As we noted in our Bank of Canada Preview report, today’s BOC meeting was never really about if the central bank would raise interest rates (even after last night’s escalation in the global trade war); instead, traders were focused on BOC policymakers’ outlook for future economic growth and what that would mean for interest rates moving forward.
The euro flattened out early gains as the Pound dropped a penny on Brexit uncertainty at 8:30 am CT. While the pressure bled into the Euro, we do find this move a bit more technical than fundamental. The paring also occurred when ECB President Mario Draghi began speaking; he was upbeat on the economy and the positive effects of quantitative easing.
A fresh wave of risk aversion swept across financial markets after the United States threatened to impose tariffs on an extra $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. This unfavorable move comes just days after the two countries slapped tit-for-tat tariffs on $34 billion worth of each other’s imports.
Less than an hour after the S&P 500 settled at the highest level since February 1st, global equity markets found themselves on the defensive after the White House provided a list and announced it would plan to move forward with a 10% tariff on an additional $200 billion of Chinese goods. This is where things escalate to a trade war and once again, we emphasize at these levels, the market has not priced in a full-blown trade war.
Trade war concerns resurfaced overnight when news broke out that the United States will announce tariffs on further $200 billion of imports from China with levies of 10% on the products. China said it was “shocked” by the news and that it will have no choice but to retaliate, adding that the actions “were hurting China, hurting the entire world and hurting the United States itself.”
The Trump Administration has a knack for cooling down crude oil prices every time they look to be getting out of control. Trade War talk, potential wavers on an Iranian oil embargo, and telling Germany that they are captive to Russia because of the reliance on them for energy supply, not to mention the resumption of some Libyan oil exports cooled off prices as they were boiling over due to rapidly falling U.S. supply.
U.S. benchmarks are extending gains for a fourth consecutive day and the S&P traded to the highest level since March 13th. The overnight high of 2797.75 took out the June 13 high of 2796. What trade war? Of course, at these levels markets are not pricing in the risk of an escalating trade war.
While the Federal Reserve has grabbed all the headlines for raising interest rates lately, its neighbor to the north has actually been just as aggressive in tightening policy over the last year. The Bank of Canada has raised its benchmark interest rate three times since the start of last July, and if economists are correct, another hike is likely at Wednesday’s meeting.
After a three-month rally for the U.S. dollar, the month of July started on the back foot last week as the likes of the euro, pound and Aussie all found some much-needed support. But the yen was lagging behind last week, undermined in part by the fact the Bank of Japan remains one of the most dovish central banks out there.