By Lorcan Roche Kelly and Sid Verma
A Chinese Ministry of Commerce spokesman said that both sides in the trade dispute have agreed to roll back tariffs in phases as they work toward a deal. If confirmed by the U.S., such an understanding would provide a road map for a de-escalation of the trade war. Investors and corporations are betting the tentative rapprochement will stimulate global growth. In another move which will help negotiations with the White House, China announced some high-profile convictions to stem the illicit flow of fentanyl to America.
House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff announced that public hearings as part of the impeachment inquiry will start next week, with William Taylor, the current top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, first to testify on Nov. 13. From unsealed testimony it now seems that President Volodymyr Zelenskiy was particularly interested in getting a meeting with President Donald Trump in the Oval Office. Text messages from Ukraine envoy Kurt Volker show a clear connection between that meeting happening and Ukraine launching investigations into Joseph Biden and the 2016 election.
The Bank of England is expected to keep rates on hold and cut both its inflation and growth outlooks when it announces its latest monetary policy decision and forecasts at 7:00 a.m. Eastern Time, followed by a press conference at 7:30 a.m. With Britain headed for an election on Dec. 12 and many unknowns still surrounding Brexit, any forecasts will likely be presented with a pinch of salt. Speculation is also mounting over who will head the bank when Governor Mark Carney steps down early next year, with former Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan among those previously touted for the role.
The latest trade news has helped lift equities and pushed sovereign bonds lower. Overnight the MSCI Asia Pacific Index added 0.3% while Japan’s Topix index closed 0.2% higher. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was 0.3% higher at 5:45 a.m., with carmakers and basic resource stocks among the best performers. S&P 500 futures pointed to a gain at the open, the 10-year Treasury yield was at 1.874% and gold was down.
Weekly initial jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. are expected to drop slightly to 215,000. Bloomberg consumer comfort is published at 9:45 a.m. Today’s Fed speakers are Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan and Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic. In earnings, Walt Disney Co. investors will want details on the company’s foray into streaming and how spending will weigh on profits. Dropbox Inc. reports later.