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Trump: Summit with Putin Off to “Very Good Start for Everybody”

James Hyerczyk
U.S. retail sales posted a firm gain in June, helped by increases in purchases of motor vehicles and a range of other goods, solidifying expectations for robust economic growth in the second quarter. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures plunged below $69, dropping a whopping 3 percent after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said some oil buyers could get waivers to continue buying Iranian supplies despite American sanctions on the Middle Eastern country.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin met for two hours earlier today. The summit, which began after nearly an hourlong delay, lasted more than two hours, longer than the 90 minutes that had originally been planned.

Most of the talking before and after the meeting was done by President Trump. Before the start of the summit, Trump predicted that he and Putin would have an “extraordinary relationship” and that he is looking forward to their discussion. After emerging from the meeting, Trump said the talk was a “very good start for everybody.”

Trump’s agenda included having discussions “… on everything from trade, to the military, to missiles, to nuclear, to China.”

Trump also thought it would be important to improve the relationship between Washington and Moscow, adding, “I think we have great opportunities together as two countries that frankly have not been getting along very well for the last number of years.” Additionally, “I really think the world wants to see us get along.”

Another topic open for discussion was the reduction of nuclear weapons.

Trump did not mention if he and Putin will discuss the crisis in war-torn Syria, denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, or the ongoing investigation of Russia’s attempts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign.

On the other side, the Kremlin played down expectations from the summit but said the meeting would be a “first step” in resolving a crisis in ties.

U.S. Economic Data

U.S. retail sales posted a firm gain in June, helped by increases in purchases of motor vehicles and a range of other goods, solidifying expectations for robust economic growth in the second quarter.

According to the U.S. Commerce Department, retail sales increased 0.5 percent last month. Additionally, data for May was revised higher to show sales rising 1.3 percent instead of the previously reported 0.8 percent gain. May’s rise in retail sales was the largest since September 2017. Traders were looking for a 0.5 percent increase so the report is being called “better-than-expected”.

Core retail sales came in as forecast at 0.4%. However, the previous report was revised to 1.4% from 0.9%.

In other news, the Empire State manufacturing index fell 2.4 points in July to a reading of 22.6, according to the New York Fed. The previous report was 25.0. Despite the decline, the reading was still better than the 20.3 estimate. Traders showed no response to the report.

Business Inventories were 0.4 % as expected, up slightly from the previously reported 0.3%.

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Breaking News

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures plunged below $69, dropping a whopping 3 percent after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said some oil buyers could get waivers to continue buying Iranian supplies despite American sanctions on the Middle Eastern country.

“We want people to reduce oil purchases to zero, but in certain cases, if people can’t do that overnight, we’ll consider exceptions,” Mnuchin told reports on Friday while traveling to Mexico, Reuters reported. The comments were under embargo until Monday morning.

This article was originally posted on FX Empire

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