The Federal Open Market Committee's (FOMC) two-day policy meeting is set to begin on Tuesday. With trade tensions rising, U.S. growth slowing and hiring in May declining, markets have priced in at least two rate cuts by the end of 2019.There was only an 11.3% expectation on Thursday that U.S. interest rates will be at current levels in July of this year, compared to 74.1% a month ago.

U.S. President Donald Trump met with Apple CEO Tim Cook on Thursday to discuss trade and other hot-button issues facing the tech company as Trump deliberates whether to make good on his threat to hike tariffs on imports from China.Trump spoke with Cook about “trade, U.S. investment, immigration and privacy,” White House spokesman Judd Deere said.



Japan and the United States deepened their understanding over each other's position on trade, Japan's economy minister said after meeting his U.S. counterpart on Thursday, adding the two will likely meet again ahead of a G20 summit later this month.Speaking to reporters after the meeting, held in Washington D.C., Toshimitsu Motegi said he exchanged views on trade "candidly" with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, but refrained from commenting on details."Japan and the U.S. have been sorting out points of discussion over trade issues and those points are clarifying but we need to continue ministerial talks," Motegi told reporters after the meeting.

Japan's exports likely fell at a faster pace in May, down for the sixth straight month, as the U.S.-China trade war takes a toll on the economy, a poll showed on Friday.The Bank of Japan is expected to keep its targets for short-term interest rates and its long-term government bond yield unchanged next week, according to the poll.Consumer prices, another key gauge for market watchers on policy, likely edged down in May, putting pressure on the BOJ as it remains far from achieving its elusive 2% inflation target.

Japanese Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko said on Friday an attack on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman will not affect Japanese energy supply, although the ministry issued a warning to Japanese energy companies after the incident.


  • IRAN

The United States blamed Iran for attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday that drove up oil prices and raised concerns about a new U.S.-Iranian confrontation, but Tehran bluntly denied the allegation.On Thursday night, U.S. Central Command spokesman Bill Urban released a video of what the U.S. military said was an Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corp Gashti Class patrol boat approaching the Kokuka Courageous “and was observed and recorded removing (an) unexploded limpet mine from the M/T Kokuka Courageous.”



China said on Friday that it was raising anti-dumping duties on certain alloy-steel seamless tubes and pipes used at utilities and imported from the United States and the European Union.The anti-dumping tax rate applicable to the steel tubes and pipes is between 57.9% and 147.8% on companies in the United States and the EU, effective June 14, the Commerce Ministry said on Friday.Tariffs on U.S. steel extrusion firm Wyman-Gordon Forgings are at 101%, while those on all other U.S. companies are 147.8%, the ministry said.The anti-dumping tariff on Vallourec units Vallourec Deutschland GmbH and Vallourec Tubes France are 57.9%, with all other EU companies face tariffs of 60.8%.China, the world’s largest steel producer and consumer, had imposed 13-14.1% tariffs on companies in the United States and the EU in 2014 which expired on May 10, 2019.The decision to extend the anti-dumping tariff follows a request from the Chinese domestic steel tubes and pipes sector, the ministry said.



French energy giant Total SA is close to acquiring a 30% stake in Indian gas distribution company Adani Gas for upwards of rupees 5,500 crore ($800 million), the Times of India reported on Friday.The deal is expected to trigger an open offer to public shareholders of Adani Gas, and Total may end up having a roughly equal stake in the company as billionaire promoter Gautam Adani, the report said.Adani Gas, an arm of Adani Group, operates a distribution pipeline network of over 6,000 km and caters to nearly 350,000 retail customers, the report said.


  • GOLD

Gold prices rose on Friday, moving closer to their 14-month high hit last week, as trade and political turmoil, along with U.S. interest rate cut expectations propped up the precious metal.Spot gold was up 0.3% at $1,345.28 per ounce, as of 0504 GMT, after hitting a session high of $1,347.81, less than $1 away from its 14-month peak of $1,348.08 touched last week.


  • OIL

Oil rose for a second day on Friday, extending sharp gains following attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman that stoked concerns of reduced crude flows through one of the world’s key shipping routes.The attacks near Iran and the Strait of Hormuz pushed oil prices up as much as 4.5% on Thursday, putting the brakes on a slide in prices in recent weeks over concerns about global demand.