Here is what you need to know on Wednesday, August 14th:
- The mood remains positive amid signs of detente between China and the US. Beijing is reportedly sticking to the planned September trade talks in Washington. China fixed the yuan higher. USD/JPY holds onto its gains and so do commodity currencies. Gold has consolidated its losses while oil is stable on higher ground.
- On Tuesday, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer positively surprised markets by announcing that tariffs on some Chinese goods will be postponed from September to December. The White House's admission that the move is intended to help shoppers is an admission that levies do not only hurt China.
- The world's second-largest economy is already hurting. Industrial output rose by only 4.8% YoY – the slowest in over a decade. Retail sales also fell short of expectations.
- The Hong Kong airport has reopened after further chaos. The clash between pro-democracy protesters and the police has triggered concerns in the US and adds to trade-related tensions.
- The German economy contracted by 0.1% in the second quarter, as expected. Recession fears remain prevalent.
- Brexit: Former Chancellor of the Exchequer Phillip Hammond said that a hard Brexit would be a "betrayal of the 2016 referendum result" as rhetoric heats up.
- UK wage growth has accelerated to 3.7% while unemployment rose to 3.9%. The focus shifts to today's inflation report which is projected to show a minor deceleration.
- Cryptocurrencies have been extending their losses. The US-Sino trade reprieve and the announcement from Barclays that will stop working with Coinbase weigh on prices.
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