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President Donald Trump retreated from imposing tariffs on billions of dollars worth of Chinese goods because of White House discord over trade strategy and concern about harming negotiations with North Korea, according to people briefed on the administration’s deliberations.
Trump also succumbed to pressure from farm-state Republicans, who heavily lobbied the White House to resolve its trade differences with China, which had especially targeted U.S. agricultural products with planned retaliatory tariffs. (Bloomberg – Continue Reading)
Could Britain, which had referendums in 2014 and 2016 and elections in 2015 and 2017, have another vote in 2018? Politicians laugh nervously at the idea but know that deadlock over Brexit makes it possible.
The pound fell to its lowest level this year on Monday amid speculation another snap vote could be called after the Sunday Times said some Conservative lawmakers are privately preparing for one. (Bloomberg – Continue Reading)
Brent crude oil grabbed all the attention after spot prices hit $80 a barrel last week. And yet, almost unnoticed, a perhaps more important rally has occurred in the obscure world of forward prices, with some investors betting the "lower for longer" price mantra is all but over.
The five-year Brent oil forward price, which has been largely anchored in a tight $55-to-$60 a barrel range for the past year and a half, has jumped over the last month, outpacing the gains in spot prices. It closed at $63.50 on Friday.
"For the first time since December 2015, the back end of the curve has been leading the complex higher," said Yasser Elguindi, a market strategist at Energy Aspects Ltd. in New York. "It seems that the investor community is finally calling into question the ‘lower for longer’ thesis."
Bob Dudley, the chief executive of oil giant BP Plc, coined the "lower for longer" mantra in early 2015, warning of a protracted period of cheap crude. He later clarified that he meant "lower for longer, but not for ever." (Bloomberg – Continue Reading)
Commodities were a big casualty of the escalating trade war between the U.S. and China, but are now set to be a major beneficiary of Beijing’s pledge to import more American goods.
U.S. President Donald Trump had threatened to impose tariffs on as much as $150 billion in Chinese imports, including some steel and aluminum products, to punish Beijing for allegedly violating American intellectual property and unfair trade practices. The Asian nation vowed to retaliate with tariffs on everything from soybeans to fruit and wine.
But after two days of talks in Washington, the two countries on Saturday declared an economic truce, putting their tariffs plan on hold. In a joint statement released by the White House, China said it agreed to “meaningful increases in U.S. agriculture and energy exports” with details to be worked out later.
Focus now swings to which U.S. commodities could benefit as China buys more, and which countries stand to lose business in the world’s biggest market for most raw materials. (Bloomberg – Continue Reading)
The Trump administration escalated its demands on Iran on Monday, putting Tehran on notice that any new nuclear deal would require it to stop enriching all uranium and halt its support for militant groups in the region.
The administration’s demands were outlined in a speech by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, which for the first time spelled out all of the administration’s requirements for a new agreement.
They mark a fundamental change from the 2015 agreement between Iran and six world powers that President Donald Trump abandoned earlier this month but which European leaders have sought to preserve. That agreement allowed Iran to enrich uranium under detailed arrangements in return for sanctions relief. (WSJ – Continue Reading)
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