June 22, 2018, by Lorcan Roche Kelly
Some officials in the Trump administration are trying to restart high level talks with China, ahead of the imposition of $34 billion of new tariffs on the country’s goods on July 6, three people familiar with the matter said. Staff of the National Economic Council are leading the effort, even if the chances of rekindling negotiations before the deadline seem slim with President Donald Trump showing no signs of backing down on the White House’s hard-line on trade. Meanwhile, the real world effects of the standoff are starting to be felt, with the very-globalized car industry already coming under pressure.
The ‘Oh, Please, Everybody Compromise’ (OPEC) meeting in Vienna today is showing signs that agreement may be reached on the thorny subject of production increases. The talks have come down to a split between Saudi Arabia, seeking an increase, and Iran, which wants to hold production levels steady. Tehran’s increasing isolation means even a veto, should officials decide to exercise it, may not be effective in holding back new oil from the market. A barrel of West Texas Intermediate for August delivery was trading at $66.48 by 5:50 a.m Eastern Time.
After a period of slowing growth, there were some better numbers from the euro area this morning when a composite purchasing managers’ index for the region unexpectedly rose to 54.8 for June. National level data showed that it was the services sector that provided much of the surprise expansion. The print comes the morning after another late-night meeting of euro-area finance ministers over Greece. This one finally put an end to the country’s long-running bailout saga, leaving Athens clear to exit the lifeline that has kept the nation afloat since 2010.
Overnight, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 0.1 percent, while Japan’s Topix index closed 0.3 percent lower to bring its losses for the week to 2.5 percent as trade fears continue to dominate markets there. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was 0.6 percent higher at 5:50 a.m. as oil production stocks were lifted by rising crude prices. S&P 500 futures pointed to a gain at the open, the 10-year Treasury yield was at 2.919 percent and gold was higher.
On Sunday, voters in Turkey go to the polls with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan the clear frontrunner in the presidential election. There is a chance, though, that he may not be able to avoid a run-off vote by winning more than the 50 percent threshold in the first round. With high youth unemployment and low prospects for college graduates, getting youth support has become a key tactic of the main opposition party’s campaign. Polls close at 5 p.m. local time with the result expected to be known later that night.