There are some signs of a thaw in the trade war between the world’s two largest economies with China set to dispatch Vice Commerce Minister Wang Shouwen to the U.S. later this month for low-level talks. If it goes ahead, it will be the first official engagement since negotiations broke down two months ago. The yuan jumped the most in more than six months on optimism that the move might be a sign of improving relations. Still, expectations remain low of a material breakthrough, given key sticking points between the leaders of the two countries.
With old friends
Turkish assets continue to recover some of the losses racked up in recent days, with the lira trading at 5.7795 by 5:50 a.m. Eastern Time. While there has been no cooling of tensions with the U.S., President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has moved to shore up alliances in Europe and the Middle East. Turkish officials said that Qatar’s Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani pledged $15 billion in support for the economy through direct investments, while Erdogan spoke to German Chancellor Angela Merkel and reached an agreement that the finance ministers of both countries should meet. Finance Minister Berat Albayrak has an investor call at 9:00 a.m. this morning, which will be closely monitored.
Retail sales data in the U.K. showed a surprise 0.7 percent increase in July as warmer weather encouraged shoppers to open their wallets. After yesterday’s U.S. number, analysts will get another look at the health of the retail industry today when Walmart Inc. and JC Penny Co. report before the bell this morning. Macy’s Inc. saw its shares plunge as much as 14 percent yesterday after results disappointed investors. Nordstrom Inc. reports after the bell.
Overnight, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 0.5 percent while Japan’s Topix index closed 0.6 percent lower as technology stocks in the region were dragged lower following Tencent Holdings Ltd results. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was 0.3 percent higher at 5:50 a.m. with financial stocks and miners among the best performers as they recover some of the recent losses. S&P 500 futures pointed to a gain at the open, the 10-year Treasury yield was at 2.877 percent and gold was higher.
At 8:30 a.m., weekly jobless claims data is released, with economists expecting a slight rise to 215,000 claimants from last week’s 213,000. Housing starts and building permits numbers for July are published at the same time. At 9:00 a.m., Turkey’s finance minister hosts a conference call with investors. The latest Bloomberg Consumer Confidence update is released at 9:45 a.m.