August 10, 2018, by Lorcan Roche Kelly
An already bad week for Turkey’s currency got a whole lot worse this morning when the lira plunged as much as 13.5 percent to reach a new all-time low of 6.3005 to the dollar. Contagion spread to euro-area lenders after the Financial Times reported that the European Central Bank is becoming concerned about the exposure of some of the region’s banks to Turkey. The lira rout comes after talks in Washington, designed to ease U.S.-Turkey tensions, ground to a halt, and ahead of an address by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan due around 7:00 a.m. Eastern Time.
Tesla Inc.’s directors plan to meet financial advisers next week as they move ahead with their review of Chairman Elon Musk’s ambitious plan to take the company private, CNBC reported. The board is likely to ask Musk to recuse himself from the discussions. Shares in the electric car maker, which had erased almost all of their post-Musk tweet gains during yesterday’s session, were around $360 in pre-market trading this morning. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, meanwhile, is intensifying its scrutiny of the company’s public statements according to two people familiar with the matter.
The U.K. economy expanded 0.4 percent in the second quarter, in line with economist forecasts. There was something of a sting in the tail of the data released as services growth, by far the largest part of the British economy, was entirely flat in the month of June. The pound, which had hit a one-year low against the dollar earlier in the session, regained some ground to trade at $1.2781 by 5:45 a.m.
Overnight, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 1.1 percent while Japan’s Topix index closed 1.2 percent lower despite second-quarter GDP coming in ahead of expectations. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was 0.9 percent lower, with banks and miners among the biggest losers in a broad-based selloff. S&P 500 futures pointed to a drop at the open, the 10-year Treasury yield was at 2.895 percent and gold was lower.
Headline U.S. inflation is expected to hold at 2.9 percent in July when the data are released at 8:30 a.m. with core inflation likely to repeat June’s 2.3 percent reading. While the Federal Reserve will keep an eye on the data, its preferred inflation gauge, the core PCE deflator, has been holding near 1.9 percent recently. The Fed also has developed a new set of tools using big data analysis to get a better idea of real-time activity in the economy.