Trump set to address Davos, dollar moves still driving markets, and it’s GDP day. Here are some of the things people in markets are talking about today.
President Donald Trump is due to make his scheduled address to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland at 8 a.m. Eastern Time. While he’s expected to say his ‘America First’ agenda is good for the world, the president said his aim at the gathering of global elites is to draw investment to the U.S. Away from today’s events, White House officials offered Democrats a concession on immigration that forges a path to citizenship for so-called dreamers but includes a funding request for his flagship border wall.
Markets this week have been dominated by greenback moves driven initially by comments from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who was, in turn, chided by ECB President Mario Draghi at yesterday’s monetary-policy press conference. After Draghi’s intervention, Trump spoke in favor of a strong dollar, saying Mnuchin’s comments were “taken out of context.” The soothing words from the president may not be enough for the beleaguered U.S. currency as analysts point to technical factors that could prolong its worst start to a year since 1987.
Depending on how long he speaks for, Trump could still be on his feet when fourth-quarter GDP for the U.S. is published at 8:30 a.m. Economist expectations are for an annualized 3 percent growth rate. GDP data in the U.K., meanwhile, came in at a faster-than-expected 0.5 percent in the final quarter, but output in 2017 still expanded at the weakest pace in five years at 1.8 percent.
Overnight, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index was little changed, while Japan’s Topix index closed 0.3 percent lower, with the yen’s appreciation increasing concerns about profit outlooks. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was 0.5 percent higher at 5:40 a.m. with defensive industries leading the gains. S&P 500 futures added 0.2 percent, the 10-year Treasury yield was at 2.636 percent and gold was lower.
Oil slipped from the week’s highs as the dollar gained on Trump’s supportive comments, with a barrel of West Texas Intermediate for March delivery trading at $65.63 at 5:40 a.m. U.S. production remains the bogeyman for the oil outlook, with analysts closely watching today’s Baker Hughes rig count due at 1:00 p.m. for signs of increased drilling on the heels of last week’s surprise drop.