Five Things You Need to Know to Start Your Day
China warned its citizens against U.S. travel, citing “frequent” shootings. Asia equities are looking up after U.S. stocks jumped the most since January. And the RBA’s Lowe put more easing on the agenda. Here are some of the things people in markets are talking about today.
Another Trade-War Salvo
China issued a travel advisory about the dangers of visiting the U.S., citing frequent shootings, robbery and theft. Also: "Law enforcement agencies have repeatedly harassed Chinese citizens visiting the United States through exit and entry inspections, door-to-door interviews and other means," CCTV reported, citing the foreign ministry. Elsewhere, Tiffany & Co.'s U.S. sales to Chinese tourists fell by more than 25% last quarter, a trend that’s worsening as the trade war escalates.
Openness to Cut
Jerome Powell opened the door to a rate cut. The Fed chief said the central bank is "closely monitoring" the impact of U.S. trade tensions and suggested officials may ease policy if the economy is threatened. "As always, we will act as appropriate to sustain the expansion." Bank of America expects three cuts for a total of 75 basis points over the next year, starting in September. In remarks earlier on Tuesday, Chicago Fed President Charles Evans brushed aside the idea the central bank needed to cut rates in response to market pressure.
Asian equity futures are pointing higher after U.S. stocks jumped the most since January on Powell's comments. Big banks surged as Wells Fargo analyst Mike Mayo said the industry would "party like it's 1995" if rates are cut. Treasury yields rose from multiyear lows as the Fed chairman stopped short of signaling any imminent moves, and the dollar declined. Oil advanced and gold was little changed.
RBA Governor Philip Lowe also put more easing on the agenda. "The board has not yet made a decision, but it is not unreasonable to expect a lower cash rate," he said in an evening speech after announcing a cut earlier Tuesday. Australian first-quarter GDP data Wednesday may show growth slowed to 1.8% year-on-year as business investment weakened.
Pipeline is a Game Changer
China's looming pipeline reform is poised to spur competition in its natural gas industry, lowering prices and supercharging demand from the top importer, Credit Suisse said. The move—likely to happen before year-end—will break a monopoly that the state-owned giants have over downstream users and result in prices falling 10% over 2020 and 2021, the bank added.
What we've been reading
This is what's caught our eye over the last 24 hours.
- The World Bank cut its global growth forecast for 2019.
- Hong Kong stocks are nearing a tipping point.
- Several dead in a shooting in the Australian city of Darwin.
- China Three Gorges mulls deal for EDP's Brazil assets.
- What Trump’s Huawei teaches us about the art of trade war.
- China’s cancer drugs are undercutting American competitors.
- A poor man’s drink is taking Hong Kong by storm – and making one family rich.
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