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Good morning. The pound gained on a report of Brexit optimism from within the European Union, oil’s memorable week goes on, and the trade war takes focus away from central banks. Here’s what’s moving markets.
Juncker Doing Everything
There was a late rally in the pound Thursday after a report that European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker thinks a Brexit deal can be reached by Oct. 31, the impending deadline. He said in an interview that he was doing “everything” to prevent a no-deal Brexit, which would be “catastrophic,” Sky News reported. Juncker’s comments came on the back of positive sentiment earlier in the day. Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said he’d meet his U.K. counterpart Boris Johnson next week in New York “to try and get a deal”
Crude Rises on Iran
Oil’s dramatic week rumbles on, this time with focus on Iran. The country’s foreign minister warned Thursday that any U.S. or Saudi strike on his country in response to the attacks on the kingdom’s critical oil facilities would lead to “all-out war.” That’s adding to the fallout from last weekend’s attack on Saudi sites. While Saudi Arabia’s efforts to restore output and assurances that the world has adequate supply have helped temper some of the unprecedented gains in the aftermath, prices are still up almost 8% this week.
Trade Back in Focus
Asian equities edged higher in light trading as attention switches from this week’s bumper central bank schedule to the outlook for negotiations between the U.S. and China as trade deputies from both nations are set to meet. A U.S. adviser, Michael Pillsbury, told the South China Morning Post that President Trump could ramp up pressure by raising tariffs “to 50% or 100%” if there’s no deal soon. The dollar continues to edge lower after Wednesday’s Fed update that left Trump disgruntled with Chairman Jerome Powell.
OECD Cuts Forecast
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development once again cut its global growth forecast Thursday. The group now reckons the global economy will expand by 2.9%, down from 3.2% earlier, the weakest in a decade. It’s a good job then that the world’s central bankers are showing a general willingness to provide stimulus. That said, somebody always has to be different: Norway delivered its fourth interest-rate increase in a year Thursday in an effort to cool an economy stoked by oil investments.
Juventus Football Club SpA reports full-year results later and the report should give us more insight into the financial impact of Cristiano Ronaldo’s presence in Turin. The soccer club’s stock price has more than doubled since news of the five-time Ballon d’Or winner’s arrival surfaced back in July last year, even with last season’s Champions League disappointment. We’ll also get a euro-area consumer confidence update, and it’s “quadruple witching day” for U.S. markets – when the quarterly expiration of futures and options on indexes and stocks occurs on the same day – which can result in higher volatility.
What We’ve Been Reading
This is what’s caught our eye over the past 24 hours.
- Why we like to call everything a bubble.
- Pilot ejects from plane, gets caught on power cable.
- Posh pre-drinking, inspired by Downton Abbey.
- Could twigs and branches fuel airplanes?
- Virtual reality headsets that transform what you see, while you eat.
- This group wants to revive the U.K.’s lynx population.
- These cows aren’t cool enough.
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