Five Things You Need to Know to Start Your Day
Maersk, Musk and a mixed open. Here are some of the things people in markets are talking about today.
Maersk’s Tariff Warning
The U.S. economy will be hit many times harder than the rest of the world by an escalating global trade war, according to the chief executive officer of A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S. Soren Skou, who runs the world’s biggest shipping company from Copenhagen, said the fallout of the current protectionist wave “could easily end up being bigger in the U.S.” Tariffs could slow global annual trade growth by 0.1 percent to 0.3 percent, though for the U.S. the effect could be “perhaps 3 or 4 percent,” he said at Maersk’s headquarters on Friday. “And that would definitely not be good.” Skou should know: the company transports about 20 percent of the world’s seaborne consumer goods, putting it in a unique position to gauge the fallout of tariffs on trade flows.
Musk Won’t Change
Tesla Inc. Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk has ruled out changing his ways in response to an open letter from Uber Technologies Inc. board member Arianna Huffington. It follows an interview with the New York Times last week, in which Musk said he sacrificed family milestones in the race to meet Tesla production targets. Tesla shares plunged 8.9 percent on Friday after the interview with the New York Times in which he described the past 12 months as “the most difficult and painful year of my career.” References to Ambien use and driving while tweeting are fueling calls for Tesla’s board to step up its oversight of the company’s CEO and largest shareholder. In the open letter to Musk, Huffington accused him of “demonstrating a wildly outdated, anti-scientific and horribly inefficient way of using human energy.”
Asian equity futures were mixed, with Australian shares seen rising while the Nikkei 225 Stock Average and Hang Seng Index look to open softer. U.S. stocks ended last week on the upswing as hopes of easing U.S-China trade tensions helped the S&P 500 Index and Dow Jones Industrial Average post their sixth weekly advance in seven. The kiwi and Aussie dollars were among the best G-10 currencies to take advantage of the dollar's weakness. Treasuries were little changed as 10-year yields hovered around 2.86 percent.
Traders will digest a series of speeches from central bankers in the lead-up to Jackson Hole policy summit that kicks off at the end of the week. U.S. reports monthly home sales and the Federal Reserve releases minutes from its July meeting, at which officials left rates unchanged. Monday will bring Thai GDP, with economists expecting the data to show second-quarter annual growth was slightly less robust than the previous period's strongest expansion for five years. There will also be balance of payments data for Taiwan and the Philippines. Reserve Bank of Australia releases minutes on Tuesday and Japan inflation is out Friday. Meanwhile, Turkey will be on holidays for most of the week. Notable earnings this week include Alibaba and BHP Billion.
Donald Trump said he “allowed” White House counsel Donald McGahn and other personnel to fully cooperate with Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election, and that McGahn isn’t a “RAT.” The president tweeted on Saturday, hours after a lengthy New York Times story that attorney has had at least three voluntary interviews with investigators on the special counsel’s team, totaling some 30 hours, over the past nine months.
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