Nov 21, 2018, by Lorcan Roche Kelly
U.S. authorities show few signs of wanting to cool the standoff with China over trade ahead of next week’s meeting between President Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping at the G-20. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer’s office released a document accusing Beijing of continuing a state-backed campaign of intellectual property and technology theft which it says is growing in sophistication. While Trump seems happy to keep the relationship between the world’s two largest economies under pressure, he’s not willing to see the murder of U.S-based columnist Jamal Khashoggi jeopardize relations with Saudi Arabia.
Crude is recovering some of yesterday’s plunge this morning, with a barrel of West Texas Intermediate for January delivery trading at $54.25 by 5:45 a.m. Eastern Time, after industry data showed U.S. crude inventories fell last week. While OPEC and its allies meet in Vienna next month to discuss oil production cuts in order to stabilize prices, the problem of U.S. output looms ever larger over the global crude market. Next year, producers in the Permian basin expect to iron out distribution snags with three new pipelines which will have the potential to add as much as 2 million barrels a day of output. With many wells in the area profitable at $30 a barrel, any move by OPEC to lift prices could just play into U.S. hands.
There was still something of a tech selloff hangover in Asian markets as another hit to Apple Inc. suppliers saw the MSCI Asia Pacific Index drop 0.5 percent while Japan’s Topix index closed 0.6 percent lower. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was 0.3 percent higher at 5:45 a.m. as equities in the region recovered some losses amid hopes that budget tensions between the EU and Italy may ease. S&P 500 futures pointed to a gain at the open, the 10-year Treasury yield was at 3.079 percent and gold was a little higher.
It’s mostly fiscal
With warning signs of a slowdown in the global economy continuing to grow, and central bank policy seen as already stretched, the OECD says the world’s largest economies should stand ready to coordinate on fiscal stimulus. The organisation, the latest to add its voice to calls for more policy action, says increased discussion is needed between fiscal authorities as there is “not much ammunition left in the macro tool box.” It cut its forecast for global growth for the next two years to 3.5 percent, adding that an interaction of downside risks would reduce that pace further.
With the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S. tomorrow, there’s something of a packed economic calendar today. At 8:30 a.m. weekly jobless claims data is expected to show a slight drop to 215,000, while durable goods orders are forecast to drop by 2.6 percent. Existing home sales numbers released at 10:00 a.m. may show a slight increase. At the same time consumer comfort data and the leading index are published. Baker Hughes’s latest U.S. rig count is due at 1:00 p.m. In earnings, this morning Deere & Co. reported results that came in below estimates.