By Lorcan Roche Kelly
What to sanction?
President Donald Trump is threatening Iran with additional sanctions, which may be announced as soon as today. There may be one problem with the plan: There is very little of the Iranian economy left for the U.S. to target. Meanwhile, the cyber-war between the two countries is heating up, with state-backed Iranian hackers stepping up attacks on the U.S., while Trump approved a cyber strike on targets in the Gulf nation. In other sanctions news, the White House added five more China tech companies to a trade blacklist.
Erdogan loses, lira wins
Turkey’s lira advanced as much as 1.8% against the dollar this morning, and the country’s stocks rose after the candidate supported by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s party was roundly defeated in the re-run of the Istanbul mayoral election. The size of the victory for opposition-party backed Ekrem Imamoglu gave Erdogan little option but to accept the defeat, and then try to change the topic of conversation.
Bitcoin, gold, oil
Bitcoin surged as high as $11,251.21 this morning, trading above $11,000 for the first time in 15 months. Some analysts say Facebook Inc.’s Libra is leading to renewed interest in cryptocurrencies, and the current rally may prove more sustainable than Bitcoin’s last move higher that saw it peak at over $19,500. Gold, the old-fashioned other currency, is also doing well, holding its gains above $1,400 an ounce today. And there are advances in useful commodities too, with oil following last week’s monster 9.4% rally with another rise this morning.
Overnight, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index added 0.3% while Japan’s Topix index closed 0.1% higher in thin trading ahead of this week’s G-20 summit in the country. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was 0.2% lower by 5:50 a.m. Eastern Time in a session that fluctuated between gains and losses. S&P 500 futures pointed to a gain at the open and the 10-year Treasury yield was at 2.031%.
It’s a quiet day on the eco data front, with the Chicago Fed national activity index for May at 8:30 a.m. and June Dallas Fed manufacturing activity at 10:30 a.m. SpaceX is due to launch its Falcon Heavy today, with a really, really, really accurate clock among the items in the payload.