Trade and other tensions

Posted by: Paul Donovan

20 May 2019
  • US President Trump is flying to Japan, where trade is certain to be on the agenda. Japanese 1Q GDP came in stronger than expected, but this was because imports were especially weak (Japanese GDP is also revised a lot). Exports also fell, although some of that may be due to the increased importance of the Lunar New Year holiday in global trade cycles.
  • Exit polls from the seventh and final round of the Indian general election point to a victory for Prime Minister Modi (although Indian exit polls are not known for their pinpoint accuracy). The Australian government surprised expectations by getting re-elected. Markets view their policy of tax cuts as meaning central bank accommodation is less plausible.
  • Oil prices have risen. US President Trump tweeted about the "official end of Iran" in the event of a conflict (the White House has not clarified what that might mean). OPEC has signaled that oil production targets will stay in place.
  • German producer price inflation is due, as a signal of corporate pricing power. European parliamentary elections loom, and in the interminably tedious EU-UK divorce opposition leader Corbyn is trying to signal a referendum on any deal without clearly supporting a referendum.

Explore more CIO Daily Updates