Sep 14, 2018, by Lorcan Roche Kelly
Hurricane-force winds and heavy rain lashed the North Carolina coast as Florence, now in category 1, moved ashore. More than 1,500 flights have been cancelled, factories shut and farmers rushed to save their crops as estimates for damage wreaked by the hurricane range between $10 billion and $20 billion. In Asia, Super Typhoon Mangkhut, packing gusts of over 200 miles per hour, has forced the evacuation of thousands of people in the Philippines as it makes its way toward Hong Kong.
President Donald Trump damped hopes of a successful and timely outcome from proposed trade talks between the U.S. and China. In a tweet yesterday, he said that his officials “are under no pressure to make a deal,” a move seen as undercutting Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin who issued the invitation to Beijing. Chinese state media warned the nation shouldn’t expect a quick resolution as Trump has not changed his thinking.
Bank of England Governor Mark Carney joined a meeting of U.K. government ministers yesterday to share worst-case economic scenarios used by the central bank as part of its Brexit planning. He warned of a 35 percent collapse in house prices and surging inflation that could lead to rate hikes. On the negotiation front, things seem to have slowed to a crawl. Today’s scheduled meeting between Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab and his EU counterpart Michel Barnier will now just be a phone call, as both sides gear up for an informal EU summit next Thursday.
Overnight, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 1.2 percent while Japan’s Topix index closed 1.1 percent higher as stocks in the region climbed led by technology companies. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was 0.2 percent higher at 5:45 a.m. Eastern Time with miners and car-makers leading the advance. S&P 500 futures pointed to a gain at the open, the 10-year Treasury yield was at 2.985 percent and gold was higher.
U.S. retail sales data for August is due at 8:30 a.m. with expectations for the headline number to weaken to 0.4 percent. Industrial output figures at 9:15 a.m. are forecast to show an increase of 0.3 percent last month. University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment for September may tick higher to 96.6 when it is published at 10:00 a.m. Finally, the Baker Hughes rig count is due at 1:00 p.m.