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Good morning. Donald Trump took aim at the Fed again, Mario Draghi took aim at Donald Trump taking aim at the Fed and the U.S. is battling against its own trade policy. Here’s what’s moving markets. 


Mario Draghi took the rare step of sounding concern over the independence of the Federal Reserve in the face of U.S. President Donald Trump’s constant criticism of Fed policy. That proved prescient when the president took to Twitter, in between watching Tiger Woods win The Masters, to attack the Fed once again. Trump said Fed rate rises have been “a killer” and that stocks would be 5,000 to 10,000 points higher without them. Elsewhere, Draghi and his European Central Bank team also cautiously stuck to the message that an upturn in the European economy is still possible in the second half of 2019.


The U.S. would be open to facing repercussions should it fail to live up to the promises made in any trade deal eventually reached with China, according to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. His comments indicate the pair are getting closer to an accord, should both be willing to accept the punishments that would come from letting each other down. Good thing, too. Japan said trade tensions are among the reasons for its pessimistic outlook on the global economy and the U.S. itself faces the paradox of pushing for global growth as demand is dragged by its own policies.

IPO Spring

Earnings season is on its way but for now dealmaking and new public listings are grabbing the attention. Uber Technologies Inc. has made its pitch to be the Amazon of transportation and may try to distance itself from smaller rival Lyft Inc., which made a big first-day bang but has since waned. In Europe, both Switzerland's Stadler Rail and the London listing of Middle East payments firm Network International went well. Next up is  the biggest of the European listings thus far, Italy's Nexi SpA, which starts trading tomorrow.

Suspended Animation

There is precious little sign thus far that Conservative and Labour politicians in the U.K. are finding a way towards a compromise on Brexit, leaving the pound hanging in suspended animation and Prime Minister Theresa May facing attacks from her own party. In France, President Emmanuel Macron will address the nation on Monday evening to announce a set of measures designed to quell the anger that has fueled Yellow Vest protests. And Finland is turning towards a more left-leaning government after voting against austerity policies and calling for more welfare spending.

Coming Up...

Asian stocks have started the week in a  positive mood, buoyed by more positive trade and lending data out of China. Remember, Japan is kicking off a 10-day break from trading. U.S. bank earnings will be heavily in focus, with Goldman Sachs Inc. and Citigroup Inc. to report following JPMorgan Chase Co.’s slightly better-than-expected update on Friday. In Europe, French media group Vivendi SA report and all eyes will be on Universal Music Group, the firm’s giant record label.

What We’ve Been Reading

This is what’s caught our eye over the past 24 hours.

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