Forex & Commo Market News

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

- Oil fell more than 2%, extending last week's losses as growing cases of COVID-19 in the United States and Europe raised worries about crude demand, while the prospect of increased supply also hurt sentiment.
- Gold fell below the key psychological level of $1,900 to its lowest in more than a week, pressured by a firmer dollar and stalled progress in talks for a new U.S. coronavirus aid package.
- London copper prices hit a near one-week low after a surge in coronavirus cases raised doubts about a global economic recovery and as the dollar strengthened, making greenback-priced metals more expensive for buyers holding other currencies.
- Chicago soybeans rose for a sixth consecutive session, climbing to their highest in more than four years on the back of strong Chinese demand and dryness in parts of top producer Brazil.
- Raw sugar futures on ICE closed slightly down on Friday but clinched the sixth consecutive week of gains in a fund-led rally that started in early May and has been boosted this week by India's delay in announcing its sugar export subsidy policy.  
- Malaysian palm oil futures jumped 1.8% to one-and-a-half-week high, tracking gains in rival oils on the Dalian Commodity Exchange and the Chicago Board of Trade.

- The euro falls against the safe haven dollar on doubts that U.S. lawmakers will agree fresh coronavirus fiscal stimulus measures before the November 3 presidential election which dampen the U.S. inflation outlook and hit risk appetite. The performance of EUR/USD currently depends on the progress of U.S. stimulus talks and "things are not looking very promising on that front," Commerzbank's Ulrich Leuchtmann says. An agreement before the U.S. elections is unlikely and it "remains unclear" whether lawmakers will reach a deal shortly after the election or if it will wait until January, Leuchtmann says. Less fiscal policy momentum means less inflation, boosting the dollar, he says. EUR/USD falls 0.2% to 1.1845.

- Asian currencies are mixed against USD ahead of an event-packed week. "Beyond the U.S. election developments, it is no doubt a big week for markets amid the slew of central-bank meetings, data releases and stream of U.S. earnings reports," says IG. Fiscal-stimulus talks seem to be going nowhere even as House Speaker Pelosi suggested over the weekend that a deal could be done this week, before the Nov. 3 U.S. elections, IG says. USD/KRW is little changed at 1,128.57, USD/SGD is up 0.1% at 1.3590, while USD/TWD is down 0.1% at 28.61.

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

- Oil prices held on to gains from the previous session, after Russian President Vladimir Putin indicated he would be prepared to extend record supply cuts in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Gold edged up on hopes that a U.S. stimulus package would eventually be passed, boosting the metal's appeal as an inflation hedge, although a stronger dollar capped gains.
- London copper prices declined as investors' caution ahead of the U.S. presidential election fuelled support for the dollar, making greenback-priced metals more expensive for buyers using other currencies.
- U.S. wheat futures gained as traders worried expected rains across key producing regions would be insufficient to ease the threat of reduced output.
- Raw sugar futures on ICE rose to an eight-month high on Thursday as the market resumed its upward trend, helped by delays from the Indian government to decide its sugar export policy for the 2020-21 season.
- Malaysian palm oil futures reversed course to trade lower, set to end a three-session rally that put the vegetable oil on course for a 1.6% weekly gain as wet weather conditions and COVID-19 curbs fuelled concerns over supply.

- Copper prices have pulled back from the $7,000 a metric ton high they hit this week but, nonetheless, are on course to end the week 2.3% higher. Three-month LME copper is currently down 0.4% at $6,878.50 a ton. The uncertainty of the U.S. election is likely to keep metals markets in check until the results are known, say analysts at TD Securities. "With the final US Presidential debate offering little to chew on for the industrial metals, and the slight tick down in Biden betting odds, it is likely the metals will remain in wait and see mode with just weeks until the election," they say.

- Many political commentators are calling presidential candidate Biden's comment that the oil industry needs to be replaced with renewables an unforced error, but Edward Moya at Oanda says perhaps the time had come. "What Biden did was provide a moment of truth for the energy industry, the world is moving to more climate-friendly policies, even the oil giants are moving toward renewables," Moya says. And though Moya says Biden's remarks might not play well in New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Colorado, possibly providing an edge to the Republicans in those Senate races, he also says "a Biden presidency would accelerate the tapering of US production, which in turn would be supportive for oil
prices."

- Last night's debate had a nearly-12 minute discussion on energy, raising the question of what happens to gasoline prices after the election, say analysts at GasBuddy, a travel and navigation app used by Americans to find cheap gas stations. "Traditionally, presidents had limited ability to move the needle at the gas pump, but in recent years that has changed," they say. "Bottom line: Gas prices could climb significantly if Biden is elected and acts to curb oil supply while not offering a major new program to move Americans away from their internal combustion-powered vehicles, while Trump is likely to keep the status quo on the oil industry, keeping prices at the pump lower."

- In an apparent response to presidential candidate Biden saying last night he wants to eventually do away with the oil industry, the industry's largest trade group, the American Petroleum Institute, says "we aren't going anywhere," adding that Democrats, Republicans and Independents alike know the vital role of oil and gas. "I would transition from the oil industry .... because the oil industry pollutes, " former VP Biden said during a debate with incumbent Trump. "It has to be replaced by renewable energy over time." Trump called Biden's remarks "a big statement," and said "basically what he's saying is he's going to destroy the oil industry. Will you remember that Texas? Will you remember that, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma?"

- A new U.S. administration under Democrat Joe Biden may hurt the U.K. government's chances of agreeing a trade deal with the U.S. any time soon, as President Donald Trump has backed the U.K. leaving the EU and emboldened the Brexit movement, Frederique Carrier at RBC Wealth Management says. Although Biden's position is less well known, the Obama administration opposed preferential trade terms for a U.K. "out of Europe," she says. Moreover, given the size of the European Union compared with the size of the U.K., Biden is unlikely to prioritize a U.K. trade deal. With U.S.-U.K. free trade deal talks on hold until spring because of the pandemic, Biden could pause all negotiations while
re-examining U.S. trade policy, Carrier says.

- ANZ Bank has crunched some numbers on the outcome of the U.S. presidential election and has returned with a view that the probability of former Vice President Biden winning at 75%. Democrats look likely to eke out a small majority in the Senate and should easily retain the House making it a blue wave. ANZ sees key differences between 2016 and the 2020 race including: fewer undecided voters; Biden has consistently polled above 50%; and, pollsters have improved the quality of swing state polls.

- US benchmark oil prices end 1.5% higher at $40.64 a barrel after a mid-morning spurt of buying on reports that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said lawmakers are "just about there," on efforts to pass a stimulus bill for coronavirus. Many analysts say they still think the deal may not happen until after the upcoming presidential election, but say it now seems likely it will at least happen relatively soon. Prices also are gaining support on continued data showing Asia is on a path toward economic recovery from coronavirus, with India, China and other countries all showing improvements in key economic metrics that could mean higher global demand for oil.

- Ten-year Treasury yields continue to rise, currently at 0.851% from 0.815% yesterday and trading at levels not seen since June. Jobless claims fell to 787,000 last week, and revised numbers from the week ended Oct. 3, at 767,000, are the lowest since the March 14 week. Sales of previously owned homes in the US rose to a 14-year high last month. Yields have risen lately on expectations of more government spending, either from a possible stimulus package before the election, or expected if Biden wins, and such spending often makes yields rise by increasing bond supply and possibly by boosting economic growth and inflation.

- A Democratic win in next month's U.S. presidential election could boost European equities more than a second term for incumbent Donald Trump, Barclays says. A Joe Biden victory and Democratic sweep could be perceived as more beneficial to Europe, the bank says. "This is due to possibly reduced trade uncertainty, stronger ties with the U.S., and greater stimulus lifting the reflation trade," Barclays's analysts say. The risk of a disputed outcome remains, despite Biden's lead in the polls, the analysts add. "We thus believe a convincing win by either candidate would be market-positive in the short run, as it would eliminate the tail-risk of a contested outcome," they say.

- The Turkish lira would probably fall further if U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden wins November's election, TD Securities says. "Should Biden win, the risk of sanctions on Turkey would become more concrete and, with that the extension of an upside move in USD/TRY," TD Securities analyst Cristian Maggio says. That could force Turkey's central bank to deliver "significantly more tightening," he says. USD/TRY rose to a record high of 7.9792 earlier Thursday, according to FactSet, after the central bank unexpectedly left its main policy rate at 10.25% but lifted the late liquidity window lending rate to 14.75% from 13.25%. USD/TRY is last up 1.8% at 7.9564.

- The prospects of a fiscal stimulus package in the U.S. are vanishing, at least before the elections, says Paer Magnusson, senior rates strategist at Swedbank in a webinar Thursday. "It seems we are not getting the stimulus package anytime soon," he says. Given that the new president's term begins on Jan. 20, "no sooner than late january can a new package be adopted," he says. In the case of a landslide Democrat win, they can deliver a large package, but it will take some time, Magnusson says. "We aren't going to see any new money going out to those who need it sooner than February or even March," he says.

- The dollar could weaken if Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden performs well in his televised debate with President Donald Trump later Thursday, ING says. "The dollar has been surprisingly soft this week, seemingly driven by the on-again-off-again prospect of a fourth fiscal stimulus package and a growing sense that a Biden administration would restore some order to world trade," ING's Chris Turner says. The presidential debate is "perhaps the president's last chance to seriously close the gap in the polls," he says. The DXY dollar index rises 0.2% to 92.7960.

- The optimism of European investors and business owners outside Switzerland about their region's economy over the next 12 months is above average, according to UBS's investor sentiment survey. In the survey, more than 4,000 investors and business owners across 14 markets globally were polled in late September and early October. Fifty-eight percent of European respondents say they are optimistic versus 55% saying so globally, according to the survey. Compared with their international peers, European investors are more likely to be planning to adjust their portfolios after the U.S. elections, with 65% saying they will do so, the survey shows.

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

- Oil prices dropped in early trade, adding to heavy losses overnight, after a build in U.S. gasoline inventories pointed to a deteriorating outlook for fuel demand as coronavirus cases soar in North America and Europe.
- Gold slipped from a more than one-week high hit in the last session, as the dollar recovered some lost ground after doubts emerged whether an agreement on a new U.S. fiscal coronavirus aid package could be reached before the election.
- London copper eased, snapping three sessions of gains that pushed prices past $7,000 a tonne for the first time since June 2018, as traders fretted over the slow pace of talks to hammer out additional U.S. stimulus.
- U.S. wheat futures fell 1%, as traders booked profits after prices hit a near six-year high in the previous session, although losses were limited on concerns about adverse weather in key producing regions.
- Raw sugar futures on ICE were lower on Wednesday, with the market slipping back from a 7-1/2 month peak set early this week.
- Malaysian palm oil futures firmed for a third straight session, as fears over declining output helped offset the pressure from weakness in prices of rival soybean oil.

- The optimism of European investors and business owners outside Switzerland about their region's economy over the next 12 months is above average, according to UBS's investor sentiment survey. In the survey, more than 4,000 investors and business owners across 14 markets globally were polled in late September and early October. Fifty-eight percent of European respondents say they are optimistic versus 55% saying so globally, according to the survey. Compared with their international peers, European investors are more likely to be planning to adjust their portfolios after the U.S. elections, with 65% saying they will do so, the survey shows.

- The euro falls against a stronger safe-haven dollar on doubts over another U.S. fiscal stimulus package being agreed before November's presidential election. "The U.S. presidential elections are only 12 days away, before that nobody wants to commit too much to a particular direction in EUR/USD," Commerzbank analyst Esther Reichelt says. In particular, hopes lawmakers will agree a fiscal package before the election "are crumbling once again" as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell signalled he won't accept a vote before then, she says. The elections mean "we face a completely new situation afterwards" and that applies to the outlook for fiscal stimulus and the "resulting USD
consequences," she says. EUR/USD falls 0.2% to 1.1841.

- The FTSE 100 is expected to open 16 points lower according to IG, following declines in Asian and U.S. stocks after U.S. President Donald Trump cast doubt on the prospect of a fiscal stimulus deal. Even as Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she made progress in talks with White House officials for another coronavirus relief package, Trump said on Twitter that he doesn't see "any way" an agreement could be reached. "This impasse looks set to continue well past next month's election date, because even if the Democrats were to win, they would still be unable to enact anything until Joe Biden was sworn in as President in January next year," CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson says.

- House Democrats joined calls for an investigation into bond trades by hedge funds hoping to profit from Puerto Rico's debt restructuring. Seven Democratic lawmakers urged Puerto Rico's financial oversight board to probe the trading activity, saying it had "put the integrity of the restructuring proceedings into question." Signatories to Wednesday's letter included Reps. Raul Grijalva (Ariz.), Darren Soto (Fla.) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.). Bond guarantors with billions of dollars on the line have also questioned some debt trades, suggesting they were based on non-public information gleaned from private talks. The hedge funds involved have denied wrongdoing and said they complied with the terms of court-ordered negotiations.

- The election between incumbent President Trump and former VP Biden could be pivotal for the future of energy, though market forces and government checks and balances will probably prevent any drastic changes in the short term, no matter who wins. "Trump has not been able to realize all of his ambitions for energy, which included reviving the US coal industry. The same would be true of Biden," says Ed Crooks at Wood Mackenzie. "President Donald Trump rejects the idea of using government policy to cut greenhouse gas emissions .... Joe Biden says he would create jobs through a 'clean energy revolution' to set the US on a path to net zero emissions by 2050."

- A Democratic or Republican sweep at the U.S. elections would increase the likelihood of a fiscal stimulus package being agreed, and cause U.S. Treasury yields to rise, Pictet Wealth Management's chief investment officer and head of investments Cesar Perez Ruiz says in a webinar Wednesday. The passing of a fiscal package could bring about a "big rotation" in the short term between growth and value stocks and Pictet would look to buy those companies that would benefit from that, including green companies, materials and construction, but "still not oil," he says. "If Biden or Trump does not get the full Congress, then the likelihood of fiscal stimulus becomes significantly lower and much more dependent on the situation of the pandemic," Ruiz says.

- The euro may reach $1.19 Wednesday as reports that U.S. lawmakers have made progress on coronavirus stimulus talks reduce safe haven flows into the dollar, ING says. EUR/USD is last up 0.2% at 1.1852, having earlier reached a one-month high of 1.1870, according to FactSet. "Risk assets continue to find some support from rising hopes around a pre-election fiscal stimulus bill in the U.S.," ING analysts say. Stimulus negotiations may remain the market's dominant driver for the rest of the week as the Democrats and Republicans attempt to reach a deal by the
weekend, the analysts say. Any collapse in the negotiations wouldn't have "major negative market implications" as hopes for a post-election Democrat stimulus bill "still offer a buffer," they say.

- The DXY dollar index falls 0.3% to a one-month low of 92.78, while the euro rises to a one-month high of $1.1865, helped by improved prospects of a U.S. fiscal stimulus package being agreed before the election. ING says the chances of a bipartisan deal "still look rather slim," but the fact that the chances are increasing should leave the dollar "gently offered across the board." Talks are reportedly intensifying, although little progress appears to have been made to bring Republican senators onboard, ING says. However, investors have low expectations and the market impact would be limited if talks were to collapse, it says.

- The U.S. election will have an enormous impact on Europe, says Carsten Brzeski, global head of macro at ING. For trade, with President Trump there would be a continuation of his current policies, while with Joe Biden, Brzeski says only the tone will change. "Biden will reach out to the Europeans to become an ally in this trade war against China," Brzeski says. With President Trump an investment package is expected to exclude Europe, while with Biden there would be more openings for European companies to enter the investment package. Don't expect a big change coming out of the U.S., the economist says. "Europe on its own needs to learn how to deal in this big competition between the U.S. and China," Brzeski says.

- Copper is rallying as hopes for a stimulus deal are lifted, the dollar weakens further and labor disputes in Chile threaten to crimp supply. Three-month copper on the LME is up 1% at $6,972 a metric ton. That takes the red-metal to a fresh 28-month high. Despite Democrats setting Tuesday as the deadline for an agreement on a fresh stimulus package, both they and the White House say they will continue talks Wednesday, raising fresh hopes for a deal. At the same time, strikes from miner workers in Chile continue to support prices, as does a weaker dollar. The ICE Dollar Index falls 0.3% to 92.82.

- Government oversight that spurs competition in the tech industry is a positive thing, IBM Chief Executive Arvind Krishna says, following a Justice Department lawsuit against Google alleging anticompetitive conduct. While Krishna didn't comment directly on the Google suit, he says tech regulation should be targeted if it's to be productive. "I think precision regulation that is aimed at fomenting ethical use of certain technologies is always good," Krishna says at the WSJ Tech Live conference. "I think broad-brush regulation where you take a sledgehammer to solve a small problem you can always question."

- A Trump win in the presidential election would benefit risk assets and lead to near-term strength in USD, according to Invesco. That would be favorable to growth and momentum stocks, the firm says. But the administration's trade-policy framework would pose a risk to emerging and developed market equities outside the US, the investment-management company says. "This scenario would likely deliver a negative impact on our model portfolio, given our overweight exposures to value, size, foreign exchange and equity markets outside the US," Invesco says. The firm
says markets would need to brace for uncertainty a few weeks after election day because some states could have longer vote processing times due to the pandemic.

- Coal consumption in the US has been on the decline in recent years, a trend that is likely to accelerate if former Vice President Joe Biden wins the 2020 general election, says Moody's. "Thermal coal producers - already reeling from a combination of challenges including market disruption following outbreaks of coronavirus and diminishing access to capital that limits resilience to further weakness - would see an accelerated decline in demand under the policies proposed by Democratic candidate Joseph Biden," says Moody's. The firm points to the difference in environmental policies between the Republican and Democrat parties as a difference especially of consequence for the thermal coal industry.

- If former Vice President Joe Biden wins the election, his proposal to raise corporate and personal income taxes could be delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic's effects, Invesco says. Projected increases in infrastructure spending that could spur near-term growth could offset the effect of higher taxes, the investment-management company says. Reduced trade-policy uncertainty could also be a plus under Biden, Invesco says. "Overall, we think the impact on equity and credit markets is likely to be positive in the medium-term, despite risks of an initial sell-off," Invesco says of the electoral scenario. But with a split Congress, a policy impasse could remain on health care infrastructure spending, minimum wage and tax reform, according to Invesco. "We believe this scenario may have a moderately positive impact on our model portfolio," the firm says.

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

- Oil prices eased after a surprise build-up in U.S. crude stockpiles stoked concerns about a global supply glut even as a spike in global COVID-19 cases fuelled fears of slower recovery in fuel demand.
- Gold prices rose as optimism that U.S. lawmakers could reach agreement on a pre-election coronavirus relief package pressured the dollar and bolstered the precious metal's appeal as an inflation hedge.
- London copper hovered near its 28-month high on expectations for fresh U.S. stimulus, with a weaker dollar and a stronger yuan also lending support.
- Chicago corn futures rose for a third consecutive session and hit their highest in 14 months, as strong demand and Brazilian dry weather underpinned the market.
- Arabica coffee futures on ICE fell to a three-month low on Tuesday as prospects for demand of high-quality beans weakened due to the new wave of coronavirus cases that is forcing some European countries to close shops and restaurants.
- Malaysian palm oil futures rose to a one-week high, extending gains into a second session as they tracked strength in rival Dalian oils and exports picked up amid slowing production.

- The U.S. election will have an enormous impact on Europe, says Carsten Brzeski, global head of macro at ING. For trade, with President Trump there would be a continuation of his current policies, while with Joe Biden, Brzeski says only the tone will change. "Biden will reach out to the Europeans to become an ally in this trade war against China," Brzeski says. With President Trump an investment package is expected to exclude Europe, while with Biden there would be more openings for European companies to enter the investment package. Don't expect a big change coming out of the U.S., the economist says. "Europe on its own needs to learn how to deal in this big competition between the U.S. and China," Brzeski says.

- Copper is rallying as hopes for a stimulus deal are lifted, the dollar weakens further and labor disputes in Chile threaten to crimp supply. Three-month copper on the LME is up 1% at $6,972 a metric ton. That takes the red-metal to a fresh 28-month high. Despite Democrats setting Tuesday as the deadline for an agreement on a fresh stimulus package, both they and the White House say they will continue talks Wednesday, raising fresh hopes for a deal. At the same time, strikes from miner workers in Chile continue to support prices, as does a weaker dollar. The ICE Dollar Index falls 0.3% to 92.82.

- Government oversight that spurs competition in the tech industry is a positive thing, IBM Chief Executive Arvind Krishna says, following a Justice Department lawsuit against Google alleging anticompetitive conduct. While Krishna didn't comment directly on the Google suit, he says tech regulation should be targeted if it's to be productive. "I think precision regulation that is aimed at fomenting ethical use of certain technologies is always good," Krishna says at the WSJ Tech Live conference. "I think broad-brush regulation where you take a sledgehammer to solve a small problem you can always question."

- A Trump win in the presidential election would benefit risk assets and lead to near-term strength in USD, according to Invesco. That would be favorable to growth and momentum stocks, the firm says. But the administration's trade-policy framework would pose a risk to emerging and developed market equities outside the US, the investment-management company says. "This scenario would likely deliver a negative impact on our model portfolio, given our overweight exposures to value, size, foreign exchange and equity markets outside the US," Invesco says. The firm says markets would need to brace for uncertainty a few weeks after election day because some states could have longer vote processing times due to the pandemic.

- Coal consumption in the US has been on the decline in recent years, a trend that is likely to accelerate if former Vice President Joe Biden wins the 2020 general election, says Moody's. "Thermal coal producers - already reeling from a combination of challenges including market disruption following outbreaks of coronavirus and diminishing access to capital that limits resilience to further weakness - would see an accelerated decline in demand under the policies proposed by Democratic candidate Joseph Biden," says Moody's. The firm points to the difference in environmental policies between the Republican and Democrat parties as a difference especially of consequence for the thermal coal industry.

- If former Vice President Joe Biden wins the election, his proposal to raise corporate and personal income taxes could be delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic's effects, Invesco says. Projected increases in infrastructure spending that could spur near-term growth could offset the effect of higher taxes, the investment-management company says. Reduced trade-policy uncertainty could also be a plus under Biden, Invesco says. "Overall, we think the impact on equity and credit markets is likely to be positive in the medium-term, despite risks of an initial sell-off," Invesco says of the electoral scenario. But with a split Congress, a policy impasse could remain on health care infrastructure spending, minimum wage and tax reform, according to Invesco. "We believe this scenario may have a moderately positive impact on our model portfolio," the firm says.

- The dollar would weaken if U.S. lawmakers surprise the market by agreeing another coronavirus relief package before November's presidential election, Commerzbank says. "The improved economic outlook drives U.S. inflation expectations upwards and that would be negative for the U.S. dollar," Commerzbank FX analyst Thu Lan Nguyen says. The Fed's new strategy of average inflation targeting means higher inflation no longer automatically results in a higher chance of rising interest rates, she says. An overshooting of the Fed's 2% inflation target has been "out of the question" recently due to coronavirus but the pandemic will end at some stage so traders should keep a close eye on inflation expectations, she says. The dollar index falls 0.1% to 93.2990.

- Gold is edging lower amid creeping skepticism that U.S. politicians can reach an agreement on a stimulus package ahead of the presidential election. Gold futures are down 0.3% at $1,905.60 a troy ounce. Democrats have set a Tuesday deadline for the final chance to strike a deal, but both sides sounded less than confident Monday. Gold has benefited from the large stimulus measures so far unleashed to fight a coronavirus slowdown. Stimulus adds liquidity to financial markets that can drive up assets including gold, and in so doing, also raises expected inflation, which also boosts the appeal of gold, traditionally seen as an inflation hedge.

- Democrats under a Biden administration are likely to be fiscally expansionary, Nordea Senior Macro Strategist Sebastien Galy says, but assuming a thin majority in the Senate, they will do so somewhat prudently by raising taxes on households and especially corporates. "Many argue the mix would lead to a higher inflation and weaker currency or both." Democrats' dollar policy is likely to be as robust as the Republicans, Galy says, though paying little attention to allies or the likes of Switzerland. He says this suggests China will be forced to accept some currency appreciation because its foreign reserves can be easily tracked. Victory for Democrats is likely to be bullish for emerging markets, Galy says, but he doesn't see it having a clear effect on EUR/USD, which he puts at 1.30 at the end of 2020.

- The dollar could weaken if Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden wins November's election as it may lead to a wider external deficit for the U.S., Standard Chartered says. In the event of a Biden victory, Democratic policymakers could put "more emphasis on redistribution and income support" while improved consumer confidence among Democratic voters could translate into a "higher average propensity" to spend, StanChart's Steve Englander says. The result could be a wider external deficit and more downside dollar pressure "at the margin," he says. "We see this as the most likely medium- to long-term outcome." The dollar index falls 0.4% to 93.2730.

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

- The yuan held near a two-year high against the dollar in offshore trade, on signs of China's robust economic recovery while the Australian dollar slipped to a three-week low as the central bank looks set to enhance monetary easing.

- Oil prices slipped for a fourth straight day on worries a resurgence of coronavirus cases globally is stifling a promising recovery in fuel demand, while growing output from Libya adds to plentiful supply.
- Gold prices eased, trading in narrow a range, as caution set in ahead of the deadline to reach an agreement on a new U.S. coronavirus stimulus package and the upcoming presidential election.
- London copper prices fell as a spike in coronavirus infections in Europe and uncertainty about a U.S. stimulus deal raised worries about the prospect of a sustained global economic recovery.
- Chicago wheat futures edged higher, with prices trading near the previous session's six-year peak on concerns over dryness in the key Northern Hemisphere producing regions.
- Raw sugar futures on ICE rose to a 7-1/2-month high on Monday, boosted by fund buying against a backdrop of uncertainty about the extent to which India might subsidise exports in the current season, while cocoa prices also climbed.
- Malaysian palm oil futures extended early gains, underpinned by hopes of an uptick in Oct. 1-20 exports, although concerns that rising coronavirus cases in Europe would hurt demand kept a lid on prices.

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

- Asia's trade-exposed currencies inched higher as China's rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic stayed on course last quarter, even as caution about the U.S. election outcome kept the U.S. dollar supported against other majors.

- Oil prices fell after reports that China's third-quarter economic growth did not rise as much as expected, underscoring concerns that surging coronavirus cases globally are impacting demand in the world's largest oil importer.
- A firmer dollar held back gold near the $1,900 per ounce psychological level even as U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi raised hopes for a coronavirus relief package before the presidential election.
- London copper and other base metals rose in range-bound trade on hopes of a fresh U.S. fiscal stimulus package, though gains were muted after top metals consumer China's third-quarter economic growth came in below forecasts.
- Chicago wheat futures climbed more than 1% to their highest in almost six years as dry weather in the world's leading exporting regions raised worries about supplies for 2021.
- Cocoa futures recovered on Friday after touching the lowest prices in several weeks as the market digested data showing plunging demand for the chocolate ingredient during the coronavirus pandemic.
- Malaysian palm oil futures fell more than 2% to hit a two-week low, tracking sharp losses in rival Dalian and CBOT soybean oil, with slowing demand from top buyer India sparking worries over exports of the vegetable oil.

- Democrats under a Biden administration are likely to be fiscally expansionary, Nordea Senior Macro Strategist Sebastien Galy says, but assuming a thin majority in the Senate, they will do so somewhat prudently by raising taxes on households and especially corporates. "Many argue the mix would lead to a higher inflation and weaker currency or both." Democrats' dollar policy is likely to be as robust as the Republicans, Galy says, though paying little attention to allies or the likes of Switzerland. He says this suggests China will be forced to accept some currency appreciation because its foreign reserves can be easily tracked. Victory for Democrats is likely to be bullish for emerging markets, Galy says, but he doesn't see it having a clear effect on EUR/USD, which he puts at 1.30 at the end of 2020.

- The dollar could weaken if Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden wins November's election as it may lead to a wider external deficit for the U.S., Standard Chartered says. In the event of a Biden victory, Democratic policymakers could put "more emphasis on redistribution and income support" while improved consumer confidence among Democratic voters could translate into a "higher average propensity" to spend, StanChart's Steve Englander says. The result could be a wider external deficit and more downside dollar pressure "at the margin," he says. "We see this as the most likely medium- to long-term outcome." The dollar index falls 0.4% to 93.2730.

- The dollar would rise modestly on demand for safe havens if hopes for further U.S. fiscal stimulus are dashed, Saxo Bank says. There is "room for a mishap" on the stimulus front but the market seems "somewhat complacent," Saxo Bank FX strategist John Hardy says. However, recent headlines suggest stimulus prospects are "still strong," he says, referring to news that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has issued a 48-hour deadline for reaching an agreement on fresh coronavirus relief aid. Even when stimulus prospects appeared less strong, many market participants saw rising odds of a Democratic sweep in November's presidential election leading to a "far larger package" by spring, he says. The dollar index falls 0.5% to 93.2410.

- Gold is pushing higher as it finds support ahead of an uncertain U.S. election and from a weaker dollar. New York gold futures are up 0.4% at $1,913 a troy ounce. The precious metal, however, is still sticking tightly to the range it has been in for the last month as many investors are awaiting the outcome of the U.S. election. The election could catalyze a breakout for the metal, says Stephen Innes, market strategist at Axi. With both candidates pushing for more fiscal stimulus, suggesting gold can rally further, he says. "Fiscal policy support has been a critical support factor for gold, and if there is one sure thing, the stimulus is coming," he says.

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

- The yen rose and the dollar was headed for its best week of the month, as surging coronavirus cases and stalled progress toward U.S. stimulus had investors seeking safe assets.
- Oil prices slid dragged down by concerns that a spike in COVID-19 cases in Europe and the United States is curtailing demand in two of the world's biggest fuel consuming regions, while a stronger U.S. dollar also added to pressure.
- Gold slipped and looked set to post its first weekly drop in three, as the dollar held firm while additional U.S. fiscal stimulus appeared unlikely before the presidential election.  
- Copper prices rose as hopes of strong demand in top metals consumer China and risks of supply disruptions outweighed concerns that a resurgence in COVID-19 cases in Europe may weaken the global economic recovery momentum.
- U.S. wheat futures hit a near six-year high, as dry weather in key global producing regions raised supply concerns, pushing the grain towards its third straight weekly gain.
- ICE cocoa futures closed 2% down on Thursday as grind data from Europe showed a near 5% reduction on volumes as the pandemic continues to curb demand in mature markets.
- Malaysian palm oil futures rose on supply worries, but were set for a 1.2% weekly fall pressured by a drop in October exports so far and heavy losses in rival oils.

- Investors could sell off risk assets such as stocks and corporate bonds in the event an U.S. election victory by Democratic candidate Joe Biden is perceived as less likely, says Mark Dowding, chief investment officer at BlueBay Asset Management. "A blue wave remains the most likely result, but it seems that there is a lingering concern that the race could tighten in swing states and that there is also scope for a contested outcome, which could see risk assets under pressure," he says. However, Dowding reckons "there is sufficient cash on the sidelines wanting to buy into any dip" that "any retracement lower is likely to be relatively limited in the short term."

- A bad week for market sentiment could end on a more optimistic note, reducing safe-haven flows into the dollar, on hopes for fresh U.S. fiscal stimulus and improved U.S. economic data, ING says. President Donald Trump fuelled hopes for another coronavirus relief package after saying Thursday that he is willing to raise his offer of $1.8 trillion in stimulus to get a deal with the Democrats. U.S. data on retail sales, industrial production and consumer confidence later Friday "may also turn relatively supportive" for risk appetite with ING economists expecting "decent increases," ING FX strategist Francesco Pesole says. The dollar index falls 0.1% to 93.7350.

- Europeans are overwhelmingly for a Biden-win, Katharine Neiss, chief European economist at PGIM Fixed Income says in a webinar, dedicated to the prospects of the US elections. If outgoing President Trump is re-elected, "I wouldn't be surprised to see trade tensions coming to the forefront again, particularly around automobiles," she says. In case of a win by Democrat candidate Joe Biden, a "repair, a renewal," in trade issues as well as more cooperation should be expected, she says.

- If incumbent US President Trump is re-elected, the US is more likely to see more unconventional policies, Nathan Sheets, chief economist and head of global macroeconomic research at PGIM Fixed Income, says in a webinar. "Trump is who he is, his policies are unconventional, his style is unconventional," he says. "We'd likely see more of that in a second term." In contrast, a Biden administration would be much more activist, would be looking for opportunities for the government to provide support and help address challenges the economy faces, Sheets says. Under Biden a big stimulus package would be likely to come in 1Q, implying via tax hikes.

 - "We are seeing a clash of economic philosophies," between President Trump and Democrat candidate Joe Biden, Nathan Sheets, chief economist and head of global macroeconomic research at PGIM Fixed Income, says in a webinar. Trump's policy has been and is likely to continue to be an "all out push for growth," he says. This means further efforts to cut taxes and further deregulation, he says. In contrast, Biden sees that the government has an important role in addressing some of the distortions, problems and inequalities that exist in the economy, Sheets says.

- The 10-year Treasury yield erases losses and climbs to 0.73% after starting the day below 0.70%, snapping a two-day downward streak. There's no clear catalyst, as investors grapple with disappointing economic data and a protracted negotiation over stimulus they deem key to keep the economy humming. Some good, potentially yield-boosting news comes from Philadelphia Fed data, showing business activity jumped and beat expectations.

- The virus, economic data and the U.S. elections are the main themes Eurizon Asset Management is watching near term as factors which could trigger bouts of volatility, but it says that none of these themes are likely to stop the cyclical recovery. They may instead simply "extend what is currently a transition phase for the markets, after a swift recovery," it says. Economic data for the third quarter confirmed a 'V'-shaped global recovery after the April crash, Eurizon says, and it expects the recovery to continue in the fourth quarter, albeit "marred by greater uncertainty." There is a risk of a potential neck-and-neck finish in the U.S. elections, while there's also general uncertainty over the United States' new global political approach.

- Corporate bonds from renewable energy, hospitals and construction, particularly homebuilding and infrastructure-related activities, are likely to be the big winners from a Democratic sweep at the U.S. general election on Nov. 3, says Pimco. Conversely, paper issued by oil and gas exploration and production companies, especially those firms exposed to drilling on onshore and offshore U.S. federal lands, healthcare and pharmaceuticals would be among the losers, says the asset manager. A victory by Democratic candidate Joe Biden would have a mixed impact on financial and tech debt, it says.

- U.S. credit markets have primarily focused on the effects of the global pandemic and the path to economic recovery in 2021, which suggests credit spreads at the sector level are not fully pricing in the implications of a Democratic sweep, says Libby Cantrill, head of public policy, and John Devir, portfolio manager and head of Americas credit research at Pimco. "Under a Democratic sweep, we believe the financial markets would initially price in higher taxes - including corporate, personal, and capital gains. This could be problematic for equity and corporate credit markets currently trading at above-average valuation multiples," they say.

- Investors should look at the U.S. elections from a long-term perspective, because short-term noise around the event may have little relevance in the longer term, says Columbia Threadneedle Investments. The U.S. elections cause a lot of volatility and anxiety beforehand, and then "not much of substance for the broad economy and financial markets afterward," says global chief investment officer Colin Moore. A lot of the temporary volatility is triggered by politicians making speeches about policies and programs "that they are rarely able to fully enact," Moore says. "Long-term market and economic direction are about what actually happens, and in that respect, a single election is almost irrelevant to our long-term outlook," he says.

- Continuum Economics forecasts 10-year U.S. Treasury yields to rise to 1.8% by the end of 2021, driven by fiscal stimulus in the event of a Democratic sweep in U.S. elections. "A Democratic clean sweep would mean a very large budget deficit in 2021 and 10-year yields would see funding pressures," the research group says. In this scenario, the 10-year U.S. Treasury yield would rise the most, to 1.8% by the end of next year, while the rise would be more modest in other scenarios, it says. The 10-year U.S. Treasury yield is last at 0.699%, according to Tradeweb.

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

- Oil prices edged higher, extending their 2% gains from the previous session, after data showed U.S. crude stockpiles fell last week, while OPEC and its allies were seen complying with their pact to curb output in September.
- Gold prices dipped as the dollar steadied and comments from U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin dashed hopes of a new fiscal stimulus package before the presidential election.
- Copper prices declined as hopes faded for another round of U.S. fiscal stimulus to support recovery in the world's largest economy, but supply risks and hopes for stronger demand later in the year cushioned the metal's drop.
- Chicago soybean futures rose for a third consecutive session as strong demand from China and dry weather in Brazil underpinned the market.
- London cocoa futures on ICE fell to a seven-week low on Wednesday, weighed partly by a stronger pound, as the market waited to see if third-quarter grinding data would provide further evidence of weakening demand.
- Malaysian palm oil futures were little changed as signs of subdued supply due to wet weather and a labour shortage countered demand worries driven by lower Oct. 1-15 exports.

- U.S. credit markets have primarily focused on the effects of the global pandemic and the path to economic recovery in 2021, which suggests credit spreads at the sector level are not fully pricing in the implications of a Democratic sweep, says Libby Cantrill, head of public policy, and John Devir, portfolio manager and head of Americas credit research at Pimco. "Under a Democratic sweep, we believe the financial markets would initially price in higher taxes - including corporate, personal, and capital gains. This could be problematic for equity and corporate credit markets currently trading at above-average valuation multiples," they say.

- Investors should look at the U.S. elections from a long-term perspective, because short-term noise around the event may have little relevance in the longer term, says Columbia Threadneedle Investments. The U.S. elections cause a lot of volatility and anxiety beforehand, and then "not much of substance for the broad economy and financial markets afterward," says global chief investment officer Colin Moore. A lot of the temporary volatility is triggered by politicians making speeches about policies and programs "that they are rarely able to fully enact," Moore says. "Long-term market and economic direction are about what actually happens, and in that respect, a single election is almost irrelevant to our long-term outlook," he says.

- Continuum Economics forecasts 10-year U.S. Treasury yields to rise to 1.8% by the end of 2021, driven by fiscal stimulus in the event of a Democratic sweep in U.S. elections. "A Democratic clean sweep would mean a very large budget deficit in 2021 and 10-year yields would see funding pressures," the research group says. In this scenario, the 10-year U.S. Treasury yield would rise the most, to 1.8% by the end of next year, while the rise would be more modest in other scenarios, it says. The 10-year U.S. Treasury yield is last at 0.699%, according to Tradeweb.

- Cyclical disinflation is set to displace any US inflation scare says economic analysis firm TS Lombard. The researcher says disinflation--perhaps even some deflation--"will now follow the record disruptions to this year's economy and the recessionary environment that is emerging." TS Lombard believes Washington's failure to produce another stimulus package will extend the timeline for "the low for inflation," which it had pegged as sometime in 2021. The firm argues that the stimulus battle is likely worsening the current recession "and could, in turn, push recovery out to late 2021 or even 2022--at which point the cyclical upturn in inflation takes hold."

- European stocks trade mixed as worries about coronavirus lockdowns dampen positive sentiment surrounding US bank earnings, with the Dow falling 0.5%. The Stoxx Europe 600 dropping 0.09%, the FTSE 100 down 0.6% and the CAC-40 retreats 0.1%. Still, the DAX edges slightly higher and markets in the Nordics, Spain and Italy also rise. The price of a barrel of Brent crude increases 1.7% to $43.16. "An improvement in US bank earnings has provided one source of good news for the day, but with US stimulus talks now looking dead in the water and European Covid outbreaks gathering momentum, it may be tough for stock markets to recoup the recent positive atmosphere," says IG's Chris Beauchamp.

- Next month's U.S. presidential election is likely to produce a comfortable victory for the Democrats, says Sporting Index. Democratic nominee Joe Biden looks set to secure 322 votes in the Electoral College--a body of 538 electors from each state and Washington DC--to incumbent Donald Trump's 216, the spread-betting firm says. The winner needs a majority of 270 votes, with Barack Obama's 365 and 332 in 2008 and 2012 representing the biggest victories of the 21st century. "We now expect a landslide victory for Biden," says Sporting Index's Phill Fairclough. "There's still time for Trump to turn things around and given the events of the 2016 election, it wouldn't be wise to completely write him off. However, he'd need a huge swing."

- A resurgence in coronavirus cases in Europe is a "clear negative" for economically-sensitive currencies versus the safe-haven dollar but the fiscal response from governments should soften the decline, ING says. The "rising odds" of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden winning the election and providing larger U.S. fiscal stimulus should also offset "rising downside risks" to cyclical currencies, ING analysts say. "The 2021 outlook for USD therefore still looks negative, but coming weeks and months may prove more challenging for cyclical currencies."

- Mixed U.S. bank earnings so far, coupled with election risk are likely to prompt European credit markets to trade sideways, says UniCredit. "Amid the start of the U.S. earnings season and the approach of the US presidential election, the European credit market is increasingly adopting a wait-and-see stance," says the Italian bank, adding that Tuesday's mixed picture from U.S. banks' third-quarter results show high scope for vulnerability as more banks report this week. So far European Additional Tier 1 debt spreads remained unchanged at 560 basis points, but "there is temporary scope for widening if there is more pressure on equities," it cautions.

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

- Oil prices slipped on concerns that fuel demand will continue to falter as rising coronavirus cases across Europe and in the United States, the world's biggest oil consumer, could impede economic growth.
- Gold struggled to gain traction and was stuck below the key $1,900/ounce psychological level, as lack of an agreement on additional U.S. fiscal stimulus helped the dollar stay firm.
- Copper prices rose in London, as the threat of supply disruptions in top producer Chile and hopes for stronger consumption by leading consumer China supported prices.
- Chicago soybean futures slid, weighed down by a rapid pace of U.S. harvest, although losses were limited by lack of rains in top producer Brazil.
- Raw sugar futures on ICE closed up on Tuesday as the market resumed its recent uptrend after the prior session's setback, while London cocoa hit its weakest in 1-1/2 months ahead of key third quarter grinding data due later this week.
- Malaysian palm oil futures eased, tracking weaker rival soybean oil, and looked set to end a seven-day rally, but supply concerns underpinned prices as Indonesian and Malaysian producers brace for heavy rains brought by La Nina.

- Households spent only 29% of their economic impact payments by the end of June, and saved 36%--with the remaining 35% used to pay down debt. In a new study the New York Fed says households expect to spend an even lower share of any future stimulus payment. Paying debt is a priority, according to the research. "These findings indicate that the economic impact payments, by increasing both household income and the debt pay down, contributed importantly to the sharp increase in the overall saving rate during the early months of the pandemic," the study says.

- European stocks fall as coronavirus-vaccine worries and US election uncertainty weigh on market sentiment. The Stoxx Europe 600 and FTSE 100 drop 0.5% apiece, the CAC-40 is down 0.6% and the DAX retreats 0.9%. The price of a barrel of Brent crude increases 1.8% to $42.45, though gold and silver prices fall. The Dow is off 0.4% after Johnson & Johnson temporarily halted a Covid-19 vaccine trial and traders ponder election prospects. "There's a growing feeling among analysts that a blue wave come November is arguably the best outcome for the markets, given the sizeable stimulus package Joe Biden and the Democrats are likely to push through with a clean win," says Connor Campbell at Spreadex.

- CEO James Dimon says the US government is a big reason consumers and business appear to be in decent financial health. In March, after coronavirus shut down the economy, Congress quickly rallied to pass a $2 trillion stimulus bill with expanded unemployment, small-business funding and aid for airlines and other pandemic-hit industries. Much of that money is gone, and lawmakers are at an impasse on a second round of stimulus. Dimon says a "good, well-designed stimulus package will simply increase the chance we get better outcomes, but there is so much uncertainty we're not saying that that is definitive."

- Overtures to the US ethanol industry, which has been under pressure amid the Covid-19 pandemic and the battle over waivers of the renewable fuel standards for small oil refineries, has been part of former Vice President Joe Biden's platform in his 2020 election bid. Biden is perceived as being moderate in his positions on agribusiness, not pitching any ideas to break up large agribusiness ventures unlike his opponents in the Democratic Primary, Arun Sundaram of CFRA says. "Biden says he is in support of biofuels and has vowed to promote and advance renewable energy, ethanol, and other biofuels to help rural America and the country's farmers," says Sundaram, noting that under the Trump Administration, annual ethanol production sank for the first time in nearly a decade.

- A change of occupant in the White House could ripple down to occupants of US cattle ranches. Jayson Lusk, an agricultural economist at Purdue University, says on the AgriTalk podcast that a Biden-Harris administration could make new appointments to federal committees that make US dietary guidelines, and notes the widening gap between how liberals and conservatives look at food issues like red meat consumption. Vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris during her presidential run said that she would support changing US dietary guidelines to support reduced red meat consumption, though she emphasized her personal fondness for cheeseburgers.

- Yields fall as markets reopen after Columbus Day and a new stimulus package remains elusive. The 10-year Treasury yield is 0.748%, down from 0.782% on Friday. "There is short-term trading positioning around a deal happening or not happening that elevates short term volatility," says David Bahnsen, of the Bahnsen Group. Recently, bond prices rose, driving down the yield, whenever investors believed a new package could take longer to materialize because of political gridlock. "Markets are well aware some deal is going to happen, whether it is before the election, after the election, or both," Bahnsen says.

- European oil stocks trade mixed as investors increasingly ponder the implications of next month's U.S. presidential election for the industry. Royal Dutch Shell and Repsol trade higher, though BP, Eni and Total fall even as the price of Brent crude rises 1.4% to $42.31 a barrel. ActivTrades says the odds of a Democrat victory in the election are increasing, with implied probability increasing from 65% to 69.2% over the weekend. "A Biden victory could see less support for the shale-oil industry, pulling up the oil price as a result," says Chief Analyst Carlo Alberto De Casa. "Vice versa, if Trump manages to defeat forecasts, shale oil would probably benefit from the tycoon's help."

- Financial markets seem unimpressed by the outbursts of U.S. President Donald Trump, says Olivier de Berranger, chief investment officer at La Financiere de l'Echiquier. The significant decline in stock volatility in the past few days suggests that the president's behavior "is not getting through to investors, presumably because a clear, hard-to-contest victory for the Democrats is becoming increasingly likely," de Berranger says. However, he warns over complacency about the election outcome, referencing the surprising outcome of the 2016 election. This "should always be a reminder to us that the bear's fur should not be spread before it is shot."

- The extraordinary levels of private savings, the Federal Reserve's QE-related demand, and considerable uncertainties surrounding the U.S. economic outlook should keep U.S. yields low, says Deutsche Bank's strategist Stuart Sparks. He sees the presidential elections as the next potential catalyst for yields to rise, but says that there are important caveats. "The potential for significant fiscal stimulus is greatest given single party control of the Congress and the presidency," he says, but adds that size in itself might not guarantee the efficacy of fiscal stimulus. Sparks adds that the scope for higher yields is constrained by the Fed's efforts to keep real yields lower through Treasury purchases.

- A Democratic sweep of the presidency and Senate in the U.S. presidential elections would result in higher U.S. Treasury yields, although not necessasrily a structural break higher, says Deutsche Bank's strategist Stuart Sparks. The outcome could enable "a sufficiently large fiscal stimulus to raise real yields through supply pressure," he says. However, fiscal stimulus wouldn't guarantee a structural increase as the size and composition of it is uncertain and "size might not in itself guarantee the efficacy of fiscal stimulus," he says.

- The CARES Act and regulators provided accounting relief, forbearance programs and fiscal stimulus, but "this will mask the underlying deterioration in reported asset quality metrics, potentially reducing the overall utility of reported results" from banks in 3Q, Fitch says. U.S. banks' differing approaches to granting loan modifications and reporting data adds to the obscurity on pandemic losses, Fitch says. Under certain pandemic provisions, loans could be considered troubled debt restructurings instead of delinquent. "These interventions will result in more significant delays in recognition of TDRs, delinquencies, nonperforming loans and ultimately credit losses," Fitch says. Asset quality performance will likely truly be understood in 2021 once relief programs expire, the firm also says.

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

- Oil prices were steady, sitting on losses of nearly 3% from the previous session as supplies began to resume in Norway, the U.S. Gulf of Mexico and Libya, while the IEA forecast a 5% fall in global energy demand in 2020.
- Gold prices fell with a slight rebound in dollar, while investors clung to hopes of a U.S. stimulus package being eventually released.
- Shanghai aluminium prices climbed to their highest in two-and-a-half years as a smelter curtailment in Spain fuelled worries about supply, although demand from top consumer China remained weak.
- Chicago wheat futures rose around 1%, underpinned by worries that dry weather in key U.S. and the Black Sea region producing areas could threaten 2021 supplies.
- Raw sugar and arabica coffee futures closed down on ICE on Monday as speculators liquidated some of their long positions in several agricultural commodities and the dollar weakened.
- Malaysian palm oil futures eased as traders booked profits after a six-day rally, although a tight supply of the vegetable oil and hopes for higher October exports limited losses.

- The extraordinary levels of private savings, the Federal Reserve's QE-related demand, and considerable uncertainties surrounding the U.S. economic outlook should keep U.S. yields low, says Deutsche Bank's strategist Stuart Sparks. He sees the presidential elections as the next potential catalyst for yields to rise, but says that there are important caveats. "The potential for significant fiscal stimulus is greatest given single party control of the Congress and the presidency," he says, but adds that size in itself might not guarantee the efficacy of fiscal stimulus. Sparks adds that the scope for higher yields is constrained by the Fed's efforts to keep real yields lower through Treasury purchases.

- A Democratic sweep of the presidency and Senate in the U.S. presidential elections would result in higher U.S. Treasury yields, although not necessasrily a structural break higher, says Deutsche Bank's strategist Stuart Sparks. The outcome could enable "a sufficiently large fiscal stimulus to raise real yields through supply pressure," he says. However, fiscal stimulus wouldn't guarantee a structural increase as the size and composition of it is uncertain and "size might not in itself guarantee the efficacy of fiscal stimulus," he says.

- The CARES Act and regulators provided accounting relief, forbearance programs and fiscal stimulus, but "this will mask the underlying deterioration in reported asset quality metrics, potentially reducing the overall utility of reported results" from banks in 3Q, Fitch says. U.S. banks' differing approaches to granting loan modifications and reporting data adds to the obscurity on pandemic losses, Fitch says. Under certain pandemic provisions, loans could be considered troubled debt restructurings instead of delinquent. "These interventions will result in more significant delays in recognition of TDRs, delinquencies, nonperforming loans and ultimately credit losses," Fitch says. Asset quality performance will likely truly be understood in 2021 once relief programs expire, the firm also says.

- European stocks mostly close higher after an upbeat start to trading on Wall Street, though falling oil stocks limit gains as crude prices drop. The Stoxx Europe 600, CAC and DAX all rise 0.7% while the FTSE 100 closes down 0.25%. The price of a barrel of Brent crude retreats 2.8% to $41.65, hitting shares of BP, Eni, Repsol, Royal Dutch Shell and Total. The Dow gains 1%. "There hasn't been much in the way of news to drive sentiment, but dealers are still a little optimistic in relation to US politicians brokering a coronavirus relief package," says David Madden at CMC Markets.

- An expected selloff in US Treasurys in case of a Democratic sweep in the election "is likely to be transitory rather than structural, and suggests that the low inflation, low yield environment is likely to survive not only the current, but also the next presidential election cycle," Deutsche Bank says. DB argues a large stimulus package widely expected under a Democratic government may be insufficient to create inflation if the funds fail to reach poorer people, who are more likely to spend rather than save. "The fundamental issue is that private sector savings have increased as government spending has increased," DB says.

- Cannabis legalization looks likely to pass in New Jersey's ballot, in a potential boost for the marijuana market, Alliance Global Partner says. The broker estimates the new market could reach $2B five years after legalization, depending on how it will be regulated. But the biggest potential comes from a "domino effect" AGP says an approval in New Jersey could spark. "States such as PA, NY, CT & RI have all looked at legalizing cannabis & we believe NJ's legalization of cannabis will help provide the catalyst for other states to follow suit," Alliance Global Partner says.

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

- Oil prices dropped for a second straight session as U.S. producers began restoring output after Hurricane Delta weakened, while a strike that had affected production in Norway came to an end.
- Gold fell back from a three-week high as the dollar firmed, although hopes for a new U.S. coronavirus aid package checked the precious metal's losses.
- Copper prices in London fell due to continued uncertainty around a U.S. stimulus package, which could boost demand for the metal.
- Chicago soybean futures edged higher, trading near a more than two-year peak hit in the previous session as the U.S. government's estimate for lower supplies supported prices.
- Arabica coffee futures rose for the fourth consecutive session on Friday, continuing to recover from a two-month low last week as dry and hot weather in Brazil provides support.
- Malaysian palm oil futures rose for a sixth straight session, touching a three-week high on the back of strength in rival Dalian oils and higher exports so far in October.

- An expected selloff in US Treasurys in case of a Democratic sweep in the election "is likely to be transitory rather than structural, and suggests that the low inflation, low yield environment is likely to survive not only the current, but also the next presidential election cycle," Deutsche Bank says. DB argues a large stimulus package widely expected under a Democratic government may be insufficient to create inflation if the funds fail to reach poorer people, who are more likely to spend rather than save. "The fundamental issue is that private sector savings have increased as government spending has increased," DB says.

- Cannabis legalization looks likely to pass in New Jersey's ballot, in a potential boost for the marijuana market, Alliance Global Partner says. The broker estimates the new market could reach $2B five years after legalization, depending on how it will be regulated. But the biggest potential comes from a "domino effect" AGP says an approval in New Jersey could spark. "States such as PA, NY, CT & RI have all looked at legalizing cannabis & we believe NJ's legalization of cannabis will help provide the catalyst for other states to follow suit," Alliance Global Partner says.

- The U.S. presidential elections are "one of the most polarizing in U.S. history," says Jean-Marie Mercadal, chief investment officer of OFI Asset Management. What worries the markets even more is that the U.S. economy is in one of the deepest recessions in recent history, with no further government aid program in sight before the election, he says. President Donald Trump's policies are geared to the well-being of U.S. companies. Democrat candidate Joe Biden aims to strengthen state regulation, to raise the corporate tax and those for the wealthiest, as well as the minimium wage and make higher demands on the health insurance offered by employers, Mercadal says.

- Hopes that U.S. lawmakers will agree new fiscal-stimulus measures has helped the euro recover above 1.18 versus the safe-haven dollar but further gains may be limited in the near term, Unicredit says. "We still target 1.22 for 4Q20, but given the ongoing U.S. presidential election race and continuing remarks by many European Central Bank members on the disinflationary impact of a firmer euro, we think that EUR/USD may now steady in the 1.18-1.19 range before investors think about new assaults on 1.20 and beyond," Unicredit analysts say. EUR/USD is last down 0.2% at 1.1807.

- A change of government in the U.S. on November 3 would certainly have far-reaching foreign and sociopolitical consequences, but the "impact of the U.S. elections on the markets is overestimated," says Bernhard Matthes, head of BKC Asset Management. Previous elections showed that the impact of election results on subsequent capital market developments has usually been much less than previously assumed," he says. What really matters for the
markets is that central banks' monetary policy as well as fiscal policy remain ultra-expansive, while the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic remain to be dealt with. "No far-reaching changes are therefore to be expected from the election results at the level of asset allocation," although there may be some impact within asset classes, Matthes says.

- The dollar would potentially weaken but only briefly if Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden wins November's election, Commerzbank says. The "economic arguments" that point towards dollar weakness in the event of a Biden victory include more regulation that reduces companies' profit margins, stronger competition policy and "more consistent" trade policy towards China, Commerzbank FX analyst Ulrich Leuchtmann says. However, in the event of a Democratic sweep, a contested election result would be less likely and fiscal policy would become more expansionary, he says. "If the dollar was to suffer considerably as a result of a Biden victory that would smack of political prejudice in my view--with the possibility of a medium-term correction." The dollar index is flat at 93.0710.

- Gold nudges lower, but could be supported by dip-buying interest. Traders may seek to buy gold on dips to the $1,880/oz-$1,900/oz area, axi says. Any indications of more support for Democrats in the upcoming U.S. election could be positive for gold, as a larger fiscal stimulus package would become more likely should the Democrats sweep the elections, axi adds. Spot gold is down 0.1% at $1,928.03/oz.

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

- Bank of America economists believe fiscal stimulus will come only after the election, but they say recovery from Covid-19 recession will stumble without that help. They argue much of the consumption over the past few months happened thanks to a higher-than-usual savings rate, which in turn was due, in great part, to massive influx of government money into households budgets. "As this stimulus fades and the savings from it are spent, the savings rate should continue to decline," BofA says. "The economy will have to hold its own over the next few months," they say, exhausting current fiscal stimulus "and relying on private sector expansion."

- Gold prices have jumped as Chinese investors return to the market after a long holiday. New York futures are up 1.1% at $1,915.20 a troy ounce, adding to small gains made late on Thursday. "The return of pent-up China buying after an 8-day holiday partially explains the rise in prices," says Jeffrey Halley, market strategist at Oanda. Investors are also likely adding safe-haven gold to their portfolio ahead of the weekend to protect against any unexpected surprises that might come out of the presidential race, he adds. The U.S. Dollar Index is down 0.2%, likely adding further support to gold buying.

- EUR/USD edges up 0.1% to 1.1771 in early trade Friday and is likely to trade in a "reasonably tight range" of between 1.16 and 1.19 until the upcoming U.S. elections, Commerzbank currency strategist Antje Praefcke says. "The market probably has no desire for a revaluation of EUR-USD before the elections," she says. Investors have "pretty much abandoned hope" that a major fiscal stimulus package will be agreed ahead of the presidential election. Meanwhile, Democratic candidate Joe Biden is currently ahead in the polls but that could change and the election remains uncertain. "Why go out on a limb and drive EUR-USD into one or the other direction if there are no new or convincing arguments to do so?" she says.

- The Office of the Special Council ordered USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue Thursday to reimburse the government following remarks the office determined were a violation of the Hatch Act. The OSC said Mr. Perdue ran afoul of the ethics law at an official event related to a USDA coronavirus-relief program for farmers and hungry families, where he made a case for President Trump's reelection and encouraged people to support the president. Mr. Perdue is to reimburse the U.S. Treasury for costs related to the event, OSC told the Washington group that filed a complaint on the matter. Farmers remain a key constituency for President Trump, who recently announced $13B in additional relief funds at a Wisconsin campaign rally.

- Base metals are higher as comments from President Trump raise hopes for a fresh round of stimulus measures before the election. Copper is up 0.3% at $6,682 a metric ton while aluminum gains 1.1% to $1,805 a ton and nickel rises 0.9% to $14,645 a ton. After calling a halt to talks between Democrats and Republicans over stimulus measures on Tuesday, Trump on Thursday said the talks were back on. "Markets have turned more buyerish over the past 24 hours as the feeling is that some sort of stimulus package will now come out of Washington," says Ed Meir, a metals consultant for ED&F Man.

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

- The dollar drifted toward a small weekly loss, while the Chinese yuan soared to a 17-month high, as investors wagered on a Joe Biden presidency and on more U.S. stimulus spending.

- Oil prices eased, slipping at the end of a week of big gains made on the risk that supplies from Norway could be slashed by up to 25% due to a strike by oilworkers.
- Gold prices rose 1%, supported by a weaker dollar and optimism over a new U.S. coronavirus relief package after President Donald Trump said talks with Congress had restarted.  
- Copper prices in London were on track for their biggest weekly gain in three months over hopes for more U.S. stimulus and a labour strike at a mine in top producer Chile.
- U.S. wheat futures rose, as prices lingered near a five-year high hit in the previous session, while the grain is poised to record weekly gains of 4% on concerns that adverse weather in key growing regions would hit global production.
- Raw sugar futures closed up on Thursday after hitting a seven-month high, fueled by fund buying on news of adverse weather hurting some major producing countries.
- Malaysian palm oil futures were set for a near 8% weekly rise on hopes for better October exports ahead of the Diwali festival in India, and as heavy rains and widening coronavirus restrictions raised output concerns.

- Yields on the 10-year Treasury slide to 0.764% from 0.785%, the largest one-day decline since Sep. 21. Scott Colyer, from Advisors Asset Management, says markets are struggling to price bonds, as the Fed uses its bazooka to keep rates low. "It's hard to understand the price of Treasurys with the central bank literally putting a lid on yields," he tells WSJ. Today's weekly jobless claims report was "relatively benign," he says, while investors still hope for help from the government. "It all depends on what happens to stimulus," Colyer says.

- Traders pile into bullish bets on the iShares Global Clean Energy Exchange-Traded Fund. The increased wagers come as former Vice President Joe Biden scored a big lead over President Donald Trump in election polls. Biden has proposed a $2T plan aimed at achieving zero carbon emissions from the grid by 2035. "The [iShares Global Clean Energy ETF] has been trading higher in lockstep with the odds of Joe Biden and the Democratic Party winning the 2020 Presidential Election," writes Chris Murphy, of Susquehanna, in a note to clients. "This might be a situation where retail traders are piling into this ETF via calls as a play on a Democratic Sweep and move toward renewable energy." The fund's price hit a record on Thursday and bullish call options volume tied to it surged.

- Base metals are higher as comments from President Trump raise hopes for a fresh round of stimulus measures before the election. Copper is up 0.3% at $6,682 a metric ton while aluminum gains 1.1% to $1,805 a ton and nickel rises 0.9% to $14,645 a ton. After calling a halt to talks between Democrats and Republicans over stimulus measures on Tuesday, Trump on Thursday said the talks were back on. "Markets have turned more buyerish over the past 24 hours as the feeling is that some sort of stimulus package will now come out of Washington," says Ed Meir, a metals consultant for ED&F Man.

- US benchmark oil prices are extending earlier gains, rising $1.10, or 2.8% to $41.05 a barrel and are now $4 higher this week as US stock markets rally amid stimulus hopes, and worries over Hurricane Delta's potential onshore impact are reduced. "Oil prices are rebounding on hopes that Hurricane Delta might not be as catastrophic as feared," says Price Futures' Phil Flynn. "The oil price sold off on fear the storm would create massive demand destruction because of power outages and flooding, but forecasts seemingly lowering the strength of the hurricane means that production and demand might come back faster than anticipated."

- Markets are trading on hopes that Biden will win the election and deploy substantial fiscal stimulus, according to Nordea's Sebastien Galy. "We trade as if we had a Democratic government and the in between is discounted," he says. But the political tension will stoke volatility until the final result is known. "We remain constructive on risk in one to two weeks expecting volatility till then by a President pushed into a gambler's corner."

- The dollar should weaken in the medium term regardless of who wins November's U.S. presidential election, Citigroup says. The Federal Reserve's "uber-loose policy" of quantitative easing, low interest rates and average inflation targeting is "indicative of a lower USD over time," Citi analysts say. "Meanwhile, U.S. federal deficits are rapidly expanding at a time when domestic savings are insufficient to fund these deficits," they say. The U.S. will require capital inflows from foreign savers but they may want a discount for U.S. assets through higher yields and/or a lower dollar given deficits are expanding globally, they say. U.S. Treasury yields remain close to all-time lows so the "only escape value for worsening U.S. fundamentals" is via a lower dollar.

- Saxo's chief economist and chief investment officer Steen Jakobsen considers the U.S. election as "the biggest political risk in several decades." He expects the U.S. election to come with increased volatility and risk. Either candidate would spend huge amounts of money, lean on the U.S. Federal Reserve for supporting easy financing conditions and neither would seek deep reform, he says. "So to a large extent, the two Presidential candidates are the diametric opposite of what the U.S. needs," he says. The backdrop is the end of the economic cycle meeting "inequality, social unrest and a market feeding frenzy driven by the policy response to this deep economic crisis, zero interest rates, infinite government and central bank support," he says.

- U.S. Treasurys don't provide any long-term upside, says Saxo Bank. "U.S. Treasuries today are the biggest mousetrap of all time," says fixed income specialist Althea Spinozzi. The U.S. yield curve is "doomed to steepen faster than expected due to inflation," she warns. However, in the short term U.S. Treasurys should provide trading opportunities ahead of the U.S. elections. Near-term, Saxo expects the US yield curve to flatten if Democrat candidate Joe Biden wins, and to steepen if incumbent President Donald Trump wins.

- The trade policies of U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden would likely support the euro given President Donald Trump's protectionism, Citigroup says. If re-elected, Trump could impose fresh tariffs on Europe, which would be "detrimental" to the euro, Citi analysts say. "Biden's policies would infer lower volatility to the global trade structure, and [be] supportive for currencies that are strategic allies such as Europe, Japan and some emerging markets." EUR/USD trades flat at 1.1758.

- Uncertainty over November's U.S. presidential election will probably cause dollar volatility leading up to the result, Saxo Bank says. Noting that Donald Trump's victory in the 2016 election was unexpected, Saxo Bank's John Hardy says: "The lessons of 2016 are preventing strong market confidence in the outcome--with trust in the polls one very prominent issue." That means it will be "supremely difficult" for the market to put "much confidence" behind its dollar view, he says. "This could lead to choppy trading until at least election day, with the strong risk of a contested outcome--and the back forth headlines that would come with it--amplifying volatility until a victor emerges." The dollar index is flat at 93.6090.

- European stocks gain amid cautious optimism about U.S. economic-relief prospects, though attention has switched to narrow measures rather than a package. "Hope springs eternal, but I don't see how or why the Democrats will want to pursue piecemeal action on the virus bill," says Justin Low at foreign-exchange analysts Forex Live. "With Joe Biden leading the polls and suggestions of there being a 'blue sweep', they have some added leverage in negotiations--for now at least." The Stoxx Europe 600 and DAX rise 0.6% apiece and the FTSE 100 and CAC both gain 0.5%. The price of a barrel of Brent crude increases 1.8% to $42.73, while gold and silver prices also rise.

- Asian currencies consolidate against USD amid mixed signals. On the one hand, U.S. President Trump's remarks overnight that he's open to negotiating a "mini" fiscal stimulus package has offered relief, CMC Markets says. On the other hand, however, U.S-China tensions seem to be on the rise, given media reports that the White House is exploring restrictions on Alibaba's Ant Group and Tencent Holdings over concerns that their digital payment platforms threaten national security, it says. USD/KRW is little changed at 1,157.67, USD/SGD is steady at 1.3594, while USD/TWD edges 0.1% higher to 28.71.

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

- Oil prices inched up as oil workers evacuated rigs in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico ahead of Hurricane Delta, though fuel demand concerns persisted on fading chances for a U.S. economic stimulus deal and a build in U.S. crude inventories.
- Gold prices ticked up, helped by a softer dollar and renewed optimism over some U.S. coronavirus relief aid, with investors eyeing the weekly jobless claims data to further gauge the health of the world's largest economy.
- Copper prices slipped from a near one-week high hit in the previous session, as top consumer China stayed away from the market due to a major holiday.
- Chicago soybean futures rose for a fifth consecutive session, buoyed by concerns over dry weather in key exporting countries.
- Raw sugar futures rose above 14 cents per pound for the first time since March on Wednesday, disregarding jitters in wider financial markets and supported by worries over adverse weather in several producing regions.
- Malaysian palm oil futures inched down, snapping three days of gains as rival soyoil fell on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT), although prices were underpinned by supply concerns due to wider coronavirus curbs and heavy rains.

- The US Dollar Index falls 0.2%, with forex markets reversing course from yesterday after President Trump backed some piecemeal federal-aid measures just hours after telling his representatives to walk away from talks with Democrats. The dollar weakens 0.2% against the euro and strengthens 0.3% against a broadly weaker yen. Goldman Sachs points to the reversal in risk appetite but adds "our DC analysts had already said that pre-election fiscal stimulus looked unlikely even after the talks were revived in recent weeks, but the market had begun to price a higher probability of action. We now see a possibility for very limited fiscal measures over the next few weeks," with larger items likely to be delayed until after the election or early next year if the White House changes hands.

- US stocks rise after President Trump said he would support sending $1,200 stimulus checks to Americans, an airline-support package and more money for the PPP last night after shutting down stimulus talks with Democrats just hours earlier. Many investors are betting a big round of stimulus will only happen if either party wins a decisive victory. The Dow jumps 1.9% to 28303, the S&P gains 1.7% to 3419 and the Nasdaq advances 1.9% to 11364. Airlines rise on hopes of federal aid with United, American and Delta all gaining at least 3%. Eli Lilly adds 3.4% after requesting authorization of a Covid-19 antibody drug following positive results from testing.

- Henry Kissinger calls for a "return to nonpartisan debates" in accepting the Economic Club of New York award for leadership excellence. The award was presented by previous award winner Alan Greenspan. The 97-year-old, German born Kissinger called for international dialogue and said that old principles, such as balance of power, remain applicable to some extent "because if any country or group of countries has the capability to impose its will with minimum risk, that is not a world one can live in safely or productively." China and US leaders "have to discuss the limits beyond which they will not push threats and how to define that, and how to keep that discussion from getting out of hand," Kissinger said. "And that doesn't apply only to China," he added, warning of the threats of unilateral superiority.

- "The Fed's projections in June had been in my view implausibly gloomy, and they were dead wrong. The Fed, however, essentially doubled down on its pessimism," Amherst Pierpont's Stephen Stanley says about today's minutes. Stanley notes that dissension seems to have been heavier on the side calling for less emphasis on the promise of low rates for years. "It is mildly interesting to see that the hawkish outliers appear to outnumber the dovish ones," he says. Without any expectation of higher rates until 2024, Stanley says monetary policy "is pretty boring right now," while calls for federal stimulus mean "fiscal policy could hardly get more exciting."

- Uncertainty over November's US presidential election and renewed worries about the economic fallout from coronavirus may cause short sellers to close out earlier bets against the safe haven dollar in coming months, Rabobank says. "Investors may have to face a contested [election] result and the knowledge that the recovery in the US labor market is slowing as winter approaches and household incomes are feeling more strain," Rabobank FX strategist Jane Foley says. "We see scope for short-covering of USD positions on a one to three month view." Rabobank maintains its one-month forecast for EUR/USD at 1.17, versus 1.1766 currently.

- Texans say it's not just low taxes but plentiful energy supplies that could entice entities like Nasdaq to shift toward the Lone Star state. Gov. Greg Abbott confirmed on Twitter yesterday he's "been talking with the Nasdaq stock exchange about moving some of their operations to Texas. They want to flee high taxes." Ed Curtis, CEO of YTexas, a relocation/networking group, says in an email "Nasdaq requires a massive amount of data storage - because of our low-cost supply of energy, data centers are flocking to Texas." Financial services provider Charles Schwab announced yesterday it is officially switching its corporate headquarters from San Francisco to Westlake, Texas on Jan. 1.

- Minneapolis Fed leader Neel Kashkari isn't on board with a WSJ opinion article co-written by Stanford University's John Taylor, a former Treasury official best known for advocacy of rules-based monetary policy. In the article, Taylor writes favorably on President Trump's economic record, especially job creation. Kashkari seems to believe Taylor's voice isn't one to be heeded due to his record. "The labor market gains the authors cite happened in part because the Fed ignored the Taylor Rule," which called for tighter monetary policy than the central bank pursued, Kashkari tweets. "And as I wrote in December 2016 'if the FOMC had followed the Taylor rule over the past five years, 2.5 million more Americans would be out of work today.'"

- Bank of America's Athanasios Vamvakidis sees "the recent market correction as only the beginning of the risk-off move we have been expecting for the rest of the year." He expects the global economy to weaken as Covid-19 makes a comeback and "it is becoming increasingly unlikely that a vaccine will be approved before the end of the year." Add uncertainty about the elections and policy-making, and Vamvakidis foresees further strength in the dollar. "We have an optimistic baseline for 2021, but this is still subject to high uncertainty," he says.

- Stocks have their best years under a Democratic presidency and Republican Congress, consumer-finance website WalletHub says after analyzing 1950-2019 historical data. The study found the index returned 16.2% a year, in average, under such combination, and only 4.5% when the president was a Republican and Congress, Democratic. The Democratic presidency-Republican Congress mix has also been good for the economy in general, although real GDP growth was best when Democrats controlled both branches. Employment, poverty levels and government debt all have performed better when the president was a Democrat and at least one chamber of Congress was controlled by Republicans.

- US stock futures trade higher following Tuesday's selloff as President Trump indicates he is still ready to support coronavirus stimulus measures. Shares fell on Tuesday after Trump called off talks between his administration and Democrats on relief measures ahead of the election. United Airlines and Delta Air Lines gain over 3% premarket after Trump tweets support for airlines. On Tuesday, Federal Chairman Powell warned of potentially tragic economic consequences if additional support isn't provided to businesses and households. The dollar weakens against the euro and gains against the yen, while Treasurys extend losses, with the 10-year yield rising to 0.78%. S&P futures rise 20.5
points.

- Brent crude oil is down 1.2% at $42.27 a barrel and WTI futures are down 1.2% at $40.18 a barrel. The declines come after the American Petroleum Institute late Tuesday released weekly inventory data showing a rise in crude stocks, as well as amid broader market risk-off sentiment after President Trump said he is halting U.S. stimulus talks until after the election, according to DNB Markets' Helge Martinsen. Investors will be keeping an eye on Energy Information Administration data due Wednesday, and the path of Hurricane Delta as it heads toward the Gulf of Mexico.

- Copper is flat as two opposing factors are at play: President Trump's decision to halt negotiations over a possible U.S. stimulus deal, and the bullish possibility of strikes in Chile. Three-month copper futures are unchanged at $6,439.50 a metric ton. The metal had rallied earlier in the year as China's economy rebounded. But the rally has since dissipated and copper's sideways trading over the past few months highlights why investors were hoping for more stimulus measures, says Robin Bhar, an independent metals consultant. "You get a sense that the easy part of the recovery has been done. The coiled spring has snapped back, that's the easy part. The harder part is sustaining it, which is why markets are looking for more stimulus measures."

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

- The dollar held gains against most currencies after U.S. President Donald Trump abruptly cancelled talks on economic stimulus with Democrat lawmakers, heightening demand for safe-haven assets.

- Oil prices fell after U.S. President Donald Trump dashed hopes for a fourth stimulus package to boost the coronavirus-hit economy and on a larger-than-expected increase in U.S. crude inventories.
- Gold prices edged up, after hitting a one-week low in early trade, lifted by renewed fears over economic recovery and uncertainty around the U.S. presidential election after President Donald Trump's COVID-19 diagnosis.
- Copper prices fell after U.S. President Donald Trump halted negotiations with the U.S. Congress on a large coronavirus stimulus bill.
- Chicago wheat futures slipped from their five-year high hit in the last session, but losses were limited by concerns over dry weather in key exporting nations.
- Raw sugar futures on ICE rose 2% on Tuesday to a seven-month top as weather worries in several producing regions reduce expectations for a supply surplus in 2020-21.
- Malaysian palm oil futures firmed on lower production outlook amid wet weather and tightening coronavirus restrictions, but weaker crude and soyoil capped gains.

- Apple's and Google's app marketplaces give the companies persistent market power and an unfair advantage over companies with competing products, concludes a report released Tuesday from Democratic staff of the House Antitrust Subcommittee. The findings come as "Fortnite" maker Epic Games is suing both companies over their stores' policies. "There are no competitive constraints on the power Apple and Google have over the software distribution marketplace on their mobile ecosystems," the report says, raising the possibility they'll be forced to make changes that could have a significant impact on their businesses. Apple's App Store is a key source of revenue for the company as iPhone sales slow, while Google's marketplace helps drive traffic to its flagship search engine, as well as its YouTube app and new videogame-streaming service Stadia.

- The ICE US Dollar Index rises sharply after President Trump tells Republicans to stop negotiating with Democrats on coronavirus relief. The dollar strengthens against most major currencies as investors looked for safe investments. US currency strengthens 0.4% against the euro but weakens 0.1% against the yen, another traditional haven currency. The president's announcement sent the S&P 500 tumbling 1.4%, reversing earlier gains.

- US stocks turn sharply lower after President Trump tells his representatives to stop negotiations with Democrats over a coronavirus relief package until after the election. This comes after Fed Chairman Powell again urged Washington earlier today to provide more support to households and businesses to stave off economic risk. The Commerce Department says the US posted its largest monthly trade deficit since 2006 in August as imports of consumer goods recover but exports of services and manufacturing products stall. The Dow falls 1.3% to 27772, the S&P declines 1.4% to 3360 and the Nasdaq stumbles 1.6% to 11154. Boeing sinks 6.8% after saying it sees a challenging near-term aerospace market with resilience in the long term.

- Yields follow stock indexes downward after President Trump tweeted he's instructing representatives to quit negotiating a much-expected stimulus package. "Just like that we are back in the red," Bokeh Capital's Kim Forrest tells WSJ. "The market was up the past two days because it anticipated a 'small' stimulus package," she says. "But that looks like it's off the table for now. So are the market gains." Investors have been watching political talks as Fed officials highlight the importance of fiscal stimulus to revive the economy. In this tweet, President Trump says "We are leading the World in Economic Recovery." The 10-year yield dropped to 0.73% from 0.78% after the tweet.

- Banks have performed better historically when a Republican is in the White House. But the pandemic has added unique considerations this cycle. "There had been a strong sense previously that a Biden victory would be good for banks on day one, as it would increase the odds of additional stimulus," Piper Sandler's Scott Siefers tells WSJ. Down the road, investors were more concerned that a Democratic-dominated Washington could lead to more regulation and higher corporate taxes. "But there's an emerging hope that a Biden victory would be OK on day one and on day two as well," Siefers says. If Biden wins, "we will see more regulations, but it will take some time," Piper Sandler's Mark Fitzgibbon says. "Changes to the heads of regulatory agencies would have to funnel through."

- European stocks rise after US President Trump returns to the White House after hospital treatment for coronavirus. The Stoxx Europe 600 and the FTSE 100 gain 0.1%, the DAX adds 0.6% and the CAC-40 climbs 0.5%. "Now that Trump, irresponsibly or otherwise, is out of hospital and back at the White House, hopes appear to have been stirred that the Democrats and Republicans can finally...get a new Covid-19 stimulus package over the line," Spreadex analyst Connor Campbell says. Rolls-Royce shares jump 21.6% after the jet engine maker announced a GBP1B convertible bond offering. Banks and travel stocks are also among the top risers.

- President Trump's high-profile use of Regeneron's antibody cocktail to treat his Covid-19 infection coincided with data released last week showing that the drug reduces virus levels in non-hospitalized patients. The data contribute to a conviction that an FDA OK via an emergency-use authorization is imminent, SVB Leerink analysts write. Although the product has potential to be used as a preventative measure as well, SVB Leerink expects that Regeneron's antibody cocktail will mainly be used to treat infected patients given the quick progress of vaccine development. Leerink believes Regeneron's is likely to be the first approved Covid-19 antibody treatment, well positioned to beat out competitive offerings from Eli Lilly and AstraZeneca. A partnership with Roche will help expand manufacturing capacity. Regeneron shares are up 60% year-to-date.

- US benchmark oil prices rise 2.4% to $40.13 a barrel and are now 8.3% higher this week as they fully recoup an 8% slide during the final two sessions of last week. The quick rebound comes amid several bullish factors including Hurricane Delta that is expected to knock out a significant portion of offshore oil production in the Gulf of Mexico. President Trump's seemingly healthy return to the White House after being hospitalized with coronavirus has also boosted risk appetite as it eased political uncertainty. Finally, data show US gasoline demand is rising sharply, a trend that could continue as top fuel-consuming state Texas announces more economic reopenings. (dan.molinski@wsj.com)

- Stephen Li Jen, chief executive of Eurizon SLJ Capital, sees dichotomy between short-term worries and longer-term optimism, he says. "4Q could be a bit tricky of course, for all the known reasons," he says. His view on the markets remains unchanged over the coming quarters, positive on equities and the dollar, and modestly positive on U.S. Treasury yields, he says. The last quarter of 2020 sees a number of event risks, the U.S. election, Brexit, second wave of coronavirus infections and U.S. budget negotiations, but most event risks fading in the coming weeks.

- Speaking at the WSJ CEO Council, former Unilever CEO Paul Polman says one of the biggest catalysts for change at companies is their own employees, citing the pressure from Amazon workers on Jeff Bezos on climate change issues as an example. He says the two biggest bottlenecks to progress today are continuing to live in a system where we measure the wrong things--just return on financial capital rather than social and environmental metrics too--, and governments that fail to act since without good policy little tends to happen.

- The dollar could weaken on the rising prospect of the Democrats taking full control of the Senate and House in November's presidential election, MUFG Bank says. Noting that the latest opinion polls show Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has extended his lead, MUFG currency analyst Lee Hardman says: "The increasing possibility of a Blue Wave that would open the door for much needed fiscal stimulus would be a welcome development for risk assets and could undermine the U.S. dollar." The dollar index is last down 0.1% at 93.4550.

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

- Oil prices rose following U.S. President Donald Trump's return to the White House from hospital after being treated for COVID-19 last Friday, while another storm brewing in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico posed a threat to refineries.
- Gold prices dipped, as equities gained following U.S. President Donald Trump's discharge from hospital after treatment for a coronavirus infection, though a softer dollar limited losses.
- London copper rose as investors hoped for progress on U.S. stimulus talks, while a looming strike at a copper mine in top producer Chile raised production risks.
- Chicago soybean futures ticked higher for a second session, with strong demand underpinning prices, although gains were capped on rapidly progressing U.S. harvest.
- Raw sugar futures on ICE closed up on Monday on signs supplies will tighten and an upbeat sentiment in wider financial markets, while arabica coffee headed lower again.
- Malaysian palm oil futures climbed 2%, tracking a rise in rival soyoil and underpinned by concerns that heavy rains brought by a La Nina weather pattern could hurt output in the next few months.

- Brent crude oil is up 0.4% at $41.46 a barrel and WTI futures are up 0.4% at $39.36 a barrel after U.S. prices began the week with their biggest daily percentage gain since May, as broader markets rallied on hopes for a U.S. stimulus package and signals of the President's improving health. Tropical Storm Delta is strengthening off the Gulf of Mexico and is expected to make landfall on Friday, according to the National Hurricane Center. Some producers in the region may shut in production. Elsewhere, JBC analysts point out that Norwegian offshore strikes have shut in 330,000 barrels of oil equivalent capacity per day.

- The FTSE 100 drops 0.4% to 5919 as a higher close on Wall Street following U.S. President Donald Trump's return to Washington from hospital failed to inspire investors. "While it's more than possible that Trump's case of Covid-19 will return to the top of the table at some point, presently his discharge has left the markets looking a bit aimless," says Connor Campbell at Spreadex. Ocado Group shares are the biggest loser, down 3.7% as investors in the U.K. online grocer took profits after a rally, though Rolls-Royce is 8% higher after the jet-engine maker said it was starting a series of meetings with fixed-income investors about a potential bond offer.

- Gold prices are steady and holding onto their gains from Monday which came as the dollar weakened and President Trump left hospital. New York futures are unchanged at $1,919.50 a troy ounce. Gold rallied back above the $1,900 an ounce level on Monday as Trump's expected return to the White House "sparked a general rally across asset markets," says Jeffrey Halley, market analyst at Oanda. Gold also received support from a weakening dollar. The market later in the day would be eyeing speeches from the Fed's Bostic and Kaplan while jobless claims data on Thursday would likely be the key data release of the week.

- President Trump's recovery after contracting Covid-19 means the dollar is likely to weaken, reversing recent gains when concerns about his health boosted safe-haven assets, says Commerzbank. "Everything all told that is likely to mean that the dollar will tend to remain under pressure," says currency strategist Antje Praefcke. She points to the lack of any agreement on a U.S. fiscal package, as well as the Fed likely sticking to an expansionary policy. "The talks between the speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi and Secretary of Treasury Steven Munchin about a new fiscal package continue without any sign of a breakthrough," she says. The DXY dollar index is last down 0.1% at 93.3950. EUR/USD is up 0.1% at 1.1792.

- German 10-year Bund yields are trading marginally higher, pulling eurozone core and semi-core peers along in a sign of less demand for safe-haven papers. Boost to risk comes from better-than-expected German manufacturing-order data for August, as well as US President Donald Trump's return to the White House following his stay in a hospital after testing positive for Covid-19. "Optimism due to Trump's Covid-19 recovery and hopes for potential stimuli supported risk," say Danske Bank's analysts. Issuance on Tuesday comes from Austria and Germany, with the latter selling inflation-linked bonds. The 10-year German Bund yield is trading at -0.51%, up 0.5 basis points, according to Tradeweb.

- Nordic markets are likely to open little-changed with IG calling the OMXS30 flat at around 1839. President Trump's return from the hospital to the White House helped spur U.S. equities higher, SEB says. "With recent polls indicating a widening gap in favor of Mr. Biden, markets are also contemplating whether a Biden victory would indeed be negative for equities." While the resurging pandemic has weighed on the European service sector, the spread is also gaining pace in parts of the U.S., triggering new local restrictions, it says. Asian markets are trading higher this morning while U.S. stock index futures are a mixed bag. OMXS30 closed at 1839.68, OMXN40 at 1872.64 and OBX at 754.37.

- Asian currencies are mixed against the USD amid uncertainty over the upcoming U.S. Presidential election. Following President Trump's discharge from the hospital, the main uncertainty for investors seeking reflationary trades is a boost for Trump in the polls, axi says. "This matters because polling in the swing states suggested a much closer result than implied by prediction markets," says Stephen Innes, chief global market strategist at axi. A narrower gap between Trump and Biden in the polls would suggest a higher risk of a close result, increasing the possibility of a contested outcome that might benefit USD, analysts say. USD/KRW is up 0.4% to 1,161.75, USD/SGD is down 0.1% at 1.3594
while AUD/USD gains 0.2% to 0.7192.

- South Korea's stock benchmark Kospi is up 0.6% at 2372.64 in early trade, buoyed by heightened hopes for new U.S. stimulus measures. News on President Trump's improving health condition after testing positive for Covid-19 also boosts risk appetite, Kiwoom Securities says. South Korea's stronger-than-expected September inflation further supports investor sentiment. Technology, retail and banking stocks lead gains. Index heavyweight and tech giant Samsung Electronics adds 1.5%. LG Electronics rises 6.3%. Food company CJ CheilJedang advances 3.5%, while retailer E-mart gains 2.1%. Hana Financial Group climbs 1.5%.

- Japanese stocks are likely to gain thanks partly to the yen's recent weakeness. Nikkei futures open up 95 points at 23400 on the SGX. USD/JPY is at 105.74, up from 105.57 as of Monday's Tokyo stock market close. U.S. and Japan policy developments are closely watched after President Trump left hospital on Monday evening for the White House. The Nikkei Stock Average rose 1.2% to 23312.14 on Monday.

- Farmers form a reliable core of support for President Trump in rural America, but not all of them are enthusiastic about awarding him a second term. Wanda Patsche, a hog and soybean producer from Minnesota, says at the WSJ Global Food Forum she "unfortunately" will vote Republican in the upcoming presidential contest, though neither major party candidate appeals much to her. "I can't go the direction where there may be more government involvement, more overreach, more regulations," Patsche says of the Democratic party.

- The US dollar weakens 0.6% against the euro and most other major currencies and strengthens 0.4% against the yen in a risk-on day of trading in which the WSJ Dollar Index fell 0.3%. The S&P 500 gains 1.8% and the 10-year Treasury yield jumps to 0.768% from 0.694% Friday on news President Trump's health was improving and that progress was made in stimulus talks. "News that President Trump contracted COVID-19 has introduced new uncertainty into the US election, just one month ahead of the vote," Goldman Sachs says. The firm says it's unsure how this will affect the results of the election, but any change that raises the odds of a Biden win along with Democrats taking the Senate "should accelerate US Dollar weakness, in our view, whereas developments that favor President Trump's reelection should support the currency."

- US stocks rise with news President Trump will leave the hospital later today and hopes of fresh fiscal stimulus, with Speaker Pelosi saying over the weekend lawmakers had made progress. September's ISM services index beats expectations, showing continuing recovery in the services sector. The Dow rises 1.7% to 28148, the S&P gains 1.8% to 3408 and the Nasdaq jumps 2.3% to 11332. Regeneron soars 7.1% after the White House said Trump received the company's experimental antibody cocktail as part of his Covid-19 treatment, and Gilead gains 2.3% following the reported use of its remdesivir in the president's regimen.

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

- The dollar clung to familiar ranges as financial markets awaited news on the health of U.S. President Donald Trump, who last week tested positive for the coronavirus, sending investors into safe-haven assets.  
- Oil prices rose more than 2%, lifted by comments from doctors for U.S. President Donald Trump suggesting he could be discharged from hospital as soon as Monday, just a few days after his positive coronavirus test sparked widespread alarm.
- Gold prices were little changed, as investors sought more clarity on developments in U.S. President Donald Trump's health after he tested positive for COVID-19 last week.
- Copper prices rose after data from top producer Chile showed output fell in August, but trading volume was thin due to a holiday in key consumer China from Oct. 1 to 8.  
- Chicago corn futures slid for a second session with prices coming under pressure on expectations of a weekly U.S. report showing rapid harvest progress.
- Arabica coffee futures closed up on ICE on Friday, recovering in the final moments of the session after sliding during the session to the lowest level in more than two months.
- Malaysian palm oil futures tracked rebound in oil prices after doctors for U.S. President Donald Trump suggested he could be discharged from hospital soon, a few days after his COVID-19 results sparked widespread alarm.

- Gold prices are falling as concerns over President Trump's health ease. New York futures are down 0.8% at $1,892 an ounce. Trump's doctors said that his condition was improving and that he could return to the White House on Monday. The news that Trump had tested positive for the coronavirus added fresh uncertainty to the race for the White House and prompted gold to jump around $30 as investors moved to safe havens. "Ostensibly the President testing positive for Covid-19 appears gold bullish, as it adds to uncertainty as we head into an election," says Stephen Innes, market strategist at Axi. "It is no surprise to see the reaction today as the markets tentatively toggle risk after the
President's better-than-expected Covid prognosis."

- A delay in U.S. election results or investor worries about a corporate tax hike "could create a bid for safe havens in the short term," says Barclays' rates strategists. Market reaction, however, could be "very different" in the medium term, they say. A unified U.S. Congress is likely to see yields rising, particularly if Democrat candidate Joe Biden becomes President, Barclays' rates strategists say. In contrast, under a divided Congress, yields are likely to fall, they add. The U.S. elections are due to be held on Nov. 3.

- The FTSE 100 rises as optimism about U.S. President Donald Trump's health offsets negative sentiment surrounding Friday's lower-than-expected U.S. non-farm payrolls. London's blue-chip index is up 0.5% at 5931, with gains for a broad range of stocks outshining losses for precious-metal miners such as Fresnillo and Polymetal International as gold and silver prices edge lower. Still, oil majors Royal Dutch Shell and BP advance 2.3% and 1.1% respectively as the price of a barrel of Brent crude increases 1.5% to $39.85.

- U.S. President Donald Trump's health appears to be the key potential driver for bond markets in the coming days, in the absence of other major factors, analysts say. "There doesn't look to be much on the week-ahead schedule to take the focus away from Trump's health, U.S. stimulus progress and Brexit negotiations," say Mizuho's rates strategists. Trump is expected to be discharged from the hospital on Monday, being transferred there last week after he had tested positive for coronavirus. In the eurozone, German industrial orders and production data on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively, as well as French industrial production data for on Friday for the month of August are among the data to be watched. The 10-year Bund yield is trading at -0.543%, down 1 basis point, according to Tradeweb.

- The dollar steadies, with the DXY index last at 93.7920 after reports that U.S. President Donald Trump's health is improving after contracting coronavirus, and that he could be discharged from hospital on Monday. Further reports of improvement may see the dollar weaken as investors buy back riskier assets and shun safe havens, although many uncertainties remain related to Trump's health, whether a fiscal package will be agreed, and the upcoming U.S. election. "The health of President Trump will dominate this week," says FX firm Caxton. Price action will likely remain volatile and fast-moving given the uncertain situation, it says. EUR/USD is last up 0.1% at 1.1724.

- The FTSE 100 is expected to open 40 points higher at 5,942, against a backdrop of upbeat trading in Asia and optimism about President Trump's health. "The Nikkei 225 has rebounded from Friday and the Hang Seng is up after being closed for two days at the end of last week," says David Madden at CMC Markets. "Hopes in relation to Trump's health and a U.S. relief package are lifting sentiment." Meanwhile, the price of a barrel of Brent crude up is up 1.8% at $39.98.

- Oil is higher in early Asian trade, following news that President Trump's doctors say he could leave the hospital as soon as Monday. Investor focus is likely to remain on the upcoming U.S. elections. Should Biden win, he is likely to take a softer stance on sanctions against Iran and Venezuela, and may also push for a new nuclear deal, ANZ says. This could lead to a flood of oil hitting the market in the near term which may weigh on prices, it says. Front-month WTI is up 1.6% at $37.65/bbl and front-month Brent is 1.4% higher at $39.82/bbl.

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

- Australian Market sinks on Trump Covid result
The Australian sharemarket slumped on Friday after US President Donald Trump confirmed he had tested positive for coronavirus. The ASX200 finished 1.39 per cent lower at 57915.5 points while the All Ordinaries Index slid 1.42 per cent to 5983.2. In the final hour, all sectors sank lower on the news Mr Trump and First Lady Melania Trump had been diagnosed with COVID-19.
“On balance this perhaps makes it less likely Trump will win the Presidency, which has tended to be viewed as negative for stocks due to the risk of increased corporate taxes under Biden,” said BetaShares chief economist David Bassanese. “The counter to this view is that Trump’s incapacitation may make the result on election night clearer — even if it’s in Biden’s favour — which reduces the chance of a drawn out court challenge.” Retail stocks were mixed after official figures showed Australia’s retail trade fell 4 per cent in August. Retail spending fell 1.1 per cent in Queensland and 12.6 per cent in Victoria. Super Retail shares slipped 11c to $10.53 on Friday while supermarket groups Coles and Woolworths were up 6c to $17.06 and 3c to $36.49, respectively.

- European stocks mostly edge higher even as Wall Street falls after news that US President Donald Trump had tested positive for coronavirus. The Stoxx Europe 600 rises 0.2%, the FTSE 100 is up 0.4% and the CAC-40 gains 0.02%, but the DAX falls 0.3%. The price of a barrel of Brent crude decreases 2.7% to $39.84, while gold and silver prices also retreat. The Dow drops 0.6%. "Dealers have been in risk-off mode today on the back of the Trump news," David Madden at CMC Markets says. "The US job data was mixed, so that didn't sway sentiment that much."

- The 10-year Treasury yield rises to 0.70% after bottoming out at 0.65% earlier today, as markets digest news that President Trump has Covid-19. "The market can hardly price this rationally or coherently," David Bahnsen, from the Bahnsen Group, tells WSJ. He says Trump's coronavirus diagnosis "elevates uncertainty to some degree, and offers more excuse for volatility, but it's not an easily discernible event." Potentially countering the impact of Trump's health, the September jobs report was mixed and some traders are hoping a stimulus agreement could come through as soon as today.

- "The September jobs report was a modest disappointment overall," Bank of America says. While the unemployment rate fell to 7.9% from 8.4%, "it was largely for bad reasons," the broker says, "as the labor force participation rate fell to 61.4% from 61.7%, reversing the pickup in August." BofA also notes that long term unemployment picked up, "which argues for slower progress going forward," and highlights the number of people unemployed more than 27 weeks, which climbed to 2.4M from 1.6M.

- Brent crude oil is down 3.9% at $39.36 a barrel and WTI futures are down 3.7% at $37.30 a barrel with broader markets dropping. Several analysts cite President Trump's coronavirus diagnosis, but not everyone agrees. "While some will want to link this to... the prospect of a Biden victory, I'm not really buying it," says Oanda's Craig Erlam. "The simple fact remains that we're heading into a worrying period for Covid and the impact on the global economy and oil demand will be significant," he says, adding that "OPEC+ will likely be forced to hold a special meeting prior to December if they want prices to hold around $40." OPEC exports rose 273,000 barrels a day in September, thanks to Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and Libya, Kpler says.

- USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue tested negative for Covid-19 in his most recent check for the coronavirus, conducted Tuesday, according to an agency spokesman. Perdue, who is scheduled to visit Wisconsin Friday, has not been around President Trump this week. Trump announced late Thursday he has tested positive for Covid-19.

- The direction of the euro versus the safe haven dollar remains dependent on global market sentiment and Covid-19 developments, particularly after U.S. President Donald Trump tested positive with the virus, Unicredit says. "The risk of a messy handover of power in the U.S., which could act as a drag on the USD, is also gaining attention after the first public debate between Donald Trump and [Democratic presidential candidate] Joe Biden," Unicredit FX strategist Roberto Mialich says. "That said, EUR/USD has held the 1.16 baseline, has regained the 1.17 handle and is also reapproaching the 1.1780 area, whose break--according to charts--would help reduce selling pressure towards the 1.14 area." EUR/USD falls 0.2% to 1.1717.

- Livestock futures trading on the CME are mixed Friday--with live cattle futures down 0.9% and lean hog futures up 1.1%. "'Risk off' appears to be the theme of the morning across commodity and financial markets and cattle futures are likely to be a part of that as well," says StoneX--referencing the general weakness seen in macro markets after President Trump confirmed last night that he tested positive for coronavirus. Meanwhile, hog futures appear to be propelled by higher cutout prices, with the carcass price up $4.28 per hundredweight yesterday, putting the price at $95.65 per cwt.

- Grain futures on the CBOT are down in early Friday trading, following US markets as a whole amid news that President Trump tested positive for Covid-19. "There is little doubt developments to this and its potential impact on the Presidential Election process will be factors for the next several weeks," says Karl Setzer of AgriVisor. Corn futures are off 0.6%, soybean futures are down 0.4%, and wheat futures fall 0.4%. Meanwhile, Vice President Mike Pence and his wife both tested negative for the disease, according to Pence's press secretary.

- The DJIA is off about 200 points, recovering from even steeper, earlier losses following news that President Trump contracted Covid-19, demonstrating that the virus continues to be a threat to markets, says Chris Zaccarelli, chief investment officer of Charlotte-based Independent Advisor Alliance, in a note. Regarding Friday's September jobs report, he adds that the decline in the labor force participation rate, which measures the number of people working or actively looking for work, is concerning. The report shows that the participation-rate decline was particularly steep for women compared to the change for men.

- Canada PM Justin Trudeau's plan to aggressively expand fiscal policy could face headwinds because the country's pension funds might opt for higher-yielding securities over Canadian government bonds, Pavilion Global Markets says. Roughly 70% of Government of Canada-issued debt is held domestically, and the Bank of Canada has been engaged in relatively aggressive large-scale asset purchases to fuel a recovery. Pavilion said Canada bond yields have dropped rapidly, and at a significant gap to pension plans' discount rate (a measure of what plan managers believe can reasonably be expected to return over the long term). Furthermore, Pavilion says, Canadian pensions have a high proportion of their liabilities indexed to inflation. These factors, Pavilion says, will make it harder for the BOC to cease quantitative easing should private demand wane.

- News that President Trump has tested positive for Covid-19 has James McDonald, CEO of Hercules Investments, feeling even more apprehensive about the market's path heading into the elections. Noting the development could, in a worst-case scenario, "completely change the direction of the campaign," McDonald says he's been forced to "double down" on his firm's strategies betting on an uptick in market swings. "We have been long volatility due to market overvaluation, the absence of fiscal relief from coronavirus-triggered economic pressure and uncertainty heading into the US presidential election," he says. McDonald adds that he's advising investors to increase their cash holdings or take out insurance against market swings by buying futures contracts tracking volatility indices.

- A move lower in U.S. Treasuries is the more likely reaction from heightened uncertainty surrounding the U.S. general election, says TD Securities. Treasury rates face a "tricky reaction" from "a classic safe-haven move lower in yields or pricing in much [government bond] supply moving rates higher," says the Canadian bank. Yet it expects safe-haven moves to dominate, especially as it expects the Federal Reserve to ease monetary policy further in order to absorb much of the U.S. government borrowing needs. The 10-year Treasury yield trades last at 0.658%, according to Tradeweb.

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

- Oil prices extended losses to fall around 2% after U.S. President Donald Trump tested positive for the coronavirus, while a U.S. stimulus package eluded negotiators amid ongoing worries about demand.
- Gold was headed for its best weekly gain in nearly two months, despite prices slipping from a more than one-week high as the dollar strengthened amid doubts regarding the U.S. stimulus package.
- London copper dropped to its lowest in seven weeks as prices came under pressure after the dollar strengthened on stalled U.S. stimulus talks and amid a jump in inventories.
- Chicago corn futures slid, although the market is set to end the week on a positive note, trading near a seven-month peak as strong global demand underpinned prices.
- Arabica coffee futures on ICE lost nearly 4% on Thursday to a two-month low as an outlook for large supplies pressured prices.
- Malaysian palm oil futures were poised for a second consecutive weekly decline as they extended losses, tracking a drop in crude and Chicago Board of Trade soyoil prices.

- European stocks drop as falling crude prices hit oil majors after it emerged that U.S. President Donald Trump has tested positive for coronavirus. The Stoxx Europe 600 drops 0.4%, the FTSE 100 is down 0.5%, the CAC-40 retreats 0.5% and the DAX sheds 0.6%. The price of a barrel of Brent crude decreases 2.7% to $39.82, knocking shares in BP, Royal Dutch Shell, Total, Repsol and Eni. A.J. Bell says the weak prices suggest the latest decline in equity markets may not entirely be caused by Trump testing positive. "Oil is an economic bellwether and a decline in the price could be a red flag that the global economic recovery faces some near-term headwinds," says Bell's Russ Mould.

- A victory by U.S. President Donald Trump in November's presidential election would be more dollar supportive than a win by Democratic candidate Joe Biden given their trade and fiscal policies, Societe Generale says. Speculators are on average short of dollars, betting that the safe-haven currency will fall, because they think a Biden win is more likely, SocGen FX strategist Kit Juckes says. "On that basis, increased pre-vote uncertainty is likely to help the dollar," he says. The dollar index is last flat at 93.7340.

- Commerzbank remains cautious on European junk debt as yields look too thin to compensate for mounting downside risks. "We would continue to take advantage of episodes of weakness via quality names, but remain cautious with regard to the lower end of the rating stack," says credit strategist Cem Keltek. "Particularly in euro HY we see insufficient reward for the still major fundamental downside risks." Cases of Covid-19 infections have climbed, prompting governments to reimpose curbs and localised lockdowns, while hopes for a fresh U.S. fiscal package fade amid heightened uncertainty over the U.S. election as President Donald Trump tested positive for Covid-19.

- Brent crude oil is down 2.5% at $39.89 a barrel and WTI futures are down 2.5% at $37.75 a barrel, with Thursday's dismal trading intensifying early Friday on the news that President Trump and the First Lady have tested positive for coronavirus, according to JBC Energy analysts."The news throws uncertainty into the immediate future of both the incumbent's election campaign and potentially the U.S. leadership," they add. Both benchmarks are on course to close out the week more than 6% lower, with prices under heavy pressure on Thursday. "The initial catalyst for yesterday's pressure was... concerns that OPEC oil output is on the rise at a time when the end-user demand rebound is floundering, " JBC adds, pointing to Libya and Iran.

- Copper is flat as the metal seems unfazed by the news that President Trump has tested positive for Covid-19. Three-month forwards on the LME are down less than 0.1% at $6,337 a metric ton, following a 5.1% decline Thursday on poor economic data. Volumes remain light with Chinese markets closed for a week-long national holiday. Copper's fall could spark some renewed buying when Chinese traders come back to work next week, says Malcolm Freeman, CEO of Kingdom Futures. "With the Chinese away on holiday the big players and indeed the major buyers of copper are out of the game but you can be assured that they will be watching at a distance... they have no need to chase the market and will happily let prices come towards them."

- The dollar would receive a boost from flows into safe-havens if November's U.S. presidential election is postponed due to President Donald Trump testing positive for coronavirus. Trump debated with Democratic candidate Joe Biden for 90 minutes Tuesday "admittedly at a distance" but if Biden was to become infected, "Trump and others could well push for a delay" to the election, MUFG analyst Derek Halpenny says. The news also raises the risk of a closely contested election as some in the market may "no doubt see" it as "possibly benefitting" Trump, he says. The dollar index rises 0.1% to 93.8130, EUR/USD falls 0.2% to 1.1729 and GBP/USD drops 0.1% to 1.2870.

- The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index falls 1% in early trade to 358.97 after news that President Trump tested positive for coronavirus. Stocks could be set for further falls as a U.S. fiscal stimulus package looks unlikely until after the election, says Han Tan, market analyst at FXTM. "With the prospects of a pre-election breakthrough still up in the air, equities may unwind more of the gains accumulated since March if investors are resigned to the fact that the much-needed financial support for the U.S. economy may not arrive until after the November election," he says. "A growing sense of risk aversion could dominate market sentiment until there is further clarity about the president's health response to the coronavirus," he adds. Germany's Dax index falls 1%, France's CAC 40 is down 0.9% and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 loses 0.7%.

- Gold prices have jumped after President Trump said he has tested positive for Covid-19. New York futures have risen by about $25 dollars an ounce after Trump made the announcement on Twitter. Gold, which had fallen in Asian trading, is up 0.2% at $1,919.20 an ounce. Trump's quarantine means he will miss rallies in three swing states, including Florida, and many investors are now pricing in a higher likelihood of Joe Biden winning the race, Stephen Innes, global market strategist at Axi, says.

- The FTSE 100 index drops 1.1% to 5813.15 in early trade after news that U.S. President Donald Trump tested positive for coronavirus, leaving uncertainties surrounding the election and the passing of a U.S. fiscal stimulus package. "Markets have tanked on the news that President Trump has contracted the coronavirus, with less than five weeks left until the U.S. election," IG says. "We have seen risk-off dominate as stocks decline and assets flow into havens such as bonds, the dollar and yen." Miners are among the biggest fallers, with Glencore down 1.8% and Anglo American down 1.4%. Travel-related stocks also drop, with InterContinental Hotels losing 2.1%, and Rolls-Royce falling 3.3%.

- The failure in the U.S. to reach an agreement on fresh fiscal stimulus and reports that President Donald Trump has tested positive for Covid-19 warrant cautious on European credit Friday, says UniCredit. "The failure to reach bipartisan agreement on fresh fiscal stimulus in the U.S, together with reports that President Trump has tested positive for Covid-19 is driving equity futures lower this morning and creating an adverse input for European credit today," says the Italian bank. "While European corporate seniors should remain supported at current levels by the technical backdrop, high-yield debt and subordinated debt remains vulnerable."

- News that U.S. President Donald Trump has tested positive for coronavirus is likely to weigh on market sentiment and support the safe-haven dollar ahead of September's U.S. non-farm payrolls report due later on, Unicredit says. The dollar "may suffer" if the labor market data disappoint by showing slower net job creation in September after the ADP employment survey on Thursday "surprised on the strong side," Unicredit analysts say. Unicredit expects the data, due at 1230 GMT, to show non-farm payrolls rose 850,000 in September after a 1.37 million increase in August. The dollar index rises 0.1% to 93.7560.

- Commodity prices may fall further in the remainder of the trading week, following President Trump testing positive for Covid, which could raise uncertainty over the U.S. presidential election, CBA says. Base metals and oil are extending losses in afternoon Asian trade following the news. Meanwhile, the U.S. dollar may also react further once trading sessions in London and New York fully open, the bank says. It notes the dollar index has risen 0.1% while the U.S. stock futures plunged after Trump's test result.

- The FTSE 100 is expected to open 52 points lower after U.S. President Donald Trump said he and First Lady Melania Trump would quarantine themselves after they tested positive for coronavirus. "This put pressure on U.S. index futures and European indices are called lower," CMC Markets analyst David Madden says. There also "isn't much hope" that the Senate--where Republicans hold a majority--will sign off on the $2.2 trillion Democratic plan for fresh coronavirus relief that the House of Representatives approved Thursday, he says. Meanwhile, the U.S. non-farm payrolls report, to be published at 1230 GMT Friday, will be a key focus for investors. Weaker oil prices may also continue to weigh on energy stocks.

- Spot gold reverses early losses to edge higher in afternoon Asian trade, on strong safe-haven demand after President Trump says he has tested positive for the coronavirus. The initial reaction to Trump's infection is a shift to massive haven demand and provides more cause to cut all risk into the weekend, AxiCorp says. Spot gold is up 0.4% at $1,912/oz.

- Eurozone government bond yields drop across the board, tracking their U.S. peers, after President Trump said he tested positive for Covid-19. The 10-year Bund yield leads the drop among core and semicore bonds, trading 1.2 basis points lower at -0.546%, according to Tradeweb, indicating that investors take a cautious stance by buying into havens. Drops in 10-year bonds of eurozone core and semicore yields are of similar magnitude to that of German Bund yields. The 10-year U.S. Treasury yield last traded at 0.66%, down from the previous day's peak of 0.72%, according to Tradeweb.

- President Trump's positive test result for the coronavirus is a strong market negative and investors are likely to move quickly into defensive positioning, Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at Oanda says. Equities will fall along with energy, and gold will strengthen while the U.S. dollar and U.S. Treasurys will rally, he says. If Covid-19 has spread to the upper echelons of the U.S. government and the Republican leadership, there could be longer and more profound negative effect on markets, he says. U.S. stock futures are lower while oil prices are extending losses in Asian trade following Trump's tweet that announced his infection.

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

- Oil prices were steady as renewed hopes for U.S. fiscal stimulus provided support but concerns over rising infections hampering fuel demand capped gains.
- Gold rose, as an easing dollar and signs of progress in talks for fresh U.S. stimulus measures bolstered the metal's appeal.
- Copper prices rose, as a softer dollar and renewed hopes for another U.S. stimulus boosted demand for the metal that is often used as a gauge of global economic health.
- Chicago soybean futures rose for a second session to trade near its highest since early March as strong demand from China tightened U.S. supplies.
- Raw sugar futures closed up on ICE on Wednesday as the front-month October contract expired and traders noted the largest delivery ever for the exchange at 2.62 million tonnes.
- Malaysian palm oil futures rose 2.3% on bargain buying and overnight rally in soy prices on the Chicago Board of Trade.

- The euro and sterling rise against a weaker safe-haven dollar after remarks by U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin raised hopes for a fresh coronavirus stimulus package. Mnuchin reportedly said on Wednesday that talks with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi about new fiscal stimulus measures made progress. His comments "helped risk sentiment and thus weakened the dollar against other G10 and EM currencies," Unicredit analysts say. The risk of a "messy handover in power" in the U.S. is also receiving attention after the first presidential debate Tuesday, they say. EUR/USD rises 0.3% to a nine-day high of 1.1759, according to Factset. GBP/USD gains 0.1% to 1.2930, after earlier reaching a 10-day high of 1.2951.

- The FTSE 100 is expected to open 29 points higher following strong gains in U.S. equities on hopes U.S. lawmakers will agree fresh fiscal stimulus measures. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin reportedly said on Wednesday that talks with the house speaker made progress on a coronavirus relief package. "The commentary from Mr. Mnuchin gave dealers hope that some sort of a compromise might be achieved," CMC Markets analyst David Madden says. Meanwhile, investors are waiting for the final U.K. manufacturing purchasing managers index survey for September at 0830 GMT. Economists in a WSJ survey expect the PMI to be unrevised at 54.3, down from 55.2 in August.

- The prospect of a long period of extremely low interest rates is more likely under President Trump than under a Biden administration, SkyBridge's Troy Gayeski tells WSJ. "What you'd see under a Biden victory and a Democratic sweep is a much more muscular fiscal stimulus, which would definitely benefit the real economy, raise inflation expectations" and drive "the back end of the yield curve higher," Gayeski says. On the other hand, a quicker Democratic fix would likely be followed by growth-curbing regulation down the road, whereas Trump's stance would delay the recovery but possibly bring on stronger activity in the future.

- SkyBridge's Troy Gayeski tells WSJ today's market rally is fueled by investors' growing hopes that fiscal stimulus may materialize before the election. Not that he is so sure himself. "There's a lot of ground to cover" as lawmakers negotiate a deal that could heavily influence the result of the presidential election as well as the Senate's. "Why would a red senator vote on federal help" that would "disproportionately help blue states," he said. Still, on a sign of the market's good mood, the yield on the 10-year Treasury rises to 0.69% from 0.64%, the widest jump since Sep 4.

- Despite gaping differences between Biden and Trump, whoever wins the election will have to face the fallout of Covid-19 and the economic recession right off the bat, Control Risks' Jonathan Wood tells WSJ. However, their approach will depend on how much control the winner exercises over Congress. Wood says current polls indicate only the Democratic Party has any chance of holding the presidency and both chambers of Congress. In the probable scenario of a divided government, "we will continue to see states take a lead in key areas such as privacy and environmental regulation."

- "The ground is set for a contested scenario," after last night's presidential debate, Control Risks' Jonathan Wood tells WSJ. He says corporations are bracing for "absolute social unrest both because there will be some reaction to some initial results on election night and the days following it," he says. Wood adds companies are also uncertain about policymaking going forward. "What does the outcome of this election hold for the business environment in terms of regulation and doing business in the US?" as the candidates push starkly different proposals for key themes such as environmental regulation.

- Corporations around the world fear that the US, historically considered one of the best places to do business, is entering a prolonged period of political turbulence that could change that, mostly after last night's edgy debate, Control Risks' Jonathan Wood tells WSJ. "Our outlook of a contested election is increasingly likely," with a probable tight result almost certainly to be contested both in courts and on potentially violent street demonstrations. "Both campaigns are going to challenge the results where possible and as much as possible," in a potential threat to business.

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

- Oil prices extended losses on worries that rising coronavirus cases heading into the northern winter would lead to further restrictions on activity and curb demand for fuel.
- Gold dipped as the dollar ticked up after Republican President Donald Trump and Democratic rival Joe Biden sparred in the first U.S. presidential debate ahead of the Nov. 3 election.
- London copper edged up as solid manufacturing and services data from top consumer China boosted optimism, but a stronger U.S. dollar capped gains.
- Chicago soybean futures slid for a third straight session, trading near their lowest in almost two weeks, as dry weather across much of the U.S. Midwest boosted harvest.
- Raw sugar futures on ICE rallied on Tuesday after sharp losses in the previous session as the Brazilian currency recovered partially and the first-month contract nears expiration.
- Malaysian palm oil fell, sliding for a second day, and was set to end September with a small decline as it tracked a drop in China's vegetable oil trading just before a week-long holiday.

- The U.S. election will have only a limited short-term impact on the U.S. economy, despite a possible lively initial reaction, says Sandrine Perret, senior economist at Vontobel Wealth Management after the first televised debate between President Donald Trump and Democrat candidate Joe Biden. A Democratic sweep would have the most negative impact on risky assets, but would benefit utilities and renewable energy companies, while an election victory by incumbent Donald Trump would trigger a relief rally in equities and further favor companies in the big tech, healthcare and communications services sectors, she says. "The U.S. election will have only a limited short-term impact on the U.S. economy, since the agenda of the election winner usually takes months, if not years, to be implemented," she says.

- Fighting climate change is at the core of Democratic candidate Joe Biden's campaign, and his victory is likely to trigger substantial gains in green bonds, those whose proceeds are designed to finance a specific climate-related or environmental project, says Althea Spinozzi, fixed income specialist at Saxo Bank. "Green bonds will benefit significantly from a democratic White House, mainly because demand will continue to rise, but supply will remain limited," she says.

- If Donald Trump is reelected as U.S. president on Nov. 3 it would be largely viewed as positive for the credit market, says Althea Spinozzi, fixed income specialist at Saxo Bank. "We can expect the Republican President to continue with more of what we have seen in the past few years: tax cuts, deregulation and fiscal budget expansion," and this perception "will push investors towards riskier assets as they try to get some extra yield over the treasuries," she says. This would provide a short-term boost to corporate bond prices, but trigger a further rise in leverage corporate levels that will not be sustainable in the longer-term, she adds.

- A victory by Democratic candidate Joe Biden at the U.S. general election would likely lead to higher public spending and inflation, which would likely push longer-dated investment-grade corporate bond yields higher, says Althea Spinozzi, fixed income specialist at Saxo Bank. "We don't see upside holding ultra-long bonds," she says. "We expect inflation to rise and to provoke a sensible repricing in the bond market, led but longer maturities." The risk of higher inflation warrants investors to seek U.S. investment-grade mid-term credit with higher yields than the average 1%, she says.

- The first U.S. presidential election debate Tuesday failed to boost market sentiment, pushing investors towards safe-havens, including the U.S. dollar, Sun Global Investments says. The dollar looks set to "remain strong" as investors digest the aftermath of the debate and wait for the next moves by President Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Joe Biden in coming weeks, Sun Global chief executive Mihir Kapadia says. "A Trump victory in November would heighten concerns that the relations between the U.S. and China will worsen," he says. The dollar index rises 0.2% to 94.1130 and EUR/USD falls 0.4% to 1.1701.

- Long-dated high-grade U.S. corporate bonds could benefit from U.S. election volatility, with bonds issued by Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Alphabet--known by their acronym FAANG--standing to gain the most if Democratic candidate Joe Biden wins, says Althea Spinozzi, fixed income specialist at Saxo Bank. "Among various issuances, we believe that Apple with maturity August 2060 and Amazon with maturity June 2050 offering a yield of around 2.5% each, can tighten amid a [Joe] Biden win" at the Nov. 3 presidential election, she says. These are "election trades" and Spinozzi advises against holding these bonds beyond the end of this year.

- Tuesday's "ugly" U.S. presidential debate has strengthened concerns that the election result could be contested, potentially increasing safe-haven flows into the dollar, Rabobank says. "Given likely delays in counting postal votes and [President Donald] Trump's predictions of electoral fraud linked to the process, there would appear a tangible risk that both candidates declare themselves as winner," Rabobank's Jane Foley says. That comes as prolonged coronavirus restrictions could threaten the global economic recovery and force some investors to "question their positions in risky assets," she says. "Continued tensions between the U.S. and China may also threaten the recent optimism of investors and result in a pull back towards safe haven currencies." The dollar index rises 0.2% to 94.0510.

- The dollar and yen weakened sharply on Tuesday but recovered slightly overnight following the "chaotic" first U.S. presidential election debate, Saxo Bank says. That offered "more interesting levels for late comers looking for another wave of strength in safe haven currencies as we wait out the last weeks of uncertainty heading into the US election on November 3," Saxo Bank FX strategist John Hardy says. "The move gave traders a better spot in risk/reward terms to test for a second wave of a three-wave correction on the long side on USD- and JPY- trades, especially those that look rather correlated like AUD/USD shorts and EUR/JPY shorts." EUR/JPY is last down 0.3% at 123.74, while the DXY dollar index is up 0.1% at 94.0040.

- Yields on the 10-year Treasury rise slightly to 0.65% from 0.64% in the wake of economic data. The ADP employment report showed the US nonfarm private sector added 749,000 jobs in September, beating the 600,000 growth estimated by economists polled by WSJ. The US 2Q GDP, in turn, came in at a 31.4% contraction, slightly better than estimates of 31.7% shrinkage. Meanwhile, last night's presidential debate added concerns about a potently tumultuous election that could be holding back investors. "The market will need to digest last night," AmeriVet's Gregory Faranello says.

- The U.S. presidential debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic contender Joe Biden was "a mess, with little content for voters," says David Meier, economist at Julius Baer, describing it as "mud-wrestling" which confuses the public. Meier says Biden proved to be more robust than many had expected, although the quality of the debate will hardly have helped undecided voters and must improve in the next debates or they will have little impact on the election outcome. Trump was stable through many topics such as economy and health, but Biden showed a "remarkable stamina," withstanding Trump's verbal assults and avoiding any of the famous dropouts that his supporters had feared, he says.

- Profit-taking and caution ahead of the U.S. elections are some of the factors why September is set to be the first negative month for risk asset markets since March, says Felipe Villarroel, partner at portfolio management at TwentyFour Asset Management. "After a virtually straight line rally for months, some market participants will of course be tempted to lock in their gains," he says. Markets historically have tended to take a wait-and-see-like approach in the weeks ahead of U.S. presidential elections, he says. Pessimism for risk assets also comes from negative headlines triggered by Brexit negotiations as well from rising Covid-19 infection numbers in Europe and elsewhere, he says.

- AXA Investment Managers sees a light lead for U.S. Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden over the current president, the Republican Donald Trump, investment strategist Franz Wenzel says in a webinar. The two presidential candidates conducted their first televised debate on Tuesday. AXA IM expects the presidency to be decided by the "swing states," he says. "Swing states" are those sharply divided politically, with the vote outcome a very close call to predict.

- Credit Suisse's James Sweeney says much-needed economic stimulus halted by political gridlock is making investors jittery, and already having a negative impact on markets. Sweeney, on a conference call, adds that after the election, a lot will hinge on the winner's capacity to get things through Congress. A sweeping legislative victory by the elected president's party will be important to determine how much of the winner's economic platform will move on. There are uncertainties not only about the election's outcome, but whether the results will be fiercely disputed, he says.

- Traders trying to place bets ahead of the November elections may be better off ignoring Tuesday's debate between President Donald Trump and Joe Biden. In the last 10 presidential elections with reliable debate data going back to 1976, only two candidates who poll respondents believed "won" the first debate ended up winning the presidential race, Deutsche Bank's Jim Reid writes in a report. "We are as guilty as any in saying that tonight's first of three 2020 televised US Presidential debates is an important event for markets. The reality is that the candidates' perceived debate success has in the past had a fairly random correlation as to whether they will be elected [or] not," Reid says.

- The Aluminum Association, a US trade group representing aluminum producers and fabricators, says that it has filed a new petition seeking antidumping duties for imports of aluminum foil coming from five countries. The Aluminum Association's petition alleges that aluminum foil imports from Armenia, Brazil, Oman, Russia, and Turkey are being sold at unfairly low prices in the US. According to the Aluminum Association, these countries are filing in the void left by China following a similar successful petition in 2018. Aluminum prices on the London Metal Exchange have been strengthening after finding a 4-year low earlier this year, and are trading up 0.3% to $1,780.50 per metric ton Tuesday.

- WTI oil declines 1.6% to $39.93/bbl ahead of a pair of US oil inventory reports with a presidential debate sandwiched in-between. Trade group API reports at 4:30 pm ET, while official EIA data is due Wednesday, with many analysts forecasting what would be the second weekly increase in 10 weeks. Markets are also keen to see if the first Trump-Biden debate discusses energy. "President Trump has made clear his support for domestic oil and gas production," says Ellen Wald of Transversal Consulting in a column for The Hill. "Former Vice President Biden will need to clarify his stance on fossil fuels, a source of energy that matters deeply in oil-and-gas producing swing states such as Ohio and Pennsylvania."

- The euro rises above $1.17 level ahead of the first televised U.S. presidential election debate later Tuesday. ING expects the euro to continue to gain against the dollar, unless data show German inflation moved into negative territory in September. Any move into negative territory could fuel recent speculation about the European Central Bank cutting interest rates, ING analysts say. The data, due at 1200 GMT Tuesday, will "shape expectations" for Friday's eurozone-wide inflation data, they say. Economists polled by the WSJ expect Germany's annual inflation rate to remain at 0% in September. EUR/USD rises 0.3% to 1.1704, having earlier reached a six-day high of 1.1716, according to
FactSet.

- Copper prices have slipped in early European trading as the region's equity markets open lower and spark spillover selling of risk assets. Three-month copper futures on the LME are down 0.9% at $6,539 a metric ton. Other base metals have also come under pressure with the exception of lead and tin which are eking out small gains. Aluminum is down 0.5% at $1,776.50 a ton, while nickel is off 0.1% at $14,510 a ton. As well as consumer confidence readings for the U.S. and the eurozone due later Tuesday, metals markets will be watching separate speeches from the Fed's Randal Quarles and John Williams, and the U.S. presidential debate after the market closes.

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

- Oil prices fell, paring gains from the previous session, as persistent demand concerns due to the coronavirus pandemic outweighed hopes for a new U.S. stimulus package.
- Gold prices held steady as the U.S. dollar retreated from a two-month high, with investors looking forward to the first U.S. presidential debate and developments on a new U.S. coronavirus relief bill.
- Copper prices advanced, though gains were capped as a steady U.S. dollar made greenback-priced metals less attractive to holders of other currencies.
- Chicago soybean futures lost ground, with the market dropping for six out of seven sessions, as a rapid pace of U.S. harvest pressured prices.
- Raw sugar and arabica coffee futures fell more than 3% on Monday as Brazil's currency fell to the lowest value against the U.S. dollar in more than four months.
- Malaysian palm oil futures rose on concerns over supply disruption following a fresh two-week lockdown in parts of the country's largest palm oil producing state.


- The euro rises against a weaker dollar as risk appetite improves on signs U.S. lawmakers are making progress towards agreeing fresh fiscal support measures. Market sentiment received a boost, weighing on the safe haven dollar, after U.S. House Democrats unveiled a $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief package Monday in a bid to revive stalled talks with the Republicans. "Of course, a stronger resumption of risk appetite is still required to induce a more convincing EUR/USD pullback to 1.1780 and beyond," Unicredit analysts say. "This is the level charts require to quell the risk of a re-test of the 1.14 area in the near term." EUR/USD gains 0.1% to 1.1678 after earlier reaching a four-day high of 1.1685, according to FactSet.

- A Joe Biden victory in the November U.S. presidential election could "supercharge" the market's focus on sustainability, the BlackRock Investment Institute says. The research arm of the world's biggest money manager says a Biden administration would likely immediately rejoin the Paris Agreement and help coordinate a global green stimulus effort. Still, the institute says: "The tectonic shift to sustainable investing will likely persist regardless of the result, but could be supercharged under a Democratic sweep scenario."

- The Russian ruble's declines in response to reports of potential U.S. sanctions against the Eastern European nation are overdone, ING says. A group of U.S. senators have proposed sanctions against Russian officials over the poisoning of Russia's opposition leader Alexei Navalny, according to a statement on the website of Democratic Senator Chris Coons last Thursday. The sanctions are targeted at individuals and not Russian assets so the ruble's sell-off "may be a slight over-reaction," ING analysts say. USD/RUB rises 0.7% to 78.7084, having earlier reached its highest level since early April at 78.9850, according to FactSet.

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

- Oil prices dipped as rising coronavirus cases upset hopes for a smooth recovery in fuel demand, with the main crude benchmarks on track for their first monthly falls in multiple months after last week's slips.
- Gold prices edged up as the dollar slipped off a two-month peak hit last week as political uncertainty accelerated ahead of the first presidential election debate between U.S. President Donald Trump and his Democratic rival Joe Biden.
- London copper rose for a second straight session on expectations of strong demand from top importer China and a U.S. stimulus in the works.
- Chicago soybeans and corn futures ticked higher, with dry weather in key producers Brazil and Argentina underpinning prices, although pressure from U.S. harvest curbed gains.
- Raw sugar prices closed up on Friday, in sight of this week's one-month high, with a lack of producer selling clearing the way for funds to push prices higher.
- Malaysian palm oil futures rose for a second day, supported by demand from China, although the upcoming week-long holiday in the country capped gains.

- The Russian ruble's declines in response to reports of potential U.S. sanctions against the Eastern European nation are overdone, ING says. A group of U.S. senators have proposed sanctions against Russian officials over the poisoning of Russia's opposition leader Alexei Navalny, according to a statement on the website of Democratic Senator Chris Coons last Thursday. The sanctions are targeted at individuals and not Russian assets so the ruble's sell-off "may be a slight over-reaction," ING analysts say. USD/RUB rises 0.7% to 78.7084, having earlier reached its highest level since early April at 78.9850, according to FactSet.

- Sales of new U.S. corporate bonds, known as the primary market, are set to slow down ahead of the Nov. 3 general election, and investors should be cautious on risk, Althea Spinozzi, fixed-income specialist at Saxo Bank, says. "As we approach the U.S. election, we will see the U.S. primary fixed income market slowing down," she says, adding that a junk bond deal was pulled last week. "Investors should be cautious on risk as last week U.S. high-yield credit spreads widened, and Aethon United had to pull a junk bond deal from the market," she says.

- A sustained recovery in risk appetite seems unlikely in the short-term, suggesting further support for safe haven currencies including the dollar and the Japanese yen, MUFG Bank says. With U.S. presidential "election uncertainty, Covid-19 and doubts over fourth quarter growth given the lack of fresh fiscal or monetary support will curtail any bounce in risk," MUFG's Derek Halpenny says. A key event that could influence risk sentiment will be a TV debate on Tuesday between U.S. President Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Joe Biden ahead of November's election, Halpenny says. If Trump again refuses to confirm his acceptance of a potential Biden victory, it will "undoubtedly ensure concerns remain elevated," Halpenny says. USD/JPY falls 0.1% to 105.417.

- Gold prices are edging lower but the decline that began last week appears to have abated. New York futures are down 0.2% at $1,863 a troy ounce, while silver falls 0.9% to $22.89 an ounce. Platinum and palladium are both edging modestly higher. Unlike previous falls, however, gold isn't rebounding, says Jeffrey Halley, market analyst at Oanda. "Having fallen over $100 an ounce in the past seven sessions, longer-term buyers seem reluctant to buy the dip as aggressively now, as they have in recent months," he says. Investors could be waiting to see global PMI data later in the week as well as the outcome of the U.S. presidential debates, he says.

 - Uncertainty over November's U.S. presidential election is likely to cause some dollar volatility leading up to the vote, Commerzbank says. A neck-and-neck race between Democratic candidate Joe Biden and President Trump is unlikely but would be the "worst-case scenario" as Trump would question the outcome even if clear, Commerzbank's Ulrich Leuchtmann says. "The nomination of an arch-conservative judge onto the Supreme Court might increase the likelihood of a court decision in favor of the Republicans (if the Supreme Court has to decide)." The dollar index falls 0.1% to 94.5430.

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

- Oil prices rose but are on track for a weekly fall because of rising concerns about the global resurgence of coronavirus infections and its effects on fuel demand, while the likely return of exports from Libya will add to supply.
- Gold inched higher on renewed hopes of more U.S. stimulus measures, though the bullion was on track for its biggest weekly decline in more than a month pressured by a stronger dollar.
- Copper prices rebounded from a one-month low hit in the previous session, as a weaker U.S. dollar boosted the appeal for greenback-priced metals, while hopes of more stimulus in the United States also aided the sentiment.
- Chicago soybean futures were little changed, with the market set for a weekly loss after rallying for the last six weeks, as rapidly advancing U.S. harvest added pressure on prices.
- Raw sugar prices edged back up towards the previous session's one-month high on Thursday, boosted by worries over adverse weather conditions in several growing regions.
- Malaysian palm oil futures firmed, spurred by stronger global equities and expectations of higher September exports, but were heading for their steepest weekly fall in nearly seven months.

- The dollar remains strongly overvalued versus the Japanese yen and the exchange rate is unlikely to fall toward its fair value quickly given the "still gloomy picture" for Japan's economy, says UniCredit. "Complete USD/JPY convergence to fair value will hardly be tolerated by Japanese policymakers given the massive deflationary impact and the drag on growth this would represent for the Japanese economy," say UniCredit analysts, who estimate fair value is around 87.000 for USD/JPY. The Bank of Japan is set to continue its ultra-loose monetary policy and the nomination of Yoshihide Suga as Prime Minister suggests a continuation of his predecessor Shinzo Abe's aggressive fiscal policies,
the analysts say. USD/JPY is last flat at 105.467.

- Copper has staged a small recovery after a strong dollar drove several days of selling this week. Three-month forward contracts on the LME are up 0.1% at $6,584 a metric ton but are on track for a 3.9% weekly loss. After rising for several days, the ICE Dollar Index has fallen 0.1%, offering a breather to base metals which, priced in dollars, tend to fall when the dollar strengthens. Chinese traders will be absent for a week-long national holiday that begins on Thursday which will likely drive more volatility across base metals markets, says Malcolm Freeman, CEO of Kingdom Futures. "That is before you factor in the U.S. Presidential election" as well as lingering concerns about the coronavirus, he adds.

- Over 60 US business-lobby groups involved in either the production of or the use of plastics have warned Canada its proposed ban on single-use plastics could violate terms of USMCA. In a Sept 21 letter to Canadian Trade Minister Mary Ng, the lobby groups argue the ban -- which would target items like straws, plastic bags, and food packaging -- would run contrary to USMCA's obligation for member countries to use a risk-based approach on assessing chemical substances. Further, a chapter in USMCA stipulates each partner shall cooperate on solutions to eliminate plastic waste, the letter says. No such cooperation is underway, the groups say. The business associations request Canada reconsider its proposed ban. However, Canada reiterated its intent to push ahead with the prohibition in a parliamentary speech on Wednesday.

- The agriculture industry is arguing for priority as Covid-19 vaccine tests advance. In a letter Thursday to the White House coronavirus task force, farm groups including the American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Farmers Union say that vaccine allocation must be prioritized for the "food and fiber supply chain," saying their industry is critical to US safety and wellbeing. The US government plans to start shipping out Covid-19 vaccines within 24 hours of any FDA approval, federal officials said last week.

- Gold will still retest the $2,000 an ounce level this year despite a 5% fall in prices this week, say analysts at UBS in a note. Uncertainty surrounding the upcoming U.S. elections will bolster the case for holding gold, they say. What's more, they expect further Treasury purchases from the Federal Reserve which will continue to weigh on yields, thereby keeping down the opportunity cost of holding gold instead of Treasuries. "Further gold price weakness is possible, but U.S. election uncertainties will likely intensify and the Fed will ultimately need to expand policy," they say. Election uncertainty "is likely to intensify over the coming weeks, with a contested outcome a possibility," they add. Gold futures are currently down 0.3% at $1,863.50 a troy ounce.

- US markets are likely to bounce back, unless trade tensions with China flare up or research for a Covid-19 vaccine is severely hurt, Hercules Investments' James McDonald tells WSJ. "Everybody knew the market was overvalued on big caps, small caps and specially tech." He says the major indexes' fall has been a correction and, typically, they should rise about 5% now in the absence of a downward catalyst. He says the usual suspects, including pre-election tension, lack of new stimulus and weak economic data, are all already priced in. "If there's a big setback, that would be a catalyst that is not priced in."

- Stocks gain, after early losses this morning, following Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's Tweet that the winner of November's presidential election will be inaugurated as planned in January, potentially easing some concerns about a contested outcome. "There will be an orderly transition just as there has been every four years since 1792," he says. The S&P 500 is now up 0.4%.  On Wednesday, President Trump wouldn't commit to a peaceful transition of power and predicted the outcome would be decided in the Supreme Court.

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

- Oil prices dropped, weighed down by concerns that U.S. economic recovery is slowing as the coronavirus outbreak lingers, while a renewed wave of COVID-19 cases in Europe have led to reimposed travel restrictions in several countries.
- Gold fell to its lowest level in more than two months, crippled by a robust dollar, while investors fretted over uncertainties surrounding further stimulus measures to support a sluggish economic recovery in the United States.
- Copper prices fell as the U.S. dollar strengthened and as rising global cases of the novel coronavirus dashed hopes of a quick economic recovery.
- Chicago soybeans fell 1.2% while corn lost more ground, with both commodities hitting a one-week low as an advancing U.S. harvest boosted supplies, although losses were checked by strong demand from China.
- Arabica coffee futures on ICE closed down on Wednesday for the eighth consecutive session, touching a two-month low even as the market was seen as finally finding some support.
- Malaysian palm oil futures hit a two-week low, following sharp declines in rival oils and global equities, while concerns over rising output also dashed sentiment.

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

- Oil prices fell after an industry group reported a surprise rise in U.S. crude, adding to worries about demand that led to a steep selloff earlier in the week.
- Gold prices eased for a third straight session as the dollar climbed to a near two-month high, though uncertainties surrounding global economic recovery limited the bullion's decline.
- Copper prices declined as a strengthening U.S. dollar made greenback-priced commodities more expensive for holders of other currencies.
- Chicago soybean futures slid for a third consecutive session, as U.S. harvest was expected to gather pace on the back of dry weather in the weeks ahead, boosting global supplies.
- ICE raw sugar futures closed up nearly 3% on Tuesday despite higher oil prices and a weaker Brazilian currency, with dealers citing worries regarding crops in the two largest producers.
- Malaysian palm oil futures fell for a third straight session, tracking weaker Dalian rival oils while rising output and concerns over fresh COVID-19 lockdowns in Europe also pressured prices.

- Yields little changed as markets wobble after Monday's rout, with the 10-year at 0.67%, up from yesterday's intraday low of 0.65% but down from Friday's close of 0.70%. Jonathan Golub, from Credit Suisse, says investors are reassessing the bullish outlook they had during the summer rally. Golub says recovery from Covid-19 is widely expected to lose steam, and political gridlock over new fiscal stimulus doesn't help. "Some programs will need additional funding" to beef-up the economy, he says. "Economic data is not going badly, but the rate of change is no longer
expected to be positive, so an upside from that will be more difficult."

- The White House has picked Ryan Maue, a meteorologist and critic of dire climate predictions, to be chief scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, according to The Washington Post, citing unnamed sources. In an email to WSJ, Maue wouldn't confirm the report, saying any discussions about NOAA positions must go through the Department of Commerce public affairs division. DOC officials weren't immediately available. The Post article says Maue "has harshly criticized climate activists and Democrats for pushing for cuts in fossil fuel emissions by linking extreme weather events to global warming, but he does not dispute the fact that human-caused emissions of greenhouse gases are warming the planet in ways that are causing significant impacts."

- The dollar will depreciate regardless of the outcome of November's U.S. presidential election but a Democratic sweep would accelerate the currency's declines, UBS Wealth Management says. A so-called "blue wave," whereby Democrats would secure full control of Congress, is "most expected" and would see the dollar weaken faster than if Republicans took control due to the prospect of increased fiscal spending, UBS analysts say. In any case, the dollar will end the year weaker due to reduced interest-rate differentials between the U.S. and other countries and negative inflation-adjusted real yields on U.S. Treasuries, they say. UBS expects EUR/USD to end 2020 at 1.20 versus 1.1715 currently.

- A combination of the most negative U.S. real yields on record and the widest peacetime U.S. twin deficit leaves the dollar vulnerable to extending its recent losses, Deutsche Bank says. A possible Democratic sweep in November's U.S. presidential election could push record U.S. twin deficits wider, DB analysts say. Real yields on U.S. Treasuries--which strip out expected consumer price changes from nominal bond yields--could fall further into negative territory if a coronavirus vaccine is announced, the analysts say. A potential vaccine would also boost risk appetite and dent demand for the safe haven dollar, they say. "EUR/USD should break 1.20 and head towards 1.25 in the event of broad-based dollar weakness." EUR/USD is last down 0.3% at 1.1732.

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

- Oil rose in early trade, paring sharp overnight losses, as the latest tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico lost strength, but worries about fuel demand persisted with flare-ups around the globe in coronavirus cases.
- Gold prices steadied in a tight range, as worries over rising COVID-19 cases across Europe countered pressure from a stronger U.S. dollar ahead of key speeches by Federal Reserve policymakers this week.
- London copper prices rose, recouping some of the last session's losses, on expectations of strong Chinese demand, although worries about fresh coronavirus-led lockdowns capped gains.
- Chicago corn futures bounced back, after suffering their biggest one-day loss in almost seven weeks in the previous session, as expectations of strong Chinese demand supported prices.
- ICE arabica coffee closed down for the sixth consecutive session on Monday, hitting a 1-1/2 month low after clocking up its biggest weekly fall in 22 years last week amid signs of improving crop prospects in top producer Brazil.
- Malaysian palm oil futures dropped more than 2% on Monday, dragged lower by weak Dalian prices and global equities, as fears over new coronavirus restrictions in Europe hit sentiment.

- Airlines could end up receiving the same amounts of funding as under the Cares Act passed in March, despite thousands of employees agreeing to retire early or depart from the companies. Though they are smaller now, airlines have said the original round of $25 billion in aid only covered around three quarters of their labor costs. The bill proposed Monday by two GOP senators would earmark $25.5 billion to passenger airlines, and also contains a change that benefits smaller, fast-growing airlines that had argued they were at a disadvantage because the original funding amounts were based on out-of-date payroll figures. Airlines would be able to opt to receive funds based on their payroll costs from October to April last year under the new bill.

- Two GOP senators propose extending $28B to passenger airlines, cargo carriers and airline contractors to avoid job losses for another six months as negotiations over another pandemic relief package stall. Both parties have said they'd support providing more funds to airlines, but there's been no agreement on a broader package and hopes of passing something before the election have dimmed. Tens of thousands of airline workers are facing furloughs starting Oct. 1 when the original round of airline aid expires. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Roger Wicker (R., Miss.), chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, and Sen. Susan Collins (R., Maine), chairman of the appropriations subcommittee on transportation, would reallocate $17.4B in funds left over from unused loan programs under the Cares Act, but still needs another $11B in funds.

- The dollar extends gains, sending the euro and sterling lower, as rising European coronavirus cases and U.S. political uncertainty boost demand for safe havens. "Surging coronavirus cases and doubts over the next round of fiscal support is triggering a wide range risk averse tone that is sending the dollar higher," Oanda's Edward Moya says. The battle between Democrats and Republicans over who replaces the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg "will likely derail" efforts for further fiscal support, he says. The dollar index rises 0.8% to 93.7240, its highest since mid-August, according to FactSet. EUR/USD falls 0.8% to its lowest level since mid-August at 1.1732 and GBP/USD drops 0.9% to a one-week low of 1.2791.

- It isn't obvious what would trigger a move out of the tight ranges for core fixed income markets, says James McCormick, global head of desk strategy at NatWest Markets, but he names a few potential candidates. The U.S. election and more concrete news on a Covid-19 vaccine are potential triggers, he says. As for the U.S. election, markets are reluctant to price any longer-term implications, in part because they don't really believe polling that puts a Democratic sweep at better-than-even odds, he says. The 10-year German Bund yield is trading at -0.507%, down 1.9 basis points.

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

- Oil prices edged higher as a tropical storm took aim for the U.S. Gulf of Mexico region halting some production, though price gains were capped by the potential return of oil output in Libya and a continued rise in coronavirus cases.
- Gold prices edged higher, helped by a weaker dollar while investors looked forward to speeches by Federal Reserve policymakers due this week for further clues on the U.S. central bank's approach to inflation.
- London copper gained more ground, climbing to its highest in more than two years, as a recovery in China's industrial production underpinned prices.
- Chicago soybean futures snapped a three-session streak of gains, easing from a 28-month high hit in the previous session, although strong demand from the world's top buyer China limited losses.
- Arabica coffee futures closed down for the fifth consecutive session on Friday, accumulating a 14% loss on the week, as funds pulled out of long positions on forecasts for ample rains in top producer Brazil that would likely spur crop prospects for 2021.
- Malaysian palm oil futures inched up, rising for a fifth straight session tracking stronger Dalian oils and higher September exports so far.

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

- Goldman Sachs continues to see a "good case for sustained US Dollar weakness, reflecting the greenback's high valuation, deeply negative real interest rates in the US, and a recovering global economy," which tends to weigh on the currency because of its global role. The bank thinks a Biden win would accelerate dollar weakness because "proposals to raise the US corporate tax rate would make domestic stocks less attractive," which could result in dollar selling if US equities underperform. The bank says a large fiscal stimulus would also likely weaken the dollar due to the Fed's commitment to keep rates low, and that a more multilateral approach to foreign affairs should reduce risk premium in certain currencies, especially the Chinese yuan.

- While major US farm groups cheered the Trump administration's announcement of $14B more in aid, some called on USDA to ensure funds go to the neediest farmers. National Farmers Union president Rob Larew says his group is grateful for the additional support, but USDA must rectify problems with the previous aid package, which he says favored large farms over smaller ones, doled out millions to foreign-owned companies and left some farmers out entirely. Larew also called on Congress to provide support to others besides farmers, including millions of people who are unemployed and hungry, businesses struggling to survive, strained rural hospitals and students without broadband. "It's unacceptable that it has been months since these groups have received any help at all," he says.

- President Trump is allocating an additional $14B in aid for agricultural producers affected by Covid-19, the USDA announced Friday. "We listened to feedback received from farmers, ranchers and agricultural organizations about the impact of the pandemic on our nations' farms and ranches, and we developed a program to better meet the needs of those impacted," says Agricultural Secretary Sonny Perdue. Aid was originally distributed to farmers under the CARES Act passed in late March. Signups for the extension begin Sept. 21, the USDA says. Payments will be based on 2020 planted acres of cash crops including corn, wheat, soybeans, or maximum inventories of livestock in the case of livestock producers.

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

- Oil prices rose for a fourth straight day as Goldman Sachs estimated the market is in deficit and a new storm started building in the Gulf of Mexico, putting crude on track for a weekly gain of about 10%.
- Gold prices rose as gloomy U.S. jobs data cast a shadow over the economic outlook, and major central banks pledged to roll out further stimulus if required to revive their coronavirus-battered economies.
- London copper hit a more than two-year high, buoyed by a weaker dollar and strong fund buying on hopes that Chinese stimulus would spur demand in the world's biggest metals consumer.
- Chicago soybeans were on track for a sixth weekly gain, climbing to their highest in almost 28 months with support from strong demand in top buyer China.
- Raw sugar futures on ICE closed up for the third consecutive session on Thursday, hitting a two-week high amid signs of strong demand for refined sugar and higher oil prices.
- Malaysian palm oil futures looked set to post their biggest weekly jump in five years, as the benchmark contract rose for a fourth straight session, tracking strength in rival soyoil and on buying ahead of holidays in key consumer China.

- US President Trump Reportedly Will Issue Decision on Oracle-TikTok Deal in 24-36 Hours
US President Donald Trump is expected to announce a decision on the deal between Oracle (ORCL) and TikTok-parent ByteDance within 24-36 hours, CNBC reported Thursday, citing unnamed sources. Oracle will reportedly take a 20% stake in TikTok, with Walmart (WMT) also likely to be a part of the deal, according to the report. Walmart chief executive officer Doug McMillon is expected to have a board seat on the newly formed board of directors for TikTok's US business, CNBC reported. Shares of Oracle were down 1.3% in recent trading, while Walmart was up 0.3%

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

- Oil prices fell, after rising in the two previous sessions, as concerns about weak fuel demand re-emerged after production platforms in the southeastern United States took steps to resume output following Hurricane Sally's passage.
- Gold prices fell more than 1% as the dollar climbed after the U.S. Federal Reserve painted a favourable economic recovery picture but stopped short of offering concrete signals on further stimulus.
- London copper fell by the most in seven sessions as the dollar climbed after the U.S. Federal Reserve said it expected the post-coronavirus recovery to gain steam in the world's largest economy.
- Chicago soybean futures were little changed, after hitting their highest since June 2018 earlier in the session on the back of increased demand from top importer China.
- ICE raw sugar futures extended their recovery on Wednesday, steadying above the 12-cent mark as the dollar slid further and oil prices recovered.
- Malaysian palm oil futures climbed 3% to hit an eight-month high, tracking gains in Dalian oils and on increased demand from China ahead of a key festival week.

- The U.S. corporate credit market may become more volatile leading up to the November 3 U.S. general election, says Citi. "Election jitters, layered onto an uncertain outcome for the path of the pandemic, may be lifting expectations of credit spread volatility in the months ahead, setting a difficult backdrop for corporate credit markets to outperform," says Citi's credit strategist Daniel Sorid. Elevated expected volatility in equities, currencies, and commodities, have also historically coincided with wider credit spreads, he says.

- Live Nation says it is working with local officials to use more than 100 Live Nation venues as polling places in the 2020 elections. The parent of Ticketmaster and Live Nation Concerts says so far The Wiltern and Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles, Emo's in Austin, Texas, and the Buckhead Theatre in Atlanta are confirmed as polling sites. The company offered the Fillmore for Philadelphia and is in the final stages of the vetting process. Live Nation says it is partnering with More Than A Vote, a coalition of Black athletes and artists dedicated to protecting voting rights, and nonpartisan coalition Civic Alliance. Live Nation says it will provide up to a half-day of paid time off to all employees on election day and will provide any active employee with a full day of paid time off to serve as poll workers.

- Lawyers for TikTok are pushing to settle a lawsuit in Illinois alleging the video-sharing app improperly collects data from its users, many of them underage, as its Chinese parent company closes in on a deal with Oracle. The Trump administration's deadline to unload some of the US assets put more pressure on the company to resolve the suit before a potential deal, according to court filings and three lawyers involved in the case. Facebook this summer agreed to settle a similar class-action suit under Illinois' strict biometric privacy law for $650M.

- Executives at BNP Paribas emphasize that the bank thinks the potential for unified government in Washington--with the Democrats or Republicans controlling the White House, Senate and House--is a critically important point as it assesses risks and opportunities tied to the upcoming election. BNP Paribas US Head of Equity & Derivative Strategy Greg Boutle says a prospective unified government under Biden could hurt growth stocks due to tax-policy changes, but boost companies with shares that are seen as value opportunities. Those stocks are more tied "to the fate
of the real economy," and thus could gain amid more spending under Biden and Democrats. Boutle adds that markets have been pricing in event risks tied to the election for some time now.

- The Fed should lend directly to consumers and seems to be planning as much if Congress fails to approve a new stimulus, Bahnsen Group's David Bahnsen says. He notes that it would be unlawful for the central bank to absorb losses, so the loans would have to be paid back. "I am not sure how stimulative such a move would really be," Bahnsen says. The Fed is expected to detail today how it will allow rates to remain low for an extended period of time, during which inflation may overshoot the target, until maximum employment is restored.

- Canada will issue today its final list of US goods that will face countertariffs in response to the Trump administration's decision last month to slap levies on some of the aluminum Canada produces. Canada Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland will hold a press conference this afternoon to outline next steps. Freeland said last month Canada intended to slap a 10% tariff on US products that contain aluminum, such as washing machines and canned beverages, but wanted to consult with industry first. The Canadian tariffs are set to kick in Wednesday, or a month
after the US slapped levies on Canadian aluminum imports on national-security grounds. The US says imports have surged and depressed the US sector. Canada rejects that argument.

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

- Oil prices rose, extending gains from the previous session, as a hurricane disrupted U.S. offshore oil and gas production and an industry report showed a big drop in U.S. crude stockpiles.
- Gold prices firmed supported by a weaker dollar, with investors awaiting the outcome of the Federal Reserve's policy meeting for details of the U.S. central bank's plans to balance interest rates against its inflation target.
- London copper prices rose, with the market erasing earlier losses to trade near its highest in more than two years on expectations of strong demand from top consumer China.
- Chicago soybean futures lost more ground, with prices weighed down by data showing lower processing in the United States and forecasts of crop-friendly harvest weather in the Midwest.
- ICE arabica coffee closed down on Tuesday, hitting one-month lows as investors continued to sell amid forecasts for rains in top producer Brazil and lingering worries stocks from the country will be delivered to the exchange.

- Gold is edging higher ahead of the Fed's meeting, as traders hope for clues on exactly how much inflation policymakers are willing to accept. New York futures are up 0.3% at $1,972 a troy ounce. Expectations that stimulus measures will drive up inflation have helped drive gold's rally this year. The Fed has said it would target inflation that "averages 2% over time," suggesting they would tolerate inflation above that level for a period. But the market is guessing at exactly how much, says Stephen Innes, market strategist at AxiCorp. "For gold to go significantly higher, the Fed must make a credible promise to act full dove and aggressively drive inflation expectations higher," says Innes.

- Copper is lagging behind other base metals after inventories of the red metal jumped by the largest amount since June. Three-month copper forwards on the LME are down 0.1% to $6,748 a metric ton while zinc, lead and aluminum eke out modest gains. LME stocks jumped by 4.9% on Tuesday. The inventories had been in steady decline as demand for copper, particularly from China, was proving strong. But in recent days the stock levels have begun edging higher, suggesting demand could be slowing. Elsewhere, a U.S. aluminum trade body welcomed the removal of tariffs on U.S. imports of Canadian aluminum, which had only been recently reimposed. The Aluminum Association called the tariffs "disruptive and unnecessary."

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

- Oil prices slipped as worries over slow recovery in global fuel demand were reinforced by warnings by major oil producers, but short-covering ahead of a meeting later this week of OPEC and its allies, known as OPEC+, limited losses.
- Gold hit a near two-week high as the dollar weakened and investors turned their focus to a U.S. Federal Reserve monetary policy meeting, seeking details of how it planned to hold down rates while aiming to boost inflation.
- London metal exchange copper hit its highest in a week, buoyed by signs of accelerating industrial demand in China, the world's biggest consumer of metals.
- Chicago soybean futures rose to trade near their highest in more than two years, with Chinese demand and concerns over U.S. production supporting prices.
- Arabica coffee futures plunged 7% on Monday as a forecast for rains over parched coffee areas in top producer Brazil led speculators to sell part of their large long position.
- Malaysian palm oil futures rose, building on the previous session's sharp gains tracking strength in rival edible oils and hopes of higher exports in September.

- Last week was extremely volatile for Wall Street with the S&P 500, the Dow Jones and the Nasdaq losing about 2.5%, 1.7% and 4.1%, respectively. There were two primary reasons that triggered the mayhem. One was overvaluation in high-flying tech stocks (which resulted in profit booking) and the other was the likelihood of the delayed rollout of a coronavirus vaccine. Nine drug companies pledged that they will not submit vaccine candidates for FDA review until their safety and efficacy are shown in large clinical trials. In any case, September is historically the worst month of the year for stocks. According to moneychimp.com, a consensus carried out from 1950 to 2019 has revealed that September ended up offering positive returns in 32 years and negative returns in 38 years, with an average return of negative 0.57%, which is worse than any month.

- On the economic news front, the U.S. economy added 1.371 million jobs in August 2020, decreasing from a downwardly revised 1.734 million in the previous month, and slightly below market forecasts of 1.4 million. Applications for U.S. state unemployment benefits held steady, a sign that said extensive job losses are continuing.

- Initial jobless claims in regular state programs were unchanged at 884,000 in the week ended Sep 5, the Labor Department data showed. The median estimates in a Bloomberg survey of economists indicted 850,000 initial claims in the latest week .

- However, manufacturing activities look to be in decent shape as after clocking the highest reading since March 2019 in July, U.S. manufacturing activity accelerated to a nearly two-year high in August due to solid new orders .

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

- Oil prices rose as a tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico forced companies to evacuate rigs and halt production, but gains were kept in check by wider concerns about excess supply and falling fuel demand.
- Gold prices rose, supported by a weaker dollar and expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will adopt a dovish stance at its two-day monetary policy meeting later this week.
- London copper held steady, underpinned by ongoing Chinese demand for the metal highly prized in construction and renewable energy, although a flurry of physical demand for the metal continued to ease.
- Chicago soybean prices gained for a second consecutive session on Monday, rising above $10 a bushel as Chinese buying and a lower estimate for U.S. production supported prices.
- Raw sugar futures closed slightly up on Friday on ICE in a late recovery after hitting a 1-1/2 month low earlier in the session.
- Malaysian palm oil futures climbed to their highest in nearly two weeks, tracking strength in rival oils on the Dalian Commodity Exchange and Chicago Board of Trade, and on hopes of a slower-than-expected rise in output.

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

- Biden warns Trump about allowing risky COVID-19 vaccine on market

If President Trump is going to push drug companies to release a vaccine for the coronavirus, he should do so with an interest in public safety, Joe Biden says.
"It’s great news that scientists are making progress in the search for a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine," the former vice president and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee wrote in a statement Monday evening. "We all hope the next phases of clinical trials will yield positive results to support an approval based on the scientific evidence, but the development of a new vaccine requires a dedication to science, coordination, transparency, truth, and fairness to all — and we have a President who stands for none of these things."

- In recent weeks, scientists around the globe have made promising findings in the quest to immunize the public from the coronavirus, which has claimed nearly 150,000 lives and infected more than 4.2 million people in the United States alone so far. On Monday, the biotechnology giant Moderna launched the world's largest coronavirus vaccine trial on roughly 30,000 people across 89 sites to test the new breakthrough.

- Trump has long pined for a vaccine to end the pandemic and the economic collapse associated with a shutdown of businesses across the country. In May, Trump and Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar announced "Operation Warp Speed," aimed at producing and distributing 300 million coronavirus vaccines by January 2021. The Department of Defense signed a $1.95 billion deal with firms Pfizer and BioNTech to produce a safe vaccine and 100 million doses. But should the government pour enormous research and funds into a project such as "Operation Warp Speed," the president should commit to "three principles of integrity in the development of a vaccine," argued Biden.
Those include a ban on White House officials pushing "to provide emergency authorizations prematurely," and the president should not "hype treatments or vaccines, overstate their results, or undermine confidence in scientific findings."

- Biden also called for "clinical data for any vaccine the FDA approves" to be "made available to the public for independent expert review." He also said before any "license is final" on a new vaccine, "senior career scientists and public health experts" should appear before Congress and testify on its effectiveness. Both Republicans and Democrats have expressed concerns about a vaccine rushed to the market. A Morning Consult poll found that Republicans are 3 times more likely to say they won't get the vaccine compared to Democrats.

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

- Oil prices fell for a second day, pressured by a surprise rise in U.S. stockpiles as the coronavirus pandemic continues to erode demand for fuels.
- Gold prices fell as the U.S. dollar rebounded, but the yellow metal was on track for a weekly gain underpinned by worries over a global economic recovery from the coronavirus-led slump.
- Copper prices dropped to a one-week low, setting the LME benchmark on track for its first weekly loss in five, as the U.S. dollar rebounded, making metals more expensive for buyers holding other currencies.
- Chicago soybean futures rose, with the market on track for a fifth consecutive weekly gain on strong demand from China, the world's largest importer of the oilseed.
- Arabica coffee futures on ICE closed more than 2% up on Thursday, partially recovering from the steep falls in the last two sessions.
- Malaysian palm oil futures were set for their first weekly drop in three, as rising production and worries over demand outweighed cargo surveyor data showing strong exports in September so far.

- Pelosi: Trump let coronavirus kill people to help the stock market
You know how Republicans are. They’ll kill for money. Also eat babies if you pay in cash.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi accused President Trump of downplaying the threat of the coronavirus to help the stock market, which she said increased the fatality rate that has now risen past 180,000 people.
“His delay, distortion, and denial of what was happening caused many deaths,” the California Democrat told reporters Thursday during a weekly news conference.
Pelosi made the accusation in response to a new book by Bob Woodward in which Trump said he did not want to create panic about the coronavirus, even though it was deadly.
“I want to always play it down,” Trump told Woodward.
Trump defended his comments to reporters on Wednesday, but Pelosi suggested that if the president had sounded a louder alarm about the coronavirus, more people would be alive today.

- Bridgewater's Ray Dalio isn't one to give out investment secrets, so it wasn't a surprise that he wouldn't discuss what Bridgewater is doing to weather this storm. But asked at an Economic Club of New York event more generally about his investment thesis, he says it's important to know where you are in the cycle: in this case, a reflation, "in which cash is very unappealing relative to other assets." The most important thing right now, he says, is global diversification--by country, asset class and currency.

- Hedge-fund heavyweight Ray Dalio sees division--social and political--as the biggest risk facing investors. "When the cause you are behind is more important than the system to resolve your disputes, the system is in jeopardy," the Bridgewater Associates founder says at an Economic Club of New York event. What does that mean for the November presidential election? He takes a pragmatic view, echoing earlier statements that in a president he'd want to see "somebody who is going to bring the country together and to engineer, in a smart way, the increases in productivity that increase the size of the pie and divide it well." Dalio, who takes a historical approach to investing, says he sees the post-pandemic economy as similar to that of the 1930-1945 period.

- Hedge-fund billionaire Ray Dalio calls the pandemic "the big event of our time," a stress test of sorts that will gradually recede. "But we are going to be left with the other problems," such as political and social conflicts, the Bridgewater Associates founder says at an Economic Club of New York event. "And I don't think we are doing so great on (those) stress tests," he says.

- The Portland City Council Wednesday unanimously passed limits on private-sector use of facial recognition technology that experts and advocates say is the strongest such rule in the U.S. The law, which goes into effect on Jan. 1, will ban businesses from using the artificial intelligence-based software in public areas like retail stores, going beyond restrictions elsewhere on government use. The vote came despite protests from pro-business groups that called for carveouts in the law to allow facial recognition in banks, airports and other select locations.

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

- Oil prices slid after data showed U.S. crude stockpiles unexpectedly rose last week, stoking concern about a sluggish recovery in fuel demand as coronavirus cases continue to surge in many countries.
- Gold steadied near a one-week high as the dollar weakened, but the yellow metal traded in a narrow $8 range as investors held large bets ahead of the European Central Bank's monetary policy decision due later in the day.
- Shanghai copper edged higher on upbeat outlook for demand in top metals consumer China, but heightened Sino-U.S. tensions and caution ahead of the European Central Bank (ECB) policy meeting kept trading subdued.
- U.S. soybean futures edged lower for the first time in 13 sessions, as traders locked in profit after the oilseed climbed to its highest in more than two years following strong demand from China - the world's largest importer.
- Arabica coffee futures closed down near 3% on Wednesday in the second consecutive session of heavy losses for futures on ICE, as some expected a correction after a long rally.
- Malaysian palm oil futures rose tracking rival soyoil on the Chicago Board of Trade, but expectations of poor demand in September as top producers Malaysia and Indonesia increase their output capped gains.

- The US Postal Service has launched a broad marketing campaign, including TV ads and direct mail, to raise awareness of its mail-in voting system amid unprecedented scrutiny ahead of November's election. The US expects a deluge of mail-in ballots this November from Americans choosing to stay home due to the coronavirus. President Trump has suggested that greater mail-in voting will yield large-scale voter fraud, while Democrats have accused the president of trying to undermine confidence in the election results. "The non-partisan campaign neither encourages nor discourages mail-in voting, rather it is designed to reach and inform all voters about the importance of planning ahead if they plan to vote by mail," said a Postal Service spokesman.

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

- Oil futures fell again after a sharp slide in the previous session, as a rebound in COVID-19 cases in some countries undermined hopes for a steady recovery in global demand.
- Gold prices slipped as the U.S. dollar rose to multi-week highs ahead of monetary policy strategies from major central banks in North America and Europe.
- Base metals in China fell across the board, pressured by a strong U.S. dollar and a slump in stock markets and oil prices, but benchmark London copper rebounded after losses in the previous session.
- Chicago soybean futures slid for the first time in 12 sessions, although losses were curbed by strong Chinese demand and dryness hitting the U.S. crop.
- Coffee and cocoa futures on ICE closed lower on Tuesday as the dollar rebounded and sentiment in the wider markets soured, with oil prices sliding near 5% as coronavirus infections flared up around the world.  
- Malaysian palm oil futures slipped, following the previous session's sharp gains, after crude prices fell and as concerns over rising production also pressured prices.

- President Trump's continuous pattern of antagonizing China through Twitter and other means has grain traders concerned that China will not follow through with its promises under the phase one trade agreement. "The worsening US political rhetoric against China has traders wondering if China will fulfill it purchase pledge on the Phase 1 Agreement," says AgResource. "Traders will be monitoring China's purchases going forward to see if there is any reaction to Trump's new hardline political stance." The USDA confirmed 664,000 metric tons of soybean sales to China this morning, but Trump again targeted the "China virus" in a tweet this afternoon--suggesting that the President's rhetoric against the country won't soon change. Soybean futures on the CBOT are up 0.5% Tuesday.

- President Trump's twin broadsides Monday over China trade ties and the Pentagon leadership's relations with big defense contractors weighs heavily on aerospace stocks, with Boeing down 5% in early trade, and suppliers all lower. Heavyweight Lockheed Martin least affected, down less than 1%, with Raytheon Technologies losing more than 2%. Commercial aerospace companies have extensive Chinese supply chains--as well as customer bases.

- Base metals are lower amid concerns over U.S.-China tensions after President Trump talked about "decoupling" the two nations' economies. Three-month copper forwards on the LME are down 0.6% at $6,752 a metric ton, aluminum falls 0.2% to $1,793 a ton and zinc drops 1.6% to $2,467 a ton. Rising tensions between the two powers have long been a source of concern for base metals, with China the world's largest consumer. Trump made the remark in a speech Monday and said separating the two economies wouldn't harm the U.S. economy. The ICE Dollar Index is 0.4% stronger, which is also likely presenting a headwind for dollar-denominated commodities.

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

- Oil prices fell amid concerns that a possible rise in COVID-19 cases following the U.S. Labor Day long weekend, which also marks the end of the peak U.S. driving season, could squeeze demand for fuel.
- Gold prices slipped, weighed down by a stronger U.S. dollar, but the safe-haven metal's decline was limited by growing fears over the global economic recovery from the coronavirus crisis.
- London copper prices slid, hit by rising tension between the United States and China and a stronger U.S. dollar that makes greenback-priced metals more expensive for holders of other currencies.
- Chicago soybean futures gained for an 11th straight session climbing to their highest since June 2018 on strong demand from top importer China.
- White sugar futures on ICE rose on Monday with the October contract showing the largest gains in the run-up to its expiry next week, while London cocoa and robusta coffee futures eased.
- Malaysian palm oil futures climbed, tracking gains in rival soybean oil as the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) resumed trading after a long weekend, although concerns over rising September production lingered.

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

- The dollar steadied in holiday-thinned trade after U.S. jobs data showed job growth slowed further in August, while traders shifted their focus to the European Central Bank's meeting on Thursday.


- Oil prices dropped more than 1% after earlier hitting their lowest since July as Saudi Arabia made the deepest monthly price cuts for supply to Asia in five months while optimism about demand recovery cooled amid the coronavirus pandemic.
- Gold prices edged higher after weak U.S. data raised concerns over a quick economic rebound from the coronavirus-led slump and cemented hopes that lower interest rates would last longer.
- Copper prices advanced as solid export data from top consumer China signalled a faster and more balanced economic recovery in the world's second-biggest economy, though gains were capped by lower-than-expected imports.
- Increasing Chinese demand lifted U.S. soybean futures to their highest prices in more than two years on Friday, while corn futures rose on concerns about U.S. crop damage from adverse weather.
- Raw sugar futures on ICE hit a one-month low on Friday, losing 5.7% in the week on weak physical demand and expectations that top producer India's output might return to more normal levels next season.
- Malaysian palm oil futures edged higher, recovering from early losses on strong Sept. 1-5 exports, although gains were capped by estimates showing August stockpiles rose for the first time since May.

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

- Oil futures slipped 1%, with prices on both sides of the Atlantic heading for their biggest weekly drops since June, as lacklustre demand and ample fuel supplies offset support from a weaker dollar.
- Gold prices rose, as U.S. Treasury yields fell and a pullback in global equities bolstered demand for the safe-haven metal ahead of the U.S. non-farm payrolls report.
- Copper prices gained as low inventories in exchange warehouses, disrupted ore supplies and solid economic recovery in top consumer China lent support.
- Chicago soybean futures rose and were set for their fourth week of gains as strong demand from China, the world's top importer, supported prices.
- Raw sugar futures on ICE hit a one-month low on Thursday as the dollar rebounded and oil prices fell, leading some funds to liquidate part of their large long positions in agricultural commodities.
- Malaysian palm oil futures are set to snap six-day winning streak on forecasts of higher August stockpiles in the world's second-largest producer, although the contract is still set to clock a weekly gain of 4.3%.

- Are shifts in the race for the White House affecting asset prices? Steve Englander at Standard Chartered finds a significant negative correlation between the odds of a Joe Biden victory, as implied by online election markets, and the U.S. stock market. A 10% shift in the odds in favor of Biden is associated with the S&P 500 falling 1.7%, Englander calculates. That means roughly 40% of the index's advance since the end of July can be linked to President Trump's move up in the online polls. Of course, correlation doesn't mean causation. "It is also possible that Trump odds are being improved by stronger equity performance, rather than the other way around," Englander notes.

- The language of presidential nominee Joe Biden has a more progressive tilt of late, hinting that his agenda if elected could potentially advance some of the left's more ambitious goals like taking on corporate America. This is set to put big pharma and big tech in the crosshairs, Tony Roth, chief investment officer at Wilmington Trust Investment Advisors, says. A Biden win could be an antitrust and regulatory overhang on these sectors, he says. With healthcare, for instance, he sees a Biden administration as being more tough on drug pricing than the current administration.

- Led by tech companies and big retailers, stocks have been on a hot streak over the summer. But any of a number of potential headlines during a volatile political season could be the catalyst that derails the market's momentum, according to Tony Roth, chief investment officer for Wilmington Trust Investment Advisors. "We've been surprised the momentum has been able to continue," Roth says, given the deadlock in Congress over further Covid-19 relief. If the election outcome is not immediately clear on Nov. 4, markets would probably not react kindly, Roth says. Further delays in a Covid relief deal, or a spike in infections as schools reopen, could also wreck the market's spirits.

- Tony Roth, chief investment officer at Wilmington Trust Investment Advisors, says it isn't clear, on balance, whether Trump or Biden as president would be better for markets. A Trump win in November could amplify an aggressive posture toward China, affecting companies including Apple, but a Biden victory could result in higher corporate-tax rates, he tells WSJ reporters on a call. "It's a much more obscure election picture," he says. One thing is clear: markets won't like it if the election outcome isn't resolved come Nov. 4, the day after voting, Roth adds. "The event risk," he says, "is real."

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

- Oil prices were hovering around multi-week lows as worries about falling U.S. gasoline demand and sluggish economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic dented sentiment.
- Gold prices retreated further, adding to its sharp drop in the previous session, after its safe-haven appeal was dented by a stronger U.S. dollar and an uptick in risk appetite following economic data that bettered expectations.
- Copper futures contracts slipped on easing supply disruptions in top copper producers, although a five-month rally has boosted prices by around 50%.
- Chicago soybeans rose with the market on track for a ninth straight session of gains, underpinned by strong demand from China, the world's largest importer.
- Raw sugar and arabica coffee futures on ICE closed lower on Wednesday, weighed partly by a stronger dollar, while New York cocoa prices hit a six-month peak.
- Malaysian palm oil futures rose for a sixth consecutive session to a near seven-month high, tracking sharp gains in soyoil and Dalian palm oil and concerns over production.

- The restaurant industry is "really damaged on a more permanent basis," due to the pandemic and failures in Washington to support what is a big part of the broader economy, Tony Roth, chief investment officer at Wilmington Trust Investment Advisors, tells WSJ reporters on a call. The question the firm is still analyzing is whether smaller restaurants will reemerge or if over time there will be a shift to bigger chains. "You're not going to see people staying home and not going out [to eat], but there's going to be a deficit of options," he says. That comment supports, in theory, stronger demand at companies that get through the current crisis.

- An historical cash infusion into the US farm economy will spare farmers and ranchers from falling income from commodity sales spurred in part by the coronavirus pandemic. Cash receipts for farm goods are expected to drop more than 3% this year, led by an 8% decline in receipts for broilers, cattle and calves, hogs and milk. Receipts for corn, wheat, cotton, and soybeans are also expected to drop, while receipts for fruits and nuts will rise. But a record $37B in payments from the Trump administration will boost farm income, and push payments to 36% of that income, the highest share in nearly two decades. The USDA meanwhile is considering further aid payments as farmers struggle with low commodity prices and a presidential election looms.

- US farm incomes are expected to jump this year thanks to record payments pledged by the Trump administration to help farmers and ranchers cope with the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. The US Department of Agriculture projects net farm income will surge 23% to $102.7B in 2020, as government payments rise 66% to $37.2B. The payments, which would constitute more than one-third of farmers' incomes, come as financial strain in the US Farm Belt pushes more farmers into bankruptcy and fears linger that the pandemic will disrupt food and agricultural operations for months to come.

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

- Crude oil futures extended gains on Wednesday after a bigger-than-expected draw in U.S. crude stockpiles and as solid U.S. and Chinese factory activity fuelled optimism of a recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, boosting investor risk appetite.
- Gold prices slipped as the dollar rebounded after robust U.S. manufacturing data bolstered hopes of a swift global economic recovery, rubbing some of the allure off safe-haven bullion.
- London copper eased from a 26-month high hit in the previous session, as the U.S. dollar firmed and comments by a Peruvian government official eased concerns over supply from world's No. 2 producer.
- Chicago wheat futures slid after climbing to a five-month high in the last session, although the decline was limited by expectations of strong demand for U.S. supplies.
- Arabica coffee futures on ICE rose to their highest in eight months on Tuesday as the Brazilian real strengthened and investors continued to pile into agricultural commodities, encouraged by improved macroeconomic sentiment.
- Malaysian palm oil futures slipped after four straight sessions of gains, pressured by weakness in rival soybean oil and cargo surveyor data showing a slump in August exports.

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

- Oil prices recovered, erasing overnight losses, as investors moved into risk assets and away from the safe-haven U.S. dollar which tumbled to multi-year lows.
- Gold prices rose to their highest level in nearly two weeks, as the dollar slipped to multi-year lows on bets that U.S. interest rates would stay lower for a longer period after the Federal Reserve's new policy framework.
- London copper prices climbed to their highest in more than two years as data from top consumer China showed solid expansion of manufacturing activity in August.
- Chicago corn futures slid, giving up some of the previous month's strong gains after the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said the condition of crops was better than expected, easing concerns over yield losses.
- Arabica coffee futures prices rose to the highest in eight months on ICE on Monday and cocoa futures touched a seven-month peak as investors continued to favor agricultural commodities.
- Malaysian palm oil futures rose to their highest level in nearly a month and are set to extend a three-day winning streak, tracking higher rival soy oil and crude prices.

- Consistently high production of beef and pork in the US has retail prices for both slipping, according to USDA data. "Retailers have responded to the recovery in supply by slowly increasing the number of beef features they run in their weekly printed or web circulars and also by lowering the average price of product featured," says Steiner Consulting, adding that a similar reaction has also happened in pork. According to the firm, the ongoing realities of a US economy hampered by the coronavirus pandemic are causing prices to dip. "Fear of the unknown and willingness to spend has been replaced [by] income uncertainty," says Steiner Consulting. "Congress and the White House have not bridged the gap in order to put in place another round of stimulus."

- Microsoft shares slip 0.7% after a move by the Chinese government over the weekend complicated the acquisition of TikTok. Wedbush says the tech giant remains the most likely contender to gobble up the trendy social network, even after Beijing imposed new restrictions on exports of artificial intelligence. The change will require a licensing procedure to transfer software code from China to the US, Wedbush says. The Trump administration has threatened to ban TikTok if a deal isn't closed in September. "We continue to view a 90% chance that Microsoft ultimately acquires TikTok's US operations," Wedbush says.

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

- Oil prices nudged up, with Brent futures set to post a fifth straight monthly gain, as global stimulus measures underpin prices even as demand struggles to return to pre-COVID levels in a well supplied market.
- Gold prices climbed to their highest level in nearly two weeks, as the dollar weakened and the U.S. Federal Reserve's new policy framework suggested that interest rates would remain low for some time.
- Shanghai copper prices were set for their fifth straight monthly gain, the longest monthly winning streak in 11 years, on a strong rebound of the coronavirus-hit Chinese economy.
- Chicago corn futures gained more ground and were poised for their biggest monthly rise since mid-2019, as dry weather in parts of the U.S. Midwest is expected to reduce production.
- Arabica coffee futures closed more than 3% higher on ICE on Friday, the highest settlement price since March 26, boosted by the strength of the currency of top producer Brazil and continued investors' appetite for agricultural commodities.

- Biden warns Trump about allowing risky COVID-19 vaccine on market
If President Trump is going to push drug companies to release a vaccine for the coronavirus, he should do so with an interest in public safety, Joe Biden says.
- "It’s great news that scientists are making progress in the search for a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine," the former vice president and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee wrote in a statement Monday evening. "We all hope the next phases of clinical trials will yield positive results to support an approval based on the scientific evidence, but the development of a new vaccine requires a dedication to science, coordination, transparency, truth, and fairness to all — and we have a President who stands for none of these things."
- In recent weeks, scientists around the globe have made promising findings in the quest to immunize the public from the coronavirus, which has claimed nearly 150,000 lives and infected more than 4.2 million people in the United States alone so far. On Monday, the biotechnology giant Moderna launched the world's largest coronavirus vaccine trial on roughly 30,000 people across 89 sites to test the new breakthrough.
- Trump has long pined for a vaccine to end the pandemic and the economic collapse associated with a shutdown of businesses across the country. In May, Trump and Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar announced "Operation Warp Speed," aimed at producing and distributing 300 million coronavirus vaccines by January 2021. The Department of Defense signed a $1.95 billion deal with firms Pfizer and BioNTech to produce a safe vaccine and 100 million doses.
- But should the government pour enormous research and funds into a project such as "Operation Warp Speed," the president should commit to "three principles of integrity in the development of a vaccine," argued Biden. Those include a ban on White House officials pushing "to provide emergency authorizations prematurely," and the president should not "hype treatments or vaccines, overstate their results, or undermine confidence in scientific findings."
- Biden also called for "clinical data for any vaccine the FDA approves" to be "made available to the public for independent expert review." He also said before any "license is final" on a new vaccine, "senior career scientists and public health experts" should appear before Congress and testify on its effectiveness.
- Both Republicans and Democrats have expressed concerns about a vaccine rushed to the market. A Morning Consult poll found that Republicans are 3 times more likely to say they won't get the vaccine compared to Democrats.

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

- The yen bounced off a two-week low following news that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is set to resign, while the dollar struggled to make headway elsewhere as the prospect of low U.S. rates for a long time weighed on the greenback.

- Oil prices fell as a massive storm raced inland past the heart of the U.S. oil industry in Louisiana and Texas without causing any widespread damage to refineries.
- Gold rose, having declined over 1% in the previous session, as persistent concerns over the pandemic-led economic slump boosted the metal's appeal, although gains were restricted by a jump in U.S. Treasury yields.
- Copper prices in London are on track for their third straight week of gains, after traders interpreted a policy shift by the U.S. Federal Reserve as implying a weaker dollar and thus cheaper dollar-denominated prices.
- Chicago corn futures rose for a second consecutive session, while soybean prices gained on expectations of strong Chinese demand.
- Raw sugar futures closed up on ICE on Thursday, reverting a recent multi-session decline, as Hurricane Laura caused some problems to cane fields in the U.S. state of Louisiana.
- Malaysian palm oil futures gained for a third straight session after soyoils rose and palm demand showed signs of an improvement, placing palm to register its first weekly gain in three.

Aug 27 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- The dollar wallowed near its lowest level for the week as investors looked for hints from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell that the central bank might tweak its policy framework to help push up inflation.

- Oil prices held steady as a massive hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico raced towards the heart of the U.S. oil industry, which has forced oil rigs and refineries to shut down production.
- Gold prices fell, following a sharp rise in the previous session, as investors squared positions ahead of a much-awaited speech from U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.
- Nickel prices hit their highest since November, fueled by solid demand from the stainless steel sector and concerns over supply from top producer Indonesia.
- Chicago soybeans rose to a seven-month high, gaining for a fourth consecutive session, as the market was underpinned by strong Chinese demand and dry weather in parts of the U.S. Midwest.
- Robusta coffee futures on ICE rose to an eight-month high on Wednesday, buoyed by resilient demand and declining exchange stocks, while sugar and cocoa prices fell. 
- Malaysian palm oil futures climbed for a second straight session as rival oils rose, although concerns of weak demand capped gains.

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

- The dollar held steady against most currencies as traders braced for U.S. data expected to show a slowdown in durable goods orders and a key speech by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.

- Brent crude oil prices rose, lifted by U.S. producers shutting most of their offshore output in the Gulf of Mexico ahead of Hurricane Laura and optimism over China-U.S. trade talks.
- Gold was little changed, as worries over global economic outlook offset pressure from signs of progress in U.S.-China trade negotiations, while investors await a speech from U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.
- Copper prices rose on optimism over progress in U.S.-China trade talks and signs that researchers might be closer to a treatment for the coronavirus.
- Chicago corn futures gained more ground with prices trading near their highest in six weeks, as expectations of strong Chinese demand underpinned the market.
- Arabica coffee futures jumped more than 2% on ICE on Tuesday, supported by a further drawdown in exchange stocks, a stronger Brazilian currency and signs of good demand.
- Malaysian palm oil futures rose, partially recovering from a four-week closing low hit in the previous session on higher soyoils and crude, although weaker August exports capped gains.

- U.S. President Donald Trump's rhetoric suggesting he won't accept defeat in the November election is holding back the dollar, says Commerzbank. "The incumbent is repeating far too often and with far too much emphasis that only voter fraud could prevent his re-election. That smacks too much of him not accepting a defeat in the elections in November," says Commerzbank's Ulrich Leuchtmann. This illustrates that "an unpredictable President is a burden for his country's currency over the long-term average," he says, warning "all those who are planning to repeat the spectacle of 2016--a completely unjustified USD rally which caused EUR/USD to ease from almost 1.12 to approx. 1.03--in case of a Trump election victory should bear that in mind." The DXY dollar index is last up 0.1% at 93.0950.

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

- Crude oil prices were mixed as traders weighed massive production cuts in the U.S. Gulf Coast from Tropical Storms Marco and Laura against rising coronavirus cases in Asia and Europe.
- Gold held steady as a softer dollar offset pressure from an equity rally while investors stayed away from taking big positions ahead of U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell's speech later this week.
- Nickel prices in both Shanghai and London rose to their highest since November 2019, helped by falling ore inventories at Chinese ports and on stainless steel demand.
- Chicago corn futures rose 1.5% with the market climbing to a more than six-week high, buoyed by expectations of higher Chinese demand for U.S. farm products following talks between the two countries.
- Raw sugar futures on ICE closed lower on Monday as the market continued to consolidate below a recent five-month peak, while cocoa and coffee prices advanced.
- Malaysian palm oil futures erased early gains and dropped to a near two-week low, following weak partial August exports data, while a stronger ringgit also weighed on sentiment.

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

- Crude oil prices remained steady as storms closed in on the Gulf of Mexico, shutting more than half the region's oil production, although prices were capped by ongoing concerns about fuel demand being sapped by coronavirus lockdowns.
- Gold prices fell as risk sentiment improved after the U.S. drug regulator authorised the use of blood plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients as a treatment option, and the dollar held firm.
- Copper prices on the London Metal Exchange rose as inventories tracked by the exchange fell to their 13-year low, while a weaker U.S. dollar also boosted appetite.
- Chicago corn futures rose for a second consecutive session as forecast of lower U.S. production by a widely watched crop-tour underpinned prices.
- Raw sugar futures on ICE closed down on Friday, moving away from a five-month peak above 13 cents a lb touched a week ago, as rains in producing areas in Brazil gave relief for parched cane fields.
- Malaysian palm oil futures fell, weighed by weak export data and lower prices of rival oils, but expectations of slowing production limited losses.

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

- Oil prices climbed, on track for a third consecutive weekly gain, pulled higher by major oil producers' efforts to hold back output amid concerns about economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
- Gold prices rose after bleak U.S. jobless claims data reinforced fears of a slower recovery from the coronavirus-induced economic crisis, denting the dollar and U.S. Treasury yields.
- Shanghai aluminium futures hit its highest in more than two years on expectations of better demand in coming months as China, the world's top consumer of the metal, enters its peak season when construction activity is expected to pick up.
- Chicago soybean and corn futures rose, on course for their second straight weekly rise, although bigger-than-expected U.S. crop yields and dwindling export demand capped gains.
- Raw sugar futures on ICE eased on Thursday, retreating further from a recent five-month peak, weighed down partly by the weakness of the currency of top producer and exporter Brazil.
- Malaysian palm oil futures fell nearly 2%, pressured by gloomy partial August export data and tracking lower Dalian oils, while the contract was set for a second straight weekly decline.

- BOC Aviation has provided a financial lifeline to some U.S. airlines, buying up Boeing 737 MAX jets from the likes of American and Southwest, but now it's preparing for the impact of potential U.S. sanctions. The Bank of China-owned plane rental giant relies on dollar funding, and CEO Robert Martin on an investor call that it's preparing unspecified contingencies in the event it's caught by sanctions related to Chinese government actions in Hong Kong. Chinese-owned leasing companies are among the aircraft industry's biggest lenders. Martin also says BOC has pared down its list of at-risk carriers with Covid-related payment issues to single digits.

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

- Oil prices fell as major producers warned of a risk to demand recovery if the coronavirus crisis is prolonged, while U.S. crude inventories dropped less than expected.
- Gold bounced back from the previous session's hefty losses after the U.S. Federal Reserve raised concerns that a recovery from the coronavirus-induced economic slump faced a highly uncertain path, weighing on risk sentiment.
- London copper dipped, retreating from an over two-year high hit in the previous session, as a stronger U.S. dollar made metals less attractive to holders of other currencies.
- Chicago soybeans edged lower after hitting a seven-month peak in the previous session, although losses were capped by concerns that dry weather could curb U.S. crop yields.
- Raw sugar futures on ICE rose near 3% to the highest settlement price since March 5 on Wednesday as the market remains positive due to fundamentals.

- Oracle's possible buyout of Chinese-owned TikTok has received US President Donald Trump's support, BBC News reported Wednesday. During a speech in Arizona, Trump said Oracle would be "a great company" to take over TikTok's US operations. Trump's comments came after reports that the software company was seriously considering buying TikTok's business in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

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

- Oil prices eased on concerns that U.S. fuel demand may not recover as quickly as expected amid stalled talks on an economic stimulus package, overshadowing a bigger-than-expected drawdown in U.S. crude stocks.
- Gold fell below $2,000 an ounce as the dollar steadied, with investors awaiting minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve's last policy meeting.
- Copper prices advanced, as falling Chinese output and a weaker U.S. dollar pushed the London contract to a more than two-year high.
- Chicago corn futures fell for the second session in a row, as estimates of higher yields by a crop tour in parts of the U.S. Midwest eased concerns over damage caused by a storm last week.
- Arabica coffee futures gained almost 3% on Tuesday on short covering by funds as a strong polar air mass moves into top producer Brazil.
- Malaysian palm oil futures rose for the third session in a row, tracking gains in rival edible oils on the Dalian exchange, while investors traded cautiously ahead of Aug. 1-20 export data.

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

- Oil prices slipped, though they mostly held onto overnight gains after OPEC+ said the producer grouping is almost fully complying with output cuts to support prices amid a drop in demand for fuels due to the coronavirus pandemic.
- Gold prices extended gains to inch closer to the $2,000 mark as the dollar weakened, with traders also focusing on minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve's last policy meeting set to release this week.
- Copper prices rose, as a weakening U.S. dollar made greenback-denominated metals more attractive to buyers using other currencies.
- Chicago corn futures lost ground, giving up some of the gains from the last session after a crop tour predicted higher yields in parts of the U.S. Midwest.
- Arabica coffee prices closed up on Monday and raw sugar futures were mixed in a mild session.
- Malaysian palm oil futures slipped on a gloomy outlook for August exports and worries over rising output as the world's second-largest producer nears peak production season.

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

- The dollar slipped marginally and commodity currencies inched higher as investors were relieved by a delay in the review of the U.S.-China trade pact which left the deal intact.

- Oil prices rose as China's plans to ship in large volumes of U.S. crude in August and September outweighed concerns over a slowdown in demand recovery after the coronavirus pandemic and an uptick in supplies.
- Gold eased, extending a sell-off that left the market with its worst week in five months as caution crept in ahead of the release of U.S. Federal Reserve minutes later this week.
- Nickel prices jumped, with Shanghai futures of the metal on track for their third straight session of gains, as ore output in the Philippines slumped due to the COVID-19 crisis.

- Chicago corn futures climbed to a one-month peak, rising for five out of six sessions on concerns over widespread damage after a storm tore across a major U.S. growing region.
- Raw sugar futures on ICE rose to a five-month high on Friday, driven by fund-buying against a backdrop of diminishing production outlooks in Thailand and Russia.
- Malaysian palm oil futures rose, tracking stronger rival soyoil on the Dalian Commodity Exchange and Chicago Board of Trade, but lower August exports so far capped gains.

- President Trump's visit to Minnesota comes as the area's ethanol industry finds itself in turmoil amid aresurgent coronavirus. Trump has a speaking event in Mankato, Minn., this afternoon, and representatives for the ethanol industry there are hoping the president listens to their reasoning for limiting small refinery waivers. "President Trump's Environmental Protection Agency continues to hurt the renewable fuels industry by handing out waivers to big oil companies that exempt them from the requirements of the Renewable Fuel Standard," the Renewable Fuels Association says. Ethanol production in the US has recovered some since plunging to record-lows in the thick of the pandemic, but production is still well off from last year's levels, according to EIA data.

- A new study finds that only 15% of those who got stimulus checks this year as government assistance under the CARES Act fully spent the money. In research by the National Bureau of Economic Research, academics from University of Texas at Austin, Booth School of Business University of Chicago and University of California, Berkeley found "the large majority of respondents" had other plans for the money, with 33% saying they saved the aid and 52% using it to retire debt. The authors found most of the actual spending went to food, beauty and short-lived consumer goods and services. Most survey respondents also said the checks had no impact on their employment situation. The government checks were aimed at helping households navigate the shutdown of much of the economy to reduce the threat of the coronavirus pandemic, and with cases of illness flaring across the nation amid still high unemployment, there's a debate over whether more money will need to go out to citizens.

- TUI shares are the biggest FTSE 100 faller, down 4.8% after the German government cautioned that Spain is a risky destination in terms of Covid-19 cases. Other airlines and travel-related stocks, such as Carnival, InterContinental Hotels Group, International Consolidated Airlines Group, Ryanair and easyJet are in the red. "In recent weeks, the U.K. government has introduced a two-week quarantine rule for people returning from Spain and France and there's talk that Greece and Turkey could be added to the list," says David Madden at CMC Markets.

Aug 15 - Everyone thinks Trump will lose - except the stock market

- Inept, chaotic, confused and possibly corrupt. With the most infections in the world, and with little sign of a coherent plan for bringing it under control, US president Donald Trump’s catastrophic mismanagement of the Covid-19 crisis is widely assumed to have condemned him to defeat in November’s election. He is behind in the polls, against a popular opponent who has now added an astute choice of running mate to the ticket.

- But hold on. There is one exception to that consensus. The stock market. The record shows that if the bull market stays as strong as it has been, Trump will pull off an unexpected victory. People might or might not like that – but there is no point in ignoring it. With the Covid-19 crisis getting worse and worse, with economies plunging into deep recessions, and with a wave of job losses on the horizon, the markets have not focused on November’s presidential election as much as they usually would. There is simply too much other stuff to worry about.

- That said, as Nov 3 draws closer investors will start to focus on the contest for the White House and its likely impact on the global economy. Everyone can have their own view on Trump’s presidency, of course. The record is, to put it mildly, mixed. The reform of corporate taxes, the emphasis on deregulation, and the round after round of fiscal stimulus, have all helped the American economy. Against that, the tariffs, and the simple-minded protectionism, have set back the cause of free trade by a generation, while his chaotic leadership has squandered America’s role as a leader of the free world, and the mismanagement of the virus has been a disaster. Take it all together and it is hard to see how anyone could feel confident about a Trump second term.

- By contrast, Joe Biden would return the US to the broadly centrist path of Obama, Bush and Clinton. Some of the overdue tax reforms would probably be kept in place. The trade wars would quietly be dropped. There would be some tax rises, especially on the rich, and more regulation of the tech giants. But given his age, and track record, it might well be a fairly sleepy presidency – think George Bush senior on Mogadon – without much controversy, a lot more competence, and in vice-president Kamala Harris a punchy contender for 2024 if Biden decided one term was enough for a 77-year-old.

- The polls suggest that is what the electorate want right now. The latest trackers put the Democrat on 50pc against 41pc for the Republican, with significant leads for Biden in key battleground states such as coronavirus-ravaged Florida. It is rare that a lead that strong is thrown away in 10 weeks, and with the economy crashing, and the virus still rampant, there is not going to be much good news for the president. The smart money says Biden can start preparing his victory speech.

- There is one problem, however. The stock market is predicting a Trump victory. Before rushing to any conclusions, stop and look at this statistic. In 20 out of the last 23 presidential elections, and in every one since 1984, if stocks are up in the three months before the election, the incumbent party wins. If they are down, it loses. In reality, the market is a better indicator than the polls. In 2016, for example, just about everyone thought Hillary Clinton would win. But in the three months up to the election, the S&P 500 was down by 2.3pc. What happened next? The incumbent party lost. When Obama was re-elected, stocks had been rising, but when he took the White House from the Republicans in 2008 they had crashed in the three months before the election. In fact, the last time the S&P 500 didn’t call the result correctly was in 1980, when Ronald Reagan won against Jimmy Carter even though equities were up by 7pc in the preceding months.

- Before that, the rule didn’t work for Richard Nixon’s victory in 1968, and Dwight Eisenhower’s re-election in 1956. But that’s it. For every other contest since Herbert Hoover’s victory in 1928 (after a 13.6pc rise in the index, in case your memory doesn’t stretch back quite that far) it has held good. That, of course, is telling us something about the 2020 race. Week after week, the market keeps hitting record highs. The S&P 500 is within a whisker of a fresh record, and is already up significantly since the start of August. The tech-heavy Nasdaq is on a rampant bull run.

- Of course, a lot could change in the next couple of months. There are plenty of reasons to fear a correction. That said, equities have already taken Covid-19, lockdown and a deep recession in their stride, and recovered. It is hard to imagine what could count as bad news after all that. If the market remains strong, then Trump is going to be re-elected – or else a record is going to be broken. You may or may not like that. True, it might well be better for the economy for Trump to lose. Biden will find it easier to get Congress to agree to more spending. It will definitely be better for America’s standing in the world and the dignity of the office if he is replaced. But there is no point in ignoring the record and assuming there will be a change at the White House. Keep an eye on the S&P 500 over the next few weeks.

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

- The dollar steadied as a jump in U.S. bond yields and a drag on sentiment from lacklustre Chinese economic data put the brakes on a selldown of the world's reserve currency.

- Oil prices were higher and on track for a second week of gains amid growing confidence that demand for fuel is starting to pick up despite the coronavirus pandemic that has slammed economies worldwide.
- Gold prices eased as a jump in U.S. Treasury yields forced investors to reassess their positions again after a steep retreat from a record peak earlier this week that put bullion on course for its first weekly fall since early June.
- Shanghai copper prices were set to rack up a weekly loss, hurt by worse-than-expected data from China and uncertainty over a U.S. stimulus package.
- Chicago corn futures slid after four straight sessions of gains, but were poised for their biggest weekly rise in more than a month on concerns over storm damage in parts of the U.S. grain-belt.
- Raw sugar futures on ICE closed higher at a new five-month peak on Thursday as funds extended long positions amid some positive fundamental news.
- Malaysian palm oil futures recovered from early falls, underpinned by concerns about lower production and tracking gains in rival soyoil, though the contract was poised for a weekly loss on worries over export demand.

- The U.S. dollar could find some support from August seasonality, which tends to favor the currency, while profit-taking could keep the currency from weakening further in the short term, says Bank of America. Yet a recovery is not in sight, with market positioning showing that investors are still betting the dollar will fall. The failure to agree on additional U.S. fiscal stimulus is weighing on the currency and the longer the discussions take, the worse for the U.S. economy, says the bank. "The consensus, based on our discussions with investors, remains very much bearish," it says. The DXY U.S. dollar index is last flat at 93.3200.

- An agreement on additional fiscal stimulus in the U.S. is probably already largely priced into the U.S. dollar, which indicates EUR/USD will continue to move sideways in the coming days, says Commerzbank. This suggests investors remain hopeful that the two main U.S. political parties will eventually break the impasse over the next round of coronavirus aid even if no more talks are scheduled. EUR/USD trades last down 0.1% at 1.1809.

- Canada's latest argument against President Donald Trump's aluminum tariffs on the country is that it will help foreign companies more than U.S. firms, Bloomberg News is reporting Thursday. It cited the Canadian ambassador to the U.S. saying Wednesday that two of the biggest beneficiaries from the Trump administration's reimposition of 10% tariff on some imports from Canada will be a Swiss trading firm and a Russian producer. Ambassador Kirsten Hillman also said in an interview that while Canada hopes the U.S. will reconsider, it's ready to retaliate.
"The beneficiary of this tariff is a Swiss trading company and Rusal aluminum of Russia," said Hillman. "Century Aluminum and Magnitude 7 Metals have been calling for this measure, and the rest of the industry, which represents 97% of American jobs in the aluminum sector, they oppose these taxes on their operations."
- Hillman alleged that commodity trading giant Glencore Plc directly or indirectly asserts a degree of control or influence over Century Aluminum Co. and Magnitude 7 Metals LLC, two U.S.-based companies that have been asking the Trump administration to reimpose tariffs. Glencore has about a 47% interest in Century, according to its 2019 annual report. Magnitude 7 was formed by a former Glencore trader, according to reports. According to Hillman, Russian metals producer United Co. Rusal also stands to benefit from more-expensive Canadian aluminum imports, as Glencore has exclusive right to sell Rusal's aluminum into the U.S. market. Rusal in April announced it planned to sign a US$16 billion deal to sell aluminum to Glencore. Glencore and Rusal declined to comment on Hillman's remarks.

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

- Crude oil prices slipped after OPEC said it expected demand for fuels to fall more than expected, although U.S. government data showing a fall in inventories suggested demand is returning despite the coronavirus pandemic.
- Gold rose on a softer dollar , consolidating further above the key $1,900 level, with an ultra-low interest rate environment and worries over global economic fallout from mounting COVID-19 cases underpinning its safe-haven appeal.
- London copper fell as seasonally weak demand from top consumer China and uncertainty over an additional U.S. stimulus package pressured prices.
- Chicago corn rose to its highest level in more than two weeks with short-covering driving up prices, although expectations of an all-time high U.S. crop capped gains.
- Raw sugar futures on ICE rose on Wednesday as risk appetite improved in the wider financial markets, tempting investors to overlook news of surging output in top producer Brazil.
- Malaysian palm oil futures rose for a second session, mirroring a rally in rival soyoils, while lower Indonesian production also lifted sentiment. 

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

- Oil prices moved higher after an industry report showed that U.S. inventories of crude fell more than analysts had expected, bolstering hopes that fuel demand in the world's biggest economy can weather the coronavirus pandemic.
- Gold dropped more than 2% to break below the key $1,900 per ounce level as a resurgent dollar forced bullion investors to reassess their positions after a record-breaking price rally.
- Copper prices declined on rising uncertainty about additional U.S. fiscal stimulus to help boost a pandemic-ravaged economy and as the dollar strengthened, making the metal more expensive for holders of other currencies.
- U.S. corn futures edged lower as traders squared position ahead of a widely watched U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) report later in the session.
- Raw sugar futures on ICE closed up on Tuesday, underpinned by concerns over supply in Thailand, the world's second-largest sugar exporter behind Brazil, and by signs that demand in Asia is recovering.
- Malaysian palm oil futures fell for a fourth straight session to a two-week low on signs of higher output in August and tracking
weakness in rival oils.

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

- Crude oil gained more ground, with prices underpinned by expectations of U.S. stimulus and a rebound in Asian demand as economies reopen.
- Gold fell as dollar's relative value against other currencies recovered, spurring some investors to lock in gains in bullion, which has soared to record levels of $2,000 per ounce.
- Copper prices edged a tick higher as investors flitted between hopes over a potential U.S. stimulus bill and risks from rising tensions between Washington and Beijing.
- U.S. corn futures rose 1% to a one-week high after the U.S. Department of Agriculture said the condition of the crop was lagging market expectations, fuelling fears that bumper crop forecasts may not materialise.

- Raw sugar futures on ICE closed slightly lower on Monday, with the market consolidating just below last week's five-month peak, underpinned by demand from Pakistan and China.
- Malaysian palm oil futures rose, tracking strength in rival oils on Dalian Commodity Exchange and Chicago Board of Trade, although gains were capped by demand concerns as cargo surveyor data showed a decline in early August exports.

- US stock rise modestly following last week's 2.5% S&P 500 gain. Investors are trying to gauge whether President Trump's steps over the weekend to offer more aid to Americans will be enacted despite lawmaker challenges. It comes as the US reports its lowest number of new coronavirus cases in nearly a week. But markets are also keeping a close eye on China comments about imposing fresh sanctions against several senators including Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio over Hong Kong issues. Twitter is up 3% premarket after a weekend WSJ report it had preliminary talks about a potential combination with TikTok in the US. Marriot International off 3% after the hotel operator swung to a 2Q loss amid the Covid-19 pandemic. S&P futures are up 1.75 points.

- Crude oil climbs in early Asian trade following President Trump's executive actions over the weekend to extend coronavirus aid, after the White House and Democrats failed to reach an agreement. The relatively risk-favorable reactions across risk assets this morning suggests investors hope the stipend directed by the White House will provide some relief until Congress eventually inks a deal before September, Axicorp says. The focus for oil markets this week will be on the U.S.-China trade talks around Aug. 15, when China's energy imports are expected to be discussed, it says. The front-month WTI crude is up 1.1% at $41.69 a barrel while the front-month Brent is 1.0% higher at $44.81 a barrel.

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

- Oil prices climbed, supported by Saudi optimism on Asian demand and an Iraqi pledge to deepen supply cuts, although uncertainty over a deal to shore up the U.S. economic recovery capped gains.
- Gold prices fell as the dollar held onto gains made after better-than-expected U.S. payrolls data, while investors kept a close eye on Sino-U.S. relations ahead of scheduled trade talks.
- Copper prices fell, with Shanghai copper hitting its lowest in more than a month, as traders were wary of a fresh flare up in Sino-U.S. tensions and on considerable uncertainty on whether U.S. policymakers could approve fresh stimulus aid.
- Chicago corn futures rose as the market recovered from its lowest in five weeks on bargain buying and higher oil prices, although gains were curbed by expectations of a record U.S. crop.
- Raw sugar and coffee futures closed lower on Friday after a rebound in the dollar helped to stall the recent run-up for both products.
- Malaysian palm oil futures fell 1%, dragged down by weaker rival oils on the Dalian Commodity Exchange, with investors keeping an eye on official supply and demand data for July.

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

- Advertisers are questioning the wisdom of advertising on social media, where their brand appears alongside nonprofessional user-generated content, Trade Desk CEO Jeff Green said on yesterday's earnings call. "The content on these platforms reflect the divisiveness in public discourse today," Green said. "As we move into a pretty heated and competitive election, and more people are saying in user-generated spaces, 'Your politics suck. You're an idiot,' you just don't want that to be a brand that says, 'this conversation is brought to you by Brand X.'" Green cited the brands that boycotted Facebook's advertising products in July to protest its policies for moderating user-generated content, including hate speech. He attributed advertisers' growing interest in streaming video advertising in part to their discomfort with advertising on user-generated content. Trade Desk gains 4%.

- As the Covid-19 pandemic keeps Americans at home, more of their political debate and decision-making--even voting itself--will occur at home, predicts Jeff Green, CEO of The Trade Desk Inc. on the earnings call. "I think every candidate and every party is dependent more on the discussion that happens in digital ecosystems, and that includes programmatic [ads] closer to the actual election time," Green says. The Trade Desk's software powers programmatic auctions for digital advertising, in which ad slots are bought and sold using automated tools. Green predicts stay-at-home orders would cause campaigns to push more of their resources into digital advertising. "All of that means that this one is going to be more of a digital election, if you will, than any ever before. you will, than any ever before."

- Better-than-expected jobs gains in July makes markets less sensitive to political negotiations around economic stimulus, says Peter Earle, from the American Institute for Economic Research. "The overall sentiment is that the recovery is proceeding," Earle says to WSJ, adding that July's jobless rate of 10.2%, down from 11.1% in June, will boost the market's mood. "It suggests we are not in uncharted territory anymore. We are, but (the data) will comfort some market watchers." That, in turn, will give some breathing room for dealmakers in D.C. and investors will be less worried about new stimulus, he says.

- U.S. users makes up only a fraction of the WeChat's 1.2-billion user base, Citi says in reckoning that Tencent's financials won't likely be particularly affected by President Trump's executive order that could ban the future usage of the app--owned by Tencent-- in the U.S. The hit would be bigger if the executive order were expanded to target Tencent's gaming business, as a higher proportion of its gaming revenue comes from overseas markets, the bank says. Tencent's business fundamentals remain strong, and any share-price dips present buying opportunities, Citi says, maintaining a buy call with a target price of HK$649. Tencent shares closed 5.0% lower at HK$527.50 after sliding as much as 10% intraday amid concerns over the executive order.

- The Aluminum Association, the primary trade body for the U.S. aluminum industry, has hit out at President Trump's decision to reimpose tariffs on Canadian aluminum. The association says the "ill-advised action" undermines the benefits of the recently signed U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement which aimed to lower trade barriers across North America and says the tariffs overlook the larger problem of subsidized Chinese aluminum production. A smaller group of U.S. aluminum producers supported the tariffs which add 10% to aluminum imports from Canada. On a day that all other base metals are falling, aluminum futures on the LME are up slightly at $1,779 per metric ton.

- Base metals are lower after tensions between the U.S. and China stepped up a gear. President Trump has signed a pair of executive orders targeting Chinese social media companies as well as planning to crack down on all Chinese companies listed in the U.S. The moves heightens the already fraught tensions between the two countries and has hit sentiment in base metals, says Anna Stablum at brokerage Marex Spectron. On the LME, three-month copper futures are down 1% at $6,439 a metric ton while all other metals with the exception of aluminum are under pressure. Investors were watching for U.S. jobs data later in the day for clues on the strength of the U.S. rebound.

- Chinese stocks ended the session lower amid the latest escalation in U.S.-China tensions, after President Trump issued a couple of executive orders to bar American business transactions with major Chinese tech firms Tencent and ByteDance. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index fell 1.0% to settle at 3354.04, while the Shenzhen Composite Index declined by 1.4% to 2272.66. The ChiNext Price Index, an indicator for startups and emerging industries including the tech sector, slumped the most, closing 2.3% lower at 2749.95. Electronics suppliers and software developers led losses.

- Treasury yields are getting jostled around in early US trading as investors assess the likelihood of an agreement in Congress over a new coronavirus relief package. Yields dipped in a bid for safety as traders parsed statements from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. They then retraced those declines. But the 10-year yield was still recently at 0.515% vs. 0.541% Wednesday and near its all-time closing low of 0.501% set in March. The yield has slowly declined in recent weeks as investors grow more confident that the Federal Reserve won't raise interest rates for an extended period.

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

- The U.S. dollar bounced and the yuan slumped after President Donald Trump took steps to ban transactions with the Chinese owners of two popular mobile apps.

- Oil prices slipped, adding to losses in the previous session, on worries that fuel demand growth will drop amid a resurgence of coronavirus cases and as talks have stalled in the United States on a new stimulus deal.
- Gold smashed a record high as a safety rush fuelled by the worsening coronavirus pandemic and its mounting economic toll gathered pace and put bullion on track for its longest weekly winning streak in nearly a decade.
- London copper slipped as Sino-U.S. tensions increased and miner Codelco said it would resume operations stalled by the pandemic, even as top consumer China's July imports hit a record high.
- Chicago wheat ticked higher with bargain-buying supporting prices, though the market is poised for its biggest weekly loss in more than a year on expectations of bumper global supplies.
- Raw sugar futures rose to the highest price in five months on Thursday along with gains in most commodities as funds bought dollar-priced agricultural products prompted by the greenback's fall to a two-year low versus a basket of currencies.
- Malaysian palm oil futures erased early gains tracking weakness in Asian shares, but the contract was set for a weekly rise supported by a forecast of lower end-July inventories.

- The Aluminum Association, the primary trade body for the U.S. aluminum industry, has hit out at President Trump's decision to reimpose tariffs on Canadian aluminum. The association says the "ill-advised action" undermines the benefits of the recently signed U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement which aimed to lower trade barriers across North America and says the tariffs overlook the larger problem of subsidized Chinese aluminum production. A smaller group of U.S. aluminum producers supported the tariffs which add 10% to aluminum imports from Canada. On a day that all other base metals are falling, aluminum futures on the LME are up slightly at $1,779 per metric ton.

- Base metals are lower after tensions between the U.S. and China stepped up a gear. President Trump has signed a pair of executive orders targeting Chinese social media companies as well as planning to crack down on all Chinese companies listed in the U.S. The moves heightens the already fraught tensions between the two countries and has hit sentiment in base metals, says Anna Stablum at brokerage Marex Spectron. On the LME, three-month copper futures are down 1% at $6,439 a metric ton while all other metals with the exception of aluminum are under pressure. Investors were watching for U.S. jobs data later in the day for clues on the strength of the U.S. rebound.

- Chinese stocks ended the session lower amid the latest escalation in U.S.-China tensions, after President Trump issued a couple of executive orders to bar American business transactions with major Chinese tech firms Tencent and ByteDance. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index fell 1.0% to settle at 3354.04, while the Shenzhen Composite Index declined by 1.4% to 2272.66. The ChiNext Price Index, an indicator for startups and emerging industries including the tech sector, slumped the most, closing 2.3% lower at 2749.95. Electronics suppliers and software developers led losses.

- Treasury yields are getting jostled around in early US trading as investors assess the likelihood of an agreement in Congress over a new coronavirus relief package. Yields dipped in a bid for safety as traders parsed statements from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. They then retraced those declines. But the 10-year yield was still recently at 0.515% vs. 0.541% Wednesday and near its all-time closing low of 0.501% set in March. The yield has slowly declined in recent weeks as investors grow more confident that the Federal Reserve won't raise interest rates for an extended period.

- Defense contractors' efforts to recover $10B-plus in pandemic-related costs from the Pentagon may have hit a snag. Companies have submitted their requests to OMB and Pentagon leaders have discussed various options for reimbursement, but Congress hasn't appropriated funds and contractors aren't holding their breath. Huntington Ingalls CEO Mike Petters says on an investor call that there is "no clear path" to reimbursement, even if the Pentagon's intentions remain 'favorable.'

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

- Oil prices were mostly flat, as a boost from lower-than-expected U.S. crude stocks that lifted the market to five-month highs in the previous session gave way to fuel demand concerns amid rising coronavirus infections.
- Gold steadied after hitting a record high in the previous session as dismal U.S. jobs data hammered the dollar, while increasing worries about a recovery in the pandemic-ravaged global economy kept demand solid for the metal.
-Several Shanghai base metals gained sharply in the morning session, after hitting multi-month highs overnight, as demand in top consumer China strengthened and investors worried about coronavirus-led disruptions at overseas suppliers.
- Chicago soybeans slid for a third consecutive session, weighed down by expectations of a bumper U.S. harvest as rains are forecast in key growing regions.
- Arabica coffee futures on ICE closed slightly up after a very active session on Wednesday when prices went up as much as 5% earlier in the day and then dropped into negative territory, before reversing course.
- Malaysian palm oil futures inched up, lifted by bargain-buying and expectations of a plunge in July stockpiles and output.

- Defense contractors' efforts to recover $10B-plus in pandemic-related costs from the Pentagon may have hit a snag. Companies have submitted their requests to OMB and Pentagon leaders have discussed various options for reimbursement, but Congress hasn't appropriated funds and contractors aren't holding their breath. Huntington Ingalls CEO Mike Petters says on an investor call that there is "no clear path" to reimbursement, even if the Pentagon's intentions remain 'favorable.'

- Strengthening demand for iron ore should trump concerns around rising supply as the global economy recovers from the shock of the coronavirus pandemic, Citi says. Data points suggest steel consumption in China is expanding, on an improvement in housing starts and swollen order books for infrastructure contractors. Also, Chinese steel mills operating Basic Oxygen Furnaces are making US$100/ton profit margins despite high iron-ore prices while scrap is relatively unattractive, Citi says. On the supply side, Vale's iron-ore exports are likely to rise over the next two years, but are likely to be taken up by the recovery in steel production outside of China, the investment bank adds.

- More than 60 senators support an effort to extend federal funds for airlines to keep paying workers through next March in order to avoid furloughs, says Sara Nelson, head of an influential flight attendants' union that has been one of the driving forces advocating for more aid. Getting the funds still depends on lawmakers agreeing on a broader framework for another round of coronavirus stimulus, something that has been difficult to achieve so far. More than 220 House members signed a letter last month in support of offering more funds for airlines to cover payroll costs and avoid layoffs and furloughs, and 16 Republican Senators came out in support of the effort today.

- Re-upping aid for airlines to keep workers employed through next March is gaining traction among Republican senators--a key hurdle bringing the extension closer to fruition. Sixteen Republican senators signed a letter to leadership Wednesday in support of a "clean extension" of the $25B in payroll support passenger airlines received under the broad economic stimulus package passed in March. The senators also said Congress should consider provisions to "support and provide flexibility," for other businesses that have been affected as the coronavirus pandemic has decimated demand for air travel.

- Securities and Exchange Commission nominee Caroline Crenshaw cleared the Senate Banking Committee in a voice vote alongside current commissioner Hester Peirce, whose term expired this year. Ms. Crenshaw was chosen by Senate Democrats and nominated by President Trump in June to fill the sole vacancy on the five-member commission, which by law cannot include more than three members of the same party. A US Army Reserve with an undergraduate degree from Harvard College, she currently works as a senior council at the SEC.

- Securities and Exchange Commission nominee Caroline Crenshaw cleared the Senate Banking Committee in a voice vote alongside current commissioner Hester Peirce, whose term expired this year. Ms. Crenshaw was chosen by Senate Democrats and nominated by President Trump in June to fill the sole vacancy on the five-member commission, which by law cannot include more than three members of the same party. A US Army Reserve with an undergraduate degree from Harvard College, she currently works as a senior council at the SEC.

- Health-insurance stocks "look rather compelling," SVBLeerink's Stephen Tanal says. Big providers Cigna and CVS have fallen 14% year to date. Tanal blames the electoral cycle, as investors worry that a potential Biden administration could be bad for the industry. "People worry that will weigh on demand for the stock," he says. But Tanal thinks most of the downside risk is already priced in, so he's bullish. Other factors, such as the effect of Covid-19 pandemic on the industry, "will be very positive," he says.

- Livestock futures on the CME are slightly higher, with live cattle futures up 0.1% and lean hog futures up 0.4%. This quiet movement is expected to end soon, with the market becoming volatile once again heading into the election season. "With the election in November and the Chinese virus still dominating the headlines I would expect the cattle futures to gain some volatility," says Jeff French of Top Third Ag Marketing.

- Sinclair Broadcast's advertising revenue dropped during 2Q due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has led to economic uncertainties. Companies often pull back on advertising during tough economic times. Sinclair's ad revenue fell to $208M in 2Q, 34% lower than $315M in the same period last year. CFO Lucy Rutishauser says Wednesday political advertising partially offset the loss, and ad market trends improved through June and July. Sinclair shares are off 7% in early trading.

- China could retaliate against US app developers should Washington follow through on a ban of TikTok, digital trade experts and industry lobbyists warn. While Beijing has already limited US firms' access to the Chinese market, it could take further steps to curtail companies that make apolitical apps, such as games. The big question is whether Microsoft--or another suitor--is able to close the deal for TikTok. "This isn't new with China," said Nigel Cory, associate director for trade policy at the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, a Washington think tank. "What is new is that China is on the receiving end of this treatment."

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

- Oil prices fell for the first time in four days, slipping from as much as five-month highs as mounting coronavirus cases worldwide and in the United States undercut market confidence about a potential pickup in fuel demand.
- Safe-haven gold scaled an all-time peak, extending a record run above the $2,000 mark on a weaker dollar and bets for more stimulus measures to revive a pandemic-ravaged economy.
- Copper prices declined, as rising production in top producing countries Chile and Peru pressures prices that rallied to multi-year highs last month.
- Chicago corn and soybean futures ticked higher as both the contracts recovered from sharp declines in the previous session, although expectations of bumper U.S. production curbed gains. 
- ICE coffee futures in New York and London rallied on Tuesday, driven by worries over tightening supplies of exchange-deliverable arabica beans and fears that a coronavirus outbreak in Vietnam could hit robusta output.
- Malaysian palm oil futures snapped a four-day winning streak, dragged down by lower rival soyoil, but losses were limited by expectations of a plunge in July inventories.

- China could retaliate against US app developers should Washington follow through on a ban of TikTok, digital trade experts and industry lobbyists warn. While Beijing has already limited US firms' access to the Chinese market, it could take further steps to curtail companies that make apolitical apps, such as games. The big question is whether Microsoft--or another suitor--is able to close the deal for TikTok. "This isn't new with China," said Nigel Cory, associate director for trade policy at the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, a Washington think tank. "What is new is that China is on the receiving end of this treatment."

- A potential Donald Trump victory in November's U.S. presidential election would have negative implications for currencies of Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, Rabobank FX strategist Piotr Matys says. "His second-term could be far more damaging to emerging markets than the first four years of his presidency," Matys says, adding that "Trump could intensify pressure on China as he will have nothing to lose as he can't be re-elected for the third term." For emerging markets to perform well, the global economic outlook needs to be "relatively positive," which won't be the case if two largest economies remain involved in a bitter trade conflict, he says.

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

- A rebound in the dollar faltered on Tuesday as political wrangling over a U.S. relief plan and the gloomy economic outlook kept investors shy of the currency.

- Oil prices slid amid concerns that a nascent recovery in fuel demand could stall as a fresh wave of COVID-19 infections around the world sparks tighter lockdowns just as major producers ramp up output.
- Gold held steady near record highs as worries over global economic fallout from mounting COVID-19 cases offset an uptick in risk sentiment driven by positive U.S. economic data. 
- London copper prices edged lower, extending a narrow-range trading pattern as investors weighed bullish and bearish factors following a rally over the past few months.
- Chicago soybean futures slid for the first time in four sessions, as near-perfect weather across the U.S. Midwest boosted expectations of a bumper harvest.
- Cocoa futures in New York and London rose sharply on Monday as dealers see a more positive outlook for the chocolate-making raw material. 
- Malaysian palm oil futures rose for a fourth straight session, tracking gains in Dalian palm and rival soyoil.

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

- Oil prices fell on oversupply concerns as OPEC and its allies wind back production cuts in August and a rise in worldwide COVID-19 cases points to a slower pick-up in fuel demand.
- Gold prices surged to an all-time high as fears about the economic fallout from rising COVID-19 cases boosted demand for the safe-haven metal, although gains were capped by an uptick in the U.S. dollar.
- London copper fell to a three-week low, as a slightly stronger dollar and fears over the spreading coronavirus weighed on prices even after a survey showed China's factory activity expanded at the fastest pace in almost a decade last month.
- U.S. wheat futures fell as much as 1% as ample supplies and concerns over international demand weighed on prices.
- Raw sugar futures on ICE climbed to a 4-1/2 month high on Friday supported by a diminishing outlook for production in Thailand and gains in many other dollar-denominated commodity markets driven partly by the weakness of the U.S. currency.
- Malaysian palm oil futures surged as much as 3%, mirroring solid gains in Dalian palm oil and rival soy oil, with better July exports also aiding sentiment.

- The FTSE 100 is expected to open 9 points lower as U.S.-China tensions mount and oil prices fall on worries about a supply glut and of rising global coronavirus cases hitting demand. "In the U.K., the downside correction in oil could be a threat for the appetite and limit the topside near 6000," Swissquote Bank analyst Ipek Ozkardeskaya says. Concerns about U.S.-China tensions rise after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday that President Donald Trump will take action in coming days on Chinese software companies that are feeding data directly to the Chinese government. Meanwhile, investors will closely monitor the final U.K. manufacturing purchasing managers' index survey for July at 0830 GMT on Monday.

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

- Oil prices recovered further ground, after touching three-week lows in the previous session, responding to a record decline in U.S. growth as the coronavirus ravaged the world's biggest economy and oil consumer.
- Gold rose en route to its best month in nearly 4-1/2 years as the dollar slid further after dismal U.S. data added to doubts about a swift recovery from the pandemic-induced economic slump, driving investors towards the safe-haven metal.
- London copper was on course for a fourth consecutive monthly rise, buoyed by a sliding dollar and better-than-expected factory activity in top consumer China.
- Chicago corn futures rose but are poised for their first monthly loss in three months with crop-friendly weather across the U.S. Midwest expected to result in a bumper harvest, outweighing strong demand from China.
- Robusta coffee hit a fresh 7-1/2 month peak Thursday on worries supplies could be hit by a new coronavirus outbreak in Vietnam, the world's top producer of the bean, while arabica coffee surged more than 3%.

- Members of the US Hemp Roundtable sat down with representatives of government departments like the Office of Management and Budget, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Department of Health and Human Services this afternoon, in hopes of persuading the Trump Administration to quickly release guidance on major retailers selling CBD products on their shelves. "As an industry, we're really struggling due to regulatory uncertainty," says Jonathan Miller, general counsel for the US Hemp Roundtable. The group hopes the FDA will soon provide guidance to stores, giving them the OK to stock their shelves with CBD products as they would dietary supplements. Officials provided no timetable for when such guidance may be released, Miller says.

- Northrop Grumman is expecting continued emphasis on national security among US government ranks despite fiscal pressures, Chief Executive Kathy Warden says. "We believe our portfolio will remain well aligned to our customers' highest priority investments," Warden says on a conference call. "Defense spending is largely threat-driven, and the threat environment warrants a strong defense." The company raises its financial outlook for 2020, citing year-to-date performance and assuming the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic has passed in 2Q. Shares rise 3.5%.

- Major indexes are paring declines after reports Republican senators including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell say November's presidential election date is set in stone, easing investor concerns following President Trump's tweet earlier today floating the idea of a postponement. Only Congress can change the date of the election. The Dow is now down about 300 points, or 1.1%, after earlier falling nearly 550 points. The S&P slides 0.7%, while the Nasdaq is down less than 0.1%. US crude-oil futures are down 3.3% at $39.91 after earlier falling more than 6%.

- The U.S. gross domestic product's contraction at a record 32.9% annual rate last quarter and a rise in weekly jobless claims to 1.43 million add pressure on U.S. officials to agree on extending government stimulus measures such as unemployment benefits that expire on July 31, says Rupert Thompson, chief investment officer at Kingswood. "Today's data can only increase the pressure on the Republicans and Democrats to reach an agreement on extending the government stimulus measures which expire tomorrow," he says. Yet the path of the economy hinges on the course of the virus and economic recovery has already shown signs of slowing significantly in response to the recent surge infections and re-imposition of social distancing measures, he says.

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

- The dollar was mired at a more than two-year low, as investors grew increasingly worried about the economic drag of surging coronavirus cases in the United States, and looked to a fiscal rescue package stalled in Congress for another stimulus hit.

- Oil prices were little changed, restrained by concerns that surging coronavirus infections could jeopardize a recovery in fuel demand just as major oil producers are set to raise output.
- Gold eased after the U.S. Federal Reserve's vow to support the coronavirus-ravaged economy buoyed risk sentiment, with market expectations for prices to breach the $2,000 level facing resistance in the short term.
- Shanghai aluminium prices touched a more than two-year high, fuelled by a better-than-expected recovery in top consumer China and hopes of sustained demand in the next few months.
- Chicago corn futures rose for the first time in five sessions with bargain buying supporting prices, although gains were curbed by expectations of a bumper U.S. harvest.
- Arabica coffee prices on ICE hit three-month highs on Wednesday as the Brazilian real strengthened and concerns grew over prospects for Central American output, while robusta coffee hit a seven-month top amid a coronavirus outbreak in Vietnam.
- Malaysian palm is set for its biggest monthly jump in seven months as futures tracked costlier rival oils to trade slightly higher, although the anticipation of exports data by cargo surveyors capped their rise.

- An upwards correction of the dollar is possible in coming weeks if risk-sensitive assets tumble or U.S. President Donald Trump gets a bump in the polls for November's presidential election, TD Securities says. A rise in U.S. coronavirus cases has "undermined the U.S. growth story" but the market has now "overpriced this dynamic," TD analysts say. "While the relative Covid-19 response and management have pushed our dashboard of macro momentum towards Europe and Asia, our short-term models imply an overshot in terms of near-term USD weakness," they say. "We would welcome a short-term bounce in the weeks ahead to position for the anticipated significant drop in the subsequent months and quarters." The dollar index falls 0.2% to 93.2540.

- Stock futures are extending their drop after President Trump tweets that mail-in voting will result in a fraudulent election and says, "Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???" S&P 500 futures extend their drop to 1.2%, while Dow futures are also down 1.2%, with losses deepening after the tweet and 8:30 a.m. ET second-quarter GDP and weekly jobless claims figures that highlighted the fragile state of the economy. Oil prices also extend declines, with U.S. crude futures sliding 2.6%. Many investors also remain concerned about election uncertainty and the prospect that the election might not be decided on schedule.

- U.S.-China tensions place doubt on the dollar's status as the world's reserve currency, Commerzbank says. Corporations could increasingly abandon the dollar for fear of U.S. economic sanctions or even decide to exit the U.S. market entirely, Commerzbank's Thu Lan Nguyen says. "The latter applies in particular to Chinese companies." Another concern is the U.S. current account and budget deficits as China has been a reliable source of finance for U.S. debt in the past, she says. "It is by no means our assumption that the dollar will lose its status as the world's reserve currency any time soon; but [coronavirus] and the U.S.-Chinese conflict have sown sufficient doubt to justify an increased risk premium for the dollar."

- More than two dozen national and regional environmental groups sue the Trump administration over its overhaul of rules tied to the National Environmental Policy Act. In two separate suits, the groups say the administration failed to meet legal requirements for explaining the rule changes--including by properly addressing public comments--and violated NEPA itself by failing to consider fully the environmental ramifications, among other issues. Groups headlining the suits include the Environmental Defense Fund and the National Wildlife Federation, and Defenders of Wildlife in a separate suit with mostly regional groups. The new rules establish new timelines for environmental-impact statements, exclude more projects like pipelines from the most stringent reviews and put parameters on environmental reviews likely to limit how much climate change can be considered. White House officials say the changes are important to cut red tape and speed up infrastructure development.

- Speaking to reporters Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said the government response to the pandemic isn't over. "I think in the broad scheme of things that there will be a need" for more monetary policy and fiscal policy support. He adds that even in a recovery there will be displaced workers who will need support, and they should get that help.

- Unions representing transportation workers petition the Department of Transportation to require passengers wear masks on planes, trains and buses. Airlines have made facial coverings mandatory, but unions and some executives have said rules would be easier to enforce if there was more government backing and in a filing today the consortium of unions say the patchwork of guidelines from companies, cities and states haven't been enough. "We believe strongly that DOT has the broad authority to take this action to improve workforce health and safety for thousands of workers," the AFL-CIO's Transportation Trades Division writes in its petition.

- President Martin Vizcarra pledges to increase healthcare spending in next year's budget to about $5.7B, the highest ever and up from approximately $5.2B this year, as the country grapples with the coronavirus pandemic. Vizcarra says in his annual address to Congress the government would also work on unifying different public health services, known as EsSalud and SIS, so that all Peruvians will have access to healthcare. The increased health spending will involve expanding access to health posts and increasing the number of beds in hospitals. "Peru must come out of this pandemic with a new and solid health system," Vizcarra says.

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

- Oil prices were mixed as record increases in COVID-19 infections in some U.S. states raised concerns about fuel demand in the world's biggest crude user, wiping out earlier gains after a surprise drop in U.S. crude inventories.
- Gold retreated as the dollar briefly halted its slide and investors booked profits after prices hit a record high in the last session, ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve's monetary policy decision.
- London copper slipped as coronavirus cases in top consumer China rose the most since April and as six U.S. states set one-day records for COVID-19 deaths, while other metals climbed ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve's policy decision.
- Chicago soybean futures lost more ground to trade near a two-week low, weighed down by expectations of a bumper U.S. harvest this autumn.
- Raw sugar futures closed down on ICE on Tuesday, with profit- taking after a rally linked to a pick-up in physical demand and the possibility that adverse weather could curb production in major exporter Thailand.
- Malaysian palm oil futures rose after two straight sessions of sharp falls, although gains were capped by cheaper rival oils, expectations of higher production, and a potential demand slowdown from top buyers India and China.

- 3M, which makes many products typically bought each fall during back-to-school season, says it's increasing inventory and expects to see some related revenue gains as schools reopen in the coming months. The question of whether to start an in-person school year remains hotly debated in communities across the country as the coronavirus continues to spread. "Our retail partners are planning for back-to-school," CEO Mike Roman says. "There's a lot of uncertainty around it. It's another one of those things that's almost day by day." Shares fall 5.3%.

- The euro could extend gains against the dollar due to improved risk appetite, the U.S. Federal Reserve's actions and U.S. political uncertainty, UBS Global Wealth Management says. "We expect dollar weakness to persist into year-end, due to prolonged Federal Reserve easing, a waning interest rate differential, and political uncertainty as we head into the U.S. [presidential] election," UBS analyst Mark Haefele says. Increased optimism over the global economy's recovery from coronavirus should also weigh on the dollar, while the EU's recovery fund has boosted confidence in the sustainability of the union and the euro, he says. EUR/USD falls 0.4% to 1.1705 after reaching its highest level since September 2018 at 1.1782 on Monday, according to FactSet.

- Efforts to extend funding to cover payroll for airline employees are gaining steam in the House of Representatives, with 223 members signing a letter in support of extending the funding another six months. Aviation unions have pushed for Congress to re-up the $32 billion in aid that passenger airlines, cargo carriers, andcontractors received to cover payroll costs through the end of September. Some carriers have warned of the potential for steep job losses when the current round of aid expires at the end of September.

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

- Oil prices were steady, erasing gains earlier in the session, as rising coronavirus cases dampened the outlook for demand and countered optimism over more U.S. stimulus.
- Gold pared gains after a record run as the dollar regained some ground, although U.S.-China tension and bets for the U.S. Federal Reserve to reiterate a dovish policy stance underpinned the metal's safe-haven appeal.
- London copper advanced after U.S. Senate Republicans proposed a $1 trillion coronavirus aid package, lifting risk sentiment. 
- U.S. soybean futures fell as much as 1.5% to hit a 12-day low after the U.S. Department of Agriculture said the condition of crops were well ahead of market estimates, reinforcing expectations for a sizable U.S. harvest.
- Raw sugar futures on ICE surged to the highest level in more than two weeks on Monday as crop concerns in Thailand and demand from China and elsewhere helped tighten supplies, while New York cocoa prices also rose sharply.
- Malaysian palm oil futures fell for a second straight session, tracking cheaper rival oils on the Dalian Commodity Exchange and the Chicago Board of Trade, and as production recovered.

- Travel stocks are in the red after the U.K. government imposed a 14-day coronavirus-related quarantine on travelers from mainland Spain, while Ryanair Holdings swung to a first-quarter net loss and failed to give any guidance for 2020/21. TUI is the sector's biggest faller, down 13%, while easyJet, IAG and cruise operator Carnival also drop. Ryanair shares are down 8.7%. "We think the sudden change in U.K. government policy could have severe implications for customer booking confidence, which could lead to a weaker 2020 summer 'lates' market and delayed booking cycle for 2021," say analysts at Jefferies.
- The House Antitrust Subcommittee said it would hold its planned hearing with the CEOs of U.S. tech giants on Wednesday at noon eastern time. The videoconference hearing will look at the market power of Big Tech. Jeff Bezos of Amazon.com, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook Inc., Tim Cook of Apple Inc. and Sundar Pichai of Alphabet's Google are expected to take part. The high-profile hearing had been scheduled for Monday but was moved to avoid a conflict with memorial ceremonies for the late Congressman John Lewis.

Jul 27 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- Oil prices edged lower as rising coronavirus cases and tensions between the United States and China pushed investors toward safe-haven assets.
- Gold prices jumped to record highs as an intensifying U.S.-China row hammered the dollar and cemented expectations that central banks would continue pumping out stimulus to ease the economic pain from a worsening coronavirus pandemic.
- London copper rose as investors hope the U.S. Congress would soon agree on a coronavirus relief deal, while the U.S.-China tensions and slowing demand in China capped gains.
- Chicago soybean futures slid for a second session as rising U.S.-China tensions are likely to derail North American bean exports to the world's biggest importer of the oilseed.
- Raw sugar futures closed down more than 2% on Friday as Brazilian production jumped 55% in July, keeping the world's largest producer on track for a record season. 
- Malaysian palm oil futures were set to end a three-day rally, slipping from their highest in more than five months, as its price discount with rival soy oil increasingly narrows.

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

- Sterling is a "very vulnerable" currency as the outlook for the U.K. economy looks bleak, Rabobank says. Hopes that the U.K. will secure a trade deal with the EU are "wearing thin," Rabobank's Jane Foley says. "In addition, increased [U.K.] tensions with China, an acknowledgement by the [U.K.] government that a trade deal with the U.S. this year is unlikely, continued criticism of its handling of the Covid-19 crisis, increased talk of another push potential push by Scotland towards independence, not to mention recession and lingering fears of negative interest rates all paint a bleak picture of U.K. fundamentals." Rabobank expects EUR/GBP to rise to 0.92 within three months, from 0.9106 currently.

- Oil prices rose on the back of a weaker U.S. dollar, although demand concerns stemming from rising coronavirus cases and escalating U.S.-China tensions kept a cap on prices.
- Gold was headed for its biggest weekly gain in more than three months, steadying near a nine-year high, as it benefited from a weak dollar and inflation expectations, fuelled by stimulus for virus-battered economies.
- London copper prices were on track for their first weekly loss in 11 weeks on escalating tensions between the United States and China, the world's two biggest economies.
- Chicago soybeans rose for a third consecutive session and were poised for a second week of gains on the back of strong Chinese demand.

- London cocoa prices closed up on Thursday amid increased political risk in top producer Ivory Coast, while arabica coffee scaled a fresh two month peak only to slip back as the Brazilian real weakened.
- Malaysian palm oil futures rose to a five-and-a-half-month high, tracking rising soyoil prices, while underlying expectations of output drop due to heavy rains continued to boost sentiment.

- Gold is rising and attempting to breach the key psychological level of $1,900 a troy ounce. The recent spike in U.S.-China tensions is adding some support to gold's rally, but the key driver remains expectations of rising inflation and record low real yields on Treasury bonds, says Carsten Fritsch, an analyst at Commerzbank. New York futures are up 0.3% at $1,894.80 an ounce. Hitting the key psychological level could drive extra buying as short-term speculative investors seek to get in on the rally, Fritsch says. But this itself is a risk for gold: if short-term investor interest wanes prices could drop sharply, he says. "If prices keep increasing at the current pace, there will be a clear risk that price moves become disorderly."
- Volatility in the currency market is likely to rise in August when many investors take their summer holiday, Societe Generale says. "With fewer active market participants, volumes tend to decrease, and this reduced liquidity can exacerbate market moves," SocGen analyst Olivier Korber says. "Since 2001, 79% of the years have seen an increase in volatility this month, including consecutively from 2013 to 2019." SocGen also expects higher foreign exchange volatility by year-end due to "market complacency" over the "numerous uncertainties that lie ahead" including the risk of a second wave of coronavirus cases, the Brexit transition period ending on December 31, November's U.S. presidential election and U.S.-China tensions.
- Oil is falling after China told the U.S. to close one of its consulates in retaliation to the closure of Beijing's Houston consulate. Brent is down 0.6% at $43.06 a barrel while WTI is 0.7% lower at $40.77 a barrel. That adds to Thursday's declines after an unexpected rise in U.S. jobless claims sparked concerns over the strength of the economic recovery. Both varieties lost about 2% in the prior session after the data showed weekly unemployment claims rose for the first time in four months. "Struggling employment metrics are perhaps the most poignant reality check for oil markets," says Stephen Innes at AxiCorp. "Even an extension of U.S. unemployment benefits may only paper over the cracks."
- USD/SGD nudges lower as markets shrug off rising U.S.-China tensions, analysts say. Earlier in the session, Beijing ordered the closure of the U.S. consulate in Chengdu, retaliating against Washington's decision to shut down the Chinese consulate in Houston. "China reprisal was fully expected," says Stephen Innes, chief global-market strategist at AxiCorp. So far, follow-through position adjustments in the financial markets haven't been too severe, Innes adds. USD/SGD is down 0.1% at 1.3847.

- With the Pentagon castigating the Kremlin for conducting another alleged weapons test in space, US government and aerospace industry officials increasingly worry about potential threats to commercial and military satellites. The head of the Space Force sees the July 15 test as "further evidence of Russia's continuing efforts to develop and test space-based systems" intended to "hold US and allied space assets at risk." For years, the Defense Department has eyed smaller, more nimble spy and communications satellites better able to fend off potential attacks. Commercial operators for some time also have been mulling various ways to protect their current and future fleets--especially communication satellites used by the Pentagon--and Russia's latest move is bound to heat up those discussions.
- The Trump administration's latest plan for eventual commercial exploration of the moon, Mars and beyond envisions a government-wide effort to bolster and partly finance such ventures. In addition to support from NASA and the Commerce and Space Departments, the report calls for the Pentagon's recently created Space Force to provide the security and some of the necessary technology for US commercial endeavors. While the Space Force "does not have a direct role in the civil exploration and development of space per se," according to the report, it is responsible for promoting "space transportation and logistics, power, communication, navigation, and space domain awareness." The report doesn't spell out specifics of how the military can accomplish those goals.
- Former New York Fed leader William Dudley says on Bloomberg TV he's not too worried about Judy Shelton, nominated by President Trump to be a Fed governor. He expects her to be one voice among many and not in the driver's seat, saying rate policy would be thoroughly under Chairman Jerome Powell's control. Shelton has confounded observers' attempt to figure out what sort of central banker she'd actually be. Her massive ideological flip flops on the gold standard, and her suggestion to hold large events at a Trump hotel, have left many wondering what she really believes, and whether she'd be too close to the president.

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

- The dollar crept off milestone lows against other majors, and held on to gains against the yuan, as heightened Sino-U.S. tensions kept currency markets cautious.

- Oil prices edged higher, although gains were capped by a surprise build in U.S. crude oil inventories, while a persistent surge in new coronavirus cases continued to dampen a recovery in fuel demand.
- Gold eased as investors booked profits from a strong rally, but held on to a near nine-year high due to U.S.-China tensions and bets on more global stimulus to support pandemic-hit economies, which could fuel inflation.
- Copper prices fell on rising tensions between the United States and China, sparking concerns of further retaliation between the world's two biggest economies.
- Chicago soybeans slid as mounting diplomatic tensions between Beijing and Washington stoked fears over China's demand for U.S. supplies.
- Robusta coffee prices on ICE hit their highest levels in nearly six months on Wednesday, driven by talk of the economic downturn's prompting a shift in consumption toward cheaper, instant coffee blends.
- Malaysian palm oil futures eased as rival soyoil prices fell, but supply concerns limited losses as heavy rains hit top producers Indonesia and Malaysia.

- The euro should extend gains against the dollar as the eurozone has been better at managing coronavirus than the U.S., TD Securities says. "The 'one step forward, three steps back' style of U.S. reopening has exposed those weaknesses to the market, undermining the USD," TD FX analyst Mark McCormick says, referring to reimposition of lockdown measures in some U.S. states following a rise in coronavirus cases. Meanwhile, the EU recovery coronavirus fund approved by the bloc's leaders on Tuesday "lays the groundwork for a fiscal union," he says. TD expects EUR/USD to rise to 1.20-1.25 by mid-2020. The pair rises 0.6% to 1.1595 after hitting a 21-month high of 1.1602, according to FactSet.
- A likely delay to a fresh round of U.S. fiscal stimulus serves as another short-term blow to the dollar, ING says. U.S. Republicans and Democrats on Tuesday continued to disagree over how much to spend on further coronavirus stimulus measures. That compares to the "meaningful action" from the EU with its recently approved recovery fund and budget, ING analysts say. "This adds to the difference between the relatively stable Covid-19 situation in Europe and the clear deterioration in the U.S.," they say. "While the U.S. fiscal stimulus is likely to be passed eventually, short-term this adds to an uninspiring USD outlook." EUR/USD rises 0.4% to 1.1572 after reaching its highest level since October 2018 at 1.1585 earlier, according to FactSet.

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

- The euro's rise above $1.15 for the first time since January 2019 reflects the fact that outlook for the eurozone currency looks better than for the U.S. dollar, Commerzbank says. Following the approval of an EU coronavirus recovery fund, the market has "overcome a major risk factor for European cohesion, the European economy and the euro," Commerzbank's Antje Praefcke says. The U.S. has started discussing further fiscal stimulus amid rising coronavirus cases in the country but it's "not yet certain" whether the package will be passed in Congress before the summer recess, she says. EUR/USD rises 0.1% to 1.1538 after hitting a one-and-a-half year high of 1.1549 earlier, according to FactSet.

- Oil prices fell as industry data showed a bigger-than-expected inventory build in the United States, where climbing coronavirus cases may further dent fuel demand in the world's biggest oil consumer.
- Gold jumped more than 1% to its highest in nearly nine years, driven by a weaker dollar and as expectations of more stimulus to revive pandemic-hit economies lifted the metal's appeal as an inflation-hedge.
- Copper prices rose as a weaker U.S. dollar made the metal more attractive, and as the European Union's massive stimulus program lifted market sentiment.
- Chicago soybeans futures bounced back, rising for six out of seven sessions while corn gained ground on strong Chinese demand.
- Coffee futures closed sharply higher on Tuesday, boosted by broad-based gains in commodity and equity markets linked to positive news about coronavirus vaccine trials and a European Union stimulus deal.
- Malaysian palm oil futures climbed more than 2%, hitting their highest level in over five months, as heavy rains in top producers Indonesia and Malaysia fuelled concerns of lower July output.

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

- The euro marked a fresh four-month high and commodity currencies found support, after European countries agreed on a rescue package for the bloc's coronavirus-hit economies

- Oil prices were little changed, trapped in the narrow trading band of the past three weeks as investors gauged hopes for a recovery in oil demand against fears of new lockdowns due to a growing number of coronavirus cases.
- Gold held firm near a nine-year peak as expectation of higher inflation from increased stimulus countered the resultant gain in risk appetite, while silver breached the $20 level for the first time since September 2016.
- Copper prices rose as the European Union leaders clinched a "historic" stimulus deal and as data from coronavirus vaccine trials boosted hopes for a swifter global economic recovery.
- Chicago corn and soybean futures slid after a better-than-expected U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) report on the condition of both crops.
- Arabica coffee futures closed sharply down on Monday on ICE, erasing the large gains seen on Friday as fears about a cold front over Brazilian coffee fields dissipated.
- Malaysian palm oil futures recovered from early falls to hover near a five-month high hit in the previous session on supply worries due to lower production forecast.

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

- The dollar held onto gains against most currencies as worries that a resurgence in the coronavirus is starting to curb economic activity drew safe-haven flows into the U.S. currency.

- Oil prices edged lower, with trading marked by growing uncertainty about global recovery in fuel demand as new COVID-19 cases surge in several countries just as major producers get set to loosen production curbs.
- Gold steadied near the $1,800 level after a sharp fall in the previous session, as worries over surging coronavirus cases and U.S.-China tensions underpinned its safe-haven appeal, although a stronger dollar capped gains.
- London copper was poised for its first weekly fall in nine weeks, hit by worsening U.S.-China relations and rising coronavirus infections that could dampen economic growth and demand for metals.
- U.S. corn futures rose nearly 1% on Thursday, as signs of strong Chinese demand supported prices, although the grain was on course to end the week lower on expectations of ample global stocks.
- Wheat rose on concerns over global supplies. Soybeans rose nearly 0.5%.
- London cocoa prices on ICE hit their lowest in nearly two years on Thursday as data showed sharp falls in demand in Europe in the second quarter and as dealers bet on a rebound in supply next season.
- Malaysian palm oil futures climbed more than 2%, set for a 6.7% weekly gain, tracking overnight strength in rival soyoil and on prospects of lean output from major producers Indonesia and Malaysia.

- Mask wearing as a means to reduce the threat of illness by the coronavirus is on the rise, according to a report by the Cleveland Fed. "We found that the vast majority of respondents, almost 90%, reported having worn a mask the last time they went out in public to an indoor space, even though not all were required by state or local ordinance to do so," the report says. It adds official mandates to wear masks would be seen favorably by respondents. Dallas Fed leader Robert Kaplan has spoken out forcefully in favor of mask wearing as a strategy to deal with the pandemic and many areas of the country are requiring them, but some areas, notably in the South, are rejecting these official mandates.
- The US will work with the United Nations Security Council to extend the Iran arms embargo indefinitely, "until the sovereign Republic of Iran changes its ways," Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says. "We hope we can solve it diplomatically," he says, but if diplomacy fails, the US will take unilateral action. The embargo is set to expire on Oct. 18.
- Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says that the story that has been reported about Russia having offered to pay Taliban militants to kill American service members "doesn't reflect accurately on what has transpired." Pompeo, speaking at an Economic Club of New York event, says the Trump Administration handled it "in a way that is completely appropriate. The information that we had got to all the right people." Pompeo didn't specify who was informed. The administration had downplayed the intelligence and President Trump at one point called it a "hoax." A top US military official this month said there was no evidence the proposed payment scheme resulted in any US troop deaths.
- Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the "tide has turned" when it comes to China, pointing to recent decisions in the U.K. and India. "We are watching the world unite to come to understand the threat from the Chinese Communist Party," Pompeo said, speaking at an Economic Club of New York event on Wednesday. "I think we are watching American businesses understand the political risks of operating in places like Hong Kong," he said, referring to the former British colony that had been treated separately from mainland China since Beijing took control in 1997. Asked about Taiwan, Pompeo said: "There are a set of commitments that the United States has made ... we'll continue to live up to those."

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

- The dollar found support as simmering Sino-U.S. tensions and weak Chinese consumption data knocked investors' faith in a fairly swift global economic recovery from the coronavirus crisis.

- Oil prices eased after OPEC and allies such as Russia agreed to taper record supply curbs from August, though the drop was cushioned by hopes for a swift U.S. demand pick-up after a big drawdown from the country's crude stocks.
- Gold prices held steady near a nine-year peak, as concerns over rising coronavirus cases and simmering U.S.-China tensions offset some silver linings from Chinese economic data.
- Base metals fell, with London copper extending losses into a third session, as U.S.-China tensions, rising COVID-19 cases and doubts over the durability of China's economic recovery dimmed prospects for demand rebound.
- U.S. wheat futures eased from a near three-month high touched in the previous session, as traders locked in profits, though reports that China stepped up purchases of U.S. supplies limited losses. Corn rose nearly 1%, while soybeans climbed nearly 0.5% on the back of strong Chinese demand.
- Sugar futures closed sharply higher on Wednesday, with raws recovering from the previous session's six-week low as crude oil and global equities headed higher, while cocoa hit a more than 1-1/2-year trough.
- Malaysian palm oil futures extended gains to hit their highest level in nearly five months, on expectations of lower production in top producers Malaysia and Indonesia.

- President Trump said in a new interview that the stock market would be higher but for the prospect that former Vice President Joseph R. Biden will defeat him in the November election.
"The possibility that Joe Biden gets elected — that's a huge downward pull on the stock market," Mr. Trump said in an interview that aired Wednesday on "CBS This Morning." "The stock market would be much higher, except for the fact that if he got in, the stock market will crash."
Mr. Trump said he was en route to an easy win before the coronavirus pandemic hit.
"We were sailing right into a win — we had the greatest economy ever for our country and for the world," he said. "I've done a great job, and now I have to do it again."

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

- The euro rose to a four-month high against the dollar on hopes European Union leaders may agree on stimulus and deepening fiscal integration to shield the economy from the pandemic.

- Oil prices rose following a sharp drop in U.S. crude inventories, with the market waiting for next steps from a meeting later in the day on the future level of output cuts by OPEC and its allies.
- Gold prices edged higher to hold firm above the psychological level of $1,800, as worries over surging coronavirus cases and simmering U.S.-China tensions cemented demand for the safe-haven metal.
- Copper prices advanced on solid demand in top consumer China and supply worries in Chile, the world's biggest producer of the red metal, though gains were limited on rising U.S.-China tensions and COVID-19 cases globally.
- U.S. soybeans edged higher for a second consecutive session, as concerns about the condition of crops in the United States dented expectations of ample global supplies.
- Raw sugar futures on ICE slid to a six-week low on Tuesday while cocoa and coffee also fell, as soft commodities continue to suffer amid expectations for lower demand overall.
- Malaysian palm oil futures extended gains for a fourth straight session, hovering near a four-month high hit in the previous session, on stronger crude oil, hopes of better exports and lower July production forecast.

- Banks' financial results remain in focus for European credit markets and larger-than-expected loan loss provisions could again challenge hopes of a sharp bounce back in economy activity, Commerzbank says. Following JPMorgan and Wells Fargo Tuesday, Goldman Sachs provides the next insights from U.S. banks while Handelsbanken and SEB will open the reporting season for European banks, the German bank notes. Geopolitical tensions should also remain in the spotlight with U.S.-Chinese relations experiencing further strain after President Donald Trump's removal of Hong Kong's specials status and the U.K. effectively banning Huawei from its 5G network rollout Tuesday, the bank adds.
- Gold prices tick higher, benefiting from a weaker dollar and tensions between the U.S. and China. The precious metal is up 0.2% at $1,816.50 a troy ounce in the New York futures market, taking its advance over the past month to 5.1%. A weaker dollar typically boosts commodities that trade in terms of the U.S. currency by making them cheaper for investors overseas. "Gold is also finding support from geopolitical tensions that continue to simmer," Carsten Fritsch of Commerzbank says. President Trump on Tuesday signed into law a bipartisan bill to sanction Chinese officials over Beijing's crackdown on Hong Kong. Elsewhere in metals, three-month copper forwards edge down 0.2% to $6,485.50 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange.
- FEMA's contract obligations in response to the coronavirus pandemic totaled about $1.6 billion as of May 31, with medical and surgical equipment, like reusable surgical gowns and N95 respirators or masks for medical professionals, accounting for a big portion of that, according to a Government Accountability Office report. New contracts--rather than contracts established before the pandemic, which typically allow for a faster response--accounted for about $1.4 billion of the contract obligations, Congress's nonpartisan watchdog said. FEMA had obligated about $5.8 billion for the response as of May 31, GAO said. In all, 57 major disaster declarations were issued during the pandemic for all U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories--the first time in history that happened.
- FEMA's potential challenges in responding to a pandemic and other significant biological events--from contract transparency and coordination with state and local officials to medical supply acquisition and distribution--may be worsened by the recent rise in Covid-19 cases and an expected increase in the fall, Congress's nonpartisan watchdog said. A Government Accountability Office report, published Tuesday, also outlines some areas that need further review, such as concerns about the distribution, acquisition, and adequacy of supplies from the Strategic National Stockpile. GAO said it had requested information on the national stockpile inventory before the pandemic along with the types and amounts of supplies requested by states and what was actually distributed but said that as of June 12 it hadn't received that information. A GAO representative couldn't be reached for comment as to whether that information had been since provided. "Unlike other disasters where we can only look back at the response, we are still responding to the pandemic and will be for a while," said Chris Currie, director of the GAO team that wrote the report.
"We have a unique ability in this case to make course corrections now."

- Investors raised their cash holdings in July as worries about the economic fallout from coronavirus dampened appetite for risk, a Bank of America survey shows. Cash levels rose to 4.9% of investors' portfolios in July from 4.7% in June due to caution over coronavirus, the economic outlook and November's U.S. presidential election, according to the monthly BofA global fund manager survey. Just 14% of respondents expect the economic recovery will be
V-shaped, a sharp downturn followed by a swift rebound. Some 44% predict a U-shaped recovery, meaning the economy will take longer to recover, while 30% see a W-shaped recovery--a double-dip recession.

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

- Oil prices fell more than 2% on worries that new clampdowns on businesses to stem surging U.S. coronavirus cases could threaten fuel demand recovery and expectations that OPEC+ might ease output cuts from August in an upcoming meeting.
- Gold prices slipped below the key $1,800 level, as the U.S. dollar strengthened, although worries over surging coronavirus cases globally and Sino-U.S. tensions put a floor under bullion prices.
- Copper prices declined as mounting Sino-U.S. tensions sparked fresh worries of economic retaliation between the world's two biggest economies, though the correction could be short-lived given the upbeat demand in top consumer China.
- U.S. corn futures edged lower as weather forecasts turned favourable, though losses were checked by a widely watched report that showed the condition of U.S. corn crop was worse than anticipated. 
- Raw sugar prices on ICE hit a two-week low on Monday as supply tightness in refined white sugar continued to ease, a sign of physical demand weakness.
- Malaysian palm oil futures rose for a third straight session, lifted by supply concerns and a weaker ringgit while investors waited for export data from cargo surveyors.

- The dollar was marginally higher in narrow ranges against most currencies as renewed concerns about diplomatic tension between the United States and China and rising coronavirus cases put a dent in risk appetite.

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

- Oil slipped nearly 1% as traders eyed an OPEC technical meeting this week which is expected to recommend an easing in supply cuts that have been propping up crude prices.
- Gold prices rose, holding ground above the key $1,800 per ounce level, as a weaker dollar and worries over surging COVID-19 cases around the globe kept the safe-haven metal underpinned.
- Shanghai copper hit its highest level in more than two years, while London copper scaled a 24-month high on supply worries, amid a potential mine strike in Chile and flooding in China.
- U.S. corn futures fell as much as 2.5% to hit a near two-week low, as heavy rains across the key growing Midwest region eased fears that yields could be stunted.
- Soybeans fell more than 0.5% to hit their lowest level since July 1, while wheat fell 1.5% as the weakness in corn weighed on prices.
- London cocoa futures edged further away from this week's 20-month lows on Friday on lingering worries that potential political upheaval in top producer Ivory Coast could pose risks to production.
- Malaysian palm oil futures reversed early losses, hitting their highest level in nearly three weeks as gains in rival oils and global equities lifted market sentiment.

- The U.S. dollar edged down in Asian trade as investors looked to looming economic data from around the world and U.S. corporate earnings to gauge whether the markets' guarded optimism on the economic outlook is justified.

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

- Oil prices fell, adding to steep losses from the previous session, and were headed for weekly declines on worries that renewed lockdowns following a surge in coronavirus cases in the United States and elsewhere would suppress fuel demand.
- Gold was set for a fifth straight weekly gain as worries over a spike in U.S. coronavirus cases kept the safe-haven metal near the technical $1,800-per-ounce threshold.
- London copper traded steady but looked set to post its eighth straight weekly gain on resurgent demand in top consumer China and concerns over coronavirus-related disruptions to mine supply.
- Concerns about global supply set U.S. wheat futures on track for a weekly gain of more than 6%, though the grain dipped as traders squared positions ahead of a widely watched government report that is expected to trim output estimates.
- London cocoa futures recovered on Thursday from the prior session's 20-month low, though fears over a looming market surplus persist.
- Malaysian palm oil futures fell due to weaker crude prices and expectations of lower exports from July 1 to 10, ahead of the release of the country's official supply and demand data during the midday break.

- The yen rose to a two-week high and risk-sensitive currencies slid after a surge in new coronavirus infections in the United States further undermined the case for a quick turnaround in the economy.

- Lots of equity investors are trying to think through what could happen to equities should former VP Joe Biden win the election later this year versus President Trump. Nick Frelinghuysen, managing director working on client equity portfolios at Chilton Trust, says he thinks investors have already pretty much absorbed that outcome should it come to pass. "I personally think the market is sort of mostly there on discounting what a Biden presidency could potentially mean," he tells WSJ. The election may have consequences for corporate tax rates, health insurance and a host of other issues.
- The U.S. dollar's dominance would become endangered if the Trump administration undermined the Hong Kong dollar's peg to the U.S. currency, Commerzbank says. President Donald Trump's top advisors reportedly considered proposals to strike against the Hong Kong dollar's peg by limiting the ability of Hong Kong banks to buy the U.S. dollar. "A step of this nature would jeopardize the dominance of the USD in cross border payments and capital movements--in particular if it happens at a time when the eurozone is not being plagued by fears for its survival, so that the euro would be available as an alternative," Commerzbank's Ulrich Leuchtmann says. However, the U.S. government is unlikely to go down that route, he says.

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

- Oil prices were little changed as concerns about renewed COVID-19 lockdowns in the United States outweighed signs of a recovery in U.S. gasoline demand.
- Gold steadied above the key $1,800/oz level, as worries over mounting COVID-19 cases offset hopes of a swift global economic recovery.
- Concerns over copper supply from top producer Chile sent Shanghai prices of the metal to their highest in more than 16 months, while London copper scaled a near six-month peak.
- U.S. wheat futures edged higher as the prospect of a hit to global supplies due to lowered production estimates in countries from France to Argentina pushed prices to a one-month high.
- London cocoa futures fell to the lowest level in more than 20 months on Wednesday, as production looks promising while demand suffers globally.
- Sugar and coffee also closed down.
- Malaysian palm oil futures rose on higher soyoil prices, with investors on the wait for upcoming supply and demand data, although weaker crude prices capped gains.

- The dollar fell against most currencies as a rally in riskier assets such as global equities and commodities put a dent in safe-haven demand for the U.S. currency.

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

- Oil prices dipped after industry data showing a build in U.S. crude stockpiles added to worries about oversupply, but hopes for a swift economic recovery in China limited losses.
- Gold held steady near a more than eight-year high, with investors hitting pause on a rally fuelled by a surge in coronavirus cases and hopes of more stimulus measures from the U.S. Federal Reserve.
- Shanghai copper prices hit their highest in more than six months on worries of supply disruptions from top producer Chile, though a spike in COVID-19 cases globally capped gains.
- U.S. soybean futures fell as concerns over adverse weather in the United States eased, pushing prices to a six-day low.
- Corn fell as conditions indicated that the hot, dry weather across the U.S. Midwest would not be as severe as initially feared, while wheat edged higher.
- Raw sugar prices edged up on Tuesday after hitting a one-week low, even as oil prices slumped on fears about surging coronavirus cases.

- Arabica coffee recovered some of its sharp losses from the previous day.
- Malaysian palm oil futures rebounded from a sharp decline in the previous session, in line with stronger soyoil on the Dalian and helped by a weaker ringgit.

- The dollar held onto gains as a resurgence of the coronavirus in the United States and the return of lockdowns in some countries boosted safe-haven demand for the U.S. currency.

- FBI Director Christopher Wray singles out Chinese counterintelligence and economic espionage as the greatest long-term threat to US economic security and, by extension, national security. Speaking at an event hosted by conservative think tank Hudson Institute, Wray says almost half of the nearly 5,000 active FBI counterintelligence cases are linked to that country. "We've now reached the point where the FBI is opening a new China-related counterintelligence case about every 10 hours," he says, adding economic espionage cases linked to China have surged by roughly 1,300% over the past decade.
- The Chinese yuan is likely to weaken against the safe-haven dollar as November's U.S. presidential election draws closer, Unicredit analysts say. The analysts recommend taking a long position in USD/CNY--bets the exchange rate will strengthen--as the pair approaches 7.0. USD/CNY is last up 0.1% at 7.0229, having earlier reached its lowest point since March at 7.0083, according to FactSet. "We would handle the USD/CNY retreat below 7.02 with caution," Unicredit analysts say. "The slide has certainly been helped by strong Chinese stocks, but we still see pressure on the Chinese unit resuming as the U.S. presidential race heats up in the coming months."

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

- Oil prices fell, erasing earlier gains, on concerns that the surge in coronavirus cases in the United States, the world's biggest oil user, will limit a recovery in fuel demand.
- Gold prices held steady near an eight-year high as investors weighed a spike in COVID-19 cases around the world against a survey showing a rebound in U.S. services industry activity and expectations of a revival in China's economy.
- Copper prices rose to a five-month high as hopes of an economic recovery in China and supply fears underpinned sentiment.
- U.S. soybeans edged higher on Monday as traders were worried that adverse weather conditions could threaten yields, pushing prices to a near four-month high, though a widely watched report provided a ceiling to gains.
- Arabica coffee futures closed sharply lower on Monday as U.S. traders returned from the long Fourth of July holiday and fears of damages from a cold front in Brazil eased.
- London cocoa prices hit 1-1/2 year lows earlier on Monday, but recovered a bit to close up.
- Raw sugar fell.
- Malaysian palm oil futures extended gains as it tracked soyoil's advance overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT), with a stronger ringgit limiting the rise.

- The dollar found some traction, as risks from rising coronavirus cases offset strong economic data and kept a lid on confidence in an economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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

- U.S. markets were closed for the Independence Day holiday.

- Gold prices eased as risk sentiment improved ahead of U.S. services sector data, although losses were capped by worries over surging coronavirus cases in some U.S. states.
- Oil prices offered up a mixed market snapshot, with Brent crude edging higher, supported by tighter supplies, while U.S. benchmark WTI futures dropped on concern that a spike in coronavirus cases could curb oil demand in the United States.
- London copper prices rose, helped by hopes of further stimulus programmes to sustain a nascent recovery in the global economy ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic, and as risks of supply disruptions grew in the world's top producer Chile.
- U.S. soybeans rose more than 1%, as concerns about hot and dry weather in a key growing region in the United States pushed prices to a more than a four-month high.
- Corn rose 1.5%, recouping all the losses from the previous session, while wheat firmed nearly 1%.
- London cocoa prices on ICE hit 1-1/2 year lows on Friday as further signs emerged that the coronavirus pandemic has battered demand for the chocolate ingredient.
- Malaysian palm oil futures jumped more than 1%, underpinned by forecasts of lower June stockpiles, and as rival soybean oil prices advanced to a four-month high.

- The dollar held steady against most currencies as investors awaited data expected to show the U.S. services sector stopped contracting, which would further lift hopea for an economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

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

- Oil prices fell, reversing earlier gains, as the resurgence of the coronavirus globally and in the United States, the world's largest oil consumer, stoked worries that a fuel demand recovery could stall.
- Gold was flat, trading in a narrow $4 range, as worries over surging coronavirus cases globally and lingering trade tensions between the United States and China overshadowed strong U.S. jobs data.
- London copper prices were poised for a seventh consecutive weekly gain to notch up their longest winning streak in nearly three years, despite a slight easing on the day after top supplier Chile assured traders of a steady output.
- Arabica coffee futures on ICE closed down on Thursday, ending a four-day rally that led the beans to the highest price in more than a month.
- Malaysian palm oil futures rose for a third straight session as China's factory activity picked up and job growth in the United States accelerated.

- The dollar was hemmed in a narrow range, supported by safe-haven flows as a resurgence of the coronavirus in the United States discouraged some investors from taking on excessive risk.

- Trump touts 'historic' June jobs report, but the labor market is still grim: The jobs report is great, but the labor market is still grim.
President Donald Trump touted the record job gains in June Thursday, saying the U.S. was “roaring back” as the economy attempts to crawl out of a crater left by the coronavirus pandemic. “This is the largest monthly jobs gain in the history of our country," Trump said in a press conference Thursday morning following the Labor Department’s monthly U.S. employment report. “Today’s announcement proves that our economy is roaring back," Trump said, adding that the government’s response to the pandemic was "working out very well."

The monthly job gains in May and June are historic, but the labor market is still facing a net loss of 14.7 million job losses from the coronavirus recession.
- Jobs report: 4.8M jobs added and unemployment falls to 11.1% as more states reopen after COVID-19 shutdowns
- Layoffs: 48M Americans filed jobless claims in 15 weeks
- About 2.7 million jobs were added in May and 4.8 million positions were added in June -- both a record. However, they came after an unprecedented 22 million job losses in March and April.

- Economists and analysts anticipate that the job figures will be volatile until a vaccine for the virus is developed.
“It remains too difficult to call this trend with any real confidence as we continue to see-saw between lockdown tightening and lockdown loosening,” Shane Balkham, chief investment officer at financial advisor Beaufort Investment, said in a note. “Instead, it’s the revision to these numbers in the next set of data that will prove most revealing."
The further reopening of the economy in June ushered back more temporarily laid off workers. The job gains were concentrated in industries that have been hammered by the pandemic, including leisure and hospitality, health care and retail.
- Service-sector employment rose to 4.2 million in June, building upon the 2.5 million rebound in May. However, the two-month rebound of 6.8 million jobs only recovers 36% of the positions lost in March and April, according to Oxford Economics.
President Donald Trump speaks during a news briefing at the White House on Thursday, July 2, 2020, in Washington.
- The data was collected in mid-June before a recent surge in virus cases. And layoffs have remained high since then as more states across the U.S. have paused plans to reopen following a resurgence in cases, forcing more business to shutter.
- Separate data released Thursday showed about 1.43 million workers filed first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, the Labor Department said, with more than 48 million Americans seeking initial jobless benefits in just 15 weeks. The total of those receiving benefits for consecutive weeks turned higher last week, rising by 59,000 to 19.29 million.
- Last week, initial claims for state unemployment benefits jumped by 24,033 in Indiana. In Washington and Virginia, claims rose by 8,110 and 7,769, respectively. And Kentucky saw benefits spike by 5,600. Claims in Oklahoma, however, dropped by 41,933 while Maryland fell by 10,620.
“As long as there is no final resolution of the pandemic, the economy might face a prolonged situation of moving back and forth in terms of lockdown measures,” Christian Scherrmann, U.S. economist at asset manager DWS Group, said in a note. “It is likely some businesses will not survive such a bumpy ride.”

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

- Oil prices dipped after the United States recorded its biggest one-day spike in coronavirus cases and California reimposed some lockdown measures, stoking worries a resurgence in COVID-19 cases will stall a recovery in fuel demand.
- Gold edged lower, easing from a near eight-year peak hit in the last session, as solid U.S. manufacturing data and promising results from a COVID-19 vaccine trial revived hopes for a quick economic recovery, denting demand for safe havens.
- Shanghai copper prices touched a more than six-month peak, supported by mounting supply risks in top producer Chile and upbeat manufacturing data in major economies.
- Chicago corn futures fell for the first time in five sessions as a decline in demand due to the pandemic outweighed support from smaller-than-expected plantings of the grains.
- Soybeans climbed for a fourth consecutive session, while wheat declined after three days of gains.
- Raw sugar futures on ICE closed up on Wednesday, boosted partly by gains in crude oil, while cocoa prices slumped to 15-month lows weighed by concerns about weak demand.
- Malaysian palm oil futures rose for a second straight session due to costlier rival oils and stronger crude prices, although concerns over a spike in coronavirus infections in the U.S. capped gains.

- The dollar was on the defensive against more growth-sensitive currencies, following upbeat U.S. and European economic data, though worries about the coronavirus blunted more aggressive risk taking ahead of upcoming U.S. jobs figures.

- Trump Administration Preparing China Sanctions Over Xinjiang Rights Violations
The US is preparing to impose sanctions on Chinese officials over human rights violations against Muslims and minorities in China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, Bloomberg News reported, citing people familiar with the matter. The people refused to disclose the targeted Chinese officials, but they said the sanctions will likely be on Communist Party officials involved in the alleged forced detention and mistreatment of minorities in Xinjiang.
US President Donald Trump signed the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act in June but the sanctions put off due to an ongoing trade deal with China that time, the report said. The White House is imposing the sanctions under the 2016 Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act that allows the US to penalize foreign officials for human rights abuses, according to the report.

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

- Oil prices rose more than 1% after data showed crude inventories in the United States fell much more than expected, suggesting demand is improving even as the coronavirus outbreak spreads around the world.
- Gold prices firmed near an eight-year peak as the metal's safe-haven demand was boosted by worries about the global economic impact of surging coronavirus infections around the world.
- Shanghai copper hit its highest in five-and-a-half months as better-than-expected manufacturing data from China boosted hopes of an improvement in demand for the metal.
- Chicago corn futures rose for a fourth consecutive session to their highest in more than three months, underpinned by lower U.S. planting during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Soybeans and wheat rose for a third straight session.
- Arabica coffee futures closed up on ICE on Tuesday, extending the prior session's steep advance, boosted by short covering triggered both by concerns about cold weather in top producer Brazil and more supportive price charts.
- Malaysian palm oil futures snapped a five-day losing streak, tracking overnight soyoil gains on the Chicago Board of Trade and higher crude oil prices.

- The dollar held steady against the euro ahead of data expected to show U.S. manufacturing activity and hiring continued to recover from the economic shock caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

- American Airlines's plan to stop leaving empty seats on flights for social distancing is a source of "substantial disappointment," CDC Director Robert Redfield said during a Senate committee hearing Tuesday. "We don't think it's the right message," Redfield said in response to questions from Sen. Bernie Sanders. Some airline executives have said that keeping middle seats open is not an effective form of social distancing, and airlines have said that they've focused on mask requirements and thorough cleaning to keep infections from spreading in flight. United Airlines and other carriers such as Spirit Airlines have been filling flights to capacity, while Delta, Southwest and JetBlue have been keeping some seats open to give passengers more space.
- Major airlines are considering checking passengers' temperatures before boarding as they try to get people more comfortable traveling amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, says Nick Calio, chief executive of airline trade group Airlines for America. Airlines have pushed for TSA to take on this screening, but with no final decision, some carriers are considering taking matters into their own hands, Calio said during a call with reporters. "We continue to believe that's a government function," he said. On the same call, TSA Administrator David Pekoske the matter is still under discussion, and noted that scanning passengers for fevers wouldn't catch asymptomatic carriers of Covid-19 and that multiple federal agencies would have to be involved.
- Airlines are hopeful that the EU and US governments will work out a solution allowing some travel between the US and Europe to resume, says Nick Calio, chief of the airline lobbying group Airlines for America. Speaking on a call with reporters, Calio said carriers are disappointed with the decision to continue restricting American travelers from entering Europe, but said the group is aware of discussions between the US government and the EU on additional screening measures such as temperature checks that might allow transatlantic travel to resume.
- In addition to updating financial models, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva points to lessons learned thus far. For example, she says at an Economic Club of New York event, initially officials expected the pandemic to end and for a big economic recovery to follow. That's no longer in the cards, she says, adding that officials now expect a partial recovery but also have learned that "there's a set of actions that have proven to work in terms of protecting lives and protecting livelihoods." But, she said, what's missing is the discipline of applying those actions relentlessly and the recognition that policymakers need to be more agile as more is learned.

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."