President Donald Trump is looking for China to bring more to the table ahead of an effort to restart trade negotiations. Trump’s demand for a package of measures that slashes the bilateral trade deficit continues to be the major sticking point, as the feeling in China is that the president is trying to thwart the country’s rise as a global power. For investors, a trade war between the world’s two largest economies remains the main risk facing assets in Asia.
The recent respite for Turkey’s lira may prove fleeting, with a flare-up in tensions with the U.S. possible as an appeals court in Izmir is set to rule by tomorrow on a bid to release American pastor Andrew Brunson. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin warned that Turkey will face more sanctions if Brunson is not released. Later today, S&P Global Ratings is scheduled to update financial markets on how it views the country’s creditworthiness, with Bloomberg Opinion’s Mark Gilbert saying a downgrade is “inevitable.” While the lira added to gains yesterday after Turkey’s Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak promised that there would be no imposition of capital controls in response to the crisis, the currency was back in the red today.
Tesla Inc.’s Elon Musk said in an interview with the New York Times that he wrote his tweet about taking the company private while driving to the airport. With shares in the company now having more then erased their gains in the aftermath of that tweet, Musk writing a blogpost where he attempted to explain what he meant by “funding secured,” and Tesla receiving a subpoena from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission over his plans, it is little wonder that he said in the interview he’s having trouble sleeping. Tesla shares were trading down almost 1 percent at $332.50 in the pre-market.
Overnight, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed 0.5 percent, while Japan’s Topix index closed 0.6 percent higher amid optimism over the restarting of trade talks. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was 0.2 percent lower at 5:45 a.m. Eastern Time with the region’s equities in something of a mid-August volume slump. S&P 500 futures pointed to a slightly lower open, the 10-year Treasury yield was at 2.848 percent, and gold was a little higher.
At 10:00 a.m., August University of Michigan consumer sentiment is published. At 1:00 p.m., Baker Hughes releases the weekly rig count. That’s pretty much it for the economic data today. Unless you’re an emerging-market currency trader, probably a good day to book a long lunch.