Morning Commentary: A Tenuous Truce

Foreign Exchange - Morning Commentary

A Tenuous Truce

Share this story:
Andrew Kositkun
Andrew Kositkun
Foreign Exchange Head Trader
Chinse markets reopened last night after its long Lunar New Year holiday last week.  For the markets, two things have been in focus—trade and the level at which the PBoC set its USDCNY fixing.  On the latter point, the fixing was a bit higher than the markets expected, implying a possible change from the central bank as previously there has been a bias for the fix to be skewed towards the lower end of estimates.
With regards to trade, a US delegation has arrived in China for continuing talks.  The start of the week will most likely be characterized by low level meetings that set up talks involving USTR Lighhizer, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He on Thursday and Friday.  Critically, a deal is highly unlikely without a meeting between President Trump and President Xi and currently a meeting is not scheduled before March 1st , when the current truce ends.  However, reports indicate that the president is willing to delay the escalation of tariffs should "sufficient" progress be made today which, more than anything, explains the market's relative benign reaction to the fast approaching deadline. 
According to recent surveys, over 80% of respondents expect some sort of extension to the ceasefire. While we do agree with this assessment, there still remains some uncertainty around the ultimate impact this will have on the markets.  An extension, while certainly better than tariffs rising to 25%, really just extends the uncertainty.  As a result, factors surrounding global trade will most likely not be supportive as exporters will still lack visibility towards the ultimate resolution. 
Beyond China, the trade truce with the EU is also approaching an inflection point with the Department of Commerce set to report the findings of its Section 232 investigation on autos by February 17th.  As a reminder to our readers, automotive trade key negotiating point as it represents a large portion of the trade deficit the US has with the EU.  Within the EU, Germany remains the largest automotive player making the Section 232 report especially important to them.  
  • It has been reported that PM May will reject Labour's compromise on a Customs Union, leaving Brexit talks to continue to muddle along.  However PM May did send a conciliatory letter to Labour's leadership in an effort to win more time to negotiate a withdrawal agreement.  On an economic front, Q4 GDP data disappointed, coming in at 0.2% verses expectations for 0.3% growth as business investment was hit by Brexit uncertainty. 
  • Talks seeking a resolution to the US government shutdown broke down over the weekend.  The legislative timetable suggests that a deal is needed by today in order to for both houses of Congress to vote on it before the deadline this Friday although another stop gap bill is possible. 
  • The USD continues to rally and is on its longest winning streak since 2016.
If we can help you with any Foreign Exchange needs, please email or call (800) 447‑4133.
Want to learn more about international finance, economics, and global events? Sign up for our other Foreign Exchange emails and videos!
Follow City National Bank on social media:
Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google Plus YouTube
Investment and Insurance Products:
Are Not insured by the FDIC or any other federal government agency
Are Not deposits of or guaranteed by a Bank or any Bank Affiliate
May Lose Value
This report is for general information and education only and was compiled from data and sources believed to be reliable. City National Bank does not warrant that it is accurate or complete. Opinions expressed and estimates or projections given are those of the authors as of the date of the report with no obligation to update or notify of inaccuracy or change. This report is not a recommendation or an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any financial instrument discussed. It is not specific investment advice. Financial instruments discussed may not be suitable for the reader. Readers must make independent investment decisions based on their own investment objectives and financial situations. Prices and financial instruments discussed are subject to change without notice. Instruments denominated in a foreign currency are subject to exchange rate and other risks. The Bank (and its clients or associated persons) may engage in transactions inconsistent with this report and may buy from or sell to clients or others the financial instruments discussed on a principal basis. Past performance is not an indication of future results. This report may not be reproduced, distributed or further published by any person without the written consent of City National Bank. Please cite source when quoting.
Unsubscribe from this list  |  Update email preferences
This message has been sent to Please do not reply to this email. To ensure the delivery of future emails, please add to your email address book or safe sender list.
Copyright ©2019 City National Bank – All Rights Reserved.
350 South Grand Avenue, 12th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90071
City National Bank is a subsidiary of Royal Bank of Canada.
Equal Housing Lender
NMLSR ID# 536994 | City National Bank Member FDIC


Popular posts from this blog

Acquisitions or Alliances: What's Your Growth Strategy?