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Debt ceiling debate still front and center, weather back in the headlines, and markets in wait and see mode. Here are some of the things people in markets are talking about.
Debt Ceiling Drama Continues
This time on Twitter, of course. U.S. President Donald Trump took to the social media platform on Thursday morning in the U.S. to blame other leaders in the Republican party for the debt ceiling “mess.” In a series of posts, the president said he asked Republican leaders, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan, to include a measure to raise the U.S. debt ceiling in a popular veterans bill, but that the two leaders decided against it. He wasn’t happy, blaming them for passing on an “easy” solution. Investors are starting to take heed.
Weather Back in the Headlines
While the Asian markets re-opened for trading following Typhoon Hato, another storm half a world away is disrupting markets: Hurricane Harvey. West Texas Intermediate futures took a beating as forecasters are now predicting the tropical storm will strengthen into a Category 3 hurricane when it makes landfall in an area flush with oil refineries and natural gas plants.
All major U.S. indexes were lower on Thursday amid the debt ceiling debate and the beginning of this year’s economic symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Losses were small, with the S&P 500 Index falling 0.21 percent. In the bond market, 10-year Treasury yields rose slightly after falling to their lowest level since late June earlier this week. Gold turned lower, falling 0.3 percent.
With Typhoon Hato downgraded, markets were open again in Hong Kong. S&P/ASX 200 futures are trading slightly lower ahead of the open, while Nikkei 225 futures are sitting in positive territory. The Hang Seng Index is trading slightly higher in the futures market, while the MSCI Asia Pacific Index edged lower after erasing a gain of as much as 0.3 percent.
In Japan, consumer price data is due out this morning, with economic forecasts compiled by Bloomberg looking for national July CPI numbers to come in 0.4 percent higher on a year-over-year basis and Tokyo 0.3 percent higher. We’ll also get CPI and export data from Vietnam. Otherwise, all eyes are now on speeches from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and ECB President Mario Draghi scheduled for Friday.
What we’ve been reading
This is what caught our eye over the last 24 hours.
- Energy giant PetroChina decided to pay shareholders its entire half-year net income in dividends.
- HTC is exploring options that could mean a full sale of the company.
- Cashing in on the Avocado Toast debate.
- Co-working startup WeWork is getting a big chunk of cash from SoftBank to aid its global expansion.
- Former Fed Chair Ben Bernanke is going to give a keynote speech at an event hosted by the world’s fourth largest cryptocurrency.
- What happens to the U.S. credit rating after the debt ceiling debate?
- Apple TV might get an upgrade.