Donald Trump’s renewed threats against China ahead of this week’s G20 summit have rattled European and Asian markets this morning but European indices are beginning to turn the corner and head towards positive territory on a mixture of encouraging company news and comments from ECB head Mario Draghi.
G20 will be key for a number of markets
Preparing the ground for the talks with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping this Saturday President Trump has laid out his threats. He plans to increase tariffs to 25% on $200 billion in Chinese-made goods if a deal is not reached and potentially bringing in tariffs on imports of iPhones and Macbooks made in China. While China is not budging on the tariff front – it is responding in kind to any US tariff increases– the country has been addressing the issue of opening up to foreign investments and companies. Recently American Express has been allowed to set up a card-clearing service in the country and German insurer Allianz became the first wholly foreign-owned insurance firm in China. A positive outcome of the US-China talks would not only help major tech companies – Apple shares dropped 2% overnight after Trump’s comments – but also commodities and commodity related industries, as China is a major global importer.
The meetings between G20 heads of state will be crucial for a number of other markets, not least oil. Crude prices are on the decline again with Brent crude slipping briefly below $60 as Saudi Arabia raised output to an all-time high in November. The two key G20 oil players, the US and Russia, are more likely work towards lower oil prices as the US is keen to see low oil prices that will protect domestic consumers while Russia wants to keep production high to maintain its oil revenue.
Euro struggles after Draghi comments
The euro strengthened against the pound but yielded some ground to the dollar after the head of the ECB Mario Draghi said the bank will proceed with plans to start phasing out its debt buying programme despite criticism that it is too soon for the declining Eurozone economy to lose its support.
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