Apr 29, 2019, by Lorcan Roche Kelly
Back at the table
The next round of China-U.S. trade talks begins in Beijing this week, with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin set to meet Chinese Vice Premier Liu He tomorrow. One senior administration official said, on the condition of anonymity, that significant issues remain unresolved and there’s still a chance that President Donald Trump could walk away from the table. A meeting on trade between Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the White House showed neither side willing to give ground.
State of play
The global economy is getting a health check this week, with a raft of data and policy decisions. U.S. personal income and spending data are published at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time this morning, with any weakness likely to play into the hands of investors betting on a Federal Reserve rate cut this year. Those investors will not have to wait long for an update on the monetary stance as the Fed’s policy decision comes on Wednesday. Meanwhile, eurozone GDP is published tomorrow and the Bank of England’s policy decision will come with updated economic forecasts on Thursday. April non-farm payrolls numbers are released on Friday.
Crude continues to give up some of its recent rally this morning with a barrel of West Texas Intermediate for June delivery trading at $62.61 by 5:40 a.m. On Friday, President Trump said that he had spoken to OPEC to tell them to reduce oil prices, a conversation the headquarters of the group seem to know nothing about. Supply concerns in Europe have been allayed after Russia said a key pipeline would resume normal flows within two weeks. Russian President Vladimir Putin said that all parties to the OPEC+ supply agreement remain in compliance with the deal, and that none have suggested an exit.
Last week’s record close in U.S. stocks isn’t lifting all global equities. Overnight, the MSCI Asia Pacific excluding Japan Index was 0.5 percent higher, with Tokyo trading closed for all of this week. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was 0.3 percent lower at 5:40 a.m. as weak euro-area confidence figures weighed on sentiment. S&P 500 futures pointed to a slightly lower open, the 10-year Treasury yield was at 2.507 percent and gold slipped.
Boeing Co. CEO Dennis Muilenburg can expect a grilling from investors and reporters at today’s annual meeting. The key questions will focus on the safety of the company’s still-grounded 737 Max aircraft, with customers only being told after the Lion Air crash that a key safety feature is absent from the “standard” version of the Max model. In other corporate news, Google parent Alphabet Inc. reports earnings later.