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Markets Improve as US & China Hold Trade Talks; Oil Prices Set to Post Large Monthly Gains

Published March 27, 2018
  • The US dollar is broadly stronger this morning against a basket of major currencies due to easing trade tensions and anticipation for upcoming economic data. Investors are looking towards consumer confidence later this morning as well as US GDP data on Wednesday.
  • Global equity markets sharply improved yesterday as the United States and China began to work together to find an agreement on narrowing the trade deficit between the two economic giants; New York indexes rose nearly 2.5 percent yesterday, while Japanese and European stocks posted similar moves higher.
  • US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters that he is “cautiously hopeful” that negotiations would lead a deal that would avert a global trade war; the US is specifically requesting that China cut tariffs on imported cars while allowing for more market access for American made semiconductors.
  • Oil prices continue to increase this morning as WTI and Brent crude are set to post monthly gains of 6 percent and 5 percent respectively; figures on US crude stockpiles will be released at 4:30 PM EST today (American Petroleum Institute) and on Wednesday 10:30 AM EST (US Energy Information Administration).
  • US President Donald Trump set a deadline of May 1 for the conclusion of NAFTA talks and grace period for country exemptions on US steel and aluminum tariffs. Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland noted that her office is working to lift any penalties permanently.