Sep 4, 2018, by Lorcan Roche Kelly
President Donald Trump was vocal in his criticism of Canada over the Labor Day weekend as he threatened to push ahead with a new trade deal with Mexico, leaving the U.S.’s northern neighbor out. The problem Trump faces is that he needs congressional support for his stance, which he is unlikely to get, weakening the president’s negotiating position ahead of tomorrow’s resumption of talks. This week could also see the imposition of tariffs on a further $200 billion of Chinese goods, while Trump could focus more attention on the World Trade Organization.
Bank of England Governor Mark Carney will get the chance to quell speculation over his future this morning when he faces U.K. lawmakers at 8:15 a.m. Eastern Time. Yesterday BBC News reported that he is in talks to extend his tenure past his agreed June 2019 departure day. For MPs returning to parliament today, there are more sobering projections on Brexit with UBS Group AG saying the decision to leave the EU has already cost the economy 2 percent of GDP, while Pfizer Inc. said that the divorce will cost the company $100 million.
Oil above $70
A barrel of West Texas Intermediate for October delivery was trading at $71.05 at 5:45 a.m. as Tropical Storm Gordon approached oil platforms along the U.S. Gulf Coast. Brent crude was over $79 a barrel. The rise in prices may only be temporary: OPEC crude production rose to the highest level in a year in August as an increase in Libyan output helped offset a sanctions-related cut in Iranian shipments. The latter is now at the lowest level since 2016.
Overnight the MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 0.2 percent while Japan’s Topix index closed 0.1 percent lower as the country was hit by the strongest typhoon in 25 years. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was 0.5 percent lower at 5:45 a.m., as cyclical stocks took a hit with exporters weaker due to the rising dollar. S&P futures were pointing to a small gain at the open, the 10-year Treasury yield was at 2.871 percent and gold was back under $1,200 an ounce.
U.S. August manufacturing PMI is due at 9:45 a.m., with the ISM gauge at 10:00 a.m. Autosales data for August are also out today. IMF Director Christine Lagarde is due to meet Argentina’s Treasury Minister Nicolas Dujovne as the country tries to get a package of measures in place to ease the financial crisis. Speaking of emerging markets, keep an eye on the rand today after South African GDP data showed the country entered its first technical recession since 2009.