Nov 2, 2018, by Lorcan Roche Kelly and Cecile Gutscher
Terms of trade
President Donald Trump seems to want to reach a trade deal with China when he meets President Xi Jinping at the G20 next month. He has asked key U.S. officials to start drawing up potential terms for a deal, according to four people familiar with the matter. While initial market reaction to the news has been very positive, with Asian equities rallying and the yuan strengthening, analysts are warning that there is still a lot of work to do before anything concrete is agreed.
Economists expected the U.S. to have added 200,000 new positions in October, with the unemployment rate holding at 3.7 percent and average hourly earnings rising by 3.1 percent from a year earlier. The data, which is due at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time, is forecast to show a return to the trend in place before September’s Hurricane-Florence distorted numbers. Speaking of trends, one interesting thing that is showing up in the numbers is the disappearance of 25-34 year old men from the workforce.
The U.S. will grant eight countries — including Japan, India and South Korea – temporary waivers from its sanctions on Iran allowing them to continue imports of the country’s crude, according to a senior U.S. official. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo will officially announce the number of exemptions later today. The news comes as crude prices remain under pressure, with a barrel of West Texas Intermediate for December delivery trading at $63.63 by 5:40 a.m. as the commodity remained set for its biggest weekly loss since February.
The trade talk helped shares surge in the overnight session with the MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbing 2.6 percent and Japan’s Topix index closing 1.6 percent higher. In Europe the Stoxx 600 Index had gained 0.9 percent by 5:40 a.m. and was poised for its biggest weekly advance since the end of 2016. S&P 500 futures pointed to a bounce at the open, the 10-year Treasury yield was at 3.167 percent and gold rose.
While payrolls will grab the headlines today, there are a few other things worth watching. At 8:30 a.m. the U.S. trade balance for September is published, with durable goods and factory orders for the same month due at 10:00 a.m. Canadian October unemployment is due at 8:30 a.m. At 1:00 p.m. Baker Hughes’s latest rig count is released. In Europe, results of the latest bank stress test are due after markets there close. Earnings today include Alibaba Group Holdings, Exxon Mobil Corp., and Chevron Corp.