Russia’s Novak: No official proposals from OPEC+ members to change deal

Comments by Russian energy minister, Alexander Novak

  • Says all OPEC+ members need to comply with the current deal in full
Yesterday, we saw headlines of potential deeper output cuts by OPEC and that helped to give oil prices a lift in overnight trading.
As much as I want to be optimistic about that, I’d reserve judgment as it is still early days before we get to the next OPEC+ meeting in December.
Then, there is the issue of compliance as Novak noted above as well. Deeper cuts are pointless if they cannot get every contributing nation on board with 100% compliance.

Brexit: JP Morgan says if offered short extension, expects Johnson to attempt to pass WAB

They also say that he will probably succeed in doing so in such a scenario

Pretty much stating the obvious but okay.

There’s also whispers that the government is mulling over calling a no-confidence motion in itself, to ensure that they do get to an election in case Labour is “playing games”.
But with the numbers to get a deal through, it remains to be seen if we will get there. Either way, even if all of this goes well for Johnson and the government, this is just the first hurdle. 2020 will bring another new season to the Brexit drama.

Hong Kong formally withdraws extradition bill

The Hong Kong government formally withdrew a controversial extradition bill on Wednesday, following months of social unrest and political turmoil that have upended the city’s normally peaceful image.

The secretary for security, John Lee Ka-chiu, made the announcement before lawmakers in the chamber of the Legislative Council. The move meets one of the five demands by anti-government demonstrators, who are also calling for the resignation of Chief Executive Carrie Lam.

Lee’s announcement was met with shouts from pro-democracy lawmakers. Civic Party member Kwok Ka-ki was expelled after calling for Lee’s resignation while Lee was still addressing the chamber. Other pro-democracy lawmakers held up slogans reading, “Lee Ka-chiu step down.”

Meanwhile, the Hong Kong man whose alleged killing of his girlfriend in Taiwan prompted the crisis over the bill on Wednesday was released from prison on a lesser offense of money laundering. The suspect, Chan Tong-kai, has said that he would turn himself in to Taiwanese authorities.

The move to introduce the bill earlier this year was prompted by a legal dilemma over the murder suspect because the governments of Hong Kong and Taiwan do not have an extradition treaty. Chan was originally sentenced to 29 months in prison in Hong Kong but was released after serving 18 months.

The Hong Kong government had said the legal loophole needed to be closed to uphold justice and align the city’s laws with international standards. But the proposed law would also have paved the way for criminal suspects to be sent to mainland China, which many say lacks an independent judiciary system.

Chan Tong-kai, a Hong Kong citizen who was accused of murdering his girlfriend in Taiwan last year, leaves from Pik Uk Prison in Hong Kong on Oct. 23.   © Reuters

Widespread peaceful demonstrations against the bill drew millions of people to the streets in early June. Opponents of the legislation said at the time that the proposed law could have been used by mainland authorities to extradite anyone in Hong Kong to China, including Beijing’s political adversaries.

Over the past few months, protests have devolved into widespread anti-government and anti-China demonstrations, with many calling for a more democratic society and greater accountability to its citizens.

Police have used tear gas, rubber bullets, water cannons and sponge grenades to disperse crowds, as some hard-line protesters have set fires at rail stations, smashed store fronts and vandalized other places of business with connections to mainland China or those perceived to be against the protests.

On Oct. 1 — the day Beijing held ceremonies to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China — a policeman shot an 18-year-old man while he was attacking officers. That marked the first time a demonstrator was hit by live ammunition since the protests began.

As violent clashes between protesters and police continued into autumn, Lam invoked emergency powers on Oct. 4 to ban the wearing of face masks during demonstrations. But tens of thousands of protesters have defied the ban to hide their identity and protect themselves against tear gas.

North Korean dictator says will withdraw South Korean facilities from Mount Kumgang Tourist Region

Mount Kumgang Tourist Region is a special administrative region of North Korea.

Popular with South Korean tourists.
Tensions between North and South have re-exscalated recently, this a response from Kim Jong Un. Adds that SK visitors are still welcome.

FT report that China is drawing up plan to replace Carrie Lam as Hong Kong chief

Financial Times with the report

  • Chinese government is drawing up a plan to replace Carrie Lam
  • with an “interim” chief executive
  • Xi Jinping, China’s president, will make the decision
  • if he agrees, Lam would be replaced by March 2020, cover the remainder of her term, which ends in 2022.
FT link (may be gated)

US stocks end the session lower and near session lows

S&P index back below the 3000 level. NASDAQ loses -0.72%

The major stock indices slid in the afternoon trading after being higher earlier in the day. The major indices are ending the session in the red, led by the NASDAQ composite index which fell -0.72%
The closes are showing:
  • the S&P index -10.65 points or -0.35% at 2996.07. The high reached 3014.57, while the low extended to 2995.04
  • the NASDAQ composite index fell 58.69 points or -0.72% at 8104.29. The high extended up 28194.62 while the low reached 8101.98
  • The Dow industrial average is closing down -39.27 points or -0.15% at 26788.32.  The high reached 26946.64.  The low extended to 26782.61

After today’s close Chipotle, snap, Texas Instruments, and Whirlpool will be releasing their earnings.

Tomorrow will be 1 of the bigger earnings day’s so far with Microsoft, Boeing, Caterpillar and others expected to release:

Wednesday, October 23

  • Boeing, BA
  • Blackstone Group, BX
  • General Dynamics, GD
  • Owens Corning, OC
  • Ford, F
  • Caterpillar, CAT
  • Celgene, CELG
  • Microsoft, MSFT
  • eBay, EBAY
  • PayPal holdings, PYPL
  • Tesla, TSLA

China issued 10m tonnes quota for US soybeans purchases – report

It’s not the 40-50m tonnes Trump talked about but it’s a start

The idea was never to buy all the soybeans at once, but over the course of a year. China nees the food.
Reuters reports that Chinese officials gave tariff-free quotas to soybean buyers for up to 10m tonnes.
It’s a sign of concrete progress and good faith in the trade war but it could all fall apart very quickly.

The risk mood encounters some softness to start the day

US 10-year yields down 3 bps to ~1.77% currently


Meanwhile, European stocks are also in the red currently and that is allowing for the likes of gold, yen and the dollar to gain some mild strength during the session.
US futures are also back down in negative territory now as it reverses earlier gains to be down by over 0.1% at the moment.
In the currencies space, USD/JPY is now near 108.50 with the aussie and kiwi also paring earlier gains on the day against the yen and the dollar.
If anything else, the contrast in the mood yesterday and today shows that markets are still relatively indecisive about the picture surrounding trade talks and any optimism may be fleeting amid caution still up in the air.