Mnuchin: US close to resolve steel tariffs – WSJ

According to US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, the US is close to an understanding with resolving the steel and aluminium tariffs with Mexico and Canada.

Wall Street Journal also reported that according to Mnuchin the US negotiators are likely to travel to Beijing soon to continue the negotiations with China. The goal is to have “free and fair trade” policy with China.

According to Bloomberg, the US President Donald Trump is considering to delay the auto tariffs up to six months in order to avoid the time overlaps with the EU and Japan. The auto industry is vital for the US trade balance, while it is estimated that the half of the US trade deficit comes from automotive.

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Trump and Xi to meet in Japan in June

The US President Donald Trump and his Chinese colleague President Xi Jinping are meeting in Japan in the G20 meeting in June. According to Reuters, the White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow confirmed the meeting on Fox News Sunday.

The trade situation with the both countries have been stable after the news that the US raised the tariffs on Friday and threatened to put tariffs on all goods from China if there is no deal. The new deadline is agreed to be one month long according to Bloomberg News.

The G20 meeting will be held in for the first time in Japan. The G20 leaders will meet on the 28th and 29th of June in Osaka.Also the Finance Ministers and Central Banks Governors meeting and the Foreign Ministers’ meeting will also be at the same time in Japan, but in different locations.

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Brexit: Is there democracy?

After several months fierce debate over the Brexit agreement and its content, the next week will be historic for the UK economy and the country´s citizens. The Parliament is voting on Tuesday about the Brexit-deal and it will then give more guidance, how the Brexit-deal is going further and how the exit will happen on March this year.

The UK Prime Minister Theresa May and the Bank of England have warned of the non-deal Brexit. This means that if the Parliament rejects the negotiated Brexit-deal by the PM, this would be the worst scenario for the UK´s economy and its citizens, according to Central Bank´s analysis. The analysis, which was published in December, highlights that this would mean dramatically lower property prises, market volatility and  severe difficulties in trade for goods and services.

Today on Sunday, the PM Theresa May wrote in Sunday Express about her feelings and thoughts. Her message was clear: “It is time to forget the games and do what is right for the country”. She also pointed that by rejecting her Brexit-deal would mean that the Parliament has forgotten the original Brexit-vote and thus undermined the deomocracy.

In the BBC TV Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn told in today´s interview that his own view is that he would rather get a negotiated deal now and stop the danger of a no-deal exit from the EU.

Also the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was visting the UK Cabinet last week in the UK,  sent his greetings that “the whole world want UK to avoid no-deal Brexit” and gave his full-support for the UK-EU deal.

Theresa May and her Cabinet have been discussing with the EU leaders about the Irish border issue ( a new physical border)  during the December and January time. This issue is sensitive for the UK, while the critics see this border issue as an binding element for the UK to follow the EU rules forever.  The new border would be between the Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

The UK economy saw the worst Christmas sales for years while the consumer confidence was weak due to Brexit. The UK economy is like in a war situation: the inventories are been filled with foods and drugs if the non-deal Brexit would cause chaos in the customs during the spring time. Travellers have been warned for the longer waiting times in the customs.

According to the Band of England´s Governor Mark Carney, the banks and the banking system are prepared for the worst, if this would be the case.

So, what to expect from the next week? The market volatility is expected to continue, but the traders and markets are looking for the Tuesday  UK decision until they make any big decisions. The markets are doing the thing PM May wished for today.

 

 

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Highlights of the year 2018 – Brexit, trade talks and green finance

The year 2018 was a year of Brexit, electric cars and trade talks. It included special moments in the financial markets and in the company side. Green Bonds and Green Finance were getting more attention in the markets and trade talks and Brexit were the topics during the year 2018 along. Climate Change and low carbon landed also in the agenda of central banks.

Investors were also asking what is the role of the City as a global financial hub. Should it have its own rules in spite of the Brexit? In the financial hub competition, Frankfurt and Paris were the European cities to get more new financial offices as financial companies were moving some operations to the EU side.

The UK Parliament is expected to vote of the Brexit during Janury 2019 after very intensive debate about the deal during the year.

Climate Change has become part of the everyday life in the financial markets and for example one of the biggest insurance companies in the US, Berskhire Hathaway informed in February 2018, that it has got 3 billion dollars losses of the natural catastrophies, the hurricances in the US. Several central banks, including the European Central Bank and some Asian ones, have also agreed about the co-operation in the climate issues and how to monitor the impact on the markets.

In the tech-side augmented reality and ioT were the themes for the year. Apple, Amazon, Google, Tesla, Intel  and Samsung  were one of the tech-companies to deliver new services related to the new technology. On the other side of the topic, Facebook was dealing with the privacy issues globally. New tech- companies listed in the markets were for example Spotify and Xiaomi.

Year 2018 was a year of electric cars in many countries. The e-cars breakthrough with charging issues was one of the tech topics as well. Telsa founder Elon Musk was the leading industry sector figure as he estimated that Tesla would make one million cars by 2020 in February 2018.

Also the German automakers announced new investments and concept cars. For example the BMW Group launched an autonomous driving campus in Munich in March 2018.

Year 2018 was also a year for luxury goods and services. The Basel World 2018 -fair announced its good selling and for example the CEO of Hublot, Ricardo Guadalupe,  told ComteamPUB+ that the company expects double digit growth for the year and that the Chinese customers will be the leading segment.

In the debt markets the US Uber and Netflix issued their junk bonds to investors. Uber, the ride-sharing company, is said to plan an IPO for the year 2019 according to the secret filings to the SEC.

One of the biggest infrastructure projects ever, the China Silk Road, is getting more attention from the green investors side, while the organization made its first announcement of the green principles for the project co-operation and operators. The ancient Silk Road is expected to rise the GDP growth by 4 % or 240 billion dollars in the countries invlolved according to Credit Suisse analysis.

The aim of the Roman time Silk Road is to connect the western Europe with the eastern coast of China and to renew the infrasturcture in between. This means also that the 10 world largest container ports are located along the route.

Trade talks between different countries have continued lively during the year. US and China have been in the headlines, but also the EU with its agreement with Japan.  The political situation and rising volatility in the financial markets tell the direction for the next year. Geopolitical easing is needed.

Päivi Härkönen, co-founder, ComteamPUB+

 

 

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