Wall Street wobbles as Trump revives trade tensions again

12/02/2019 | 09:37am

Donald Trump on Twitter decided to revive tariffs against Argentina and Brazil, with investors worrying again about trade tensions. This offset some earlier optimism about the prospects for the manufacturing sector world-wide.


This morning, investors were talking mainly about the renewed strength of Chinese industry, as measured by the newly released Purchasing Managers Index.

Caixin's manufacturing PMI index rose to 51.8 in November from 51.7 in October, a level "slightly better than expected that prepares European markets for a strong start to December," Connor Campbell said at Spreadex. This is the fourth consecutive month of expansion for manufacturing activity in China.

Investors were also focusing on several U.S. economic indicators, including the November ISM Manufacturing Index, expected at 49.4.

But Trump soured the mood with this tweet:

At 09:13 ET, the Dow Jones Index (DJIA) futures contract dropped 0.40% to 28.051 points while the S&P 500 Expanded Index futures contract lost 0.40% to 3.141 points. At the same time, the Nasdaq 100 contract fell 0.49% to 8,404 points.

Meanwhile, over the week-end, Donald Trump and his lawyers decided not to participate in the hearing of the House of Representatives' Judicial Affairs Committee on Wednesday as part of the ongoing Impeachment proceedings.

The Mexican Presidency believes that the United States and Canada will quickly ratify the new tripartite free trade agreement, already endorsed by Mexico.

Online sales of Black Friday rose by 20% to $7.4 billion in the United States, according to Adobe Analytics, a level slightly lower than expected due to the later opening of physical stores on Thursday evenings and the spread of promotions well in advance of the event itself. On Thursday, for Thanksgiving, expenses amounted to $4.2 billion.

In Germany, the left wing of the SPD took over the party and asked to renegotiate the coalition agreement signed with Angela Merkel, which could put the executive at risk.

China has announced that it will sanction US NGOs in response to Washington's support for democracy in Hong Kong.

A battery of other PMI manufacturing indicators is in sight this morning, notably for France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the euro zone. In the United States, the manufacturing PMI will be followed by the manufacturing ISM, which is still the benchmark, and construction spending. Christine Lagarde is expected at 15:00 for her first major oral presentation in the European Parliament.

Romain Fournier
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