1. US-China saga
US President Donald Trump does not intend to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping before the deadline for signing a trade deal on March 1.
The lack of a meeting between the two leaders reduces the hopes for a trade deal and increases the chances of increasing tariffs between the two largest economies in the world.
Next week, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer are expected to start a new round of trade talks to push a deal and prevent the increase in US tariffs on Chinese goods on March 2.
2. The dollar stays close to its two-week highs
The dollar remains close to its two-week highs amid news reports that the US and China are unlikely to end their trade war before the March 1 deadline.
A pause on rate increases by the Federal Reserve has put pressure on the dollar, as lower interest rates lead to risky assets. Recent comments from Fed representatives supporting interest rate holdings also have an impact on investors.
Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan, one of the Fed’s more aggressive members, said on Thursday that the stimulus from tax cuts for 2017 is declining, while last year’s interest rate rises have not yet affected the economy.
3. Crude oil prices are falling as OPEC is threatened by US legislation
Crude oil prices fell amid the news that Congress is laying down new legislation that will allow the US government to pursue OPEC member countries that fix oil prices.
In the past, Congress has been trying to pursued such law, but it has not been accepted. Investors believe that this time is more likely to be passed, as Trump accused OPEC of manipulating oil prices.
Trader Milko Zashev