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Oct 17, 2019

U.S. Economy: U.S. confirms tariffs on $7.5 billion in EU goods will take effect Friday

Mike Murphy - 

The U.S. trade representative's office confirmed late Thursday that tariffs on $7.5 billion of European goods will take effect Friday. Aircraft produced in the EU will be slapped with 10% tariffs, while other products, such as cheese and whisky, will be slapped with 25% tariffs. The Trump administration announced the move earlier this month after the World Trade Organization ruled the U.S. could impose tariffs in retaliation for illegal preferential treatment by the EU for aircraft maker Airbus SA. President Donald Trump said Wednesday that the U.S. could not lose a trade war with Europe because of the large trade imbalance that exists. "I can remedy the situation very easily," Trump said.

EU - FX | Currencies: Euro jumps to near 2-month highs on Brexit deal

3minutos - Source: CNBC

GP: US dollar notes 180430
U.S. dollar bank notes are arranged for a photograph on September 7, 2017 in Hong Kong.
studioEAST | Getty Images
The euro rallied to its highest levels in nearly two months against the dollar on Thursday after the European Union and Britain struck a Brexit deal.
Though the deal remains to be ratified by British lawmakers, traders briefly sent the British pound and the euro up by more than one percent and 0.5 percent respectively.
The euro has struggled, falling more than 3% so far this year, as a broader economic slowdown in Europe fuelled by the protracted trade war between Washington and China has hurt investor sentiment towards the single currency.
But hopes of a Brexit deal this week has dragged the euro out of a downtrend and pushed it above $1.11 for the first time in a month.
Britain clinched a Brexit deal with the European Union on Thursday, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said, just a few hours before the start of a summit of the bloc’s leaders in Brussels.
“A move above $1.1210.. and the 200-day moving average is needed to boost confidence that a low is in place,” said Marc Chandler, chief market strategist at Bannockburn Global Forex.
On Thursday, the single currency briefly gained 0.5% to $1.1140 before trimming some gains to stand 0.4% up at $1.1112.
The euro’s surge washed over into currencies that extended gains against the struggling dollar.
Sterling surged more than 1% and British share prices rallied on Thursday on the Brexit deal news.
Against a basket of its rivals, the greenback fell 0.4% to 97.496, its lowest since late-August.
The dollar also suffered in early London trading due to weak U.S. data.
U.S. retail sales fell for the first time in seven months in September while a report from the U.S. Federal Reserve described the economy’s progress in cautious terms.
Elsewhere, the Norwegian crown weakened to an all-time low of 10.1800 against the euro. Some analysts blamed the crown’s recent weakness on global trade jitters, while others said the speed and magnitude of the drop were hard to explain.
The Australian dollar held near the day’s highs, up 0.3% against the dollar after jobs data showed buoyant hiring, lowering chances of monetary easing in November.

Bonds | Treasury Yields Report: Treasury yields higher after UK and European Union reach new Brexit deal

Thomas Franck

U.S. government debt yields rose Thursday after both U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the European Union announced a new draft Brexit deal.
Though it remained unclear whether the new accord would clear U.K. Parliament, the apparent success of the last-ditch talks was enough to foster a modest pivot toward riskier assets in both American and European markets.
The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note rose to 1.748% after climbing as high as 1.799% earlier in the session, its highest level since Sept. 19. The yield on the 30-year Treasury bond also rose to a one-month high of 2.272% before moderating its rise to 2.234%. Bond yields rise as prices fall.
The rise in Treasury yields came after reports that the U.K. made concessions over the Irish border in negotiations with the EU, an issue that had proven to be the biggest obstacle to a deal up to that point. The pound was 0.2% higher against the dollar, at $1.2858 after reaching a five-month high in earlier trading.
U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said “we have a great new Brexit deal” via Twitter. He called on British lawmakers to back the deal when it’s put before Parliament on Saturday.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, meanwhile, called the deal “fair and balanced.”
U.S. corporate earnings have been strong thus far, but trade concerns returned Wednesday as the Wall Street Journal reported that Chinese purchases of U.S. agricultural products may not be as substantial as initially thought, casting doubt over progress in talks between Washington and Beijing.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Wednesday that trade negotiators from the world’s two largest economies are working to finalize a phase one trade deal draft to be presented to presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping.


US 3-MOU.S. 3 Month Treasury1.6740.0050.00
US 1-YRU.S. 1 Year Treasury1.591-0.0030.00
US 2-YRU.S. 2 Year Treasury1.596-0.0040.00
US 5-YRU.S. 5 Year Treasury1.566-0.0110.00
US 10-YRU.S. 10 Year Treasury1.745-0.010.00
US 30-YRU.S. 30 Year Treasury2.231-0.0120.00

Energy | Oil | Oil Price Report: Oil reverses early losses, gains 1% as dollar falters

3minutos - Source: CNBC

GP: Iran Oil Tanker 190121
The oil tanker ‘Devon’ prepares to transfer crude oil from Kharg Island oil terminal to India in the Persian Gulf, Iran, on March 23, 2018.
Ali Mohammadi | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Oil rose 1% on Thursday, boosted by a weaker dollar and the announcement that the United Kingdom and the European Union had reached a deal on Brexit. Industry data did show a larger-than-expected build-up in U.S. inventories.
Global benchmark Brent crude oil settled  52 cents higher at $59.94. U.S. WTI crude oil was up 65 cents, or 1.2%, to settle at $53.99.
U.S. crude inventories soared by 9.3 million barrels to 434.9 million barrels in the week to Oct. 11, the U.E. Energy Information Administration said.
Analysts had estimated U.S. crude inventories rose by around 2.8 million barrels last week.
“The U.S. sanctions imposed on the Chinese shipping company COSCO are seriously denting demand for imported crude oil... This has a profound impact on U.S. crude oil inventories as reflected in last nights API report,” said Tamas Varga, an analyst at PVM Oil Associates.
“U.S. refinery maintenance is not helping to reverse the current trend and further builds in U.S. crude oil inventories can be expected in the next few weeks.”
The United States imposed sanctions on COSCO Shipping Tanker (Dalian) Co and subsidiary COSCO Shipping Tanker (Dalian) Seaman & Ship Management Co for allegedly carrying Iranian crude oil.
Adding to concerns about the global economy - and therefore oil demand - data from the United States showed retail sales in September fell for the first time in seven months. Earlier data showed a moderation in job growth and services sector activity.
Still, the new Brexit deal helped limit the fall in oil prices. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that Britain and the EU had agreed a “great” new Brexit deal and urged lawmakers to approve it at the weekend.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker also said Britain and the EU had agreed a deal.
However, the Northern Irish party Johnson needs to help ratify any agreement has refused to support the deal.
Hopes of a potential U.S.-China trade deal also supported crude prices. China’s commerce ministry said on Thursday that China hoped to reach a phased agreement with Washington as early as possible, and make progress on canceling tariffs on each others’ goods.

Commodities | Gold | Gold Price Report: Gold rises as growth concerns resurface; palladium surges

3-4 minutos - Source: CNBC

GP: Gold bullion, bars 190920
An employee arranges one kilogram gold bars for a photograph in Bangkok, Thailand, on January 13, 2016.
Dario Pignatelli | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Gold rose on Thursday as weak data from the United States rekindled fears of an economic slowdown and as concerns surfaced over possible risks to a new Brexit deal, while supply-squeezed palladium continued its record run.
Spot gold was up 0.2% at $1,492.04 per ounce. U.S. gold futures rose 0.1% to $1,495.10.
“Geo-political tensions are ratcheting back up again, the U.S. Federal Reserve will likely continue their pace on cutting rates, which will be supportive for gold,” said Phillip Streible, senior commodities strategist at RJO Futures.
Lifting gold’s safe-haven appeal, weak retail sales data and industrial output report out of the United States fanned fears about the health of the world’s biggest economy, amid prolonged Sino-U.S. trade dispute.
Also providing further support to the bullion, the dollar slipped to an over one-month low.
Earlier in the day, gold denominated in sterling had slid as much as 1.6% to its lowest since July 26 at 1,141.86 pounds an ounce after Britain and the European Union agreed to a new Brexit deal. Prices are now up about 0.3% at 1,163.64 pounds an ounce.
“There were some fears regarding the Brexit deal if it couldn’t pass through, which creates lot of uncertainty between the European Union and UK. That’s why gold futures had a little bit of bounce up,” Streible added.
Doubts emerge on chances of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson winning parliamentary ratification for the deal. The Irish border riddle remained a sticking point for Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), which has refused to support the agreement.
On the technical front, “gold now needs to break resistance around $1,498-$1,500 area in order to brighten the short-term outlook, while a rally outside of the bull channel would be a more decisive signal for the bulls,” Fawad Razaqzada, market analyst with, said in a note.
Among other precious metals, palladium fell 0.5% to $1,758.10 an ounce, after hitting an all-time high of $1,783.21 earlier in the session.
Palladium is crucial in the making of catalytic converters used in exhaust systems of vehicles, and concerns over its supply running out have helped lift prices by more than 41% this year alone, despite a weakening auto sector.
“Palladium market is still hampered by strengthening demand, weaker supply. Demand for the metal will continue to move higher, mainly from China,” RJO Futures’ Streible said.
Platinum gained 0.3% to $885.48 per ounce and silver climbed 1.1% higher to $17.57.

Selected Articles: Working to Benefit Society, Not Just Companies

8-10 minutos

This article is part of a new series on Visionaries. The New York Times selected people from all over the world who are pushing the boundaries of their fields, from science and technology to culture and sports.
Sometimes it’s better not to know the obstacles that exist when creating something new.
That was certainly true for Andrew Kassoy, who, along with Jay Coen Gilbert and Bart Houlahan, two friends and roommates from Stanford University, wanted to encourage companies to focus on their employees and the environment. In 2006, they left their jobs and created B Lab, which certifies companies that operate for social good, in addition to trying to make money. Think Fair Trade for food or LEED certification for environmentally sustainable buildings.
Certified companies — referred to as B Corps — are businesses with verified social and environmental performances, including factors such as sustainability, income inequality and the impact on local communities. They are, essentially, companies that use business as a force of good, rather than focusing solely on profit maximization. Companies like Patagonia, Eileen Fisher and Danone North America have all been certified; over all, there are more than 3,000 certified B Corps in 71 countries, Mr. Kassoy said.
Mr. Kassoy and his friends had not anticipated that the success of their efforts would also hinge on convincing individual state legislatures, as well as foreign countries, to amend their corporate laws. But through legwork, persistence and the help of some dedicated outside lawyers, the three slowly effected legal change in 37 states, including in Delaware, where more than two-thirds of the Fortune 500 and 80 percent of public companies are incorporated, according to state statistics.
Mr. Kassoy’s work presaged a theme that in the last year has been adopted by business leaders like Laurence D. Fink of BlackRock, Inc., as well as the chief executives of the Business Roundtable, who are urging corporate accountability in areas like the treatment of employees and the impact on the environment, in addition to shareholder returns.
Mr. Kassoy — who emphasized that B Lab was created by, and is still run by, all three men equally — discussed how the organization continues to work to transform global capital markets.
The following conversation has been edited and condensed.
What would you like people to know about your work?
We started B Lab because we thought there had to be a better way of running the economy. Capitalism, historically, is about enterprise and the capital needed to grow that enterprise. What we’re trying to do is create an economy where capital and enterprise meet not just to benefit a few shareholders, but to benefit society as a whole. Our goal is to have every company create value for all stakeholders — like corporate workers and community members — not just shareholders.

What did you want to be when you were young?
By the time I was in fourth or fifth grade, I wanted to be an elected official or a policymaker. My grandfather Ruby, whom I was close to, read The New York Times every day from front to back and engaged me in conversation about policy and social justice from an early age. I assumed the best way make a difference was to run for office.
Who or what inspired you to go into your field?
A series of relationships and mentors have helped guide me, including my parents and my grandparents. I spent time in college working on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota and the elder Basil Brave Heart was a spiritual and moral center.
But it was former Congressman David Skaggs who really set me on my path. After I interned in his office, I asked if I could return to work for him after college. He said, “Maybe, but I think not yet.” Instead, he told me to do something out in the world — to see what our economy is all about. Although I had no experience in capital markets at the time, his words set me on that path and away from public policy. And I saw that I could effect change without being a politician.
Where do you find sources of creativity?
This is not a creative field — it’s not tech, art or music, but I do think that it requires a lot of creativity to invent what an economy ought to look like. But I’m not a mad genius imagining things and willing them to be true.
Instead, I find that creativity comes through relationships and community, and through conversation to find the right design.
What obstacles do you need to overcome?
We face an enormous challenge in that the economic system, over the last 400 years, was built on extraction, without limits. People have been treated as just another economic input, rather than as humans.
Jay and Bart had the experience of building a business that cared about their employees, while I was on Wall Street in private equity in the belly of the beast. I loved the work, but I saw the industry transformed to focus on how quickly you could leverage something up and sell it with very little interest on the underlying business or the humans involved. As the three of us talked about the problems we saw, we thought that there had to be a better way of running capitalism to benefit society and not just a few shareholders.

How do you define success?
As I rose up in private equity, the financial rewards never felt like success. And in the end that made it hard to stay in the field.
Instead, in my work at B Lab, success is any sign of progress toward an inclusive and regenerative economy that is both meaningful and long-lasting. And 13 years into our work, there are real signs of success: New laws that enable businesses to operate as if people and the planet mattered as much as profit, and moves by groups like the Business Roundtable in August. But we still need to tell corporate leaders that they need to walk the walk for change.
In my personal life, success is defined mostly by whether I have relationships that are bringing me — and other people — joy.
What challenges do you face?
We still need to address shareholder primacy as a mind-set and a legal impediment. And we are asking governments what else they can do and trying to form a broader coalition of organizations to address this. And we are working with multinational companies to encourage more to become B Corps — they have big bullhorns and are really important to our work.
And we are also mindful that while we are trying to build a more inclusive economy, that to do so means we need a more inclusive community in business. It’s a shift that will take some time, but it’s one in which we need to play a role.

CreditCalla Kessler/The New York Times
How does technology interact with your profession?
Technology is having an enormous impact on business. Whether it’s automation, outsourcing or the growth of the gig economy, or issues like privacy and the ownership of data, technology is dramatically changing the nature of work. And these are issues to think about if business is to have a positive impact on our economy.
At B Lab, we’re dealing with the impact of technology in our standards, which we revise every three years. Recently, we’ve changed our definitions as they related to the people who support a company. We used to call them employees, but now we refer to them as workers because large percentages aren’t actually employed by the company. By just asking about employees, we’re missing a large percentage of the work force, including contractors and those working in the supply chain. We need to make sure to ask about those who may be on the margins — the vulnerable workers in the economy.