May 7, 2019, by Lorcan Roche Kelly
Talks go ahead
Despite President Donald Trump upping the pressure and Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer confirming the U.S. would increase duties on Chinese imports at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, Beijing will still send trade negotiators to Washington this week. The delegation will be led by Vice Premier Liu He, a sign that China remains serious about finding a compromise. Markets are a little calmer this morning in the wake of confirmation that the talks are going ahead. International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde said that rumors and tweets are not favorable for finding a satisfactory resolution to the stand-off.
Investors are fleeing Turkish assets as the decision to rerun elections in Istanbul after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s AK Party lost increases concerns about political stability in the country. The lira tumbled again this morning, trading close to 6.2 to the dollar at one point, while the main stock market index dropped as much as 2.5 percent. The decision to redo the election has drawn condemnation from opposition figures and some European officials who see it as more evidence of Erdogan’s increasingly authoritarian rule.
The hiatus is over and Brexit is back on the agenda. Talks between Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative Party and the main opposition Labour Party are set to come to a head today as the leaders meet to sign off on a deal that will allow a way forward for the long-stalled process. Should the negotiations fail, the U.K. could face another referendum or a snap election. Adding some extra jeopardy to the mix for May is the chance that she could soon be facing a leadership challenge from inside her own party.
Overnight the MSCI Asia Pacific Index slipped 0.2 percent, with Japan’s Topix index, back after a long break, closing 1.1 percent lower. In Europe the Stoxx 600 Index was 0.4 percent lower at 5:50 a.m. Eastern Time, with a positive start to the session proving short lived as energy and bank stocks dropped. S&P 500 futures also pointed to more red at the open, the 10-year Treasury yield was at 2.476 percent and gold was slightly higher.
U.S. job openings data for March is published at 10:00 a.m., with consumer credit at 3:00 p.m. Today’s Fed speakers are Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan and Fed Vice Chairman for Supervision Randal Quarles. Google’s annual developer conference begins in Mountain View, California. Earnings today include recently IPO’d Lyft Inc., Allergan Plc, US Foods Holding Corp. and LendingClub Corp.