Trump Again Monopolizing the News Cycle

August 28, 2018

Today’s news centers on President Trump.

  • Accuses Google of rigged search results.
  • Offers belated thanks for John McCain’s service to the country.
  • Completes a bilateral trade deal with Mexico.
  • But dampens expectations on likelihood of a deal with China.

The dollar is unchanged against the yen, Mexican peso, and sterling. The dollar has slipped 0.3% against the Swiss franc, 0.2% relative to the loonie and 0.1% vis-a-vis the yuan, kiwi, and euro. The dollar rose 1.8% against Turkey’s lira, 0.3% against the Russian ruble and 0.1% vis-a-vis the Aussie dollar.

The 10-year U.S. Treasury and British gilt yields are steady. The 10-year German bund dipped a basis point, but the yield on its British counterpart rose more sharply.

WTI oil is unchanged. Gold edged up 0.2% on this late-August Tuesday.

Share prices rose 0.8% in Taiwan, 0.7% in Singapore, 0.6% in Australia but only 0.1% in Japan, and China’s market dipped 0.1%. Among European bourses, stocks are down 0.6% in Italy, 0.4% in Spain, 0.3% in Switzerland but also up 0.3% in the U.K., 0.2% in France and 0.1% in Germany.

Several countries reported consumer confidence data.

  • French consumer sentiment recorded a reading of 97 for a third straight month in August. That’s close to a 2-year low and down from 104 at the end of 2017.
  • Italian consumer confidence dropped a whole point to a 3-month low in August and was accompanied by an even bigger erosion in business confidence. And thirdly, Italian PPI inflation accelerated 0.3 percentage points to 3.2% in July.
  • South Korean consumer confidence weakened 1.8 points to 99.2 in August and had slid 9.0 points over the past six reported months.
  • Norwegian consumer sentiment printed at 16.4 in the third quarter, down from 19.6 in 2Q and 20.3 in the first quarter. This was the weakest reading in a year.

On-year M3 money growth in the euro area slowed to 4.0% in August from 4.5% in July. However, the year-on-year increase in May-July of 4.1% was unchanged from the on-year rise in the second quarter.

Swedish retail sales posted a 1.0% monthly drop in July and in year-on-year terms was down 1.2%, which is more than twice as much as anticipated. Sweden’s trade balance swung from a SEK 1.1 billion surplus in January-July of 2017 to a SEK 16.7 billion deficit during the first seven months of 2018.

Irish retail sales in July climbed 6.5% on month and 5.5% on year, down from an 8.2% 12-month increase in June.

U.S. data releases today will include the Conference Board’s consumer confidence index, the Richmond Fed manufacturing index, the flash estimate of the trade balance, and the Case-Shiller housing price report for major metropolitan centers.

Copyright 2018, Larry Greenberg. All rights reserved. No secondary distribution without express permission.

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