The weekend did not hold any specific market events to give us much of a clue for the open today here in early Asia, but there was plenty of political noise to keep us waking up every morning and wondering just how the world is shaping out to be.
Trump's first weekly national address done on Facebook live, NOT CNN
Of course, Trump is taking the headlines, but not in collaboration with main stream media such as CNN of which Trump said was "fake news". He made his first national address through alternative outlets such as Facebook live. In his first weekly address to the nation from the White House, President Trump talked about the executive orders and other work he has done since taking the oath of office and said that he has already administered a number of executive orders such as his order to prepare repealing and replacing Obama Care, the withdraw from Trans Pacific Partnership in order to negotiate one on one deals, an order to begin the Keystone and Dakota access pipelines, with a requirement that they are built with American steel and manufactured in the USA and also an order to begin the construction of 'The Border Wall' and a crackdown on sanctuary cities. Trump also met with union leaders and heads of top manufacturers.
However, the weekend news on Trump was mostly negative in social and mainstream considering his bans on travel with a suspension of the US Refugee Admissions Programme for 120 days, an indefinite ban on Syrian refugees, a 90-day suspension on anyone arriving from seven Muslim-majority countries - Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen, while some visa categories, such as diplomats and the UN, are not included in the suspension.
There has been huge opposition to this move by Rights groups and cry's from around the world naming Trump as a fascist and how this is a racially motivated attack on Muslims and they also say no refugees have been convicted of terrorism-related crimes and that they will legally challenge his move. However, the president of the United States said the 'halt on the refugee programme' was needed in order to give the U.S. government agencies needed time to evaluate and develop a stricter vetting system and ensure that visas were not issued to individuals posing a national security threat.
Elsewhere, national leaders and figure heads have started to take a very wary approach to Trump's rhetoric and actions, with France's Hollande warning Trump against protectionism and how France is committed to the United Nations, that the NATO military alliance was indispensable and the European Union should be reinforced - He also said sanctions against Russia should be lifted only when the situation in eastern Ukraine was resolved.
The rise of Populism a concern to Merkel and Hollande
Both leaders have called for European unity in the face of huge challenges that the EZ will face this year with the Dutch and French elections coming up, especially in the wake of the U.S.'s protectionist stance with Trump at the helm and their threats to abandon free trade. France's Hollande warned of U.S. 'populism' to Europe and said the new U.S. government was encouraging "populism and even extremism".
UK PM May and Trump
Donald Trump met with Theresa May on Friday and he told May that he believes Brexit will be a "wonderful thing" for Britain and open the door to new trade deals as the two leaders held hands at the White House.
Following their meeting, they took a joint press conference at the White House, Mr Trump said: "Great days lie ahead for our two peoples and our two countries. "On behalf of our nation, I thank you for joining us here today as a really great honor," adding in respect to Brexit, "A free and independent Britain is a blessing to the world and our relationship has never been stronger...We strengthen our mutual ties in commerce business and foreign affairs - great days lie ahead for our two peoples and our two countries."
Prime Minister May was Trump's first official visit from a foreign leader after the break down with Mexico's counterpart, Enrique Peña Nieto, in a dispute over Trump's proposed border wall that caused a rift between their two nations and cancelation of a scheduled meeting between the two leaders.
Japan PM Abe:
Trump has since organized to meet Japan's PM, Abe, on February 10 with a reaffirmed importance of alliance. However, there has been some signs of caution from the Japanese in respect to their concerns over the dollar and Trump's protectionist stance that could lead to rising inflation worldwide.
Russian and US relationship blossoms over ISIS
On a more positive note, Putin and Trump had 'positive' call on Saturday where they discussed working in cooperate in Syria to defeat Islamic State.
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