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Iran Reignites Domestic Protests | Markets Await Release of US-China Deal

Published January 13, 2020
  • After the Iranian regime admitted it mistakenly shot down the Ukrainian airliner, killing all 176 civilian passengers, protests erupted across Isfahan and Tehran to denounce the countries rulers. Thousands of students and middle-class Iranians have taken to the streets to show their outrage not only with the incident itself but with the regime’s attempts to deny any involvement for days after. Meanwhile, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told the media that he will pursue “justice and accountability” for the 57 Canadians who lost their lives in the tragedy.
  • U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Sunday that the English text of the US-China Phase 1 agreement will be released this week, as both sides are on track to ink the deal this Wednesday in Washington.  The details of the deal have been kept vague so far, so markets will be eager to get a better sense of what the deal really means in the long-run. The focus points are going to be on have comprehensive the agreement is, and the enforcement mechanisms for both sides.
  • Risk assets are mostly higher in anticipation of the deal, although FX markets are largely muted outside of the decline in yen and pound.  While the yen move is directly tied to market sentiment, the big drop in GBP comes after the worse-than-expected UK GDP numbers and Bank of England dovishness sparked a selloff.  Markets have now fully priced in a BOE cut by the fall, and the short-lived, post-election GBP enthusiasm now feels like a distant memory.