By Lorcan Roche Kelly
Chinese authorities granted companies waivers to buy between 2 and 3 million tons of U.S. soybeans without being subject to retaliatory tariffs, according to people familiar with the situation. The move follows a meeting between trade officials from both countries in Washington last week, and ahead of a visit by China’s Vice Premier Liu to America next month for high-level talks. Agricultural purchases have become a key pressure point in the negotiations, with President Donald Trump publicly questioning Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin yesterday over a decision to cancel a Chinese delegation visit to U.S. farms last week, saying “I want them to buy farm products.”
The Supreme Court in the United Kingdom decided in a unanimous ruling that the decision by Prime Minister Boris Johnson to suspend Parliament until mid-October was unlawful. The court says that Parliament should meet as soon as possible. Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow reacted to the decision by saying Parliament “must convene without delay.” The pound rose in the wake of the decision which the government lost on every count.
The continuing fallout from allegations around Trump’s phone call with Ukraine’s new President Volodymyr Zelenskiy is once again pushing some Democrats in the House to start talking about impeachment proceedings. They face several obstacles: a majority of American voters would oppose it, the Senate is unlikely to back such an attempt, and it could actually strengthen the president’s hand coming into an election year. On the issue of the call, Trump said he may release a transcript which he deemed “very innocent.”
Overnight, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index was broadly unchanged while Japan’s Topix index closed 0.4% higher to reach its highest level since April. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index had gained 0.3% by 5:50 a.m. Eastern Time as the gauge bounced back from yesterday’s worst decline in a month. S&P 500 futures pointed to an open above 3,000, the 10-year Treasury yield was at 1.716% and gold was flat.
At 8:00 a.m., the New York Federal Reserve will conduct a 14-day term repo operation as the bank continues to get on top of the problems in the market that flared up last week, followed by an overnight operation at 8:30 a.m. U.S. house price data for July is released at 9:00 a.m., with September consumer confidence at 10:00 a.m. Nike Inc., BlackBerry Ltd., and Manchester United Plc are among the companies reporting today. Trump is scheduled to speak at the United Nations later.