S&P500, Nasdaq score record closes, reclaim their perch at all-time highs; Asia to see muted open
House Democrats consider new push on coronavirus relief; Australia central bank sees no need to ease policy for now
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Trump postpones trade talks with China
US President Donald Trump said he had postponed trade talks with China. According to the US President, he does not want to “deal” with Beijing now. “I have postponed negotiations with China. Do you know why? I don’t want to deal with them now, given what they have done to this country and the world. I do not want to talk to China now, ”Trump said at a press conference with reporters in Arizona. At the end of June, the PRC parliament passed a law on ensuring national security in Hong Kong, aimed at combating the threats of terrorism, separatism, undermining the state system and collusion with foreign forces. Washington responded by saying that China thus “violated the autonomy” of Hong Kong. As a result, the US Treasury announced the imposition of sanctions against the head of the Hong Kong administration, Carrie Lam, and ten local officials. Against the background of this decision, the PRC expressed to Washington “categorical discontent” and “strong protest”, and also took mirror measures against American officials.
Australia central bank sees no need to ease policy for now
Australia’s central bank does not see a need to further ease policy for now as its package of measures were working “broadly as expected” with an economic recovery underway in most of the country, minutes of its August policy meeting showed on Tuesday. At its Aug. 4 policy meeting, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) held its cash rate at a record low of 0.25% in a widely expected decision, having slashed rates in an emergency meeting in March to blunt the economic shock from the coronavirus pandemic. “Members reaffirmed that there was no need to adjust the package of measures in Australia in the current environment,” the minutes showed. “Members agreed, however, to continue to assess the evolving situation in Australia and did not rule out adjusting the current package if circumstances warranted.”
UK COVID lending to businesses nears 53 billion pounds
British banks’ lending to businesses under government-backed COVID-19 loan schemes neared 53 billion pounds ($69.7 billion) as of last weekend, weekly finance ministry figures showed on Tuesday. Lending across the government’s three main programmes for small, medium and large businesses rose to a total 52.65 billion pounds as of Aug. 16, up from 51.77 billion pounds the week before.
ECB’s de Guindos says European banks unlikely to fully recover before 2022
European banks are unlikely to recover from the coronavirus crisis before 2022, European Central Bank Vice President Luis de Guindos said on Tuesday. The recovery of the bloc’s economy will be a fundamental factor in European banks’ solvency, de Guindos said in a lecture at the University Menendez Pelayo.
Trump rejects proposal to cut military healthcare by $2.2 billion
“U.S. President Donald Trump said late on Monday he has rejected a Pentagon proposal to cut military healthcare by $2.2 billion. Politico reported on Sunday that Pentagon officials working on Defense Secretary Mark Esper’s cost-cutting review of the U.S. Defense Department had proposed slashing military healthcare by $2.2 billion. “”A proposal by Pentagon officials to slash Military Healthcare by $2.2 billion dollars has been firmly and totally rejected by me. We will do nothing to hurt our great Military professionals & heroes as long as I am your President,”” Trump said in a tweet.
U.S. Warns Colleges to Divest China Stocks Over Delisting Risk
The U.S. State Department is asking colleges and universities to divest from Chinese holdings in their endowments, warning schools in a letter Tuesday to get ahead of potentially more onerous measures on holding the shares.“Boards of U.S. university endowments would be prudent to divest from People’s Republic of China firms’ stocks in the likely outcome that enhanced listing standards lead to a wholesale de-listing of PRC firms from U.S. exchanges by the end of next year,” Keith Krach, undersecretary for economic growth, energy and the environment, wrote in the letter addressed to the board of directors of American universities and colleges. “Holding these stocks also runs the high risks associated with PRC companies having to restate financials,” he said.
House Democrats consider new push on coronavirus relief
As Congress remains deadlocked over how large a second coronavirus relief package should be, amid rising concerns about the U.S. Postal Service operations ahead of November’s election, House Democrats are considering a vote on a scaled-back version of the Heroes Act. The House is returning this weekend to vote on a Postal Service bill to help prepare for an expected dramatic rise in mail-in voting and some Democratic lawmakers want the party to push forward on pandemic relief funding that mostly ran out at the end of July. The push is a major development in the funding stalemate as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi continues to stress that the House already passed legislation — the $3.4 trillion Heroes Act.
Trump Pledges Tax Credits, Tariffs to Redirect Jobs From China
“President Donald Trump said he’ll punish American companies that move jobs abroad and reward firms with tax breaks for shifting work from China to the U.S., proposals aimed at hastening the decoupling of the world’s largest economies. “We will create tax credits for companies that bring jobs from China back to America, and we’ll impose tariffs on companies that leave America to produce jobs overseas,” he said in a speech Monday in Minnesota. With 11 weeks to go before his re-election bid, and with the unemployment rate at 10.2%, Trump is doubling-down on a message imploring domestic corporations to produce goods and services at home rather than in places like China where it’s less expensive.
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Trump and Michelle Obama
President Donald Trump responded Tuesday morning to former first lady Michelle Obama’s forceful rebuke of his character and leadership — claiming that he would not have been elected to the White House were it not for what he called the failings of her husband’s administration.“Somebody please explain to @MichelleObama that Donald J. Trump would not be here, in the beautiful White House, if it weren’t for the job done by your husband, Barack Obama,” Trump wrote on Twitter.
Trump Falsely Claims California Democrats
President Donald Trump on Tuesday claimed without evidence that Democrats were the ones behind widespread rolling blackouts in California because they “couldn’t keep up with demand.” Democrats are not behind the power outages, which were instead implemented intentionally by the California Independent System Operator, a non-profit public benefit corporation that oversees the state’s power grid. Trump and some business leaders have blamed the shift to renewables for the blackouts, though CIASO CEO Steve Berberich said Monday it was actually the fault of the California Public Utilities Commission, a state agency overseeing private utilities, for not mandating the operator keep enough reserve supplies.
Trump signed executive measure
The federal government has approved funding for seven states — Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana, Missouri, New Mexico and Utah — to offer the $300 supplement to jobless benefits, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which is overseeing the assistance. The aid, part of an executive measure recently signed by President Donald Trump, comes after a $600-a-week federal subsidy enacted by Congress early in the coronavirus recession ended. It had been in place for about four months, from early April to the end of July.
United States Building Permits (July)
Building permits in the United States jumped 18.8 percent from a month earlier to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.495 million in July 2020, the highest level since January and well above market expectations of 1.32 million. Single-family authorizations were up 17.0 percent to a rate of 983 thousand and permits for the volatile multi-segment climbed 22.5 percent to a rate of 512 thousand. Across regions, permits increased in the South (13.7 percent to 754 thousand), the West (29.1 percent to 377 thousand), the Midwest (23.8 percent to 224 thousand) and the Northeast (14.8 percent to 140 thousand).
United States API Crude Oil Stock Change
Stocks of crude oil in the United States decreased by 4.3 million barrels in the week ended August 14th of 2020, following a 4.5 million gain in the previous week and compared with market expectations of a 2.7 million drop, data from the American Petroleum Institute showed.