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US & China Hold Talks to Avert Trade War; Oil Prices Remain Near Monthly Highs

Published March 26, 2018
  • The United States and China are in talks to ease tensions after last week’s round of trade tariffs and protectionist tactics between the two countries; global markets are bouncing back from last week’s heavy losses as fears of a full-blown trade war begin to subside.
  • The Wall Street Journal reported that US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer addressed a letter to Vice Premier Liu He indicating several steps for China to take in order to improve US access to local markets. China’s foreign minister has responded positively, indicating they are willing to hold talks to foster better trade relations.
  • The US dollar started the day on a mixed note as markets remain conflicted on the outlook of the greenback. Concerns regarding global trade and a  less aggressive Federal Reserve have held the US dollar back in recent days.
  • FOMC voting members William Dudely, Loretta Mester and Randal Quarles are all set to speak throughout the day; analysts will look for further insights into the Federal Reserve’s US economic projections for clues on interest rate trajectories for 2018 & 2019.
  • Oil prices remain mixed but near monthly highs as crude oil prices hold steady above $70; the number of active US oil rigs rose to 804 last week, indicating growing US oil production as the price of the commodity strengthens.