What is the point?
I'm trying to write a morning overview of the market but everything can change in an instant based on a random tweet or a statement from any random Chinese or Opec official. The market dropped a full point overnight, with the Dow testing 26,000 as the South China Morning Post (yes, we have to read that now), said Vice-Premier Liu and his team many leave the Trade Talks earlier than expected as the deputy-level trade talks made no progress this week.
Deputy-level negotiators, led on the Chinese side by vice-minister for finance Liao Min, spent the time focusing on only two areas: agricultural purchases and intellectual property protection. “They have made no progress,” said another source familiar with the talks, adding that the Chinese side had not made headway in persuading US negotiators to consider a freeze on tariff increases, a main priority for Beijing.
The markets quickly reversed as the White House deneyed this was happening but who are we to believe, a random Chinese newspaper article or the White House? Sadly, that's a real question these days…
Tariffs on $250 Bn of Chinese goods are set to increase from 25% to 30% on Tuesday, while fresh duties of 15% on $160 Bn of largely consumer products will go into effect on December 15th. Of course, China may have floated last night's rumor just to gain leverage – a harsh demonstration of what could happen to our markets should Trump fail to bend over and accept the terms they are offering. And, of course, China's retaliatory tariffs also kick in on Dec 15th.