The US is considering a major rollback in Iran sanctions to revive nuke deal

Washington Post with the report that the Biden administration is considering a near wholesale rollback of some of the most stringent Trump-era sanctions imposed on Iran

  • in a bid to get the Islamic Republic to return to compliance with a landmark 2015 nuclear accord
WaPo citing “according to current and former U.S. officials and others familiar with the matter”
Talks are rolling on this week in Vienna re resuscitating the nuclear deal.
iran nuke

Nikkei 225 closes higher by 0.72% at 29,751.61

A slightly better day for Asian equities

That said, the signals are more mixed with some retreat seen towards the latter stages. Japanese stocks fared better with the Topix also closing up 0.2%.
The Hang Seng is up 0.6% but mainland Chinese equities are down, with the Shanghai Composite shedding 0.5% after holding gains earlier in the day.
The sluggish mood in US futures isn’t helping as Treasury yields keep higher ahead of European morning trade. 10-year yields are up nearly 3 bps to 1.694% with S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq futures seen down 0.1% and 0.2% respectively.

US dollar climbs to the best levels of the day

Broad US dollar bid

There was a broad US dollar bid into the 4 pm London fix. It was particularly visible in the euro and sterling and boosted the dollar to the best levels of the day.
GBPUSD
The Dollar Index has crept up above Thursday’s high and is flirting with 93.00.
Watch for stops in EUR/USD as the pair flirts with the late-March lows. Here’s the 8-hour chart:
EURUSD

Global Times editor: China will not accept US demands with regards to TikTok

A tweet by Global Times editor, Hu Xijin

“Stop extorting. You think TikTok is a company from a small country? There’s no way the Chinese government will accept your demand. You can ruin TikTok’s US business, if US users do not object, but you can’t rob it and turn it into a US baby.”

The tweet is directed to US president Trump, after he made remarks that TikTok will be totally controlled by Oracle should the deal happen. This rings more of the same tune from last week, that China won’t be approving any sale based on the current understanding.

 

And so the battle continues to rage on.. November can’t come soon enough.

FOMC Meeting Not Likely to Deliver New Details

The Fed meets this week, but don’t get your hopes up for big changes in policy or additional details about the Fed’s new “average inflation targeting” strategy. The Fed’s objective is to maintain policy flexibility rather than to commit to a time frame by which to reach the average 2% inflation goal. For the moment, the Fed remains content to simply entrench expectations that the policy path is locked down at zero for the foreseeable future. There are some risks to this strategy.

This is important, so let’s all pay attention: The Fed’s new “average inflation target” strategy is not really an “average inflation target” strategy. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell described it as “flexible average inflation targeting.” What does “flexible” mean? It means the Fed gets to make up the definition of success as they see fit. There is no fixed time frame associated with meeting the target which means the target really isn’t a target. I know some journalist is going to ask for specific details at this week’s press conference, but I very much doubt they are going to get anything more specific out of Powell.

So what then is the benefit of the Fed’s new strategy? It allows the Fed to let inflation run above 2%, something they did not consider an option under the previous inflation targeting strategy. This is an important and meaningful change. It’s particularly important in the context of a recovery that appears more rapid than anticipated. Along with the more rapid recovery is a faster pace of inflation:

And note that the price level looks to be returning to its pre-Covid trend, something you might consider a victory under average inflation targeting:

In the last cycle, we would be looking at those numbers and, in the context of the more rapid than anticipated decline in the unemployment rate, start thinking that maybe the Fed would be shifting into a more hawkish direction. But we aren’t thinking that now. Now we are thinking that there is nothing in the data to prompt a more hawkish reaction from the Fed. We don’t think falling unemployment is by itself meaningful nor do we think inflation at or even modestly above 2% necessarily prompts a hawkish reaction from the Fed. Instead, the Fed is content to allow real interest rates to continue to drop and presumably content to allow them to fall even a notch further than the last cycle:

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