By Lorcan Roche Kelly
Peso set to plunge
Argentina’s President Mauricio Macri unexpectedly lost a primary vote by 15 percentage pointsto Alberto Fernandez, the main opposition candidate who has Cristina Kirchner as his running mate. Investors are running for the exits in the wake of the larger-than-expected defeat for market-friendly Macri, with the peso and bonds set to be hit hard in trading. Should the primary results over the weekend be replicated in October’s vote, there would be no need for a run-off.
Authorities at Hong Kong’s airport cancelled all remaining flights on Monday after protesters filled the main terminal building, in what is the biggest disruption yet to the city’s economy since demonstrations began in early June. China stepped up its rhetoric, saying the protests show signs of “terrorism.” Shares in Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. tumbled to a 10-year low.
Investors are brushing off their ‘beginners guide to Italian politics’ as the government in Rome continues to resist Deputy Premier Matteo Salvini’s bid to take control. The latest move involves talks between the anti-establishment Five Star Movement and their longtime enemies, the Democratic Party, with a view to halting Salvini’s plan for a swift election. There was one sliver of good news for the country’s bond holders when Fitch Ratings affirmed Italy’s credit rating Friday.
You could be forgiven for thinking that you are reading a politics newsletter this morning, so let’s get back on track with a look at global markets. Overnight, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index was broadly unchanged, with Japan’s markets closed for a holiday. In Europe the Stoxx 600 Index was trading 0.1% lower at 5:50 a.m. Eastern Time, reversing earlier session gains. S&P 500 futures pointed to alower open, the 10-year Treasury yield was at 1.691% and gold was higher.
Saudi Aramco announced a 12% drop in profits for the first half of the year to $49 billion as crude prices fell. The company also said it will take a 20% stake in India’s Reliance Industries Ltd. as it pushes ahead with a plan to double its refinery network. Oil is trading lower this morning, with a barrel of West Texas Intermediate for September delivery dropping more than 1%. At 12:00 p.m. today the USDA August WASDE report is published.