Sep 10, 2018, by Lorcan Roche Kelly
President Donald Trump said on Friday he has firepower to impose new tariffs on China “at short notice,” leading former People’s Bank of China Governor Zhou Xiaochuan to warn the impact on domestic economic confidence may be larger than the immediate hit to trade. Shares in China and Hong Kong declined Monday as the Shanghai Composite Index closed within 30 points of its January 2016 low with Apple Inc. suppliers among the worst performers. With Trump already facing the prospect of a Republican loss of the House in the midterm elections, there may be little political capital garnered from softening his muscular stance on China.
The British economy posted the fastest expansion in nearly a year as the services sector remained robust in the three months through July. Growth beat economist estimates to come in at 0.6 percent with construction output and retail also providing a boost amid the fine weather. Separate figures showed the trade deficit in goods narrowed to a five-month low of 9.97 billion pounds ($13 billion) in July. Elsewhere in Europe, the Swedish election saw an inconclusive result, with the anti-immigration party poised to win about 62 seats in the 349-member parliament, less than some polls had forecast.
Digital currencies were hit again after U.S. regulators temporarily suspended trading in two securities linked to the asset class yesterday, citing investor confusion regarding the assets. Ether, the second-largest virtual currency, slumped 8.9 percent, while Bitcoin was 2.5 percent below Friday’s close at $6,288.71 by 5:45 a.m. Eastern Time. Market capitalization of digital assets tracked by CoinMarketCap.com shrank to $197 billion, down about $640 billion from its January peak.
Overnight, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 0.5 percent, adding to a losing streak that has now become the longest of this year, while Japan’s Topix index closed 0.2 percent higher on expectations of a weaker yen. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was 0.3 percent higher at 5:45 a.m. with Italian equities by far the region’s best performer as investors reassess budget risks from Rome. S&P 500 futures pointed to a gain at the open, the 10-year yield was at 2.948 percent and gold slipped.
Long-time Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of CBS Corp. Leslie Moonves will relinquish his titles immediately, according to a statement from the broadcaster yesterday. While the media mogul’s exit comes following allegations of sexual harassment published in the New Yorker, clashes with the company’s biggest investor National Amusements Inc., controlled by the Redstone family, had already being weighing on the company’s market value.