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New Overnight Developments Abroad – Daily Update

Two Surprises

May 20, 2019

The new week is greeting investors with two unexpected developments, one political and the other economic. The right-of-center Liberal-National coalition government of Australia was headed for defeat in parliamentary elections according to previous opinion polls but instead defeated its Labour Party opponent. Scott Morrison will remain prime minister, and he campaigned on a promise of […] More

U.S.-Sino Trade Tensions and U.K. Tory-Labor Brexit Talks Take a Turn for the Worse

May 17, 2019

Chinese officials poured cold water on hopes that trade tensions with the United States might de-escalate. In reaction, China’s stock market tumbled 2.5%, and the yuan fell 0.4% against the dollar. Share prices also dropped 1.5% in Hong Kong, 1.3% in India, 1.2% in Indonesia, 0.9% in Taiwan, 0.6% in South Korea and 0.8% in […] More

Little Overnight Change in the Dollar but European Stocks Firming Further

May 16, 2019

The dollar shows no net change against the euro, Swiss franc, Australian dollar, or yuan. The greenback has risen 0.2% against sterling and 0.1% relative to the yen but is down 0.3% versus the loonie and peso and 0.2% against the kiwi. European equity markets have thus far today risen 0.9% in Switzerland, 0.7% in […] More

A Fresh Worry: Chinese Growth Slowed Last Month

May 15, 2019

Asian stock markets had taken the North America upward cue, posting gains on Wednesday of 1.9% in China, 0.6% in Japan and Hong Kong, 0.4% in Taiwan, and 0.5% in South Korea but that was before news of soft Chinese industrial production, retail sales, and business investment. In European trading, stocks are down 1.0% in […] More

Dead Cat Bounce

May 14, 2019

The escalation of trade war hostilities between the U.S. and China rattled global financial markets significantly yesterday, but today’s mood has been more encouraging. Share prices in Europe are up so far by 1.2% in France, 1.0% in the U.K. and Italy, and 0.9% in Germany. In Asia, equities fell 1.8% in Hong Kong, which […] More

Fear of a U.S.-Sino Trade War and Fear of a U.S.-Iran Real War Send Shivers to Investors

May 13, 2019

U.S. President Trump was particularly provocative over the weekend even by his own standards. Trade talks stalled with China, and he’s threatening a further escalation if China retaliates against the higher U.S. tariffs imposed last Friday. Tighter U.S. economic sanctions against Iran and a reinforced show of military force in the middle east threaten to […] More

Tariff War

May 10, 2019

President Trump made good on his threat to lift tariffs on $200 billion of imports from China, and Beijing officials promise to answer in kind even as talks continue. Trump erroneously expects the U.S. economy to at worst react neutrally to an escalated tariff war, but that delusion only partly explains his likely motivation. The […] More

Share Prices Down as U.S. and China Exchange Mutually Destructive Tariff Threats

May 9, 2019

It’s crunch time in the U.S.-Sino trade negotiations, and investors are hedging against the worst. The dollar climbed 0.6% against the yuan overnight. The price of Comex gold firmed another 0.2%, while WTI oil slid 0.3% and under $62. The 10-year U.S. Treasury yield popped higher after a poorly received Treasury auction yesterday but then […] More

Monetary Policy Reviews, an Intensifying U.S. Political Crisis, Trade Talks, and Some Data Surprises

May 8, 2019

Central bank officials in New Zealand and Malaysia cut their interest rates, while those in Thailand maintained an “accommodative but appropriate” 1.75% rate level. Thailand’s growth outlook was revised downward, but the inflation prognosis wasn’t changed. New Zealand’s official cash rate was lowered 25 basis points to 1.5%. Such had been 1.75% since November 2016. […] More

A Focus on Geopolitical Risk

May 7, 2019

U.S.-Sino trade talks are entering the final make-or-break stage. The Chinese delegation is coming to America, but the outcome of this final round of negotiations is much in doubt. Meanwhile, Secretary of State Pompeo abruptly canceled a trip to Germany, citing unspecified pressing matters. This mysterious cancelation raises the possibility of a major event risk […] More

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