In a statement on Friday morning, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said that the US missile strike violated not only international, and added that the attack “was on the brink of military clashes with Russia.”
“Instead of their much-publicized thesis about a joint fight with a common enemy, Islamic State [IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL], the Trump administration has proven that it will fiercely fight against the legal government of Syria,” Medvedev wrote on his Facebook page.
Ealier in the day, the Kremlin released a statement according to which “President Putin views the U.S. strikes on Syria as aggression against a sovereign state in violation of the norms of international law and on a made-up up pretext. This step by Washington will inflict major damage on U.S.-Russia ties.”
“President Putin views the U.S. strikes on Syria as aggression against a sovereign state in violation of the norms of international law and on a made-up up pretext,” said a Kremlin statement. “This step by Washington will inflict major damage on U.S.-Russia ties.”
Baker Hughes rig count for the current week shows another gain:
Oil rigs 672 from 662 last week. Up 10
Gas rigs 165 vs 160 last week. Up 5.
Total rigs 839 vs 824 last week. Up 15 for the current week
The price of oil is up $0.47 to $52.17. That is a gain of +0.93%. The high reached $52.94. The low $51.49. Key support for oil is around the $51.00 level where the 100 day MA and the 50% of the move down from February high comes in.
The gains today are on the back of the geopolitical unrest from the US Syrian attacks. This week inventories was higher than expectations. Rigs are still rising are negatives but is not having a huge impact.
Fitch Ratings has downgraded South Africa’s Long-Term Foreign- and Local-Currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) to ‘BB+’ from ‘BBB-‘. The Outlooks are Stable.
The issue ratings on South Africa’s senior unsecured foreign- and local-currency bonds have been downgraded to ‘BB+’ from ‘BBB-‘. The rating on the sukuk trust certificates issued by RSA Sukuk No. 1 Trust has also been downgraded to ‘BB+’ from ‘BBB-‘, in line with South Africa’s Long-Term Foreign-Currency IDR.
The Short-Term Foreign-and Local-Currency IDRs and the rating on the short-term local-currency securities have been downgraded to ‘B’ from ‘F3’. The Country Ceiling has been revised down to ‘BBB-‘ from ‘BBB’.
KEY RATING DRIVERS The downgrade of South Africa’s Long-Term IDRs reflects Fitch’s view that recent political events, including a major cabinet reshuffle, will weaken standards of governance and public finances.
In Fitch’s view, the cabinet reshuffle, which involved the replacement of the finance minister, Pravin Gordhan, and the deputy finance minister, Mcebisi Jonas, is likely to result in a change in the direction of economic policy. The reshuffle partly reflected efforts by the out-going finance minister to improve the governance of state-owned enterprises (SOEs). The reshuffle is likely to undermine, if not reverse, progress in SOE governance, raising the risk that SOE debt could migrate onto the government’s balance sheet.
The US launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at the Syrian military airfield in Ash Sha’irat near Homs late Thursday. US President Donald Trump said the attack was a response to the alleged chemical weapon use in Idlib on Tuesday, which Washington blames on Damascus.
“This move by Washington is causing substantial damage to Russian-US relations, which are in tatters as it is,” Peskov told reporters.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in a statement after the US attack that there were no discussions or prior contacts between the United States and Moscow ahead of the missile strike on the Syrian base.
With the reliability of a finely-tuned watch, the latest release of foreign-currency reserves held at the Swiss National Bank has shown yet another record, in a sign the central bank continues to swim against the tide.
Reserves swelled to SFr683.2bn ($SFr679.3bn) in March, up by nearly SFr15bn on the previous month.
Though the SNB famously dropped its hard upper limit on the franc two years ago, it continues to try and manage the currency’s ascent, buying foreign currencies, chiefly euros, whenever it sees fit. It often stresses its view that the franc is overvalued.
The euro now trades at SFr1.07. Deutsche Bank thinks the Swiss currency will climb much further from here, taking that rate to parity.
Among the reasons, it says the Swiss authorities may feel some pressure from the US:
The US Treasury looms large, as it is due to release its latest report on the FX policies of US trading partners sometime this month. As argued elsewhere, Switzerland is already closest to meeting all three criteria of currency manipulation. Its current account surplus runs well above 3% of GDP, and the SNB has intervened well in excess of 2% over the past year. In the past, the Treasury acknowledged the constraints on domestic asset purchases given the limits of the Swiss bond market; but such subtleties could fall by the wayside under the Trump administration. Free trade with the US is too important for Switzerland to be risked by continued FX intervention.
In addition, inflation is picking up, and the German bank disputes the idea that the franc is overvalued.
As previewed earlier tonight, the US has launched air strikes against Syria, with NBC reporting that under instructions from President Trump, US ships have launched over 50 Tomahawk missiles, striking Syria. NBC adds that only tomahawks missiles fired, no fixed wing aircraft involved, for now.
According to CBS, the U.S. launched about 60 Tomahawk missiles against the Syrian airfield where the plane that allegedly carried out the chemical attack took off from; hangars and planes were targeted, a U.S. official says. Two Navy destroyers launched Raytheon missiles against Syria two days after Bashar al-Assad’s regime used poison gas to kill scores of civilians
The market’s reaction was immediate:
S&P 500 FUTURES ERASE GAINS AFTER U.S. LAUNCHHES SYRIA STRIKE