Goldman Sachs has lowered its forecast for oil demand growth this year

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Forex – U.S. Dollar Edges Down; Yen Rises on Safe-Haven Demand

© Reuters.  © Reuters.

Investing.com – The U.S. dollar edged down on Tuesday in Asia while the Japanese yen gained as heightening tension in the Middle East drew safe-haven demand.

The that tracks the greenback against a basket of other currencies was down 0.1% to 95.428 by 1:35 AM ET (05:35 GMT).

The index was under pressure by the prospects of monetary easing by the Federal Reserve, which signalled it was prepared to cut interest rates later this year to counter a global economic slowdown that was exacerbated by global trade tensions.

Fed chairman Jerome Powell is due to speak later this week.

The U.S. currency was pressured further against the yen, which often serves as a safe haven in times of political angst, as tensions grew between Iran and the U.S.

On Monday, Washington announced new sanctions against Iran after the latter was accused of shooting down an unmanned drone.

U.S. President Donald Trump ordered, but subsequently called off, a military strike last week in response to the incident, according to reports.

Tensions between the two countries have been fragile since the White House decided to withdraw from the UN-backed 2015 Iran nuclear agreement.

The pair last traded at 106.93, down 0.3%.

On the Sino-U.S. trade front, Chinese leader Xi Jinping and Trump will meet at the G-20 summit in Japan this weekend. The two leaders will resume trade talks but a quick trade deal is not expected.

Both China and the U.S. should make compromises in trade talks, Chinese Vice Commerce Minister Wang Shouwen said on Monday, adding that the U.S. needs to stop “inappropriate actions” against Chinese firms.

The pair traded 0.1% higher to 6.8790.

The pair was unchanged at 0.6959, while the pair jumped 0.4% to 0.6643.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

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Forex – U.S. Dollar Hit by Demand for Safe-Haven Currencies

© Reuters.  © Reuters.

Investing.com – Even though the U.S. dollar hit a four-month high against the Chinese yuan on Monday, the greenback was under pressure as investors piled into safe-haven currencies such as the Japanese yen and Swiss franc.

“The re-opening of the U.S.-China trade war has come as a surprise. We suspect a deal will be concluded in (the third quarter), but until then, investors look set to play it safe,” ING Head of FX Strategy Chris Turner said.

As the Sino-U.S. trade dispute escalated further as Beijing responded to higher U.S. tariffs on Chinese products with increased tariffs on $ 60 billion in U.S. imports, the Chinese yuan lost further ground, sinking to fresh four-month lows against the greenback. was up 0.8% at 6.8792 by 10:35 AM ET (14:35 GMT), levels not seen since Jan. 3.

The shared a similar fate, down 0.5% against the greenback due to its correlation to the Chinese economy.

But with sharp declines in U.S. stocks, the dollar was under pressure as investors looked for refuge in safe-haven assets such as gold, the yen or the Swiss franc. was off 0.8% 109.09, near lows not seen since Feb. 1, while dropped 0.6% to a nearly one-month low of 1.0054.

The , which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, fell 0.2% to 96.91, after touching its cheapest level since April 18 earlier in the session.

With no major economic reports on either side of the Atlantic, a weak dollar benefitted both the and .

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

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Huawei 5G row: Ministers demand leak inquiry

Government ministers are calling for a “full and proper” investigation after high-level discussions about the UK using Huawei technology were leaked.

The government has approved the supply of equipment by the Chinese telecoms firm for the UK’s new 5G data network – despite warnings of a security risk.

It is believed the decision was taken at a meeting of the government’s National Security Council on Tuesday.

One minister said leaking from the council was “simply not acceptable”.

The senior minister told BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg that leaking the conversations was “extraordinary…the security council is the holy of holies”.

There were “huge concerns” over “getting into bed” with the telecoms giant, the minister said.

What was the leak about?

Ministers were deciding whether or not to allow equipment from Huawei to be used to construct the new 5G data network – a decision that could have long-term consequences for national security.

There are fears that giving the Chinese company a key role could open the UK network to espionage.

But Huawei has denied there is any risk of espionage or sabotage, or that it is controlled by the Chinese government.

According to the Daily Telegraph, Huawei would be allowed to help build the “non-core” parts of the UK’s 5G network, such as antennas.

Prime Minister Theresa May chaired the meeting of the National Security Council on Tuesday, where it is believed the decision was taken.

There has been no formal confirmation of Huawei’s role in the 5G network and Number 10 said a final decision would be made at the end of spring.

Why does the leak matter?

The National Security Council is where senior ministers with key security roles meet – and their talks are supposed to be confidential.

BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg said there was “real upset” that the discussions had leaked.

A senior minister said there had to be a “full and proper leak inquiry”, with those responsible losing their jobs if necessary.

Conservative backbench MP Sir Nicholas Soames said the inquiry must be a criminal one and that the leak would “cause our friends and allies to wonder if we can be considered reliable – whoever is responsible should be dismissed [from] the Queen’s service”.

A source also told our political editor that four cabinet ministers had spoken against Huawei, fearing that security could be compromised.

Why are people worried about Huawei?

There have been warnings in the US since at least 2012 that equipment from Huawei poses a security threat.

Last year a UK government report said it could provide “only limited assurance” that the company’s infrastructure did not pose a threat to national security.

Now the US wants its allies in the “Five Eyes” intelligence grouping – the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand – to exclude the company.

Australia last year blocked its networks from using Huawei’s 5G gear.

Leak from security council is different order

The current cabinet was memorably described as the “worst in British political history” for leaking by the man who, ironically, is meant to be in charge of discipline itself – the chief whip.

But for a leak to come from the security council is quite a different order.

As many as six ministers are therefore likely to write to Number 10 complaining and calling for a “full and proper” inquiry into who divulged the information.

Read more from Laura here.

What is 5G?

5G is the next (fifth) generation of mobile internet connectivity, promising much faster data download and upload speeds, wider coverage and more stable connections.

Existing spectrum bands are becoming congested, leading to breakdowns – particularly when many people in one area are trying to access services at the same time.

5G is also much better at handling thousands of devices simultaneously, from phones to equipment sensors, video cameras to smart street lights.

Current 4G mobile networks can offer speeds of about 45mbps (megabits per second) on average. Experts say 5G – which is starting to be introduced in the UK this year – could achieve browsing and downloads up to 20 times faster.

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Forex – Dollar's March Higher Stifled by Rally in Yen on Safe-Haven Demand

© Reuters. © Reuters.

Investing.com – The U.S dollar edged higher against its rivals Friday following a rebound in U.S. home sales, but gains were limited by a sharp rise in the yen as U.S. government bond yields slumped amid fears of slowing growth.

The , which measures the greenback against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, rose by 0.17% to 96.15.

The National Association of Realtors report showed existing home sales in February from a 1.4% decline in the prior month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of units. Economists were expecting a 2.2% increase to 5.10 million homes.

The rebound in home sales was partly supported by the slump in mortgage rates thanks to the Fed’s ongoing pause on monetary policy tightening, analysts said.

“After three-consecutive monthly declines, this rebound in home sales certainly provides some relief on the outlook,” BMO said.

The drop in borrowing costs has helped (down over 50 bps from the highs late last year) and are “unlikely to be heading much higher anytime soon, as the Fed has seemingly promised this week,” the bank added.

The weekly Freddie Mac survey on mortgage rates, released Thursday, showed a 4.28% rate on a 30-year fixed-rate loan, down from 4.31% a week ago and 4.94% in mid-November.

But others argue lower borrowing costs are not enough to turn the tide for the embattled U.S. housing market.

“Concerns over the health of the economy will act to offset the positive impact of lower interest rates, and coupled with tight inventory levels that suggests existing sales will see minimal growth over 2019,” Capital Economics said.

The dollar’s march higher was held back by a fall in U.S. government bond yields as fears of economic slowdown intensified, propping up demand for the safe-haven yen.

fell 0.83% to 109.89.

Sterling, meanwhile, pared its losses from a day earlier against the greenback as the EU granted the U.K. a two-week extension.

rose 0.66% to $ 1.3194.

The extension was granted to allow the U.K. to consider whether it would opt for a longer delay and take part in European elections in May.

fell 0.78% to $ 1.1285 as German manufacturing PMI fell short of expectations, adding to concerns the euro zone economy remains stuck in a rut.

rose 0.42% to C$ 1.3415 as fears of slowing economic growth sent oil prices sharply lower, pressuring the loonie.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

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Japan exports fall for third month on waning external demand, raises economic risks

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO - Birds fly in front of Mt. Fuji and a crane at a port in Tokyo © Reuters. FILE PHOTO – Birds fly in front of Mt. Fuji and a crane at a port in Tokyo

By Tetsushi Kajimoto

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s exports fell for a third straight month in February in a sign of growing strain on the trade-reliant economy from slowing external demand and a Sino-U.S. tariff war.

Ministry of Finance data showed on Monday exports fell 1.2 percent year-on-year in February, more than a 0.9 percent decrease expected by economists in a Reuters poll.

It followed a sharp 8.4 percent year-on-year drop in January, marking a third straight month of falls due to declines in shipments of semiconductor production equipment and cars.

The trade data comes on top of a recent batch of weak indicators, such as factory output and a key gauge of capital spending, which have raised worries that a record run of postwar growth may come to an end. Some analysts say a recession cannot be ruled out.

The Bank of Japan last week cut its view on exports and output, while keeping policy unchanged. Yet, extended weakness in exports could put it under pressure to deliver more easing, especially as inflation remains well off its 2 percent target and pressure on businesses and consumers continues to rise.

Slowing global growth, the Sino-U.S. trade war and complications over Britain’s exit from the European Union have forced policy makers around the world to shift to an easing stance over recent months.

The trade war between the United States and China – Japan’s largest export markets – has already curbed global trade.

Monday’s trade data showed exports to China, Japan’s biggest trading partner, rose 5.5 percent year-on-year, rebounding from a 17.4 percent drop in January. However, overall trade to the Asian giant remained weak, as even after averaging effects of the Lunar New Year holiday, China-bound shipments declined 6.3 percent in the January-February period from a year earlier.

Japan’s shipments to Asia, which account for more than half of overall exports, fell 1.8 percent, down for a fourth straight month.

U.S.-bound exports rose 2.0 percent, but imports from the United States grew 4.9 percent, resulting in Japan’s trade surplus with the country declining 0.9 percent year-on-year to 624.9 billion yen in February.

Japan’s still-large surplus with the United States raises concerns among Japanese policymakers and auto exporters that Washington may impose hefty duties on its imports, analysts say.

Imports of Japanese cars make up about two-thirds of Japan’s $ 69 billion annual trade surplus with the United States, making Tokyo and Beijing targets of criticism by Trump.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

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Fortescue says still strong demand for seaborne iron ore from China

Fortescue CEO media call

  • Vale causing uncertainty for ion ore outlook
  • Fortescue  may not have the capacity to add volumes in the near term

Other news… palladium higher again on concerns over short supply

not doing gold any harm … 

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UK PM May expected to delay Brexit vote, demand better deal – Sunday Times

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May tours the Royal Welsh Winter Fair at the Royal Welsh Showground in Builth Wells, Wales © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May tours the Royal Welsh Winter Fair at the Royal Welsh Showground in Builth Wells, Wales

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to delay Tuesday’s key parliamentary vote on her Brexit deal and head to Brussels next week to demand better terms from the European Union, the Sunday Times newspaper reported.

The newspaper cited "ministers and aides" who said they expected her to announce on Sunday that she was delaying the vote. It is widely expected she will lose and ministers are concerned that the scale of defeat would be such it could bring down her government.

May will head to Brussels next week to make a final appeal to the European Union to improve Britain’s exit deal from the bloc, according to the newspaper, after warnings from ministers that better terms were needed to win lawmaker support.

May’s spokesman said on Friday the vote would go ahead next week despite calls from some lawmakers for a delay.

With her own future in the balance, May has repeatedly insisted that her deal, which envisages continued close ties with the EU, is the only one on the table and that the alternatives are a painful ‘no-deal’ exit from the EU or possibly no Brexit at all.

But the pressure on May mounted over the weekend after Conservative lawmaker Will Quince quit his government role on Saturday in opposition to her deal, and the Sunday Times said further resignations were expected.

One minister told the Sunday Times that he would quit if the vote went ahead, and the newspaper added that at least two Brexit-backing ministers and two members of the whips office were also on the verge of resigning.

The Sunday Times also said that some ministers were planning for a second referendum on EU membership, naming cabinet office minister David Lidington, and justice secretary, David Gauke, as those considering that as a possible outcome.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

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China watchdog calls for banks to meet private sector credit demand: China Party journal

China watchdog calls for banks to meet private sector credit demand: China Party journal China watchdog calls for banks to meet private sector credit demand: China Party journal

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s banking and insurance regulator is calling for banks to meet credit demand from private firms "to the greatest possible extent", a top journal of China’s ruling Communist Party said.

Chinese banks are wary of a fresh spike in bad loans after years of pressure from regulators to reduce riskier lending and an some entrepreneurs have begun questioning the effectiveness of Beijing’s policies.

"(Banks) should satisfy the effective credit demand from enterprises to the maximum extent," the party committee of the regulator wrote in the ideological journal Qiushi, or Seeking Truth, on Saturday.

Banks should not apply a one-size-fits-all approach to withholding loans, while providing financing to private enterprises with low debt ratios and robust risk controls, Qiushi said, adding that lenders should help firms whose liquidity has been hit by trade tensions with the United States.

There has been speculation that Beijing is giving less importance to the private sector, which accounts for 60 percent of China’s gross domestic product and 80 percent of urban jobs.

Chinese president Xi Jinping said such comments were "wrong" and "one-sided" and regulators have since pledged more funding support to cash strapped private firms.

However, corporate credit demand remained subdued as loans tumbled to 150.3 billion yuan in October from 677.2 billion yuan a month earlier.

China’s policymakers are expected to further loosen fiscal and monetary conditions in coming months if domestic and external demand deteriorate further, with economists largely expecting conditions to get worse before they get better.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

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China's producer inflation slows again in October on ebbing domestic demand

© Reuters. Newly manufactured cars are seen at the automobile terminal in the port of Dalian, Liaoning © Reuters. Newly manufactured cars are seen at the automobile terminal in the port of Dalian, Liaoning

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s factory-gate inflation slowed for the fourth month in October amid cooling domestic demand for raw materials and ebbing manufacturing activity, underscoring rising economic pressure in the face of simmering trade frictions with the United States.

The consumer price index (CPI), meanwhile, remained steady in October from the previous month with food prices stable, official data from National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed on Friday.

The producer price index (PPI), a measure of the prices businesses receive for their goods and services, rose 3.3 percent in October from a year earlier, easing from 3.6 percent in September, the statistics bureau said.

Analysts polled by Reuters had expected the October producer price inflation rate – also used by economists as a rough gauge of industrial profit trends – would ease to 3.3 percent. On a month-to-month basis, the PPI increased 0.4 percent.

Economic momentum in China has been softening in the past months. President Xi Jinping said last week that the world’s second-largest economy is facing "growing downward pressure."

Underlying factory-gate inflation in recent months has been crimped by easing consumption, with China’s fixed-asset investment growth hovering around record lows and industrial firms’ profits falling since May.

Beijing’s clamp-down on financial risks had also slowed credit demand somewhat, while some mid-sized companies have struggled to pass on higher prices to consumers.

Private and official factory surveys have shown worrying months-long downturn on export orders, suggesting Beijing’s intensifying trade dispute with the United States is starting to put a strain on businesses.

Government data on exports, however, has shown remarkable strength, likely due to shippers rushing to beat higher U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods due to come into effect at the start of next year.

The rising headwinds to growth have prompted Beijing to ramp up stimulus measures to spur domestic demand.

China vowed to lower import tariffs and further broaden market access during the week-long China International Import Expo on Monday.

Policymakers have also committed to boosting infrastructure investment in "weak areas" such as railways, highways and airports.

Raw material prices increased 6.7 percent in October from a year earlier, down from a 7.3 percent gain in September.

The consumer price index (CPI) rose 2.5 percent in October from a year earlier, same as September’s rate and analysts’ forecast.

On a monthly basis, the CPI rose 0.2 percent.

China has set its consumer inflation goal at 3 percent for 2018, same as last year.

The state planner recently said there is no sign of accelerating consumer inflation and expected prices to remain within a reasonable range.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

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