The dollar was steady near a 2-1/2-week high on Tuesday, supported by higher U.S.-yields and its safe-haven status, with growing worries that the U.S.-China trade war could worsen following Washington’s crackdown on China’s Huawei Technologies.Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said on Monday that it was premature to make a judgment about the impact trade and tariff issues could have on monetary policy.
Japan’s government is already planning to take sufficient steps to mitigate the pain a scheduled sales tax hike in October could inflict on the economy, its top spokesman said on Tuesday.Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has repeatedly said he would proceed with the tax hike in October. But some lawmakers have called for postponing it, or ramping up fiscal spending to ease the pain on concern that the higher levy could cool consumption and push the economy into recession.
Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso said on Tuesday that gross domestic product growth in the first quarter was not bad and that the country’s economic fundamentals remained solid.On Monday, data showed Japan’s economy unexpectedly expanded in the first quarter, confounding expectations that GDP would contract.
The latest polling for the European Parliament elections shows that Nigel Farage's brexit's party is likely to gain the most votes in the UK, as establishment parties are forecast to lose their majority across the European Union.The vote takes place in the UK this week, on Thursday 23 May, with the Europe-wide results expected on the evening of Sunday 26 May.These are expected to see establishment parties across the continent suffer, both at the hands of the populist-Right as well as resurgent liberal parties.The result is likely to be a more fragmented European parliment , with the centre Right EPP and centre-Left S&D forecast to lose their combined majority.
Singapore’s annual economic growth slipped to the lowest in nearly a decade in the first quarter as manufacturing contracted in the wake of a protracted Sino-U.S. trade war, prompting a downgrade to the city-state’s full-year growth forecast.Gross domestic product (GDP) expanded 1.2% year-on-year in the three months ended March 31, final official data showed on Tuesday, down slightly from the 1.3% seen in the government’s advance estimate and the fourth quarter’s revised 1.3% pace.
Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi movement tried to target a civilian facility in Saudi Arabia’s province of Najran with a drone carrying explosives, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) quoted the Saudi-led military coalition as saying early on Tuesday.It did not mention casualties.
Australia’s central bank is set to cut interest rates if the labour market fails to improve further, an outcome brought closer by recent disappointing data on unemployment.Minutes of the Reserve Bank of Australia’s (RBA) May policy meeting out on Tuesday dropped an oft-repeated sentence that ‘there was no strong case for a near-term adjustment to rates’, suggesting a cut might be close.Markets are wagering an easing, the first since mid-2016, could come as soon as June. The timing could be clearer once RBA Governor Philip Lowe gives a highly anticipated speech later on Tuesday.
Global equity markets fell on Monday as a U.S. crackdown on China’s Huawei Technologies led chipmaker stocks in Europe and on Wall Street to slide on fears of a widening trade war, while the dollar was steady before fresh insight on the Federal Reserve’s interest rates policies this week.Asian shares managed to reverse some of last week’s losses after Washington said it would lift tariffs in North America, but fresh Chinese trade comments sank that sentiment.
Gold eased on Tuesday after touching a more than two-week low in the previous session, as increasing bets that the U.S. Federal Reserve will not cut interest rates this year boosted the dollar which usurped bullion’s safe-haven appeal.Spot gold edged 0.1% lower to $1,276.01 per ounce at 0552 GMT. Last session, gold dipped to a more than two-week trough of $1,273.22.U.S. gold futures also eased 0.1% to $1,275.60 an ounce.
Oil prices edged up on Tuesday on escalating tensions between the United States and Iran and on signs that producer club OPEC will continue withholding supply this year.However, gains were checked by concerns that a prolonged Sino-U.S. trade war could lead to a global economic slowdown.Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, were at $72.03 per barrel at 0118 GMT, up 6 cents, or 0.1 percent, from their last close.U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up by 12 cents, or 0.2 percent, at $63.22 per barrel.