Investing.com - Here are the top five things you need to know in financial markets on Wednesday, June 26:
1. Mnuchin says U.S.-China trade deal is 90% complete
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin declared on Wednesday that the U.S.-China trade deal is 90% done and that there was a “clear path” to complete an agreement.
Mnuchin’s comments came after reports that the U.S. is willing to delay the next round of tariffs on $300 billion in Chinese goods as trade negotiators prep further talks. Washington would make the temporary concession in order to bring Beijing back to the negotiating table, according to sources cited by Bloomberg.
U.S. President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping are scheduled to hold discussions on Saturday at the sidelines of the G20 summit. Expectations for that meeting remain low and analysts say the best case scenario would be a resumption of official talks.
A Bloomberg source suggested that rounds of meetings between top trade officials from both countries likely would begin again after the G20 summit.
2. Wall Street set to celebrate trade hopes
U.S. futures moved from a timid recovery to modest gains on Wednesday after Mnuchin 's comments.
U.S. stocks ended lower on Tuesday after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, in a keynote speech, bristled at political pressure to cut interest rates. Powell reiterated his message from last week's poilcy meeting - to wit, that the Fed will take its time to decide whether the economic impact from trade disputes and low inflation were significant enough to require a rate cut.
3. Oil extends rally on solid inventory draw
Oil bulls regained their wind after a brief dip on Tuesday as weekly data from the American Petroleum Institute showed a strong draw of 7.6 million barrels in U.S. crude stockpiles.
The official government data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration will be released at 10:30 AM ET (14:30 GMT), amid expectations for a draw of 2.5 million barrels.
Oil has gained more than 10% since mid-June as escalating tensions between the U.S. and Iran took protagonism away from the ongoing Sino-U.S. trade conflict as the principal short-term price driver.
4. Durable goods could show impact of U.S.-China trade dispute
Given Powell’s comments, above, the publication of durable goods orders for May will be the focus on Wednesday’s economic calendar. They will either reinforce or offset the impression of a weakening economy created this month by a sharp drop in hiring and in consumer confidence.
The headline number is forecast to be flat after a sharp drop in April. The less volatile core reading, that excludes transportation, is expected to inch up 0.1%. That would suggest a timid recovery after orders stagnated in April, putting an end to two consecutive months of contraction.
Weakness in U.S. economic data would provide further support for the argument that the Fed needs to ease policy quickly. Markets current expect a rate cut to arrive in July.
5. Bitcoin continues to wow as LedgerX gets regulatory approval
Bitcoin scaled further positions as it continued a more-than-two-week rally that has pushed its price from $7,888 to nearly $13,000 on Wednesday.
The main “reason” cited for the renewed boom were signs of wider acceptance for cryptocurrencies in general.
The launch of the Facebook-backed digital coin project Libra contributed to that rationale, but bulls could find a similar excuse in news late Tuesday that LedgerX has won regulatory approval for a bitcoin futures contract that will be settled in bitcoin, rather than cash.
The green light from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission means that the cryptocurrency exchange is cleared to offer institutional and retail investors futures, options and swaps and may serve as a positive sign for similar requests from rivals such as Bakkt.
Read more: 6 Reasons Bitcoin's Rise Is Different This Time - Clement Thibault
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