DOJ watchdog says no “political bias” in FBI probe of Trump campaign, but errors

Watch CBSN Live

View CBS News In

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Us – CBSNews.com

‘Moving right along’? Shares nudge up after Trump trade talk

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO:  Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the opening bell in New York © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the opening bell in New York

By Tom Wilson

LONDON (Reuters) – World shares ticked up on Friday, buoyed by comments from U.S. President Donald Trump that talks aimed at dialing down the damaging trade war with China were “moving right along”.

Trump’s relatively upbeat tone in comments on Thursday was enough to encourage riskier bets by investors, despite a lack of agreement over whether existing tariffs should be dropped as part of an initial deal to ease the long standoff.

European shares, including the broader Euro , gained 0.4% by late morning, with indexes in Frankfurt and Paris up by similar amounts. Banks, technology firms and retail companies led the gains.

Wall Street futures were set to open in positive territory, too, with gains projected between 0.3%-0.4%.

The cautiously buoyant mood mirrored an appetite for riskier bets in Asia, where MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.6%.

The MSCI world equity index, which tracks shares in 47 countries, added 0.2% to 555.07 points, not far off a record high of 550.63 hit last January but still on track for a weekly fall.

Investors were hoping the two sides can reach a compromise to at least avoid their worst fear: that the United States goes ahead with its final batch of tariffs on about $ 156 billion of Chinese exports, due to take effect on Dec. 15.

Trump’s remarks came after Chinese officials reiterated demands that some U.S. tariffs be rolled back if the sides are to reach a so-called phase one deal.

Markets had expected the sides to seal the initial deal in November. Instead, investors are nervously watching the approaching deadline for the new U.S. levies.

“The difficulty with this is it’s very difficult to time and to trade,” said Jeremy Gatto, a multi-asset investment manager at Unigestion. “We are relatively favorable towards riskier assets in general – but with hedges.”

Gatto said those hedges include currencies such as the U.S. dollar, Japanese yen and Australian dollar, as well as options.

Investors have already taken precautions against a possible slide in stocks by buying put options, with demand for put options to hedge exposure to the S&P500 index climbing in recent days.

In one sign of detente, China said it would waive import tariffs imposed last year on some U.S. soybean and pork shipments. Beijing is rushing to source more meat to fill a gap in protein supplies.

China stocks posted their biggest weekly advance in nearly two months, with the blue-chips up 0.6%.

Investors were looking out for U.S. jobs data, due out at 1330 GMT. The non-farm payrolls report is expected to show 180,000 new jobs were created in November, up from 128,000 a month earlier.

Signs of buoyancy in the labor market would soothe anxiety over the impact of the trade war.

“Markets are in consolidation phase,” said Salman Ahmed, chief investment strategist at Lombard Odier. “It’s wait and watch for first, how does the non-farm payrolls look and, more importantly, the Dec. 15 tariff deadline.”

In other economic data, German industrial output fell unexpectedly in October, pointing to persistent weakness in the backbone of the economy. Berlin said, however, that new orders and business expectations suggest output may stabilize.

While markets have largely priced in the view that the world economy has dodged the bullet of recession, there are still signs of fragility in many major economies.

OIL SKIDS

Oil prices steadied and were set for weekly gains ahead of a meeting of OPEC and its allies later in the day, where the grouping is expected to formally agree to more output cuts in early 2020.

Sources told Reuters that OPEC+ agreed to a 500,000 barrel per day cut, with the group due to next meet in March.

futures were down 0.3%, or 18 cents, at $ 63.21 a barrel, a retreat from earlier gains.

The agreement coincided with the initial public offering of state oil firm Saudi Aramco, which was priced at the top of its range and raised $ 25.6 billion in the world’s biggest IPO.

In currencies, the British pound lost 0.3% but was still set for its best week since October. It has gained 1.5% against the dollar this week.

Sterling had spiked to a seven-month high of $ 1.3166 on Thursday on bets that next week’s election will give the Conservative party the majority it needs to deliver Brexit, ending near-term uncertainty.

The pound last stood at $ 1.328. It hit 2-1/2-year highs versus the euro.

Against a basket of currencies the dollar has dropped every day this week, falling to a one-month low of 97.356 on Thursday. The index was up a smidgeon at 97.460, and has lost nearly 1% this week.

For Reuters Live Markets blog on European and UK stock markets, please click on: [LIVE/]

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Stock Market News

Trump draws a “dotard” warning with his “rocket man” reference to Kim

Seoul, South Korea — North Korea threatened Thursday to resume insulting President Trump and consider him a “dotard” if he keeps using provocative language, such as referring to its leader as “rocket man.” Choe Son Hui, the first vice foreign minister, issued the warning via state media days after Mr. Trump spoke of possible military action toward the North and revived his “rocket man” nickname for North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un.

The comments came as prospects dim for a resumption of nuclear diplomacy between the two countries. In recent months, North Korea has hinted at lifting its moratorium on nuclear and long-range missile tests if the Trump administration fails to make substantial concessions in nuclear diplomacy before the end of the year.

Choe said Mr. Trump’s remarks “prompted the waves of hatred of our people against the U.S.” because they showed “no courtesy when referring to the supreme leadership of dignity” of North Korea.

She said North Korea will respond with its own harsh language if Mr. Trump again uses similar phrases and shows that he is intentionally provoking North Korea.

“If any language and expressions stoking the atmosphere of confrontation are used once again … that must really be diagnosed as the relapse of the dotage of a dotard,” Choe said.

North Korea launches short-range projectiles toward Japan, South Korea says

On Wednesday, the North’s military chief, Pak Jong Chon, also warned that the use of force against the North would cause a “horrible” consequence for the U.S. He said North Korea would take unspecified “prompt corresponding actions at any level” if the U.S. takes any military action.

During a visit to London on Tuesday, President Trump said his relationship with Kim was “really good” but also called for him to follow up on a commitment to denuclearize.

“We have the most powerful military we ever had, and we are by far the most powerful country in the world and hopefully we don’t have to use it. But if we do, we will use it,” Mr. Trump said.

He added that Kim, “likes sending rockets up, doesn’t he? That’s why I call him rocket man.”

North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump look on during the extended bilateral meeting in the Metropole hotel during the second North Korea-U.S. summit in Hanoi
North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump look on during a bilateral meeting in the Metropole hotel during a North Korea-U.S. summit in Hanoi, Vietnam, February 28, 2019. Leah Millis/REUTERS

In 2017, Mr. Trump and Kim traded threats of destruction as North Korea carried out a slew of high-profile weapons tests aimed at acquiring an ability to launch nuclear strikes on the U.S. mainland. The U.S. president said he would rain “fire and fury” on North Korea and derided Kim as “little rocket man,” while Kim questioned Mr. Trump’s sanity and said he would “tame the mentally deranged U.S. dotard with fire.”

The two leaders have avoided such words and developed better relations after North Korea entered nuclear negotiations with the U.S. last year. Mr. Trump even said he and Kim “fell in love.”

North Korea threatened the U.S. earlier this week with a “Christmas gift” unless the Trump administration agrees to significantly ease sanctions as part of any resumed nuclear talks. As CBS News correspondent Elizabeth Palmer reported, those talks have been stalled since February. 

It was during a visit to London for a NATO summit this week that Mr. Trump used the phrase “rocket man” again, as he appeared to take the “Christmas gift” threat in stride. After he used the term, he added that he believed he still had “a very good relationship” with Kim.

North Korea makes calculated show of strength with ballistic missile launch

The two men have met three times, starting with a summit in Singapore in June 2018. But their nuclear diplomacy has remained largely deadlocked since their second meeting in Vietnam in February ended without any deal due to disputes over U.S.-led sanctions on North Korea.

Trump’s national security adviser Robert O’Brien said Thursday night in Washington the U.S. remains hopeful that a deal can be reached with North Korea.

“Kim Jong Un has promised to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula. We hope that he sticks to that promise, and we’re going to keep at the negotiations and keep at the diplomacy as long as we think that there’s hope there. And we do,” O’Brien said Thursday night on Fox News Channel’s “Special Report with Bret Baier.”

“I don’t want to say we’re optimistic, but we have some hope that the Koreans will come to the table … and we can get a deal.”

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

World – CBSNews.com

Forex – U.S. Dollar Falls as Trump Hints at Trade Delay

© Reuters.  © Reuters.

Investing.com – The U.S. dollar was lower on Tuesday after comments from U.S. President Donald Trump sparked a flight to safer assets.

The , which measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of six major currencies, slipped 0.1% to 97.680 as of 10:56 AM ET (15:56 GMT). The dollar was lower against the safe-haven Japanese yen, with down 0.4% to 108.55.

Trump told reporters in London that a trade deal may need to wait until after the 2020 election, which is a stark contrast to reports over the last two weeks.

“In some ways, I like the idea of waiting until after the election for the China deal, but they want to make a deal now and we will see whether or not the deal is going to be right,” Trump told reporters in London.

He later said at a press conference with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that China wants to make a deal. The U.S. is expected to go through with tariff increases against China on Dec. 15, which could spark more disagreements between the two superpowers.

Elsewhere, the pound rose after opinion polls showed UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson in the lead to win December’s election, which would secure a Brexit deal. gained 0.4% to 1.2980 and was flat at 1.1079. The South African rand extended declines against against the dollar after its economy contracted in the third quarter. jumped 1.1% to 14.6931.

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.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Forex News

ForexLive European FX news wrap: Risk slumps as Trump sees no deadline for trade deal

Forex news from the European morning session – 3 December 2019

Headlines:

Markets:

  • GBP leads, EUR and CAD lag on the day
  • European equities mixed; E-minis down 0.3%
  • US 10-year yields down 2.8 bps to 1.791%
  • Gold up 0.4% to $ 1,468.59
  • WTI down 0.3% to $ 55.81
  • Bitcoin down 0.4% to $ 7,287

EOD 03-12
Markets were initially more steady to start the day with the yen sitting a little weaker and the likes of the aussie and kiwi underpinned. The latter was helped by the RBA keeping its cash rate steady but things all changed when Trump started speaking in London.

Trump mentioned that a trade deal with China has ‘no deadline’ and could even come after the US election next year and that set off a wave of risk aversion across markets.

USD/JPY slipped from 109.10 to 108.81 as bond yields also fell across the curve. US futures erased gains to fall as much as ~0.4% before finding a bottom for the time being.

That said, the risk mood remains more glum than when we started the session and it’s more of a case that traders are seeing things from a perspective that the glass is now half empty rather than the glass being half full earlier today.

As such, AUD/USD eased up on gains falling from 0.6862 to 0.6840 levels with NZD/USD also scaling back a bit from 0.6533 to 0.6510 levels.

The pound though continues to stay perky amid some mild softness in the dollar with cable threatening a break of the 1.3000 handle. A UK opinion poll continues to favour the Tories ahead of next week’s vote and that isn’t hurting sentiment whatsoever either.

Looking ahead, it’s still largely about the risk mood as markets will have to digest Trump’s comments and how that will factor into overall trade negotiations as well as the implications for the US economy going into next year.

Other than that, I would say be wary of cable running stops above 1.3000-10 as buyers continue to look poised in chasing an upside break.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Forexlive RSS Breaking news feed

Trump Doesn’t Understand Currency Wars, Either

© Reuters.  Trump Doesn’t Understand Currency Wars, Either © Reuters. Trump Doesn’t Understand Currency Wars, Either

(Bloomberg Opinion) — What a difference a decade makes. Back in September 2010, Guido Mantega, Brazil’s then-finance minister, was complaining bitterly about “currency wars,” and claiming the Federal Reserve’s ultra-loose monetary policy of the time was unfairly hurting his economy. “We’re in the midst of an international currency war, a general weakening of currency,” he said then. “This threatens us because it takes away our competitiveness.” 

Fast forward to December 2019, and we have President Donald Trump’s latest furious denunciation of exactly the same thing — only this time, he says that Brazil (as well as Argentina) is being unfair. In his latest tweet heard around the world, he said: “Brazil and Argentina have been presiding over a massive devaluation of their currencies. which is not good for our farmers.”

After announcing the imposition of tariffs on Brazilian and Argentine steel, he went on to attack the Fed. He wants the central bank to return to the behavior that so annoyed Mantega a decade ago: “The Federal Reserve should likewise act so that countries, of which there are many, no longer take advantage of our strong dollar by further devaluing their currencies. This makes it very hard for our manufactures & farmers to fairly export their goods. Lower Rates & Loosen – Fed!”

If Mantega’s complaints look dumb in retrospect, Trump’s latest broadside looks even dumber. Mantega’s complaint came when Brazil’s economy was surging on the back of strong commodity prices (which themselves were driven by the voracious manufacturing appetite of China). The strong Brazilian real hadn’t stopped the country’s economy from going on a great run. In the subsequent decade, the U.S. far outstripped Brazil’s growth, despite a steadily strengthening dollar:

Currency values matter greatly to competitiveness, of course, and central banks can use interest rates to manipulate them. But the arrow of causation also works in the other direction. A weak economy will lead to a weak currency, and vice versa. That is the story of the U.S. dollar and the Brazilian real over the last decade.

The weak dollar in 2010 was a product of the weakness of the U.S. economy. Low rates and quantitative easing were deemed necessary to keep the economy ticking over, and allow the country to clear its debts. Outright deflation appeared a real risk. Higher rates from the Fed at that point might have weakened the real, but they might also have stopped U.S. economic growth in its tracks — which would have been very bad news for Brazil. 

Is Brazil manipulating its currency lower? Not at all. Its central bank’s target rate, the Selic, is very low at present, by Brazilian standards, but only because inflation is at its lowest this century:

Further, as the country’s use of dollar-denominated debt has increased over the last decade, a weak real makes interest payments more expensive and increases the risk of a crisis.

No country knows this better than Argentina, which has suffered several epic crises of devaluation and default in living memory, and where voters have just kicked out a president, Mauricio Macri, in large part for failing to tame inflation. Macri failed to stop further sharp devaluations of the Argentine peso, despite massive overnight rates of more than 50%. Another disadvantage of a weak currency is inflation, and Argentines know all about that. It too is currently running at more than 50%. Any implication that Argentina is deliberately weakening its currency for competitive advantage is beyond absurdity. 

In the long run, the currency war has had only one winner. GDP per capita in both Brazil and Argentina is less than a quarter that of the U.S. And both countries have fallen further behind, even as their currencies have weakened. 

Why, then, is Trump choosing to open a new front in the trade war, on two countries that currently have little or no ability to harm the U.S.? It is possible that he is being “crazy like a fox,” and trying to convince people that he is capable of anything. Such a strategy, the argument goes, might convince China of the need to do what he wants. The risk with such a strategy is to give the appearance that he has no understanding of how the economy works. And thus the more likely explanation for his behavior is that he truly doesn’t understand what he is doing. 

Meanwhile, Brazil and Argentina have shown the U.S. the best way to weaken a currency. If your economy slows down, the chances are that your currency will get cheaper. That is what has happened over the last decade to the big economies of South America. And in the much shorter term, the sharp sell-off in the dollar on Monday in response to disappointing data on manufacturing suggests that the president should be careful what he wishes for. Today’s weak Brazilian real appears to be exactly what Guido Mantega wished for back in 2010 — but nobody in Brazil could possibly have wished for the disastrous decade that made that weak currency possible. 

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Forex News

Wilbur Ross to Fox: Pres. Trump will increase tariffs if there is no China deal

US stocks continue to be under pressure

The weak data pushed US stocks lower . Now Wilbur Ross is telling Fox that Pres. Trump will increase tariffs if there is no China deal.

The S&P index is currently down -23 points at 3118. The low reached 3111.93

The NASDAQ index is down -110 points at 8555. The low reached 8542.66

Spot gold is trading near unchanged levels at $ 1463.  The low price for the day was down at $ 1453.95. The high has extended to $ 1465.77

ForexLive

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Forexlive RSS Breaking news feed

House releases testimony from official who overheard Trump call

Washington — The House released the transcript Monday from the closed-door testimony of David Holmes, a State Department official who overheard a recently revealed call that has become key to the impeachment inquiry against President Trump. Holmes will testify later this week.

In his opening statement, Holmes said he overheard Mr. Trump ask a top diplomat about the status of “investigations” into his political rivals on July 26 — one day after his now-infamous July 25 call with the president of Ukraine.

The existence of this July 26 call was revealed last week by William Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine who testified in public on Tuesday. Holmes, who is Taylor’s aide, corroborated Taylor’s account. It provides further support for the accusation that Mr. Trump committed a politically charged quid pro quo and withheld U.S. aid from Ukraine to pressure the foreign country to launch investigations that could help his reelection campaign.

“I’ve never seen anything like this, someone calling the president from a mobile phone at a restaurant, and then having a conversation of this level of candor, colorful language. There’s just so much about the call that was so remarkable that I remember it vividly,” Holmes testified on Capitol Hill behind closed doors last week.  


Read the full text of Holmes’ testimony here:


Holmes said he was sitting near Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, at a restaurant in Kiev and could hear him speaking to Mr. Trump, who said “”So, he’s gonna do the investigation?” referring to Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky. Sondland replied, “He’s gonna do it” and added that Zelensky would do “anything you ask him to.”

Holmes testified that the call was also unusual because such a call with the president would generally take place in a more secure setting, not on a cell phone.

US-POLITICS-CONGRESS-TRUMP-IMPEACHMENT-HOLMES
David Holmes, a State Department official, arrives to appear in a closed-door deposition hearing as part of the impeachment inquiry at the US Capitol in Washington, D.C., on November 15, 2019.  Olivier Douliery

Holmes said Sondland later told him that “the president did not ‘give a s**t about Ukraine.'” According to Holmes, Sondland said that only “big stuff matters” to the president, “like this Biden investigation that Giuliani is pushing.”

There is no evidence to support the claims by Mr. Trump and his Republican allies that Joe or Hunter Biden engaged in corruption in Ukraine. While Joe Biden was vice president, his son Hunter was hired by a Ukrainian gas company.

Holmes also testified that Marie Yovanovitch, the former ambassador to Ukraine who testified last week, was as good at fighting corruption as anyone known for that, and said the smear campaign against her was obvious. 

Rebecca Kaplan contributed reporting.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

World – CBSNews.com

Trump hails ‘cash’ to farmers, U.S. aid in China trade war

© Reuters. A farmer plows a field in the San Pasqual Valley near Escondido, California © Reuters. A farmer plows a field in the San Pasqual Valley near Escondido, California

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday welcomed a “cash” payout to American farmers before the Thanksgiving Day holiday that he attributed to China tariffs, but that money actually is part of a U.S. government aid package.

“Our great Farmers will recieve (sic) another major round of ‘cash,’ compliments of China Tariffs, prior to Thanksgiving,” he wrote on Twitter.

“The smaller farms and farmers will be big beneficiaries. In the meantime, and as you may have noticed, China is starting to buy big again. Japan deal DONE. Enjoy!”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Friday it will begin making a second round of 2019 trade aid payments to U.S. farmers next week.

The payments are the second part of a three-tranche $ 16 billion aid package announced in May to compensate farmers for the U.S.-China trade war. China imposed tariffs on key U.S. agriculture exports including soybeans and pork last year after Trump’s administration levied duties on Chinese goods.

The United States and China are trying to negotiate a phase one trade pact to end the tensions, but it is unclear when it might be finalized.

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.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Economy News

Pres Trump: We will be doing a major, middle income tax cut

Trump speaking on healthcare plan

  • signed order and price transparency in healthcare 
  • order will force companies to compete 
  • rule will compel hospitals to publish prices 
  • consumer will have lots of choices regard to doctors hospital and price
  • insurance firms will need to show treatment costs

in addition to his healthcare comments, Pres. Trump has also said:

  • we will be doing a major, middle income tax cut
  • tax-cut will be subject to Republicans winning house

ForexLive

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Forexlive RSS Breaking news feed