The US government has removed India from its currency monitoring watchlist. In its semi-annual foreign-exchange report to the Congress, the US Treasury Department did not mention India's name in the watchlist of countries with potentially questionable foreign exchange policies., along with China, Japan, Germany, Switzerland and South Korea, was placed in the bi-annual currency watch list in October last year.The US, however, continued to keep China on its , while urging the Asian nation to take necessary steps to avoid a "persistently weak currency"."Treasury continues to urge China to take the necessary steps to avoid a persistently weak currency," said US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in a statement.
The European Union will not renegotiate the Brexit deal that Prime Minister Theresa May agreed, Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Tuesday, as concerns grew that a successor to May could trigger a confrontation with the bloc.Brexit is up in the air after May announced plans to step down, triggering a leadership contest in the ruling Conservative Party that could bring a new prime minister to power who wants a much more decisive break with the EU.One of the candidates, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, said it would be “political suicide” to pursue a no-deal Brexit, a reprimand to frontrunner Boris Johnson who said last week that Britain should leave with or without a deal by the end of October.
European Union leaders engaged in a first skirmish on Tuesday over who should become the next chief of the European Commission, giving themselves a short deadline to agree on the bloc’s top jobs and a target of assigning half of them to women.Chancellor Angela Merkel was upset with French President Emmanuel Macron’s public dismissal of Berlin’s preferred candidate, a centre-right German lawmaker Manfred Weber, as the 28 national EU leaders bargained behind closed doors over the bloc’s new leadership for the next five years.
China is ready to use rare earths to strike back in a trade war with the United States, Chinese newspapers warned on Wednesday in strongly worded commentaries on a move that would escalate tensions between the world’s two largest economies.President Xi Jinping’s visit to a rare earths plant last week had sparked speculation that China would use its dominant position as an exporter of rare earths to the United States as leverage in the trade war. Rare earths are a group of 17 chemical elements used in everything from high-tech consumer electronics to military equipment. The prospect that their value could soar as a result of the trade war caused sharp increases in the share prices of producers, including the company visited by Xi.
China’s central bank made its biggest daily net fund injection into the banking system in more than four months on Wednesday, a move traders saw as an attempt to calm the money market after the rescue of a troubled bank.
The Reserve Bank of India will cut interest rates at a third consecutive meeting in June, according to a poll of economists who were split over whether it should.Under Governor Shaktikanta Das, who took over as RBI governor from Urjit Patel in December last year, the central bank delivered rate cuts at its previous two meetings, in February and April.That was in the run-up to a national election in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government increased its majority.Two-thirds of 66 economists predicted the RBI to cut its repo rate by 25 basis points at its June 4-6 meeting, bringing it to 5.75% - the lowest since July 2010. It is then expected to keep policy on hold at least until the end of next year.The last time the central bank cut rates three times in a row was in 2013.
Asian shares sank on Wednesday and bonds rallied as investor sentiment soured over growing worries about world growth with trade tensions between Washington and Beijing showing no signs of easing.MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan slipped 0.5% after three straight days of gains. Chinese shares started on the back foot with the blue-chip CSI300 off 0.5%. Australian shares were 0.8% lower while Japan’s Nikkei faltered 1.4%.In an indication U.S. markets will fall again on Wednesday, E-Minis for the S&P 500 were 0.4% lower.
Gold prices steadied on Wednesday, as global economic concerns dented risk appetite but a strong dollar capped gains as it competed to get preference over bullion as a safe-haven bet.Spot gold edged 0.1% higher to $1,279.76 per ounce, as of 0337 GMT. In the previous session, the metal had slipped from Monday’s 1-week peak of $1,287.32 but bounced off a support at around $1,275.U.S. gold futures were up 0.2% at $1,279.20 an ounce.Safe-haven assets were seen in demand while Asian shares stumbled on Wednesday as investors fretted over the outlook for world growth amid continued U.S.-China trade tensions.
Oil prices fell on Wednesday on concerns the Sino-U.S. trade war could trigger a global economic downturn, but relatively tight supply amid OPEC output cuts and political tensions in the Middle East offered some support.Front-month Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, were at $69.60 a barrel at 0332 GMT, down 51 cents, or 0.7%, from the last session’s close.U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $58.50 per barrel, down 64 cents, or 1.1%, from their last settlement.