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Politicians take over

| Posted by: Paul Donovan | Tags: Paul Donovan

  • There is nothing of importance on the data calendar today. Instead, markets are at the mercy of political whims. US presidential adviser Kudlow has been offering strong language against China, suggesting the Chinese are not trying with the trade negotiations. Kudlow did say that the renminbi was moved by market forces. Chinese President Xi has talked of private sector support and tax cuts.
  • Oil prices are slightly higher in the wake of Saudi Arabia admitting that the journalist Khashoggi was killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Market concerns focus on any Saudi reaction to sanctions by the US Congress. However, Saudi Arabia needs oil revenues, which reduces the risk of aggressive oil market action.
  • A credit rating agency – it does not matter which – downgraded Italy on Friday. Normally markets are largely indifferent to the actions of credit rating agencies, but the distinction between investment and sub investment grade matters. Italy's outlook was said to be stable, which offers support to Italian bonds in this instance.
  • The interminably tedious process of cutting the EU off from the UK is "95%" complete, according UK Prime Minister May. The deal is still only likely at the last minute, and this is not the last minute.