By Lorcan Roche Kelly
The release of a rough transcript of the July call between President Donald Trump and Ukraine’s leader has done nothing to ease criticism of Trump’s transactional approach to foreign policy, only serving to fan the flames of a nascent impeachment inquiry. Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer has called for the whistle-blower’s secret complaint to be made public immediately. Some Republican lawmakers have said the call was inappropriate his removal from office. Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire will appear before the House Intelligence Committee today to face questions, with his testimony seen as pivotal for the momentum to impeach Trump.
A volatile month for oil is getting still more unpredictable with shipping in disarray. The U.S. has imposed penalties against a handful of Chinese tanker firms for continuing to carry Iranian crude after sanctions waivers lapsed in May. The move could also complicate trade talks between the U.S. and China – the world’s largest oil buyer. Elsewhere in trade sanctions news, the World Trade Organization will authorize the U.S. to impose nearly $8 billion of tariffs on European goods due to illegal state aid provided to Airbus SE, a move that will almost certainly trigger retaliatory measures from the EU.
Europe’s widening money laundering scandal took a new turn this morning when Dutch lender ABN Amro Bank NV revealed it is being probed by regulators over failure to report suspicious transactions. Shares in the bank, which is still trying to exit government ownership after a bailout, slumped the most in three years. The news comes after Deutsche Bank AG revealed it is being investigated by Frankfurt prosecutors over its role in more than $200 billion in suspicious transfers made through Danske Bank A/S’s Estonian unit. The former head of that unit was found dead yesterday after going missing from his home on Monday.
Overnight the MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed 0.2% while Japan’s Topix index closed 0.2% higher with the country’s equities getting a boost from positive sentiment around trade deals. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was 0.6% higher at 5:45 a.m. Eastern Time, with banks the only laggard in a broad-based rebound. S&P 500 futures pointed to a small gain at the open, the 10-year Treasury yield was at 1.706% and gold recovered some ground after yesterday’s selloff.
The New York Federal will run two repo operations this morning, with the overnight one increased in size to $100 billion from $75 billion previously. Weekly jobless claims are published at 8:30 a.m., with the third reading of second-quarter GDP and wholesale inventories also due at that time. August pending home sales numbers are at 10:00 a.m. Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan, St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, Fed Vice Chairman Richard Clarida, San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly, Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari and Richmond Fed President Thomas Barkin all speak at various events today.