers would hang from the bridge for 24 hours to prevent ship traffic in the busiest petrochemical port in the US.
- Gold prices pare gains while palladium and platinum shoot higher, as investors digest reports the White House may delay imposing tariffs against China. Global trade worries have helped boost gold to a six-year high in recent months, while also buoying other precious metals. Yet platinum and palladium are also used in the automotive industry, which could be lifted by a relaxation in trade tensions. Gold was recently up 0.9% at $1,515.90 a troy ounce, palladium was up 2.5% at $1,594.40 a troy ounce while platinum was up 1.3% at $952 a troy ounce.
- Stocks are closing in on record highs after Bloomberg News reports that advisers to President Trump are considering an agreement to delay or roll back tariffs. The S&P 500 is up 0.5% at 3016, pulling 0.3% below July's record. Bond yields are also climbing on some optimism that a deal could relieve pressure on the economy, pushing the 10-year Treasury yield back up to 1.749% from about 1.67% earlier in the session.
- Relatives of passengers killed in the crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 in March are stepping up a public drive to focus attention on safety problems they see with Boeing's grounded MAX jetliners. Family members have been talking with senior US lawmakers; helping draft and lobby for legislative proposals; and most recently, meeting with Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao to discuss pending software fixes for the fleet. The next step is to try to set up a telephone conference with Patrick Ky, head of Europe's air-safety regulator. The moves follow the playbook established by relatives of those who died on a Colgan Air commuter turboprop that crashed near Buffalo, NY a decade ago. That safety campaign still has significant influence on Capitol Hill and inside the Federal Aviation Administration.
- Dick's Sporting Goods CEO Edward Stack adds his name to a letter that calls on members of the Senate to pass legislation requiring stricter background checks on gun sales, reinforcing the retailer's shift away from firearms. The company has been tightening its policies around guns sales and earlier this year said it would stop selling them at 125 stores. Dick's has told investors those policy changes have hurt its hunting business. "Negative reactions" from customers or vendors regarding its gun-sales decisions is listed as a risk factor in a recent securities filing. Dick's shares fall 2% in early trading.
- President Donald Trump has once again taken to Twitter to promise that Chinese buyers will make large purchases of US agricultural products. The tweet Thursday morning comes following a delay in raising tariffs on $250B-worth of Chinese goods from Oct. 1 to Oct. 15. However, data showing a new wave of Chinese buying has yet to appear for grains--no new sales of soybeans were reported for China in the USDA's weekly export sales report Thursday. Sales of wheat and soybeans came in on the high end of analyst estimates--at 610,900 metric tons and 1.17M tons, respectively--while corn sales totaled 498,100 tons, the low end of estimates. However, the USDA did report a Chinese purchase of 10,900 tons of US pork.
- Without pointing directly to the US-China trade dispute, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi suggested the fight is impacting the continent's economy. "This slowdown in growth mainly reflects the prevailing weakness in terms of international trade environment and prolonged uncertainties, which are particularly affecting the euro area manufacturing sector," he said in his opening statement to Thursday's press conference. He said risks to Europe's economy "remain tilted toward the downside."
- Soybean futures saw a boost overnight as President Trump confirmed on Twitter Wednesday night that the US will delay a tariff increase on $250B worth of Chinese goods from Oct. 1 to Oct. 15. On Twitter, Trump characterized the delay as "a gesture of good will." However, some traders are skeptical that this delay will lead to big Chinese purchases. "Why China is not securing the soybeans or pork for themselves on a Gov't basis is being questioned by some traders... If China was serious to show good faith it would make the purchases directly as it has doing for the past year," says AgResource. Soybeans on the CBOT traded up 1% overnight.
- "The ECB is all in--buckle up!" says Claus Vistesen of Pantheon Macroeconomics. The catch: he doesn't think lower rates, more bond-buying and help for banks will achieve a "structurally unattainable inflation target." Vistesen says the stimulus package could lead to "more or less permanently negative rates, and potentially even QE, in the eurozone." He says this wouldn't go down well in Washington. President Trump has already tweeted about the ECB's new stimulus, saying the bank is "trying, and succeeding, in depreciating the euro against the VERY strong dollar."

Sep 12 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)
- Oil prices rose, recouping some of the heavy losses in the previous session, supported by easing trade tensions between Washington and Beijing and a drop in U.S. crude stockpiles to the lowest in nearly a year.
- Gold prices dipped as hopes for a thaw in the U.S.-China trade tensions lifted risk appetite, while some investors booked profits ahead of a meeting by the European Central Bank.
- London copper prices rose 1.3% after U.S. President Donald Trump agreed to a delay in hiking tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods by two weeks, while investors awaited news on a possible European Central Bank (ECB) rate cut.
- Chicago corn and soybean futures gained ground as traders squared positions ahead of a widely watched U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) report scheduled to be released later in the session.
- The dollar rose to a six-week high against the safe-haven yen after an exchange of olive branches between Washington and Beijing on trade stoked investors' appetite for risk.

- Industrial-metal prices jump after President Trump said he was delaying an increase in tariffs on imports from China by two weeks, a decision that could ease relations ahead of trade talks. Trump said he was pushing back a hike in the levy on $250 billion of goods from Oct. 1 to Oct. 15 as a gesture of goodwill over the 70th anniversary of the People's Republic of China. Copper and other industrial metals are highly sensitive to trade tensions between the world's two largest economies, and have picked up in recent days as Washington and Beijing have signaled a willingness to strike an agreement. Copper is up 1.5% at $5,865 a ton on the London Metal Exchange.
- Gold declines in Asian trading after Trump postpones a tariff increase that was to go into effect on roughly $250 billion worth of Chinese goods on Oct. 1. This followed a similar move from China Wednesday, which exempted some U.S. goods from higher tariffs. Gold may ease in the day as China's olive branch and the U.S. goodwill gesture cool trade tensions, AxiTrader says. Prior to the reprieve in trade tensions, gold had gained overnight on hopes of monetary easing in Europe and the U.S. Spot gold is down 0.5% at $1489.71/oz.
- Speaking at a CME Group event in New York, JPMorgan Chase chairman Jacob Frenkel expressed disagreement with President Trump's tweet calling for zero interest rates. "I do not know why people think that a zero interest rate is good for the economy," Frenkel says. He also criticized Trump's attacks on Fed chairman Jerome Powell, saying that he thinks Powell is unlikely to bend to the President's will. "I think a subtle hint might be more effective than a blunt, heavy hint," Frenkel says.
- Legal Chief Tony West says Uber intends to continue working for a compromise solution after California lawmakers passed a bill that would reclassify certain contract workers as employees. West says the ridesharing industry has proposed a package that will establish a minimum-earning standard, offer "real sectoral bargaining" and allow drivers access to benefits like sick leave. West says the proposal "avoids the potential harm of forcing drivers to be employees" and that "the vast majority tell us they don't want to be" employees. Uber drivers are properly classified as independent and therefore won't be automatically be reclassified as employees, he says, and Uber will continue to respond to claims of misclassification in arbitration and in court. West also says Uber will work "with Lyft and other Internet platform companies to lay the groundwork for a statewide ballot initiative in 2020."
- A week after Democratic presidential hopefuls promised unprecedented action on climate change in a "climate crisis town hall," the candidates travel to oil-rich Texas for a debate Thursday, and environmental groups are urging them to announce a solid climate-change plan. "With ten of the top Democratic candidates in Texas for the debate, it's important that they address how they plan to tackle the unsustainable extraction of fossil fuels in the state," says Global Witness, adding Texas is set to be the world's biggest oil and gas producer--accounting for 28% of all new oil and gas over the next decade. "Even a majority of voters in Texas are worried about climate change."
- Oil prices are down about 2% after Bloomberg News reports that President Trump and advisers discussed easing sanctions on Iran with the goal of securing a meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Easing tensions between the two countries could remove some of the geopolitical risk premium that analysts say has helped support crude in recent weeks despite fears that crumbling demand and steady supply will result in a glut.
- Hog traders are disappointed that China's removal of tariff on some US products did not include pork -- which has caused a reversal on Tuesday's rally, bringing lean hog futures on the CME back down 3.2%. Live cattle, on the other hand, is continuing to perk up, trading 1% higher. Even though US beef would not be a factor in any new Chinese trade news, futures are still reacting to any semblance of trade hopes. "We've clearly seen before that cattle futures get whipsawed by China news right alongside the rest of the ag complex," INTL FCStone says. "Any real China headway could unleash some significant spec buying power."
- President Trump again called on the Fed to take aggressive easing action on Wednesday, claiming it would allow the economy to soar. Some evidence suggests Trump's preferred path would drive the expansion into a ditch. Trump wants the Fed to go back to zero rates or even turn negative, something that didn't even happen in the depth of the financial crisis. Even the modest action the Fed has taken so far to lower rates has spooked consumers, according to a recent University of Michigan report. Doing what Trump wants, which the Fed is unlikely to do, would likely only make things worse.
- The bid by the owner of Hong Kong Stock Exchange for the London Stock Exchange is unlikely to succeed due to political and investor wariness, says Markets.com. The trading firm says the deal could face UK political opposition because it effectively hands the LSE over to China through the Hong Kong back door. Markets.com also says investors may be wary about ditching their LSE stock for a Hong Kong-listed share which could be appropriated by Beijing. It also points to LSE's bid for financial-data group Refinitiv. "LSE is all-in on the Refinitiv deal, so why would they pull out now for such a gamble? It doesn't make sense," says Markets.com's Neil Wilson, adding that a better premium from a U.S. rival could appeal to shareholders. LSE shares pare earlier gains, up 3.9%.
- Investors shouldn't read too much into China's decision to exempt some U.S. imports from trade tariffs, says wealth manager Henderson Rowe. Beijing reportedly pledged to exempt 16 types of U.S. products from extra tariffs, including food for livestock, cancer drugs and lubricants. Some analysts said the move signals Beijing's willingness to engage seriously in trade talks next month. Still, Henderson's head of research, Artur Baluszynski, says the Chinese tariffs that really matter are the ones on U.S. agricultural and manufacturing goods, produced mainly in states with strong support for Donald Trump. "We just don't see China being willing to negotiate on them before the race for the U.S. presidential elections really kicks off," he says.

Sep 11 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)
- Oil prices traded higher after an industry report said U.S. crude stockpiles fell last week by more than twice the amount that analysts in a Reuters poll had forecast.
- Gold prices edged higher, snapping a four-day losing streak on technical buying, while investors awaited European Central Bank's meeting where it is widely expected to cut interest rates.
- London copper recovered from early falls to trade slightly higher, supported by signs that top consumer China will take measures to ease the impact of a trade war with the United States.
- Chicago corn futures rose for a second session to their highest in more than a week, with prices supported by an unexpected decline in the U.S. crop's condition.
- The dollar steadied as investors' appetite for risk showed cautious improvement and the yen weakened in the shift away from safe havens, but currencies kept to tight ranges ahead of a series of major central bank meetings over the next week.

- Soybeans and livestock were pushed up Tuesday afternoon on the news that John Bolton, serving as National Security Advisor to President Trump, had been ousted. "The news about Bolton being fired seems to have sparked a short squeeze across the entire ag sector," says independent trader Dan Norcini. "He is a super hardliner and the thinking might be that with him gone, a deal with China is much more likely." Soybeans, which often best reflect developments in foreign trade, are now up 1.8%, which hog futures have rallied from down earlier today to up 1.1% and cattle is up 1.9%.
- US benchmark oil prices reverse earlier gains, slipping 0.3% to $57.69 a barrel as President Trump says he accepts the resignation of national security adviser John Bolton, who is considered a hawk on Iran and other geopolitical disputes. The move reinforces the view that Trump isn't eager to engage in any military conflict with Iran, and may even suggest talks between the US and Iran following the 2018 US withdrawal from an Iran nuclear deal are more possible than earlier thought. That's reducing a risk premium on crude prices that has held for several months amid rising tensions from seized oil tankers, drone shoot-downs and other incidents.
- Precious metals are falling as investors move out of haven assets and bet that the fall in government bond yields has gone too far. Gold is down 0.9% at $1,497 a troy ounce, its lowest level in over a month. Silver falls 1.1% to $17.97 a troy ounce. The decline comes as bond yields continue to rise, making non-yielding precious metals less attractive for investors to hold, and as the dollar strengthens. "A somewhat less hostile environment in Hong Kong, reduced risk of a hard Brexit (albeit temporary) and news that the U.S. and China are set to resume negotiations on the trade in early October has helped to greatly increase risk appetite" and hurt gold, says Bart Melek of TD Securities.

Sep 10 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)
- Oil futures hit a six-week high, rising for a fifth day on optimism that OPEC and other countries may agree to extend production cuts in a bid to support prices.
- Gold prices fell for a fourth straight session as risk appetite remained buoyed by better-than-expected economic data, which suggested that the global economy was perhaps not doing as badly as previously assumed.
- Shanghai nickel rose sharply as supply shortage fears persisted after top miner Indonesia expedited a ban on nickel ore exports, while market participants awaited clues on alternative supply plans from a key conference in Jakarta.
- Chicago corn futures gained almost 1%, rebounding from a four-month low hit in the previous session after a U.S. government report showed a decline in crop condition across the country's key-growing areas.
- The yen and swiss franc fell to five-week troughs as investors looked for higher-risk currencies, emboldened by a report of German stimulus plans, diminishing chances of a no-deal Brexit and hopes of a trade war breakthrough.

- In building an index that tries to measure the effect of President Trump's tweets on rates volatility, JPMorgan finds market-moving tweets ballooned in frequency during August. The firm says there's "strong evidence that tweets have increasingly moved US rates markets immediately after publication," having played a statistically significant role in elevating implied rates volatility. The "Volfefe index" uses supervised machine learning to scan the president's Twitter feed, which has averaged more than 10 tweets a day since the start of 2016--although, during 2018-present, only 146 presidential tweets out of about 4,000 were deemed to be market moving. Unsurprisingly, the most common word in a market-moving Trump tweet is "China."
- As President Trump continues to fume over a Fed leader who seemingly won't bend to his dictates, Wharton professor Peter Conti-Brown points out an uncomfortable reality about what would happen if Trump tried to fire Jerome Powell. Given the nature of the dispute, Powell would likely have to pay his own legal bills in the event he legally fought a Trump firing. If fired by Trump, Powell "has a legitimate interest in keeping his job, which gives him standing to sue. Note that the plaintiff would be Powell himself, not the Fed--and he'd probably have to pay his own legal bills."
- A plan introduced by the Trump administration Friday, which would increase the amount of ethanol to be mixed-in with gasoline by 5% in 2020--and raise the total fuel blending requirements by 1B gallons--is doing little to excite grains markets Monday. "On the margin this would raise ethanol's corn demand draw slightly, but amid lofty ethanol stocks the impact on domestic corn use won't be immediate," says AgResource, adding that the firm thinks that "finding ethanol export markets is most important longer term." Corn futures on the CBOT are down 0.5% pre-market.
- A slowdown in the U.S., which pushes global growth further into a recession-type environment, is a key risk, Gareth Isaac, chief investment officer for EMEA fixed income at Invesco, tells Dow Jones Newswires in an interview. "It's not our current view but it's a key risk for us," he says. The strength of the U.S. dollar is a further concern. If the U.S. Federal Reserve is not willing to cut rates further as much as President Trump wants, there is a risk he may take unilateral action to try and weaken the dollar. "That could be quite destabilizing for
financial markets," Isaac says.
- Industrial metals fall after Chinese trade data reinforced concerns about demand in the world's biggest consumer of raw materials. Imports of copper, including both refined metal and scrap, rose 3.2% in August from a year before. Daniel Hynes of ANZ says this reflects subdued activity in China's manufacturing sector, but adds that overall commodity imports "have been holding up well" this year, "suggesting robust underlying demand." Copper futures are down 0.2% at $5,816 a ton on the London Metal Exchange. The metal enjoyed its biggest advance since February last week, boosted by the resumption of U.S.-China trade talks and Beijing's efforts to rejuvenate economic growth.

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

- Oil rose on expectations that Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil exporter, will continue to support output cuts by OPEC and other producers to prop up prices under new Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman.
- Gold prices edged higher as expectations of monetary policy easing by major central banks gathered momentum amid soft economic data, although an uptick in equities limited gains in the precious metal.
- Prices for industrial metals fell as data from China showed exports unexpectedly fell in August, pointing to further weakness in the world's second-biggest economy.
- Chicago corn futures edged higher, with bargain buying supporting prices after the market dropped to its weakest in almost four months in the previous session on crop-friendly U.S. weather.
- The euro was under pressure ahead of a European Central Bank meeting later this week at which policymakers are expected to deliver new stimulus to bolster a flagging regional economy.

- Industrial metals fall after Chinese trade data reinforced concerns about demand in the world's biggest consumer of raw materials. Imports of copper, including both refined metal and scrap, rose 3.2% in August from a year before. Daniel Hynes of ANZ says this reflects subdued activity in China's manufacturing sector, but adds that overall commodity imports "have been holding up well" this year, "suggesting robust underlying demand." Copper futures are down 0.2% at $5,816 a ton on the London Metal Exchange. The metal enjoyed its biggest advance since February last week, boosted by the resumption of U.S.-China trade talks and Beijing's efforts to rejuvenate economic growth.

Sep 06 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)
- Oil prices edged higher, with crude benchmarks poised for multi-week gains amid a sharp drawdown in U.S. crude inventories, while trade tensions eased after Washington and Beijing agreed to hold high-level talks next month.
- Gold prices remained under pressure, following a 2% drop in the previous session, as robust U.S. data encouraged a return to riskier assets and hit demand for safe-haven bullion.
- Shanghai tin edged lower, but it was heading for its best week on record, while prices in London were on course to post its best weekly gain in years, as major tin producers sought to cut output.
- Chicago corn futures edged higher but were set for a weekly loss as forecasts of crop-friendly U.S. weather weigh on the market.
- Encouraging U.S. economic data gave the dollar an edge over its peers, arresting a recent flight from the greenback while also supporting Asian currencies as investors toned down recent gloom over the global economy.

- Industrial-metal prices slip ahead of jobs-market data that will provide new evidence on how the U.S. is weathering the slowing world economy. Copper is down 0.4% at $5,818.50 a ton, but remains on course for its biggest one-week rise since February. The metal has been boosted by the resumption of U.S.-China trade talks, the unveiling of new measures by Beijing to boost the economy, and a weakening dollar. Up ahead, traders will watch the monthly U.S. jobs report for clues about the outlook for American growth. On Thursday President Trump tweeted: "Really Good Jobs Numbers!"
- White House spokesman Judd Deere says President Trump hadn't been briefed on the Bureau of Labor Statistics' monthly employment data, due Friday, when he tweeted Thursday morning, "Really Good Jobs Numbers!" Deere noted that a separate set of data, the ADP National Employment Report, was released Thursday ahead of Trump's 9:16 am tweet. That report estimated that the private sector added 195,000 jobs last month, well ahead of expectations of 140,000 jobs. In June 2018 Trump tweeted about the May jobs report before its release, in an unusual break from decades of protocol that sent bond yields and the value of the dollar higher.
- Gold prices are on course for their biggest one-day drop in more than a year, stung by recovering risk appetite among investors and rising long-term borrowing costs. The resumption of trade talks between the U.S. and China, Beijing's renewed efforts to re-boot economic growth and political developments in the U.K. and Hong Kong have all eased investors' nerves over the past two days. Gold prices had been one of the main beneficiaries of rising anxiety about the world economy and expectations of lower interest rates. Down 2.1% at $1,527.40 a troy ounce in the New York futures market, the metal is heading for its biggest percentage decline since June 2018. Silver sheds 3.3%.

Sep 05 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)
- Oil prices rose, rebounding from earlier losses, after the U.S. confirmed that talks with China to reach a trade agreement would be held in the coming weeks, giving hope that a dispute that has roiled global economies will be resolved.
- Gold prices dropped as risk-on sentiment got a boost after China and the United States agreed to hold talks to end their protracted trade dispute.
- Shanghai copper jumped to a more than one-month high, while London copper hit its highest in over two weeks after China and the United States agreed to hold trade talks.
- Chicago corn futures edged higher, as the market recovered from its lowest in almost four months on bargain buying, but forecasts of near-perfect weather across the U.S. Midwest capped gains.
- Risk-sensitive currencies such as the Aussie and yuan rallied as investors cheered the announcement of U.S.-China trade talks for next month and abandoned safe haven assets such as yen.  

- European indexes are set to get a boost Thursday from news that the U.S. and China will hold a new round of trade talks in October, says David Madden, market analysts at CMC Markets UK. Combined with Hong Kong pulling the extradition bill that sparked months of protest, which proved to be an added thorn in U.S.-China relations, the news "helped the positive outlook in Asia. U.S. equity index futures have been given a boost, and European stock markets are called high too," he says. He expects the FTSE 100 to rise 31 points to 7,342, the DAX to gain 120 points to 12,145 and the CAC 40 to open up 52 points at 5,584.
- In an appearance on CNBC, Judy Shelton, tapped by the Trump Administration as a potential Fed governor, signaled she's ready to go to war with other central banks for pursuing policies that have left the dollar strong and US yields above other nations. "You can't put on blinders about what other major central banks are doing," she said, explaining negative rates in other nations are "perverse" and a sign of markets losing control to government officials. Shelton said "if the US maintains its virtue" it will only hurt its own economy. That point appeared to make the case for significant easing in monetary policy, which is also what the President Trump wants out of the Fed.
- Even though Bank of Canada's rate-decision statement offers only "muted signals" of change in rates, BMO Capital Markets says it continues to lean toward a rate cut in late October. While BOC says the current rate policy remains "appropriate," the firm notes in the following sentence BOC signals it will monitor "with particular attention" developments on the global trade front. The next rate decision won't come for another eight weeks, giving BOC ample time to sort through incoming employment, trade and inflation data. "Clearly, much will ultimately depend heavily on how the US-China trade war plays out," the firm says, adding it isn't optimistic of a resolution any time soon.
- American Eagle Outfitters says it will see more material effect from recently imposed and upcoming US tariffs on Chinese goods in 2020. The company expects to cut its production in China to less than 20% from 30% of its total production in the next 12 to 18 months. The company could see the tariffs' effect as early as 4Q this year, but it remains manageable given the company's operating income, executives say on an investor call. "We continue to make progress in further reducing our exposure to China tariffs through a combination of partnering with vendors and diversifying our geographic production capabilities," Finance Chief Robert Madore says on the call. American Eagle
slumps 13%.
- Former New York Fed leader William Dudley caught massive heat last week for an opinion article arguing the Fed should push back directly at destructive economic policy from President Trump. On Wednesday, Dudley writes on Bloomberg to address any misunderstandings of his views. He acknowledges he was trying to be "provocative" but adds he was not suggesting that the Fed push back at Mr. Trump "regardless of the consequences for the economy or that it should stand by and allow a recession. And I was not trying to suggest that the Fed should take sides in the upcoming election." He also writes he was not speaking on behalf of the Fed.

Sep 04 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)
- Oil prices recovered some ground after touching their lowest in close to a month during the previous session on concerns that a weakening global economy could depress demand.
- Gold held steady after rising 1% in the previous session, with prices hovering near a more than six-year high on heightened fears of a global recession following weak U.S. data, the prolonged Sino-U.S. trade spat and Brexit uncertainties.
- London copper prices rose, as a drop to a two-year low in the previous session on weak U.S. manufacturing data encouraged investors to engage in arbitrage trade.
- Chicago corn futures ticked higher, as the market took a breather after dropping to its weakest since mid-May in the previous session amid hopes of a bumper harvest.
- The dollar pulled back as weak U.S. manufacturing stoked wagers on aggressive policy easing, while the British pound recouped losses in the wake of a parliamentary vote that opened the door for another Brexit delay.

- New research from Deutsche Bank's Torsten Slok suggests the 2018 tax cut package didn't lead to a surge of investment, as its Republican authors had said it would. Instead, companies used their windfalls to boost share buybacks, and to ramp up dividends, he writes to clients. At the same time, capital expenditures have fallen, he notes. Slok's research indicates that rather than setting the stage for better growth in the future, the tax cuts may have done little more than provide the economy with a brief boost in growth and a massive explosion in government budget deficits.
- Corn futures on the CBOT are down in pre-market hours, with traders showing little excitement about Brazil raising ethanol import quotas. "It is not enough by itself to turn around bearish fundamentals currently weighing over the industry," says Arlan Suderman of INTL FCStone. "Bearish sentiment is quite strong in the Ags currently, and it will take more than this modest increase to change that." Instead, traders are more reluctant to buy into US agriculture futures now that new tariffs on Chinese goods have been instituted -- suggesting that the return of China as a major buyer of US goods is even further away than ever. Corn futures are down 0.9% overnight.
- EUR/USD hits a two-year low of 1.0929 on Tuesday and could fall "far below" the 1.10-mark if the U.K. parliament fails to pass legislation to extend the Brexit deadline and the U.K. crashes out of the EU in Oct. 31, says Societe Generale. A no-deal Brexit "would take EUR/GBP to a high above 0.95 but below parity, which won't help GBP/USD if it's achieved by dragging EUR/USD far below 1.10," it says. The falls in the euro also reflect expectations that the European Central Bank will ease monetary policy at its meeting next week. "We have 9 days until the ECB meeting, at which further easing is assured," says Societe Generale's Kit Juckes.
- Gold prices are rising in a sign of investor unease about the health of the world economy, as well as political tensions in the U.K., Hong Kong and elsewhere. The precious metal has been driven higher in recent months by expectations that central banks will cut interest rates to offset slowing growth, making non-yielding assets more attractive for investors to hold. "Negative U.S. or global yields and a lower neutral rate of interest are a long-term boon for gold," says Alan Ruskin of Deutsche Bank. "Gold responds reliably to Fed policy with the latest shift dating from May 2019." Gold is up 0.4% at $1,536 a troy ounce in the New York futures market, defying a stronger dollar.

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

- Oil prices were mixed as the ongoing U.S.-China trade war cast a pall over markets, with soft South Korean data adding to concerns over emerging markets and a rise in OPEC output.
- Gold prices fell on the back of a firmer dollar, but fears of a global economic slowdown fuelled by an intensifying U.S.-China trade war kept prices near multi-year highs.
- Shanghai nickel jumped to a record high, after top supplier Indonesia said it would ban exports of nickel ore from next year.
- U.S. wheat futures fell nearly 0.5%, set to extend losses for the fourth-straight session, as ample global supplies pushed prices towards a near four-month low.
- Sterling neared its weakest against the U.S. dollar in more than two years amid mounting uncertainty as British lawmakers prepared to vote on the first stage of a plan to block Prime Minister Boris Johnson from pursuing a no-deal Brexit. 

Sep 02 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)
- Oil prices were lower after new tariffs imposed by the United States and China came into force, raising concerns about a further hit to global growth and demand for crude.
- Gold prices rose, as safe-haven demand surged after the United States and China launched fresh tit-for-tat tariffs on each others goods, escalating a prolonged trade war and adding to fears of a global economic slowdown. 
- Nickel prices in Shanghai hit a record high, while they jumped to a five-year high in London, after top producer Indonesia said it would restrict ore exports from 2020.
- The yen strengthened, thanks to bigger appetites for safe-haven assets as Washington and Beijing put additional tariffs on each other's exports, adding to the gloom hanging over the global economic outlook.

- EUR/USD stays below 1.10 after it dropped to a more-than-two year low just above 1.0960 late Friday, and Danske Bank expects it to stay weak. The prospect of European Central Bank monetary stimulus will maintain pressure on the euro, while global uncertainties prop up the dollar, it says. "The tariff war and a slowing global manufacturing sector continue to put pressure on commodities," which will likely mean the dollar remaining strong, Danske says. U.S. tariffs being implemented on $100 billion of Chinese imports add to concern about the global economic outlook, while investors will remain nervous that President Trump could turn his attention to Europe. EUR/USD is last down 0.1% at 1.0983.

- European indexes are set to open around flat as a new round of tariffs on Chinese goods coming into force over the weekend meant the trade fight would remain at the front of investors' concerns, says David Madden, market analyst at CMC Markets UK. With the combination of more tariffs and trade talks, which are due later this months, "it seems that Trump is keeping the pressure on Beijing, but at the same time the U.S. president is open to the possibility of a deal," says Madden. He expects the FTSE 100 to gain 7 points at open to 7,214, the DAX to fall 13 points to 11,926 and the CAC 40 to fall 5 points to 5,475.

30 Aug - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)
- Oil prices were set for their biggest weekly gains since early July, boosted by a decline in U.S inventories and a looming hurricane in Florida, while new signs of trade talks between the United States and China emerged.
- Gold extended losses from the previous session and was set to post its first weekly fall in five as positive developments around the Sino-U.S. trade negotiations rekindled investors appetite for riskier assets.
- Shanghai nickel prices hit an all-time high as a waste spill at a nickel plant in Papua New Guinea sparked fears of supply shortage.
- Chicago corn futures edged higher, but the market is poised for its biggest monthly decline in more than four years, as near-perfect weather aids crop development across the U.S. Midwest. 
- The Australian dollar slipped towards a 10-year trough while the yen hovered off its lows, as renewed hope that China and the United States could get their negotiations back on track began to fade.

- The Trump administration's proposal to end Obama-era rules on methane emissions is its latest attempt to further boost oil and gas production by easing regulations. But it comes amid growing concerns over how the industry's methane emissions are affecting climate. Methane accounts for about 10% of US greenhouse-gas emissions but is much more potent than carbon dioxide in trapping the earth's heat. Some companies have asked for a rules rollback, but others including Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell have warned the Trump administration that a lack of government-backed minimum requirements to curb emissions could undermine the argument that natural gas is a cleaner fuel, and that legal wrangling could lead to years of uncertainty before deregulation would lower costs.
- The ethanol industry is the subject of President Trump's latest tweet Thursday, in which he promised that farmers "are going to be so happy" once a plan to aid the US ethanol industry is made public. "It will be a giant package, get ready!" Trump tweeted. Ethanol plants nationwide have been closing since the Trump Administration granted waivers to small gasoline refineries to steer around requirements to blend ethanol into their gasoline. Farmers have voiced their dismay regarding the waivers, claiming that they stunt domestic ethanol demand and will hurt corn growers in the US. Corn futures on the CBOT are trading up 1.2%.
- Dollar Tree says it negotiated price concessions, cancelled orders, modified specifications, evolved its product mix and diversified its vendors to offset most of the adverse effects of tariffs on Chinese goods. But as trade tensions grow, there is more work to do. It estimates recent hikes could cost it $26M between Sept. 1 and Dec. 15 if it doesn't seek to offset those, too. Dollar Tree shares rise 5.9% premarket.
- EUR/GBP is Societe Generale's Kit Juckes preferred currency pair to gauge Brexit risks. An abrupt U.K. split from the EU would take EUR/GBP above 0.95, a soft exit to 0.85 and no-Brexit at all to 0.80, he says. This compares with a current EUR/GBP level of 0.9090. GBP/USD, which is equally affected by Brexit uncertainty as it is by broader movements in the dollar, would fall to 1.15 on a no-deal Brexit if EUR/USD falls below 1.10. Yet GBP/USD could drop still further to below 1.10 if EUR/USD falls close to 1.05, he says. GBP/USD is last down 0.1% at 1.2194. EUR/USD is steady at 1.1081.
- Dallas Fed leader Robert Kaplan, speaking with the Marketplace radio program, is putting some distance between himself and the recommendation of former New York Fed leader William Dudley that the central bank explicitly refuse to offset the damage of President Trump's trade wars. "Our work and our decisions are based on our analysis of the economy and the best decisions for the country without regard to political considerations, political influence," Kaplan says. "I am quite confident that we will behave in a way that meets our dual mandate objectives without regard to any political considerations or political influence at all."

Aug 29 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)
- Oil prices fell for the first time in three days after San Francisco Federal Reserve President Mary Daly sounded a note of concern about the strength of U.S. economy.
- Gold prices eked out gains against the backdrop of recession fears, with traders tracking signs of progress on the U.S.-China trade talks and global central banks for direction on interest rates.
- Base metals were mixed, as the demand outlook was clouded by the U.S.-China trade dispute, while nickel rose amid signs of nearby tight supply on the London Metal Exchange (LME).
- Chicago corn futures rose for a second session with the market climbing to a one-week high, underpinned by concerns over frost-damage to this year's late planted crop in the United States.
- A risk-off mood bolstered the safe-haven yen, with record lows on U.S 30-year Treasury yields holding back the dollar as investors turned bleak on the prospect of a trade-war breakthrough any time soon.

- Former New York Fed leader William Dudley's opinion piece Tuesday arguing the Fed needs to strike back at President Trump's malign policies continues to reverberate, and not in the way the ex-central banker would like. On Twitter, former Treasury secretary Lawrence Summers, a one-time contender for Fed chairman, calls Dudley's article "the worst case" of Trump "derangement in the financial world." What Dudley wrote "might be the least responsible statement by a former financial official in decades," Summers writes.
- Daimler, the maker of Mercedes-Benz cars, and BMW will be hit hardest if China increases tariffs on US-made vehicles, Evercore ISI says. China could increase the tariffs to 25% from 15% on December 15, which would result in $700 million in added costs for the two luxury car makers, the brokerage estimates. The tariffs would also affect US auto makers Ford, Fiat Chrysler and Tesla but BMW and Daimler are the two largest exporters of vehicles from the US to China, according to Evercore, which views the tariff increase as likely. "Overall, the US OEMs are predicted to incur a total $400mn incremental cost if the tariffs are increased," it says.
- American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall says crop growers and livestock producers are "hanging tough" in their support for President Trump, which is being tested after rising trade tensions with China and troubles in the ethanol industry that some agriculture groups blame on the Trump EPA. "It's a bit of a roller coaster but it doesn't have big dips," Duvall says at the Farm Progress Show in Decatur, Ill., pointing to positive trade developments between the US and Japan last weekend. A Farm Journal survey this week showed farmer support for President Trump softening to 71% this month, from 79% in July.
- BMO Capital Markets has revised its outlook for Canadian interest rates, and now anticipates the Bank of Canada will cut its benchmark rate at its scheduled Oct. 30 meeting. BOC has a meeting set for Sept. 4 and the firm anticipates dovish statement and the main interest rate, at 1.75%, to remain unchanged. It has moved to the rate-cut camp for October based on Trump administration's escalation last week of trade conflict with China, and the impending fallout for Canada. Canada is one of the US's top trading partners. "We are likely nearing a tipping point where the extreme unpredictability of trade policies causes US firms to slam the brakes on spending and even curb hiring," the firm says.

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

- Oil prices rose, with U.S. crude gaining 1% after an industry report showed stockpiles in the United States, the world's biggest oil user, fell more than expected, easing worries about economic growth due to the China-U.S. trade war. 
- Gold eased, after rising over 1% in the previous session on fears of a possible recession, but held close to a more than six-year high on hopes of a rate cut by the U.S. central bank and uncertainties around the Sino-U.S. trade talks.
- London copper prices dipped, as the lack of any clear moves to resolve the protracted U.S.-China trade conflict weighed on the demand outlook for the red metal.
- Chicago soybean futures lost more ground, as improved rating for the U.S. crop and a lack of demand amid Washington-Beijing trade war weighed on the market.
- The yen stood tall against its peers, with an inversion of the U.S. yield curve stoking recession worries and keeping the safe-haven Japanese currency in demand.

- Should the Fed conduct policy to affect the outcome of an election? An opinion by former New York Fed leader William Dudley suggests that answer may be yes when the president is Donald Trump. Dudley says the darkening outlook is largely the result of Trump's trade wars-of-choice, and that the central bank should consider not taking action to offset the damage. But he goes further. "Trump's reelection arguably presents a threat to the U.S. and global economy, to the Fed's independence and its ability to achieve its employment and inflation objectives," Dudley writes. "If the goal of monetary policy is to achieve the best long-term economic outcome, then Fed officials should consider how their decisions will affect the political outcome in 2020."
- Former New York Fed leader William Dudley argues in a Bloomberg article that the Fed should refuse to ease monetary policy to offset the negative impact of President Trump's trade battles and their ensuing economic damage. "Officials could state explicitly that the central bank won't bail out an administration that keeps making bad choices on trade policy, making it abundantly clear that Trump will own the consequences of his actions," Dudley writes. Dudley's view is generating some controversy among observers, as the stance he advocates encompasses the central bank taking a political stand against elected leaders. That runs contrary to the Fed's long-held mantra that it's apolitical and takes decisions by elected officials as givens.
- Industrial-metal prices are broadly steady after President Trump softened his tone toward trade talks with China. "Anything's possible," Trump said when asked if he would consider delaying or canceling planned tariffs on Chinese exports. The comments at the G-7 boosted stock markets and gave limited relief to industrial metals, which are highly sensitive to the prospects of a trade deal. Copper and zinc are marginally higher at $5,635.50 and $2,247 a ton respectively on the London Metal Exchange. In the absence of major data releases or earnings in the metals sector on Tuesday, traders are likely to remain focused on news regarding the U.S.-China trade conflict.
- Despite being caught in the middle of the US-China trade war, farmers have remained some of President Trump's most stalwart supporters--though a Farm Journal survey suggests that's starting to ebb. About 71% of 1,153 farmers queried in August said they either somewhat or strongly approved of Trump's performance, versus 79% in July. Over the past month the Trump administration has ratcheted up tariffs on Chinese imports, prompting China to clamp down further on imports of US farm goods. The administration in recent weeks eased ethanol-related requirements for some oil refiners, rankling corn farmers.
- US stocks rise after President Trump said China wants a trade deal. This comes following Beijing's tariff-raising announcements Friday and Trump's response of increased levies later that day. The Dow adds 1.1% to 25898, the S&P gains 1.1% to 2878 and the Nasdaq rises 1.3% to 7853. Tech shares rise, with Apple--dependent on China for both production and sales--gaining 1.9%. Bristol Myers-Squibb rises 3.3% after it got closer to securing regulatory approval for its proposed buyout of Celgene after the biotechnology company sold off its psoriasis treatment Otezla, gaining 3.2%. The WSJ Dollar Index rises 0.4%.
- Oil prices end the session 1% lower at $53.64/bbl despite a strong day for US equities, as investors sold the commodity on President Trump's comments that he might be willing to meet with Iran's president Rouhani. The mere possibility of such talks seems to have removed some of the risk premium built in to oil prices in recent months amid fears of a potential US-Iran military conflict. "While the almost imperceptible thaw in relations will have little effect on oil flows, it could help ease concerns about a confrontation in the Gulf of Oman," say analysts at Stratas Advisors.
- Last week President Trump proposed a potential cut to the payroll tax. Although he backtracked the following day, "the bigger takeaway may be that the administration seemingly stands ready to act if the consumer does slow, especially into an election year," Wells Fargo says. Such a move would allow low-income consumers to spend more, benefitting retailers like Burlington Stores, Ross Stores, TJ Maxx, AutoZone, O'Reilly Automotive and National Vision Holdings, the firm says.
- The latest exchange of blows in the trade battle between the US and China have dashed hopes for a near-term resolution and "will further sap global business and investor confidence," S&P says. The US and China raised tariffs on one another Friday, and President Trump also told US companies that do business with China to explore relocating. The US had a goods and services trade deficit of $378.6B with China last year, according to the US Trade Representative. While the tariffs thus far have been limited to goods, S&P warns that the dispute could spill over into the services arena, where the US currently enjoys a trade surplus with China.

Aug 27 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)
- Oil prices rose after U.S. President Donald Trump predicted a trade deal with China after positive comments by Beijing, calming nerves after a round of tit-for-tat tariff hikes had sent markets reeling.
- Gold prices were largely steady, retreating from an over six-year peak hit in the previous session, as U.S. President Donald Trump signalled a possible reconciliation with China, calming worries about an escalation in their trade war.
- London nickel prices were on track to close higher than tin prices for the first time since September 2010, buoyed by a recent rally in nickel prices and declines in tin prices.
- Chicago wheat futures slid for a second session, as the trading sentiment was marred by abundant global supplies following bumper harvests in top exporting countries.
- The yen rose as some investors tempered their optimism about the chances for a quick resolution to the U.S.-China trade war, which boosted so-called risk-off trades.

- US stocks rise after President Trump said China wants a trade deal. This comes following Beijing's tariff-raising announcements Friday and Trump's response of increased levies later that day. The Dow adds 1.1% to 25898, the S&P gains 1.1% to 2878 and the Nasdaq rises 1.3% to 7853. Tech shares rise, with Apple--dependent on China for both production and sales--gaining 1.9%. Bristol Myers-Squibb rises 3.3% after it got closer to securing regulatory approval for its proposed buyout of Celgene after the biotechnology company sold off its psoriasis treatment Otezla, gaining 3.2%. The WSJ Dollar Index rises 0.4%.
- Oil prices end the session 1% lower at $53.64/bbl despite a strong day for US equities, as investors sold the commodity on President Trump's comments that he might be willing to meet with Iran's president Rouhani. The mere possibility of such talks seems to have removed some of the risk premium built in to oil prices in recent months amid fears of a potential US-Iran military conflict. "While the almost imperceptible thaw in relations will have little effect on oil flows, it could help ease concerns about a confrontation in the Gulf of Oman," say analysts at Stratas Advisors.
- Last week President Trump proposed a potential cut to the payroll tax. Although he backtracked the following day, "the bigger takeaway may be that the administration seemingly stands ready to act if the consumer does slow, especially into an election year," Wells Fargo says. Such a move would allow low-income consumers to spend more, benefitting retailers like Burlington Stores, Ross Stores, TJ Maxx, AutoZone, O'Reilly Automotive and National Vision Holdings, the firm says.
- The latest exchange of blows in the trade battle between the US and China have dashed hopes for a near-term resolution and "will further sap global business and investor confidence," S&P says. The US and China raised tariffs on one another Friday, and President Trump also told US companies that do business with China to explore relocating. The US had a goods and services trade deficit of $378.6B with China last year, according to the US Trade Representative. While the tariffs thus far have been limited to goods, S&P warns that the dispute could spill over into the services arena, where the US currently enjoys a trade surplus with China.

Aug 26 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)
- Oil prices fell, pushing U.S. crude to the lowest in more than two weeks, as an intensifying trade war between the U.S. and China undermined confidence in global economic growth.
- Gold prices scaled a fresh six-year high, as the latest tit-for-tat tariffs by the United States and China in their year-long trade war battered global equities and boosted demand for safe-have assets.
- China's copper futures prices fell to their lowest in three weeks, as demand prospects for base metals weakened following the latest escalation in the Sino-U.S. trade war.
- U.S. soybean futures rose more than 0.5%, reversing from a near three-week low hit earlier, though gains were capped by the latest salvos in the trade war between Washington and Beijing.
- China's yuan hit an 11-year low in onshore trade and tumbled to a record low in offshore trade after a sharp re-escalation in the U.S.-China trade war whacked investor confidence and darkened the global economic outlook.

- All eyes were on President Trump over the weekend as he attended the Group of Seven summit in France, withTrump saying that it is "possible" he would consider delaying or cancelling planned tariffs on Chinese goods. Without a deal, a 10% tariff on roughly $111B in Chinese goods would go into effect Sept. 1. Although grains futures on the CBOT rose overnight, led by soybeans which were up 1.3%, traders are not convinced that they should be optimistic after Trump's latest statements. However, Reuters reports that Chinese Vice Premier Liu He says that China is not seeking to elevate tensions and wants to resolve the trade rift.
- Zambia's move to cap corn prices threatens to shrink farmers' profit margins, amid escalating production costs, Zambia National Farmers Union says. The lobby group says the government's decision to cap prices to make the staple affordable after registering the smallest harvest in a decade due to drought could hobble the industry. Corn prices are the main driver of inflation upon which miners in Africa's No.2 copper and cobalt producer peg wage demands. "The Union recognizes that the cost of production has increased and continues to escalate while the asset base of farmers has been wiped out by the adverse weather pattern which has been prevailing season after season since 2015" the group says. "Farming profitably today has remained unattainable."
- Sterling falls against the dollar as the latter strengthens following U.S. President Donald Trump's more optimistic take on trade relations with China. The pound drops 0.3% to $1.2239 and 0.02% against the euro to EUR1.1012. "Though the greenback has pared its advance against the aussie, it has notably gained against the euro, pound and yen," says Justin Low at foreign-exchange analysts Forex Live, adding that the euro also is trading lower against the dollar after the latest German Ifo business-confidence survey came in lower than expected, hitting its weakest level since November 2012.
- USD/JPY rises to a new intraday high following President Trump's comment that China had called U.S. trade officials and asked for a resumption of U.S. trade talks. USD/JPY rose to as high as Y105.95 from Y105.22 before the latest spurt, and is now at Y105.76. USD/JPY will likely remain vulnerable to any headlines regarding U.S.-China trade talks, currency dealers say.
- The New Zealand dollar has risen a little further off multiyear lows after escalating trade tensions overshadowed the Jackson Hole gathering on Friday. The White House doubled down on President Trump's commitment to the U.S. trade war with China after the president appeared to show a glimmer of regret about escalating trade tensions at the G-7 summit. The White House press secretary said Trump had been misinterpreted, and he regretted not raising tariffs higher. Australia & New Zealand Banking Group says the kiwi has also been supported by comments from RBNZ Gov. Orr that the central bank "can afford to watch, wait, and observe" after this month's 50 basis-point rate cut. The NZD/USD is at 0.6385 after dipping to around 0.6367.

Aug 23 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)
- Oil prices clawed back the previous day's losses, with Brent nudging above $60 a barrel, as tighter supplies from key producers offset slowing demand growth and investors await clues on the U.S. Federal Reserve's monetary policy.
- Gold eased and was set for its worst week in nearly five months, as lack of clarity from U.S. Federal Reserve on the outlook for interest rate cuts triggered investors to cash in some gains ahead of Jerome Powell's speech at Jackson Hole.
- Copper prices on the London Metal Exchange (LME) inched up, tracking headway in the U.S.-China trade negotiations, but uncertainty ahead of Fed Chair Jerome Powell's speech at a gathering of central bankers capped further gains.

- Chicago corn futures lost ground, with the market set for a second week of decline, as expectations of higher crop yields weighed on the market.

- Arabica coffee futures on ICE extended their recovery from three month lows set on Thursday, though worries over excess supplies remain, and raw sugar climbed to a nearly one-week high. 
- Malaysian palm oil futures fell after three straight sessions of gains, tracking weakness in overnight U.S. soyoil prices.

- The dollar edged higher versus the yen on expectations a pivotal speech by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell will reinforce that the U.S. central bank has not entered a prolonged monetary easing cycle.

- At the Pro Farmers event in Iowa City, Iowa last night, representatives of Pro Farmer said that the policies of President Trump towards nations like China won't bring a trade deal between the two nations as quickly as other approaches. "I don't think we're going to see a resolution," says Brian Grete of Pro Farmer. "I think China is going to try and wait until 2020 and hope that Trump doesn't get elected. In a tweet Wednesday, Trump said that the US, was "doing great with China and other Trade Deals. The only problem we have is Jay Powell and the Fed. He's like a golfer who can't putt, has no touch."
- Seven environmental groups sue the federal government over the Trump administration's recent easing of endangered-species protections. Earthjustice sues on behalf of a group headlined by the Center for Biological Diversity saying the rule revisions violate the Endangered Species Act and the National Environmental Policy Act. Interior signed off on the changes last week, putting new restrictions on listing species as threatened or endangered in response to business interests who say protections have become too onerous. Environmentalists say the changes are likely to limit how much the risks of climate change can be considered and how many species end up protected. The groups accuse the administration of failing to analyze and disclose harms from their rule changes, and of violating prohibitions against unreasonable rule changes.
- Cree's first-quarter outlook widely missed Wall Street targets showing the effect of the US ban on shipments to China's Huawei Technologies, a weaker LED market due to trade uncertainty and China's subsidy cuts to electric carmakers. JP Morgan says "speed bumps could last a while" but says it expects a recovery sometime next year, "so a decent pull-back could present an entry-point, but for now the stock still looks richly-valued." It maintains its December 2020 price target at $52, while Canaccord Genuity cuts its target price to $72 from $78, but maintains "buy" rating. Cree falls 16% at $48.85.
- Target's inventory has a lot of exposure to the Trump administration's list of planned tariffs on products from China. The list touches on a broad set of categories, such as apparel, electronics, toys and home. Target executives say they'll continue to monitor the situation closely, but the delay in tariffs from September to December has offered some reprieve. The company doesn't expect to see any effects from the tariffs until at least the first quarter.
- Mexico and US-listed company Vista Oil & Gas, which has most of its assets in Argentina, says it's filed for an injunction against a presidential decree placing a three-month freeze on fuel and crude oil prices in the South American country, saying it could hurt the firm's operations and finances. The Thursday decree came after an electoral setback for Argentine President Mauricio Macri caused the Argentine peso to fall against the US dollar, threatening to push inflation even higher. Vista shares have dropped 36% on the Mexican stock exchange since the primary vote showing Macri likely to lose October elections to his Peronist rival.

Aug 22 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)
- Oil prices slipped, paring earlier gains, weighed down by lingering worries about the global economy and bigger-than-expected builds in oil product inventories in the United States, the world's biggest oil consumer.
- Gold prices were little changed, holding above the key $1,500 an ounce level, as investors awaited the Federal Reserve chair's speech at a global central bankers' conclave for clues on future U.S. interest rate cuts.
- Most industrial metals on the London Metal Exchange (LME) slipped, after the U.S. Federal Reserve signalled that it was not on a preset path to more monetary policy easing and expectations of softer demand growth in top consumer China.
- Chicago corn futures rose for a second session as prices were underpinned by strong demand, while the market focus is on a widely watched crop tour which is expected to forecast U.S. production at the end of this week.
- China's yuan fell to an 11-year low against the dollar due to worries about an economic slowdown, prompting Chinese state-owned banks to support the currency in the forwards market.

- Mexico and US-listed company Vista Oil & Gas, which has most of its assets in Argentina, says it's filed for an injunction against a presidential decree placing a three-month freeze on fuel and crude oil prices in the South American country, saying it could hurt the firm's operations and finances. The Thursday decree came after an electoral setback for Argentine President Mauricio Macri caused the Argentine peso to fall against the US dollar, threatening to push inflation even higher. Vista shares have dropped 36% on the Mexican stock exchange since the primary vote showing Macri likely to lose October elections to his Peronist rival.
- Mirabaud turned neutral on U.S. Treasurys at the beginning of August, reversing an earlier underweight position, Mirabaud's chief economist Gero Jung tells Dow Jones Newswires in an interview. This reflects the market's view that U.S. interest rates will fall, even though Mirabaud doesn't expect that rates will fall as much as most others in the market. The timing was "luck". according to Jung, because Mirabaud bought Treasurys just before U.S. President Donald Trump's tweet on Aug. 1 threatening further tariffs on Chinese goods, which sent Treasurys higher and yields lower. Mirabaud remains neutral on the U.S. dollar.

Aug 21 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- Brent crude oil futures rose above $60 a barrel for the first time in over a week after a data report showed a larger-than-expected drop in U.S. crude inventories, but ongoing worries about a possible global recession capped gains.
- Gold prices held steady after recovering to above the key $1,500 an ounce level in the previous session, with investors waiting for the minutes of the Federal Reserve's July meeting for possible clues on further U.S. interest rate cuts.
- London copper prices inched up after a more than 1% drop in the previous session, as the dollar fell from a three-week peak and investors awaited the minutes of the Federal Reserve's July policy meeting.
- Chicago corn futures edged up to recover from their lowest in more than three months, buoyed after a U.S. crop tour forecast lower yields.

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

- Crude oil prices held mostly steady on optimism that U.S.-China trade tensions would ease and on hopes that major economies would enact stimulus measures to counter a possible global economic slowdown that could affect oil demand.
- Gold prices were flat, after declining more than 1% in the previous session hit by an uptick in risk appetite, while investors awaited meetings by policy-makers later in the week for clues on possible interest rate cuts.
- Shanghai aluminium hit an over nine-month high, tracking gains in London in the previous session, as fears of a shortage added to gains from China's measures to boost the economy.
- The dollar hovered near a three-week high, as expectations policymakers around the world would unleash fresh stimulus drove an improvement in appetite for riskier assets and lifted U.S. government bond yields.

- Chicago corn futures rose, recouping some of previous session's heavy losses, when a U.S. crop tour forecast below-average yields after a wet spring delayed plantings.
- Raw sugar futures on ICE fell on Monday to their lowest levels in over a week, while arabica coffee fell to a fresh nearly three-month low, with both markets weighed down by plentiful global supplies and a weak currency in top grower Brazil.
- Malaysian palm oil futures were slightly up at the midday break in range-bound trading, hit by declines in soyoil on China's Dalian Commodity Exchange while a weaker ringgit and a recovery in U.S. soyoil offered some support.

- The NZD/USD continues to plumb lows last seen in mid-2015, with U.S. dollar bulls unfazed by President Trump's call to cut rates by at least 100 basis points. "The minutes from the Fed's July meeting, due tomorrow night, may provide the USD with some direction ahead of the Jackson Hole symposium," Australia & New Zealand Banking Group says. It's a light day for New Zealand data today, although the RBA minutes in Australia will garner attention. The NZD/USD is at 0.6408 early on Tuesday.
- Nickel prices dropped 1.5% to $15,930 a ton on the London Metal Exchange amid continued uncertainty about when Indonesia will introduce a ban on ore exports. Speculation that the ban will be brought forward from 2022 has driven prices higher in recent weeks, but there have also been a series of pullbacks. The authorities are likely to "strike the right balance judging by the previous bans they have put into effect for both nickel and tin ores," says Edward Meir of INTL FCStone. He notes Indonesia is rapidly expanding its capacity to produce refined nickel: 22 smelters are under development on top of the 13 currently in operation. Meanwhile, copper prices lose momentum after making a strong start to the week on hopes that Chinese interest-rate reforms pave the way for monetary stimulus.
- President Trump, despite describing the economy as strong, is calling for the Fed to pursue what in most times would be viewed as an emergency path of rate cuts. He wants the Fed to lower rates by a full percentage point in "a fairly short period of time." There's almost no precedent for the Fed doing something like that given that most of the current data looks OK and downside risks remain largely unrealized. What's more, the sort of rate cuts the president wants--Trump also wants renewed bond buying--might be counterproductive to his aims. That scope of easing might send a message to the public that the Fed is fighting imminent recessionary risks, not right-sizing an overly aggressive tightening campaign, which could spook the public even more, making a downturn that much more likely.

Aug 19 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- Crude oil prices rose following a weekend attack on a Saudi oil facility by Yemeni separatists and as traders looked for any signs that Sino-U.S. trade tensions could ease.
- Gold prices slipped due to a stronger U.S. dollar and a recovery in equities, as hints of more stimulus from major central banks around the world eased concerns about a recession.
- Copper prices advanced as China announced new measures to support its economy amid a damaging trade war with the United States, potentially improving demand for the red metal.
- Chicago corn futures lost ground, giving up some of previous session's gains as crop-friendly weather over the weekend in parts of the U.S. Midwest boosted hopes of bumper production.
- Safe-haven currencies such as the yen and Swiss franc were under pressure as expectations that policymakers would unleash new stimulus eased immediate concerns about a slowing global economy.

- President Trump held conference call with CEOs of JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Citigroup as stock market dropped precipitously on Aug 14 and recession fears grew; CEOs later spoke with Treasury Sec Steven Mnuchin about macroeconomic affairs.

- U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday backed off his Sept. 1 deadline for 10% tariffs on remaining Chinese imports, delaying duties on cellphones, laptops and other consumer goods, in the hopes of blunting their impact on U.S. holiday sales. The delay which, affects about half of the $300 billion target list of Chinese goods - along with news of renewed trade discussions between U.S. and Chinese officials - sent stocks sharply higher and drew cautious relief from retailers and technology groups. Trump's 10% tariffs will be effective from Dec. 15 for thousands of products including clothing and footwear, possibly buttressing the holiday selling season from some of the fallout from the protracted trade spat between the world's two largest economies.
"We're doing this for Christmas season, just in case some of the tariffs would have an impact on U.S. customers," Trump told reporters in New Jersey. "Just in case they might have an impact on people, what we've done is we've delayed it so that they won't be relevant to the Christmas shopping season."

- The U.S. Trade Representative's Office announced the decision just minutes after China's Ministry of Commerce said Vice Premier Liu He conducted a phone call with U.S. trade officials. Liu agreed with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to speak again by phone within the next two weeks, the ministry said. Trump has said the two sides may still meet in early September as scheduled.

Aug 16 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- Crude oil prices rose following two days of declines, buoyed after data showing an increase in retail sales in the U.S. helped dampen concerns about a recession in the world's biggest economy.
- Gold prices dipped but were headed for a third consecutive weekly gain, as fears over a global economic slowdown and a lack of clarity on the U.S.-China trade war boosted the metal's safe-haven appeal.
- Shanghai nickel prices surged, while a key indicator of supply shortage jumped to a decade high, amid ongoing worries about supplies disruption from top ore producer Indonesia.
- Chicago corn futures ticked higher, but the market was set for its biggest weekly drop in three years, driven down by expectations of a bigger U.S. crop.
- The dollar held onto gains after a surge in U.S. retail sales eased concerns about the world's top economy, but traders cautioned against reading too much into one piece of data given the growing risks to the outlook.

- Oil prices remain firmly lower after the news that Gibraltar's supreme court has ordered the release of the Iranian tanker Grace 1 impounded in early July, after Tehran made assurances the oil on board will not go to Syria as initially alleged. Brent crude is down 2.1% at $58.23 a barrel and WTI crude is down 1.1% at $54.64 a barrel. Even if Iran responds in kind and releases the Stena Impero --the British-flagged tanker captured in retaliation-- it means little for oil markets, says BNP Paribas's Harry Tchilinguirian. With yields inverted in the U.S. and U.K. and the market having swallowed a cocktail of weak economic and oil stock data this week, "the focus is still on demand rather than supply," he adds.
- Argentina's opposition presidential candidate, Alberto Fernandez, says that it is "reasonable" for the peso to be trading at 60 per USD. Fernandez also says he asked President Mauricio Macri to preserve the current central bank reserves for the next administration, and not spend USD trying to defend the peso. The peso weakened sharply against the dollar this week after a primary vote on Sunday showed Fernandez, a leftist, as the heavy favorite to win October's presidential election against Macri. The peso strengthened to 54.26 per USD Thursday.
- Copper prices fall after Beijing threatened to hit back at looming U.S. tariffs on $300 billion worth of Chinese products. The Ministry of Finance said Beijing has to take counter-measures to the new round of levies, Reuters reports, prompting declines in base metals and other riskier assets such as stocks. Wenyu Yao of ING says weak industrial-production data and GDP data from China and Germany are also continuing to weigh on the base-metal market. "The market is focusing on global-growth and demand worries," she says. Copper is down 0.7% at $5,732.50 a ton on the LME, close to a two-year low.
- Fears over a currency war are excessive, says Yves Bonzon, head of investment management and chief investment officer at Julius Baer. The slight fall in the Chinese renminbi trading band at the beginning of last week stoke fears of a currency war, but the ultimate goal of the Chinese government, in the very long term, is to establish the renminbi as an alternative reserve currency to the U.S. dollar, he says. "It would be counterproductive to aggravate the difficulties to other emerging countries affected by the global economic slowdown," he says. Bonzon says that China prefers to display stability and responsibility rather than seek short-term gains to offset U.S. tariffs.
- The 10-year German Bund yield remains near the all-time low level of -0.668% to which it fell a day earlier, as multiple risks spark flight into safe havens and reinforce expectations of fresh easing measures to be announced by the European Central Bank in September. "The global fixed income rally has continued unabated over the last 24 hours as risk appetite remains severely under pressure," says Danske Bank senior analyst Jens Naervig Pedersen. Markets react to rising tensions around Hong Kong, intensifying Brexit fears, second thoughts over whether President Trump's China tariff exemptions are of any importance and, not least, as the macroeconomic backdrop in both Europe and China continues to weaken, he adds. The 10-year Bund yield last trades at -0.663%, down 1.1 basis points, according to Tradeweb.

Aug 15 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)
- Oil prices fell, adding to sharp overnight losses as U.S. crude inventories unexpectedly rose, fears of recession mounted and economic data out of China and Europe disappointed.
- Gold prices rose, as investors flocked to safer havens after an inverted U.S. bond yield curve pointed to new recession fears following poor economic data from Germany and China.
- London copper hovered near a two-year low and Shanghai copper fell, weighed down by growing fears of a global recession and weak industrial output growth in China.
- Chicago corn rose for the first time in four sessions as bargain buying lifted prices, but gains were limited on expectations of favourable rains across the U.S. Midwest.
- The yen held gains against major currencies as sliding Treasury yields fanned fears of a severe global economic downturn and drove investors into safe-haven assets.

- The 10-year German Bund yield remains near the all-time low level of -0.668% to which it fell a day earlier, as multiple risks spark flight into safe havens and reinforce expectations of fresh easing measures to be announced by the European Central Bank in September. "The global fixed income rally has continued unabated over the last 24 hours as risk appetite remains severely under pressure," says Danske Bank senior analyst Jens Naervig Pedersen. Markets react to rising tensions around Hong Kong, intensifying Brexit fears, second thoughts over whether President Trump's China tariff exemptions are of any importance and, not least, as the macroeconomic backdrop in both Europe and China continues to weaken, he adds. The 10-year Bund yield last trades at -0.663%, down 1.1 basis points, according to Tradeweb.

- The economic gloom weighing on shares, industrial commodities and bond yields is lifting safe haven precious metals. After yields on two-year Treasury notes briefly dipped below those on 10-year notes--an indicator that a U.S. recession is on the horizon--gold futures are up 0.7% at $1,525 a troy ounce. Silver is also on the rise, gaining 1.3% to $17.20 a troy ounce. "From our perspective, trade tensions and the ensuing global economic slowdown, along with rate cuts from the Fed, are going to be the biggest drivers of gold in the short term," says Bernard Dahdah of Natixis. Gold typically benefits from lower interest rates since it pays no yield itself. However, Dahdah says gold will lose momentum in 2020. He expects President Trump to attempt to reach a trade deal with China ahead of the election to lift the U.S. economy and alleviate pressure on Republican voters in the Farm Belt.

Aug 15 - Trump roils the markets, again (WSJ DJ)

- The Post reports: "U.S. stocks plummeted Wednesday after the inverted yield curve, one of the most reliable indicators of a recession, sparked a new wave of investor fears, erasing the short-lived bump from Tuesday's trade easing." That means for the first time in 12 years, short-term rates on U.S. bonds are higher than long-term bond rates. It's a sign investors are fleeing to the safety of the bond market; with high demand for those bonds, the rates drop. "This phenomenon, which suggests investors' faith in the economy is faltering, has preceded every recession in the past 50 years. It isn't a sure thing, but it's one of the more reliable signs that something is amiss in the economy."
- Even after President Trump pulled back on his threat to impose new tariffs on China on a range of consumer products, the market's still falling. ("The warning sign dealt another blow to markets in a time of year that is already notoriously tough on stocks. By late morning, the Dow Jones industrial average had fallen more than 600 points. ") This doesn't mean there will definitely be a recession, and, if there is, we don't know when it will hit and how severe it will be. However, several things are clear.

- First, a downturn in the economy before the election will very likely shatter Trump's hopes for reelection. Presidents in economic downturns generally don't get reelected, and if the president already is widely disliked and has no other notable accomplishments, an economic decline may be an insurmountable problem for the incumbent.

- Second, it will be very hard for Trump to avoid blame for the downturn, given the immediate cause of economic volatility is his misguided trade war. Like many economists at Wall Street firms, Michael Strain at the American Enterprise Institute writes, "[Businesses'] paralyzing uncertainty is driven by the president's veering from one position to another. Businesses seem increasingly convinced that he doesn't understand the basics of international economics."
He explains, "Trump bemoans the relative strength of the dollar one day, declaring China a currency manipulator, and the next he praises dollar-strengthening inflows of foreign investment. With such a tenuous grasp on the facts of the situation, how can he make predictable policy? How can businesses anticipate what he'll do?" Moreover, despite spin by embarrassed free-traders such as Larry Kudlow, it sure doesn't seem that Trump is simply using tariffs to get a good free-trade deal. "There's growing acceptance that the president really is a protectionist to his core," Strain observes.

- Third, if a recession does hit, we are in a terrible position to cushion the blow. Economist Jared Bernstein explains, "The most important thing you need an administration and Congress to do in a downturn is to quickly offset the demand contraction with fiscal stimulus. That means strengthening the safety net, which Trump has consistently tried to weaken. It means state fiscal relief including to big, blue states." He continues, "It means infrastructure, something they've never been able to pull off. And don't forget: We'll be entering the next recession with a debt-to-GDP ratio that's twice the historical average (80 vs. 40 percent)." As to the latter, we are already looking at a deficit soon to hit $1 trillion; there's only so much debt we can take on without driving up rates.

- The other tool to soften a recession is monetary policy. Once again, however, Trump has depleted our stock of tools to prop up the economy. Thanks to badgering from Trump, the Federal Reserve just cut interest rates (although Trump whined it wasn't enough) at a time unemployment is at 3.7 percent and interest rates are already historically low. When we really need that economic juice in a year or two, the Fed won't have that much room to maneuver.

- In sum, Trump claimed the economy he inherited as his own. He rationalized tax cuts on the notion he'd boost growth above 3 percent; now we're on recession watch. He told us a trade war would be quick and good for the economy; it's now stymieing business investment decisions. So yes, if a recession hits, Trump will richly deserve blame.

Aug 14 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)
- Oil prices fell on disappointing economic data from China and a rise in U.S. crude inventories, erasing some of the sharp gains in the previous session on signs of an easing in Sino-U.S. trade tensions.
- Gold prices dipped after the United States delayed tariffs on some Chinese imports, easing trade concerns, although political uncertainties and lingering global growth concerns limited losses for the safe-haven metal.
- London copper fell on weak Chinese data and as a resumption of copper exports from some of Peru's top mines, following weeks of suspension, soothed supply concerns.
- Chicago soybean futures climbed for a second session, supported by easing U.S.-China trade tensions and concerns over dry weather in parts of the U.S. Midwest.
- The yen held onto gains as weaker-than-expected Chinese economic data reinforced the view that resolving the trade war was a long way off even if U.S. President Donald Trump had delayed some additional tariffs.

- Markets rally as Trump plays Santa on tariffs
CHRISTMAS came early for global stock markets after the Trump administration delayed tariffs on some Chinese goods, including laptops and mobile phones, until Dec 15.
Shares rallied on hopes that US shoppers and Apple will be shielded from higher costs in the run-up to the festive period. Games consoles, toys, computer monitors and clothes will also be left out of the latest tariffs, reducing the risk of American consumers feeling the pinch from the trade war. "We're doing this for the Christmas season," president Trump said. The S&P 500 benchmark index leapt as much as 2.1pc on hopes that tension with China is cooling, as Apple shares rose 4pc in afternoon trade.
The delay means the new iPhones will not incur tariffs at launch next month. The reprieve came after a call between Robert Lighthizer, US trade representative, and Liu He, Chinese vice-premier, ahead of tariffs that would have hit $300bn (£249bn) of imports from Sept 1. The two sides plan more talks in the next two weeks, Chinese state-run media revealed. A separate, unspecified, list of products "based on health, safety, national security and other factors" will be exempt altogether, Mr Lighthizer said.
- The delay to some U.S. tariffs on China has caught out some investors and traders betting against copper. The industrial metal is highly sensitive to Chinese economic growth and slumped to a two-year low in early August, when President Trump threatened to extend levies on imports from China. But the "massive short position" that developed in the market left it vulnerable to a sudden spike in prices in the event of positive news on trade, says Daniel Ghali of TD Securities. He says funds are unwinding some short bets following the U.S. Trade Representative statement announcing the delay. That requires them to buy back copper futures, driving their price higher.
- "This news that the U.S. is holding off on some tariffs... is giving a huge boost to risk sentiment and oil is bouncing like crazy," says SEB Markets' Bjarne Schieldrop. Brent crude is up 3.9% at $60.83 a barrel and WTI is up 3.3% at $56.74 a barrel after the U.S. announced a delay in the application of some trade tariffs on Chinese goods sparking sharp rallies across financial markets. "Finally, suddenly, we see some positive news on the trade war and it's a shot in the arm for oil markets," with a rally through the $60-a-barrel level for Brent surprising analysts. "There's a lot of short-covering going on now and I didn't think speculators were positioning for a break above $60," Schieldrop adds.
- A potential thaw in chilly US-China trade relations boosts stocks of agricultural traders and suppliers. Archer Daniels Midland and Bunge each rise 2.6%, outpacing gains in US stock indexes, after US officials say they Trump administration will delay some planned tariffs on Chinese products until mid-December, giving investors hope that China could begin buying US crops and meat again. Ethanol makers, which have banked heavily on Chinese demand for the corn-based fuel additive, also get a boost, with Green Plains up 3%.
- Major US stock averages climb after the US Trade Representative says the US will delay some tariffs against China until December 15. The US will also remove "certain products" from the tariff lists on the basis of health, safety and national security. The DJIA and S&P 500 gains around 1.5%, while the tech heavy Nasdaq rises nearly 2%. Included in the items are cell phones, laptop computers, video game consoles and footwear. Treasury prices slide on the headlines, with the 10-year yield rising to 1.69%.
- Hugo Boss faces an estimated risk of about 3% to its cost of goods sold from the U.S. tariffs to made-in-China apparel, Citi analyst Thomas Chauvet says after hosting the German premium-apparel company's management at a roadshow. Hugo Boss sources 20% of its products from China and makes 15% of its sales in the U.S., Citi says. The risk posed by U.S. tariffs "will be mitigated by a number of options, including price reductions from Chinese suppliers, price increases or relocation of manufacturing," the bank says. Boss trades 3% lower at EUR51.22.
- WH Group has applied to the Chinese government for a waiver that would reduce the amount of taxes they have to pay on U.S. pork imports but no decision on their application has been made, according to company director Luis Chein. U.S. pork imports have been hit with two 25% tariffs since trade relations between the U.S. and China deteriorated last year. In May China's State Council Customs Tariff Commission announced that China will administer an exclusion process for additional Chinese tariffs imposed on specific products imported from the United States.
- Gold edges higher, reaching a six-year high overnight. It could rise further, as geopolitical tensions between the U.S. and China persist while investors retain an appetite for safe havens. "The market is also still digesting U.S. President Trump's latest salvo on China, saying on Friday that he is fine if the next round of trade talks is called off," ANZ says. Demand for safe-haven assets is also likely to climb on other factors, including Hong Kong's political unrest. Spot gold is up 0.3% at $1515.03/oz.
- Hong Kong political unrest is a bigger deal for the globe, for economics, and for markets, than any posturing the U.S. and Chinese sides can throw at each other, says Greg McKenna, strategist at McKenna Macro. That's because the men and women of Hong Kong are facing off with the totalitarian regime of Xi Jinping are just the natural extension -- perhaps a window into the future -- of the free world versus the CCP's desire, nay need, for total control to sustain itself, he adds. McKenna has little doubt that at some point Xi's hardliners -- of which he is probably the hardest -- will act.
- More US sanctions on Venezuela are creating a maze of uncertainty that makes the future of the country's Houston-based refiner Citgo "unclear," Eurasia Group says. "The Trump administration on 5 August issued a new executive order that blocks all assets owned by the Venezuelan state in the US, which the opposition is characterizing as a sort of asset protection order against various creditors, particularly when it comes to US-based refiner Citgo," Eurasia says. "However, a previous Treasury Department license exempts PDVSA 2020 from sanctions, which would seem to still be in effect." Overall, it says the new sanctions suggest the White House wants to "reinsert" itself into Venezuela's political standoff.

Aug 13 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- Oil prices slipped, offsetting narrow gains in the previous session, as sluggish demand forecasts countered expectations that major producers would prop up oil prices by limiting crude oil output.
- Gold prices scaled their highest in more than six years, as concerns around protests in Hong Kong and an Argentine currency crash amid fears of global economic slowdown, prompted investors to move away from riskier assets.
- Shanghai aluminium rallied to its highest in more than two months, as a typhoon in China hit the world's top aluminium producer and raised concerns about supply disruptions.
- Chicago corn futures lost more ground, dropping to their lowest in nearly three months after a U.S. government forecast for higher-than-expected crop volumes.
- The yen traded close to a seven-month high against the dollar, as unrest in Hong Kong and gyrations in Argentina's markets heightened investor risk aversion and fanned demand for the safe-haven Japanese currency.

- More US sanctions on Venezuela are creating a maze of uncertainty that makes the future of the country's Houston-based refiner Citgo "unclear," Eurasia Group says. "The Trump administration on 5 August issued a new executive order that blocks all assets owned by the Venezuelan state in the US, which the opposition is characterizing as a sort of asset protection order against various creditors, particularly when it comes to US-based refiner Citgo," Eurasia says. "However, a previous Treasury Department license exempts PDVSA 2020 from sanctions, which would seem to still be in effect." Overall, it says the new sanctions suggest the White House wants to "reinsert" itself into Venezuela's political standoff.

- USD will be driven by heightened U.S. China trade tensions this week.
On Saturday, President Trump said he was indifferent when questioned if September's scheduled U.S. China trade talks would still go ahead. Trump's ambivalence further increases the risk that a resolution remains some way off, says CBA. U.S. CPI inflation readings for July on Tuesday are unlikely to be a ground breaker on the macro front as inflation pressures remain low. The University of Michigan inflation expectations survey on Friday may provide some newer, more helpful information as central banks, including the Fed, appear to be paying increased attention to inflation expectations surveys.

Aug 12 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics ( WSJ DJ Reuters)

- Oil prices dipped amid worries about an economic slowdown and the Sino-U.S. trade war, which have led to a cut in the growth outlook for oil demand.
- Gold prices held steady in holiday-thin trade, holding near the key $1,500 pivot, as uncertainties around Sino-U.S. trade war and concerns of slowing global economic growth offered support.
- London nickel prices plunged after an initial surge in volatile trade as bulls that placed bets on Indonesia bringing forward a ban on mineral ore exports moved to close their positions.
- Chicago corn and soybean futures slid as traders squared positions ahead of a U.S. supply-demand report, although losses were limited by concerns over dry weather curbing yields in parts of the U.S. Midwest.
- The dollar remained on the defensive against the safe-haven yen as the Sino-U.S. trade dispute looked set to drag on with no settlement in sight, while holidays in Japan and Singapore made for very thin trading.

Aug 10 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics ( WSJ DJ Reuters)
- Both spot sterling and sterling options reflect rising risks of a hard Brexit, says Bank of America Merrill Lynch's Vadim Iaralov. He warns investors not to be complacent and to consider hedging their exposure. "GBP skew has tilted for puts across G10 and GBP volatility has risen for all G10 pairs," suggesting "elevated downside risks ahead," he says. Put options are bets on the currency falling. Sterling is on a downtrend trend against each of the nine other G10 major currencies, he says. "We remain bearish GBP/USD and GBP/JPY, which appear most vulnerable given rising volatility on the way down." GBP/JPY falls to its lowest since late 2016 at 127.87, according to FactSet.
- Moody's Investors Service says Mexico's "lack of policy coherence," will slow the country's growth to 1.2% in 2019 and 1.5% in 2020, down from 2% in 2018. "Anxiety over economic policy has dampened investor sentiment," the ratings firm says. Moody's also forecasts state oil company Pemex's capital spending on exploration and development will grow by close to 21% in 2019 to $6.9B, from $5.7B in 2018, an amount likely to be insufficient to increase reserves adequately. Since President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador took power in December, he has canceled a multi-billion dollar airport project, and approved the construction of an $8B oil refinery by Pemex whose viability is questioned by analysts.
- Canada's ambassador to US, David MacNaughton--a key player for Ottawa during the negotiations toward a revised North American free-trade pact--is leaving his post at the end of the summer, Prime Minister Trudeau says. Trudeau says MacNaughton is returning to his home in Toronto and will take up a post in the private sector. MacNaughton was the Liberal government's key point person in Washington during Nafta negotiations, and was instrumental in trying to persuade members of Congress and lawmakers at the state and local levels about the need to maintain Nafta. A replacement has yet to be named. Congress has yet to ratify the revised trade deal, and the Liberal government said it would pursue its own ratification in tandem with the US.

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

- Oil prices fell amid fears over demand as the U.S-China trade row casts its shadow over markets, although prices got some support from expectations of more OPEC production cuts.
- Gold firmed above the key $1,500 pivot, en route to its best week since April 2016, as an escalation in the Sino-U.S. trade dispute and fears of a global economic slowdown triggered fresh interest for safe-haven assets.
- London nickel prices eased, slipping from a 16-month high struck in the previous session, after Indonesia's nickel miners association said it had urged the government not to bring forward a ban on mineral ore exports.
- Chicago corn and soybean futures were little changed as traders squared positions ahead of a U.S. government report next week, which is expected to clarify how many acres have been planted, with both the markets poised for weekly gains.
- The yen traded near an eight month high versus the dollar as renewed concerns about the U.S.-China trade dispute and signs that central banks are more worried about the global economy boosted safe-haven assets.

Aug 08 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- Oil futures jumped more than $1 a barrel, recovering half of the nearly 5% losses in the previous session, on expectations that lower prices may lead to production cuts.
- Gold held steady, hovering near the key psychological level of $1,500, supported by uncertainties around Sino-U.S. trade war and a slew of interest rate cuts by global central banks amid fears of an economic slowdown.
- Nickel prices shot up, with London nickel touching a 16-month high and Shanghai nickel hitting a record amid worries that major supplier Indonesia could soon ban exports of ore.
- U.S. soybean futures took a breather, as the oilseed struggled to find support amid heightened fears about the impact of a protracted trade war between Washington and Beijing.
- The yen was supported, after global central banks startled markets with heavy rate cuts and threats of more to come as world economic risks grow, boosting the appeal of the safe-haven Japanese currency.

- Chicken-processing plants were targeted for raids today by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, though it isn't yet clear how many plant employees may be affected. Alabama-based Peco Foods confirms raids on three of its Mississippi plants and says it's fully cooperating while "navigating a potential disruption of operations." The company says it follows employment laws and uses the E-Verify system to screen hires. Koch Foods, which operates four Mississippi plants, was also targeted according to local media; the company didn't respond to a request for comment. Other state plants run by Tyson Foods, Sanderson Farms and Wayne Farms weren't affected, officials say.
- Markets are likely to remain volatile for the rest of the summer, Evan Brown, head of macro asset allocation strategy at UBS, says. In the near term, Brown says UBS is focused on whether the US Commerce Department issues any partial waivers that permit American companies to continue shipping products to China's Huawei. This, along with China agreeing to boost the number of agricultural goods it purchases from the US, would de-escalate tensions, he says. "Conditions can improve just as quickly as they can deteriorate," Brown says.
- Broadcast station owner Sinclair Broadcast Group expects 2020 to be its most lucrative year of political advertising on record, company executives said during 2Q earnings call. Chief Operating Officer Steven Marks says that considering how political campaigns have already raised more than previous presidential elections, it's safe to expect revenue will reach record levels in 2020. Known for having a conservative editorial voice, Sinclair's stations were a popular outlet in 2016 for President Trump's campaign.
- The wave of US equity selloffs following the Chinese yuan's weakening and intensified trade tensions was relatively orderly, Barclays says. A weakened yuan is mildly beneficial for US equity earnings, the firm says, as US companies are net importers. This season's earnings results, which Barclays says have been slightly above expectations, should also dampen the pessimism. The market also expects the Fed to come to the rescue with more rate cuts by the end of 2020, according to Barclays. "The probability of our 'soggy soft patch' scenario (escalation of trade tensions which are neutralized by Fed easing) has now increased, leading to downside risks to our current price target," Barclays says.
- Trade groups representing grain-trading giants like Cargill, Archer Daniels Midland, Bunge and Louis Dreyfus push back on the Trump administration's proposal to loosen regulations for approving new genetically engineered crops. Farm commodity traders support biotech crops in general, but warn that speeding new varieties to market--before major crop-importing countries grant their own approvals--could lead those countries to block imports of US crops, snarling global trade flows. It's happened before: In late 2013 China blocked US corn after detecting unapproved GMO varieties, costing grain companies hundreds of millions of dollars. The Trump administration's June proposal "risks undermining consumer acceptance and international regulatory recognition of APHIS's regulatory oversight," say officials from the National Grain and Feed Association and other agribusinessgroups.
- The 10-year Treasury yield falls back to all-time lows at 1.618%, according to Tradeweb, after U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted Wednesday that the Federal Reserve "must Cut Rates bigger and faster, and stop their ridiculous quantitative tightening NOW". Similarly, the 10-year Bund also fell to -0.597%, a new record low. The yield curve spread between 2 and 10-year Treasury bonds also flattened, after narrowing to below 8 basis points, Tradeweb data shows. The "Yield curve is at too wide a margin, and no inflation!," continued Trump's tweet. The dollar falls against the euro and the yen, with EUR/USD up 0.3% at 1.1236 and USD/JPY down 0.8% at 105.65.
- Further escalation of tensions between the U.S. and China could continue to eat into European credit total returns on bonds rated at single A or below and compound the pressure on spreads via outflows, says Commerzbank's Cem Keltek. So far, China's pledge on Tuesday not to intentionally devalue its currency saw the selloff in risk-assets abate, he says, but European corporate bond spreads lagged the tightening seen in credit default swap indices. The selloff on Monday triggered by U.S. President Donald Trump's threat to impose a 10% tariff on the remaining $300 billion in imported Chinese goods sparked a differentiation in pricing among rating categories and negative total returns in euro-denominated investment-grade bonds, he adds.
- Gold is up 1.2% at $1,501.60 a troy ounce in early-day trade as the recent upturn in U.S.-China trade tensions continues to affect markets. Investors can't get enough of the haven asset; ETF investors bought around 0.9 million troy ounce of gold over the past week with total known ETF holdings of gold increasing to a fresh six-year high of 76.5 million troy ounces as of yesterday, ING strategists note. "Central banks are also likely to keep up with their gold purchases in 2H19, as the escalating political/trade uncertainty pushes countries to diversify assets," they add.                                                

- Brent crude oil is down 0.3% at $58.77 a barrel and WTI futures are down 0.2% at $53.52 a barrel after the U.S. variety sold off again late Tuesday. Brent, meanwhile, closed at its lowest level in seven months as trade barbs exchanged between the U.S. and China continued to weigh on various asset classes. With the latest twist in the trade saga signaling more difficulty ahead, analysts may once again revise demand growth estimates. Meanwhile, while President Trump "may not have too much to brag about when looking at the markets in recent days... perhaps this is one unintended benefit, as we all know he loves lower oil prices, " says OANDA's Craig Erlam.

Aug 07 - Trump sinks the markets - and maybe his reelection chances (WSJ DJ Reuters)
- Oil prices steadied after falling at the start of the session, with the potential for damage to the global economy and fuel demand from the intensifying Sino-U.S. trade dispute continuing to cast a shadow over the market.
- Gold prices jumped 1% to their highest in more than six years, as the trade war between China and the United States showed no signs of abating, spurring investors to seek refuge in safe-haven assets.
- London copper prices struggled to rebound from a two-year low as markets remained fragile with barely any signs of progress in the year-long trade negotiations between the United States and China.
- U.S. corn futures edged higher, though concerns forecasts for crop-friendly weather and fears of a protracted U.S.-China trade war limited gains.
- The Aussie and kiwi dollars skidded to multi-year lows after New Zealand's central bank shocked markets by flagging the chance of negative interest rates, sending safe-haven assets soaring.

- As a result of President Trump's deepening trade war with China and decision to label China a currency manipulator, financial markets on Monday took a beating, with the Dow down 767 points (about 3 percent) in the worst trading day of 2019. The Post reports: "The U.S. last named China a currency manipulator in the early 1990s, and has not applied that designation since. … Under the designation, America could impose much more significant tariffs on China than it has so far — which could trigger further retaliation from China." Even worse, economists fear that "the most dangerous potential consequence of a currency battle would be a slowing of overall economic growth in the U.S. and China, at a time when analysts already fear a global slowdown could push the U.S. into a recession." The market continued to sink in after-hours futures trading on Monday.

- Brent crude oil is down 0.3% at $58.77 a barrel and WTI futures are down 0.2% at $53.52 a barrel after the U.S. variety sold off again late Tuesday. Brent, meanwhile, closed at its lowest level in seven months as trade barbs exchanged between the U.S. and China continued to weigh on various asset classes. With the latest twist in the trade saga signaling more difficulty ahead, analysts may once again revise demand growth estimates. Meanwhile, while President Trump "may not have too much to brag about when looking at the markets in recent days... perhaps this is one unintended benefit, as we all know he loves lower oil prices, says OANDA's Craig Erlam.
- Tenet Healthcare CFO Dan Cancelmi tells analysts the company helps its patients estimate their cost for various procedures, working to factor in insurance coverage. Cancelmi describes those efforts in response to an analyst's question about a Trump administration proposal to make public the prices hospitals negotiate in confidence with health insurers. Cancelmi didn't comment specifically on the administration's proposal. "We are certainly supportive of making the experience for our patients as good as possible and enabling our patients to understand the economics associated with any care that will be provided to them," he says.
- Alphabet gains despite renewed criticism from President Trump via Twitter. Google's parent company rises 1.8% to $1,175.20, ahead of the Nasdaq for the day. Trump tweeted that he was "watching Google very closely" after WSJ reported last week that former Google engineer Kevin Cernekee says he was fired for expressing conservative political beliefs. Google denied that. Trump writes that Google CEO Sundar Pichai "was in the Oval Office working very hard to explain how much he liked me."
- The more the U.S. dollar rises, the more likely U.S. President Donald Trump will try to weaken it, increasing the prospects of currency intervention, TD Securities' Mark McCormick says. "Higher U.S. stocks and a stronger USD simply can't cohabitate and a weaker global economy fuels a stronger USD," he says, adding that intervention fears may contain dollar rallies. For now, risk aversion fueled by the escalation in the trade dispute between the U.S. and China favors fading any rallies in USD/JPY and USD/CHF, he says.

Aug 06 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- Oil prices rose more than 1% as traders betting on falling prices bought back contracts to lock in profits after declines over the last three sessions due to the escalating trade tensions between China and United States.
- Gold prices held firm near six-year highs as investors flocked to safety after the United States designated Beijing a currency manipulator, escalating a protracted trade war between the world's two biggest economies.
- London base metals edged higher, as the U.S. dollar weakened after Washington labelled Beijing a currency manipulator, marking a sharp escalation in the year-long trade dispute between the two economies.
- Chicago corn prices rose for a third session, underpinned by concerns over forecasts of adverse crop weather in parts of the U.S. Midwest that could potentially curb yields.

- In an angry outburst, Trump accused China of ‘currency manipulation’ and branded its decision a ‘major violation’. The US President has long claimed Beijing unfairly suppresses the value of the yuan to boost its own exporters. Trump tweeted: ‘China dropped the price of their currency to an almost historic low. It’s called “currency manipulation”.’ The fiery row spooked markets, causing traders to turn to safe havens such as gold and government debt. Amid the turmoil, £46bn was wiped off the value of the UK’s top companies in a blow to millions of pensioners who have their nest eggs tied up in stocks. Across the Atlantic, the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged by more than 900 points as the panic spread to Wall Street in the worst day for US stocks this year. It eventually closed down 2.9pc, or 767.27 points, at 25,717.24. The pan-European Euronext 100, Germany’s Dax, France’s Cac 40 and Italy’s FTSE MIB index also racked up losses.

- Brent crude oil is up 1% at $60.41 a barrel and WTI futures are up 1.1% at $55.25 a barrel, with both varieties clawing back a fraction of their heavy losses in recent trading sessions, as equities, FX, and commodities all show the strain from a fresh escalation of the U.S. and China's trade spat. While the U.S. labeled China a currency manipulator after the yuan weakened to 7 to the dollar, JBC Energy also points to an escalation in U.S. sanctions on Venezuela, imposing a total economic embargo. That said, JBC cites Argus reporting that exemptions remain in place for refiner Citgo as well as Chevron's stake in its joint venture with PdV.
- The FTSE Straits Times Index falls 1.4% to 3149.71 in early trade amid escalating U.S.-China trade tensions. In the short term, markets will experience "a lot of pain" in the aftermath of Trump latest call for increased tariffs and the devaluation of the renminbi that the U.S. administration is calling currency manipulation, says Joel Ng, the head of research for KGI Securities, but he expects the Monetary Authority of Singapore to adopt a looser stance in response to the current situation. Stocks on the index are broadly down, with DBS Group opening 1.3%
lower, Singapore Airlines down 0.2% and Singapore Telecommunications down 0.6%.
- Casino stocks join the sell-off, as the yuan weakens and President Trump accuses China of currency manipulation. Wynn Resorts falls 7.3% in mid-afternoon trading, Las Vegas Sands is down 4.4% and MGM Resorts loses 2.6% while ADRs for Melco Resorts fall 7%. Executives have said some casino customers are worried about tensions between the US and China. "We hear anecdotally ... that customers are concerned about the trade war. It is impacting some of their business," Las Vegas Sands COO Robert Goldstein told investors July 24 in a call about 2Q. Meanwhile, Hong Kong, a major customer base for casinos, is struggling with a political crisis, including street clashes and a citywide strike.
- Tech stocks are bearing the brunt of the market selloff amid an escalation in the US/China trade dispute. "It's a black cloud across the tech space with Apple and [semiconductor companies] front and center," Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives tells WSJ. "This is a growth and cost overhang on semis and can potentially disrupt the supply chain, that remains the major Street worry." Overall, Ives says, this could take 100 bps to 200 bps of growth off the space. Apple falls 5.4%, Advanced Micro Devices declines 5.7%, Nvidia sinks 7.3% and Broadcom is off 4.8%.

- Many livestock traders are maintaining some level of optimism, convinced US pork simply can't be ignored in a world battling swine fever. "Even if the Chinese try not to buy pork from the US, they are going to have to get it from Brazil or the EU," independent trader Dan Norcini says. "That means they could empty Brazil or the EU of all their hogs, forcing the customers of those countries to come here to the US to secure supplies." Combined, the EU and Brazil are projected to produce nearly 28M metric tons of pork this year, according to USDA data, while the US is projected to produce 12.6M tons.
- Oil prices remain lower due to broad-market selling and risk aversion related to a US-China trade fight, but a weak dollar may be preventing even steeper declines in crude. Oil is bought and sold in US dollars, so its price sometimes move inversely to the currency. The WSJ Dollar Index is down 0.6%, near a two-week low amid China trade tensions and weak US service-sector data. WTI's front-month contract for September delivery was recently 1.3% lower at $54.95 a barrel.
- Videogame company stocks slump after President Trump criticized the "glorification of violence" in games following the weekend's mass shootings that left 30 people dead. Two other political figures--House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick--also blamed videogames for contributing to mass shootings, with Patrick saying Activision Blizzard's "Call of Duty" franchise was named in the El Paso shooter's manifesto. Activision Blizzard falls 6.6%, Take-Two Interactive Software declines 5.9% and Electronic Arts stumbles 4.5%, outpacing the S&P 500's 2.4% fall. Take-Two reports fiscal 1Q earnings after the close of trading today; Activision Blizzard reports 2Q results on Thursday.
- Grain futures trade lower overnight, a trend that may not stop once the market opens at 9:30 am ET. In a tweet this morning, President Trump accused China of "currency manipulation"-- not a good sign for those hoping for the US and China to find common ground to return to negotiating a trade deal. "China dropped the price of their currency to an almost a historic low. It's called "currency manipulation," says Trump via Twitter. "Are you listening Federal Reserve? This is a major violation which will greatly weaken China over time!" December corn is currently down 1.8%, November soybeans are down 1.2%, and September wheat is down 1.8%.

Aug 05 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)
- Oil prices fell amid renewed global economic growth concerns after U.S. President Donald Trump vowed to escalate the trade war with China with more tariffs, which would likely limit fuel demand in the world's two biggest crude consumers.
- Gold prices jumped 1% to their highest level in more than six years, as the escalating trade war between the United States and China along with global growth worries drove investors towards safe-haven assets.
- Chicago soybean futures lost ground, falling for four out of five sessions, as an escalating trade war between Washington and Beijing caused headwinds to the market.
- London copper hit its lowest in more than two years after a trade war between the United States and China escalated, while Shanghai nickel prices hit a four-year high on renewed concerns of an export ban in Indonesia.
- China's yuan tumbled more than 1% to 11-year lows amid mounting fears over a sharp escalation in the U.S.-China trade war, sparking a sell-off in other currencies in the region.

- EUR/USD rises 0.1% to 1.1120 as the euro wins out over the dollar amid growing fears of escalating U.S.-China tensions after President Trump last week unexpectedly slapped further tariffs on Chinese goods imports, sending the Chinese yuan beyond 7 per dollar. Danske Bank sees limited scope for near-term gains in EUR/USD, with potential for the dollar to push higher after U.S. services PMI and ISM data later Monday. "We expect the U.S. service sector to remain healthy," Danske says. ING says sharply lower U.S. equity futures have helped lift EUR/USD, though it expects the euro to fall further against the safe-haven yen and Swiss franc.
- Gold is up 1% at $1,471.10 a troy ounce in early-day trading, as investors continue to buy haven assets after tweets from President Trump announcing expanded trade tariffs on China continued to drive markets. Fellow haven assets the Japanese Yen and the Swiss Franc were also higher, Deutsche Bank notes, while the Chinese yuan has weakened past RMB to the dollar. With China reportedly asking state-owned companies to suspend imports of U.S. agricultural products and the country's latest unofficial services purchasing managers index reading falling below market expectations, it's likely the fallout from the latest trade blow will remain in focus for investors in gold and broader markets.
- Brent crude oil is down 1.2% at $61.03 a barrel and WTI futures are down 1.2% at $54.98 a barrel in a fresh selloff after a brief rally on Friday. Sharp volatility began late in the U.S. day Thursday, with an 8% plunge after President Trump announced new tariffs on Chinese imports, renewing fears that the trade dispute between the two countries will drag on, stymying global growth. That marked oil's biggest drop since 2015. WTI and Brent recovered 3% and 2% on Friday. Traders are retaining focus on tariffs, JBC Energy says, while also keeping an eye on Iran. Iranian forces seized an Iraqi tanker allegedly smuggling fuel near Iran's Farsi Island in the Persian Gulf over the weekend.
- Oil prices are broadly lower in Asian trade as markets are still being dragged by President Trump's comments about imposing more tariffs on Chinese imports. U.S.-China trade issues will remain "the dominant factor shaping opinion on oil prices after the latest tariff escalation," VM Markets says. The trade tensions have weighed on global demand outlook and hurt oil prices. Oil prices may be supported near term by tensions in the Middle East. Front-month WTI was last down 0.5% and Brent futures was 0.9% lower.

Aug 05 - Trump tariff threat disrupts markets (WSJ DJ)

SHAREMARKETS around the world have come under pressure and the Australian dollar has taken a hit after US President Donald Trump ratcheted up his country’s trade war with China.

Investors piled into assets regarded as safe havens yesterday after Mr Trump announced the US would slap a 10 per cent import tax on those Chinese imports that are not already subject to tariffs.

From next month, the new tax will be levied on Chinese imports worth $US300 billion ($441.7 billion) a year.

Mr Trump’s move breaks a truce that was struck in June on moves to intensify the US-Sino trade war, and analysts say it could further disrupt global supply chains.

Eswar Prasad, an economist at New York’s Cornell University, said “the stage is now set for a further escalation of trade tensions between China and the US”. The US had already imposed 25 per cent tariffs on Chinese imports worth $US250 billion a year, and Beijing retaliated by taxing $US110 billion of goods imported from America. Australia’s benchmark ASX 200 index fell 20.3 points to 6768.6 points. The Aussie dollar fell heavily against the greenback, dropping as low as US67.86¢ yesterday.

Aug 03 - Global markets plunge on Trump's tariff threats (WSJ DJ)

Stock market volatility returned with a vengeance Friday on worries that U.S.-China trade differences will put the brakes on global growth.

The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 330 points before clawing back to a 98-point loss, closing Friday at 26,485. The wild day followed tariff threats and hardball statements by President Trump that he would be "taxing the hell out of China" if the Asian economic rival does not make a trade deal with the United States.

It was the worst week of 2019 for stocks. The Standard & Poor's 500-stock fell 21 points to close at 2,932, a drop of .73 percent on the day. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index fell 107 points, 1.32 percent, to close at 8,004 as markets headed into the weekend.

Nothing was spared. Software, chip stocks and the big technology names such as Microsoft and IBM, Intel, Salesforce and Oracle all declined on concerns over China and world trade. Investors fled to the safety of long bonds. The yield on the closely watched 10-year Treasury stayed beneath 2 percent and dipped to its lowest point in about three years.

In early 2018, the White House pivoted sharply away from its tax cut push and took initial steps toward launching a global trade war. These changes coincided with the departure of some top White House economic advisers and elevated others who were more supportive of Trump's adversarial approach. Though the stock market has had peaks and valleys since then, it is essentially in the same place it was when the trade wars began in early 2018.

The big drags on the Dow were companies most vulnerable to a closure in Chinese markets. Cisco finished down 3.86 percent, followed by Dow Inc. at 2.67 percent, footwear giant Nike at 2.38 percent, Apple at 2.12 percent and Caterpillar at 1.77 percent. The blue chips are still way up for 2019, at with a gain of 13.5 percent, heading into one of the historically worst months of the year for stocks.

The stock skid came despite a good jobs report Friday and a quarter-point rate cut by the Federal Reserve on Wednesday, both of which are seen as positive for the economy. But Trump's Thursday afternoon tweets threatening more tariffs on China brought the midsummer feel-good vibe crashing down.

Asian markets finished mostly down on Friday, led by a 2.35 percent decline in the Hong Kong Hang Seng Index. European markets were down across the board, led by France's CAC 40 at a nearly 3.6 percent drop.

Friday's losses pushed the Dow down more than 3 percent since hitting its all-time high of 27,359.16 more than two weeks ago. The Dow has lost more than 800 points since July 15.

"Just when you thought politics, tariffs and interest rates couldn't merge any more, the Fed announces a modest cut and the president ratchets up trade tariffs," said Nancy Tengler of Tengler Wealth Management. "We will likely enter a period when bad news will be good news again, but strap in for a volatile August."

Oil prices recovered Friday from steep losses the previous day on Trump's tariff threats. West Texas Intermediate oil was up $1.25 to $55.23 per barrel on Friday, a gain of 2.37 percent. The price had fallen 8 percent on Thursday.

"There was obviously some panic-selling" on Thursday, said John Kilduff of Again Capital. "But the tariff threat is weeks away and could easily be defused before the Sept. 1 deadline."

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

- Oil prices rose more than 2% rebounding from their biggest falls in years after U.S. President Donald Trump imposed more tariffs on Chinese imports, intensifying the trade war between the world's two biggest economies and crude consumers.
- Gold prices fell nearly 1% as investors locked in profit after U.S. President Donald Trump's fresh salvo in the year-long trade spat with China increased demand for the safe-haven metal in the previous session.
- London copper dropped to its lowest in over three weeks after U.S. President Donald Trump said he would slap a 10% tariff on the remaining $300 billion of Chinese imports from next month.
- Chicago soybean futures were on track for their biggest weekly decline in nearly three months as an escalation in a year-long dispute between Washington and Beijing weighed on the market.
- The Japanese yen surged to a five-week high versus the dollar and a 2-1/2-year peak against the pound, after U.S. President Donald Trump broke a truce in the Sino-U.S. trade war, bolstering demand or safe-havens.

- Sony Corp. and Nintendo Co. are among the Japanese companies most affected by President Trump's latest China tariffs that could take effect Sept. 1 as the list could include video game consoles, which are already being sold with slim margins. Nintendo has moved part of its console production from China to southeast Asia, including Vietnam. Sony Corp. said Tuesday it hasn't moved any manufacturing for the would-be-affected products from China as it wasn't clear at the time the tariffs on those products would materialize in the near term. Sony CFO Hiroki Totoki said Tuesday it may need to raise prices of affected products, including the PlayStation 4, if the U.S. goes ahead with tariffs on video-game consoles.
- It is unclear what caused Trump's latest intensification of the trade dispute. Worryingly, though, for the global economy, it appears Trump has gone all in and is hoping that China buckles under the pressure and caves to US demands. However, in such a scenario there is no way for China to fold without losing face since it goes against China's core demands of sincerity and the removal of existing tariffs, says NAB currency strategist Tapas Strickland. It is possible then that China will retaliate with an intensification of non-tariff barriers, as well as further Chinese stimulus to ward off headwinds. Chinese manufacturers will also continue to squeeze their margins to offset the tariff impact which will continue to add to a subdued global inflation picture.
- AUD/USD has declined some 1.0% to around 0.6800 and more than a ten-year low (excluding the 3 January 2019 flash trade). The Aussie is likely to remain under downward pressure as the ramifications of the trade tensions generate downward revisions to global growth, says CBA. While Australian exports to China have not been effected to date, in fact they have continued to grow, the market will continue to apply depreciation pressure to the currency. Commodity prices have provided some level of support against the depreciation pressures.
- US stocks fell sharply after President Trump said that the US will impose additional tariffs on China next month, after failing to make significant progress in talks this week. Before the afternoon announcement stocks were rebounding nicely from yesterday's losses as traders debated the chances of more Fed rate cuts this year. The dollar weakened and 10-year Treasury yield dropped below 1.90% as uncertainty gripped the market, sending gold prices higher. Financials and energy sectors both declined over 2% as oil prices plunged nearly 8%. DJIA drops 280 points to 26583, the S&P 500 slips 26 to 2953 and the Nasdaq loses 64 to 8111.
- Shares of retailers retreat after President Trump says he will impose a new round of tariffs on Chinese imports. Kohl's and Nordstrom slide 8% each, while Best Buy and Gap stumble 9.7%, and 8.9%, respectively. Although earlier tariffs mostly targeted industrial goods, the US plans to impose $300B of new levies on a range of consumer products, including clothing. With the tariffs due to take effect Sept. 1, retailers will have to weigh whether they can absorb the added costs themselves, spread them across vendors or pass them on to customers. All three of those options have the potential to stifle sales and profit growth this year, analysts say.
- October lean hog futures on the CME closed out trading down 5% at 67.475 cents per pound, with the market reacting negatively to President Trump's tweets announcing a new 10% tariff on $300M worth of Chinese goods come Sept. 1. "Trump and his love affair with tariffs is ruining US pork producers...The hogs are essentially back where they were when the news out of China broke at how great the carnage has been from [African swine fever] losses," says independent trader Dan Norcini. The hog market is now projected to stay bearish for the foreseeable future, although some weakening in the US dollar following the announcement could mitigate the bearishness, says Mike Zuzolo of Global Commodity Analytics. Meanwhile, October live cattle futures finished trading 1% higher, at $1.08725 per pound.
- US government bond yields have erased almost all of their rise following the 2016 presidential election when investors bet that massive tax cuts and infrastructure spending would stimulate growth and inflation. The benchmark 10-year Treasury yield has fallen more than 1 percentage point since peaking at a multiyear high of about 3.2% in November. Yields extended earlier declines Thursday after President Trump said he would impose additional tariffs on imports from China. The yield on the 10-year note was a recent 1.907%. It had been 1.867% on Nov. 8, 2016.
- The revelation that the US will lobby a new tariff of 10% on $300B worth of Chinese goods come Sept. 1, has hit grains futures--with December corn down 1.5%, November soybeans off 1.9% and September wheat down 2.3%. China's apparent failure to honor promises to buy more US agriculture appear to be one factor driving President Trump's decision. US grain export sales were again low in the past week, according to the USDA.
- Investors are turning to a familiar playbook on trade uncertainty: Raising bets that the Fed will keep lowering interest rates. Fed-funds futures now show a 91.5% chance of at least one more rate cut this year and a roughly 56% probability of at least two more cuts in the central bank's  remaining meetings of 2019. Traders had lifted bets on further rate cuts earlier in the session, then the odds of further cuts climbed even more following President Trump's announcement of an additional 10% tariff on more Chinese goods on September 1st.
- October hog futures are now down 5.9%, with President Trump confirming that the US-China talks earlier this week in Shanghai did not conclude on a positive note, and placing a new tariff of 10% on $300B worth of Chinese goods beginning Sept 1. Livestock traders have been hopeful that a trade deal would take place to allow US pork producers to take advantage of China's need for protein in the wake of devastation by African swine fever. The October contract is now as its lowest level since early March.
- President Trump's tweet about additional tariffs is causing fresh worries that a drawn-out trade spat will add more pressure on a slowing world economy, sending the Cboe Volatility Index up 8.3% to 17.46. It is now up 43% for the week, though it is still down sharply for the year. Wall Street's "fear gauge," which tracks expected swings in the S&P 500, has gotten a boost from uncertainty about interest rates and now trade policy the past two sessions. Most-active Comex gold futures are also rallying after-hours, climbing 0.9% as investors seek safer assets.
- Oil prices are now down about 6.7% at $54.68 a barrel after President Trump tweets that he is putting an additional tariff of 10% on $300B of Chinese imports starting Sept. 1, the latest example of fears about slowing global growth triggering oversupply fears for commodities. US crude is now heading for its largest one-day drop of 2019.

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

- Oil prices skidded declining for the first time in six days, after the U.S. Federal Reserve dampened hopes for a string of interest rate cuts and Sino-U.S. talks ended without apparent progress towards resolving a bitter trade dispute.
- Gold prices dropped to two-week lows after the U.S. Federal Reserve cut rates by 25 basis points as expected but tampered market expectations of a lengthy easing cycle, lifting the dollar to a two-year high.
- London copper prices slipped to a three-week low after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the U.S. central bank's first rate cut since 2008 was not the start of a long easing cycle, while Sino-U.S. trade talks appeared to have made little progress.
- U.S. corn futures edged higher rebounding from a seven-week low touched in the previous session, although gains were checked by forecasts for more favourable weather that eased concerns about the prospects for the coming crop.

- Fed Chairman Jerome Powell says the biggest threat from trade dispute is the impact on business confidence. "The mechanical effects of the tariffs are quite small... as it relates to U.S. economy," Powell said at the FOMC press conference. But the impact on business confidence, much harder to measure, continues to weigh on businesses, he said. "Businesses will tell you that it's a factor, particularly ... manufacturing business that have supply chains that cross international borders," Powell said.
- President Trump has been thrashing the Fed for months over monetary policy issues and calling for lower rates and an end to balance sheet shrinkage. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell was asked if the president's position had any bearing on lowering rates Wednesday, and he says it doesn't. "We never take into account politics," nor are rates changed to prove a point to politicians: "We also don't conduct monetary policy to prove our independence."
- Fed Chairman Jerome Powell acknowledged part of lowering rates was a "risk management" action and said "there's defiantly an insurance aspect" to what the central bank did. But he also added that Fed officials are dealing with novel uncertainty when it comes to trade amid the Trump Administration's disputes with other nations. This trade situation "is something we haven't faced before and we are learning by doing," Powell said.
- Health insurance investors are shrugging off the criticism leveled at the industry during last night's Democratic debate, perhaps signaling that the market is less jittery about the immediate prospects for "Medicare for all" policies. UnitedHealth, Anthem and Cigna are slightly higher. Humana's far steeper, 4.8%, increase is due to today's strong earnings powered by its core Medicare business. Humana and Molina also both beat projections for their medical-loss ratios, which have been a focus of investor concern with earlier earnings results.
- A lack of major developments in the US-China trade talks has hit the grain market following the conclusion of the talks in Shanghai this week. "The US trade delegation is leaving Shanghai with very little concrete progress having been made," AgResource says. Although the USDA announced a 104,500 metric ton sales of soybeans to an unknown destination, most likely China, the amount of the transaction is nowhere near enough to excite traders. November soybeans are trading down 0.7% Wednesday. US officials believe that China's new strategy is to wait out their US counterparts.
- The USDA reported the sale of 104,500 metric tons of soybeans Wednesday, with all but 500 tons to be delivered during the 2019/20 marketing year. The destination for the deliveries is unknown, which is usually believed to be China by market participants. However, November soybeans futures are down 0.5% overnight, as optimism about renewed US-China trade talks continues to dwindle. "No new good news on the trade front with face to face meetings in China concluding today with no new announcements," says Doug Bergman of RCM Alternatives.
- The CEO of medical-devices company Smith & Nephew says that he isn't worried about drug-pricing reform spilling over from the pharmaceutical industry to affect his sector. Speaking to the Dow Jones Newswires, Namal Nawana notes that "we're riding into a political cycle," and that what is said in the run-up to an election isn't always indicative of what happens after. "I don't feel at all in the same bucket as pharma," he adds.
- It is unclear what triggered President Trump's new round of tweets against China, but maybe what did the trick was news that U.S. soybean exports to China had collapsed in the first half of the year to the lowest level in more than a decade alongside another fall in pork sales in June, says NAB. This would seem like a pretty good guess given Trump's tweets that "China is doing very badly, worst year in 27 -- was supposed to start buying our agricultural product now -- no signs that they are doing so." Whether soybeans were the trigger will never be known, but it is certainly not a great look as U.S. trade negotiators enter a second day of negotiations in Shanghai. The only positive thing we can say for now is that the two parties are still willing to carry on talking, NAB adds.
- New Zealand's NZX-50 index opens flat at 10878.52 on Wednesday as President Trump's latest trade outburst stokes skittishness among investors. Trump tweeted on Tuesday morning that there were "no signs" of China making a new effort to buy U.S. agricultural products. The DJIA fell 0.1% overnight to snap a 2-day winning streak, ahead of Chinese and U.S. negotiators resuming trade talks this week in Shanghai. Fisher & Paykel Healthcare drops 0.9% to NZ$16.65, while Fletcher Building falls 0.8% to NZ$5.05. Some support is offered by A2 Milk's 0.3% rise to NZ$17.85, while Contact Energy lifts 1.7% to NZ$7.95.
- Apple is seeking exclusions on tariffs for some components for the Mac Pro because it wants to resume manufacturing of the product in the US, CEO Tim Cook says. The company this year shifted production of its new Mac Pro to China after making the previous model in Austin, Texas. It recently asked the Trump administration for an exclusion on tariffs for some components for the device. President Trump said Apple would be denied those exclusions and needed to make the Mac Pro in the US. Cook says Apple wants to do that. "We've been making the Mac Pro in the US and we want to continue to do that," he says.
- The NZD/USD stumbles toward monthly lows as President Trump's latest trade outburst damps market risk sentiment, Australia & New Zealand Banking Group says. Trump tweeted Tuesday morning that there were "no signs" of China making a new effort to buy US agricultural products. "That is the problem with China, they just don't come through," he added. Chinese and US negotiators are resuming trade talks this week in Shanghai. ANZ said the kiwi was also weighed down by a weaker Aussie dollar, with the immediate focus on ANZ Business Confidence data at 1pm in New Zealand, ahead of Aussie CPI not long after. The FOMC meeting also looms later on Wednesday. The NZD/USD is at 0.6613.

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

- Oil prices rose for a fifth day, buoyed by a bigger-than-expected drop in U.S. inventories and as investors awaited a widely expected cut in interest rates by the Federal Reserve, the first in more than 10 years.
- Gold prices were little changed as investors waited on the outcome of the Federal Reserve's meeting later in the day when policymakers are expected to cut interest rates for the first time since the financial crisis.
- Copper prices in London rose ahead of an expected interest rate cut by the U.S. Federal Reserve, but were on track to fall this month amid slowing growth from top consumer China.
- Chicago corn futures edged higher with bargain-buying supporting prices after the market dropped to its lowest in seven weeks, although gains were limited by improved condition of the U.S. crop.
- The dollar held firm as a wait-and-see mood prevailed, with traders looking ahead to the outcome of the Federal Reserve's meeting later in the day when policymakers are expected to cut interest rates for the first time since 2008.

- New Zealand's NZX-50 index opens flat at 10878.52 on Wednesday as President Trump's latest trade outburst stokes skittishness among investors. Trump tweeted on Tuesday morning that there were "no signs" of China making a new effort to buy U.S. agricultural products. The DJIA fell 0.1% overnight to snap a 2-day winning streak, ahead of Chinese and U.S. negotiators resuming trade talks this week in Shanghai. Fisher & Paykel Healthcare drops 0.9% to NZ$16.65, while Fletcher Building falls 0.8% to NZ$5.05. Some support is offered by A2 Milk's 0.3% rise to NZ$17.85, while Contact Energy lifts 1.7% to NZ$7.95.
- Apple is seeking exclusions on tariffs for some components for the Mac Pro because it wants to resume manufacturing of the product in the US, CEO Tim Cook says. The company this year shifted production of its new Mac Pro to China after making the previous model in Austin, Texas. It recently asked the Trump administration for an exclusion on tariffs for some components for the device. President Trump said Apple would be denied those exclusions and needed to make the Mac Pro in the US. Cook says Apple wants to do that. "We've been making the Mac Pro in the US and we want to continue to do that," he says.
- The NZD/USD stumbles toward monthly lows as President Trump's latest trade outburst damps market risk sentiment, Australia & New Zealand Banking Group says. Trump tweeted Tuesday morning that there were "no signs" of China making a new effort to buy US agricultural products. "That is the problem with China, they just don't come through," he added. Chinese and US negotiators are resuming trade talks this week in Shanghai. ANZ said the kiwi was also weighed down by a weaker Aussie dollar, with the immediate focus on ANZ Business Confidence data at 1pm in New Zealand, ahead of Aussie CPI not long after. The FOMC meeting also looms later on Wednesday. The NZD/USD is at 0.6613.
- Grains futures on the CBOT fall on President Trump's tweeted frustrations about the US-China trade talks as well as improved corn crop ratings. The one percentage-point improvement in the 2019/20 corn crop is also spurring managed money funds to sell off their corn long positions, says Doug Bergman of RCM Alternatives. "The 1% bump in corn ratings [is] giving 'the funds' the go ahead to dump more of  their corn longs," says Bergman. "Improved crop ratings, a managed fund long that has a lot of underwater positions, and uncertainty over the August crop report are keeping buyers away." September wheat is down 1.4%, December corn is down 1.2%, and November soybeans are down 0.9%.
- October hog futures jumped out to another decline Tuesday, with the contract trading down 2.7%. Hogs have now fallen over 5% since the start of the week, due to the negative comments from President Trump about China failing to hold up its end of the bargain on additional agricultural purchases, as well as the President's suspicions that China will not agree to a deal until after the US 2020 election. "[Hog] futures... remain exposed to China trade talk risk this week, which Trump may have amplified this morning with comments about their lack of follow-through on [agricultural] product purchases," says INTL FCStone. October live cattle futures are also down 1.1% so far in Tuesday's session.
- Sales of Eli Lilly's insulin products took a hit in the second quarter. Sales of Humalog fell 12% globally including a 15% drop in the US Lilly attributed the decline to higher rebates provided to industry middlemen and its increased share of covering patients' out-of-pocket costs in the Medicare Part D prescription benefit. The drop comes as Lilly and other insulin makers face various government investigations of a series of list price increases over many years. Lilly says the net US price for its insulin--after rebates to middlemen--has dropped in recent years, but that changes in insurance plans have exposed some patients to higher out-of-pocket costs. Lilly says it has tried to offset this with increased financial assistance and the introduction of a lower-cost version of Humalog. Shares slip 0.2%.
- Ralph Lauren's inventory was up 11% at the end of the recent quarter compared with the same period a year ago as the company pulled forward some shipments to mitigate the effect of trade tariffs on imports from China. The company also bulked up inventory in Asia as it expands in the region. Shares slip 3.6%.
- Grains traders hoping for good news from the US delegation in Shanghai this week on trade negotiations may see their cautious optimism derailed, thanks to tweets from President Trump this morning. "China is doing very badly, worst year in 27 - was supposed to start buying our agricultural product now - no signs that they are doing so," Trump tweeted Tuesday. "That is the problem with China, they just don't come through." Grains futures on the CBOT overnight
traded lower -- led by September wheat, which dropped 1.1%.

Jul 30 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)
- Oil prices rose for a fourth day on optimism the U.S. Federal Reserve will this week cut interest rates for the first time in more than ten years, which should support economic and fuel demand growth in the world's biggest oil user.
- Gold prices dipped as the dollar rose to a two-month high, while investors awaited the outcome of a two-day U.S. Federal Reserve policy meeting expected to result in a cut in interest rates.
- Industrial metals rallied amid market expectations of a U.S. rate cut and as U.S. and Chinese officials meet in Shanghai to discuss their year-long trade dispute.
- Chicago corn futures slid for a fifth consecutive session after a weekly U.S. government report rated the crop condition above market forecasts.
- As the Trump administration readies to re-engage in Chinese trade negotiators this week, US farmers want to see progress. The American Farm Bureau Federation urges the Trump administration to make progress toward an agreement that will see China drop tariffs that the Washington-based agricultural lobby group says have cut exports by more than half from 2017 levels, after rising by about eight times from 2000 to 2017. "All eyes will be on this week's trade negotiations in China because reopening the door to one of the largest markets in the world is key to helping farmers get back on their feet," says Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall.
- The dollar is a touch higher, boosted in part by gains against the British pound amid rising fears that the UK could leave the European Union without a deal to soften the economic damage from an exit. Though the new UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he would prefer to leave the EU with the deal he has been more adamant than his predecessor, Theresa May, that Brexit will proceed with or without an agreement. The pound was recently down 1% against the dollar at $1.2258, while the WSJ Dollar Index was up 0.1% at 90.90.

Jul 29 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- Oil prices fell as investors fretted over the outlook for global economic growth, while weekend talks between Iran and major powers ended on a generally positive note, suggesting an easing of tensions in the Middle East.
- Gold prices were stable ahead of a U.S. Federal Reserve meeting later in the week where markets will watch for indications of monetary easing in the world's largest economy.
- Most industrial metals on the London Metal Exchange advanced ahead of planned U.S.-China trade talks, but gains were capped due to a cautious view on the outcome of the discussion.
- Chicago wheat futures rose nearly 1% with the market to climb for three out of four sessions, underpinned by a reduction in estimates for output in top exporter Russia.
- The dollar clung to a two-month high against a basket of currencies in Asia after better-than-expected U.S. GDP data last week enhanced its yield attraction against rival currencies.

Jul 26 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- Oil prices edged higher on worries about Middle East tensions, offset by a flagging global economic growth outlook amid the U.S.-China trade war.
- Gold prices steadied after touching a one-week low in the previous session, buoyed by expectations of monetary policy easing from leading central banks, while investors awaited U.S. economic growth data due later in the day.
- Copper prices fell, with London copper on track for its first weekly decline in three, as comments from European Central Bank President Mario Draghi were less dovish than expected and the bank held rates steady at its latest meeting.
- U.S. corn futures edged lower as the grain was poised to record weekly losses of 2%, despite fears ongoing adverse weather could wilt crops.
- The dollar stayed near a two-week high versus the yen as investors pared expectations for aggressive Federal Reserve interest rate cuts ahead of key U.S. economic data later in the day.

- Trade tensions with China are giving Intel Corp. (INTC) some anxiety. INTC CEO Bob Swan on an earnings call Thursday says that the prospect of further increases in tariffs on imports from China and other issues related to trade talks between the U.S. and the country give the company some uncertainty over the second half of the year. "There's still a little bit of unknown about how this China thing will play out," he says. "That's probably what makes me a little bit more anxious."
- Rockwell Automation says tariffs and protectionist trade measures by the US and other countries are causing companies to dial back investments in factories. "We're seeing the continued uncertainty over trade and tariffs that is starting to weigh on investment decisions," CEO Blake Moret tells analysts. Ongoing trade tensions between the US and China are causing collateral damage in third-party countries that are supplying less machinery or material to manufacturers in China that are now exporting less to the US. Rockwell reported better-than-expected EPS on improved margins, but sales slipped 2% and the company slashed its guidance for the year. Shares fall 0.7%.

Jul 25 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- Oil prices nudged higher amid Middle East tensions and after weekly U.S. crude stocks dropped more than expected, but gains were stemmed by a fragile demand outlook on increasing signs of slowing global economic growth.
- Gold prices eased as the U.S. dollar hovered near multi-week highs, while some investors locked in profits ahead of major central bank meetings this month.
- Shanghai lead advanced, tracking a rally in London prices overnight, as investors were worried about a supply shortage amid some maintenance activities in China.
- U.S. soybean futures edged higher, as traders eyed a breakthrough in a trade war between Washington and Beijing.

Jul 24 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)
- Oil prices edged higher, extending gains as rising tensions with Iran fuelled concerns about supply disruptions and as U.S. inventory data showed a much bigger than expected drop in crude stockpiles.
- Gold prices rose, moving away from a one-week low touched in the previous session, as escalating tensions in the Middle East drove investors towards the safe-haven metal, while a stronger dollar limited the metal's gain.
- London industrial metals prices advanced amid reports of progress in trade negotiations between the United States and China.
- Chicago corn futures were largely unchanged after closing higher, with fears about widespread yield losses due to recent adverse U.S. weather conditions underpinning the market.

- Brent crude oil is up 0.2% at $63.96 a barrel and WTI crude is up 0.5% at $57.04 a barrel on a morning of shallow moves after prices jumped following American Petroleum Institute data released Tuesday showing what JBC Energy calls a "massive draw." While Iran tensions simmer and investors await news on U.S.-China trade talks, JBC also says there is a growing case that U.S. shale production will slow down. "First, there is sobering news regarding shale company performance and the wide-spread sentiment that capital discipline is tightening up investments," JBC says, adding that "in the past tighter budgets might actually have encouraged aggressive production gains in the near term," but that may soon no longer be sustainable given declining rig counts among other factors.
- Industrial-metal prices rise after reports that the U.S. and China will resume face-to-face trade talks next week. A senior official in the U.S. administration told The Wall Street Journal that a delegation including Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will meet Vice Premier Liu He in Shanghai. Copper, aluminum and other base metals are acutely sensitive to China's economy, and have been in the doldrums since mid-April. But many analysts say tight supplies, especially in copper, would lead to higher prices if the trade tensions are resolved. Copper is up 0.2% at $5,995 a ton, aluminum is 0.4% higher at $1,828 a ton and nickel gains 0.3% to $14,270 a ton on the London Metal Exchange.
- Sterling could rally if Boris Johnson's victory in the U.K. Conservative Party leadership contest is confirmed this morning, says Kit Juckes of Societe Generale. However, he expects any rise to be short-lived, saying "the prospect of a difficult relationship with other leaders as [Johnson] tries to eke out some improvement in the terms on which the U.K. leaves the EU is hardly confidence-inspiring." The pound is down 0.4% against the dollar at $1.2425, though every other G10 currency is also lower after the deal to avert a U.S. debt-ceiling crisis. Juckes also has his eye on U.S. housing-start data due at 1.30pm BST.

- Stocks extend gains in afternoon trading after Bloomberg reports US negotiators are heading to China on Monday for face-to-face talks. No further details were immediately available. The S&P 500 rises 0.6%, while Dow Jones Industrial Average climbs 0.5%. Both indexes are trading at their highs for the day. Treasurys extend earlier losses, with the 10-year yield rising to 2.07%.
- 2Q results from Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line will reassure investors that the overall cruise industry is healthy, according to Wells Fargo Securities, despite facing some challenges from having to redeploy ships due to the Trump administration's Cuba travel ban. Of note, will be Norwegian's commentary on pricing for Cuban cruise redeployments given the company has the largest industry exposure, with about 4% of annual capacity, Wells Fargo says. For the full year, both companies are estimated to see a negative EPS impact from Cuba travel restrictions and other factors. Royal Caribbean is expected to report results Thursday and Norwegian in August.
- Canada says it officially launched the procurement process by which it plans to acquire 88 new fighter jets for the air force. Suppliers have until the spring of 2020 to submit their proposals, and the approved candidates, the government said, are Airbus, Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Saab. Proposals will be judged on technical merit, cost and economic benefits for Canadian regions. A decision by Canada to purchase new fighter jets has dragged on for over a decade, as an initial plan to acquire F-35s from Lockheed Martin were ensnared in a political uproar in the previous Tory administration. The current Liberal government initially balked at acquiring F-35 but has since softened its stance.
- President Trump touts the $16B designated to aid farmers hurt this year by global trade turmoil in a tweet, saying "farmers are starting to do great again, after 15 years of a downward spiral. The 16 Billion Dollar China 'replacement' money didn't exactly hurt!" The tweet comes after the White House's Office of Management and Budget completed its regulatory review of the market facilitation program earlier this month. Some market participants speculate that the USDA may release more details about the program--which was originally announced in late May--this week, but the USDA did not immediately respond to a request for comment on that possibility.
- Toys have largely dodged tariffs but Hasbro isn't taking any chances that will last, especially with the key selling season approaching. The toy company says it incurred additional expenses as it moved products into the US earlier than it normally would ahead of the holiday season. CEO Brian Goldner says that the steps leave Hasbro "extremely well prepared for what would be a very challenging and damaging impact if tariffs were implemented." Retailers are increasingly reluctant to take ownership of import until they reach the US, so Hasbro anticipates it will have to import more product into the US, which increase shipping and warehousing costs.
- Sterling could rally if Boris Johnson's victory in the U.K. Conservative Party leadership contest is confirmed this morning, says Kit Juckes of Societe Generale. However, he expects any rise to be short-lived, saying "the prospect of a difficult relationship with other leaders as [Johnson] tries to eke out some improvement in the terms on which the U.K. leaves the EU is hardly confidence-inspiring." The pound is down 0.4% against the dollar at $1.2425, though every other G10 currency is also lower after the deal to avert a U.S. debt-ceiling crisis. Juckes also has his eye on U.S. housing-start data due at 1.30pm BST.
- Nordic markets are expected to open slightly higher Tuesday, with IG calling the OMXS30 up 0.5% at around 1609. U.S. stock markets rose further yesterday evening, driven by the oil- and tech industries while both U.S. and European futures are indicating a continued modest climb today, says SEB. Asian markets are also mostly in the green this morning. After weeks of intense negotiations, the U.S. congress and government have reached an agreement to raise the U.S. debt ceiling significantly, SEB adds. "The agreement will reduce political risks somewhat, since it shows a will to compromise in an otherwise very polarized political climate." Later today, the outcome of the U.K. Tory leadership vote is due. OMXS30 closed at 1600.88, OMXN40 at 1537.09 and OBX at 799.19.
- Former Air Force pilot and Delta Air Lines executive Steve Dickson is expected to win Senate approval to head the Federal Aviation Administration. But in the process, he must overcome a perplexing hurdle: change or overcome a decades-old law prohibiting both of the FAA's two top leaders from having a military background. Deputy FAA Administrator Dan Elwell, who has been the acting agency chief, also graduated from the Air Force Academy. Lawmakers seem inclined to eventually craft a legislative solution, though Elwell may have to step aside until then. The Senate also could confirm Dickson with the unorthodox expectation a legal fix will follow. But that's especially tricky, given the party-line committee vote to advance the nomination.

Jul 23 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)
- Oil prices edged higher amid lingering concerns about possible supply disruptions in the Middle East, but an overall weaker demand outlook kept a lid on gains, helped by a vow by the International Energy Agency (IEA) to take swift action to keep global oil markets adequately supplied.
- Gold prices fell as the dollar strengthened and some investors locked in profits ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve meeting next week.
- Most London base metals rose on expectations of monetary policy easing by major central banks this month, helping nickel prices rebound after two sessions of declines.
- Chicago corn futures rose as the market rebounded from last session's three-week low after a U.S. government report showed the country's crop condition lagging behind market expectations.

- Seeking to free up NASA funding to accelerate human space exploration, White House aides and some outside advisers are examining the idea of combining management of all US military and civilian rocket launches under the Pentagon. Such a move would be controversial, according to people briefed on the concept, but could save hundreds of millions of dollars for NASA over several years. NASA currently runs all supply missions to the international space station, and is developing commercial capsules to ferry astronauts to and from the orbiting international laboratory. If the Pentagon oversaw such flights, proponents of the idea argue it would save spending on overlapping teams. But the idea is bound to be opposed by international partners, and hasn't gained enough momentum to be publicly pushed by the Trump Administration.
- Brent crude oil is up 1.7% at $63.50 a barrel and WTI rises 1.4% to $56.55 a barrel as investors react to the latest escalation in tensions between Iran and the West after Tehran announced the seizure of a British-flagged oil tanker Friday. Iranian forces captured the British-flagged tanker in the Persian Gulf, a move widely seen as retaliation for the U.K.'s seizure of an Iranian vessel off Gibraltar two weeks earlier. "Despite there being no production outages yet, markets realize the situation is far from solved," says UBS Wealth Management's Giovanni Staunovo. He adds that markets had settled down last week after the Trump administration said Iran was willing to negotiate.

Jul 22 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- Oil prices rose on concerns that Iran's seizure of a British tanker last week may lead to supply disruptions in the Middle East and after Libya reported the shut down of its largest oil field.
- Gold prices gained following a steep fall in the previous session as tensions in the Middle East and weaker financial markets supported the metal, while a stronger dollar kept a lid on gains.
- Nickel prices retreated as a buying rally that sent the metal used mostly in making stainless steel to its highest in more than a year, started to lose steam.
- Chicago corn futures slid 1.6%, falling for two out three sessions, as forecasts of cooler weather across much of the U.S. Midwest eased fears about potential yield losses.

- Brent crude oil is up 1.3% at $62.76 a barrel and WTI is up 1.1% at $55.88 a barrel with prices relatively steady over the past hours after some wild swings on Thursday. Aside from the ongoing spat between Iran and the U.S. in the Strait of Hormuz on Thursday--Iran seized a tanker before the U.S. downed one of its drones--there were reports that International Energy Agency director Fatih Birol announced a 100,000-barrel cut in the agency's 2019 oil demand forecast. Further reports that the contaminated Druzhba pipeline is up and running contributed to oil market volatility, Sucden Financial Research's Geordie Wilkes says.
- Brent crude oil is up 1.6% at $62.93 a barrel and WTI crude is up 1.2% at $55.94 a barrel with prices having turned around after hitting monthly lows on Thursday. It has been a severely volatile 24 hours, with oil selling off Thursday on a combination of fund activity and Iran's request that sanctions on its economy be lifted in exchange for stricter nuclear inspections. In the Strait of Hormuz, Iran said it had seized a foreign ship with a crew of 12 that had been smuggling oil, before President Trump announced later in the day that the U.S. had downed an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz. Investors will no doubt be watching already-strained U.S.-Iran relations for further signs of deterioration today.
- The Trump administration is tightening "Buy American" requirements for federally funded projects that use steel. Previously, contractors were able comply even if some portion of the steel production was done elsewhere. Steelmaker Nucor says that loophole has been eliminated, requiring now that steel be melted, poured and rolled entirely in the US. "We're pleased," says John Ferriola, CEO of Nucor, which supplies steel plate for the US military. "It's a positive impact to us, but it is not a major impact."
- PPG CEO Michael McGarry says the trade dispute between the US and China is sinking consumer confidence in the Asian country, leading to fewer car purchases and hurting the paint maker's car business there. "The single biggest factor in this is the trade war, if that's what you want to call it. People have money in their pocket in China. People are employed," McGarry says on a call. "Whenever this does settle, we will see a pop."
- UnitedHealth doesn't plan to back down from its move to require that drug rebates be passed to consumers, despite the Trump administration's decision to pull back a proposal affecting rebates in Medicare. CEO David Wichmann says during the company's earnings call that the UnitedHealth's decision on rebates wasn't tied to the federal stance, and the company believes that passing rebates to consumers has improved adherence to medications. Asked about the UnitedHealth rebate policy's impact on its commercial business, he said that there have been "no implications with respect to that policy adoption." Shares slip 2%.
- Honeywell International says it hasn't received any indication from the Chinese government that it will be blacklisted because of its business involvement in weapon sales to Taiwan. There were reports this week in China's state media that the firm was among those facing sanctions from China because of involvement in the deals. Honeywell has said it didn't have input on the deals cut in Washington and continued to distance itself from the situation on Wednesday, noting that it sees no reason why it would face boycotts.
- The pound rises 0.4% against the dollar despite a warning from the U.K.'s Office for Budget Responsibility that economic risks are larger than they were two years ago. The OBR forecasts that a no-deal Brexit--an outcome that both U.K. prime ministerial candidates have signaled a willingness to pursue--would push the U.K. into a recession, with GDP falling 2.1% amid declining business confidence and higher trade barriers with the EU. In the case of a no deal, the OBR forecasts an additional GBP30 billion a year in borrowing from 2020-21 onward, and an additional 12% of GDP to net debt by 2023-4 compared with a March estimate, as tax receipts fall. Under the stress-test scenario, sterling would depreciate 10%, the OBR says.

Jul 19 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- Oil prices rose nearly 2% as tensions brewed again in the Middle East after a U.S. Navy ship destroyed an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz, a major chokepoint for global crude flows.
- Gold surpassed the key $1,450 level for the first time since May 2013, after comments from a top Federal Reserve official bolstered expectations of an interest rate cut, while fresh tensions in the Middle East further supported bullion.
- Nickel extended its rally, having hit a four-year high in Shanghai overnight, after comments from two Federal Reserve officials revived bets for an aggressive rate cut this month, lifting the entire base metals complex.
- Chicago corn futures ticked higher, but the market was poised for its biggest weekly drop since June 2017 as cooler weather across the U.S. Midwest boosted crop prospects.
- The dollar steadied but was still on the defensive after Federal Reserve officials bolstered expectations of an aggressive rate cut this month to address weakening price pressures.

- UnitedHealth doesn't plan to back down from its move to require that drug rebates be passed to consumers, despite the Trump administration's decision to pull back a proposal affecting rebates in Medicare. CEO David Wichmann says during the company's earnings call that the UnitedHealth's decision on rebates wasn't tied to the federal stance, and the company believes that passing rebates to consumers has improved adherence to medications. Asked about the UnitedHealth rebate policy's impact on its commercial business, he said that there have been "no implications with respect to that policy adoption." Shares slip 2%.
- Honeywell International says it hasn't received any indication from the Chinese government that it will be blacklisted because of its business involvement in weapon sales to Taiwan. There were reports this week in China's state media that the firm was among those facing sanctions from China because of involvement in the deals. Honeywell has said it didn't have input on the deals cut in Washington and continued to distance itself from the situation on Wednesday, noting that it sees no reason why it would face boycotts.
- Brent crude oil is up 0.4% at $63.90 a barrel and WTI crude is up 0.2% at $56.88 a barrel in midmorning trade in London. Both recoup only a small amount of their losses so far this week. Saxo Bank's Ole Hansen points to oil as having suffered from a cocktail of factors including the dissipation of Tropical Storm Barry and remarks from the Trump administration on potential talks with Iran and another setback in trade negotiations with China, softening supply fears and prolonging demand concerns. JBC Energy meanwhile, notes smaller-than-expected U.S. inventory draws as also contributing to this week's pricing pressure.
- The pound rises 0.4% against the dollar despite a warning from the U.K.'s Office for Budget Responsibility that economic risks are larger than they were two years ago. The OBR forecasts that a no-deal Brexit--an outcome that both U.K. prime ministerial candidates have signaled a willingness to pursue--would push the U.K. into a recession, with GDP falling 2.1% amid declining business confidence and higher trade barriers with the EU. In the case of a no deal, the OBR forecasts an additional GBP30 billion a year in borrowing from 2020-21 onward, and an additional 12% of GDP to net debt by 2023-4 compared with a March estimate, as tax receipts fall. Under the stress-test scenario, sterling would depreciate 10%, the OBR says.
- The Fed's latest "beige book" report of anecdotes from business contacts said difficulties in securing and renewing work visas added to firms' challenges in finding workers amid a tight labor market. "A number of contacts noted difficulties in securing and renewing H1B visas for specialized workers, and cited uncertainty about this as a problem," the New York Fed reported. The Philadelphia Fed, meanwhile, heard that "far fewer" temporary work visas had been awarded to local businesses than had been expected.
- Businesses appeared considerably more uneasy about US trade policy in the latest "beige book" reporting period, which ran from mid-May to early July. The word "tariffs" popped up more frequently than in the previous beige book, and the Boston Fed characterized trade policy as "the big story" of the latest reporting period. "Contacts said the US tariffs and foreign retaliation had weakened demand for their products," the Boston Fed reported. "One contact said the brief threat to impose 5% tariffs on Mexican goods significantly increased uncertainty because it meant that even with an agreement in place, new tariffs were still possible."

Jul 18 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)
- Oil prices steadied after falling in the previous session when official data showed U.S. stockpiles of products like gasoline rose sharply last week, suggesting weak demand during the peak driving season.
- Gold prices pulled back from a two-week high to trade lower, as some investors took advantage of the last session's gain to book profits.
- Shanghai nickel prices rose as much as 6% to a one-year high, extending a rally for the metal into a ninth day as speculators continue to pile into the Shanghai Futures Exchange.
- Chicago soybean futures edged higher, after dropping earlier in the session to their lowest in more than a week on pressure from forecasts for cooler crop-friendly weather across the U.S. Midwest.
- The dollar slipped as risk aversion in the broader markets pushed benchmark U.S. yields to a nine-day low

- The Fed's latest "beige book" report of anecdotes from business contacts said difficulties in securing and renewing work visas added to firms' challenges in finding workers amid a tight labor market. "A number of contacts noted difficulties in securing and renewing H1B visas for specialized workers, and cited uncertainty about this as a problem," the New York Fed reported. The Philadelphia Fed, meanwhile, heard that "far fewer" temporary work visas had been awarded to local businesses than had been expected.
- Businesses appeared considerably more uneasy about US trade policy in the latest "beige book" reporting period, which ran from mid-May to early July. The word "tariffs" popped up more frequently than in the previous beige book, and the Boston Fed characterized trade policy as "the big story" of the latest reporting period. "Contacts said the US tariffs and foreign retaliation had weakened demand for their products," the Boston Fed reported. "One contact said the brief threat to impose 5% tariffs on Mexican goods significantly increased uncertainty because it meant that even with an agreement in place, new tariffs were still possible."
- Korean stocks finished lower on retreating tech shares. President Trump's downbeat comments on the outlook for a possible trade deal with China also dampened investor sentiment, says Seoul-based NH Investment & Securities analyst No Dong-kil. The benchmark Kospi slid 0.9% to close at 2072.92. Electronics stocks led the pullback amid lingering worries about Japan's export curbs on semiconductor and display materials to Korea, with tech giant Samsung Electronics and chipmaker SK Hynix down 1.7% and 2%, respectively.
- Controversial effort to build a censored search engine in China, dubbed "Dragonfly," a top executive told Congress Tuesday. "Yes, we have terminated that," Google policy head Karan Bhatia said in response to a question from the Senate Judiciary Committee. "I think that's news," responded Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.). Dragonfly was a beacon for criticism inside and outside Google, but top brass including Chief Executive Sundar Pichai had repeatedly stopped short of declaring the program dead.
- August lean hog futures finish down 1.3% to 79.05 cents per pound. While movement of the futures contract was partially in reaction to indications out of the Trump Administration that negotiations of a trade deal with China are not close to fruition, the bigger issue is the spread between cash and future prices, says Mark Schultz of Northstar Commodity. As of Monday, hog carcass prices averaged $68.45 per hundredweight--or 68.45 cents per pound, more than 10 cents less than August futures. Therefore, futures have a lot of room to move down, Schultz says. "August [futures have] very little hope of going up," he adds. August live cattle futures, meanwhile, finish down 0.3% to $1.08225 per pound.
- The increased possibility of a recession, geopolitical risk and a decline in the price of used vehicles are all headwinds facing the US auto industry, S&P Global Ratings says. The agency sees a 3% decline in light vehicles sales in 2019, with a further decline seen to 2021. S&P says it doesn't anticipate these headwinds leading to any downgrades for auto makers or parts suppliers, but says "downgrade potential for the US automotive sector rose sharply in the second quarter." At the same time, S&P points out that low inflation and a weakening economic outlook may spur the Fed to lower interest rates, which could lead to lower financing costs.
- Oil prices began the day higher but tumbled just before the session ended, closing 3.3%, or $1.96, lower at $57.62/bbl after President Trump and Secretary of State Pompeo both signaled a ratcheting down of recent hostility between the US and Iran. Oil prices had been carrying a risk premium worth at least a couple dollars per barrel in recent weeks over the fear of some type of military confrontation between Iran and the US or its allies amid rising US sanctions over Iran's nuclear program. But Trump said Washington's not seeking regime change in Iran, and Pompeo later said the US also aims to negotiate a deal with Tehran regarding Iran missiles.
- Oil prices declined 4% after Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that negotiations with Iran were advancing over the Middle Eastern country's nuclear program. "A lot of progress has been made," Trump said. "They'd like to talk and we'll see what happens." The remarks, which were made during a cabinet meeting at the White House, were not detailed but signaled to energy traders that tensions with Iran may be defusing. Hostilities flared last month in the Strait of Hormuz, through which a large portion of the world's oil is shipped. US crude futures now trading down 3% to $57.76 while global benchmark Brent is off 2.9% $64.54.

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

- Oil prices rose after steep falls in the previous session, although U.S. crude trailed gains for international benchmark Brent after U.S. crude inventories fell less than expected.
- Gold prices edged lower, as the dollar firmed on robust U.S. retail sales data, while hopes of an interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve and broad uncertainties over trade between Washington and Beijing kept a lid on declines.
- London zinc prices fell, snapping a five-session gaining streak, after data showed the global zinc market deficit narrowed in May.
- Chicago corn and soybean futures slid for a third consecutive session as improved weather in parts of the U.S. Midwest boosted crop prospects.
- August lean hog futures finish down 1.3% to 79.05 cents per pound. While movement of the futures contract was partially in reaction to indications out of the Trump Administration that negotiations of a trade deal with China are not close to fruition, the bigger issue is the spread between cash and future prices, says Mark Schultz of Northstar Commodity. As of Monday, hog carcass prices averaged $68.45 per hundredweight--or 68.45 cents per pound, more than 10 cents less than August futures. Therefore, futures have a lot of room to move down, Schultz says. "August [futures have] very little hope of going up," he adds. August live cattle futures, meanwhile, finish down 0.3% to $1.08225 per pound.
- The increased possibility of a recession, geopolitical risk and a decline in the price of used vehicles are all headwinds facing the US auto industry, S&P Global Ratings says. The agency sees a 3% decline in light vehicles sales in 2019, with a further decline seen to 2021. S&P says it doesn't anticipate these headwinds leading to any downgrades for auto makers or parts suppliers, but says "downgrade potential for the US automotive sector rose sharply in the second quarter." At the same time, S&P points out that low inflation and a weakening economic outlook may spur the Fed to lower interest rates, which could lead to lower financing costs.
- Oil prices began the day higher but tumbled just before the session ended, closing 3.3%, or $1.96, lower at $57.62/bbl after President Trump and Secretary of State Pompeo both signaled a ratcheting down of recent hostility between the US and Iran. Oil prices had been carrying a risk premium worth at least a couple dollars per barrel in recent weeks over the fear of some type of military confrontation between Iran and the US or its allies amid rising US sanctions over Iran's nuclear program. But Trump said Washington's not seeking regime change in Iran, and Pompeo later said the US also aims to negotiate a deal with Tehran regarding Iran missiles.
- Oil prices declined 4% after Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that negotiations with Iran were advancing over the Middle Eastern country's nuclear program. "A lot of progress has been made," Trump said. "They'd like to talk and we'll see what happens." The remarks, which were made during a cabinet meeting at the White House, were not detailed but signaled to energy traders that tensions with Iran may be defusing. Hostilities flared last month in the Strait of Hormuz, through which a large portion of the world's oil is shipped. US crude futures now trading down 3% to $57.76 while global benchmark Brent is off 2.9% $64.54.

Jul 16 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- Oil prices were steady after falling in the previous session as output in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico resumed after Hurricane Barry swept through over the weekend and as U.S. shale production is expected to rise to a record.
- Gold prices held steady as investors awaited U.S. retail sales data that could serve as an indicator of the strength of the world's largest economy amid lingering concerns over global economic slowdown.
- London copper prices were almost unchanged, hovering around a two-week high hit in the previous session after top consumer China reported positive industrial output and investment data.
- U.S. wheat futures eased to a four-session low, falling from a two-week high hit in the previous trading session, on the back of supply concerns and a post-rally adjustment.
- The pound struggled near a six-month low against the dollar, hampered by persistent worries over Brexit that, in turn, weighed on the euro.

- The proclamation by President Donald Trump that the US has "a long way to go," in working out a trade deal with China is one more negative pulling grains futures on the CBOT down, according to some traders. "Coming into today, the market was already on weak footing," says Don Roose of US Commodities, calling Trump's latest statements "more posturing" in an ongoing good cop-bad cop routine where USTR Robert Lighthizer plays the role of the "good cop." According to Roose, the real driver of the CBOT today is weather concerns. "We're encouraging people to keep an eye on the sky," says Roose. December corn is leading the charge, down 2.2% for the session.
- US benchmark oil prices erase modest gains and fall toward session lows, down 0.4% at $59.32/bbl after President Trump, talking to reporters, describes progress toward a US-China tariff pacts as a "long way to go," according to MarketWatch. Oil markets have grown increasingly concerned that the swirling uncertainty over the lack of a trade deal, and the continuation of costly tariffs, is causing economies around the world to suffer and is chipping away at global oil demand. Next up for oil markets is weekly US inventory data by trade group API, due at 4:30 pm ET.
- A trade war remains the number-one tail risk for investors but these concerns fell 20 basis points to 36%, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch's monthly global fund manager survey. Concerns stemming from the trade conflict have topped the list of concerns for 15 of the past 17 surveys, says BAML. Investors are getting more worried over potential monetary policy mistakes by the U.S. Federal Reserve or the European Central Bank, or both. These concerns are now ranked number two in the list of concerns, having jumped 11 percentage points this month, BAML says.

Jul 15 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)
- Oil prices slipped after China posted its slowest quarterly economic growth in at least 27 years, reinforcing concerns about demand in the world's largest crude oil importer.
- Gold prices slipped, consolidating above $1,400 pivot, as key China data assuaged concerns about global economic slowdown and boosted appetite for riskier assets.
- Most industrial metals climbed on better-than-expected data from major consumer China, while nickel prices were boosted by worries that Indonesia will resume an ore export ban in 2022.
- U.S. corn futures rose as much as 1% on Monday to hit a five-year high as forecasts for hot, dry weather across a key North American growing region stoked fears that crops could face further damage.
- The Australian dollar reached a 10-day high on stronger-than-expected economic data from China, which some analysts saw as signalling that moves to revive spending in the world's second biggest economy are working.

- Uranium companies are commending the Trump administration's July 12 decision to not implement new trade restrictions on uranium imports. The administration said the imports don't impair US national security following the Commerce Department's investigation under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act. "The Section 232 investigation has created an 18 month period of uncertainty which has severely restricted activity in the uranium market," says Andre Liebenberg, CEO of uranium fund Yellow Cake, in a statement. "We view the decision that no new trade restrictions will be implemented at this stage as positive, and likely to support a return to more normal levels of activity." The administration says it will establish the U.S. Nuclear Fuel Working Group to look into challenges in domestic uranium production as a natural security issue.

- Brent crude oil is up 0.1% at $66.18 a barrel and WTI is flat at $60.21 a barrel. After heightened geopolitical tensions last week, renewed efforts at diplomacy between the UK and Iran may see calmer waters in the Strait of Hormuz. Elsewhere, weak Chinese economic data released overnight--showing Chinese growth is at its lowest since 1992--was partly responsible for lackluster oil price moves, according to OANDA's Craig Erlam. Investors will also watch the Gulf of Mexico, where Hurricane Barry had last shuttered more than two thirds of capacity in the region.

- Kit Juckes, a strategist at Societe Generale, says gold would be one of the main beneficiaries if President Trump takes action to weaken the dollar. "Resilient U.S. economic forecasts [are] holding the dollar up, and the question in our minds is only when, not if, it will fall significantly," he says. "If President Trump were to go beyond criticism of other countries' policies and act, the dollar would fall earlier and in a more disorderly fashion than we expect." In such a scenario, gold and the Japanese yen, both seen as haven assets, would rise sharply. Last month, Trump directed his ire at Mario Draghi when the ECB president's suggestion that a new round of monetary stimulus was on the way sent the euro down against the dollar.
- Although China's exports to the U.S. fell in June, exports to Southeast Asian countries rose, a possible sign that companies are reshipping goods to circumvent higher U.S. tariffs. China's exports to the U.S. fell 7.8% from a year earlier following a 4.2% decline in May, customs data show. Total exports decreased 1.3% reversing May's 1.1% growth. Bucking the trend, exports to Asean countries surged nearly 13% in June, extending May's 3.5% growth.
- Oil investors continue to watch out for the IEA report and for further news on Tropical Storm Barry, but attentions are also trained on the Persian Gulf, where British naval forces on Wednesday thwarted an Iranian attempt to seize a BP-run tanker. While the HMS Montrose secured the safety of the British Heritage, London-based shipping tracker Kpler says the Atlantic Pioneer is flagged as being at risk of detention in the Gulf. "The tanker appeared to have cancelled her crude loading at Ras Tanura as she was seen diverting away from Ras Tanura on July 11. Kpler expects her to wait for an escort from the HMS Montrose before sailing through the Straits of Hormuz," Kpler says.
- After months of public and private exhortations by President Trump and Vice President Pence to accelerate human space exploration, two senior NASA officials have been summarily sidelined. NASA administrator James Bridenstine, the focus of much of that White House frustration, has replaced William Gerstenmaier, a veteran manager who shepherded NASA's marquee rocket and spacecraft programs through various administrations, with the aim of transporting astronauts to the moon and eventually Mars. His assistant also was demoted to an advisory job. The moves follow White House orders to speed up human moon missions to 2024 from 2028, a goal about which certain career NASA officials are ambivalent.
- President Trump attacked China for not purchasing enough US agricultural products on Twitter today, although offering little in the way of a solution. "China is letting us down in that they have not been buying the agricultural products from our great farmers that they said they would. Hopefully they will start soon!" Trump said. Export sales reported by the USDA this morning were generally in the low-end of trader expectations, with soybeans following below that -- although China was announced as buying over 127,000 metric tons of US soybeans. In previous tweets, Trump has promised that China would be purchasing "large amounts of agricultural product" from US farmers.

Jul 12 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- Oil prices rose, hovering near six-week highs, as U.S. oil producers in the Gulf of Mexico cut more than half their output in the face of a tropical storm and as tensions continued to simmer in the Middle East.
- Gold prices rose and were on track to post a weekly gain, consolidating above $1,400 as renewed Sino-U.S. trade tensions amid global growth jitters and prospects of an interest rate cut by the U.S. Federal Reserve stoked safe-haven demand.
- Shanghai nickel prices rose to near their highest since March, as investors bet on the potential demand for the metal in the electric vehicle (EV) battery sector.
- U.S. wheat futures edged lower, retreating from a near two-week high touched in the previous session, but the grain was poised to record its first weekly gain in a month following forecasts for lower global production.
- The dollar was steady, having regained some traction against its peers after stronger-than-expected U.S. inflation data tempered the prospect of an aggressive Federal Reserve interest rate cut later this month.

- Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell reiterates his warning that Congress and the Trump administration should reach an agreement soon to raise the federal debt ceiling. "Any other outcome is unthinkable," he said. "We've always paid our bills. It simply much happen that Congress raise the debt ceiling." Powell said, "No one should assume" that the Fed or other government agencies would be able to step in and protect the economy from the damage of failing to raise the borrowing limit. The Treasury Department has said it could run out of room to keep paying its bills by late this summer.
- Senate Republicans praise Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell during the Fed chief's appearance before the Senate Banking Committee, a subtle rebuke to President Trump's repeated attacks on the central bank and its boss. "I do think it's important that the Fed remain insulated from political pressure," says Sen. Pat Toomey, a Pennsylvania Republican. "I think you've done an outstanding job." Alabama Republican Richard Shelby also had praise for the way Powell has tackled his job. "We salute you for that," he says. Powell has said he would not step down from his post if Trump asked him to. The comments from senators suggest they would back him up.
- President Trump attacked China for not purchasing enough US agricultural products on Twitter today, although offering little in the way of a solution. "China is letting us down in that they have not been buying the agricultural products from our great farmers that they said they would. Hopefully they will start soon!" Trump said. Export sales reported by the USDA this morning were generally in the low-end of trader expectations, with soybeans following below that -- although China was announced as buying over 127,000 metric tons of US soybeans. In previous tweets, Trump has promised that China would be purchasing "large amounts of agricultural product" from US farmers.
- Shares of pharmacy-benefit managers, or PBMs, are buoyed by the Trump administration's announcement that it will withdraw a plan that would have curbed annual rebates drugmakers give middlemen in Medicare. The plan had been to redirect discounts toward patients instead of the rebates worked out between drugmakers and third parties that manage benefits for Medicare. The effort could have disrupted the US pharmaceutical industry, as PBMs are allowed to negotiate confidential rebates and discounts on many branded prescription products. Shares of Cigna rise 12%, while CVS Health gains 7.1% and UnitedHealth Group adds 4.4%.
- Brent crude oil is up 0.5% at $67.37 a barrel and WTI crude is up 0.5% at $60.74 a barrel. The increases extend the sharp gains both made Wednesday, with WTI hitting a seven-week high after bullish U.S. inventory figures. The Energy Information Administration confirmed a larger-than-expected drawdown cited by the American Petroleum Institute. Traders will be watching OPEC's monthly report and Middle East tensions, after three Iranian vessels tried to block the BP-run tanker British Heritage in the Strait of Hormuz on Wednesday, but were turned away by the presence of a U.K. warship. That followed Iranian officials' calls for retaliation after British naval forces seized an Iranian tanker off Gibraltar last week.
- Earnings of new graduates of for-profit colleges suffer most in a recession economy, according to research from economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. For all workers who graduate into a weak economy, the average earnings penalty is about 10% compared to those who enter a booming economy. Grads of selective colleges experience no penalty, earning about 9% more than those who graduate from non-selective schools whether the economy is strong or not. But those with degrees from for-profit schools earn 8% less than grads from non-profit institutions even in good times, and they earn 16% less than the comparison group during recessions. Last month, the Education Dept. announced the repeal of the gainful employment rule which cracked down on for-profit schools whose students did not find decent jobs.
- St Louis Fed leader James Bullard said he's not surprised President Trump keeps banging away at the Fed in favor of low interest rates. The president "comes from the real estate world...He's very familiar and knowledgeable on interest rates because that's what he did." Bullard added "every real estate person I've ever met is in favor of lower interest rates."
- Fed Chairman Jerome Powell says it's essential Congress raise the federal borrowing limit in a timely way, adding it's unthinkable the US would stop paying its bills on time. Lawmakers have walked up to the debt limit deadline in the past but avoided crossing it. "I wouldn't be able to capture the range of possible negative outcomes from that," Powell says, adding he assumes and believes the borrowing limit will be raised. The Treasury Department has said it may run out of room to stop paying the government's bills on time in late summer unless Congress raises or suspends the ceiling.

Jul 11 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)
- Oil futures hit a six-week high as a storm built in the Gulf of Mexico, threatening crude output, while an incident with a British tanker in the Middle East highlighted ongoing tensions in the region.
- Gold prices scaled a more than one-week peak, as the dollar slipped after dovish remarks from the U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell boosted the case for an interest rate cut later this month.
- Copper extended gains for the second straight session, as dollar eased after dovish comments by U.S. Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell reinforced rate cut bets.
- U.S. soybeans edged lower, falling from a 10-day high touched earlier in the session, as traders readied for a widely watched U.S. government report that is expected to lay bare the impact of recent adverse weather.

- Brent crude oil is up 0.5% at $67.37 a barrel and WTI crude is up 0.5% at $60.74 a barrel. The increases extend the sharp gains both made Wednesday, with WTI hitting a seven-week high after bullish U.S. inventory figures. The Energy Information Administration confirmed a larger-than-expected drawdown cited by the American Petroleum Institute. Traders will be watching OPEC's monthly report and Middle East tensions, after three Iranian vessels tried to block the BP-run tanker British Heritage in the Strait of Hormuz on Wednesday, but were turned away by the presence of a U.K. warship. That followed Iranian officials' calls for retaliation after British naval forces seized an Iranian tanker off Gibraltar last week.
- Earnings of new graduates of for-profit colleges suffer most in a recession economy, according to research from economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. For all workers who graduate into a weak economy, the average earnings penalty is about 10% compared to those who enter a booming economy. Grads of selective colleges experience no penalty, earning about 9% more than those who graduate from non-selective schools whether the economy is strong or not. But those with degrees from for-profit schools earn 8% less than grads from non-profit institutions even in good times, and they earn 16% less than the comparison group during recessions. Last month, the Education Dept. announced the repeal of the gainful employment rule which cracked down on for-profit schools whose students did not find decent jobs.
- St Louis Fed leader James Bullard said he's not surprised President Trump keeps banging away at the Fed in favor of low interest rates. The president "comes from the real estate world...He's very familiar and knowledgeable on interest rates because that's what he did." Bullard added "every real estate person I've ever met is in favor of lower interest rates."
- Fed Chairman Jerome Powell says it's essential Congress raise the federal borrowing limit in a timely way, adding it's unthinkable the US would stop paying its bills on time. Lawmakers have walked up to the debt limit deadline in the past but avoided crossing it. "I wouldn't be able to capture the range of possible negative outcomes from that," Powell says, adding he assumes and believes the borrowing limit will be raised. The Treasury Department has said it may run out of room to stop paying the government's bills on time in late summer unless Congress raises or suspends the ceiling.
- Fed Chairman Jerome Powell reiterates yet again he wouldn't step down if President Trump asked him to resign. "The law clearly gives me a four-year term and I fully intend to serve it," Powell says in response to questions from House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters, who quips, "I hope everybody heard that."
- Following the release of Fed Chairman Jerome Powell's testimony that some are calling more dovish than anticipated, stock futures have erased previous declines, putting S&P 500 and Dow futures up about 0.4%. The yield on the benchmark 10-year US Treasury note has fallen back to 2.046% after topping 2.1% earlier in the day.  Gold prices are also rallying as investors weigh the latest signs the Fed could cut rates in a few weeks.
- US stock futures reverse early losses to trade higher after the release of Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's prepared Congressional testimony where he says the economic outlook hasn't improved in recent weeks, an indication the central bank could be prepared to cut its benchmark short-term rate when officials meet later this month. The dollar weakens against major rivals and Treasury prices turn higher, with the 10-year yield recently falling back to 2.05%. S&P futures rise 7.25 points.
- Fed Chairman Jerome Powell flagged a risk in his testimony that inflation doesn't soon return to the Fed's 2% target. Inflation developments are especially important for the Fed. Price pressures have not picked up as projected by Fed officials when they raised interest rates last year. Rather than holding at its 2% target, inflation has softened this year. "There is a risk that weak inflation will be even more persistent than we currently anticipate," Powell said. That was a notable shift from two months ago, when Powell suggested recent inflation weakness was likely to be transitory.
- Fed Chairman Jerome Powell has avoided any direct confrontation with President Trump, who has offered unusually sustained and antagonistic commentary about the central bank's decisions. Trump has made clear he wants the Fed to cut rates. Powell opened his prepared testimony Wednesday by highlighting the importance of the central bank's ability to set policy free of direct political interference. "Congress has given us an important degree of independence so that we can effectively pursue our statutory goals based on objective analysis and data," he said.
- Industrial metals are rising on comments by White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow that trade talks with China "went well." Nickel rises 0.8% to $12,855 a ton, its highest level in almost three months, on the London Metal Exchange. Copper is up 1.1% at $5,884 a ton. Lead is steady after surging on Tuesday in response to news that Belgian-Swiss metals company Nyrstar had extended force majeure at its Port Pirie smelter until the final week of July. Most industrial metals have been under pressure recently amid concerns that the U.S. and China will fail to resolve their trade dispute.

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

- Oil prices rose, led by U.S. crude after an industry group reported that U.S. stockpiles fell for a fourth week in a row, alleviating concerns about oversupply amid global trade tensions.
- Gold prices eased as the dollar climbed higher on expectations of a less dovish U.S. Federal Reserve, ahead of a testimony from the its Chairman Jerome Powell.
- Nickel prices hit their highest in three months, following news that U.S. and Chinese trade officials marked a new round of talks with a "constructive" phone conversation.
- U.S. corn futures fell as much as 1% to hit a one-week low, pressured as forecasts of improved weather for U.S. crops eased fears of widespread yield losses.

- Fed Chairman Jerome Powell has avoided any direct confrontation with President Trump, who has offered unusually sustained and antagonistic commentary about the central bank's decisions. Trump has made clear he wants the Fed to cut rates. Powell opened his prepared testimony Wednesday by highlighting the importance of the central bank's ability to set policy free of direct political interference. "Congress has given us an important degree of independence so that we can effectively pursue our statutory goals based on objective analysis and data," he said.
- Industrial metals are rising on comments by White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow that trade talks with China "went well." Nickel rises 0.8% to $12,855 a ton, its highest level in almost three months, on the London Metal Exchange. Copper is up 1.1% at $5,884 a ton. Lead is steady after surging on Tuesday in response to news that Belgian-Swiss metals company Nyrstar had extended force majeure at its Port Pirie smelter until the final week of July. Most industrial metals have been under pressure recently amid concerns that the U.S. and China will fail to resolve their trade dispute.
- Fitch Ratings says that the risk of US tariffs on all imported cars and parts could shadow the global auto sector for the rest of 2019. European and Japanese car makers would the most vulnerable, while GM and Ford would see a slight advantage at best. Fitch points out that US auto makers are against the tariffs, because they could affect economies in other countries, denting overseas sales. BMW, Daimler and Jaguar Land Rover could see a big hit, while Japanese auto makers with strong manufacturing bases in the US would be affected to a lesser extent.

Jul 09 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)
- Oil fell amid worries over the outlook for demand after the latest signs that international trade disputes have been dragging on the global economy, although the potential for conflicts in the Middle East offered support to prices.
- Gold prices fell as the dollar held near multi-week highs after investors reduced bets on an aggressive U.S. interest rate cut this month.
- Copper prices on the London Metal Exchange declined, poised for a third consecutive drop, on worries over lean demand for the ductile metal from top consumer China.
- U.S. soybeans edged lower, but losses were checked after data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) showed that the condition of North American crops lagged behind market expectations, which led to supply-crunch fears.

Jul 08 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)
- Crude prices were little changed as traders weighed geopolitical risks against the impact of the Sino-U.S. trade war on the global economy, although last week's better-than-expected U.S. jobs data offered some support.
- Gold prices inched lower following a steep fall in the previous session, as robust U.S. jobs report dashed hopes of an aggressive interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve later this month. 
- Copper prices fell on inventory pile-up and a steady dollar after strong U.S. jobs data tuned down hopes of an aggressive rate cut by the Federal Reserve.
- U.S. corn futures rose 1%, extending gains into a fourth consecutive session, as forecasts for hot, dry weather stoked fears about yield losses following recent unfavourable conditions.

- As more cities and states move to phase in $15 minimum wage standards, a new study by UC Berkeley economists finds that such policies have positive effects, including reduced household and childhood poverty levels, without evidence for the negative employment impacts often feared. The study's authors examined shifts that occurred after changes in minimum wages were enacted in about 750 counties in 45 US states between 2004 and 2016, and found that it would be possible to enact a national $15 minimum wage without creating adverse effects on employment, weeks worked or weekly hours among workers with a high school degree or less. Their study comes as a federal bill, the Raise the Wage Act of 2019, proposes to raise the federal minimum wage gradually from $7.25 today to $15 by 2024.
- The White House is working on an executive order that ensures the US pays the lowest prices in the world for pharmaceuticals, President Trump tells reporters. President Trump says the order will be a "favored nation clause" where the US will pay the lowest price paid by any other country. "They've taken advantage of this system for a long time, pharma," Trump says. The NASDAQ Biotechnology index down 1.2%; the S&P 500 Pharmaceuticals index off 0.9%.
- Industrial metals had a quiet day compared with gold, initially falling in response to the strong US jobs report but quickly bouncing back. Shortly after the close of open outcry, three-month copper futures on the LME are 0.3% lower at $5,897 a ton in electronic trading. Every other base metal is also down, bar nickel, which recovers some of its recent losses. Prices are being driven by the US-China dispute rather than the outlook for Federal Reserve policy, says Edward Meir, a consultant for INTL FCStone. On that front, investors appear pessimistic. After Presidents Trump and Xi agreed to resume formal negotiations last Saturday, only aluminum ends the week in the green.
- South African President Cyril Ramaphosa says the U.S. is jealous of Huawei's advancement into 5G mobile technologies and is using the trade tensions with Beijing to punish the Chinese company. "They are jealous that a Chinese company called Huawei has outstripped them," Ramaphosa said in a speech Friday at a Digital Economy Summit, referring to the U.S. "And because they have been outstripped they must now punish that one company and use it as a pawn in the fight that they have with China." He says that Africa's most developed economy will stick with Huawei technology: "We want to go to 5G and only this company, Huawei, can lead us to 5G."

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

- Crude oil prices fell as concerns over the outlook for global economic growth outweighed elevated tensions in the Middle East that could disrupt supply routes and send prices higher.
- Gold prices edged higher and were on track for a seventh consecutive weekly gain, as investors awaited U.S. employment data that could influence expectations about aggressive policy easing by the Federal Reserve.
- London copper prices eased and were heading for their first weekly fall in four, due to sluggish demand outlook and rising supplies.
- Malaysian palm oil futures rose, supported by a weaker ringgit, but trading remained range-bound.
- The dollar was firm but traders held off on making big bets ahead of the closely-watched U.S. non-farm jobs report that could influence the course of near-term Federal Reserve policy.

Jul 04 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)
- Oil prices inched lower after solid gains the day before, pressured by data showing a smaller-than-expected decline in U.S. crude stockpiles.
- Gold prices inched up, supported by a decline in U.S. Treasury yields amid prospects of an interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve, while investors sought direction from upcoming U.S. non-farm payrolls data.
- Copper prices treaded water after a big inflow into the London Metal Exchange warehouses, but prices were cushioned by the planned trade talks between the United States and China.
- Chicago corn, soybean and wheat futures all settled higher on Wednesday on technical buying and as traders adjusted positions ahead of the Independence Day holiday.
- The dollar was on the back foot, trading near a one-week low versus the yen as falling Treasury yields fuelled expectations the U.S. Federal Reserve will cut interest rates this month for the first time in a decade.

- Former U.K. finance minister George Osborne has taken a surprise lead in the stakes to become the next head of the International Monetary Fund, says Betway. The bookmaker says Osborne is now the 5/2 favorite to take over from Christine Lagarde, who has been nominated as the next President of the European Central Bank. As recently as Wednesday, Osborne was 25/1 to get the job, with the Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, seen as the favorite but now 11/2, out from 7/2. "Reports suggest Osborne's serious about throwing his hat in the ring and that's seen his odds shorten dramatically," says Betway's Alan Alger.
- The dollar trades broadly flat due to the U.S. public holiday but could be vulnerable if U.S. non-farm payrolls data on Friday are weak. These numbers are "widely seen as the key determinant to either consolidate or undermine" expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will cut interest rates, says ING. Market participants will also keep a close eye on any new comment from U.S. President Donald Trump that hints at devaluing the dollar, the bank says. Trump on Wednesday tweeted that China and Europe were manipulating their currencies, and that the US should follow suit. EUR/USD is flat at 1.1282, USD/JPY flat at 107.83.
- Shares of companies that are deeply invested in the Affordable Care Act may come under pressure next week, as the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals takes up a lower court's decision to strike down the federal health law. Among the companies with the biggest exposure are Molina and Centene, which both have been helped by the law's expansion of Medicaid and the creation of its individual-insurance exchanges. SVB Leerink estimates that around half of Molina's earnings and 40% of Centene's are tied to the law. Larger, diversified companies like UnitedHealth and CVS have little exposure, while the earnings risk to big hospital firms is also limited, the SVB Leerink analysts write.

Jul 03 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)
- Oil prices were steady after a steep fall in the previous session, supported by extended output cuts by OPEC and its allies despite concerns that a slowing global economy could crimp demand.
- Gold prices climbed over 1%, driven by strong safe haven sentiment as hopes of a quick end to the U.S.-China trade row faded and a new trade front in Europe deepened concerns over tepid economic growth.
- Shanghai tin prices slumped and were heading for a sixth consecutive daily drop as investors took out more short positions on the metal used in tin cans and lead-acid batteries, even as analysts said fundamentals had not changed.
- Chicago corn futures rose for a second session with prices underpinned by concerns over late-planted crops vulnerable to adverse weather.
- The dollar struggled for traction as fading hopes for any near-term Sino-U.S. trade deal revived safe-haven demand and drove U.S. bond yields to their lowest levels since late 2016.

- Vice President Mike Pence's spokeswoman tamps down any concerns over his abrupt change in schedule today. He had been set to fly to New Hampshire for an opioids event, but is now staying in Washington. Pence never left the city, spokeswoman Alyssa Farah says. "There was no 'emergency callback.' Something came up that required the VP to stay in DC," she tweets. White House officials say his change in plans wasn't health related, or national-security related.
- Although more US states are legalizing the recreational use of marijuana, they should be cautious about relying on taxes as a long-term fiscal solution, S&P Global Ratings says. While sales tax on legal marijuana ranges from 10% to 37%, the nine states looked at by S&P collected only 0.2% to 2.2% of their general fund revenues from those taxes. States looking to garner substantial revenue from marijuana taxation need to contend with the drug's black market, as well as the fact legalization could increase supply, while driving down prices. Another risk to consider is the possibility federal intervention could hamper revenue collections, S&P says.
- The U.S. and China will most likely reach some kind of resolution to their trade dispute by the middle of next year, says Nicolas Robin, a commodities fund manager at Columbia Threadneedle Investments. But he thinks investors, along with Beijing, may overestimate the extent to which President Trump requires a deal. "It's not necessarily an untenable position for Trump not to succeed on trade with China," Robin says. "He can sell to his constituents that he is the guy who is being tough on the Chinese, and if that's the case he doesn't need a deal."
- The uplift that commodity markets received from U.S. President Trump and Chinese President Xi's agreement to restart trade talks was fleeting. Copper is lower than it was before the meeting after falling for a second day on the LME. Nicolas Robin, a commodities portfolio manager at Columbia Threadneedle Investments, says investors are now looking for concrete progress. "The consensus in the market seems to be that they expect that we will get some resolution of the trade dispute sometime before the next presidential election in the U.S.," he says. "And I think it's also been the view of Beijing that Trump probably needed a trade deal more than Beijing does and that Beijing has the time."
- A top Oregon brewer with beers like Mirror Pond and Pacific Wonderland might seem like a reliable supporter of stricter state policies on climate change. But Bend-based Deschutes Brewery says it decided to cancel its membership with Oregon Business for Climate, a group fighting for a controversial cap-and-trade bill in the beaver state. "Deschutes Brewer loves our planet ... [but] we also believe in the importance of local business," says Deschutes' statement last week, which has drawn critics and calls for boycotts, but also support. Deschutes says it simply wants to be neutral on the House bill 2020. It follows coffee chain Dutch Bros. and Fort George Brewing in leaving the group over the bill.
- The Stoxx Europe 600 rises 0.2%, or 0.72 points, to 388.59 as trade optimism helps investors to shrug off fears about fresh U.S. tariffs on European goods. The DAX is flat and the CAC 40 climbs 0.1% after most major Asian indices rose. "European markets have picked up where they left off yesterday, opening higher after President Trump said new U.S.-China trade talks had already restarted," says Michael Hewson at CMC Markets. "Investors appear to be focusing on this for now and not on this morning's reports that the U.S. is set to impose new tariffs on EU goods in respect of its long-running dispute between Boeing and Airbus." Airbus shares drop 0.7%.
- The trade spat between the U.S. and China is one of the things standing in the way of a recovery for Malaysia's tech sector, AmBank says in downgrading the sector to neutral from overweight. Although the recent meeting between the presidents Trump and Xi at the G-20 meeting in Osaka led to the suspension of the Huawei ban, the Chinese company still hasn't been officially dropped from the U.S. blacklist, AmBank notes, adding that any optimism is offset by the lack of a timeline. AmBank says companies it covers say their customers are taking a wait-and-see approach, holding back on orders in fear of further tariffs. Its top picks in the sector are Malaysian Pacific Industries and QES.
- Bijan Zanganeh, Iran's oil minister and a close ally of Iranian president Hassan Rouhani, said Monday Iran would not talk to the US under pressure. If Washington stops oil sanctions on Iran, "they will see significant change in the environment," he said on the side of an OPEC meeting in Vienna, Austria.

Jul 02 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)
- Oil prices drifted lower, as weak global data raised concerns about future demand for the commodity despite a positive boost from OPEC's decision to extend supply cuts until next March.
- Gold prices rose buoyed by a safe-haven sentiment emanating from weak global manufacturing data that hinted at an economic slowdown, a day after the metal declined more than 1% on expectations of a U.S.-China trade truce.
- Shanghai nickel prices slumped nearly 4% in early trade, tracking a steep fall in London in the previous session as investors chose to book profits. 
- The Australian dollar nursed wounds, a day after it posted its biggest one-day fall in more than two months ahead of an expected central bank easing while improved risk appetite supported the greenback.

- Morgan Stanley strategists say that while trade talks resume and new escalatory actions are on hold, the agreement between the US and China doesn't eliminate uncertainty. "Trade tensions will either continue to drag on macro fundamentals or get resolved with a push from weaker risk markets," they say. Until there are more concrete developments, Morgan Stanley says that the trade tensions will continue to weigh on corporate confidence. US stocks pare earlier gains, with the Dow up 0.2%, the S&P 500 adding 0.4% and the Nasdaq up 0.8%.
- Iraq has voiced support for Russia's role as the leader of the OPEC+ nations. Speaking in Vienna, Iraq Oil Minister Thamir Ghadhban praised the part Russia is playing. "Russia is leading the non-OPEC members because it is the biggest producer and so far it has proved to be very competent in doing so," Ghadhban said. The minister's vote of confidence follows concerns from some of the OPEC nations that Russia has too much influence on the cartel's decision making.
- The DJIA gains 0.8%, the S&P 500 adds 1% and the Nasdaq gains 1.5% after the US and China agree to get trade talks back on track. The US agreed to put off additional tariffs on Chinese goods indefinitely and China agreed will start buying large amounts of American farm products, President Trump said. Trump will also allow US sales to Huawei, sending chip makers higher. Among the top gainers of the S&P 500, Qorvo gains 5.2%, Micron Technology gains 5.7%, and Skyworks Solutions adds 7.3%.
- Negotiations over trade between the US and China may last for another three or four years, said Timothy Stratford, a former assistant US trade representative. At a World Economic Forum meeting in China on Monday, Stratford said that mixing trade policy and national security has complicated efforts to reach a deal because they are separate but interconnected issues "with different rationales and goals." China may wait until after the 2020 presidential elections in the US to conclude trade talks, he said, but Trump could also be more eager to do a deal if he thinks doing so is politically advantageous before the election next year. "Both sides are experiencing pain, because we are moving into sub-optimal territory," Stratford added.
- US stock futures rally to start the second half of the year as the US and China agree to get trade talks back on track. Overnight China's benchmark Shanghai Composite Index gained 2.2% despite a set of disappointing readings for Chinese economic activity. Technology stocks drove the early rise in European markets and US chip makers gain in premarket trading after specific concessions were given to companies that trade with Huawei. Oil prices rise back  toward $60 as Opec and its allies look set to extend output cuts longer than previously expected. The dollar strengthens, while Treasurys slip, with the 10-year yield rising to 2.02%. S&P futures rise 32.25 points.
- Agricultural markets have responded warily to U.S. President Donald Trump's statement that China had agreed to buy large amounts of U.S. farm products. "We don't have any clarity about what these agricultural purchases will entail," says Tracey Allen, an agricultural commodity strategist at J.P. Morgan Chase. The president gave no indication of what products the agreement would involve, or what size the purchases would be. "The market doesn't really have any clarity on which to trade right now," Allen adds. Soybeans are up 0.2% at $9.25 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, corn is flat and wheat is down 0.5%.
- The U.S. Federal Reserve is more likely to lower interest rates by 0.25% at its rate decision in July, rather than by 0.5%, after the trade truce between Washington and Beijing at the G20 meeting, says Ian Samson, markets research analyst at Fidelity International. The downside risk of the U.S. imminently imposing tariffs on the remaining $300 billion of Chinese good imports has been removed for now, but tariff uncertainty will continue to have a dampening effect on capital expenditure in the U.S. and China, he adds.
- U.S.-China trade talks are back on, but business executives are cautious about how negotiations will pan out and Washington's latest approach to give a potential break for Chinese technology giant Huawei. President Trump  agreed to hold off on raising punitive tariffs against China and to let the U.S. continue selling to Huawei. Timothy Stratford, chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China and a lawyer at Covington & Burlington, questioned whether it was the right approach: "The U.S. and China are recalibrating their relationship in several different policy areas all at once," he said on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Dalian, China. "If you mix them together, then you start having incoherent policy which makes it very unpredictable."
- The pound falls 0.3% to its lowest in more than a week against the dollar, at $1.2653, according to FactSet, after President Trump said trade talks with China were back on track, boosting the dollar. This could leave sterling vulnerable to more falls if U.K. manufacturing PMI data at 0830 GMT are weak. Meanwhile, a better reading may have limited impact. Connor Campbell at Spreadex notes: "Considering the uniform response to this latest trade twist, it may be hard for the morning's PMIs to make themselves felt." The U.K. manufacturing PMI is expected to edge up to 50 in June from 49.4 in May, according to the consensus in a WSJ poll.
- The resumption of trade talks between the U.S. and China is likely to help equities and commodities, says BNP Paribas. Higher risk appetite will particularly boost industrial commodities, given the more positive outlook for the global economy and U.S.-China relations, says Harry Tchilinguirian, the French bank's head of commodity-market strategy. Base metals such as copper could benefit most, he says, since they are "highly leveraged to manufacturing activity and the world economy." Gold fell in response to the G20, but Tchilinguirian says it could move back towards its recent six-year highs if the U.S. Federal Reserve cuts rates on July 31.
- Investors are cheering the U.S.-China ceasefire but the timing of a bilateral trade deal, if there is one, remains uncertain. As a final deal would require a face-to-face meeting, the next potential event for a such a high-level meeting could be the APEC summit in Chile in November or a state visit in Washington in 2020-- the "deal-making" year for the Trump administration, Citi economist Cesar Rojas says. A lot can happen before that but the current truce should last through the end of 2019, consistent with the U.S. Trade Representative's decision to suspend its Section 301 complaint again China at the WTO until Dec 31, he says.
- A comprehensive trade truce between the U.S. and China is likely to remain elusive, says Westpac. Talks fell apart in May when China allegedly backtracked on substantial commitments including changes to local laws that would enshrine protections for U.S. intellectual property and end forced technology transfers. Two months later, it is still not clear if the environment is any more favorable for such changes to be agreed upon, Westpac says. But, Trump backing down to both China and U.S. tech firms over sales to Huawei is a mild surprise that should add support to tech-sensitive Asian equities, it says.

Jul 01 - Market High from Trump-Xi Trade Truce May Not Last (WSJ DJ Reuters)
- Oil prices rose more than $1 a barrel after Saudi Arabia, Russia and Iraq backed an extension of supply cuts for another six to nine months ahead of an OPEC meeting in Vienna.
- Gold prices fell more than 1% to their lowest in more than a week, as the dollar strengthened and investors opted for riskier assets after the United States and China agreed to restart trade talks. 
- Copper rallied to its highest in six weeks, after the United States and China agreed to restart trade talks, reducing tensions between the world's two largest economies that have been threatening global growth and demand for metals.
- Chicago soybean futures rose for a second session to a one-year high as a thaw in U.S.-China trade relations following talks between the two nations underpinned the market.
- The yuan gained and the safe-haven yen slid against the dollar as appetite for risk-sensitive currencies improved after the United States and China agreed to restart their troubled trade talks.

- The Fourth of July fireworks will come a few days early this year for traders.
- A number of assets, from tech stocks to commodities, are likely to react positively on Monday to the outcome of this weekend's trade talks between President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping. Financial markets may not be quite as exuberant in coming days and weeks, though, as investors digest the longer-term implications of the meeting.
- The most obvious winners from the summit's aftermath will be U.S. technology companies with direct or indirect exposure to embattled Chinese telecom giant Huawei Technologies Co. In remarks following the meeting, Mr. Trump said that U.S. companies would be able to sell equipment to Huawei that has "not a great national-emergency problem with it." Though the U.S. and other western nations may forgo buying allegedly compromised Huawei equipment, software and chip companies may keep supplying it. Expect the likes of Qualcomm, Intel, Nvidia, Advanced Micro Devices and Broadcom to rally sharply.
- Another leg of the deal involves U.S. agricultural products. Mr. Trump said the Chinese had agreed to buy "tremendous amounts of food" and that "we're going to give them a list." The U.S. Department of Agriculture noted that China made a massive purchase of U.S. soybeans a day before the meeting. Expect futures markets to get a jolt with some benefit to companies such as Deere & Co. and The Mosaic Co. that supply them.
- Stocks overall are likely to rise on the benign outcome of the talks. The question, though, is whether the gains will last, even for the sectors most likely to benefit. U.S. equity markets just closed out their best June in over 60 years and their best first half in over 20 largely on expectations that the Federal Reserve is set to come to the rescue with rate cuts. June began with a surprisingly weak U.S. payrolls number that, coupled with trade concerns and a slew of tepid U.S. manufacturing reports, has made a July rate cut a virtual certainty based on futures bets.
- The tail may be wagging the dog, though -- markets seem to care more about a dovish Fed than the reasons for it. Even following the catharsis from this weekend's trade talks, it would still take a dramatically stronger June jobs figure this Friday to tip the scales in favor of standing pat at the Fed's July meeting. Reduced tensions could certainly alter the prospects for another cut later in 2019, though.
- Furthermore, recent signs of manufacturing weakness can't all be chalked up to China uncertainty. There has been a real slowdown already. The sharply inverted bond yield curve of recent months typically has presaged a recession, not just concern over a single disruptive issue on the horizon.
- Even chip stocks and agricultural commodities could give back gains. The Philadelphia Semiconductor Index is up by nearly 28% this year despite the Huawei tensions amid mixed news such as weakness in data-center demand. In the longer run, U.S. threats to cripple telecommunication equipment companies ZTE and Huawei have given China a strong incentive to become self-sufficient in key technologies, which could ultimately hurt the business prospects of U.S. tech companies.
- U.S. agricultural-equipment and service firms will welcome the reprieve with China, but the Farm Belt's buying power has taken a hit recently from other concerns such as flooding. And agricultural commodities are fungible, meaning that a shift in Chinese buying to U.S. suppliers doesn't mean an increase in overall demand world-wide. Indeed, the knock-on effects of China's current swine-fever scare could depress demand for corn and soy globally.
- Finally, tariffs on a quarter trillion of Chinese goods remain in place and those on an additional $325 billion aren't off the table. The most fundamental issues such as intellectual property protection remain unresolved. This means existing frictions and general uncertainty will keep acting as sand in the gears of global growth.

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."