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Iran and Trump exchange threats, Mnuchin says there’s no currency war, and Fiat Chrysler gets a new boss. Here are some of the things people in markets are talking about today.
Relations between Washington and Tehran took another turn for the worst after Iranian leader Hassan Rouhani warned the U.S. against threatening the country’s exports – drawing a sharp rebuke from President Donald Trump on Twitter. While market reaction to the increasing tensions has been relatively muted so far,Brent crude, the global benchmark, was trading 0.9 percent higher by 5:45 a.m. Eastern Time. On the domestic front, Trump is facing mixed fortunes, with his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort due toface trial this week on bank-fraud and tax charges, while as hisapproval rating among voters hits a new high.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin spent the weekend at the G-20 summit in Buenos Airespouring cold water on fears that a currency war is about to break out while reassuring finance chiefs that the president fully supportsFederal Reserve independence. This morning a foreign-ministry spokesperson in Beijing said China has no desire todevalue the yuan amid trade stresses. And tensions in commerce dominated much of the G-20 meeting, with the final statementhighlighting the brewing risks to global growth.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and Ferrari NV fell sharply at the open in Milan this morning after sudden leadership changes, following the unexpected ending ofSergio Marchionne’s tenure as CEO due to health problems. Mike Manley, formerly head of the company’s Jeep brand, will take over as Fiat CEO and Louis Camilleri will head Ferrari. There was more bad press for Tesla Inc. when the Wall Street Journal reported that the company isseeking refunds from suppliers as the electric-car maker attempts to turn a profit.
Overnight, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.1 percent while Japan’s Topix index closed 0.4 percent lower in a dramatic session fueled by reports the Bank of Japan may beplanning changes to ultra-loose policy. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was 0.1 percent lower at 5:45 a.m., as investors digested the Fiat leadership change andcompany earnings. S&P 500 futures pointed to adrop at the open, the 10-year Treasury yield was at 2.884 percent and gold was slightly lower.
U.S. existing home sales data at 10:00 a.m. this morning may garner more interest than usual following last week’s report showing new home starts falling by themost since November 2016. Sterling watchers will keep an eye on Bank of England Deputy Governor Ben Broadbent’s speech at 1:00 p.m. to see if he joins calls for atighter policy stance. In earnings, today sees Google parent Alphabet Inc. report.
What we've been reading
This is what's caught our eye over the weekend.
- Odd Lots: Why understandingfinancial fraud is the key to understanding business.
- Volatility is coming for your summer break.
- Bond traders seecurve steepening as just a pause.
- Nobody knows where totake shelter from Trump’s trade war.
- Hedge funds are suffering frommetal fatigue.
- Goldman says American factories aremore competitive than you think.
- Meet the woman whorocked particle physics – three times.
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