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Oil is on its longest winning streak of the year, rising fuel prices were the least of the airline industry’s problems on Monday, and Yellen takes questions on Twitter. Here are some of the things people in markets are talking about today.
Crude Keeps Winning
West Texas Intermediate crude oil extended its winning streak to five sessions, the longest stretch of 2017. A production disruption at one of Libya’s oil fields and expectations for a busy summer driving season helped buoy prices, pushing the front-month contract as much as 1.7 percent higher on the day to more than $53 per barrel.
Rising oil prices weren’t the only bad news for airlines. A United Airlines passenger was violently removed from a flight by police as the airline sought to make more room for its employees. Video of the incident sparked outrage on social media. Meanwhile, last week’s storm in Atlanta has caused Delta Air Lines to cancel roughly 3,500 flights since Wednesday. In the end, investors showed more concern for Delta’s delays than United’s fracas; the latter fell 0.5 percent while the former rose 0.9 percent in trading in New York Monday.
Fed Chair Janet Yellen took questions from the audience and via Twitter at the University of Michigan on Monday. She emphasized that the U.S. economy no longer needs a large amount of monetary stimulus, justifying the central bank’s move to a more neutral stance. The Chair added that inflation was “slightly below” the Fed’s objective, but that the unemployment rate was also below levels some monetary policymakers believe is consistent with full employment. Yellen’s remarks didn’t have a major impact on the market.
U.S. Treasuries gained on Monday as investors mulled rising geopolitical tensions in Asia and the Middle East. The S&P 500 index edged higher, led by energy stocks. Interestingly, the rise in stocks occurred amid a 1 point jump in the CBOE Volatility Index, only the second session in which that combination has occurred over the past two years.
S&P/ASX 200 and Nikkei 225 futures were marginally in the red as of 6:30 a.m. Tokyo time after a decline in South Korean shares weighed on the MSCI Asia Pacific Index during the previous session, offsetting the advance in Japanese and Australian equities. The yen, a safe haven currency, performed well on Monday, though G10 commodity currencies (outside of the Aussie) and the British pound fared better.
What we’ve been reading
This is what caught our eye over the last 24 hours.
China’s economic evolution explains Trump’s inaction on trade.
The foreign threat to U.S. Treasuries.
A round-trip from first to worst for the South African rand.
Pimco grows cautious on Asian debt.
Odd Lots: The hidden cycles that govern everything.
The seven types of people who reply to @realDonaldTrump.
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