Five Things You Need to Know to Start Your Day
President Trump says he wants a cheap-money Fed chair, Australian Prime Minister Turnbull faces a potential leadership challenge, and Apple pulls thousands of gambling apps from its Chinese store. Here are some of the things people in markets are talking about.
Trump Laments End of Easy Money Era...
President Donald Trump said he expected Jerome Powell to be a cheap-money Fed chairman and lamented to wealthy Republican donors at a fundraiser on Friday that his nominee instead raised interest rates, according to three people present. The Federal Reserve has raised rates five times since Trump took office, including twice this year under Powell. The president nominates the Fed’s chairman and other governors in Washington, but the agency is independent and has historically frustrated presidents by raising interest rates without regard for politics. Trump has publicly lamented the central bank’s recent rate increases, but his private remarks to donors are the most personal criticism of Powell’s performance to emerge so far.
Aussie Leadership Wars Re-Ignite
Australians are facing an all-too familiar feeling -- not knowing if the prime minister they wake up with will be the same one who was in power when they went to bed. Speculation has been mounting that months of poor polling, policy back-flips and undermining from within his own governing Liberal Party could see Malcolm Turnbull face a challenge to his leadership as early as Tuesday. The Sydney Morning Herald reported on Monday that his Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton would have sufficient support if he opted to take on Turnbull in a ballot of party lawmakers. Turnbull, 63, insists he has the full support of his Cabinet, and Dutton is publicly backing the prime minister, making an immediate challenge unlikely. Still, the political infighting is an unwelcome reminder for Australians of the tumultuous decade they’ve endured: since 2007, the nation has switched prime minister five times and none has lasted a full term.
Stocks Rise on Trade Hopes
U.S. stocks rose in thin volume as investors held onto hopes for an easing of the trade war, while Treasuries advanced ahead of a meeting of central bankers later this week. The S&P 500 Index advanced for a third day to close within 15 points of a record. Equities pared gains in the final 15 minutes of trading after President Donald Trump said China and Europe manipulate their currencies, according to Reuters. Consumer-discretionary shares paced the day’s advance. The 10-year Treasury yield declined to the lowest level in six weeks after Jeffrey Gundlach warned of a short squeeze. Markets appear to be striking a more optimistic tone after talks between the world’s biggest economies on trade made their way back onto the agenda. Meanwhile, investors will be closely watching this week’s gathering of global central bankers and economists in Jackson Hole, Wyoming for clues on monetary policy, and to see whether policy makers can do anything to help bring back stability after the recent bout of emerging market-led volatility.
Apple Wipes Apps After China Backlash
Apple Inc. pulled thousands of gambling apps from its Chinese store after the nation’s state-run broadcaster accused the smartphone maker of dragging its feet on cleaning up banned content. Government-controlled media including China Central Television attacked Apple this month for hosting illegal and fake lottery-ticket apps, which they said resulted in massive losses for hoodwinked users. On Sunday, CCTV reported that Apple pulled at least 4,000 apps tagged with the keyword “gambling” on Aug. 9 alone. The U.S. company confirmed the action and said it was simply complying with regulations. But it underscores both Beijing’s resurgent crackdown on all forms of online content from games to social media and video services, as well as the difficulties facing foreign companies that do business in the world’s second largest economy.
The RBA takes center stage Tuesday, with minutes due from its August meeting due and Governor Philip Lowe giving a speech in Canberra. Yet seeing as we had semi-annual testimony to Parliament on Friday, it seems unlikely Australia's central bank will surprise markets. Investors also have a decent smattering of local data to parse. There'll be PPI and preliminary August trade data for South Korea, as well as full July trade figures from Thailand.
What we’ve been reading
This is what caught our eye over the last 24 hours.
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