Tags: trump | north | korea | investors

Trump's North Korean Summit Won't Sway Investors

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Tuesday, 26 February 2019 07:48 AM Current | Bio | Archive

North Korean President Kim Jung-on has arrived in Hanoi, Vietnam ahead of a meeting with President Donald Trump where both Presidents will try to come to some form of agreement on North Korea’s controversial nuclear weapons program.

It might be helpful to recall that North Korea has, at least until now, “never” promised to give up its nuclear weapons or to stop its nuclear development.

The Presidents will have dinner tomorrow, Wednesday.

Financial markets essentially don’t care about this. While there were serious risks of rising tensions, there were concerns to the financial markets. As President Kim Jung-on has been allowed since the Singapore summit meeting with Trump in June last year to carry on more or less as before, financial markets no longer perceive serious risks from the current situation, the BBC reported.

Today, we’ll get the U.S. Conference Board consumer confidence data.

Financial markets shouldn’t care about these numbers, although markets don’t always know what they should or shouldn’t care about. Fact is that after the partial government shutdown in December and January that has had negative effects on the confidence data, now after the reopening of the government everything points to a rebound of the confidence index.

Besides that, one of the interesting things is the politicization of consumer confidence, which has been very evident in the United States. Remember, U.S. confidence soared in late 2016 after the election of Trump.

Democrats didn’t change their view of the world, but Republicans reported themselves to be massively more optimistic. It seems unlikely that the economy improved just for Republicans and so this can be attributed to Trump’s election.

However, after Trump has been perceived to have been defeated over the government partial shutdown recently, this political view may be shifting.

Any decline or rise in U.S. consumer confidence under such circumstances says of course nothing about the economic outlook and would be only a comment about the political outlook.

In the UK, the population shows a nearly complete disinterest about the interminably tedious EU-UK divorce process.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May is to update the House of Commons on the progress of negotiations with the European Union.

Prime Minister Theresa May can essentially stand up, say “None” and sit down again.

The media are reporting that the Cabinet will be debating a “delay” to the exit date today. This seems to be an almost inevitable outcome at this stage, the Street.com reported.

However, they may also include rolling out a “no-deal” exit.

Meanwhile, the opposition Labor Party has said it will attempt to hold a referendum on the divorce.

Two things are worth observing here:

One, this will not get a majority in Parliament.

Two, more Labor MPs (Members of Parliament) are likely to vote against the motion than Conservative MPs would vote in favor, highlighting Labor Party divisions.

The interesting question is whether this is enough to stop other MPs from leaving the Labor Party. Eight have left so far this month.

Meanwhile, the British pound hit a four-week-high to around $1.32

In the meantime, the tweets about trade are having a diminishing marginal return from financial markets. Markets apparently seem to have come to the conclusion that a “soft” U.S.-China trade deal is highly likely and markets are not going to keep being buoyant by repeated comments about that.

Besides that, Fed Chair Jerome Powell, who is a lawyer and not an economist, will be testifying before the Senate Banking Committee today. Ahead of today’s event, the Federal Reserve has published on Friday its Monetary Policy Report that gives a very detailed oversight of where things stand today.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell will present his remarks and comments on that report in his written testimony and during the Q&A session that follows his testimony, first today before the Senate committee on then tomorrow before the House panel.

Former Fed Chair Janet Yellen, who is an economist and not a lawyer, offered some fairly blunt comments whereby Ms. Yellen, in a radio interview, said that she didn’t think President Donald Trump understood economic policy or the mission of the Fed, The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell may want to remind investors today that rate hikes are still an option and indeed a very valid option given the state of the U.S. economy at the moment.

That would be something that financial markets care about.

Etienne "Hans" Parisis is a bank economist who has advised investors on financial markets and international investments.

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Financial markets essentially don’t care about this. While there were serious risks of rising tensions, there were concerns to the financial markets.
trump, north, korea, investors
Tuesday, 26 February 2019 07:48 AM
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