Five Things You Need to Know to Start Your Day
The U.K.’s Boris Johnson gets his election after all, markets await the Fed’s policy decision, and the White House wants direct control over where cars are made. Here are some of the things people in markets are talking about today.
A day after we wrote British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had failed in his attempt to trigger a snap election for December, it looks like it’s back on. Johnson eventually won the necessary backing in Parliament for the vote in an attempt to resolve the Brexit crisis that has paralyzed the country’s politics, weighed on its economy, and left its citizens angry and divided. The vote on Dec. 12 will be the third time the U.K. has gone to the polls to choose a new government in four and-a-half-years. The campaign will pit Johnson, the charismatic and controversial face of the pro-Brexit movement, against the radical left-wing Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who defied pundits and pollsters — and nearly won power two years ago.
Stocks in Asia were poised for a mixed start Wednesday after a lackluster session for U.S. equities as markets await the Federal Reserve’s policy decision. The central bank is widely expected to lower rates again Wednesday, and the key for markets will be the tone of Chairman Jerome Powell’s press conference later in the day. Treasuries and the dollar were flat, while equity futures dipped in Japan and nudged higher in Hong Kong. A report that China and the U.S. might not sign a partial deal next month dented U.S. stocks exposed to the battle. Elsewhere, the pound was flat, gold held at $1,487.71 an ounce and crude decreased 0.6%.
In its most direct intervention yet to manage trade and production, the Trump administration wants to dictate how and where global auto companies make cars and parts, according to people familiar with the effort. The issue is being discussed between Trump administration officials, congressional staff, and domestic and foreign auto makers. The White House wants specific language that would allow it to unilaterally administer the production rules for companies, but the companies, lawmakers and even the U.S. International Trade Commission have cautioned that the rules are so strict that they would result in higher car prices and lost sales. The push illustrates how much Trump’s administration has drifted from Republicans’ free-market ways.
Slide To The Right
Having spent much of his first term laying the groundwork to transform India into a nation that is both attractive to global investors and unabashedly Hindu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is now doubling down. He’s pushing India further to the right — at home and abroad — as the nation grapples with its worst economic slowdown in six years. He’s already visited nearly a dozen nations since his landslide re-election win in May, seeking investments from the Middle East, sharing a stage with Donald Trump in Texas, hosting Chinese President Xi Jinping at a seaside resort, and clashing with Malaysia and Turkey over India’s lone Muslim-majority state of Jammu and Kashmir. At home, Muslims, who make up about 15% of the broader population, are worried about nationalist reforms — including changes to Muslim divorce laws and updated a registry that could strip citizenship from nearly 2 million people, including many Muslims.
Over the past few days, Bitcoin has been on a monster rally. But as the largest digital currency loses steam, technical indicators show it could face further resistance at the $10,000 level. Bitcoin gained nearly $2,500 at its peak this week after China’s government embraced the digital token’s underlying blockchain technology. But it hit a ceiling at $10,000, indicating that tougher times could lie ahead. For many investors, it will need to meaningfully breach that level for confirmation that the rally could continue, historical pricing patterns suggest. Among major cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin was the lone standout to sell-off on Tuesday, with other tokens gaining.
What We’ve Been Reading
This is what’s caught our eye over the past 24 hours.
- The worst isn’t over yet: a supply surge still looms for China’s sovereign debt market.
- 5,000 Tesla owners tell us what they think about their Model 3.
- Hong Kong disqualifies activist Joshua Wong from running in District Council elections.
- How 5G will transform China (beyond faster video games).
- Beyond Meat’s CEO is sick of hearing about his competitors.
- Samsung teases a new clamshell design for its next folding phone.
- Move aside, sub-prime loans. Americans are getting hooked on a new kind of debt with 100% rates.
©2019 Bloomberg L.P.