Aug 14, 2018, by Lorcan Roche Kelly
The plunge in Turkey’s lira is taking a break today, the currency gaining as much as 6 percent against the dollar to trade at 6.5538 by 5:50 a.m. Eastern Time. In a televised address, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the country would boycott American electronic devices, while citizens will “continue their path with the Turkish lira.” His defiance comes as the head of Spain’s Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA’s Turkey unit urged the central bank to tighten monetary policy, echoing calls from other lenders and business groups. The U.S. maintained pressure on Ankara, warning there would be no negotiation until a detained American pastor is released.
The euro area grew at a faster pace than initially reported, with data published by Eurostat showing a 0.4 percent expansion in the second quarter, up from the previous estimate of 0.3 percent. Growth in Germany was 0.5 percent in the three months through June with the solid momentum driven by domestic consumption and investment. Labor data for the U.K. showed unemployment falling to 4 percent, a new 43-year low, while the pace of wage growth eased.
Tesla Inc.’s Elon Musk continued to drip-feed information on the background to his tweet about taking the company private at $420 a share. In a blog post yesterday, he said that a meeting with Saudi Arabia’s wealth fund had given him the confidence to say that funding for taking the company private was secure. Later yesterday, he revealed that he is personally working with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and private-equity firm Silver Lake, while also having legal advisers lined up over the possible deal. Shares in the company closed at $356.41, with little movement in pre-market trading, as investors appear skeptical about the $420 price.
Overnight, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index added 0.5 percent while Japan’s Topix index closed 1.6 percent higher with electronics makers among the best performers as the yen weakened. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was 0.3 percent higher at 5:50 a.m., with positive macro data and easing lira tensions giving stocks a lift in a quiet session. S&P 500 futures pointed to a higher open, the 10-year Treasury yield was at 2.899 percent and gold remained below $1,200 an ounce.
There is a chance to check up on the health of the U.S. consumer today when the New York Federal Reserve releases its household debt and credit report for the second quarter at 11:00 a.m. In politics, there are key primaries in Wisconsin and Minnesota that will be seen as a test of President Donald Trump’s support ahead of November’s mid-term elections.