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Sen. Menendez Pushes Bill To Designate Taiwan "Major Non-NATO Ally"

Sen. Menendez Pushes Bill To Designate Taiwan 'Major Non-NATO Ally' Authored by Dave DeCamp via AntiWar.com, In an op-ed for The New York Times, Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), the chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, called for a major increase in US support for Taiwan that would overhaul US policy toward the island. Menendez said that the US can’t make the same "mistake" with Taiwan that it did with Ukraine. He argued that the US didn’t support Kyiv enough to prevent a Russian invasion, even though it’s clear that US meddling in Ukraine was one of President Vladimir Putin’s main motivations for launching the invasion. Image source: Bloomberg "A clear lesson from the war in Ukraine is that authoritarian leaders have been emboldened in recent years by dysfunctional democracies and hesitant international institutions. Accordingly, the United States needs less ambiguity to guide our approach to Taiwan," Menendez wrote. The current US policy of "strategic ambiguity" toward Taiwan means that Washington won’t say one way or another if it will intervene in the event of a Chinese invasion. But Menendez wants to change that and is also looking to start sending Taiwan billions of dollars in military aid. Menendez and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) recently introduced the Taiwan Policy Act of 2022, which would designate Taiwan as a "major non-NATO ally," authorize $4.5 billion in military aid for the island over four years, and require economic sanctions in response to a Chinese attack. Menendez said the legislation "would be the most comprehensive restructuring of US policy toward Taiwan since the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979." The Senate Foreign Relations Committee was set to review the bill on Wednesday, but the review has been delayed. Pelosi: “They didn’t say anything when the men came.” A reference to the fact that in April, US senators Lindsey Graham, Bob Menendez, Richard Burr, Ben Sasse, Rob Portman, and Ronny Jackson visited Taiwan. pic.twitter.com/TwW8t36Bxy — Melissa Chan (@melissakchan) August 3, 2022 While Menendez said the legislation is necessary for deterrence, it would only make war in the region more likely. Chinese officials have warned that US support for Taiwan’s "independence forces" would lead to war, and they would view the bill as a major shift away from the one-China policy. Tyler Durden Fri, 08/05/2022 - 17:00.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytAug 5th, 2022

Who is Greg Abbott: Texa"ss pro-gun, anti-abortion Republican governor who has fielded several crises since 2015

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has overseen six major mass shootings and a slew of other controversies since he took office in 2015. Texas Governor Greg Abbott speaks during the Houston Region Business Coalition's monthly meeting on October 27, 2021 in Houston, Texas.Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images The school shooting in Uvalde wasn't the first gun tragedy Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has faced. The Republican lawmaker has overseen six mass shootings throughout his two terms as governor. Insider delved into Abbott's background, beliefs, and tenure as the Lone Star State's leader.  The state of Texas is top of mind this week following a mass shooting at an elementary school in the small town of Uvalde that left 21 people dead, including 19 young children. Amid the chaos of Tuesday's tragedy, it was Gov. Greg Abbott who first reported the unfathomable news that scores of children were gunned down in their classroom by an 18-year-old shooter. The Republican governor has remained visible in the immediate aftermath of the incident, sitting center stage at a Wednesday press conference where he fought off accusations from political rivals and pivoted the conversation away from gun control.Elected in 2014 as a staunch Texas conservative, Abbott has spent the last seven years in near-constant crisis mode, fielding the state's response to several mass shootings, a deadly winter storm, and the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, his approval ratings suggest that Texans are comfortable, if not satisfied, with his methods. Throughout his two terms, his approval ratings have never dipped below 40% and never peaked beyond 56%.Abbott's backgroundA native of the Lone Star State, Abbott's father, a stockbroker and insurance agent, died from a heart attack while Abbott was in high school, local outlet Honest Austin reported. His mother, who was a stay-at-home mom at the time, then rejoined the workforce in the real estate industry.Abbott earned a bachelor's degree in Business Administration from the University of Texas at Austin in 1981 and a Juris Doctorate from Vanderbilt University Law School in 1984. Shortly after his graduation from Vanderbilt, a 26-year-old Abbott was left paralyzed from the waist down after an oak tree fell on him during a jog. He continued his career in the Texas judiciary branch, starting in private practice and then moving to become a state trial judge in 1993.Then-Texas Governor George W. Bush appointed Abbott to the Texas Supreme Court in 1996. His legal career continued as he served as the Texas attorney general from 2002 to 2015 — where he filed over 30 lawsuits against former President Barack Obama. Having been re-elected twice, he was the state's longest-serving attorney general before winning in the 2014 gubernatorial election. Dubbed the "Best Governor in the Nation" in 2020 by Laffer Associates and the American Legislative Exchange Council, Abbott has now served two terms as the state's governor and is seeking a third.Abbott married his wife, Cecilia, in 1981. Cecilia, a former school teacher, is recognized as the first Hispanic First Lady of Texas. The two have a daughter together named Audrey, a 2020 graduate of the University of Southern California.Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in June.Callaghan O'Hare/ReutersPolitical beliefsAbbott holds a host of traditional conservative values — including an unwavering faith in the Second Amendment and a no-exceptions stance toward abortion.The state has loosened its gun laws during Abbott's tenure despite recent mass shootings. "I'm EMBARRASSED: Texas #2 in nation for new gun purchases, behind CALIFORNIA. Let's pick up the pace Texans," Texas Governor Greg Abbott tweeted in October 2015.The anti-abortion governor also signed one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country — banning the procedure after six weeks of pregnancy (before many individuals realize they're pregnant) and encouraging private citizens to sue abortion providers for up to $10,000.The law's only exception will be for medical emergencies. He vowed to "eliminate all rapists" as the anti-abortion law makes no exception for individuals who were raped.On par with former President Donald Trump, Abbott has sought to eradicate illegal border crossings from Mexico to Texas. He claimed that individuals crossing the border pose "an ongoing and imminent threat of disaster for certain counties and agencies in the State of Texas."Abbott has also aided in the nationwide conservative effort calling for the banning of books that contain "pornography or obscene content." This has resulted in books that focus on race, gender, and sexuality being stripped from shelves in schools. The Republican governor also pushed forward with a directive to allow state authorities to investigate parents providing their trans children with gender-affirming care for child abuse.— seemingly paradoxical to his call for parental rights.Controversies and CrisesThroughout his two terms, Abbott has faced numerous state crises and controversies. Since he was first elected in 2015, Texas has been home to six major mass shootings that have claimed the lives of nearly 100 Texans.In July 2016, five Dallas police officers were killed in an ambush at a Black Lives Matter protest in the deadliest incident for US law enforcement since the September 11 attacks. The incident came just months after Texas loosened its concealed gun laws, allowing license-holders to openly carry handguns in holsters. In November 2017, a 26-year-old gunman killed 26 people and wounded 20 others during a church service at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs. The attack remains the deadliest mass shooting in the state's history. Six months later, a 17-year-old killed 10 people, including 8 students at Santa Fe High School. Two more mass shootings in August 2019 shook the state. First, a 21-year-old suspected shooter killed 23 people at a Walmart in El Paso in a self-proclaimed racist attack. Then, just days later, a 36-year-old suspected shooter killed seven people in a shooting spree in Odessa-Midland.Abbott responded to the slew of shootings by renewing school safety plans, strengthening law enforcement protections, and convening committees to discuss the rise in mass violence. Meanwhile, the state's gun laws only continued to get laxer. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R).Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty ImagesThe governor's penchant for guns has played poorly to some in the aftermath of so many attacks. Abbott, along with his Republican ally former President Donald Trump, are both scheduled to address a National Rifle Association conference on Friday — just 72 hours after the Uvalde shooting. During a Wednesday press conference, the governor declined to say whether he still plans to attend. But despite Abbott's pro-gun proclivities, the crises he has faced in office have gone beyond shootings. Abbott's approach to the COVID-19 pandemic was among the most controversial in the country. As the virus ravaged Texas, the governor refused to impose lockdowns or mask mandates and passed an executive order barring government agencies, cities, counties, school districts, and private companies in the state from implementing vaccine mandates. The governor himself is vaccinated against COVID-19 and has encouraged other Texans to get their inoculations. Abbott again came under fire in February 2021 after a powerful winter storm knocked out power across the state and left more than 200 people dead, the majority from hypothermia. The governor called for an investigation into Texas' electric grid operator, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) and signed a bill requiring that power companies in the state be ready for future extreme weather events.But a year after the storm, a former Texas power official testified that Abbott had ordered power prices to remain as high as possible for multiple days during the storm's blackouts in an effort to prevent further rolling blackouts, even as power plants were already starting to turn back on. And in recent months, the governor has stoked further controversy after he designated gender-affirming care for transgender youth as child abuse. Earlier this year, Abbott called on state agencies to designate the use of gender-affirming care as a form of child abuse, prompting advocates to decry the governors' actions as "monstrous and amoral."After eight years as Texas governor, Abbott will vie for a third term this fall, facing off against Democratic challenger Beto O'Rourke. The state has no gubernatorial term limits. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 26th, 2022

Who is Greg Abbott: The pro-gun, anti-abortion Republican governor who has fielded several Texas crises since 2015

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has overseen six major mass shootings and a slew of other controversies since he took office in 2015. Texas Governor Greg Abbott speaks during the Houston Region Business Coalition's monthly meeting on October 27, 2021 in Houston, Texas.Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images The school shooting in Uvalde wasn't the first gun tragedy Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has faced. The Republican lawmaker has overseen six mass shootings throughout his two terms as governor. Insider delved into Abbott's background, beliefs, and tenure as the Lone Star State's leader.  The state of Texas is top of mind this week following a mass shooting at an elementary school in the small town of Uvalde that left 21 people dead, including 19 young children. Amid the chaos of Tuesday's tragedy, it was Gov. Greg Abbott who first reported the unfathomable news that scores of children were gunned down in their classroom by an 18-year-old shooter. The Republican governor has remained visible in the immediate aftermath of the incident, sitting center stage at a Wednesday press conference where he fought off accusations from political rivals and pivoted the conversation away from gun control.Elected in 2014 as a staunch Texas conservative, Abbott has spent the last seven years in near-constant crisis mode, fielding the state's response to several mass shootings, a deadly winter storm, and the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, his approval ratings suggest that Texans are comfortable, if not satisfied, with his methods. Throughout his two terms, his approval ratings have never dipped below 40% and never peaked beyond 56%.Abbott's backgroundA native of the Lone Star State, Abbott's father, a stockbroker and insurance agent, died from a heart attack while Abbott was in high school, local outlet Honest Austin reported. His mother, who was a stay-at-home mom at the time, then rejoined the workforce in the real estate industry.Abbott earned a bachelor's degree in Business Administration from the University of Texas at Austin in 1981 and a Juris Doctorate from Vanderbilt University Law School in 1984. Shortly after his graduation from Vanderbilt, a 26-year-old Abbott was left paralyzed from the waist down after an oak tree fell on him during a jog.He continued his career in the Texas judiciary branch, starting in private practice and then moving to become a state trial judge in 1993.Then-Texas Governor George W. Bush appointed Abbott to the Texas Supreme Court in 1996. His legal career continued as he served as the Texas attorney general from 2002 to 2015 — where he filed over 30 lawsuits against former President Barack Obama. Having been re-elected twice, he was the state's longest-serving attorney general before winning in the 2014 gubernatorial election. Dubbed the "Best Governor in the Nation" in 2020 by Laffer Associates and the American Legislative Exchange Council, Abbott has now served two terms as the state's governor and is seeking a third.Abbott married his wife, Cecilia, in 1981. Cecilia, a former school teacher, is recognized as the first Hispanic First Lady of Texas. The two have a daughter together named Audrey, a 2020 graduate of the University of Southern California.Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in June.Callaghan O'Hare/ReutersPolitical beliefsAbbott holds a host of traditional conservative values — including an unwavering faith in the Second Amendment and a no-exceptions stance toward abortion.The state has loosened its gun laws during Abbott's tenure despite recent mass shootings. "I'm EMBARRASSED: Texas #2 in nation for new gun purchases, behind CALIFORNIA. Let's pick up the pace Texans," Texas Governor Greg Abbott tweeted in October 2015.The anti-abortion governor also signed one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country — banning the procedure after six weeks of pregnancy (before many individuals realize they're pregnant) and encouraging private citizens to sue abortion providers for up to $10,000.The law's only exception will be for medical emergencies. He vowed to "eliminate all rapists" as the anti-abortion law makes no exception for individuals who were raped.On par with former President Donald Trump, Abbott has sought to eradicate illegal border crossings from Mexico to Texas. He claimed that individuals crossing the border pose "an ongoing and imminent threat of disaster for certain counties and agencies in the State of Texas."Abbott has also aided in the nationwide conservative effort calling for the banning of books that contain "pornography or obscene content." This has resulted in books that focus on race, gender, and sexuality being stripped from shelves in schools. The Republican governor also pushed forward with a directive to allow state authorities to investigate parents providing their trans children with gender-affirming care for child abuse.— seemingly paradoxical to his call for parental rights.Controversies and CrisesThroughout his two terms, Abbott has faced numerous state crises and controversies. Since he was first elected in 2015, Texas has been home to six major mass shootings that have claimed the lives of nearly 100 Texans.In July 2016, five Dallas police officers were killed in an ambush at a Black Lives Matter protest in the deadliest incident for US law enforcement since the September 11 attacks. The incident came just months after Texas loosened its concealed gun laws, allowing license-holders to openly carry handguns in holsters. In November 2017, a 26-year-old gunman killed 26 people and wounded 20 others during a church service at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs. The attack remains the deadliest mass shooting in the state's history. Six months later, a 17-year-old killed 10 people, including 8 students at Santa Fe High School. Two more mass shootings in August 2019 shook the state. First, a 21-year-old suspected shooter killed 23 people at a Walmart in El Paso in a self-proclaimed racist attack. Then, just days later, a 36-year-old suspected shooter killed seven people in a shooting spree in Odessa-Midland.Abbott responded to the slew of shootings by renewing school safety plans, strengthening law enforcement protections, and convening committees to discuss the rise in mass violence. Meanwhile, the state's gun laws only continued to get laxer. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R).Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty ImagesThe governor's penchant for guns has played poorly to some in the aftermath of so many attacks. Abbott, along with his Republican ally former President Donald Trump, are both scheduled to address a National Rifle Association conference on Friday — just 72 hours after the Uvalde shooting. During a Wednesday press conference, the governor declined to say whether he still plans to attend. But despite Abbott's pro-gun proclivities, the crises he has faced in office have gone beyond shootings. Abbott's approach to the COVID-19 pandemic was among the most controversial in the country. As the virus ravaged Texas, the governor refused to impose lockdowns or mask mandates and passed an executive order barring government agencies, cities, counties, school districts, and private companies in the state from implementing vaccine mandates. The governor himself is vaccinated against COVID-19 and has encouraged other Texans to get their inoculations. Abbott again came under fire in February 2021 after a powerful winter storm knocked out power across the state and left more than 200 people dead, the majority from hypothermia. The governor called for an investigation into Texas' electric grid operator, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) and signed a bill requiring that power companies in the state be ready for future extreme weather events.But a year after the storm, a former Texas power official testified that Abbott had ordered power prices to remain as high as possible for multiple days during the storm's blackouts in an effort to prevent further rolling blackouts, even as power plants were already starting to turn back on. And in recent months, the governor has stoked further controversy after he designated gender-affirming care for transgender youth as child abuse. Earlier this year, Abbott called on state agencies to designate the use of gender-affirming care as a form of child abuse, prompting advocates to decry the governors' actions as "monstrous and amoral."After eight years as Texas governor, Abbott will vie for a third term this fall, facing off against Democratic challenger Beto O'Rourke. The state has no gubernatorial term limits. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 26th, 2022

GOP Rep. Jim Jordan says it"s "wrong" for Senate Republicans to work with Democrats on bills endorsed by Biden

Jordan praised Kevin McCarthy for rejecting Biden-backed bipartisan bills and stated that the GOP leader was "on the side of the American people." Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan during a hearing on the threat to individual freedoms in a post-Roe world.Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images Jordan says GOP senators shouldn't be working with Democrats to pass bipartisan Biden-backed bills. "I wish they wouldn't," the Ohio lawmaker said of his Republican counterparts in the upper chamber. Kevin McCarthy has taken a stand against much of the Biden agenda, to the delight of Jordan. When President Joe Biden entered the Oval Office last year, he expressed a commitment to working across the aisle with Republicans to craft legislation — something he practiced in his 36-year career in the Senate.From last year's $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package to a recent $52 billion chips-funding bill, the administration has notched some major successes in attracting support from Democrats and Republicans and breaking part of the filibuster logjam that has become an all-too-common form of blocking legislation in recent years.However, the wave of consensus doesn't sit too well with Rep. Jim Jordan, the conservative Ohio Republican and longtime ally of former President Donald Trump who could play a major role in Congress next year if Republicans win back control of the House.Jordan recently told Politico that Senate Republicans who join their Democratic counterparts in supporting legislation backed by Biden are "wrong.""I wish they wouldn't," the lawmaker said of his GOP counterparts in the upper chamber.While Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky — known for employing sharply partisan maneuvering from Supreme Court nominations to GOP-led tax plans — has been a surprising supporter of some of the Biden-endorsed legislation, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California has led his caucus against most of the administration's agenda items.Jordan praised McCarthy for taking such a position, telling Politico that the GOP leader was "on the side of the American people."The Ohio Republican then contended that voters disliked the bipartisan legislation coming out of Congress."Look at all the pushback," he added.McCarthy opposed both the bipartisan infrastructure bill and the CHIPS Act of 2022 legislation.However, some Senate Republicans are leery of taking McCarthy's approach as it relates to passing legislation, frustrated that he could be dismissing good bills and allowing Democrats to portray the party as intransigent.GOP Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, who represents West Virginia alongside her Democratic counterpart, Sen. Joe Manchin, expressed such reservations."I wish [McCarthy] would take a deeper policy look at some of these issues that we've come together on, understanding they may want to make changes," she told Politico. "Just unilaterally being against? I'd rather get things done, put it that way."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytJul 31st, 2022

Meet Karrin Taylor Robson, the Pence-endorsed Republican who could stop Trump-endorsed Kari Lake from winning the Arizona GOP gubernatorial nomination

"I have a lifetime of executive experience and getting results, and she has a lifetime of reading a teleprompter," Robson says of opponent Kari Lake. Arizona GOP gubernatorial candidates Karrin Taylor Robson and Kari Lake.Rebecca Noble/Reuters The Arizona GOP gubernatorial primary has turned into a proxy war between Donald Trump and Mike Pence. Karrin Taylor Robson says she has the electability, experience, and temperament that Kari Lake doesn't. But ahead of the August 2 primary, the race has turned ugly. CHANDLER, Arizona — When the four Republican candidates running for governor of Arizona finally met for their first and only televised debate at the end of June, chaos ensued."I feel like I'm on an SNL skit here," remarked Kari Lake, a former news anchor for Fox 10 Phoenix who's been endorsed by former President Donald Trump, during the hour-long event full of cross-talk and head-scratching non-sequiturs.But perhaps the most significant moment of that debate — a clip of which was widely shared and mocked online — came when Lake challenged the other candidates to raise their hands if they believed Arizona had a "corrupt, stolen election" in 2020.While Lake and the two other minor candidates promptly raised their hands, one candidate did not: Lake's main competitor, Karrin Taylor Robson.—Enda O'Dowd (@endajodowd) July 1, 2022 "It was a debate in name only, really," Robson told Insider during a phone interview on Sunday. "I think it was quite unfortunate, because the voters of Arizona deserve better."Robson, a business-minded Republican who's worked in real estate development and land use consulting, is now the one person standing between Lake and the GOP nomination — and perhaps even the governorship itself. She's poured more than $13 million of her own money into the effort, accounting for more than 80% of the $16.5 million raised by her campaign ahead of the August 2 primary.She comes from a political family: Her father, Carl Kunasek, served as president of the Arizona Senate during the late 1980s, while her brother Andy Kunasek served for 20 years on the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors.Robson is also an ally of Doug Ducey, the state's term-limited incumbent governor: He appointed Robson in 2017 to the Arizona Board of Regents, the governing board that oversees the state's major public universities including Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University, and University of Arizona.But it's her first time running for office, and the otherwise traditional, Ronald Reagan-loving Republican finds herself seeking the nomination of a party that's fixated on cultural issues and remains under the shadow of Trump.Meanwhile, Lake may be one of the most Trump-like candidates running this year. A broadcast journalist in Arizona for nearly three decades before making a hard-right political turn in recent years, Lake opened up an early lead in the race by securing Trump's endorsement in September 2021.And much like Trump, Lake is a former Democrat who's embraced illiberal and extreme rhetoric in her first quest for political office."Frankly, I think she should be locked up," Lake has said of the likely Democratic gubernatorial nominee, current Secretary of State Katie Hobbs.Lake also fervently pushes the idea that the 2020 election was stolen, has said that she would not have certified her own state's election results, and has attracted fringe figures at some of her campaign events. She's also — like Trump — liable to get into Twitter fights, most recently with Meghan McCain, the daughter of the state's long-serving late Republican Sen. John McCain.A yard sign for Kari Lake featuring the image of President Donald Trump in Phoenix, Arizona.Bryan Metzger/InsiderBut despite that early lead, Lake and Robson are now polling neck-and-neck. And in the race's final weeks, it's become something of a national GOP proxy war.While Lake has long been endorsed by a variety of Trump-world figures, Robson now has the backing of former Vice President Mike Pence, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey. She also has the backing of a constellation of other stalwart GOP figures, including both critics and allies of Trump, such as Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.'I'm not a fake, I'm not an actress'On policy matters, there's relatively little that separates the two candidates; it would be a mistake to cast Robson as a moderate, at least based on how she's running her campaign.Rather, Robson contends that she has everything that Lake lacks: experience, electability, and the temperament to govern her state."I am who I say I am. I'm not a fake, I'm not an actress," Robson told Insider when asked to name the biggest difference between her and Lake. "I have a lifetime of executive experience and getting results, and she has a lifetime of reading a teleprompter."It's the same argument that many of Trump's 2016 Republican primary opponents unsuccessfully made against him, even as he outflanked them on high-salience issues like immigration and trade. Now, it's Robson arguing that Lake is not a real conservative, even as Lake stakes out a base-friendly position on the 2020 election — 2022's hot-button topic de jure among the party faithful.A yard sign for Karrin Taylor Robson in Phoenix, Arizona.Bryan Metzger/InsiderFor her part, Robson stops short of calling the election stolen. At the debate, she said the 2020 election was "absolutely not fair" before Lake interjected to tout her endorsement from Dinesh D'Souza, the director of the widely-debunked film "2000 Mules" that purports to reveal rampant fraud in the 2020 election.To support her claim that the election "wasn't fair," Robson gestured towards Republican conspiracy theories about Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's election-related philanthropic contributions and pandemic-era changes to voting procedures."You look at the media suppressing the news," she said at the debate. "I don't need to say anything more than 'Hunter Biden' or Big Tech suppressing — silencing conservative voices."Asked by Insider why an election-denying Republican should support her over Lake, Robson argued that she was more electable than her opponent while alluding to partisan control over the state's vote certification process."We must maintain the Republican governorship in Arizona, because Arizona is a battleground state," she said. "The last thing this country needs is a battleground state like Arizona being led by a Democrat."Long a Republican strong-hold, the state now has two Democratic senators and in 2020 voted Democratic at the presidential level for the first time since 1996, raising the sense of urgency for Republicans.Meanwhile, the primary between the two women has grown nasty and personal, with Lake insinuating that middle-aged Robson — who's married to 91-year-old real estate developer Ed Robson — is "wasting her inheritance on a failed vanity project." "This lady has spent MILLIONS of her husband's money and has nothing to show for it!" Lake wrote in one tweet.Lake has also hammered Robson over the use of the phrase "female-identifying restroom" at a stadium named after her husband in Colorado, saying her opponent "supports Trans Bathrooms."But Lake's own past has muddled her ability to appeal to voters on cultural grounds. After she began criticizing drag queens, a drag performer who used to be friends with Lake came forward and released photos of the two together.—azcentral (@azcentral) June 28, 2022 'The fake crazy or the real crazy'As part of Robson's campaign to brand her opponent as "Fake Lake," hundreds, if not thousands, of yard signs have been placed along roadsides across the state noting that Lake donated to former President Barack Obama.At an event for Senate candidate Jim Lamon in Prescott, Pat Newbert, 66, told Insider that Lake's background proved she was a liberal, chiding Trump for endorsing the former journalist."What makes him think that all of a sudden, now, she's gonna be a Republican?" said Newbert. "He's backing people that — come on, Trump! You know, you're smarter than that. And these liberals, they get in there, and then they go right back to being a liberal."Lake doesn't shy away from the fact that she's a former Democrat, pointing to both Trump and Ronald Reagan as prior examples while embracing the so-called #WalkAway movement.A yard sign highlighting Lake's past support for President Barack Obama paid for by Robson's campaign in Phoenix, Arizona.Bryan Metzger/InsiderAsked about the signs, a spokesperson for the Lake campaign chided Robson for spending "a mountain of her Billionaire Husband's money" on signs "across Arizona with Kari and Obama's face on them.""The Kari Lake Campaign extends our thanks to Robson for getting a head start on helping us in the General," said the spokesperson.Lake has also countered Robson's attacks by pointing to the businesswoman's prior contributions to Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego, who Lake has called the "AOC of Arizona."Insider asked Gallego — who's joked that Robson is "my best donor" — about what he made of her past contributions."The reason she did that is because, you know, she needed access to Democrats in power, because a lot of what they needed in terms of land development had to go through Democratic hands," said Gallego at the US Capitol on Tuesday. "Largely she was doing it, I think, to try to have influence."Robson made the same point when asked about the contributions, which amounted to just $1000 in 2015."Ruben Gallego was already elected," said Robson, noting the deep-blue hue of his Phoenix-area district. She then pivoted, noting her history as a major source of GOP money, "including well over a million dollars to Donald Trump while Kari Lake was calling Joe Biden the duly elected president."But Gallego had more to say about Robson, suggesting that she, rather than Lake, was the one being inauthentic in the race."Karrin Taylor Robson was a very moderate businesswoman when it was helpful to her," said Gallego, adding that when he knew her, she would "look down and talk bad about conservatives in Arizona."Arizona Democrats have also seized on the contributions, sending an email release that back-handedly thanks Robson for her past contributions to other Democrats in a likely effort to boost Lake, who is seen as potentially easier to defeat.But when asked who he thought would be a more favorable opponent for Democrats, Gallego — who is himself mulling a primary challenge to sitting Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema in 2024 — demurred."I mean, like, the crazy train will get derailed no matter who does it," said Gallego. "Whether it's the fake crazy or the real crazy, so it doesn't really matter."'I'm kind of passionate about civil discourse'While Robson may represent a more genteel kind of Republican, she's also currently competing for primary votes against a candidate who's been endorsed by Trump.To compensate, Robson is having to lean into demagogic rhetoric to win over potentially skeptical conservatives, even as she conceded during the gubernatorial debate that she would not be radically different than Ducey, the current Republican governor.At an event last Thursday with her campaign's Asian-American Coalition in a Chandler dim sum restaurant, the contradictions of that kind of message were on full display. Matt Salmon, a former long-time Republican congressman who recently dropped out of the governor's race to endorse Robson, gave an opening speech on her behalf."We're not at a crossroads. We were at a crossroads many, many years ago," said Salmon just moments after pleasing the crowd with his ad-libbed Mandarin skills. "We took the wrong turn, and we're about to fall off the cliff."When it was Robson's turn to speak, she opened her address by suggesting that the "left" wants to turn states like Arizona and Utah into California, relaying an anecdote from an attendee at another event about how "Utah's already gone" because so many out-of-staters have moved in."So, we are on the frontlines of keeping our country safe and free," said Robson, her father sitting in the audience.But she seemed most at ease discussing her desire to turn Arizona into the "small business capital of America" and talking about how her upbringing taught her the "exceptional nature of this country, and that if you work hard, you treat people well, you can achieve anything." Karrin Taylor Robson speaks to a group of supporters at Phoenix Palace restaurant in Chandler, Arizona on July 13, 2022.Bryan Metzger/InsiderIt was a pitch that might have been more typical of a Republican politician prior to Trump's ascent to the top of the party.Robson also spoke glowingly of her father's friendship with Art Hamilton, a Democratic state legislator, which she said was a model for her. "That's the beauty of America," she said. "We can be different. We can come together and respect one another, and work together to solve complex problems.""I'm kind of passionate about civil discourse, and civics and civic education," she remarked. Attendees, representing communities ranging from Chinese, Japanese, and Korean to even Assyrian and Lebanese, were largely already Robson supporters. At one point, attendees from each represented community were asked to speak about why they were supporting Robson. One middle-aged woman who identified herself as being from the Filipino-American community praised Robson for her executive experience before bashing Lake."The woman who's running against you, she looks like… I'm not very politically correct, so let me call her a space cadet," said the woman, prompting laughter. "To me, she's an airhead."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytJul 24th, 2022

Top Senate Democrat pushes back against Biden and urges locking in a larger climate and tax bill with Manchin

It's the first sign of internal dissent against a Biden-led effort to advance a skinny healthcare bill stripped of programs to battle climate change. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) speaks to Sen. Ron Wyden at the Capitol last month.Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images A top Senate Democrat wants to try to lock in a bigger deal with an elusive Manchin. "Legislation continues to be the best option here," Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon said. It's early dissent to a Biden-led effort to advance a skinny healthcare bill without climate programs. The Senate's top tax-writing Democrat is urging Democrats take a final shot at swaying Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia on a larger climate and tax package after he put another dagger into the economic legislation last week."Conversations on clean energy must continue to preserve our options to move forward," Sen. Ron Wyden said in a Monday statement. "Without long-term certainty, investment in clean domestic energy will fall far short of what is necessary to reduce carbon emissions and secure lower prices for American consumers.""While I strongly support additional executive action by President Biden, we know a flood of Republican lawsuits will follow," Wyden said. "Legislation continues to be the best option here."The Oregon Democrat's comments amount to the first sign of dissent to President Joe Biden's push for Congress to pass a skinny economic package centered on cutting health-care costs in the wake of Manchin's move against the broader bill. Biden vowed to combat the climate emergency using executive authority in lieu of pursuing bills in Congress if needed.However, Wyden isn't threatening to hold up the reconciliation bill or oppose the more narrow legislation. All 50 Senate Democrats must coalesce behind the economic package to muscle it through the upper chamber without Republicans in budget reconciliation.The slimmer bill is expected to contain two initiatives that Manchin said he could support before Congress adjourns for the recess: An extension of financial assistance for Americans buying insurance under the Affordable Care Act. along with a measure to slash prescription drug costs.Democrats are fuming after Manchin abruptly came out against much of the bill that he'd spent months negotiating with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont lobbed a fresh attack and accused Manchin of "sabotaging" the Biden agenda on Sunday.The conservative Democrat said in a West Virginia radio interview on Friday that he was unwilling to strike a deal on clean energy programs along with tax hikes to pay for it until the release of the July inflation report early next month. That's a major hurdle since Congress will have adjourned for its summer recess by then.But Manchin has suggested that he is open to an agreement on a larger package without committing to the final product and backing it in September."I haven't walked away from anything, and inflation is my greatest concern," Manchin told reporters on Monday.However, Manchin has previously either pulled the plug or demanded changes to shrink a potential reconciliation bill when Democrats believed they were close to locking down the support of the mercurial moderate.A top White House economic adviser pushed back against Manchin's claims that the tax increases that he had long backed until he came out against them would worsen inflation. "It's really hard for me to put the phrase together because I think it's the other way," White House adviser Jared Bernstein said at a news conference. "Deficit reduction is disinflationary and tax increases fit into that.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJul 18th, 2022

Top Biden ally says criticism of the White House is "the same foolishness that got us Donald Trump"

"He saved democracy once by beating a tyrant. He's doing it again, but he doesn't do it by beating his chest," DNC adviser Cedric Richmond told CNN. Cedric RichmondAP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File A top Biden ally said attacks on the White House are "the same foolishness" that got Trump elected. "The country didn't elect Joe Biden because they wanted a Democratic Donald Trump," Cedric Richmond told CNN. The White House and Congress are pointing the finger at each other for solutions to key challenges.  A top ally of President Joe Biden, Cedric Richmond, argued that Democratic attacks and criticisms of the Biden White House are "the same foolishness" that got former President Donald Trump elected. Democrats on and off Capitol Hill are increasingly frustrated and disappointed with what they see as a woefully inadequate response and lack of urgency from the White House to the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, sources told CNN. "The country didn't elect Joe Biden because they wanted a Democratic Donald Trump to go out there every day and divide the country more," Richmond, the former director of the White House's Office of Public Engagement and former Biden campaign surrogate, told CNN.Richmond, now a senior adviser at the Democratic National Committee, said Democrats openly attacking the administration are "scapegoating the President, or distracted and not focusing on what they should be focused on." "He saved democracy once by beating a tyrant. He's doing it again, but he doesn't do it by beating his chest," Richmond added. Richmond, a former Democratic congressman from Louisiana, criticized attacks on the administration as "the same foolishness that got us Donald Trump," likening criticisms of Biden to critiques of 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton from within the party." Richmond said that claims like "Hillary wasn't good enough" and "she's not fighting hard enough" are "what got us Donald Trump. And that got us Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett. Case closed."Former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, who the White House tapped to help roll out the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill Congress passed in 2021, argued that Biden is restoring the norms of the presidency but not bulldozing ahead with unilateral action or meddling with independent federal agencies.  "This is what separates him from Donald Trump, and it's an important separation. He says, 'I am not a dictator. I am not an autocrat,'" Landrieu told CNN, echoing Richmond's comments. Landrieu also partially pointed the finger at Congress for not passing more of Biden's economic agenda in reconciliation, drug pricing legislation, and a major anti-China competitiveness bill currently languishing in limbo, saying, "it's just the nature of politics sometimes you just say, 'I wish somebody else would help,' when we're really this is all hands on deck." But not everyone in Congress is satisfied with Biden's proposed policy solutions or how Biden is using his bully pulpit in areas like abortion, where the administration has limited tools at its disposal to bolster access to the procedure. "There's no fight," a Democratic member of Congress told CNN. "People understand that a lot of this is out of his hands — but what you want to see is the President out there swinging."One Democratic member of Congress described the White House's response to multiple, overlapping challenges, including abortion and the economy, as "rudderless, aimless and hopeless.""It's got to look like you're taking actions," Democratic Rep. Ro Khanna told CNN about inflation. "Any economist who says the President shouldn't do anything on the economy should be fired. They can be at a think tank, they can be a professor. But they shouldn't be at the White House."Another aide to a vulnerable Democratic member of Congress told the outlet that "there's not a frontline office out there that isn't frustrated with the lack of action coming from the White House on inflation." The White House has also wavered on multiple ideas to address persistently high gas prices.Biden's proposal for a three-month gas tax holiday doesn't yet have the support of key Democratic members of Congress, with one Democratic official telling CNN the approach to gas prices has "the appearance of throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing what sticks." Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJul 5th, 2022

Futures, Commodities Jump After China Cuts Quarantine

Futures, Commodities Jump After China Cuts Quarantine US stock futures rebounded from Monday's modest losses and traded near session highs after China reduced quarantine times for inbound travelers by half - to seven days of centralized quarantine and three days of health monitoring at home -  the biggest shift yet in a Covid-19 policy that has left the world’s second-largest economy isolated as it continues to try and eliminate the virus. The move, which fueled optimism about stronger economic growth and boosted appetite for both commodities and risk assets, sent S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq 100 contracts higher by 0.6% each at 7:15 a.m. in New York, setting up heavyweight technology stocks for a rebound. Mining and energy shares led gains in Europe’s Stoxx 600 and an Asian equity index erased losses to climb for a fourth session. 10Y TSY yields extended their move higher rising to 3.25% or about +5bps on the session, while the dollar and bitcoin were flat, and oil and commodity-linked currencies strengthened. In premarket trading, the biggest mover was Kezar Life Sciences which soared 85% after reporting positive results for its lupus drug. On the other end, Robinhood shares fell 3.2%, paring a rally yesterday sparked by news that FTX is exploring whether to buy the company. In a statement, FTX head Sam Bankman-Fried said he is excited about the firm’s business prospects, but “there are no active M&A conversations with Robinhood." Here are some of the other most notable premarket movers" Playtika (PLTK US) shares rallied 11% in premarket trading after a report that private equity firm Joffre Capital agreed to acquire a majority stake in the gaming company from a Chinese investment group for $21 a share. Nike (NKE US) shares fell 2.3% in US premarket trading, with analysts reducing their price targets after the company gave a downbeat forecast for gross margin and said it was being cautious in its outlook for the China market. Spirit Airlines (SAVE US) shares rise as much as 5% in US premarket trading after JetBlue boosted its all-cash bid in response to an increased offer by rival suitor Frontier in the days before a crucial shareholder vote. Snowflake (SNOW US) rises 3.3% in US premarket trading after Jefferies upgraded the stock to buy from hold, saying its valuation is now “back to reality” and offers a good entry point given the software firm’s long-term targets. Sutro Biopharma (STRO US) shares rise 34% in US premarket trading after the company and Astellas said they will collaborate to advance development of immunostimulatory antibody-drug conjugates, which are a modality for treating tumors and designed to boost anti-cancer activity. State Street (STT US) shares could be in focus after Deutsche Bank downgraded the stock to hold, while lowering EPS estimates and price targets across interest rate sensitive coverage of trust banks and online brokers. US bank stocks may be volatile during Tuesday’s trading session after the lenders announced a wave of dividend increases following last week’s successful stress test results. Stock rallies have proved fleeting this year as higher borrowing costs to fight inflation restrain economic activity in a range of nations. European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde affirmed plans for an initial quarter-point increase in interest rates in July, but said policy makers are ready to step up action to tackle record inflation if warranted. Some analysts also argue still-bullish earnings estimates are too optimistic. Earnings revisions are a risk with the US economy set to slow next year, though China emerging from Covid strictures could act as a global buffer, according to Lorraine Tan, Morningstar director of equity research. “You got a US slowdown in 2023 in terms of growth, but you have China hopefully coming out of its lockdowns,” Tan said on Bloomberg Radio. In Europe, stocks are well bid with most European indexes up over 1%. Euro Stoxx 50 rose as much as 1.2% before drifting off the highs. Miners, energy and auto names outperform. The Stoxx 600 Basic Resources sub-index rises as much as 3.5% led by heavyweights Rio Tinto and Anglo American, as well as Polish copper producer KGHM and Finnish forestry companies Stora Enso and UPM- Kymmene. Iron ore and copper reversed losses after China eased its quarantine rules for new arrivals, while oil gained for a third session amid risks of supply disruptions. Iron ore in Singapore rose more than 4% after being firmly lower earlier in the session, while copper and other base metals also turned higher. Here are the biggest European movers: Luxury stocks climb boosted by an easing of Covid-19 quarantine rules in the key market of China. LVMH shares rise as much as 2.5%, Richemont +3.1%, Kering +3%, Moncler +3% Energy and mining stocks are the best-performing groups in the rising Stoxx Europe 600 index amid commodity gains. Shell shares rise as much as 3.8%, TotalEnergies +2.7%, BP +3.4%, Rio Tinto +4.6%, Glencore +3.9% Banco Santander shares rise as much as 1.8% after a report that the Spanish bank has hired Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs for its bid to buy Mexico’s Banamex. GN Store Nord shares gain as much as 4.2% after Nordea resumes coverage on the hearing devices company with a buy rating. Swedish Match shares rise as much as 4% as Philip Morris International’s offer document regarding its bid for the company has been approved and registered by the Swedish FSA. Wise shares decline as much as 15%, erasing earlier gains after the fintech firm reported full- year earnings. Citi said the results were “mixed,” with strong revenue growth being offset by lower profitability. UK water stocks decline as JPMorgan says it is turning cautious on the sector on the view that future regulated returns could surprise to the downside, in a note cutting Severn Trent to underweight. Severn Trent shares fall as much as 6%, Pennon -7.7%, United Utilities -2.3% Akzo Nobel falls as much as 4.5% in Amsterdam trading after the paint maker announced the appointment of former Sulzer leader Greg Poux-Guillaumeas chief executive officer, succeeding Thierry Vanlancker. Danske Bank shares fall as much as 4%, as JPMorgan cut its rating on the stock to underweight, saying in a note that risks related to Swedish property will likely create some “speed bumps” for Nordic banks though should be manageable. In the Bavarian Alps, limiting Russia’s profits from rising energy prices that fuel its war in Ukraine have been among the main topics of discussion at a Group of Seven summit. G-7 leaders agreed that they want ministers to urgently discuss and evaluate how the prices of Russian oil and gas can be curbed. Earlier in the session, Asian stocks erased earlier losses as China’s move to ease quarantine rules for inbound travelers bolstered sentiment. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose as much as 0.6% after falling by a similar magnitude. The benchmark is set for a fourth day of gains, led by the energy and utilities sectors. BHP and Toyota contributed the most to the gauge’s advance, while China’s technology firms were among the biggest losers as a plan by Tencent’s major backer to further cut its stake fueled concern of more profit-taking following a strong rally.   A move by Beijing to cut quarantine times for inbound travelers by half is helping cement gains which have made Chinese shares the world’s best-performing major equity market this month. The nation’s stocks are approaching a bull market even as their recent rise pushes them to overbought levels. Still, the threat of a sharp slowdown in the world’s largest economy may pose a threat to the outlook. “US recession risk is still there and I think that’ll obviously have impact on global sectors,” Lorraine Tan, director of equity research at Morningstar, said on Bloomberg TV. “Even if we do get some China recovery in 2023, which could be a buffer for this region, it’s not going to offset the US or global recession.”  Most stock benchmarks in the region finished higher following China’s move to ease its travel rules. Main equity measures in Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea and Australia rose while those in Taiwan and India fell. Overall, Asian stocks are on course to complete a monthly decline of about 4%.    Meanwhile, the People’s Bank of China pledged to keep monetary policy supportive to help the nation’s economy. It signaled that stimulus would likely focus on boosting credit rather than lowering interest rates. Japanese stocks gained as investors adjusted positions heading into the end of the quarter.  The Topix Index rose 1.1% to 1,907.38 as of the market close in Tokyo, while the Nikkei 225 advanced 0.7% to 27,049.47. Toyota Motor contributed most to the Topix’s gain, increasing 2.2%. Out of 2,170 shares in the index, 1,736 rose and 374 fell, while 60 were unchanged. “As the end of the April-June quarter approaches, there is a tendency for institutional investors to rebalance,” said Norihiro Fujito, chief investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley. “It will be easier to buy into cheap stocks, which is a factor that will support the market in terms of supply and demand.” India’s benchmark stock gauge ended flat after trading lower for most of the session as investors booked some profits after a three-day rally.  The S&P BSE Sensex closed little changed at 53,177.45 in Mumbai, while the NSE Nifty 50 Index gained 0.1%.  Six of the the 19 sector sub-gauges compiled by BSE Ltd. dropped, led by consumer durables companies, while oil & gas firms were top performers.  ICICI Bank was among the prominent decliners on the Sensex, falling 1%. Out of 30 shares in the Sensex index, 17 rose and 13 fell. In rates, fixed income sold off as treasuries remained under pressure with the 10Y yield rising as high as 3.26%, following steeper declines for euro-zone and UK bond markets for second straight day and after two ugly US auctions on Monday. Yields across the curve are higher by 2bp-5bp led by the 7-year ahead of the $40 billion auction. In Europe, several 10-year yields are 10bp higher on the day after comments by an ECB official spurred money markets to price in more policy tightening. WI 7Y yield at around 3.32% exceeds 7-year auction stops since March 2010 and compares with 2.777% last month. Monday’s 5-year auction drew a yield more than 3bp higher than its yield in pre-auction trading just before the bidding deadline, a sign dealers underestimated demand. Traders attributed the poor results to factors including short base eroded by last week’s rally, recently elevated market volatility discouraging market-making, and sub-par participation during what is a popular vacation week in the US. Focal points for US session include 7-year note auction at 1pm ET; a 5-year auction Monday produced notably weak demand metrics. The belly of the German curve underperformed as markets focus  on hawkish comments from ECB officials: 5y bobl yields rose 10 bps near 1.46%, red pack euribors dropped 10-13 ticks and ECB-dated OIS rates priced in 163 basis points of tightening by year end. In FX, Bloomberg dollar spot index is near flat as the greenback reversed earlier losses versus all of its Group-of-10 peers apart from the yen while commodity currencies were the best performers. The euro rose above $1.06 before paring gains after ECB Governing Council member Martins Kazaks said the central bank should consider a first rate hike of more than a quarter-point if there are signs that high inflation readings are feeding expectations. Money markets ECB raised tightening wagers after his remarks. ECB President Lagarde later affirmed plans for an initial quarter-point increase in interest rates in July but said policy makers are ready to step up action to tackle record inflation if warranted. The ECB is likely to drain cash from the banking system to offset any bond purchases made to restrain borrowing costs for indebted euro-area members, Reuters reported, citing two sources it didn’t identify. Elsewhere, the pound drifted against the dollar and euro after underperforming Monday, with focus on quarter-end flows, lingering Brexit risks and the UK economic outlook. Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon due to speak later on how she plans to hold a second referendum on Scottish independence by the end of next year. The yen gave up an Asia session gain versus the dollar as US equity futures reversed losses. The Australian dollar rose after China cut its mandatory quarantine period to 10 days from three weeks for inbound visitors in its latest Covid-19 guidance. JPY was the weakest in G-10, drifting below 136 to the USD. In commodities, oil rose for a third day with global output threats compounding already red-hot markets for physical supplies and as broader financial sentiment improved. Brent crude breached $117 a barrel on Tuesday, but some of the most notable moves in recent days have been in more specialist market gauges. A contract known as the Dated-to-Frontline swap -- an indicator of the strength in the key North Sea market underpinning much of the world’s crude pricing -- hit a record of more than $5 a barrel. The rally comes amid growing supply outages in Libya and Ecuador, exacerbating ongoing market tightness. Oil prices also rose Tuesday as broader sentiment was boosted by China’s move to cut in half the time new arrivals must spend in isolation, the biggest shift yet in its pandemic policy. Meanwhile, the G-7 tasked ministers to urgently discuss an oil price cap on Russia.  Finally, the prospect of additional supply from two of OPEC’s key producers also looks limited. On Monday Reuters reported that French President Emmanuel Macron told his US counterpart Joe Biden that the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia are already pumping almost as much as they can. In the battered metals space, LME nickel rose 2.7%, outperforming peers and leading broad-based gains in the base-metals complex. Spot gold rises roughly $3 to trade near $1,826/oz Looking to the day ahead now, data releases include the FHFA house price index for April, the advance goods trade balance and preliminary wholesale inventories for May, as well as the Conference Board’s consumer confidence for June and the Richmond Fed’s manufacturing index. From central banks, we’ll hear from ECB President Lagarde, the ECB’s Lane, Elderson and Panetta, the Fed’s Daly, and BoE Deputy Governor Cunliffe. Finally, NATO leaders will be meeting in Madrid. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures up 0.5% to 3,922.50 STOXX Europe 600 up 0.6% to 417.65 MXAP up 0.4% to 162.36 MXAPJ up 0.4% to 539.85 Nikkei up 0.7% to 27,049.47 Topix up 1.1% to 1,907.38 Hang Seng Index up 0.9% to 22,418.97 Shanghai Composite up 0.9% to 3,409.21 Sensex down 0.3% to 52,990.39 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.9% to 6,763.64 Kospi up 0.8% to 2,422.09 German 10Y yield little changed at 1.62% Euro little changed at $1.0587 Brent Futures up 1.4% to $116.65/bbl Gold spot up 0.3% to $1,828.78 U.S. Dollar Index little changed at 103.89 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg In Tokyo’s financial circles, the trade is known as the widow- maker. The bet is simple: that the Bank of Japan, under growing pressure to stabilize the yen as it sinks to a 24-year low, will have to abandon its 0.25% cap on benchmark bond yields and let them soar, just as they already have in the US, Canada, Europe and across much of the developing world Bank of Italy Governor Ignazio Visco may leave his post in October, paving the way for the appointment of a high profile executive close to Premier Mario Draghi, daily Il Foglio reported NATO is set to label China a “systemic challenge” when it outlines its new policy guidelines this week, while also highlighting Beijing’s deepening partnership with Russia, according to people familiar with the matter The PBOC pledged to keep monetary policy supportive to aid the economy’s recovery, while signaling that stimulus would likely focus on boosting credit rather than lowering interest rates A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asia-Pac stocks were mixed with the region partially shrugging off the lacklustre handover from the US. ASX 200 was kept afloat with energy leading the gains amongst the commodity-related sectors. Nikkei 225 swung between gains and losses with upside capped by resistance above the 27K level. Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp. were pressured amid weakness in tech and lingering default concerns as Sunac plans discussions on extending a CNY bond and with Evergrande facing a wind-up petition. Top Asian News China is to cut quarantine time for international travellers, according to state media cited by Reuters. Shanghai Disneyland (DIS) will reopen on June 30th, according to Reuters. PBoC injected CNY 110bln via 7-day reverse repos with the rate at 2.10% for a CNY 100bln net daily injection. China's state planner official said China faces new challenges in stabilising jobs and prices due to COVID and risks from the Ukraine crisis, while the NDRC added they will not resort to flood-like stimulus but will roll out tools in its policy reserve in a timely way to cope with challenges, according to Reuters. China's state planner NDRC says China is to cut gasoline and diesel retail prices by CNY 320/tonne and CNY 310/tonne respectively from June 29th. BoJ may have been saddled with as much as JPY 600bln in unrealised losses on its JGB holdings earlier this month, as a widening gap between domestic and overseas monetary policy pushed yields higher and prices lower, according to Nikkei. European bourses are firmer as sentiment picked up heading into the cash open amid encouraging Chinese COVID headlines. Sectors are mostly in the green with no clear theme. Base metals and Energy reside as the current winners and commodities feel a boost from China’s COVID updates. Stateside, US equity futures saw a leg higher in tandem with global counterparts, with the RTY narrowly outperforming. Twitter (TWTR) in recent weeks provided Tesla (TSLA) CEO Musk with historical tweet data and access to its so-called fire hose of tweets, according to WSJ sources. Top European News UK lawmakers voted 295-221 to support the Northern Ireland Protocol bill in the first of many parliamentary tests it will face during the months ahead, according to Reuters. Scotland's First Minister Sturgeon will set out a plan today for holding a second Scottish Independence Referendum, according to BBC News. ECB’s Kazaks Says Worth Looking at Larger Rate Hike in July G-7 Latest: Leaders Want Urgent Evaluation of Energy Price Caps Ex- UBS Staffer Wants Payout for Exposing $10 Billion Swiss Stash SocGen Blames Clifford Chance in $483 Million Gold Suit GSK’s £40 Billion Consumer Arm Picks Citi, UBS as Brokers Russian Industry Faces Code Crisis as Critical Software Pulled ECB ECB's Lagarde said inflation in the euro area is undesirably high and it is projected to stay that way for some time to comeFragmentation tool, via the ECB. ECB's Kazaks said 25bps in July and 50bps in September is the base case, via Bloomberg TV. Kazaks said it is worth looking at a 50bps hike in July and front-loading hikes might be reasonable. Fragmentation risks should not stand in the way of monetary policy normalisation. If necessary, the ECB will come up with tools to address fragmentation. ECB's Wunsch said he is comfortable with a 50bps hike in September; adds that 200bps of hikes are needed relatively fast, and anti-fragmentation tool should have no limits if market moves are unwarranted, via Reuters. Bank of Italy said Governor Visco's resignation is not on the table, according to a spokesperson cited by Reuters. Fixed Income Bond reversal continues amidst buoyant risk sentiment, hawkish ECB commentary and supply. Bunds lose two more big figures between 146.80 peak and 144.85 trough, Gilts down to 112.06 from 112.86 at best and 10 year T-note retreats within 117-01/116-14 range FX DXY regroups on spot month end as yields rally and rebalancing factors offer support - index within 103.750-104.020 range vs Monday's 103.660 low. Euro continues to encounter resistance above 1.0600 via 55 DMA (1.0614 today); Yen undermined by latest bond retreat and renewed risk appetite - Usd/Jpy eyes 136.00 from low 135.00 area and close to 134.50 yesterday. Aussie breaches technical and psychological resistance with encouragement from China lifting or easing more Covid restrictions - Aud/Usd through 10 DMA at 0.6954. Loonie and Norwegian Krona boosted by firm rebound in oil as France fans supply concerns due to limited Saudi and UAE production capacity - Usd/Cad sub-1.2850 and Eur/Nok under 10.3500. Yuan receives another PBoC liquidity boost to compliment positive developments on the pandemic front, but Rand hampered by latest power cut warning issued by SA’s Eskom Commodities WTI and Brent futures were bolstered in early European hours amid encouragement seen from China's loosening of COVID restrictions. Spot gold is uneventful, around USD 1,825/oz in what has been a sideways session for the bullion since the reopening overnight. Base metals are posting broad gains across the complex - with LME copper back above USD 8,500/t amid China-related optimism. US Event Calendar 08:30: May Advance Goods Trade Balance, est. -$105b, prior -$105.9b, revised -$106.7b 08:30: May Wholesale Inventories MoM, est. 2.1%, prior 2.2% May Retail Inventories MoM, est. 1.6%, prior 0.7% 09:00: April S&P CS Composite-20 YoY, est. 21.15%, prior 21.17% 09:00: April S&P/CS 20 City MoM SA, est. 1.95%, prior 2.42% 09:00: April FHFA House Price Index MoM, est. 1.4%, prior 1.5% 10:00: June Conf. Board Consumer Confidenc, est. 100.0, prior 106.4 Conf. Board Expectations, prior 77.5; Present Situation, prior 149.6 10:00: June Richmond Fed Index, est. -5, prior -9 DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap It's been a landmark night in our household as last night was the first time the 4-year-old twins slept without night nappies. So my task this morning after I send this to the publishers is to leave for the office before they all wake up so that any accidents are not my responsibility. Its hopefully the end of a near 7-year stretch of nappies being constantly around in their many different guises and states of unpleasantness. Maybe give it another 30-40 years and they'll be back. Talking of unpleasantness, as we near the end of what’s generally been an awful H1 for markets, yesterday saw the relief rally from last week stall out, with another bond selloff and an equity performance that fluctuated between gains and losses before the S&P 500 (-0.30%) ended in negative territory. In terms of the specific moves, sovereign bonds lost ground on both sides of the Atlantic, with yields on 10yr Treasuries up by +7.0bps following their -9.6bps decline from the previous week. That advance was led by real rates (+9.6bps), which look to have been supported by some decent second-tier data releases from the US during May yesterday. The preliminary reading for US durable goods orders surprised on the upside with a +0.7% gain (vs. +0.1% expected). Core capital goods orders also surprised on the upside with a +0.8% advance (vs. +0.2% expected). And pending home sales were unexpectedly up by +0.7% (vs. -4.0% expected). Collectively that gave investors a bit more confidence that growth was still in decent shape last month, which is something that will also offer the Fed more space to continue their campaign of rate hikes into H2. This morning 10yr USTs yields have eased -2.45 bps to 3.17% while 2yr yields (-4 bps) have also moved lower to 3.08%, as we go to press. Staying at the front end, when it comes to those rate hikes, if you look at Fed funds futures they show that investors are still only expecting them to continue for another 9 months, with the peak rate in March or April 2023 before markets are pricing in at least a full 25bps rate cut by end-2023 from that point. I pointed out in my chart of the day yesterday (link here) that the median time historically from the last hike of the cycle to the first cut was only 4 months, and last time it was only 7 months between the final hike in December 2018 and the next cut in July 2019. So it wouldn’t be historically unusual if Fed funds did follow that pattern whether that fits my view or not. Over in Europe yesterday there was an even more aggressive rise in yields, with those on 10yr bunds (+10.9bps), OATs (+11.0bps) and BTPs (+9.1bps) all rising on the day as they bounced back from their even larger declines over the previous week. That came as investors pared back their bets on a more dovish ECB that they’d made following the more negative tone last week, and the rate priced in by the December ECB meeting rose by +8.5bps on the day. For equities, the major indices generally fluctuated between gains and losses through the day. The S&P 500 followed that pattern and ultimately fell -0.30%, which follows its best daily performance in over 2 years on Friday Quarter-end rebalancing flows seem set to drive markets back-and-forth price this week. Even with the decline yesterday, the index is +6.36% higher since its closing low less than a couple of weeks ago. And over in Europe, the STOXX 600 (+0.52%) posted a decent advance, although that masked regional divergences, including losses for the CAC 40 (-0.43%) and the FTSE MIB (-0.86%). Energy stocks strongly outperformed in the index, supported by a further rise in oil prices that left both Brent crude (+1.74%) and WTI (+1.81%) higher on the day. G7 ministers reportedly agreed to explore a cap on Russian gas and oil exports, with the official mandate expected to be announced today, but it would take time for any mechanism to be developed. The impact on global oil supply is not clear: if Russia retaliates supply could go down, if this enables other third parties to import more Russian oil supply could go up. Elsewhere, political unrest in Libya and Ecuador could simultaneously hit oil supply. In early Asian trading, oil prices continue to move higher, with Brent futures up +1.13% at $116.39/bbl and WTI futures gaining +1% to just above the $110/bbl level. Asian equity markets are struggling a bit this morning. The Hang Seng (-1.00%) is the largest underperformer amid a weakening in Chinese tech stocks whilst the Nikkei (-0.15%), Shanghai Composite (-0.15%) and CSI (-0.19%) are trading in negative territory in early trade. Elsewhere, the Kospi (-0.05%) is just below the flatline. US stock futures are slipping with contracts on the S&P 500 (-0.12%) and NASDAQ 100 (-0.18%) both slightly lower. In central bank news, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) Governor Yi Gang pledged to provide additional monetary support to the economy to recover from Covid outbreaks and lockdowns and other stresses. In a rare interview conducted in English, the central bank chief did caution though that the real interest rate is low thereby indicating limited room for large-scale monetary easing. Turning to geopolitical developments, the G7 summit continued in Germany yesterday, and in a statement it said they would “further intensify our economic measures against Russia”. Separately, NATO announced that it will increase the number of high readiness forces to over 300,000, with the alliance’s leaders set to gather in Madrid from today. And we’re also expecting a new round of nuclear talks with Iran to take place at some point this week, something Henry mentioned in his latest Mapping Markets out yesterday (link here), which if successful could in time pave the way for Iranian oil to return to the global market. Finally, whilst there were some decent May data releases from the US, the Dallas Fed’s manufacturing activity index for June fell to a 2-year low of -17.7 (vs. -6.5 expected). To the day ahead now, and data releases include Germany’s GfK consumer confidence for July, French consumer confidence for June, whilst in the US there’s the FHFA house price index for April, the advance goods trade balance and preliminary wholesale inventories for May, as well as the Conference Board’s consumer confidence for June and the Richmond Fed’s manufacturing index. From central banks, we’ll hear from ECB President Lagarde, the ECB’s Lane, Elderson and Panetta, the Fed’s Daly, and BoE Deputy Governor Cunliffe. Finally, NATO leaders will be meeting in Madrid. Tyler Durden Tue, 06/28/2022 - 08:00.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJun 28th, 2022

CNN, CBS, NBC, ABC Sunday Shows Don"t Cover Attempted Murder Of Supreme Court Justice

CNN, CBS, NBC, ABC Sunday Shows Don't Cover Attempted Murder Of Supreme Court Justice Authored by Zachary Stieber via The Epoch Times, Many news networks on June 12 omitted mention of the recent attempted murder of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, even though some touched on issues facing the nation’s top court. All Sunday morning shows on CNN, CBS, NBC, and ABC did not cover the attempted killing, which took place on June 8. Fox News covered the topic during “Fox News Sunday.” Several shows brought up the Supreme Court in other contexts. On CNN’s “State of the Union,” host Dana Bash noted that the Supreme Court is poised to strike down Roe v. Wade before asking Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) about the upcoming midterm elections. Bash also mentioned the nation’s top court declined to take up a case involving elections in Pennsylvania. Chuck Todd, host of NBC’s “Meet the Press,” only mentioned the Supreme Court once, when asking Rep. Elaine Luria (D-Va.) about Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’s wife. The Supreme Court was not brought up on CBS’s “Face the Nation” or ABC’s “This Week.” “It is stunningly unprofessional of major media outlets to consciously ignore news of the threat to Justice Kavanaugh,” Jeffrey McCall, a communications professor at DePauw University, told The Epoch Times in an email, describing what happened as “the journalism of omission.” The safety of Supreme Court justices is a highly important topic, especially with looming decisions on gun rights and abortion, McCall said. Representatives for the outlets did not respond to requests for comment. The bulk of coverage on the four shows was of the Jan. 6, 2021, breach of the U.S. Capitol, primarily through the lens of a House of Representatives hearing on the matter that took place on Thursday. A day earlier, according to court documents and a 911 call, a California man was dropped off by a taxi outside Kavanaugh’s home in Chevy Chase, Maryland, with the intention of breaking into the abode and murdering the justice. The man, Nicholas John Roske, walked down the street when he spotted law enforcement officers standing outside the house, and called the police on himself. On Fox News, host Bret Baier brought up the attempted murder when interviewing Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), a close ally of President Joe Biden. Baier noted that the lower chamber has yet to act on a bill that the Senate unanimously passed, which would increase security for all nine justices on the Supreme Court. “The House is working to add a provision that would allow the marshal of the Supreme Court to decide to extend protection to the staff and families of staff of the Supreme Court. I think that’s appropriate, that’s an acceptable compromise. More than anything I think the House needs to take it up and pass it early next week, and I’m optimistic after several conversations with House leadership that they will,” Coons said, before pivoting to the Jan. 6 hearing. Baier pressed Coons on protesters appearing outside the homes of Kavanaugh and others being in violation of federal law, which bars protesting outside the homes of judges with the intent of influencing them, as protesters have made clear is their intent. “We have to strike the right balance here between protecting freedom of speech in this country and ensuring that our justices and judges are safe,” Coons said. “do think we need to take stronger action to make sure that our federal judiciary is safe because that’s part of making sure our democracy is safe, which really is the core issue of the January 6 hearings, is how do we make sure that the fundamentals of our democracy, the safety and security of Congress, the peaceful transfer of power and I would also add the safety and security of our federal judiciary is ensured, we should act.” Tyler Durden Mon, 06/13/2022 - 19:40.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJun 13th, 2022

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp defeats David Perdue in a major repudiation of Trump

With Perdue's loss, Trump fails to unseat a Republican governor who stood up to his efforts to overturn the 2020 election. InsiderGeorgia is holding highly-watched gubernatorial primaries on Tuesday. Polls in most of the state closed at 7 p.m. ET.The race and the stakes: Former Sen. David Perdue is challenging incumbent Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp in a major test of President Donald Trump's endorsement power — and the political potency of his efforts to overturn the 2020 election in the state.  Kemp was elected in 2018 as a Trump ally running on a decidedly conservative platform. But Kemp fell out of favor with the former president — first over his selection of political newcomer Kelly Loeffler for an open US Senate seat, and then after the governor certified President Joe Biden's 2020 election victory in Georgia and defended the integrity of the state's voting process. Trump then endorsed Perdue, who lost reelection to now-Democratic Sen. Jon Ossoff in a 2021 runoff election, to face off against Kemp. Perdue has also attacked the integrity of Georgia's elections and said he wouldn't have certified the 2020 election had he been governor.Other Republicans challenging Kemp include far-right activist Kandiss Taylor, human resources professional Catherine Davis, and political newcomer Tom Williams. If no one candidate secures over 50% of the vote on Tuesday, then the top-two finishers will head to a June 21 runoff election. When Perdue entered the gubernatorial race in December, his endorsement from Trump and the force of the former president's 2020 election claims were seen as invaluable assets in a GOP primary, as Kemp's popularity had appeared to wane among many MAGA grassroots supporters.However, Kemp rebounded politically, outraising Perdue and running a stream of advertising while the former senator largely went dark on the airwaves during the last week of the race. The governor also took advantage of the high visibility and power of his role, signing into law conservative pieces of legislation passed by the GOP-controlled legislature including a restrictive election law and a bill limiting the discussion of race in public schools.Stacey Abrams, the 2018 Georgia Democratic gubernatorial nominee, has cleared the field to lock up her party's nomination to challenge either Kemp or Perdue in what will be one of the most hotly-contested governor's races of the 2022 midterms.In 2018, Kemp narrowly edged out Abrams by a 50.2%-48.8% margin, or 1.4 percentage points.Democrats are hoping to build on Biden's 2020 victory, along with the 2021 runoff victories of Democratic Sens. Raphael Warnock and Ossoff, to prove that the party's strength in the Southern state is real — despite the challenging national political environment.Follow Insider's live coverage of all of Tuesday night's primaries here. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytMay 24th, 2022

LIVE RESULTS: Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp faces Trump-backed challenger David Perdue

Brian Kemp aims to win renomination as the GOP gubernatorial nominee, while former ally David Perdue seeks to use his support from Trump to oust him. InsiderGeorgia is holding highly-watched gubernatorial primaries on Tuesday. Polls in most of the state closed at 7 p.m. ET.The race and the stakes: Former Sen. David Perdue is challenging incumbent Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp in a major test of President Donald Trump's endorsement power — and the political potency of his efforts to overturn the 2020 election in the state.  Kemp was elected in 2018 as a Trump ally running on a decidedly conservative platform. But Kemp fell out of favor with the former president — first over his selection of political newcomer Kelly Loeffler for an open US Senate seat, and then after the governor certified President Joe Biden's 2020 election victory in Georgia and defended the integrity of the state's voting process. Trump then endorsed Perdue, who lost reelection to now-Democratic Sen. Jon Ossoff in a 2021 runoff election, to face off against Kemp. Perdue has also attacked the integrity of Georgia's elections and said he wouldn't have certified the 2020 election had he been governor.Other Republicans challenging Kemp include far-right activist Kandiss Taylor, human resources professional Catherine Davis, and political newcomer Tom Williams. If no one candidate secures over 50% of the vote on Tuesday, then the top-two finishers will head to a June 21 runoff election. When Perdue entered the gubernatorial race in December, his endorsement from Trump and the force of the former president's 2020 election claims were seen as invaluable assets in a GOP primary, as Kemp's popularity had appeared to wane among many MAGA grassroots supporters.However, Kemp rebounded politically, outraising Perdue and running a stream of advertising while the former senator largely went dark on the airwaves during the last week of the race. The governor also took advantage of the high visibility and power of his role, signing into law conservative pieces of legislation passed by the GOP-controlled legislature including a restrictive election law and a bill limiting the discussion of race in public schools.Stacey Abrams, the 2018 Georgia Democratic gubernatorial nominee, has cleared the field to lock up her party's nomination to challenge either Kemp or Perdue in what will be one of the most hotly-contested governor's races of the 2022 midterms.In 2018, Kemp narrowly edged out Abrams by a 50.2%-48.8% margin, or 1.4 percentage points.Democrats are hoping to build on Biden's 2020 victory, along with the 2021 runoff victories of Democratic Sens. Raphael Warnock and Ossoff, to prove that the party's strength in the Southern state is real — despite the challenging national political environment.Follow Insider's live coverage of all of Tuesday night's primaries here. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytMay 24th, 2022

RESULTS: Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp faces Trump-backed challenger David Perdue

Brian Kemp aims to win renomination as the GOP gubernatorial nominee, while former ally David Perdue seeks to use his support from Trump to oust him. Georgia is holding highly-watched gubernatorial primaries on Tuesday. Polls close at 7 p.m. ET.The race and the stakes: Former Sen. David Perdue is challenging incumbent Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp in a major test of President Donald Trump's endorsement power — and the political potency of his efforts to overturn the 2020 election in the state.  Kemp was elected in 2018 as a Trump ally running on a decidedly conservative platform. But Kemp fell out of favor with the former president — first over his selection of political newcomer Kelly Loeffler for an open US Senate seat, and then after the governor certified President Joe Biden's 2020 election victory in Georgia and defended the integrity of the state's voting process. Trump then endorsed Perdue, who lost reelection to now-Democratic Sen. Jon Ossoff in a 2021 runoff election, to face off against Kemp. Perdue has also attacked the integrity of Georgia's elections and said he wouldn't have certified the 2020 election had he been governor.Other Republicans challenging Kemp include far-right activist Kandiss Taylor, human resources professional Catherine Davis, and political newcomer Tom Williams. If no one candidate secures over 50% of the vote on Tuesday, then the top-two finishers will head to a June 21 runoff election. When Perdue entered the gubernatorial race in December, his endorsement from Trump and the force of the former president's 2020 election claims were seen as invaluable assets in a GOP primary, as Kemp's popularity had appeared to wane among many MAGA grassroots supporters.However, Kemp rebounded politically, outraising Perdue and running a stream of advertising while the former senator largely went dark on the airwaves during the last week of the race. The governor also took advantage of the high visibility and power of his role, signing into law conservative pieces of legislation passed by the GOP-controlled legislature including a restrictive election law and a bill limiting the discussion of race in public schools.Stacey Abrams, the 2018 Georgia Democratic gubernatorial nominee, has cleared the field to lock up her party's nomination to challenge either Kemp or Perdue in what will be one of the most hotly-contested governor's races of the 2022 midterms.In 2018, Kemp narrowly edged out Abrams by a 50.2%-48.8% margin, or 1.4 percentage points.Democrats are hoping to build on Biden's 2020 victory, along with the 2021 runoff victories of Democratic Sens. Raphael Warnock and Ossoff, to prove that the party's strength in the Southern state is real — despite the challenging national political environment.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 24th, 2022

Bernie Sanders says Democrats" strategy for dealing with Manchin and Sinema is an "absolute political failure"

In an interview with Vanity Fair, Sanders said that centrists Manchin and Sinema "sabotaged our efforts." Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Joe Manchin (W-Va.)Win McNamee/Getty Images In an interview with Vanity Fair, Senator Bernie Sanders again lambasted centrist Democrats. He said senators like Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema "sabotaged" social spending efforts. He said dealing with them is a challenge for Democrats, and their strategy is a "political failure." When President Joe Biden took office, he found an ally in touting an agenda full of huge social investments: Senator Bernie Sanders.But in the year since, despite Biden's — and Sanders's — pushes, those proposed social spending plans are all but dead due to a pair of centrist Democratic holdouts. It's become a pain point for the party and the Biden administration, as the Democrats' razor-thin majority makes it impossible to move anything forward without everyone on board.Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema have emerged as the main roadblocks. Sanders has frequently sparred with Manchin, who single-handedly proclaimed that Build Back Better was "dead." In a new interview with Vanity Fair, Sanders again lambasted Manchin and Sinema's role in killing Build Back Better, saying they "sabotaged our efforts, what we were trying to do.""Ever since then, the Democratic Party has stumbled and fallen further and further behind," Sanders told Vanity Fair's Hunter Walker and Luppe B. Luppen.Manchin has proclaimed that he's "never been a liberal in any way, shape or form." He's repeatedly blasted Biden for high inflation, and has thrown cold water on discussing social spending before reducing the deficit."How you handle Manchin, how you handle Sinema and the other conservative Democrats is one of the challenges that the Democrats have got to deal with," Sanders told Vanity Fair. "But the current strategy is an absolute political failure."At Biden's 100 day mark last year, most Americans approved of his performance, and he was polling well above where former President Donald Trump during most of his term. However, his polling has since cratered, a potential red flag for the upcoming midterm elections.His proposed Build Back Better framework would have extended monthly child tax credit payments, helped lower the costs of childcare, and put billions towards climate spending — something that got Sanders' stamp of approval.Biden's stalled spending bill is hanging by a thread in the evenly-divided Senate. This week, Manchin ruled out reviving the social spending elements of the House-approved Build Back Better legislation, all but ending Democratic hopes to widen the safety net. He's pressed for a much narrower bill centered on cutting the deficit, rolling back the GOP tax cuts, reducing prescription drug prices, and clean energy incentives.Manchin is also now spearheading a small bipartisan group seeking to strike an agreement on climate and energy initiatives, an effort that's raised eyebrows in his party. Many Democrats are skeptical that Republicans are willing to cut a deal on energy during a midterm election year.For her part, Sinema has opposed increasing tax rates on rich Americans and large businesses. That complicates the negotiations for Democrats since Sinema's chief demand conflicts with one of Manchin's top priorities. It's unclear how they'll reconcile those competing interests and still clinch their votes. Senate Democrats hope to reach a deal by Memorial Day.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytApr 29th, 2022

India Is Mulling Rupee-Ruble Payments System For Trade With Russia

India Is Mulling Rupee-Ruble Payments System For Trade With Russia Authored by Jerri-Lynn Scofield via NakedCapitalism.com, India is discussing how to set up a rupee-ruble payment mechanism to enable it to trade with Russia, to circumvent the U.S. sanctions regime. India abstained from voting on the March United Nations (UN) General Assembly Resolution demanding an end to Russian offensive in Ukraine (General Assembly resolution demands end to Russian offensive in Ukraine). Since its Independence, India has tried to steer a neutral course between the U.S. and Russia (and previously, the USSR). During the 1950s, India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, was a prime architect behind the Non-Aligned Movement, under which developing countries tried to pursue their national interests without binding themselves to either the U.S. or Soviet bloc.  India, Indonesia, and Yugoslavia were mainstays of that movement, which today includes 120 member states, 18 observer states, and 10 international organisations. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, India developed closer relations with the United States. Most recently, under prime minister Narendra Modi, India’s policy tilted even more decisively in a pro-U.S. direction. Modi and Trump shared a strong affinity, and Modi even travelled to the U.S, to host massive rallies intended to galvanize Indian Americans in support of Trump. See this BBC account for further details, What did the Trump-Modi ‘bromance’ achieve? During the last several months, several considerations have prompted the Modi government to rethink the wisdom of putting all its eggs in the U.S. basket. Instead, India is returning to a more balanced approach, assessing its national interests vis-a-vis those of other countries and acting accordingly. Two developments this summer caused India to question the reliability and integrity of the U.S. as an ally. The first was the manner of the U.S. pullout from Afghanistan, which had External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar wondering about the value of U.S. security guarantees. Washington’s Ukraine policy is only increasing those misgivings. The United States was willing to push Ukraine to take actions that many – including Henry Kissinger, George Kennan, and Noam Chomsky – warned Russia couldn’t abide. But then when the shooting started, the United States wasn’t willing to get in line of fire. And in the second, in September, the U.S. stunned many when it announced a new Australia/United Kingdom/United States security grouping (AUKUS), as part of which Australia would receive American nuclear submarines. Prior to the new arrangement, the Quad –comprised of the U.S., Australia, India, and Japan – was the principal counterweight to China in the Indo-Pacific (see this Council on Foreign Relations summary, The Quad in the Indo-Pacific: What to Know). This AUKUS announcement caused consternation both in France and India. Australia cancelled a $37 billion deal with a French company to supply diesel -powered submarines, prompting French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, according to the BBC,  Aukus: French minister condemns US and Australia ‘lies’ over security pact to accuse the three countries of “duplicity, a major breach of trust and contempt”..” The United States has consistently told India that it couldn’t share sensitive nuclear submarine technology, according to the South China Morning Post, Aukus fallout: for years, US told India it couldn’t share nuclear submarine technology. ‘And now this …’). In the wake of the AUKUS development, France and India have strengthened their bilateral ties, with more of the same expected. Another reason India must tread carefully arises from its past military procurement policy. Since the early 1970s, India has purchased much of its armaments from Russia. Although as part of its tilt towards Washington, India has in recent yearsdecreased its reliance on Russian arms, “Today, 60% of India’s military hardware inventory is from Russia or the former Soviet Union and the bulk of India’s license-based defense manufacturing comes from Russia,” according to Defense News, India braces for sanctions on Russia to delay weapons programs, deliveries. This makes India dependent on Russia for the supply of spare parts. Shunning Russia would mean India must find new sources of armaments. The realization of the shakiness of U.S security guarantees means that India is rethinking the state of its relations with China. Although the two countries have gone to war since Independence, their bilateral relationship has not always been hostile. Now that the value of U.S. security guarantees is being more openly questioned, one option for India is to try and ensure that its bilateral relations with China don’t deteriorate to the point of outright hostility again. That the two countries are becoming more closely bound is true, at least on the economic level, with the latest bilateral trade figures showing imports from China increasing by 30% over 2019 (to $97.5 billion) and exports climbing by 30% over 2019 (to 28.1billion). according to The Hindu, India-China trade crossed $125 bn in 2021. China (1.4 billion) and India (1.38 billion) together account  for more than a quarter of the world’s 7.9 billion people, so anything that dials down bilateral tensions is to be encouraged. To Be Non-Aligned on Russia Policy Implies India Finding Trade Workaround The U.S. led economic sanctions regime against Russia is inevitably porous to some degree. Not all Russian banks have been excluded from SWIFT. Crimping Russia’s ability to spend dollars doesn’t shut off its ability to trade with willing partners. India appears to be one such partner. Despite loud squawking in the U.S. Congress about its failure to support the UN Russia resolution, India appears to be banking that the Biden administration won’t impose sanctions on India (for more on that sound and fury, see this Times of  India account, Biden officials bat for India amid criticism of New Delhi’s stand on Russia-Ukraine spat). The bilateral relationship between the United States and India the two countries has changed significantly since the 1960s, when then-prime minister Indira Gandhi was forced to muzzle her criticisms of U.S. bombing of Hanoi and Haiphong in order to secure necessary U.S. food grains after a savage drought. Per the Indian Express,  Swallowing the humiliation: Many of us still have hurtful memories of the mid-’60s when, after two successive years of savage drought, India desperately needed American wheat under the US Public Law 480 on rupee payment — and at relatively low prices because the country had no foreign exchange to buy food in the world market. Indira Gandhi had just become prime minister and chose to go to Washington on an official visit. Lyndon Johnson gave her a gushing welcome and responded to the food problem confronting her effusively, promising as many as 10 million tons of PL480 wheat. However, at an early stage the transaction turned sour. Infuriated by India’s criticism of American bombings of Hanoi and Haiphong in the course of the Vietnam War, the irascible Texan put food shipments on such a tight leash that India literally lived from ship to mouth. With every morsel we swallowed a little humiliation. When told that the Indians were saying exactly the same thing as the UN Secretary-General and the Pope were, Johnson had retorted: “The Pope and the Secretary-General do not need our wheat.” Many in India started demanding that we should say no to American wheat. Sensibly, Indira Gandhi said nothing. Privately, she told some confidants: “If food imports stop, these ladies and gentlemen won’t suffer. Only the poor would starve.” Back to the present. Permit me to quote extensively from this Hindustan Times account,  Panel to scrutinise impact of Russia sanctions on India’s economy: A top interministerial panel has been formed to scrutinise a barrage of economic sanctions imposed by the West on Russia following its invasion of Ukraine and their likely impacts on India’s economy, an official familiar with the development said. As the Ukraine conflict deepens, India has stepped up efforts to secure critical imports from Russia, particularly potassium chloride (popularly known as muriate of potash), a key fertiliser, and sunflower (edible) oil. Led by economic affairs secretary Ajay Seth, the high-level panel also includes top bureaucrats of the ministries of food and consumer affairs, fertilisers, commerce, external affairs, agriculture and petroleum. The panel is scouring for avenues to set up a rupee-ruble bilateral payment system to escape a wave of unprecedented sanctions on Russia, which have crippled the former Soviet state’s financial system. “Official talks with Russians will be needed to set up an alternative payment mechanism but the government will be given various options after a comprehensive review of the sanctions,” the official cited above said, requesting anonymity. India fears disruption to supplies of murate of potash ahead of its main summer-sown kharif season could hobble its farm sector, which is a major source of income for half of the country’s population. The war has caused oil prices to skyrocket and the rupee has hit a record low. Note that India still has a number of state-owned backs that could be used to implement any arrangements that might be devised. A private bank might be vulnerable to sanctions. Per the Hindustan Times: The Russia-Ukraine conflict has already begun hurting Asia’s third-largest economy, which had only started to revive after a pandemic-induced recession in 2020-21. On Monday, the rupee sunk to a record low to 76.9, falling 1% against the dollar as oil prices soared. At least $400 million of payments and receivables by Indian exporters to Russia are now stranded because the sanctions have cut off Russia’s ability to transact in dollars, the currency for international payments. Russian banks have been severed from a global payments highway known as SWIFT. The panel has representatives from the Reserve Bank of India, which is looking to designate a smaller Indian bank with minimal exposure to dollar or euro transactions, where a Russian bank could open an account because the sanctions don’t prohibit a rupee-ruble exchange system, the official said. India had successfully used a similar payment system to pay for oil imports from Iran when that country faced sanctions from the West. At that time, the UCO Bank was set up as the main payment gateway. An alternate mechanism for payments, however, is not easy to set up. While the idea is that a Russian bank will set up a so-called “vostro account” in an Indian bank and both countries will deposit a certain amount to guarantee for payments to importers and exporters, determining the rupee-ruble exchange rate will be a key challenge. “One reason is that even if a rupee-ruble exchange rate is pegged to the dollar for determining a notional exchange rate, we must keep in mind that the value of ruble is continuously sliding vis-a-vis the dollar,” said Amarendra Patil, a trade economist who formerly taught at the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade. “This could make the payment system ineffective because of continuous erosion of one of the two currencies (ruble),” he added. There is urgency to agree viable arrangements, as planting season is – or will soon be – underway, and farmers need fertiliser. Per The Hindustan Times: The government, which last week reviewed stocks of fertilisers, is scouting for alternative suppliers to fill the fertiliser gap at prices similar to those charged by Russians. According to official data, 11-11.5% of total imports of edible oils and fertilisers are sourced from Russia-Ukraine region. The two countries also account for over 90% of sunflower oil imports. Within a basket of fertilisers India imports, Russia accounts for over 17% of MOP (muriate of potash) and 60% of NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium). “In response, the government is identifying alternate supply sources for both edible oils and fertiliser, although these will be expensive,” said Sonal Varma, an analyst with Nomura Holdings, a global financial advisory and securities firm, in a research note. There are of course precedents for similar arrangements. In fact, India and the USSR set up one such arrangement during the 1950s, according to S Murlidharan writing in Northlines, Crisis as an opportunity: Rupee-Rouble trade should become template to break US hegemony: The rupee-rouble exchange is not new. In 1953 Indo-Soviet trade agreement contemplated all payments in settlement of imports and exports between the two nations being made in INR. But this arrangement was dropped in 2005 when it resulted in Russia being saddled with enormous quantity of INR what with India being the net importer. However, the two nations once again embraced rupee payment for Russian export of S-400 Triumf air defence system in 2019 with the deal being for US 5.2 to 5,6 billion to escape sanctions by the US under its Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA). INR-Rial agreement with Iran similarly was to escape the American ire but had to be abandoned when the Trump administration extended the bar on its currency being used to a complete bar on import of oil itself from the Gulf nation. The two governments are keen on INR-Rouble trade and the nuts and bolts of the arrangement would be announced soon hopefully. Indian exporters are in a quandary with Rouble testing new low every day. How to fix the price is the issue. Trade cannot come to a screeching halt. Russia’s deputy chief of mission Roman Babushkin was quoted in news report three years ago saying that there had been a five-fold increase in payments in national currencies from about 6 percent to over 30 percent now. There should be no let up in this healthy trend except that war has queered the pitch with steep devaluation of the Rouble; thus calling for negotiations in a spirit of give and take to neutralise partially Russian currency’s devaluation on the back of war and the Western boycott. By institutionalizing INR-Rouble trade we would be sending a strong signal that the US dollar need not be invincible and unavoidable in international trade and payments. If more and more such agreements are signed between nation states, the world could well one day break free at least partially from the vice-like grip of the greenback on fortunes of other nations. The Indo-Russian initiative should by no means be construed as acquiescence by India in the Russian expansionism and condonation of its warmongering. Rather it should be seen as pursuit of enlightened self-interest, both short-term and long-term. Within India, there’s broad political support for pulling away from Modi’s previous policy of tightening ties with the U.S. The strongest criticisms – actually, denunciations – of U.S. policy I’ve seen in any mainstream English language television broadcasts are coming from India’s Republic TV.  I’ve found myself tuning in each evening to the nightly debates refereed by BJP mouthpiece Arnab Goswami.  Refereed is the right word, as these debates generate lots of shouting. An appearance on Arnab Live is not for the faint-hearted – nor, for that matter, is watching these slugfests. Goswami intervenes actively in the debate; he minces no words. And rest assured, he wouldn’t say anything that’s not consistent with the general contours of current Modi policy. If you’d told me a year ago that I would find myself tuning into a nightly Goswami broadcast, I would have told you you were mad. But, here we are. *  *  * Jerri-Lynn Scofield, who has worked as a securities lawyer and a derivatives trader. She is currently writing a book about textile artisans. Tyler Durden Sat, 03/12/2022 - 19:30.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytMar 12th, 2022

U.S. Revokes Russia’s ‘Favored Nation’ Trade Status, Bans Its Alcohol and Diamonds

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden announced Friday the U.S. will dramatically downgrade its trade status with Russia as punishment for its invasion of Ukraine and also ban imports of Russian seafood, alcohol and diamonds. The broad trade shift, which revokes the “most favored nation” status for Russia, is being taken in coordination with the… WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden announced Friday the U.S. will dramatically downgrade its trade status with Russia as punishment for its invasion of Ukraine and also ban imports of Russian seafood, alcohol and diamonds. The broad trade shift, which revokes the “most favored nation” status for Russia, is being taken in coordination with the European Union and Group of Seven countries. “The free world is coming together to confront Putin,” Biden said from the Roosevelt Room of the White House. Stripping most favored nation status from Russia would allow the U.S. and allies to impose higher tariffs on some Russian imports, increasing the isolation of the Russian economy. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] Biden’s changes on Russia’s trade status come as bipartisan pressure has been building in Washington to revoke what is formally known as “permanent normal trade relations” with Russia. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy pressed the U.S. and allies to take the action against Russia in remarks to Congress over the weekend. It follows days after the Biden moved to ban imports of Russian oil and gas products. This week’s moves are the latest for the sanctions that have crippled the Russian economy and a sign that the U.S. and its allies will continue to use their financial heft to retaliate against Russian President Vladimir Putin. The other measures include the freezing of central bank assets, limits on exports and sanctions against Russian oligarchs and their families. These financial tools have led to the Russian ruble losing 76% of its value against the U.S. dollar over the past month, which has caused destructive inflation that could erode Putin’s ability to wage a prolonged war in Ukraine. Biden, after initially slow-walking congressional attempts to take the trade action against Russia, was embracing lawmakers’ efforts to do just that on Friday. The earlier sanctions on imports of Russian oil, gas and coal cut off about 60% of U.S. imports from the country. Most favored nation status has been a baseline for global trade, ensuring that countries within the World Trade Organization are treated similarly. Some countries in the WTO have special privileges due to their status as developing economies. Russia would join the ranks of Cuba and North Korea by not having MFN status from the U.S. The revocation carries mostly symbolic weight. Because Russian imports into the U.S. are primarily natural resources, they would generally face little to no increase in their tariffs because of the lost status, Ed Gresser of the Progressive Policy Institute in Washington, said in an online post. Instead of the current tariff rate, buyers of Russian goods would pay rates established under the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930, which disrupted trade during the Great Depression. This would still be zero for uranium, rhodium, palladium, silver bullion and king crabs. But the import tax would shoot up for unwrought aluminum, plywood, semi-finished steel and diamonds, among other products. On Monday, Democrats on the powerful House Ways & Means Committee posted, then removed, an announcement on a bipartisan bill to ban Russian oil imports and slap further trade sanctions on the country, according to an aide, because of pushback from the White House against acting before Biden had coordinated with allies and reached a decision on both matters. The House voted Wednesday on a narrower bill to ban Russian energy imports after Biden instituted the ban by executive order. Canada was the first major U.S. ally to remove most favored nation status for Russia last week. Biden’s action was first reported by Bloomberg News......»»

Category: topSource: timeMar 11th, 2022

Dow futures drop 260 points after stunning rebound, while global stocks edge higher as Russia-Ukraine conflict roils markets

US stock futures fell Friday, after the major indexes pulled off a remarkable comeback by the previous close, as Russian troops advanced on Ukrainian cities. Russia invaded Ukraine Thursday, shelling key strategic targets.Vadim Zamirovsky/AP Dow Jones futures fell Friday but global stocks rallied as Russian troops advanced on Ukrainian cities. US stocks pulled off a stunning comeback Thursday despite Russian President Vladimir Putin ordering troops into Ukraine. But uncertainty continued Friday, with oil, gold and bonds rising as investors tried to gauge the impact of war. US stock futures fell Friday as uncertainty about the Russia-Ukraine conflict continued to grip investors, a day after equities staged a remarkable comeback despite the outbreak of war.Dow Jones futures were 260 points or 0.78% lower, while S&P 500 futures had fallen 0.85% and Nasdaq 100 futures were down 0.9%.However, Asian and European stocks rebounded after sharp falls on Thursday, as global volatility cooled somewhat following wild trading the previous day.Oil prices rose slightly, with Brent crude trading at around $100 a barrel. Prices shot up on Thursday as Russia — one of the world's biggest energy suppliers — invaded Ukraine, before paring their gains later in the day.Russia's invasion of Ukraine, ordered by President Vladimir Putin, rocked financial markets around the world Thursday as analysts and traders raced to gauge the likely impact on the global economy.European stock markets cratered, with the continent-wide Stoxx 600 falling 3.3%. Brent crude oil shot past the $100 mark for the first time in seven years, and Russia's benchmark MOEX stock index plunged 33%.US stocks initially opened deeply in the red as investors awaited the details of the White House's sanctions against Russia.However, they later pulled off a stunning recovery, and the S&P 500 finished 1.5% higher after falling as much as 2.6%. Analysts pointed to the fact that the sanctions left Russia's energy industry largely untouched, cooling the rise in oil prices and concerns about inflation."The fact that oil stopped going parabolic ally higher helped turn the whole market around yesterday," Deutsche Bank's Jim Reid said.Oil prices edged higher Friday, however, as Russian troops advanced on Ukrainian cities, including the capital Kiev.Brent crude was up 1.07% to $100.14 a barrel, trading around a seven-year high, having hit $105.79 on Thursday, before settling at $99.08. WTI crude was 0.67% higher at $93.40 a barrel, also a seven-year high.Europe's continent-wide Stoxx 600 rebounded somewhat Friday, up 1.11%, while London's FTSE 100 was 1.45% higher after tumbling 3.9% the previous day. China's CSI 300 closed 0.97% higher, while Japan's Nikkei 225 rallied 1.95%.Yields on US government bonds, which move inversely to prices, dropped as investors bought the safe-haven assets, although European bonds were little changed. The yield on the key 10-year US Treasury note was down 2.3 basis points to 1.949%.Gold, another safe-haven asset, rose 0.38% to $1,910.88 an ounce, having shot as high as $1,974 on Thursday. The dollar index was little changed at 97.17.Read more: As Russia sends troops into Ukraine, the investment chief for a firm managing $260 billion shares his outlook on 4 common strategies investors use to handle geopolitical riskRussian troops were advancing on Kiev on Friday morning local time, as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called on international allies to do more to sanction Putin's regime.Uncertainty was the watchword for global investors. US President Joe Biden said he was prepared to impose further sanctions, after imposing measures against five major Russian banks and members of the country's ruling elite.Mark Haefele, chief investment officer at UBS Global Wealth management, said the worst-case scenario "is that the conflict escalates to a level that pushes Western nations to accept disruption to Russia's energy flow." Energy supply blockages could send inflation soaring even further in Europe and the US.However, Loris Calvasina, head of US equity strategy at RBC, said she still expects the S&P 500 to rally 17% this year from Thursday's close."Our sentiment analysis, and our work showing how quickly stocks tend to recover from growth scares, are telling us to be on the lookout for a positive inflection in the stock market, even if it is not at hand just yet," she said.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderFeb 25th, 2022

Futures Under Water As Tech Selloff Spreads, Yields Spike, Lira Implodes

Futures Under Water As Tech Selloff Spreads, Yields Spike, Lira Implodes US equity futures continued their selloff for the second day as Treasury yields spiked to 1.66%, up almost 4bps on the day, and as the selloff in tech shares spread as traders trimmed bets for a dovish-for-longer Federal Reserve after the renomination of Jerome Powell as its chair. At 8:00am ET, S&P futures were down 2.75 points or -0.05%, with Dow futures flat and Nasdaq futures extended their selloff but were off worst levels, down 41.25 points or 0.25%, after Monday’s last-hour furious rout in technology stocks. As repeatedly covered here in recent weeks, the Turkish currency crisis deepened with the lira weakening past 13 per USD, a drop of more than 10% in one day.  Oil rebounded - as expected - after a panicking Joe Biden, terrified about what soaring gas prices mean for Dems midterm changes, announced that the US, together with several other countries such as China, India and Japan, would tap up to 50 million barrels in strategic reserves, a move which was fully priced in and will now serve to bottom tick the price of oil. In premarket trading, Zoom lost 9% in premarket trading on slowing growth. For some unknown reason, investors have been reducing expectations for a deeper dovish stance by the Fed after Powell was selected for a second term (as if Powell - the man who started purchases of corporate bonds - is somehow hawkish). The chair himself sought to strike a balance in his policy approach saying the central bank would use tools at its disposal to support the economy as well as to prevent inflation from becoming entrenched. “While investors no longer have to wonder about who will be leading the Federal Reserve for the next few years, the next big dilemma the central bank faces is how to normalize monetary policy without upsetting markets,” wrote Robert Schein, chief investment officer at Blanke Schein Wealth Management. Following Powell’s renomination, “the market has unwound hedges against a more ‘dovish’ personnel shift,” Chris Weston, head of research with Pepperstone Financial Pty Ltd., wrote in a note. Not helping was Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic who said Monday that the Fed may need to speed up the removal of monetary stimulus and allow for an earlier-than-planned increase in interest rates European stocks dropped with market focusing on potential Covid lockdowns and policy tightening over solid PMI data. Euro Stoxx 50 shed as much as 1.7% with tech, financial services and industrial names the hardest hit. Better-than-forecast PMI numbers out of Europe’s major economies prompted money markets to resume bets that the ECB will hike the deposit rate 10 basis points as soon as December 2022, versus 2023 on Monday. As Goldman notes, the Euro area composite flash PMI increased by 1.6pt to 55.8 in November — strongly ahead of consensus expectations — in a first gain since the post-July moderation. The area-wide gain was broad-based across countries, and sectors. Supply-side issues continued to be widely reported, with input and output price pressures climbing to all-time highs. In the UK, the November flash composite PMI came in broadly as expected, and while input costs rose to a new all-time high, pass-through into output prices appears lower than usual. Forward-looking expectations remain comfortably above historical averages across Europe, although today's data are unlikely to fully reflect the covid containment measures taken in a number of European countries over recent days. Key numbers (the responses were collected between 10 and 19 November (except in the UK, where the survey response window spanned 12-19 November). Euro Area Composite PMI (Nov, Flash): 55.8, GS 53.6, consensus 53.0, last 54.2. Euro Area Manufacturing PMI (Nov, Flash): 58.6, GS 57.7, consensus 57.4, last 58.3. Euro Area Services PMI (Nov, Flash): 56.6, GS 53.9, consensus 53.5, last 54.6. Germany Composite PMI (Nov, Flash): 52.8, GS 52.1, consensus 51.0, last 52.0. France Composite PMI (Nov, Flash): 56.3, GS 54.4, consensus 53.9, last 54.7. UK Composite PMI (Nov, Flash): 57.7, GS 57.7, consensus 57.5, last 57.8. And visually: Earlier in the session, Asian stocks fell toward a three-week low as Jerome Powell’s renomination to head the Federal Reserve boosted U.S. yields, putting downward pressure on the region’s technology shares. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index declined as much as 0.5%, as the reappointment sent Treasury yields higher and buoyed the dollar amid concerns monetary stimulus will be withdrawn faster. Consumer discretionary and communication shares were the biggest drags on Asia’s benchmark, with Tencent and Alibaba slipping on worries over tighter regulations in China. “Powell’s renomination was generally expected by the market,” said Chetan Seth, an Asia-Pacific equity strategist at Nomura. The market’s reaction may be short-lived as traders turn their attention to the Fed’s meeting in December and Covid’s resurgence in Europe, he added. Asia shares have struggled to break higher as the jump in yields weighed on sentiment already damped by a lackluster earnings season and the risk of accelerating inflation. The region’s stock benchmark is down about 1% this year compared with a 16% advance in the MSCI AC World Index. Hong Kong and Taiwan were among the biggest decliners, while Australian and Indian shares bucked the downtrend, helped by miners and energy stocks. India’s benchmark stock index rose, snapping four sessions of declines, boosted by gains in Reliance Industries Ltd.   The S&P BSE Sensex climbed 0.3% to close at 58,664.33 in Mumbai, recovering after falling as much as 1.3% earlier in the session. The NSE Nifty 50 Index gained 0.5%. Of the 30 shares on the Sensex, 21 rose and 9 fell. All but one of the 19 sector sub-indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. advanced, led by a gauge of metal stocks.  Reliance Industries Ltd. gained 0.9%, after dropping the most in nearly 10 months on Monday following its decision to scrap a plan to sell a 20% stake in its oil-to-chemicals unit to Saudi Arabian Oil Co. Shares of One 97 Communications Ltd., the parent company for digital payments firm Paytm, climbed 9.9% after two days of relentless selling since its trading debut. In rates, Treasuries dropped, with the two-year rate jumping five basis points, helping to flatten the yield curve. Bunds and Treasuries bear steepened with German 10y yields ~5bps cheaper. Gilts bear flatten, cheapening 1.5bps across the short end. 10Y TSY yields rose as high as 1.67% before reversing some of the move. In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed after earlier advancing to the highest level since September 2020 as markets moved to price in a full quarter-point rate hike by the June Fed meeting, with a good chance of two more by year-end; Treasury yields inched up across the curve apart from the front end. The Japanese yen briefly fell past 115 per dollar for the first time since 2017. The euro advanced after better-than-forecast PMI numbers out of Europe’s major economies prompted money markets to resume bets that the ECB will hike the deposit rate 10 basis points as soon as December 2022, versus 2023 on Monday. Sterling declined versus the dollar and the euro; traders are taking an increasingly negative view on the pound, betting that the decline that’s already left the currency near its lowest this year has further to run New Zealand’s dollar under-performed all G-10 peers as leveraged longs backing a 50 basis-point hike from the central bank were flushed out of the market; sales were mainly seen against the greenback and Aussie. The yuan approached its strongest level against trade partners’ currencies in a sign that traders see a low likelihood of aggressive official intervention. The Turkish lira (see above) crashed to a record low on Tuesday, soaring more than 10% and just shy of 14 vs the USD, a day after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan defended his pursuit of lower interest rates to boost economic growth and job creation. In commodities, crude futures rebounded sharply after Biden announced a coordinated, global SPR release which would see the US exchange up to 32mm barrels, or a negligible amount. Brent spiked back over $80 on the news after trading in the mid-$78s. Spot gold drops ~$8, pushing back below $1,800/oz. Base metals are well supported with LME nickel outperforming. Looking at the day ahead, the main data highlight will be the flash PMIs for November from around the world, and there’s also the Richmond Fed manufacturing index for November. Finally from central banks, we’ll hear from BoE Governor Bailey, Deputy Governor Cunliffe and the BoE’s Haskel, as well as ECB Vice President de Guindos and the ECB’s Makhlouf. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures down 0.3% to 4,667.75 Brent Futures down 0.9% to $78.95/bbl Gold spot down 0.4% to $1,796.86 U.S. Dollar Index down 0.17% to 96.39     Top Overnight News from Bloomberg The volatility term structures in the major currencies show that next month’s meetings by monetary policy authorities are what matters most. Data galore out of the U.S. by Wednesday’s New York cut off means demand for one-day structures remains intact, yet it’s not enough to bring about term structure inversion as one-week implieds stay below recent cycle highs Lael Brainard, picked to be vice chair of the Federal Reserve, is expected to be a critical defender of its commitment to maximum employment across demographic groups at a time when other U.S. central bankers are more worried by inflation ECB Executive Board member Isabel Schnabel said there’s an increasing threat of inflation taking hold, as she played down the danger that resurgent coronavirus infections might impede the euro zone’s recovery Regarding latest pandemic restrictions, “when it comes to the impact, I would say that while it will surely have a moderating impact on economic activity, the impact on inflation will actually be more ambiguous because it might also reinforce some of the concerns we have around supply bottlenecks,” ECB Governing Council member Klaas Knot says in Bloomberg Television interview with Francine Lacqua European Union countries are pushing for an agreement on how long Covid-19 vaccinations protect people and how to manage booster shots as they try to counter the pandemic’s fourth wave and safeguard free travel Germany’s top health official reiterated a warning that the government can’t exclude any measures, including another lockdown, as it tries to check the latest wave of Covid-19 infections The State Council, China’s cabinet, released three documents in the past several days, outlining measures to help small and medium-sized enterprises weather the downturn: from encouraging local governments to roll out discounts for power usage to organizing internet companies to provide cloud and digital services to SMEs A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asia-Pac stocks traded mixed following a similar performance in the US where participants digested President Biden’s decision to nominate Fed Chair Powell for a second term and Fed’s Brainard for the Vice Chair role. This resulted in bear flattening for the US curve and underpinned the greenback, while the major indices were choppy but with late selling heading into the close in which the S&P 500 slipped beneath the 4,700 level and the Nasdaq underperformed as tech suffered the brunt of the higher yields. ASX 200 (+0.8%) was positive with sentiment encouraged after stronger PMI data and M&A developments including BHP’s signing of a binding agreement to merge its oil and gas portfolio with Woodside Petroleum to create a global top 10 independent energy company and the largest listed energy company in Australia, which spurred outperformance for the mining and energy related sectors. KOSPI (-0.5%) was lacklustre and retreated below the 3k level amid broad weakness in tech which was not helped by concerns that South Korea could take another aim at large tech through a platform bill and with the government said to be mulling strengthening social distancing measures. Hang Seng (-1.2%) and Shanghai Comp. (+0.2%) continued to diverge amid a neutral liquidity effort by the PBoC and with the Hong Kong benchmark conforming to the tech woes, while the mainland was kept afloat after the State Council pledged to strengthen assistance to smaller firms and with Global Times noting that China will likely adopt another RRR cut before year-end to cope with an economic slowdown. Finally, Japanese participants were absent from the market as they observed Labor Thanksgiving Day, while yields in Australia were higher as they tracked global counterparts and following a Treasury Indexed bond offering in the long-end. Top Asian News Tiger Global Leads $210 Million Round by India Proptech Unicorn China’s Slowdown Tests Central Bank Amid Debate Over Easing Kuaishou Defies China Crackdown as Revenue Climbs 33% Evergrande Shares Jump in Afternoon Trading as Group Units Rally Major bourses in Europe are lower across the board, but off worst levels (Euro Stoxx 50 -1.1%; Stoxx 600 -1.3%) following on from the mixed APAC performance, but with pandemic restrictions casting a shower over the region. US equity futures are mostly lower but to a lesser extent than European peers, with the YM (+0.1%) the relative outperformer vs the ES (-0.1%), NQ (-0.3%) and RTY (-0.8%). Back to Europe, the morning saw the release of Flash PMIs which failed to spur much action across market given the somewhat stale nature against the backdrop of a worsening COVID situation in Europe. Losses in the UK’s FTSE 100 (-0.1%) are more cushioned vs European counterparts, with heavyweight miners doing the heavy lifting, and as the basic resources sector outpaces and resides as the only sector in the green at the time of writing amid a surge in iron ore prices overnight. Sticking with sectors, there is no clear or overarching theme/bias. Tech resides at the foot of the pile, unaided by the intraday rise in yields. Travel and Leisure also reside towards the bottom of the bunch, but more a function of the “leisure” sub-sector as opposed to the “travel” component, with Evolution Gaming (-3.7%) and Flutter (-3.5%) on the back foot. In terms of individual movers, Thyssenkrupp (-7.0%) tumbles after the Co. announced a secondary offer by Cevian of 43mln shares. Meanwhile, Telecom Italia (-3%) is softer following yesterday’s run, whilst Vivendi (-0.5%) said the current KKR (KKR) offer does not reflect Telecom Italia's value and it has no intention of offloading its 24% stake. Top European News U.K. PMIs Show Record Inflation and ‘Green Light’ for BOE Hike Kremlin Says New U.S. Sanctions on Nord Stream 2 Are ‘Illegal’ ECB’s Knot Says New Lockdowns Won’t Delay Wind-Down of Stimulus Telefonica Drops, Berenberg Cuts on Spain Margin Problems In FX, the Buck had already eased off best levels to relieve some pressure from its rivals, but the Euro also derived encouragement from the fact that a key long term Fib held (just) at 1.1225 before getting a rather unexpected fundamental fillip in the form of stronger than forecast flash Eurozone PMIs plus hawkish-sounding comments from ECB’s Schnabel. Eur/Usd duly rebounded to 1.1275 and the Dollar index retreated to 96.308 from a fresh y-t-d peak of 96.603, while the Yen and Franc also took advantage to varying degrees against the backdrop of deteriorating risk sentiment and in thinner trading volumes for the former due to Japan’s Labor Day Thanksgiving holiday. Usd/Jpy recoiled from 115.15 to 114.49 at one stage and Usd/Chf to 0.9301 from 0.9335 before both pairs bounced with the Greenback and a rebound in US Treasury yields ahead of Markit’s preliminary PMIs and Usd 59 bn 7 year note supply. TRY - Simply no respite for the Lira via another marked pull-back in oil prices on heightened prospects of SPR taps, the aforementioned Buck breather or even a decent correction as Usd/Try extended its meteoric rise beyond 11.5000 and 12.0000 towards 12.5000 irrespective of an ally of Turkish President Erdogan urging a debate on CBRT independence. Instead, the run and capital flight continues as talks with the IMF make no progress and an EU court condemns the country for detaining 400+ judges after the coup, while the President rules out a snap election after recent calls for an earlier vote than the scheduled one in 2023 by the main opposition party. NZD/CAD/GBP/AUD - It remains to be seen whether the RBNZ maintains a 25 bp pace of OCR normalisation overnight, but weak NZ retail activity in Q3 may be a telling factor and is applying more downside pressure on the Kiwi across the board, as Nzd/Usd hovers under 0.6950 and the Aud/Nzd cross tests 1.0425 on relative Aussie strength or resilience gleaned from another spike in iron ore that is helping to keep Aud/Usd above 0.7200. Conversely, the latest downturn in crude is undermining the Loonie and the Pound hardly derived any traction from better than anticipated UK PMIs even though they should provide the BoE more justification to hike rates next month. Usd/Cad has now breached 1.2700 and only stopped a few pips short of 1.2750 before fading ahead of comments from BoC’s Beaudry, while Cable topped out just over 1.3400 awaiting BoE Governor Bailey, whilst Haskel reaffirmed his stance in the transitory inflation camp, although suggested that if the labour market remains tight the Bank Rate will have to rise. SCANDI/EM - Hardly a shock that Brent’s reversal has hit the Nok alongside broader risk-aversion that is also keeping the Sek defensive in advance of the Riksbank, but the Zar is coping well considering Gold’s loss of Usd 1800+/oz status and test of chart support at the 100 DMA only a couple of Bucks off the 200. Similarly, the Cnh and Cny are still resisting general Usd strength and other negatives, with help from China’s State Council pledging to strengthen assistance to smaller firms perhaps. In commodities, WTI and Brent Jan'22 futures remain under pressure with the former back under USD 76/bbl (vs USD 76.59/bbl high) and the latter around USD 79/bbl (vs USD 79.63/bbl high). The WTI contract is also narrowly lagging Brent by some USD 0.30/bbl at the time of writing. Participants are keeping their eyes peeled for reserve releases from the US, potentially in coordination with other nations including China, Japan, and India – with inflation concerns being the common denominator. The move also comes in reaction to OPEC+ flouting calls by large oil consumers, particularly the US, to further open the taps beyond the group’s planned 400k BPD/m hikes. A source cited by Politico caveated that a final decision is yet to be made, and US officials are hoping that the threat of an SPR release would persuade OPEC+ to double their quotas at the Dec 2nd meeting. As it stands, Energy Intel journalist Bakr noted that she has not heard anything from OPEC+ officials about changing production plans, but delegates yesterday suggested that plans may be tweaked. Click here for the full Newsquawk analysis piece. Aside from this, US President Biden is also poised to give a speech on the economy, whilst the weekly Private Inventories will also be released today. Elsewhere, spot gold and have been drifting lower in what is seemingly a function of technical, with the yellow metal dipping under USD 1,800/oz from a USD 1,812/oz current high, with a cluster of DMAs present to the downside including the 100 DMA (around USD 1,793/oz), 200 DMA (around USD 1,791/oz) and 50 DMA (around USD 1,789/oz). Turning to base metals, LME copper holds a positive bias with prices on either side of USD 9,750/t, whilst Dalian iron ore surged overnight - with reports suggesting that steel de-stockpiling accelerated last week, and analysts suggesting that the market is betting on steelmakers in December. US Event Calendar 9:45am: Nov. Markit US Composite PMI, prior 57.6 9:45am: Nov. Markit US Services PMI, est. 59.0, prior 58.7 9:45am: Nov. Markit US Manufacturing PMI, est. 59.1, prior 58.4 10am: Nov. Richmond Fed Index, est. 11, prior 12 DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap A reminder that yesterday we published our 2022 credit strategy outlook. See here for the full report. Craig has also put out a more detailed HY 2022 strategy document here and Karthik a more detail IG equivalent here. Basically we think spreads will widen as much as 30-40bps in IG and 120-160bps in HY due to a response to a more dramatic appreciation of the Fed being well behind the curve. This sort of move is consistent with typical mid-cycle ranges through history. We do expect this to mostly retrace in H2 as markets recover from the shock and growth remains decent and liquidity still high. We also published the results of our ESG issuer and investor survey where around 530 responded. Please see the results here. Today is the start of a new adventure as I’m doing my first overseas business trip in 20 months. It took me a stressful 2 hours last night to find and fill in various forms, download various apps and figure out how on earth I travel in this new world. Hopefully I’ve got it all correct or I’ll be turned back at the Eurostar gates! The interesting thing about not travelling is that I’ve filled the time doing other work stuff so productivity will suffer. So if I can do a CoTD today it’ll be done on an iPhone whilst racing through the French countryside. Actually finishing this off very early in a long taxi ride on the way to the train reminds me of how car sick I get working on my iPhone! The delights of travel are all coming flooding back. After much anticipation over recent weeks, we finally heard yesterday that President Biden would be nominating Fed Chair Powell for another four-year term at the helm of the central bank. In some ways the decision had been widely expected, and Powell was the favourite in prediction markets all along over recent months. But the Fed’s staff trading issues and reports that Governor Brainard was also being considered had led many to downgrade Powell’s chances, so there was an element of uncertainty going into the decision, even if any policy differences between the two were fairly marginal. In the end however, Biden opted for continuity at the top, with Brainard tapped to become Vice Chair instead. Powell’s nomination will require senate confirmation once again, but this isn’t expected to be an issue, not least with Powell having been confirmed in an 84-13 vote last time around. Further, Senate Banking Committee Chair Brown, viewed as a progressive himself, noted last week there should be no issue confirming Powell despite rumblings from progressive lawmakers. More important to watch out for will be who Biden selects for the remaining positions on the Fed Board of Governors, where there are still 3 vacant seats left to fill, including the position of Vice Chair for Supervision. In a statement released by the White House, it said that Biden intended to make those “beginning in early December”, so even with Powell staying on, there’s actually a reasonable amount of scope for Biden to re-shape the Fed’s leadership. A potential hint about who may be considered, President Biden noted his next appointments will “bring new diversity to the Fed.” President Biden, flanked by Powell and Brainard, held a press conference following the announcement. He noted maintaining the Fed’s independence and leadership stability informed his decision, and that Chair Powell assured the President he would focus on fighting inflation. He was apparently also assured that the Chair would work to combat climate change, perhaps an olive branch to those in his party that wanted a more progressive nominee. Powell and Brainard both followed up with remarks of their own, but didn’t stray from the recent Fed party line. In response to the decision, investors moved to bring forward their timing of the initial rate hike from the Fed, with one now just about priced by the time of their June 2022 meeting, whilst the dollar index (+0.54%) strengthened to a fresh one-year high. This reflects the perception among many investors that Brainard was someone who’d have taken the Fed on a more dovish trajectory. Inflation breakevens fell across the curve as well in response. Indeed the 4-year breakeven, which roughly coincides with the term of the next Fed chair, was down -3.8bps after yesterday’s session, with the bulk of that dive coming immediately after the confirmation of Powell’s nomination. Nevertheless, that decline in breakevens was more than outweighed by a shift higher in real rates that sent nominal yields noticeably higher. By the close, yields on 2yr (+7.8bps) and 5yr (+9.5bps) Treasuries were at their highest levels since the pandemic began, and those on 10yr Treasuries were also up +7.7bps, ending the session at 1.62%. 2yr yields were a full 14.1bps higher than the intra-day lows on Friday after the Austria lockdown news. We had similar bond moves in Europe too, with yields on 10yr bunds (+4.0bps) moving higher throughout the session thanks to a shift in real rates. Another noticeable feature in the US was the latest round of curve flattening, with the 5s30s (-4.4bps) reaching its flattest level (+64.1bps) since the initial market panic over Covid-19 back in March 2020. The S&P 500 took a sharp turn heading into the New York close after trading in positive territory for most of the day, ultimately closing down -0.32%. Sector performance was mixed, energy (+1.81%) and financials (+1.43%) were notable outperformers on climbing oil prices and yields, while big tech companies across different sectors were hit by higher discount rates. The NASDAQ (-1.26%) ended the day lower, having pared back its initial gains that earlier put it on track to reach a record of its own. The other main piece of news yesterday came on the energy front, where it’s been reported that we could have an announcement as soon as today about a release of oil from the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve, potentially as part of a joint announcement with other nations. Oil prices were fairly resilient to the news, with Brent crude (+1.03%) and WTI (+0.85%) still moving higher, although both are down from their recent peaks as speculation of such a move has mounted. This could help put some downward pressure on inflation, but as recent releases have shown, price gains have been broadening out over the last couple of months to a wider swathe of categories, so it remains to be seen how helpful this will prove, and will obviously depend on how much is released along with how the OPEC+ group react. For their part, OPEC+ members noted that the moves from the US and its allies would force them to reconsider their production plans at their meeting next week. Looking ahead now, one of the main highlights today will come from the release of the flash PMIs for November, which will give us an initial indication of how the global economy has fared into the month. As mentioned yesterday, the Euro Area PMIs have been decelerating since the summer, so keep an eye out for how they’re being affected by the latest Covid wave. It’ll also be worth noting what’s happening to price pressures, particularly with inflation running at more than double the ECB’s target right now. Overnight in Asia stocks are trading mixed with Shanghai Composite (+0.43%), CSI (+0.20%), KOSPI (-0.44%) and Hang Seng (-1.01%) diverging, while the Nikkei is closed for Labor Thanksgiving. The flash manufacturing PMI release from Australia (58.5 vs 58.2 previous) came in close to last month while both the composite (55 vs 52.1 previous) and services (55 vs 51.8 previous) accelerated. In Japan the Yen slid past an important level of 115 against the Dollar for the first time in four years after Powell was confirmed. This marks an overall slide of 10% this year making it the worst performer amongst advanced economy currencies. S&P 500 (-0.01%) and DAX futures (-0.31%) are flat to down with Europe seemingly catching up with the weak U.S. close. Before this, in Europe yesterday, equities continued to be subdued, with the STOXX 600 down -0.13% after trading in a tight range, as the continent reacted to another surge in Covid-19 cases. The move by Austria back into lockdown has raised questions as to where might be next, and Bloomberg reported that Chancellor Merkel told CDU officials yesterday that the recent surge was worse than anything seen so far, and that additional restrictions would be required. So the direction of travel all appears to be one way for the time being in terms of European restrictions, and even a number of less-affected countries are still seeing cases move in an upward direction, including France, Italy and the UK. So a key one to watch that’ll have big implications for economies and markets too. Staying on Germany, there was some interesting news on a potential coalition yesterday, with Bloomberg obtaining a preliminary list of cabinet positions that said that FDP leader Christian Lindner would become finance minister, and Green co-leader Robert Habeck would become a “super minister” with responsibility for the economy, climate protection and the energy transition. The report also said that both would become Vice Chancellors, whilst the Greens’ Annalena Baerbock would become foreign minister. It’s worth noting that’s still a preliminary list, and the coalition agreement is yet to be finalised, but it has been widely suggested that the parties are looking to reach a conclusion to the talks this week, so we could hear some more info on this relatively soon. There wasn’t much in the way of data yesterday, though the European Commission’s advance November consumer confidence reading for the Euro Area fell back by more than expected to -6.8 (vs. -5.5 expected), which is the lowest it’s been since April. Over in the US, there was October data that was somewhat more positive however, with existing home sales rising to an annualised rate of 6.34m (vs. 6.20m expected), their highest level in 9 months. Furthermore, the Chicago Fed’s national activity index was up to 0.76 (vs. 0.10 expected). To the day ahead now, and the main data highlight will be the aforementioned flash PMIs for November from around the world, and there’s also the Richmond Fed manufacturing index for November. Finally from central banks, we’ll hear from BoE Governor Bailey, Deputy Governor Cunliffe and the BoE’s Haskel, as well as ECB Vice President de Guindos and the ECB’s Makhlouf. d Tyler Durden Tue, 11/23/2021 - 08:31.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 23rd, 2021

10 Things in Politics: Progressives fume over Fed

And a district attorney says the suspect in the Wisconsin parade deaths was released on "inappropriately low" bail weeks ago. Welcome back to 10 Things in Politics. Sign up here to receive this newsletter. Plus, download Insider's app for news on the go — click here for iOS and here for Android. Send tips to bgriffiths@insider.com.Programming note: We're off the rest of the week for Thanksgiving. We hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday.Here's what we're talking about:Biden backing Powell to chair the Fed is another stiff arm to progressive DemocratsThe suspect in the Wisconsin parade deaths was released on what a district attorney called 'inappropriately low' bail weeks agoRural Democrats are freaking out about their party's apathy toward flyover-state voters entering the 2022 midtermsSen. Elizabeth Warren and Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.Tom Williams-Pool/Getty Images (Warren) and Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images (Powell).1. ON YOUR LEFT?: President Joe Biden handed another setback to a group of progressive lawmakers with his decision to renominate Jerome Powell to lead the Federal Reserve. Biden said he made his pick to bolster the Fed's independence and provide certainty to markets. But his decision further rankles many progressives who have begun to criticize the administration as being too centrist in its approach.Here's what else you need to know:Progressives tried for months to derail Powell's second term: A group of House Democrats including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib wrote to the White House about what they viewed as Powell's failures to address the climate crisis and economic inequality. Sen. Elizabeth Warren deemed Powell a "dangerous man" for his handling of financial-sector regulation.Powell is expected to breeze through his confirmation: Powell, a Republican, was initially nominated by President Donald Trump and is expected to receive broad bipartisan support for a second term, The New York Times reports.Powell's renomination is the latest setback for progressives: The White House and congressional leadership forced liberal lawmakers to stomach a $1.75 trillion social-spending bill after promising a $3.5 trillion plan for months. Biden has ignored the progressive push to cancel student debt. And the president has been unable to move Congress to pass a $15-an-hour federal minimum wage or take sweeping action on voting rights.Key quote: "And this is where I have sounded the alarm, because what really dampens turnout is when Democrats make promises that they don't keep," Ocasio-Cortez told The New York Times of how "demoralizing" the process of passing Biden's spending plan had been for many. Ocasio-Cortez said if Democrats didn't pass the Build Back Better plan soon, then leaders would struggle to get progressives' votes on other legislation.2. A look at Democrats' plan to win back rural America: Ahead of crucial midterm elections next year, RuralVote.org, the super PAC run by the former Iowa congressional candidate J.D. Scholten, criticized the three major Democratic campaign arms for their lack of investment in what they argued was a key voting bloc, according to a memo obtained exclusively by Insider. In the memo, Scholten called for "year-round on-the-ground organizing to help with party infrastructure and candidate recruitment" as well as a nationwide rural voter-outreach plan and rural messengers. Read more about how rural Democrats are freaking out following Virginia's elections.Community members mourned during a candlelight vigil in Cutler Park on Monday after a car plowed through a holiday parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin.Cheney Orr/ Reuters3. District attorney says suspect in Wisconsin parade deaths was released on "inappropriately low" bail weeks ago: Darrell E. Brooks posted a $1,000 cash bail on November 11, releasing him from custody in connection to a November 2 domestic-related incident. Brooks now faces five counts of first-degree intentional homicide after the police identified him as the SUV driver who plowed through a Christmas parade in the small city of Waukesha, Wisconsin, killing five people and injuring 48 others, including children. The Milwaukee County district attorney's office said it had launched a review into what happened. Here's what else we're starting to learn about the lead-up to the deadly event.4. Lawmakers subpoena Roger Stone and Alex Jones: The House panel investigating the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol issued new subpoenas for people including Stone, a longtime Trump ally. Stone says he had no prior knowledge that anything illegal was about to take place. More on where the investigation into the insurrection stands.5. RNC pays more than $121,000 toward Trump's legal bills: The Republican National Committee defended the party's decision to cover some of the former president's legal bills, The Washington Post reports. The RNC said it was "entirely appropriate" for it to defend the "leader of our party." The funding is related to a yearslong investigation by the Manhattan district attorney's office into the Trump Organization and the former president's business dealings. More on how the RNC is helping Trump amid New York's criminal investigation.Related: New York prosecutors are investigating whether the Trump Organization broke the law by offering dramatically different valuations of the same properties6. Kyle Rittenhouse lashes out at Biden: "Mr. President, if I could say one thing to you, I would urge you to go back and watch the trial and understand the facts before you make a statement," Rittenhouse told Fox News' Tucker Carlson of Biden calling him a white supremacist. Rittenhouse was referring to a clip Biden tweeted out after a 2020 presidential debate. More on the news.We watched Tucker Carlson's January 6 documentary so you don't have to.7. Trial in Ahmaud Arbery's killing is nearing an end: Prosecutors plan to wrap up their closing arguments later this morning before the disproportionately white jury will be handed the closely watched case over Arbery's killing while out for a jog, the Associated Press reports. Travis McMichael, one of the accused, who grabbed guns and pursued Arbery, previously testified that he did so in self-defense. Defense attorneys closed by arguing that McMichael and his father, Greg, were trying to make a legal citizen's arrest. Here's where things stand before the jury begins its deliberations.8. There's more reported information about China's hypersonic weapons test: The hypersonic weapon China tested this summer, alarming US military leaders, fired something off midflight while inside the atmosphere somewhere over the South China Sea, the Financial Times reported, citing people familiar with the intelligence. China has denied testing a weapon, saying it tested reusable spaceflight technology, but US military leaders have described the test differently in public comments. More on what some leaders have compared to the Soviet launch of the Sputnik satellite during the Cold War.9. Trump-backed Senate candidate suspends campaign: The Republican Sean Parnell suspended his closely watched run in Pennsylvania after a judge in Butler County awarded Parnell's wife, Laurie Snell, primary custody and sole legal custody of their three children. In recent months, Parnell's candidacy had faced scrutiny over allegations — which he vehemently denied — that he abused his estranged wife and children. More on the news about the now-former front-runner.LeBron James.Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP Images10. LeBron James has been suspended for the first time in his NBA career: James will be forced to sit out one game after an ugly altercation during Sunday's Lakers-Pistons game, the Associated Press reports. The league says the Lakers star is being suspended for "recklessly hitting" Detroit's Isaiah Stewart while the pair jostled for position during a free throw. Stewart will be suspended for two games. More on the fallout.Today's trivia question: The presidential turkey pardon is a beloved and uniquely weird part of our modern Thanksgiving. But which president spared a raccoon from the Thanksgiving table? Email your answer and a suggested question to me at bgriffiths@insider.com.Yesterday's answer: Senate Republicans led the opposition to the Treaty of Versailles in November 1919, causing the deal to become the first peace treaty to ever be rejected by the chamber.Thank you for reading! That's all until next week. Happy Thanksgiving!Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 23rd, 2021

Manchin, Sinema are increasingly receiving campaign contributions from GOP donors: NYT

The two lawmakers have attended fundraisers hosted by conservative-leaning donors who are virtually absent from most Democratic political circles. Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona following a vote at the US Capitol on November 3, 2021.Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images Sens. Manchin and Sinema are drawing financial backing from GOP donors, per The New York Times. In recent months, conservative donors have feted the moderate Democratic lawmakers at fundraisers. Republicans donors have applauded the duo's efforts in paring down large spending proposals. For most of this year, the success of Democratic legislative pushes on everything from COVID-19 relief and voting-rights legislation to judicial nominations and infrastructure have rested on two lawmakers — Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona.With President Joe Biden in the White House and Democrats in control of the House — while also at the helm of the evenly-divided Senate by virtue of Vice President Kamala Harris's tiebreaking vote — the party sought unity to get many of their most ambitious priorities through Congress.But Manchin and Sinema have presented challenges for Biden and the other 48 members of the Senate Democratic caucus, who have largely stuck together on most of the big votes.The senators are now increasingly attracting campaign donations from Republican donors who see them as moderating forces holding back what they view as an overly-progressive government, according to a report from The New York Times.In recent months, both have attended fundraisers hosted by conservative-leaning donors who are virtually absent from most Democratic political circles.As Manchin led the charge in pruning Biden's roughly $3.5 trillion infrastructure reconciliation framework down to its current price tag closer to $2 trillion this summer, he also reportedly attended a fundraiser at a $18 million mansion in Dallas which brought out GOP donors who were effusive in his efforts, according to The Times.Sinema, who has also helped dial back some of the administration's most acute legislative goals, went to the same home in September to raise money among similar donors.In the face of progressive angst directed at Manchin and Sinema, who have so far refused to nix or weaken the filibuster — thus imperiling voting-rights legislation like the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Advancement Act (H.R. 4) — the two senators have attracted the backing of some GOP-aligned donors and financial executives over their ideological stances, despite still being members of the Democratic caucus.President Joe Biden speaks about prescription drug prices and his Build Back Better agenda in the East Room of the White House on August 12, 2021.AP Photo/Evan VucciManchin and Sinema have dashed many progressive hopesSinema has gained conservative-leaning financial support due to her objections in raising corporate income tax rates, and Manchin has been one of the party's biggest impediments in expanding the social safety net.It is not unprecedented for business-aligned donors to give to members of both parties. Republican Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, a conservative who has been one of the most outspoken critics of former President Donald Trump, has received major contributions from Democratic donors this year.However, many of the contributions that have been funneled to Sinema and Manchin this year have come from donors who don't have much experience dealing with the Democratic duo, and the funds also come as Biden's Build Back Better Act is still being debated in Congress.While leading progressives sought to enact a $6 trillion bill earlier this year, their hopes for a larger spending package were dashed after Senate Democrats largely settled on a $3.5 trillion framework before Manchin's opposition to paid-leave provisions and additional measures sliced the bill to its current $2 trillion blueprint.Recently, the billionaire investor Kenneth Langone, a GOP donor new to Manchin's orbit, told CNBC that the senator had "guts and courage" and pledged to hold "one of the biggest fund-raisers I've ever had for him."Langone, in a statement to The Times, defended his stance."My political contributions have always been in support of candidates who are willing to stand tall on principle, even when that means defying their own party or the press," he said.Stanley Hubbard, a billionaire Republican donor, donated to Sinema for the first time in September, according to The Times, while also eyeing Manchin's efforts to tamp down Democratic spending proposals."Those are two good people — Manchin and Sinema — and I think we need more of those in the Democratic Party," he told The Times.John LaBombard, a Sinema spokesman, refuted the idea that donations have influenced her governing approach."Senator Sinema makes decisions based on one consideration: what's best for Arizona," he told The Times.Manchin did not respond to requests from The Times regarding the article.Between January 2019 and September 2020, Sinema raked in $6.1 million in campaign donations, with $4.5 million cash on hand. During the same period, Manchin took in $3.8 million, with $5.4 million cash on hand.Manchin and Sinema are both up for reelection in 2024 — but they have not yet officially announced their plans.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 21st, 2021

Futures Tumble, Oil And Treasury Yields Plunge As Lockdowns Return

Futures Tumble, Oil And Treasury Yields Plunge As Lockdowns Return Having briefly touched new all time highs of 4,723.5 overnight, S&P futures tumbled shortly after Europe opened as a fourth wave of the pandemic in Europe resulted in a new lockdown in Austria and the prospect of similar action in Germany wiped out earlier gains and forced stock markets down close to 1% as it overshadowed optimism about corporate earnings and the economic recovery. Friday is also a major options-expiry day, which could trigger volatility in equities. Two progressive Democratic senators said they oppose the renomination of Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell to a second term, because he "refuses to recognize climate change" joining Elizabeth Warren in urging President Joe Biden to choose someone else. S&P and Dow futures fell tracking losses in banks, airlines, and other economically sensitive sectors. Uncertainty over rising inflation and the Federal Reserve's tightening also kept demand for value stocks low. At 745am Dow e-minis were down 218 points, or 0.609%. S&P 500 e-minis were down 12.25 points, or 0.26% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 68 points, or 0.41%. With the lockdown trade storming back, Nasdaq futures hit a record high on Friday as investors sought economically stable sectors after a small delay in voting on President Joe Biden's $1.75 trillion spending bill, while fears of Europe-wide lockdowns sent yields plunging. The U.S. House of Representatives early on Friday delayed an anticipated vote on passage of Biden's social programs and climate change investment bill, and will instead reconvene at 8 a.m. EST (1300 GMT) to complete the legislation “Everyone is holding his and her breath to find out who will be the next Fed Chair,” said Ipek Ozkardeskaya, senior analyst at Swissquote. “More or less dovish, will it really matter? The one that will take or keep the helm of the Fed will need to hike rates at some point.” Among major premarket movers, Intuit Inc jumped 10.3% as brokerages raised their price targets on the income tax software company after it beat quarterly estimates and raised forecast. The stock was the top S&P 500 gainer in premarket trade. Chipmaker Nvidia also boosted Nasdaq futures, rising 1.7% in heavy trade after posting strong quarterly results late Wednesday. On the other end, Applied Materials dropped 5.7% after the chipmaker forecast first-quarter sales and profit below market estimates on supply chain woes. Oil firms Exxon and Chevron slipped 2.1% and 1.8% as crude prices sank, while big banks including JPMorgan and Bank of America were down between 0.9% and 1.1%, tracking a fall in U.S. Treasury yields. Carriers Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and American Airlines and cruiseliners Norwegian Cruise Line and Carnival Corp fell between 1.4% and 2.3%. Here are all the other notable movers: Farfetch (FTCH US) shares drop 23% after the online apparel retailer reported 3Q revenue that missed estimates and trimmed its FY forecast for digital platform gross merchandise value growth. Analysts see scope for the shares to stay in the “penalty box” in the near term, but recommend buying on weakness. Workday (WDAY US) analysts say that the software firm’s strong quarterly results and guidance were not quite enough to meet high expectations. The stock dropped as much as 11% in extended trading on Thursday. Intuit (INTU US) climbed 9.7% in premarket as analysts said the tax software company posted strong results that were ahead of expectations and raised its outlook. Several increased their price targets for the stock, including a new Street high at Barclays. Palo Alto Networks (PANW US) shares rise 2.8% in U.S. premarket trading after the cyber- security firm reports results and hikes full-year sales guidance, with RBC saying co. saw a strong quarter. Tesla (TSLA US) shares dip 0.5% in premarket trading. The EV maker’s price target is raised to a joint Street-high at Wedbush, with the broker saying that the EV “revolution” presents a $5t market opportunity over the next decade. Datadog (DDOG US) rises 1.8% after it is upgraded to outperform from sector perform at RBC, with the broker saying that it has more conviction on the software firm following its TMIT conference. Mammoth Energy (TUSK US) jumps as much as 34% in U.S. premarket trading after the energy-services company said a subsidiary has been awarded a contract by a major utility to help build electric-vehicle charging station infrastructure. Ross Stores (ROST US) shares dropped 2.2% in postmarket trading on Thursday after its profit outlook for fourth quarter missed the average analyst estimate. In Europe, banks and carmakers led the Stoxx Europe 600 Index down 0.3%, reversing early gains. Fears of fresh lockdowns have hit travel stocks, but boosted the delivery sector and other pandemic winners, with German meal-kit company HelloFresh jumping as much as 7.1% to a record. Stoxx Europe 600 index tumbled after Germany’s health minister said he couldn’t rule out a lockdown as infections surge relentlessly in the region’s largest economy. That came after Austria said it would enter a nationwide lockdown from Monday. Here are some of the biggest European movers today: Ocado shares jump as much as 8.4%, the most intraday since November 2020, after a Deutsche Bank note on joint venture partner Marks & Spencer highlighted scope for a potential transaction. VGP shares gain as much as 7.7% to a record after KBC raised its rating to accumulate from hold, based on a “strong” 10-month trading update. HelloFresh shares surge as much as 7.1% and other lockdown beneficiaries including Delivery Hero, Logitech and Zalando gain after the German health minister says a lockdown can’t be ruled out. Mall landlords Unibail and Klepierre and duty-free retailer Dufry drop. Truecaller shares rise as much as 14% after it received its first analyst initiations after last month’s IPO. Analysts highlighted the company’s potential for continued strong growth. JPMorgan called current growth momentum “unparalleled.” Hermes shares jump as much as 5.2% to a fresh record, rising for a seventh day, amid optimism that the stock may be added to the Euro Stoxx 50 Index as soon as next month. Shares also rise after bullish current- trading comments of peer Prada. Kingfisher shares drop as much as 5.8%, even after the home-improvement retailer said it expects profit to be toward the higher end of its forecast. Investor focus has probably shifted to 2022, and Friday’s update doesn’t have any guidance for next year, according to Berenberg. GB Group shares tumble as much as 18%, the most since October 2016, after the identity-verification software company raised about GBP300m in a placing of new shares at a discount. Mode Global shares sink as much as 19%, reversing most of this week’s gains, after it said some brands had withdrawn the company as an affiliate. In Fx, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index jumped at the London open and the greenback was higher versus all of its Group-of-10 fears apart from yen. Norway’s krone was the biggest loser as energy prices prices dropped after Austria announced a nationwide lockdown starting on Monday, while Germany’s health minister refused to rule out closures in the country.  The pound fell on the back of a stronger dollar; data showed U.K. retail sales rose for the first time in six months as consumers snapped up toys, sports equipment and clothing, while the cost of servicing U.K. government debt more than tripled in October from a year earlier due to surging inflation The euro plunged by 1% to a new YTD low of $1.1255 as the repricing in the front-end of euro options suggests the common currency is settling within a new range. The euro is also falling at the end of the week following the announcement that Austria will begin a 20-day full Covid-19 lockdown from Monday in response to surging case numbers which have far surpassed last year's peak. While fatalities remains well below the peak, they are accelerating and the government is clearly keen to arrest it before the situation potentially becomes much worse. With Germany seeing a similar trend, the question now becomes whether the regions largest economy will follow the same path. Its Health Minister, Jens Spahn, today suggested nothing can be ruled out and that they are in a national emergency. In rates, Treasury yields fell by around 4bps across the board and the bunds yield curve bull flattened, with money markets pushing back bets on a 10bps ECB rate hike further into 2023. Treasury 10-year yields richer by 4.5bp on the day at around 1.54% and toward lows of the weekly range -- bunds, gilts outperform Treasuries by 1bp and 1.5bp in the sector as traders reassess impact of future ECB rate hikes. Treasuries rally across the curve, following wider gains across EGB’s and gilts as investors weigh the impact of further European lockdowns amid a fourth wave of Covid-19. Flight-to-quality pushes Treasury yields lower by up to 5bp across front- and belly of the curve, which slightly outperform.  Bunds and Treasury swap spreads widen, while gilts move tighter as risk assets mostly trade to the downside and demand for havens increases on news regarding coronavirus restrictions. German 10-year swap spreads climbed above 50bps for the first time since March 2020. In commodities, spot gold is little changed around $1,860/oz, while base metals are in the green, with LME copper and aluminum leading peers. Oil tumbled with WTI and Brent contracts down well over 2%.  Brent crudes brief dip below $80 was short-lived on Thursday and prices were continuing to recover on the final trading day of the week until Austria announced its lockdown. Brent crude quickly reversed course and trades almost 2% lower on the day as it takes another run at $80. Oil has been declining over the last week as demand forecasts have been pared back, OPEC and the IEA have warned of oversupply in the coming months and the US has attempted to coordinate an SPR release with China and others. The market still remains fundamentally in a good position but lockdowns are now an obvious risk to this if other countries follow Austria's lead. A move below $80 could deepen the correction, perhaps pulling the price back towards the mid-$70 region. This looks more likely now than it did a day ago and if Germany announces similar measures, it could be the catalyst for such a move. Perhaps OPEC+ knows what it's talking about after all. Looking at To the day ahead now, there is no macro news; central bank speakers include ECB President Lagarde, Bundesbank President Weidmann, Fed Vice Chair Clarida, the Fed’s Waller and BoE Chief Economist Pill. Separately, data highlights include UK retail sales and German PPI for October. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures down 0.09% to 4,696.25 STOXX Europe 600 up 0.2% to 488.66 MXAP little changed at 199.11 MXAPJ down 0.2% to 648.18 Nikkei up 0.5% to 29,745.87 Topix up 0.4% to 2,044.53 Hang Seng Index down 1.1% to 25,049.97 Shanghai Composite up 1.1% to 3,560.37 Sensex down 0.6% to 59,636.01 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.2% to 7,396.55 Kospi up 0.8% to 2,971.02 Brent Futures little changed at $81.17/bbl Gold spot up 0.1% to $1,860.34 U.S. Dollar Index up 0.43% to 95.96 German 10Y yield little changed at -0.32% Euro down 0.6% to $1.1304 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg Germany’s Covid crisis is about to go from bad to worse, setting the stage for a grim Christmas in Europe. With infections surging relentlessly and authorities slow to act amid a change in power, experts warn that serious cases and deaths will keep climbing Austria will enter a nationwide lockdown from Monday as a record spike in coronavirus cases threatens to overwhelm the country’s health care system The pundits are coming for the Fed and Chair Jerome Powell. Mohamed El-Erian, chief economic adviser to Allianz SE and a Bloomberg Opinion columnist, recently said the central bank has made one of the worst inflation calls in its history. Writing in the Financial Times, the economist Willem Buiter called on the Fed to abandon the more flexible inflation target it established last year Bitcoin continued its slide Thursday, falling for a fifth consecutive day as it slipped below $57,000 for the first time since October, in a retreat from record highs. The world’s largest cryptocurrency hasn’t slumped that long since the five days that ended May 16 House Democrats pushed expected passage of President Joe Biden’s $1.64 trillion economic agenda to Friday as Republican leader Kevin McCarthy delayed a vote with a lengthy floor speech that lasted into the early morning hours ECB President Christine Lagarde said policy makers “must not rush into a premature tightening when faced with passing or supply- driven inflation shocks” Markets are increasingly nervous about the common currency with the pandemic resurgent, geopolitical tensions rising and gas supply issues mounting A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asia-Pac stocks traded mostly positive after the mixed performance stateside where the S&P 500 and Nasdaq notched fresh record closes, but cyclicals lagged as comments from Senator Manchin cast some uncertainty on the Build Back Better bill. The ASX 200 (+0.2%) was rangebound with upside in healthcare and consumer stocks offset by weakness in tech and a lacklustre mining sector. Crown Resorts (CWN AT) was the stellar performer after it received an unsolicited, non-binding takeover proposal from Blackstone (BX) valued at AUD 12.50/shr which boosted its shares by around 16%, although gains in the broader market were limited as COVID-19 concerns lingered following a further jump of cases in Victoria state. The Nikkei 225 (+0.5%) benefitted from a mostly weaker currency and after PM Kishida confirmed the details of the incoming stimulus package valued at a total JPY 79tln including JPY 56tln in fiscal spending. The KOSPI (+0.8%) was also positive but with gains initially capped as South Korean wholesale inflation surged to a 13-year high and further added to the case for the BoK to hike rates for the second time this year at next week’s meeting. The Hang Seng (-1.1%) and Shanghai Comp. (+1.1%) were mixed with the mainland kept afloat amid press reports that China is considering measures to reduce taxes and fees by up to CNY 500bln, although the mainland was initially slow to start after another liquidity drain by the PBoC and with stocks in Hong Kong spooked amid substantial losses in Alibaba following a miss on its earnings and Country Garden Services suffered on reopening from the announcement of a 150mln-share placement. Finally, 10yr JGBs were rangebound with mild gains seen after the modest bull flattening stateside, but with upside restricted amid the gains in Japanese stocks and lack of BoJ purchases, as well as the incoming fiscal spending and extra budget from the Kishida government. Top Asian News Bitcoin Falls Almost 20% Since Record as Crypto Bulls Retreat Singapore’s Insignia Ventures Intensifies Push Into Healthtech Binance Chief Zhao Buys His First Home in ‘Pro-Crypto’ Dubai Property Stocks Surge; Land Sale Rules Eased: Evergrande Update The earlier positive sentiment in Europe dissipated amid a string of back-to-back downbeat COVID updates – with Austria now resorting to a full-scale lockdown and Germany sounding alarms over their domestic COVID situation and not ruling out its own lockdown. European bourses flipped from the mostly positive trade at the open to a negative picture (Euro Stoxx 50 -0.5%; Stoxx 600 Unch), with headlines also flagging the European stock market volatility gauge jumping to three-week highs. It is also worth noting the monthly option expiries for stocks today, with desks pointing to the second-largest expiry day on record. US equity futures have also seen headwinds from the pullback in Europe, but US futures are mixed with the NQ (+0.4%) benefitting from the slide in yields. Back to Europe, Austria’s ATX (-1.0%) sit as the laggard after the Austrian Chancellor said a full domestic COVID lockdown will be imposed as of Monday for a maximum of 20 days with compulsory vaccination from 1st February 2022. Switzerland’s SMI (+0.2%) owes its gains to the defensive flows into healthcare propping up heavyweights Novartis (+0.5%) and Roche (+0.7%). Sectors overall are mostly negative with Healthcare the current winner, whilst Tech benefits from the yield slump and Basic Resources recover from yesterday’s slide as base metals rebound. The downside sees Banks on yield dynamics, whilst Oil & Gas lost the ranks as crude prices were spooked by the COVID headlines emanating from Europe. In terms of individual movers, Ocado (+6%) resides at the top of the FTSE 100 – with some citing a Deutsche Bank note which suggested shareholder Marks & Spencer could be mulling a buyout, although the note is seemingly speculation as opposed to chatter. Top European News Ryanair Drops London Listing Over Brexit Compliance Hassles ECB Mustn’t Tighten Despite ‘Painful’ Inflation, Lagarde Says Austria to Lock Down, Impose Compulsory Covid Vaccinations German Covid Measures May Bolster ECB Stimulus Stance: El-Erian In FX, it remains to be seen whether the Dollar can continue to climb having descended from the summit, and with no obvious fundamental drivers on the agenda in terms of US data that has been instrumental, if not quite wholly responsible for the recent bull run. However, external and technical factors may provide the Greenback and index with enough momentum to rebound further, as the COVID-19 situation continues to deteriorate in certain parts of Europe especially. Meanwhile, the mere fact that the DXY bounced off a shallower low and appears to have formed a base above 95.500 is encouraging from a chart perspective, and only the Yen as a safer haven is arguably capping the index ahead of the aforementioned w-t-d peak within 95.554-96.090 extremes. Ahead, more Fed rhetoric and this time via Waller and Clarida. EUR - The Euro has been hit hardest by the Greenback revival, but also the latest pandemic waves that have forced Austria into total lockdown and are threatening to see Germany follow suit. Moreover, EGBs are front-running the latest squeeze amidst risk-off trade in stocks, oil and other commodities to widen spreads vs Treasuries and the divergence between the ECB/Fed and other more hawkishly or less dovishly positioned. Hence, Eur/Usd has reversed further from circa 1.1374 through 1.1350 and 1.1300, while Eur/Yen is eyeing 128.50 vs almost 130.00 at one stage and Eur/Chf is probing fresh multi-year lows around 1.0450. NZD/GBP/AUD/CAD - All catching contagion due to their high beta, cyclical or activity currency stature, with the Kiwi back under 0.7000, Pound hovering fractionally above 1.3400, Aussie beneath 0.7250 and Loonie striving to contain declines beyond 1.2650 pre-Canadian retail sales against the backdrop of collapsing crude prices. JPY/CHF - As noted above, the Yen is offering a bit more protection than its US counterpart and clearly benefiting from the weakness in global bond yields until JGBs catch up, with Usd/Jpy down from 114.50+ towards 113.80, but the Franc is showing its allure as a port in the storm via the Euro cross rather than vs the Buck as Usd/Chf holds above 0.9250. In commodities, WTI and Brent front month futures retreated with the trigger point being back-to-back COVID updates – with Austria confirming a full-scale lockdown from Monday and Germany not ruling out its own lockdown. Crude futures reacted to the prospect of a slowdown in activity translating to softer demand. That being said, COVID only represents one factor in the supply/demand equation. Oil consuming nations are ramping up rhetoric and are urging OPEC+ to release oil. The White House confirmed the US discussed a possible joint release of oil from reserves with China and other countries, while it reiterated that it has raised the need for available oil supply in the market with OPEC. Meanwhile, the Japanese Cabinet said it will urge oil-producing nations to increase output and work closely with the IEA amid risks from energy costs. Further, energy journalists have also been flagging jitters of Chinese crude demand amid the likelihood of another tax probe into independent refiners. All in all, a day of compounding bearish updates (thus far) has prompted the contracts to erase all of their APAC gains, with WTI Dec just above USD 76/bbl (76.06-79.33/bbl range) and Brent Jan back under USD 79/bbl (78.75-82.24/bbl range). Elsewhere, spot gold saw a pop higher around the flurry of European COVID updates and despite a firmer Buck – pointing to haven flows into the yellow metal – which is nonetheless struggling to convincingly sustain a breach its overnight highs around USD 1,860/oz and we are attentive to a key fib at USD 1876/oz. Base metals prices are relatively mixed but have waned off best levels amid the risk aversion that crept into the markets, but LME copper holds onto a USD 9,500+/t status. US Event Calendar Nothing major scheduled Central Banks 10:45am: Fed’s Waller Discusses the Economic Outlook 12:15pm: Fed’s Clarida Discusses Global Monetary Policy Coordination DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap It was another mixed session for markets yesterday, with equities and other assets continuing to trade around their recent highs even as a number of risk factors were increasingly piling up on the horizon. By the close of trade, the S&P 500 had advanced +0.34% to put the index at its all-time high, whilst oil prices pared back their losses from earlier in the day to move higher. That said, there was more of a risk-off tone in Europe as the latest Covid wave continues to gather pace, with the STOXX 600 (-0.46%) snapping a run of 6 successive gains and being up on 17 out of the previous 19 days as it fell back from its all-time high the previous day, as haven assets including sovereign bonds were the beneficiaries. Starting with those equity moves, it was difficult to characterise yesterday’s session in some ways, since although the S&P advanced +0.34%, it was driven by a relatively narrow group of sectors, with only a third of the index’s components actually moving higher on the day. Indeed, to find a bigger increase in the S&P 500 on fewer advancing companies, one needs to go back to March 2000 (though it came close one day in August 2020, when the index advanced +0.32% on 153 advancing companies). Consumer discretionary (+1.49%) and tech (+1.02%) stocks were the only sectors to materially advance. Nvidia (+8.25%), the world’s largest chipmaker, was a key outperformer, and posted very strong third quarter earnings and revised higher fourth quarter guidance. Following the strong day, Nvidia jumped into the top ten S&P 500 companies by market cap, ending yesterday at number eight. The S&P gain may have been so narrow due to some negative chatter about President Biden’s build back better package, with CNN’s Manu Raju tweeting that Senator Joe Manchin “just told me he has NOT decided on whether to vote to proceed to the Build Back Better bill.” Manchin’s position in a 50-50 senate has given him an enormous amount of influence, and separate comments created another set of headlines yesterday on the Fed Chair decision, after The Hill reported Manchin saying that he’s “looking very favourably” at supporting Chair Powell if he were re-nominated, following a chat between the two about inflation. Mr Manchin is seemingly one of the most powerful people in the world at the moment. While the Senate still presents a hurdle for the President’s build back better bill, House Democrats are close to voting on the bill but couldn’t last night due to a three hour speech by House Republican leader McCarthy. It will probably happen this morning. This follows the Congressional Budget Office’s ‘score’ of the bill, which suggested the deficit would increase by $367bn as a result of the bill, higher figures than the White House suggested, but low enough to garner support from moderate House Democrats. Over in Europe there was a much weaker session yesterday, with the major equity indices falling across the continent amidst mounting concern over the Covid-19 pandemic. Germany is making another forceful push to combat the recent increase in cases, including expanded vaccination efforts, encouraging work from home, and restricting public transportation for unvaccinated individuals. Elsewhere, the Czech Republic’s government said that certain activities will be limited to those who’ve been vaccinated or had the virus in the last six months, including access to restaurants and hairdressers. Slovakia also agreed a similar move to prevent the unvaccinated accessing shopping malls, whilst Hungary is expanding its mask mandate to indoor spaces from Monday. Greece imposed further restrictions for its unvaccinated population. So a theme of placing more of the restrictions in Europe on the unvaccinated at the moment and trying to protect the freedoms of those jabbed for as long as possible. That risk-off tone supported sovereign bonds in Europe, with yields on 10yr bunds (-3.0bps), OATs (-4.1bps) and BTPs (-5.5bps) all moving lower. That was a larger decline relative to the US, where yields on 10yr Treasuries were only down -0.3bps to 1.59%, with lower real yields driving the decline. One asset class with some pretty sizeable moves yesterday was FX, where a bunch of separate headlines led to various currencies hitting multi-year records. Among the G10 currencies, the Swiss Franc hit its strongest level against the euro in over 6 years yesterday on an intraday basis. That came as the Covid wave has strengthened demand for haven assets, though it went on to weaken later in the day to close down -0.15%. Meanwhile, the Norwegian Krone was the weakest G10 performer (-0.72% vs USD) after the Norges Bank said it would be stopping its daily foreign exchange sales on behalf of the government for the rest of the month. Finally in EM there were some even bigger shifts, with the Turkish Lira falling to a record low against the US dollar, which follows the central bank’s decision to cut interest rates by 100bps, in line with expectations. And then in South Africa, the Rand also fell to its weakest in over a year, in spite of the central bank’s decision to hike rates, after the decision was interpreted dovishly. Overnight in Asia stocks are trading mostly higher led by the Nikkei (+0.45%), KOSPI (+0.43%), Shanghai Composite (+0.34%) and CSI (+0.18%). The Hang Seng (-1.76%) is sharply lower and fairly broad based but is being especially dragged down by Alibaba which dived -11% after it downgraded its outlook for fiscal year 2022 and missed sales estimate for the second quarter. Elsewhere in Japan headline CPI for October came in at +0.1% year-on-year (+0.2% consensus & +0.2% previous) while core CPI matched expectations at +0.1% year-on-year. The numbers reflect plunging mobile phone fees offsetting a 21% surge in gas prices. If the low mobile phone costs are stripped out, core inflation would be at 1.7% according to a Bloomberg calculation. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is expected to deliver a bigger than expected stimulus package worth YEN 78.9 trillion ($690 bn) according to Bloomberg. We should know more tomorrow. Moving on futures are pointing to a positive start in US and Europe with S&P 500 (+0.42%) and DAX (+0.39%) futures both up. Turning to commodities, oil prices had been on track to move lower before paring back those losses, with Brent Crude (+1.20%) and WTI (+0.83%) both up by the close and edging up around half this amount again in Asia. That comes amidst continued chatter regarding strategic oil releases, and follows comments from a spokeswoman from China’s National Food and Strategic Reserves Administration, who Reuters reported as saying that they were releasing crude oil reserves. New York Fed President, and Vice Chair of the FOMC, John Williams, upgraded his assessment of inflation in public remarks yesterday. A heretofore stalwart member of team transitory, he noted that they wouldn’t want to see inflation expectations move much higher from here, and that recent price pressures have been broad-based, driving underlying inflation higher. Williams is one of the so-called core members of FOMC leadership, so his view carries some weight and is a useful barometer of momentum within the FOMC. Indeed, Chicago Fed President Evans, one of the most resolutely dovish Fed Presidents, expressed similar sentiment, recognising that rate hikes may need to come as early as 2022 given the circumstances. There wasn’t much in the way of data yesterday, though the weekly initial jobless claims from the US for the week through November 13 came in higher than expected at 268k (vs. 260k expected), and the previous week’s reading was also revised up +2k. That said, the 4-week moving average now stands at a post-pandemic low of 272.75k. Otherwise, the Philadelphia Fed’s manufacturing business outlook survey surprised to the upside at 39.0 in November (vs. 24.0 expected), the highest since April. That had signs of price pressures persisting, with prices paid up to 80.0, the highest since June, and prices received up to 62.9, the highest since June 1974. Finally, the Kansas City Fed’s manufacturing index for November fell to 24 (vs. 28 expected). To the day ahead now, and central bank speakers include ECB President Lagarde, Bundesbank President Weidmann, Fed Vice Chair Clarida, the Fed’s Waller and BoE Chief Economist Pill. Separately, data highlights include UK retail sales and German PPI for October. Tyler Durden Fri, 11/19/2021 - 08:11.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytNov 19th, 2021

Futures Rise To 4,700 "Max Gamma" As Oil Slide Accelerates

Futures Rise To 4,700 "Max Gamma" As Oil Slide Accelerates U.S. index futures rose again, trading on top of the massive 4700 "max gamma" level despite downbeat data out of Chinese tech names, as investors awaited the latest batch of unemployment data and taking comfort from signals that central banks will stay far behind the curve and keep pledges to overlook faster inflation rather than rush into rate hikes. European stocks were steady and Asian equities fell as Chinese tech stocks tumbled after poor results from Baidu and Bilibili. Treasury yields edged higher, the dollar was little changed and gold declined. Bitcoin retreated for a fifth straight day. Oil prices skidded to a six-week low on concern about a supply overhang and the prospect of China, Japan and the United States dipping in to their fuel reserves, with Brent futures last at $79.77, more than 8% off last month's three-year high. Nasdaq futures rose 86.25 points or 0.53% outperforming S&P 500 futs which were up 11.50 points or 0.25% to 4697.75, after chip giant Nvidia jumped 7% after a sales forecast by the world’s largest chipmaker. Elsewhere in premarket trading, Cisco dropped 6.6% after the computer networking equipment group’s growth and earnings forecast fell short of expectations while Alibaba slid after reporting sales that missed analyst estimates for a second straight quarter. Some other notable premarket movers: EV makers are mixed in U.S. premarket trading, with Rivian Automotive (RIVN US), Lucid (LCID US) and Canoo (GOEV US) all declining and newly-listed Sono (SEV US) extending its bounce Nvidia (NVDA US) shares gain 7% in U.S. premarket trading, with analysts saying the chipmaker delivered a strong enough quarter to justify its punchy valuation Amtech (ASYS US) fell 22% in post-market trading after reporting fourth quarter revenue that missed estimates from two analysts. The semiconductor stock has risen 139% this year through Wednesday’s trading. Kraft Heinz (KHC US) fell 1.6% in postmarket trading on Wednesday after announcing one of its top holders was selling a portion of its stake. Victoria’s Secret (VSCO US) shares gain 13% in U.S. premarket trading as analysts highlight “better-than- feared” 3Q results for the lingerie retailer. JD.com (JD US) shares advanced 2.2% premarket after it reported net revenue for the third quarter that beat the average analyst estimate. “While companies are managing to report solid third-quarter numbers, the ability to do so is being tempered by concerns about slimmer margins,” said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets in London. “One positive thing, aside from the concern over rising inflation, has been the resilience of labor markets, on both sides of the Atlantic.” The Stoxx Europe 600 Index was little changed with most cash indexes giving back early gains or losses to trade flat as travel and consumer companies gained while the energy and minings industries retreated. FTSE 100 underperformed slightly. Oil & gas was the weakest sector followed by mining stocks. European metals and mining stocks fall 0.8%, the second worst performing sub-index on the benchmark Stoxx 600, amid sinking iron ore futures and copper prices. Iron ore retreated as investors weighed a top producer’s forecasts of a balanced market next year and the impact on miners amid a price collapse in recent months. Diversified miners drop, Glencore -0.8%, Anglo American -1%, BHP -0.7%, Rio Tinto -1.1%; the four stocks account for more than 60% of the SXPP. Earlier in the session, Asian stocks fell, on track for a second day of losses, as Baidu helped lead a slump in Chinese technology giants.  The MSCI Asia Pacific Index dropped as much as 0.4%, extending its two-day slide to about 0.9%. The Hang Seng Tech Index lost about 3%, as search engine giant Baidu tumbled on worries over the advertising outlook and video-streaming firm Bilibili dropped after posting a larger-than-expected loss. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index and China’s CSI 300 benchmark were the worst performing national benchmarks Thursday, while Taiwan’s Taiex managed a small gain. Alibaba also fell, ahead of its highly awaited earnings report later today that may show the impact of Beijing’s regulatory curbs. Japan's Nikkei was down 0.6% in early trade. "We do seem to have stalled somewhat as we head into the year end," said Jun Bei Liu, a portfolio manager at Tribeca Investment Partners in Sydney. "Investors perhaps are just taking a bit of pause," she said, in the wake of a strong U.S. results season, but as inflation and China's slowdown loom as macroeconomic headwinds. “With a bout of earnings having been released and put behind the market, we’re in an environment where investors are inclined to take profits,” said Takashi Ito, an equity market strategist at Nomura Securities in Tokyo. “Investors are likely to cherry pick stocks that have high earnings and ROE and have strong momentum for growth.”  The region’s equities are now poised for a weekly drop after wiping out gains from earlier this week. Anxiety over global inflation has weighed on sentiment as investors search for clues on when central banks will start raising interest rates. Indonesia and the Philippines kept borrowing costs unchanged, as expected, to aid two economies that bore the brunt of Covid-19 outbreaks in Southeast Asia this year. In rates, treasuries were slightly cheaper across long-end of the curve after S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures breached Wednesday’s highs. Yields are higher by ~1bp in 30-year sector, with 2s10s steeper by ~1bp, 5s30s by ~0.5bp; 10-year is ~1.60%, trailing bunds by ~2bp as traders push back on ECB rate-hike pricing. Focal points Thursday include several Fed speakers and a potentially historic 10-year TIPS auction at 1pm ET - at $14BN, the 10Y TIPS reopening is poised to draw a record low yield near -1.14%; breakeven inflation rate at ~2.71% is within 7bp of Monday’s YTD high. Elsewhere, Gilts outperformed richening ~2.5bps across the curve. Peripheral spreads tighten, semi-core widens marginally. In FX, the U.S. dollar erased an earlier modest loss and was flat, with majors mostly range-bound. Treasury yields stabilized from overnight declines; the greenback traded mixed versus its Group-of-10 peers, though most were confined to tight ranges, New Zealand’s dollar led G-10 gains after two-year ahead inflation expectations rose to 2.96% in the fourth quarter from 2.27% in the third, according to survey of businesses published by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand. Support in euro- Swiss franc at 1.0500 holds for now and consolidation for risk reversals this week suggests that a breach of the key level may not see a big follow through. The pound inched up and is on its longest winning streak in nearly seven months after this week’s jobs and inflation data fueled confidence that the Bank of England will hike rates. The Turkish lira plunged to a new all time low, with the USDTRY rising to 10.93 after the central bank cut rates by 100bps. Currency traders are also assessing a sharp downdraft in the Aussie/yen cross, often a barometer of market sentiment. It fell through its 200-day moving average on Tuesday and has lost almost 4% in a dozen sessions . "You've got the perfect storm there for bears," said Matt Simpson, senior analyst at brokerage City Index. "Fundamentally and technically Aussie/yen looks pretty good with lower oil prices." In commodities, crude futures remained in the red but bounce off worst levels as the potential for SPR releases remains center stage. WTI finds support near $77, recovering toward $78; Brent regains a $80-handle. Spot gold gives back Asia’s small gains, dropping ~$7 to trade near $1,860/oz. Base metals trade poorly, LME zinc and lead underperform. Looking at the day ahead now, and data releases from the US include the weekly initial jobless claims, the Philadelphia Fed’s business outlook for November, the Kansas City Fed’s manufacturing index for November, and the Conference Board’s leading index for October. Central bank speakers include PBoC Governor Yi Gang, the ECB’s Centeno, Panetta and Lane, and the Fed’s Bostic, Williams, Evans and Daly. There’ll also be a number of decisions from EM central banks, including Bank Indonesia, the Central Bank of Turkey and the South African Reserve Bank. Finally, earnings releases include Intuit, Applied Materials and TJX. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures up 0.4% to 4,703.25 STOXX Europe 600 up 0.1% to 490.50 MXAP down 0.3% to 199.31 MXAPJ down 0.6% to 650.79 Nikkei down 0.3% to 29,598.66 Topix down 0.1% to 2,035.52 Hang Seng Index down 1.3% to 25,319.72 Shanghai Composite down 0.5% to 3,520.71 Sensex down 0.4% to 59,755.91 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.1% to 7,379.20 Kospi down 0.5% to 2,947.38 Brent Futures down 0.1% to $80.18/bbl Gold spot down 0.2% to $1,863.45 U.S. Dollar Index little changed at 95.75 German 10Y yield little changed at -0.26% Euro little changed at $1.1327 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg More Wall Street banks are wagering that the Federal Reserve will hike rates at a faster-than-expected pace, with Citigroup Inc. joining Morgan Stanley in backing trades that will profit if the central bank does just that China is releasing some oil from its strategic reserves days after the U.S. invited it to participate in a joint sale, suggesting the world’s two biggest oil consumers are willing to work together to keep a lid on energy costs European countries are increasingly forcing reluctant companies to let employees work from home in an effort to break the rapidly spreading fourth wave of the coronavirus pandemic A more in depth look at global markets courtesy of Newsqauwk Asia-Pac stocks traded mostly negative with sentiment in the region subdued amid a lack of significant macro drivers and following the uninspired lead from the US - where the major indices finished a choppy session in the red and the DJIA gave up the 36k status. Nonetheless, the ASX 200 (+0.1%) remained afloat with notable strength in gold miners, as well as some consumer stocks, although advances in the index were limited by losses in the financial and energy sectors after similar underperformance stateside amid a decline in yields and oil prices. The Nikkei 225 (-0.3%) was initially dragged lower by unfavourable currency inflows which overshadowed reports that Japan wants to enhance tax breaks for corporations that raise wages, while shares in Eisai were hit after EU regulators placed doubts regarding the approval of Co. and Biogen’s co-developed Alzheimer’s drug and SoftBank also declined after the US regulator raised concerns regarding Nvidia’s acquisition of Arm. However, the index then briefly returned flat in late trade on reports that the Japanese stimulus package is to require JPY 55.7tln of fiscal spending which is higher than the previously speculated of around JPY 40tln. The Hang Seng (-1.3%) and Shanghai Comp. (-0.5%) weakened after another liquidity drain by the PBoC and with the declines in Hong Kong exacerbated by tech selling, while the losses in the mainland were to a lesser extent with China said to be mulling additional industrial policies aimed to support growth and SGH Macro sources suggested the US and China agreed there would be some substantial progress on trade such as the removal of some punitive tariffs by the US and increased purchases of US products by China, although the report highlighted that it was unclear if this would be from a high-profile announcement or a discrete relaxing of tariffs. Finally, 10yr JGBs were initially flat as prices failed to benefit from the subdued risk appetite in Japan and rebound in global peers, while firmer metrics at the 20yr JGB bond auction provided a mild tailwind in late trade although the support was only brief and prices were then pressured on news of the potentially larger than anticipated fiscal spending in PM Kishida's stimulus package. Top Asian News China Property Stocks Sink, $4.2 Billion Rush: Evergrande Update Japan’s Kishida Eyes Record Fiscal Firepower to Boost Recovery China Property Firm Shinsun’s Shares and Bonds Slump JD.com Sales Beat Estimates as Investments Start to Pay Off Major bourses in Europe are choppy, although sentiment picked up following a subdued APAC session but despite a distinct lack of fresh catalysts. US equity futures have also been grinding higher in early European hours, with the NQ (+0.6%) outpacing the ES (+0.3%), RTY (+0.2%) and YM (+0.2%). Back to European cash – broad-based gains are seen across the Euro bourses – which lifted the CAC, DAX and SMI to notch record intraday highs, whilst upside in the UK's FTSE 100 (-0.2%) has been hampered by hefty losses in today's lagging sectors– the Energy and Basic Resources - amid price action in the respective markets. Tech names also see a strong performance thus far as chip names cheer NVIDIA (+6% pre-market) earnings yesterday. Overall, sectors have maintained a similarly mixed picture vs the cash open, with no overarching theme. In terms of individual movers, Swatch (+2.8%) and Richemont (+0.6) piggyback on the increase in Swiss Watch Exports vs 2020 and 2019. Metro Bank (-20%) plumbed the depths after terminating takeover talks with Carlyle. Top European News Royal Mail Hands Investors $540 Million Amid Parcel Surge German Coalition Plans Stricter Rent Increase Regulation: Bild HSBC Sees ECB Sticking With Easy Stance Despite Record Inflation Astra Covid Antibody Data Shows Long-Lasting Protection In FX, the Kiwi has extended its recovery on heightened RBNZ tightening expectations prompted by significant increases in Q4 inflation projections, with some pundits now assigning a greater probability to the OCR rising 50 bp compared to the 25 bp more generally forecast and factored in. Nzd/Usd is eyeing 0.7050 and the 50 DMA just above (at 0.7054 today) having breached the 100 DMA (0.7026), while the Aud/Nzd cross is probing further below 1.0350 even though the Aussie has found some support into 0.7250 against its US rival and will be encouraged by news that COVID-19 restrictions in the state of Victoria are on the verge of being completely lifted. GBP/EUR/DXY - Notwithstanding Kiwi outperformance, the Dollar has lost a bit more of its bullish momentum to the benefit of most rivals, and several of those that compose the basket. Indeed, Cable has popped above 1.3500, while the Euro is looking more comfortable on the 1.1300 handle as the index retreats further from Wednesday’s new y-t-d peak and away from the psychological 96.000 level into a 95.840-642 range. Ahead, IJC and Philly Fed are due amidst another decent slate of Fed speakers, while Eur/Usd will also be eyeing the latest ECB orators for some direction and Eur/Gbp is back around 0.8400 where decent option expiry interest resides (1.1 bn), but perhaps more focused on latest talks between the UK and EU on the NI dispute. CHF/CAD/JPY - The Franc has pared more declines vs the Buck from sub-0.9300 and remains firm against the Euro near 1.0500 in wake of Swiss trade data showing a wider surplus and pick-up in key watch exports, but the Loonie looks a bit hampered by a more pronounced fall in the price of oil as the US calls on other countries for a concerted SPR tap and China is said to be working on the release of some crude stocks. Usd/Cad is tethered to 1.2600 and highly unlikely to threaten 1.1 bn option expiries at the 1.2500 strike in contrast to the Yen that stalled above 114.00 and could be restrained by 1.4 bn between 113.90 and the round number or 1.3 bn from 114.20-25, if not reports that Japan’s stimulus package may require Jpy 55.7 tn of fiscal spending compared to Jpy 40 tn previously speculated. In commodities, WTI and Brent front-month futures are off worst levels but still under pressure amid the prospect of looming crude reserves releases, with reports suggesting China is gearing up for its own release. There were also prior source reports that the US was said to have asked other countries to coordinate a release of strategic oil reserves and raised the oil reserve release request with Japan and China. Furthermore, the US tapping of the SPR could be either in the form of a sale and/or loan from the reserve, and the release from the reserve needs to be more than 20mln-30mln bbls to get the message to OPEC, while a source added that the US asked India, South Korea and large oil-consuming countries, but not European countries, to consider oil reserve releases after pleas to OPEC failed. This concoction of headlines guided Brent and WTI futures under USD 80/bbl and USD 78/bbl respectively with early selling also experienced as European players entered the fray. On the geopolitical front, US National security adviser Jake Sullivan raised with his Israeli counterpart the idea of an interim agreement with Iran to buy more time for nuclear negotiations, according to sources. However, two American sources familiar with the call said the officials were just "brainstorming" and that Sullivan passed along an idea put forward by a European ally. Next, participants should continue to expect jawboning from the larger economies that advocated OPEC+ to release more oil. OPEC+ is unlikely to react to prices ahead of next month's meeting (barring any shocks). Elsewhere, spot gold and silver have been choppy within a tight range. Spot gold trades under USD 1,875/oz - with technicians flagging a Fib around USD 1,876/oz. Spot silver trades on either side of USD 25/oz. Base metals are on a softer footing amid the broader performance across industrial commodities – LME copper remains subdued under the USD 9,500/t level, whilst some reports suggest companies are attempting to arbitrage the copper spread between Shanghai and London. US Event Calendar 8:30am: Nov. Initial Jobless Claims, est. 260,000, prior 267,000; Continuing Claims, est. 2.12m, prior 2.16m 8:30am: Nov. Philadelphia Fed Business Outl, est. 24.0, prior 23.8 9:45am: Nov. Langer Consumer Comfort, prior 50.3, revised 50.3 10am: Oct. Leading Index, est. 0.8%, prior 0.2% 11am: Nov. Kansas City Fed Manf. Activity, est. 28, prior 31 Central banks 8am: Fed’s Bostic Discusses Regional Outlook 9:30am: Fed’s Williams speaks on Transatlantic responses to pandemic 2pm: Fed’s Evans Takes Part in Moderated Q&A 3:30pm: Fed’s Daly takes part in Fed Listens event DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap After 9 weeks since surgery, yesterday I got the green light to play golf again from my consultant. Yippee. However he said that he’ll likely see me in 3-5 years to do a procedure called distal femoral osteotomy where he’ll break my femur and realign the leg over the good part of the knee. Basically I have a knee that is very good on the inside half and very bad on the outer lateral side. He’s patched the bad side up but it’s unlikely to last more than a few years before the arthritis becomes too painful. This operation would be aimed at delaying knee replacement for as long as possible! Sounds painful and a bit crazy! Meanwhile I also have a painful slipped disc in my back at the moment that I’m going to have an injection for to hopefully avoid surgery after years of managing it. As you might imagine from reading my posts last week I don’t get much sympathy at home at the moment for my various ailments. In terms of operations and golf I’m turning into a very very poor man’s Tiger Woods! Markets have been limping a bit over the last 24 hours too as the inflation realities seemed to be a bit more in focus. Those worries were given additional fuel from the UK CPI release for October, which followed the US and the Euro Area in delivering another upside surprise, just as a number of key agricultural prices continued to show significant strength. Oil was down notably though as we’ll discuss below. To add to the mix, the latest global Covid-19 wave has shown no sign of abating yet, even if some countries are better equipped for it than others. Starting with inflation, one of the main pieces of news arrived yesterday morning, when the UK reported that CPI came in at +4.2% year-on-year in October. That was above every economist’s estimate on Bloomberg, surpassing the +3.9% consensus expectation that was also the BoE’s staff projection in their November Monetary Policy Report. That’s the fastest UK inflation since 2011, and core inflation also surprised on the upside with a +3.4% reading (vs. +3.1% expected). In response to this, our UK economist (link here) is now expecting that CPI will peak at +5.4% in April, with the 2022 annual average CPI still at +4.2%, which is more than double the BoE’s 2% target. The release was also seen as strengthening the case for a December rate hike by the BoE, and sterling was the second best performing G10 currency after being top the day before in response, strengthening +0.45% against the US dollar. Even as inflation risks mounted however, the major equity indices demonstrated an impressive resilience, with the STOXX 600 (+0.14%) rising for the 17th time in the last 19 sessions. This is the best such streak since June this year, when the index managed to increase 18 of 20 days. We’ll see if that mark is matched today That was a better performance than the S&P 500 (-0.26%). 342 stocks were in the red today, the most in three weeks. Energy (-1.74%) and financials (-1.11%) each declined more than a percent, on lower oil prices and yields, respectively. Real estate (+0.65%) and consumer discretionary (+0.59%) led the way, driven by a +3.25% increase in Tesla. In line with the broad-based retreat, small-caps continued to put in a much weaker performance, with the Russell 2000 shedding -1.16% as it underperformed the S&P for a 4th consecutive session. Sovereign bonds also managed to advance yesterday, with yields on 10yr Treasuries (-4.5bps) posting their biggest decline in over a week, taking them to 1.59%. Declining inflation expectations drove that move, with the 10yr breakeven down -3.2bps to 2.71%, which was its biggest decline in over two weeks. For Europe it was a different story however, with yields on 10yr bunds only down -0.3bps, just as those on 10yr OATs (+0.1bps) and BTPs (+0.5bps) both moved higher. Most of the Treasury rally was after Europe closed though. Those moves came against the backdrop of a fairly divergent performance among commodities. On the one hand oil prices fell back, with WTI (-2.97%) closing beneath $80/bbl for only the second time in the last month as speculation continued that the US would tap its strategic reserves. On the other hand, there was no sign of any relenting in European natural gas prices, which rose a further +0.79% yesterday to bring their gains over the last 7 days to +31.57%. That follows the German regulator’s decision to temporarily suspend certification for Nord Stream 2, which has added to fears that Europe will face major supply issues over the winter. And while we’re discussing the factors fuelling inflation, there were some fresh moves higher in agricultural prices as well yesterday, with wheat futures (+1.48%) hitting an 8-year high, and coffee futures (+4.75%) climbing to their highest level in almost a decade. Central banks will be watching these trends closely. There’s still no word on who’s going to lead the Fed over the next 4 years, but yesterday’s news was that President Biden will make his pick by Thanksgiving. For those keeping track at home, on Tuesday the guidance was within the next four days. So, while it appears momentum toward an announcement is growing, take signaling of any particular day with a grain of salt. On the topic of the Fed, our US economists released their updated Fed outlook yesterday (link here) in which they brought forward their view of the expected liftoff to July 2022, with another rate increase following in Q4 2022. And although it’s not their base case, they acknowledge that incoming data could even push the Fed to speed up their taper and raise rates before June. They don’t see the choice of the next Fed Chair as having much impact on the broad policy trajectory, since inflation next year is likely to still be at high levels that makes most officials uncomfortable, plus the annual rotation of regional Fed presidents with an FOMC vote leans more hawkish next year. So that will constrain the extent to which a new chair could shift matters in a dovish direction, even if they wanted to. Overnight in Asia stocks are trading mostly in the red outside of a flat KOSPI (+0.01%). The Shanghai Composite (-0.13%), CSI (-0.64%), Nikkei (-0.77%) and Hang Seng (-1.35%) are being dragged down by tech after a bout of Chinese IT companies missed earnings continuing a theme of this earnings season. Elsewhere in Japan, the Nikkei reported that the new economic stimulus package could be around YEN 78.9 tn ($691 bn). Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will announce the package on Friday. Elsewhere S&P 500 (+0.08%) and DAX futures (+0.01%) both fairly flat. The House of Representatives is slated to begin debate on the Biden social and climate spending ‘build back better’ bill. Word from Congress suggested it could be tabled for a vote as soon as today, though the House has been as profligate missing self-imposed deadlines to vote on the bill as President Biden has been with the announcement of Fed Chair. In addition to the Build Back Better package, there’ll still be plenty of action in Congress over the next month, with another government shutdown looming on December 3, and then a debt ceiling deadline estimated on December 15. The House Budget Chair echoed Treasury Secretary Yellen’s exhortation, and urged Congress to raise the debt ceiling to avoid a government default. Treasury bills are pricing increasing debt ceiling uncertainty during December; yields on bills maturing from mid- to late-December are around double the yields of bills maturing in November and January. Turning to the pandemic, cases have continued to rise at the global level over recent days, as alarm grows in a number of countries about the potential extent of the winter wave. In Germany, Chancellor Merkel and Vice Chancellor Scholz are taking part in a video conference with state leaders today on the pandemic amidst a major surge in cases. And Sweden’s government said that they planned to bring in a requirement for vaccine passports at indoor events with more than 100 people. In better news however, the UK’s 7-day average of reported cases moved lower for the first time in a week yesterday. Moderna also joined Pfizer in seeking emergency use authorization from the FDA for booster jabs of its Covid vaccines for all adults. Looking at yesterday’s other data, US housing starts fell in October to an annualised rate of 1.520m (vs. 1.579m expected), whilst the previous months’ reading was also revised lower. Building permits rose by more than expected however, up to an annualised rate of 1.650m (vs. 1.630m expected). Finally, Canada’s CPI inflation reading rose to +4.7% in October as expected, marking the largest annual rise since February 2003. To the day ahead now, and data releases from the US include the weekly initial jobless claims, the Philadelphia Fed’s business outlook for November, the Kansas City Fed’s manufacturing index for November, and the Conference Board’s leading index for October. Central bank speakers include PBoC Governor Yi Gang, the ECB’s Centeno, Panetta and Lane, and the Fed’s Bostic, Williams, Evans and Daly. There’ll also be a number of decisions from EM central banks, including Bank Indonesia, the Central Bank of Turkey and the South African Reserve Bank. Finally, earnings releases include Intuit, Applied Materials and TJX. Tyler Durden Thu, 11/18/2021 - 08:05.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 18th, 2021