Chinese stocks surge, Italian assets bounce, and Trump’s tax-cut promise dazes GOP leaders. Here are some of the things people in markets are talking about today.
China’s Shanghai Composite Index surged 4.1 percent overnight after weekend comments from President Xi Jinping in which he vowed “unwavering” support for non-state firms. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 0.4 percent while Japan’s Topix index closed 0.2 percent higher. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was 0.3 percent higher at 5:45 a.m. Eastern Time with almost all national gauges up for the session. S&P 500 futures pointed to a gain at the open, the 10-year Treasury yield was at 3.200 percent and gold slipped.
Italian stocks and bonds rose in morning trading as the country’s downgrade by Moody’s Investor Services on Friday proved less severe than feared. Italian banks, one of the hardest hit sectors in the recent selloff, were among the best equity performers. There are further risks on the horizon today as the country is due to respond to the “serious concerns” raised by the European Commission over the government’s budget proposal.
President Donald Trump promised a new tax cut for middle-income earners at a rally in Nevada in a plan that would land days ahead of the midterms. The comments caught GOP leaders in Congress off guard, with no current plans to introduce a bill at short notice, according to a Republican tax lobbyist. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia’s evolving account of how journalist Jamal Khashoggi died continues to draw a mix of skepticism and condemnation from around the world. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who is on a Middle East tour that will include Riyadh, said the U.S. will continue its long-standing relationship with Saudi Arabia.
British Prime Minister Theresa May faces angry lawmakers in parliament today as she tries to defend progress on negotiations to leave the European Union. May, whose position has been under threat before, is facing an increasing chorus of criticism within her party as she’s now willing to consider an extension of the transition period that tethers the U.K. to European Union rules. She is due to address parliament at 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time.
It’s fairly quiet day on the data front, with the U.S. September Chicago Fed National Activity Index at 8:30 a.m. the lone economic release of note. President Trump will speak later at a rally for Republican Senator Ted Cruz – where it might be worth looking out for remarks reprising his tax-cut declaration.