The British Pound remains under pressure

09/08/2018

The British pound has fallen below $1.29 for the first time in almost a year amid growing tensions that Britain will leave the EU without finalising a trade deal. The Sterling also hit a nine-month low against the euro, and it was lower against the Japanese yen and Swiss franc as well. Last Friday, the Bank of England governor Mark Carney had warned that the chances of a no-deal Brexit were “uncomfortably high.” Furthermore, international trade secretary Liam Fox put the odds at “certainty not much more than 60-40.” The weakening of the value of the Sterling comes despite a rise in the UK interest rates.

China slaps a 25% tariffs on $16 billion worth of US goods, including vehicles such as large passenger cars and motorcycles; various fuels are also on the list. China is also going after coal, grease, Vaseline, asphalt and plastic products, and recyclables. China’s announcement comes after the US Trade Representative’s office released a finalised list of $16 billion worth in Chinese goods that will be hit with tariffs. Recently, tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods came into effect. Art Hogan, chief market strategist at B. Riley FBR, said: “This is tit-for-tat exactly.” He further added “The bad news is the trade war fears in China are escalating. The major concern right now in trade is China.”


Crypto prices continue to fall

Cryptocurrency prices continued to edge lower on Thursday amid news that the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) delayed a decision on the listing of a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). Bitcoin was down 4.4% to $6,315 around 02:00 GMT on the Bitfinex exchange as it continues to decline. Ethereum and Ripple, both plunged by 4.6% on the crypto market. Following yesterday’s selloff, the market value of cryptocurrencies fell to about $230 billion, which is seen as the lowest level since November 2017. Reports on Thursday suggest that initial coin offerings (ICOs) are becoming less popular as regulatory scrutiny intensifies.

Crude prices recover slightly after declines

Oil prices rebounded slightly on Thursday after recording heavy losses in the previous session that came as the China-US trade dispute escalated. The international benchmark, the Brent crude was up by a third of a per cent at $72.52 a barrel in today’s early morning trade, following massive declines of more than 3% in the previous session. The ongoing trade war rattling the global markets is impacting the price and demand for commodities. Reportedly, China is the world’s top importer of crude, it took 8.48 million barrels per day last month, after edging up by 8.18 million bpd a year earlier. The renewed sanctions on Iran won’t directly target oil until November but US President Donald Trump stated he wants as many countries as possible to cut their imports of Iranian crude to zero. Meanwhile, the Brent crude is expected to gain more support through the day, keep a close watch on this one.