Nov 16, 2018, by Lorcan Roche Kelly
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the U.S. still plans to raise tariffs on China in January, with Donald Trump and Xi Jinping only likely to agree a “framework” for further talks when they meet at the G-20 at the end of month. Market reaction in China was muted as fund managers there say they have already set expectations low for a breakthrough at the leaders’ meeting. One big winner from the continuing trade tensions is Chinese government debt, with the country’s sovereign note the world’s best performing this year.
Chips are down
The chipmaking sector saw at least $11.2 billion in market value wiped out in the wake of weaker-than-expected forecasts from Nvidia Corp. and Applied Materials Inc. While Nvidia saw demand for its products hit by disappearing cryptocurrency orders, Applied Materials’ disappointing outlook pointed to wider worries about consumer demand for electronics. Doubts are creeping into how Apple Inc. will fare coming into the key holiday season as the number of its suppliers issuing warnings grows.
British Prime Minister Theresa May said she would stay in office to see the Brexit deal through, despite facing rising calls to step down. While there has not yet been any repeat of yesterday’s resignations and letter writing drama today, the prime minister could still face a confidence motion in parliament. The market reaction to the apparent chaos in Westminster has fired a warning shot to pound investors, while U.K. financial stocks have plunged. The tumble in Barclay’s Plc now threatens its position in the Stoxx Europe 50 Index.
Overnight, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index slipped 0.2 percent while Japan’s Topix index closed 0.6 percent lower as the tech selloff dragged the gauge lower. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was 0.2 percent higher at 5:45 a.m. Eastern Time as the energy sector climbed on recovering oil prices while the wider market remained relatively quiet. S&P 500 futures dropped, the 10-year Treasury yield was at 3.118 percent and gold gained.
At 9:15 a.m., U.S. industrial production data for October is published, with a 0.2 percent expansion expected. Monetary watchers might want to keep an eye on Chicago Fed President Charles Evans’ address at 11:30 a.m. in the wake of Fed chair Jerome Powell highlighting this week possible economic headwinds for 2019. At 1:00 p.m., Baker Hughes publishes the latest U.S. rig count, and at 4:00 p.m. the Treasury releases the latest long-term TIC flows.