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Crude oil tops $50 per barrel for the first time since May, RBA meeting on deck, and Scaramucci is out as White House communications director. Here are some of the things people in markets are talking about.
West Texas Intermediate front-month futures closed above $50 per barrel for the first time since May on Monday as OPEC cut shipments to the U.S. and set a meeting with other major producers to discuss compliance with their deal to curb output. In a nod to the market’s firming fundamentals, Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil company hiked its official pricing for September sales to its Asian buyers. Hedge funds’ bets that oil will fall sank to their lowest level in three months, according to positioning data released Friday.
Aussie’s Wings May Be Clipped
The Reserve Bank of Australia’s interest rate decision, due out at 1:30 p.m. Tokyo time, gets top billing in the Asia Pacific region Tuesday, with economists calling for rates to be held at record lows. The Aussie dollar has been on a tear as of late, with traders pulling forward their expectations regarding the timing of an interest rate hike from the central bank. Monetary policymakers may be looking to push back against the currency’s rapid appreciation. Also due out: July manufacturing purchasing managers’ indexes from a bevy of Asia Pacific nations including China, Japan, South Korea, India, Indonesia, Thailand, and Taiwan. July inflation data for South Korea and Indonesia are also slated for release.
Ten Days in July
That’s how long Anthony Scaramucci lasted as White House communications director after he was removed from the position, reportedly at the request of new Chief of Staff John Kelly. The financier will keep his Export-Import Bank post, according to the Wall Street Journal. His ousting is seen as a sign that Kelly, a retired general, will wield significant power within the administration. President Donald Trump told reporters on Monday that Kelly will do a "spectacular job" in his new role; he also has the support of Trump’s daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner. Also biting the dust Monday: a plan to increase the top tax rate for Americans earning more than $5 million, a move that Trump adviser Steve Bannon had been said to support.
The S&P 500 Index inched lower on the opening session of the week. The tech-heavy Nasdaq 100, which investors had fled the previous five sessions at a pace not seen since 2007, suffered more sizeable losses. Shares of Snap Inc. were clobbered on the first day some inside holders received their first opportunity to divest following a March IPO. The U.S. dollar, which has been buffeted by rising rates in Europe and a lack of progress on pro-growth fiscal policy measures stateside, was among the worst-performing G10 currencies, trailing only Canada’s loonie Monday. Ten-year Treasury yields were little changed.
Nikkei 225 futures are in the red while S&P/ASX 200 futures are trading marginally to the downside ahead of the open. Manufacturing data from China ignited a rally in iron ore that subsequently helped fuel gains in the MSCI Asia Pacific Index Monday. The regional benchmark gauge just posted its biggest monthly advance since January, and has moved higher in every month this year.
What we’ve been reading
This is what caught our eye over the last 24 hours.
- CEOs are more worried about Amazon than Trump.
China’s great deleveraging hurting smaller firms.
Abe wants action from China and Russia.
White House sanctions Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
Biggest Indian bank cuts deposit rates.
Theresa May staying out of the Brexit squabbles.
Are cheap wines any good?