City skyscrapers stand on the skyline in Doha, Qatar. (Photographer: Gabriela Maj/Bloomberg)

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Oil falls over Middle East spat, Reserve Bank of Australia on deck, and Trump green-lights Comey testimony. Here are some of the things people in markets are talking about.

Qatar Provides Fleeting Bid for Crude

West Texas Intermediate futures surprisingly went red on Monday after gaining overnight following Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the U.A.E., and Egypt's move to isolate Qatar by suspending travel to and from the nation over its ties with Iran. The situation is currently not seen as affecting global energy markets in the short term, as Qatar still has access to shipping routes. However, the nation's bourse did suffer its largest loss since 2009. The evolving situation in Qatar is just one of many geopolitical risks markets will have to grapple with this week.

Parsing the RBA

The Reserve Bank of Australia is universally expected to keep rates unchanged at a record low of 1.5 percent at 1:30 p.m. Tokyo time on Tuesday. But traders will be looking for any hints that Governor Philip Lowe might deliver a rate cut this year in the face of disappointing growth, with swaps markets pointing to a roughly one-in-five chance of a decrease by year-end. Last week, the central bank broadened which securities are eligible to be part of repo agreements following S&P Global Ratings' downgrade of nearly two dozen Australian lenders in May. Also on deck: April's reading of labor cash earnings in Japan and release of the Aussie first-quarter current account.  

Trump Tweets

In a flurry of Twitter pronouncements Monday, U.S. President Donald Trump expressed frustration with how his administration watered down his order to ban travel from predominantly Muslim countries in a bid to have it approved by the courts. The White House later revealed Trump wouldn't invoke executive privilege to block former FBI Director James Comey from testifying before a Senate committee Thursday about Russian interference with the U.S. election and his dealings with the president. Trump also continued to mock the response of Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, to the terrorist attack that took place the past weekend. U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May said it would be "wrong" to suggest that Khan isn't doing a good job.

Stocks Slip

The S&P 500 Index suffered a small loss to open the week while the incumbent party's victory in a Mexican state election propelled the peso to seven-month highs. The U.S. dollar continued to fall, though 10-year Treasury yields edged higher on the day. Oddly, both risk assets and traditional safe havens have been performing well this year, a situation that some analysts are warning won't last.

Futures Down

Nikkei 225 and S&P/ASX 200 futures are marginally negative as of 5:55 a.m. Tokyo time. Australian banks were a drag on equities in the region Monday, and benchmark indexes in China as well as Hong Kong also started the week on a soft note. Some analysts pointed to a deceleration in U.S. job growth in Friday's non-farm payrolls report as dimming optimism on the prospects for global growth this year.

What we’ve been reading 

This is what caught our eye over the last 24 hours.

To contact the author of this story: Luke Kawa in New York at