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Five Things World Business Will be Talking About Today

November 14, 2017


Trump says major statement is coming, the world’s most powerful central bankers gather in Frankfurt, and German growth beats estimates. Here are some of the things people in markets are talking about today.

Asia tour ends

President Donald Trump hailed progress toward his goal of reducing the U.S. trade deficit as he ended his swing through Asia, but questions linger about how much he actually achieved. He said on Twitter he will be making a “major statement” when he returns to Washington, where the debate over tax reform trundles on. The House’s chief tax writer says he’s confident its bill will pass a vote that could come as early as Thursday. Meanwhile, Attorney General Jeff Sessions will be pressed by House Democrats today on fresh questions about Russian contacts with Trump’s presidential campaign.

Central bankers gather

A conference featuring the world’s most powerful central bankers kicked off in Frankfurt with panelists Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, the euro zone’s Mario Draghi, and Japan’s Haruhiko Kuroda.  The topic of the get-together – monetary communication –should be of interest to Fed Chair nominee Jerome Powell, who has publicly acknowledged that there are shortcomings in the interest-rate dot plot the Federal Open Market Committee releases four times a year.

Data on a roll

Germany’s gross domestic product came in above estimates in the third quarter, underpinning the recovery narrative across the euro area. The euro climbed against its G-10 peers and traded 0.5 percent higher against the dollar at 6:04 a.m. Eastern Time. In the U.K., cost of living pressures continue to weigh on consumer sentiment, with inflation holding at a 5 1/2-year high in October, as cheaper fuel offsets rising food price. The pound fell as much as 0.3 percent after the release.

Markets fall

Overnight, the main Asian equity gauges declined as data showed China’s economy moderating. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index retreated 0.3 percent, with Japan’s Topix index closing 0.3 percent lower and the Nikkei 225 Stock Average little changed. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was 0.3 percent lower at 6:25 a.m. and the FTSE 100 Index added 0.2 percent as the pound slipped. S&P 500 futures were down 0.1 percent, the 10-year Treasury yield was at 2.40 percent, and gold was 0.3 percent lower.

Venezuela defaults

S&P Global Ratings declared Venezuela to be in default after it missed two interest payments on its debt. Before the announcement, the Latin American nation held a grand gathering with creditors in Caracas, where bondholders were given a red-carpet welcome but no concrete restructuring proposals. On Tuesday, the International Swaps & Derivatives Association will reconvene to consider whether delayed payments by state oil producer Petroleos de Venezuela SA will trigger default-insurance contracts.

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