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US

Most of the attention in the US will remain around the spread of the coronavirus across the Sunbelt and whether more states are forced to reverse prior reopening actions.  Economic data won’t matter much except for weekly jobless claims.  The US is still seeing over 19 million continuing claims and optimism for the US consumer will start to wane if that worsens much following the most recent virus spikes that occurred over the last couple of weeks.

US Politics

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Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador visits President Trump at the White House.  This will be a rather ceremonial meeting as both leaders will celebrate their new trade deal which took effect on Wednesday.

Democrats are eagerly awaiting former-VP Biden’s decision on his running mate.  Prior to COVID-19, the Democratic National Convention was originally scheduled in July, meaning we should have found out his decision by June.  Since the convention was delayed till August 17th, he will have more time to evaluate his candidates.  Biden will turn 78 a few weeks after the election, so his VP selection will be critical for many voters.

Brexit

We learned a long time ago not to get too caught up in the day to day of Brexit talks, with the big compromises always coming later in the day. Anything in the interim can simply be viewed through the prism of a negotiation.

This week, the talks ended a day early which has come as a worry to some but there are more weeks of intense negotiations ahead where differences can be resolved. With German Chancellor Angela Merkel warning about the prospect of a no deal and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson claiming it would be a very good option, the games are hotting up but I’m sure neither will want it as they battle the devastating effects of the pandemic.

China

House Bill on China sanctions passed. Almost certain to pass the Senate today. HK has raised the possibility of tit-for-tat retaliations by both sides. Potentially trade negative. China threatens the US. UK. Aust over HK today. Geopolitical danger persists.

Markets concentrate on vaccines and recovery stories though. China data continues improving. Equites and currency to remain steady. China Inflation Thursday, no other significant data.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong security law poorly received internationally. 400 arrested already. US rescinds HK special status with more sanctions to come. First protestors arrested under new law. Perversely though, this is the end for protest movement = stock market and economy positive. Hang Seng jumped higher today and will outperform. HKD remains at the strong end of the peg.

India

China tensions ease but Covid-19 cases continue skyrocketing. India is now in top 4 for infections. GDP to fall by 12% annualised, non-bank financial sector contracting, soft Govt fiscal position. Indian stocks to underperform, INR to remain worst performing sian currency. No significant data.

Australia

Australian Dollar remains under pressure as bull-market correction continues. High potential for more downside. Australia stocks and currency capped by concerns over Victoria Covid-19 and China threats of retaliation over HK and Uighur support.High potential to escalate.

Community infections rising Melbourne with partial lockdowns. Markets negative.

RBA tuesday exp. Unchanged. No market impact.

Japan

Tanken and Retail Sales continue the trend of disappointing data. Covid-19 cases rising in Tokyo. Limiting equity gains. Strong resistance USD/JPY 108.00. Heavy data week ahead. Household Spending Tues, Machinery Orders Thurs expected to disappoint.

Overall direction dictated by geopolitics next week.

Markets

Oil

Oil has ended the week not too far from where it started, having consolidated around the $40 mark into the end of the second quarter. The reopening measures we’re seeing everywhere is certainly giving oil traders cause for optimism but the setbacks we’re seeing means we’re seeing a few false starts around these levels. I imagine there’ll be plenty of stumbles along the way and it will in fact be oil producers that determine what the next wave will be, with there maybe not being the same appetite to extend the cuts as there was previously.

Gold

The story rarely seems to change for gold. It’s continuing to grind its way higher but everytime it gathers any momentum, it’s hacked down and starts again. There are marginal gains each time but the big test weas meant to come around the $1,800 mark. At this rate it’s going to take some time before that comes and it’s not going to be much of a battle.

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