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THE DAILY MACRO BRIEF: Beijing, Beige Book, WTO, Brexit saga and the Italian budget...

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12/06/2018 | 09:21am EDT

A consensus seems to have been reached between the Trump administration and the Chinese Ministry and measures should be implemented. However, the arrest of Huawei’s CFO at US request may complicate things. The Beige Book, the US Federal Reserve's report, published yesterday, shows modest to moderate growth. The WTO boss warns that without a trade agreement, global growth is in danger. Italy is on the right track to avoid EU sanctions.

Beijing is optimistic about reaching an agreement with Washington. While market doubts remain about the conclusion of a trade agreement between China and the United States by the end of the 90-day period, Chinese Ministry of Commerce spokesman Gao Feng said yesterday that a consensus on agriculture, energy and the automotive sector had been reached and that measures would be implemented "immediately". Discussions with Washington will continue according to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, which has stated that the ultimate objective is to remove all customs barriers between the two powers.

But there’s a tiny problem. Huawei Technologies’ chief financial officer was arrested in Canada over potential violations of U.S. sanctions on Iran. China is not happy about it. Wanzhou Meng faces extradition to the U.S., said Ian McLeod, a Canada Justice Department spokesman. The telecommunications-equipment maker is accused of selling gear to Iran despite sanctions on exports to the region.

Uncertainties in the US market. The "Beige Book" published by the Fed yesterday highlights that the trade war orchestrated by Donald Trump, the rise in interest rates, which is not unanimously accepted by senior Fed officials, and the difficulties encountered in hiring staff, are weighing on consumer and business morale. On the plus side: the economic growth.

Source: Bloomberg

The WTO warned that no one will win in the global trade war. Roberto Azevedo, the head of the WTO, welcomed the Sino-American truce and recognizes that reforms are needed. He denounces the practices of the Trump administration, which advocates the reduction of its trade deficit through tariff barriers and the exit or reform of several treaties. According to him, "the result of all the simulations is that trade and growth will slow down and all countries, without exception, will lose in a global trade war".

In other news. The Central Bank of Japan (BoJ) says there will be no increase in short-term rates. The European Union Court of Justice, which has been seized by opponents of Brexit, will issue its verdict on the United Kingdom's right to unilaterally withdraw its decision to leave the EU on the eve of the British Parliament's vote. The Italian government has "started to present measures to reduce the Italian debt" and must continue its efforts.

Romain Fournier
© MarketScreener.com 2018
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