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President Trump tweeted Tuesday that the European Central Bank is "unfairly" devaluing its currency by hinting at lower rates, indirectly challenging the Federal Reserve to do the same.
(Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a coming daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. President Donald Trump has already given the global economy trade wars. Now there are signs he may be gearing up for a currency war, too.With a series of tweets on Tuesday aimed at the European Central Bank and an announcement by Mario Draghi, its president, that he was prepared to cut interest rates further below zero in response to Europe’s slowing growth, Trump made a rare American presidential intervention into another economy’s monetary policy.“Mario Draghi just announced more stimulus could come, which immediately dropped the Euro against the Dollar, making it unfairly easier for them to compete against the USA. They have been getting away with this for years, along with China and others,’’ he tweeted. Later, he added: “German DAX way up due to stimulus remarks from Mario Draghi. Very unfair to the United States!’’It was not the first time Trump has blamed currency manipulation overseas for a strong dollar that raises the cost of U.S. exports. He has already become unique among recent American presidents in a shift away from the “strong dollar’’ policy of his predecessors.By targeting Draghi directly and responding in real time to an overseas central bankers’ policy pronouncement, Trump was dialing up the heat -- just as his own Federal Reserve was gathering in Washington to decide on rates in a decision expected Wednesday. Coming just days ahead of a summit with other Group of 20 leaders in Japan, the salvo served to highlight his administration’s increasingly aggressive currency policies and the place he sees for them in his trade arsenal.“They are preparing the ground, they are laying out the potential tools they may have at their disposal,’’ said Cesar Rojas, global economist at Citigroup Global Markets Inc., though he added “we’re not at a currency war just yet.’’Finance ministers and central bankers this month agreed that a currency war -- a tit-for-tat push at times of slow economic growth to actively weaken foreign-exchange rates in order to boost exports -- is in no one’s interest. They reaffirmed commitments made in March 2018 to refrain from competitive devaluations.Last month, the U.S. Treasury increased the number of economies it scrutinizes to 21 from 12 and expanded its watch list from four to nine, adding countries such as Ireland, Italy and Singapore under new tougher criteria. It again refrained from labeling China a manipulator.The Commerce Department on May 23 proposed allowing U.S. companies to seek trade sanctions against goods from countries with “undervalued’’ currencies, though it said it did not intend to target independent central banks or their monetary policy decisions. The administration has also been pushing to include currency provisions carrying the threat of sanctions in new U.S. trade agreements.There are plenty of economists who argue the U.S. should take a more forceful approach to addressing currency manipulation by trading partners. Some have even called for a 21st century Plaza Accord, the 1980s agreement that saw countries including Japan agree to engineer a devaluation of the dollar under pressure from the Reagan administration.Top PriorityIn a paper released this week, Brad Setser, a former U.S. Treasury official now at the Council on Foreign Relations, argued that “countering currency intervention by foreign governments should be a top priority of U.S. international economic policy.’’ If nothing else, other countries’ manipulation hurts the U.S.’s ability to use exports to recover following economic downturns, he wrote.In an interview on Tuesday, however, Setser said that Trump’s ECB intervention was misplaced, largely because Draghi’s comments were aimed at domestic conditions.“Most of the world recognizes that the ECB has failed to meet its inflation target and that with a slowing European economy there is pressure on the ECB to ease policy,’’ he said. Worse, Trump’s intervention could be seen as its own form of market manipulation, Setser said, and “feeds into a building narrative in Europe that the U.S. is a rogue actor under a rogue president.’’Trump has defied convention in a number of other ways, including his repeated criticisms of Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell for raising interest rates. He asked White House lawyers earlier this year to explore his options for removing Powell as chairman.Joseph Gagnon, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics and another advocate of stronger U.S. currency policy, said the world was in an “uneasy peace’’ over currencies with China and other G-20 countries having in recent years accepted a U.S. push to refrain from competitive devaluations. In a June 6 note, Gagnon and a co-author said interventions by countries to weaken their currencies to affect their trade balance fell in 2018 to the lowest level since 2001.But the G-20 commitments are weak and “if there’s a global downturn, a global recession, countries would be very tempted to violate these terms and try to claim special circumstances,’’ he said. “There’s really no regime in place to sanction them or hit them, except the U.S. might do something.’’Trump may have some legitimate reasons to grumble. The “Big Mac” approach to gauging currency valuations shows the euro is about 15% too cheap. Since Trump launched his trade wars, China’s yuan has also fallen against the dollar, prompting the president to complain that it was undermining the impact of his tariffs and his efforts to raise pressure on Beijing.Those currency moves are widely seen as related to the weakening of the European and Chinese economies and a global economy that is looking increasingly fragile thanks in part to Trump’s trade wars. The fear, however, is that Trump’s anger over the currency shifts could also help fuel further trade actions, including tariffs he has threatened to impose on imported cars and parts from the EU but put on hold for 180 days.A drop below 1.10 for the euro-dollar rate could inflame Trump’s temper and make him more likely to impose those auto tariffs, according to Jens Nordvig, the founder of Exante Data LLC. The rate fell as low as 1.1181 on Tuesday after Draghi said additional stimulus may be needed and Trump levied his latest Twitter missive.To contact the reporters on this story: Shawn Donnan in Washington at email@example.com;Rich Miller in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org;Katherine Greifeld in New York at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Simon Kennedy at firstname.lastname@example.org, Malcolm Scott, Brendan MurrayFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Futures point to another slow start to the day. With all eyes on the FED and no material stats to distract, it could be a testy day ahead.
President Donald Trump on Tuesday said he’d hold “extended” talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping at next week’s G-20 summit, as he rebuked European Central Bank President Mario Draghi over a possible move to provide further monetary stimulus.
Global equities move higher as the FOMC meeting gets underway, the committee is expected to alter the statement but traders are cautioned not to expect too much.
The euro was lower against the U.S. dollar on Tuesday, as U.S. President Donald Trump continued to put pressure on the Federal Reserve to ease rates by criticizing the European Central Bank. Trump slammed ECB President Mario Draghi, who earlier in the day hinted at more stimulus money and rate cuts in the if the eurozone economy does not improve. The president has been urging the Fed to cut rates, which have risen from 0% to 2.5% in the last three years.
The futures market is pointing to a mixed start to the day. Negative sentiment towards the ongoing trade war continues to limit the upside for the majors.
Global markets are mixed as geopolitical tensions mounts, Trump prepares to hike tariffs, and the FOMC meeting comes into sharp focus.
Asian shares wobbled near one-week lows on Monday as investors turned cautious ahead of a closely-watched Federal Reserve meeting, while political tensions in the Middle East and Hong Kong kept risk appetite in check. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was little changed by early afternoon, after opening slightly weaker.
Economic data is on the lighter side going into the weekend. U.S retail sales could spoil the party, as the futures point to a positive open.
Two ships reported being hit by missiles or explosives, while U.S. Navy vessels were sent in support, as tensions in the busy crude traffic lane intensify. U.S. stock futures traded higher Thursday, supported by an overnight surge in oil prices following attacks on ships in the Strait of Hormuz, even as global investors continue to favor defensive assets in the face of slowing economic growth and an uncertain path in U.S.-China trade talks.
World share markets snapped a seven-day winning streak on Wednesday as the White House took a tough line on trade talks with China, while a barely visible rise in U.S. inflation kept up talk of an early cut in interest rates there. Europe's main markets and Wall Street futures both followed Asia lower.
World share markets snapped a seven-day winning streak on Wednesday as the White House took a tough line on trade talks with China, while an impending reading on U.S. inflation was set to refine the odds of an early cut in interest rates there. FX dealers kept the dollar near an 11-week low as they waited to see whether the U.S. inflation numbers would bolster their bets on the first U.S. rate cuts since the financial crisis.
World share markets snapped a seven-day winning streak on Wednesday as the White House took a tough line on trade talks with China, while an impending reading on U.S. inflation was set to refine the odds of an early cut in interest rates there. FX dealers kept the dollar near an 11-week low before the U.S. data, having priced in the first U.S. rate cuts since the financial crisis.
It’s looking a bit bearish for the day ahead. Trade war tension continues to linger, which could test investor resilience on the day.
Global stocks extend gains on hopes of central bank support, helping U.S. equity futures trade higher into the opening bell. European stocks gain as German markets return from Monday holiday and take car stocks higher following President Trump's Mexico tariff suspension. Global oil prices edge higher as the dollar weakens and OPEC reportedly readies an extension of its production cuts.
World shares rallied on Tuesday to hold near one-month highs, with German carmakers outperforming and Wall Street looking to extend gains after the United States stepped back from imposing tariffs on Mexico. The pan-European STOXX 600 climbed 0.8%, on course for a sixth day of gains in the last seven.
European shares gained ground on Tuesday, with Germany's carmakers outperforming, as risk appetite held firm after the United States stepped back from imposing tariffs on Mexico. There, BMW, Daimler and VW - seen as sensitive to trade tariffs - all gained between 1.8%-2%, mirroring a 1.9% gain for the auto sector. Investors have breathed easier this week after the United States and Mexico reached a deal on Friday to avert tariffs threatened by U.S. President Donald Trump if steps were not taken to curb the flow of mostly Central American migrants.
With Germany on holiday today, it will be down to the CAC40 to follow the Asian majors into positive territory later this morning.
The European Central Bank President, Mario Draghi, announced that a new stimulus package could be on the way. Yahoo Finance's Alexis Christoforous, Brian Sozzi, and Tom Belger break down the details.