Sep 27, 2018, by Lorcan Roche Kelly and Cecile Gutscher
Negotiations in Italy over the 2019 budget deficit, debt and growth have been hit with last-minute demands for extra spending from the governing coalition partners, threatening a deadline of midnight local time today. Finance Minister Giovanni Tria is fighting to keep the deficit to 2 percent, while the leaders of the League and Five Star Movement want more spending, with Matteo Salvini saying “Italians’ right to work and happiness is much more important than numbers.” Italian bonds and stocks fell this morning after local media reported that Tria threatened to resign.
President Donald Trump pushed his “America First” agenda at this week’s United Nations General Assembly, and earned rebukes from both allies and adversaries. During a press conference that lasted just over an hour, Trump indicated that his personal friendship with President Xi Jinping of China may be over, openly rejected a meeting with Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and restated his grievances over Iran. He said that “the United States is respected again.’’
Trump also expressed frustration with the Federal Reserve following yesterday’s rate hike, saying he is “not happy about that.” Fed Chair Jerome Powell said in yesterday’s press conference following the decision that the U.S. economy is in a “particularly bright moment,” indicating that he thinks there is no need for monetary support at the moment. The “dot plot” projections continued to show one more rate hike this year, followed by further gradual hikes well into 2019.
Overnight the MSCI AC Asia Pacific Index lost 0.4 percent while Japan’s Topix index closed 1.2 percent lower in the wake of the Fed decision. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was 0.4 percent lower at 5:45 a.m. Eastern Time as Italian budget negotiations weighed on investor sentiment. S&P 500 futures were broadly unchanged, the 10-year Treasury yield stood at 3.046 percent and gold was slightly higher.
There is a quite a data dump due at 8:30 a.m. with initial jobless claims, August durable goods orders, wholesale inventories numbers and the third reading of second-quarter GDP all due. Today’s main event has to be Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and his accuser Christine Blasey Ford giving their accounts of what happened 36 years ago in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, due to begin at 10:00 a.m. in Washington.