June 11, 2018, by Lorcan Roche Kelly
G-7, Go Sing.
This weekend’s G-7 summit in Canada, despite the late dramatics, ended pretty much as analysts had expected, with President Donald Trump rejecting the communique issued for the meeting. While there was some selling of the Canadian dollar when markets opened, reaction has generally been benign. Trump, meanwhile, has gone to Singapore for his meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, which is due to begin at 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time tonight. The president has said that he will know Kim’s intentions within the “ first minute” of the meeting.
Stay at your desk
As well as the Singapore summit, there is a huge amount going on this week. The Federal Reserve is expected to hike rates on Wednesday, while the European Central Bank may outline how it intends to end its asset-purchase program on Thursday. The Bank of Japan has its meeting on Friday. Tomorrow, there is a major test for British Prime Minister Theresa May as the Brexit bill goes to a vote in parliament, with this morning’s disappointing economic data already putting pressure on the pound. Thursday also sees the start of the soccer World Cup in Russia with a match between the hosts and Saudi Arabia.
Forget about it
Italian Finance Minister Giovanni Tria said that there was no discussion about his country leaving the euro and that the government would block any market conditions that would “push toward an exit” in a weekend newspaper interview. Italian stocks and bonds rallied this morning following the reassurances, with the yield on two-year government debt falling more than 50 basis points and the FTSE MIB Index gaining more than 2 percent. There was less good news from economic data, which showed that industrial production had a surprise decline of 1.2 percent in April.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index was broadly unchanged while Japan’s Topix Index closed 0.3 percent higher with domestic-focused stocks the best performers. In Europe the Stoxx 600 Index was 0.5 percent higher at 5:45 a.m. as relief at the Italian government’s commitment to the euro lifted the regional gauge. S&P 500 futures pointed to a slight gain at the open, the 10-year Treasury yield was at 2.964 percent, and gold was lower.
Pakistan’s central bank devalued the rupee for a third time since December as a global emerging-market selloff continues to put pressure on developing-nation currencies. Last week saw rate hikes in Turkey and India, while Brazil’s central bank managed to halt the rout in the real on Friday by pledging to flood the market with foreign exchange swaps. Despite winning $50 billion of IMF backing for its economy, Argentina’s peso slid further on Friday, dropping to more than 25 to the dollar.