Trump unhappy with Congress, China talks kick in: Your Wednesday finance briefing

US President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that he could extend a March 1 truce deadline to strike a trade deal with China if the two sides currently resuming negotiations in Beijing are making good progress.

Truce extension possible

“If we’re close to a deal where we think we can make a real deal and it’s going to get done, I could see myself letting that slide for a little while,” Trump told reporters referring to the March 1 deadline at the White House. “But generally speaking, I’m not inclined to do that.”

US Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin and White House Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer are in Beijing and scheduled to hold discussions on Thursday and Friday with Chinese President Xi Jinping’s the top economic adviser Vice Premier Liu He. Mnuchin told the media he hoped for “productive” meetings.

Trump unhappy with Congress

Trump also commented on a bipartisan tentative budget deal Congressional Democrats and Republicans reached. “I am extremely unhappy with what the Democrats have given us,” he said. He still said he hoped another government shutdown won’t occur.

The deal did not provide him with 5.7 Dollars-funds for a wall he wants on the Mexico border wall. It included, however, a 1.37 billion funding for new fencing. Republicans pushed him to sign it to avert a shutdown. “I hope he’ll decide to sign it,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said.

OPEC continues to slash output

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) led by Saudi Arabia on Tuesday said that member countries cut oil output by 797 thousand barrels per day (bpd) in January. The 14-nations energy cartel’s production stood at to 30.8 million bpd, about 0.8 million lower than the figure in December.

Oil price, supported also by US sanctions on the OPEC member Venezuela jumped on the news. Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said in an interview with Financial Times that his country would decrease crude output to about 9.8 million bpd in March.

Powell won’t rule out a recession

US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said data a national level show a strong economy. “Unemployment is near a half-century low, and economic output is growing at a solid pace. But we know that prosperity has not been felt as much in some areas, including many rural places,” he explained in a speech in Mississippi.

“We don’t feel that the probability of recession is at all elevated,” Powell said in response to a question.

Cassandra or Carney?

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney again had warnings to issue about the dangers of UK’s leaving the EU without a deal.

“We shouldn’t be under any illusions, a no-deal, no-transition Brexit would be an economic shock for this economy … and it would also send a signal globally about the prospects of refounding globalization,” Carney said.


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