U.S. stocks and the dollar were able to breathe a sigh of relief as the Trump administration showed signs of easing up on trade restrictions.
- U.S. S&P/CS HPI up 6.6% versus 6.9% estimate, 6.7% previous
- U.S. CB consumer confidence index down from 128.8 to 126.4 vs. 127.6 consensus
- Richmond manufacturing index up from 16 to 20 vs. 20 consensus
- U.S. gov’t to use CFIUS review in assessing Chinese investment restrictions
- FOMC official Bostic: Disruptions from trade war to be painful, prevents businesses from aggressive investment
- Bostic: 25% tariffs on imported autos to cost U.S. consumers $45B higher
- FOMC official Kaplan: Tariffs can erode margins and lead to higher prices
- New Zealand trade surplus widened from 193M NZD to 294M NZD
Trump softens stance on Chinese investments
After spurring a Manic Monday on Wall Street, the Trump administration appears to have turned the trade threats level a few notches down. U.S. equities welcomed this development with some green:
- Dow 30 index is up 30.31 points to 24,283.11 (+0.12%)
- S&P 500 index is up 5.99 points to 2,723.06 (+0.22%)
- Nasdaq is up 29.62 points to 7,561.63 (+0.39%)
Instead pushing for immediate restrictions on Chinese companies investing in U.S. tech firms, the Donald is taking another look at Treasury Secretary Mnuchin’s suggestion to consult the Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States (CFIUS) first.
But in his remarks at the White House, Trump reiterated that this approach would target all countries and not just China. He explained:
“We have the greatest technology in the world. People copy it. And they steal it, but we have the great scientists, we have the great brains and we have to protect that and we’re going to protect it and that’s what we’re doing. And that can be done through CFIUS.”
Lawmakers also passed legislation to strengthen the authority of CFIUS, allowing it to review minority investments in U.S. companies that could expose “industrially significant technology” to foreign firms.
U.S. urges allies to halt oil imports from Iran
Crude oil ticked higher as the Trump administration also lobbied against Iranian oil imports. A senior U.S. State Department official shared that the government is pushing its allies, including China and India, to cut oil purchases from Iran to zero by November.
- WTI crude surged to $70.80 per barrel (+3.63%)
- Brent crude oil is up to $76.50 per barrel (2.71%)
Furthermore, the state official said:
“We’re going to isolate streams of Iranian funding and looking to highlight the totality of Iran’s malign behavior across the region.”
Major Market Mover(s):
The Greenback brought sexy back on hopes of seeing a more measured approach in dealing with trade troubles.
USD/JPY rose from 109.55 to 110.22, USD/CHF recovered from .9887 to .9924, EUR/USD retreated to a low of 1.1634, GBP/USD is down to 1.3222, and AUD/USD tumbled to .7388.
Even with stronger than expected trade data and cooling trade tensions, the Kiwi was unable to join the risk rallies as traders might be positioning ahead of the RBNZ statement.
NZD/USD tumbled from .6869 to .6839, NZD/JPY slid from 75.38 to 75.20, EUR/NZD popped up to 1.7036, GBP/NZD is up to 1.9336, and AUD/NZD is up to the 1.0800 handle.
Watch Out For:
- 1:00 am GMT: New Zealand ANZ Business Confidence index (-27.2 previous)