Top economic advisers reportedly warned Trump over tariffs before China trade truce

WSJ reports on the matter


The report says that Trump’s top economic advisers warned him that continued escalation of trade tensions could imperil the economy and hurt his chances of reelection, according to people familiar with the meeting that took place.

The meeting was said to have happened two days before trade talks between senior US and Chinese officials in Washington. Adding that it isn’t known what influence the meeting had on Trump’s thinking ahead of negotiations with China.
It is said that Trump even called in trade hawk Peter Navarro when he was briefed about tariffs and the economic situation mid-way through the meeting:

“Where’s Peter?” Mr. Trump said, according to two people familiar with the meeting. “Get Navarro in here.”

He also reportedly continued to pile the blame on the Fed and said that the central bank should be doing more to stimulate growth.
The full report can be found here (may be gated).
I don’t think the story here as any material implications to the trade truce right now but it could see Trump be more accommodative towards China’s request on tariffs if the US economy continues to suffer more of a setback over the coming months.

Is there still a possibility of a no-deal Brexit at this stage?

What if I told you that a no-deal Brexit now hinges on Boris Johnson winning the parliamentary vote tomorrow?

Boris Johnson
Before we get into the thick of things, let us set out what exactly is at stake tomorrow. Clearly, Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal motion is the main event but what does it mean really?

If lawmakers do vote to pass the motion, it means that they have technically voted in favour of a Brexit deal but there is still the issue of ratification and getting Johnson’s deal through the necessary legislative hoops – that includes voting on the withdrawal agreement.
The issue with all of this is related to the Benn Act. Now, the Benn Act requires Johnson to request an extension if Johnson cannot get parliament to agree on a Brexit deal. Hence, if the deal is rejected tomorrow, then there is no issue.
However, if the deal is approved, this is where things may yet get a little tricky.
In such an event, Johnson isn’t compelled to seek an extension and if there are hurdles he cannot overcome in getting his deal to be ratified and implemented, he could just let things run its course and we get towards a no-deal Brexit after 31 October.
Logically, you would think that he would seek a technical extension to get a deal through but possibly and certainly are two different words with very distinct connotations.
He could possibly seek an extension to work out any potential legislative issues and buy enough time to get his deal over the line legally but it doesn’t mean that he will certainly do so.

Is there any way to avoid this altogether?

This is where the vote on the Letwin amendment tomorrow may be rather consequential.
The Letwin amendment sets out that the government is to request an extension of the Brexit deadline, if a deal is passed, up until all the necessary legislative hurdles are overcome to officially put such a deal into place.
In essence, it is an added insurance in case Johnson has other plans up his sleeve.
This means that even if Johnson’s vote passes tomorrow but fails to get through any potential legislative complications by 31 October, he will still be compelled to request for an extension to the Brexit deadline.
While the drama involved in all of this is certainly captivating, it must be said that if we do see Johnson’s deal being passed tomorrow, it is pretty much a given that it should make it through all the significant legislative hurdles and be ratified in due time.
The timeline may now say it should be done by 31 October (two weeks) and that certainly could be plausible if lawmakers decide to work overtime.
That said, even if that isn’t enough time, a technical extension just to get the deal implemented is almost surely the most likely outcome – barring any unforeseen circumstances.

Aramco says that timing of IPO will depend on market conditions

I feel like I have been reading this same headline for years now

Just in case you missed out, Aramco has delayed its planned IPO launch again earlier today. They are out with a statement now to say that they will engage with shareholders on the matter and that the IPO timing will depend on market conditions.

If and when this ever does happen, it will be the world’s largest stock market listing.

China September activity data: Industrial Production 5.8% y/y (expected 4.9%)

IP, retail sales and investment data

Industrial Production 5.8% y/y  big beat
  • expected 4.9%, prior was 4.4%
industrial production YTD 5.6% y/y
  • expected 5.5%, prior was 5.6%
Fixed Assets (excluding rural) YTD 5.4% y/y small miss
  • expected 5.5%, prior was 5.5%
Retail Sales 7.8% y/y inline
  • expected 7.8%, prior was 7.5%
Retail Sales YTD 8.2% y/y
  • expected 8.1%, prior was 8.2%

China Q3 GDP 6.0% y/y (expected 6.1%)

Economic growth data from China for July – September 2019

For the q/q 1.5%

  • expected +1.5%
  • prior was +1.6%

For the y/y 6.0% –  a small miss.

  • expected +6.1%
  • prior was +6.2%
The small disappointment on the GDP number will be tempered somewhat by the big beat for September industrial production, on a separate post:
  • China September activity data: Industrial Production 5.8% y/y (expected 4.9%)
Yet again China GDP comes in not more than 0.1% away from the Bloomberg survey central estimate. The government target is 6 to 6.5% and woe betide the statistician who brings in a result under…
6.0% is the slowest in 27 and a 1/2 years (wait … FT says 30 years). Thing is, as the economy grow in size … and its huge, expecting super-duper % growth rates is unreasonable.

The Economist says UK PM Johnson needs a miracle to the Brexit deal approved by parliament

The Economist gives plaudits to BJ for getting this far, saying his “achievement is noteworthy“.

  • Johnson’s withdrawal agreement is essentially the same as Mrs May’s


  • May’s deal pointed to a comprehensive free-trade deal
  • Johnson’s … will increase the cost of Brexit … will reduce British income per person by 6.4% compared with what it would otherwise be, whereas Mrs May’s would reduce it by 4.9%-
  • The biggest question over Mr Johnson’s deal is whether he can get it ratified …  Yet the arithmetic is against Mr Johnson

On the chances of getting it approved by parliament:

  • It is possible 
  • So far in his short premiership Mr Johnson has lost all but one of the votes held in the House of Commons. Barring a miracle, he looks like losing again this weekend.

(bolding mine)

The vote is on Saturday in the UK.
The Economist gives plaudits to BJ for getting this far, saying his "achievement is noteworthy".

Risk for USD/CNY is back under 7

Commerzbank analyst says there is a risk of a strengthening yuan,

Citing the possibility of a more definite US-China trade deal.
  • shouldn’t rule out the possibility that good news on trade talks emerge in the near term
Huh. Given the way relations are going I’m going have to say the opposite to Commerz on this.

Oil rallies to the highs of the week

WTI crude at the best levels since Friday

WTI crude at the best levels since Friday
There was a huge build in US oil supplies in data released today but the market has shaken it off. That’s a great sign for the bulls and it comes — in part — due to draws in products.
I think this could lead to some short-term upside but WTI needs to get above $56 to really make any headway.