Five Things You Need to Know to Start Your Day
Trump ratchets up the tariff pressure, while North Korea's Kim Jong Un prepares for a summit with South Korea's Moon Jae-in. Here are some of the things people in markets are talking about.
Trump Sets a Date
The Trump administration will slap a 10 percent tariff on about $200 billion in Chinese goods, taking effect on Sept. 24. That's more than double the rate in 2019, setting up what could be a prolonged trade war between the world’s two biggest economies. The administration is giving U.S. businesses a chance to adjust and look for alternative supply chains by delaying an increase of the tariff to 25 percent until next year, two senior administration officials who declined to be identified told reporters by conference call on Monday. Beijing will reject new trade talks if Washington moves ahead with the next round of U.S. tariffs on Chinese products, throwing into doubt the prospect of a diplomatic breakthrough, according to two people familiar with the matter.
Apple, Others Spared
The Trump administration will spare a category of high-tech products that includes the Apple Watch and AirPods headphone from the next round of tariffs it’s imposing on Chinese goods, according to two people familiar with the matter. A product code that covers Apple Inc.’s Watch and AirPods – as well as similar smart watches, fitness trackers and other goods made by competitors including Fitbit Inc. – will not be on the the final list of products that will be hit with a new 10 percent tariff, the two people said.
Trade Fears Hit Stocks
U.S. stocks tumbled the most in a month as investors grappled with the looming tariffs from Washington. The dollar slipped and emerging-market stocks and currencies declined. The S&P 500 Index retreated Monday after five straight days of gains, with technology companies including Amazon.com Inc., Apple Inc. and Microsoft Corp. leading decliners. China’s sinking stock market reached an unwelcome milestone, with the Shanghai Composite Index closing at the lowest level since 2014, erasing the last traces of its recovery from a boom that turned into a $5 trillion bust. Elsewhere, oil wavered as international supply concerns were overshadowed by a looming demand drop, while base metals including copper declined.
Moon Heads to Pyongyang
South Korean President Moon Jae-in will head to Pyongyang on Tuesday for a landmark visit to salvage stalled nuclear talks between the U.S. and North Korea. The three-day trip, the first by a South Korean leader in 11 years, will feature a joint press appearance on Wednesday with Kim Jong Un. The North Korean leader has resisted U.S. attempts to spell out a timetable for giving up his nuclear weapons, prompting talks to stall just three months after he met Trump in Singapore. Kim is pushing for a peace declaration with the U.S. before he takes concrete steps toward getting rid of his nuclear capability. American strategists fear such a declaration will bolster arguments to ease sanctions on North Korea – one of the biggest pieces of leverage Trump has left -- and draw down the U.S. military presence in South Korea.
Options Market Flashes Warning Sign
The underbelly of the options market is flashing a warning sign for U.S. stocks. As global trade skirmishes intensify and valuation fears stalk technology stocks, investors are forking over cash for tail-risk protection, even as Wall Street’s traditional fear gauge sits at muted levels.The Cboe SKEW Index breached 150 last week, reflecting a surge in demand for out-of-the-money put options versus calls on the S&P 500 Index. The elevated level may be evidence that a blow-up in U.S. stocks -- returns two or more standard deviations below the mean, also dubbed a ‘black-swan’ event -- may be nigh. The SKEW is on track to notch its highest average closing level in history this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg going back to 1990.
What we’ve been reading
This is what caught our eye over the last 24 hours.
- China's bullet trains are coming for Hong Kong airlines.
- A Goldman alum is expanding his crypto fund even as markets tumble.
- Saudi Arabia’s wealth fund invested $1 billion in Tesla rival Lucid.
- The cost of delivering world trade is about to go up.
- The Bank of Japan's stimulus exit path is fraught with danger.
- Turkish President Erdogan got a nice present from the emir of Qatar.
- French winemakers are cheering an "incredible" 2018.
©2018 Bloomberg L.P.