One small problem has emerged as a Nanny State in the Pacific islands considers banning imported sugary foods to combat their obesity epidemic..."No country in the world has been able to demonstrate reductions in its obesity prevalence, so we’re not that different...It’s just that our levels are higher to start with.”
In this holiday-shortened week, attention will be on the US FOMC minutes, housing data and consumer confidence. There will be GDP, PMI and inflation releases across the Euro Area as well as the latest Greek Eurogroup meeting. Look for GDP and public finances data in the UK.
It is a new global disorder but in this chaos, a return to a multipolar world and the end of 'sole U.S. superpower' status may be a blessing in the long run. In the short run, however, the chaos will confuse every foreign ministry and international organization bureaucracy on every continent.
Asian stocks hit their highest level in 18 months, with positive momentum lifting European shares which were helped by Societe Generale earnings. Yields fell on some of the euro zone's battered low-rated bonds as investors put aside the political risks that have dominated markets this week. After trading flat, S&P futures bounced as US traders walked boosted by a spike in the USDJPY.
Following a January announcement according to which the DOE planned to sell 8 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, and which some speculated was the reason for the big buildup in crude inventories in the past several weeks, today the U.S. Energy Department said it will sell 10 million barrels of oil from the government's emergency crude reserve in late February.
"The exchange rate remains higher than is sustainable for balanced growth and, together with low global inflation, continues to generate negative inflation in the tradables sector. A decline in the exchange rate is needed."
In a mostly quiet Wednesday session, Asian stocks rose overnight along with European bourses, which were led higher by miners after Rio Tinto posted higher profits for the first time in three years and a bigger-than-expected dividend, while India’s Sensex extended declines after the central bank unexpectedly left rates unchanged. US futures were little changed as oil continued to fall after API reported a huge inventory build
Having recently accused the US of 'wasting $14 trillion on war instead of its people', China's second richest man, Jack Ma, continued to voice his concerns to President Trump on a recent trip to Australia, warning retreat from globalization will only result in trouble. This followed China "lodging representations" with the United States over Washington's new sanctions list targeting Iran, which includes Chinese companies and individuals.
European stocks rise the first day in four, with Asian stocks, S&P futures and the Dollar all gaining following strong Apple earnings ahead of today's Fed decision and the U.K. parliament's first vote on the Article 50 bill.