U.S. Allies Hit Back as Trump Revokes Steel Tariff Reprieve
By Andrew Mayeda, Jenny Leonard and Joe Deaux
America’s closest allies plan to slap billions of dollars in tit-for-tat tariffs on U.S. goods after the Trump administration announced it’s imposing steel and aluminum duties on them.
The reaction was swift after Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced the U.S. on Friday will levy new metals duties on imports from the European Union, Mexico and Canada on national security grounds, ending their temporary exemptions.
The EU said it would take immediate steps to retaliate, while Mexico vowed to impose duties on everything from U.S. flat steel to cheese. Canada’s government announced it will impose tariffs on as much as C$16.6 billion ($12.8 billion) of U.S. steel, aluminum and other products from July 1.
U.S. stocks fall after Trump administration announces steel, aluminum tariffs
The S&P 500 index lost 20 points, or 0.7 per cent, to 2,703 as of 2 p.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 283 points, or 1.2 per cent, to 24,384.
The Nasdaq composite dipped 23 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 7,439 as technology companies like Alphabet and Facebook bucked the market’s decline.
Australian Dollar Could Gain Despite RBA If GDP Comes In Solid
By David Cottle
FUNDAMENTAL AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR FORECAST: BULLISH
- The RBA is expected to hold interest rates steady at record lows this week
- However, 1Q GDP data could well outperform the last quarter of 2017
- And the Aussie does seem to have a little tailwind
Investors will get a look at official Gross Domestic Product data on Wednesday. This should have picked up from the fourth quarter’s 0.4% on-quarter rise, economists reckon, with those at Westpac now looking for a punchy 0.9% gain. Admittedly, the previous set of numbers shouldn’t prove too hard to beat but, if bullish forecasts are met, then the Australian Dollar can probably expect a little support, simply on the basis that its home economy is growing faster than most comparable peers.
Crude Oil Prices May Fall Further Amid Trade War Fears
By Ilya Spivak
CRUDE OIL & GOLD TALKING POINTS:
- Crude oil prices follow stocks lower amid trade war fears
- Deeper losses seen ahead as Europe digests US tariff hike
- Gold prices more sensitive to US Dollar than bond yields
The WTI benchmark tracked the bellwether S&P 500 index lower as the US allowed tariff exemptions for Canada, Mexico and the EU to lapse. A brief uptick courtesy of an unexpected 3.6 million barrel drop in inventories swiftly fizzled. Economists were projecting a modest 244k barrel build.
Gold prices likewise edged lower as deteriorating risk appetite translated into haven demand for the US Dollar, sending the currency higher and undermining the appeal of anti-fiat alternatives epitomized by the yellow metal. Losses were relatively modest however as bonds enjoyed similar support from safety-seeking capital flows, pressuring yields lower and helping the relative appeal of non-interest-bearing assets.