Keep it all in perspective #2: “Mounting trade fears send waves through global markets” the Financial Times declares, pointing to a sharp sell-off in Chinese shares yesterday as investors (who have for weeks shrugged off Trump’s saber-rattling on trade) freaked out about the back-and-forth imposition of sanctions between Washington and Beijing, which we had noted yesterday.
US stocks tumbled on Tuesday as fears of a trade war began to take hold, according to Reuters. The threat of an imminent trade war was easy to shrug off at first, but the recent exchange of threats between the US and Chinese governments makes it “hard to ignore this particular flare-up, because there’s not a lot of positive news to overshadow it,” Invesco’s Kristina Hooper tells the FT. The S&P 500 was down 0.40%, while Nasdaq dropped 0.28%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.15% yesterday. JonesTrading’s Michael O’Rourke described the reaction from US stocks as “sedate,” saying that the equity market “has acted much stronger” than global counterparts.
The benchmark EGX30 closed down 0.94% yesterday, joining the ADX, DFM and KSE by closing in the red. Saudi’s Tadawul bucked the trend, with the TASI closing up 0.32%.
The latest chapter in the EM Zombie Apocalypse is brought to you by Donald Trump: Already strained emerging market currencies are taking a deeper nose dive thanks to the escalating trade war, especially as China threatens further action, the FT adds. While Asian stocks slid across the board yesterday, China witnessed its sharpest equity sell-off in months, starting “a ripple through global markets that hit companies in major exporting nations particularly hard.” (The FT rounds up analysts’ views here).
A Bloomberg currency index shows that carry-trade returns from eight emerging markets are on track for the biggest quarterly loss since 2011. The index has slumped 8.9% since the end of March, an eighth month low. The escalating beef has driven the MSCI Emerging Markets Index to below the 1,100 mark, according to Bloomberg.
Meanwhile, in the global oil market, Russia has redoubled its rhetoric pushing for an end to production cuts. “Oil demand usually grows at the steepest pace in the third quarter … We could face a deficit if we don’t take measures,” Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak told reporters. “In our view, this could lead to market overheating.” Russia wanted OPEC and non-OPEC to raise output by 1.5 mn bpd, Novak said, according to Reuters. OPEC meets on Friday to decide output policy. Goldman Sachs sees oil climbing back north of USD 80 in the coming months, CNBC reports, picking up a report we noted yesterday.
Also from the land of crushed football dreams, the Russian government says it’s planning to impose new tariffs on US imports. The move comes at the request of businessmen burned by a US decision to impose duties on steel and aluminum imports into the United States and will “target goods that have domestic equivalents in Russia,” said Russian Economy Minister Maxim Oreshkin, Reuters reports.
And in miscellany today:
Alexandria residents can obtain a visa to Germany starting today through a newly opened visa service in the nation’s second city. (Al Mal)
General Electric is out of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, having been replaced by Walgreens Boots. If you came up in the age in which CEO Jack Welch was (unjustly) deified, you can’t help but take a breath. GE was a founding member of the Dow back in 1896 and has been a continuous constituent of the index since 1907. The news is everywhere in financial media this morning. (FT | Reuters | CNBC | WSJ)
The bigger cryptocurrencies get, the worse they perform, the Bank of International Settlements warned earlier this week. The report from the umbrella group for the world’s central banks is being poo-poo’ed by the crypto industry. You can get more from Reuters or from Coindesk or judge for yourself by reading the report (pdf). Or head over to Bloomberg, which picks up where BIS leaves off by looking at what cryptocurrency markets need to do if they “want to move from the fringes of finance.” Want to get straight to the doom and gloom? Business Insider has you covered, talking with CBOE boss Chris Concannon, who is warning that there’s a reckoning in the making for the initial coin offering market, just as there was for tulips, junk bonds and mortgage-backed securities.
Consulting firms want to eat the lunches of advertising agencies, and the Wall Street Journal lets Accenture Interactive take lazy swings at softball question after softball question in Meet the New Advertising Agency: Consulting Firms. (Because conflict of interest isn’t a thing at consulting companies, right, McKinsey?) It’s all part of the WSJ’s coverage of Cannes this week. Editor-at-large Gerard Baker has an overview, and what passes for the package’s landing page is here.
Visa and MasterCard are testing fingerprint sensors for added security. (WSJ)
Canada has ended its 95-year prohibition on cannabis, paving the way for mns of adults to “openly smoke, ingest or grow the drug” by early or mid-September — and creating what should become a multi-bn CAD industry. (Globe & Mail)
Two disruption-free professions (so far): Lawyers and plumbers look safe, the Michael Skapinker suggests (FT)
Baseball caps: Can you wear them without looking like a frat boy? (WSJ)
**REMINDER: Enterprise is off tomorrow. We’re taking a day to do some planning and training as a team.