Markets Focus on US-China Trade Deal Developments and Triple Witching Day [Video]

Donald Trump gave hopes of a possible US-China trade deal conclusion within the next 3-4 weeks yesterday, providing some support US stock markets.  Chinese state media also reported early Friday that “substantive progress” on trade talks and Beijing passed a new foreign investment law designed to smooth the way to a new trade deal with the US.  On this triple witching expiry day, the rather positive comments on the trade war front pushed EU stock markets higher in early trading.

UK Parliament Votes to Prolong Brexit

The UK Parliament voted late Thursday for Theresa May to go to the EU and extend Article 50 to delay the Brexit-date. May however is likely to first force Parliament into another vote of her deal that was rejected twice already and so closely before the Brexit date that an Article 50 Extension may not even be possible.

It should be noted that the Parliament also rejected holding a second referendum on Brexit, and turned down an attempt to seize control of the process from Prime Minister. Mrs. May will now have to get permission to postpone Brexit from E.U. officials next week. However, without an approved deal, it’s unclear how long the extension should be and what can be achieved in that extra time

Sterling at 3-Week High

The GBP held on its recent gains but traded flat this morning after the Parliamentary vote to push back Brexit. GBP/USD was last seen trading ar $1.3243 as of 9:08 GMT this morning. Meanwhile the USD remains subdued as global risk appetite recovered on the recent US-China hopes. Elsewhere, the EUR remained supported on its leg down yesterday at the 1.13 level and moved higher to potentially test the 1.14 mark next.  EUR/USD was last seen trading up 0.14% at $1.1318 as of 9:10 GMT this morning .

Oil Markets Record a Prolonged Rally

Oil prices continued to trade higher on Friday morning amid production cuts led by OPEC, U.S. sanctions against Venezuela and Iran likely creating a slight deficit in global supply in the first quarter of 2019. It should be noted however, that oil price gains have been capped by concerns that an economic slowdown will soon start denting growth in fuel demand. Brent crude oil was last seen trading at $67.39, up 0.2 percent, while Crude WTI was last at $58.76, up by 0.26% as of 9:15 GMT.

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