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Five Things to Know in World Business Today


Mar 15, 2019, by Lorcan Roche Kelly

(Bloomberg)

Maybe next month

A meeting between President Donald Trump and President Xi Jingping is now unlikely to take place until April, at the earliest, according to three people familiar with the matter. Trump said there would be news on a trade deal “one way or the other” over the next three to four weeks at the White House yesterday. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin promised that any deal would have a “very clear enforcement mechanism” during congressional testimony on the subject.

Mostly fiscal

China will not resort to quantitative easing as it sets policies to support the economy, Premier Li Keqiang said. Policy makers are happy to stick to targeted interventions such as tax cuts to combat unemployment running at the highest level in two years. Li’s comments come at the end of the annual gathering of leaders in Beijing for their policy summit, which included new measures on tackling off-balance sheet debt, foreign investments and trade.

Shooting

At least 49 people are dead after a terrorist attack on two mosques in New Zealand, which Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described as one of the country’s “darkest days.” Four people were detained by police. One man in his 20s was charged with murder and is scheduled to appear in court tomorrow. Social media companies are likely to come under further scrutiny in the wake of the attack as the killer appeared to have livestreamed the murders on his Facebook and Instagram accounts.

Markets rise

Overnight the MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed 0.7 percent, while Japan’s Topix index closed 0.9 percent higher after the Bank of Japan held policy unchanged. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was 0.3 percent higher at 5:50 a.m. Eastern Time, with the gauge set for its best week in a month as London’s FTSE 100 Index rose in the wake of the delay to Brexit. S&P 500 futures pointed to a gain at the open, the 10-year Treasury yield was at 2.625 percent and gold was higher.

Coming up…

At 8:30 a.m. March Empire Manufacturing data is published, with U.S. industrial production for February due at 9:15 a.m. At 10:00 a.m. consumer sentiment data is released. Baker Hughes updates its U.S. rig count number at 1:00 p.m. and at 4:00 p.m. January TIC flows are published. Stock market investors should expect greater volumes today as futures on indexes and stocks expire. More than 15 billion shares changed hands the last time this happened, on Dec. 21.



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