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Sat, 22nd July 2017

Anirudh Sethi Report

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Posts Authored by: “Nayal Khan”

‘Unusual Activity’ Detected in North Korea May Indicate Submarine Missile Test

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un guides on the spot the underwater test-fire of strategic submarine ballistic missile in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang on April 24, 2016US defense officials say that North Korea’s next missile test could happen under water, as Pyongyang appears to be gearing up for submarine-based launches in the near future.

Over the last 48 hours, a 65 meter-long North Korean submarine has exhibited “unusual deployment activity,” according to what two unnamed officials told CNN on Thursday. The vessel has sailed farther than it has before into international waters, travelling 62 miles to the Sea of Japan.

According to one of the officials, the submarine’s atypical behavior has caused South Korean and US forces to raise their alert levels slightly, as Washington keeps an eye on the vessel through reconnaissance.

This activity comes weeks after Pyongyang completed what Washington has deemed its first successful intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test launch on the Fourth of July, with North Korea leader Kim Jong-un calling the launch a “gift package” for the US on the anniversary of its Independence Day. 

North Korean state media reported that future launches were likely, quoting Kim telling scientists that they should “frequently send big and small ‘gift packages’ to the Yankees.”

Kim also claimed that the Hwasong-14 missile tested most recently is capable of carrying a large nuclear warhead, and some experts say that a missile from the North could have the capability to reach the US west coast in only a couple of years.   

European Indices closed.FTSE closed Positive ,Rest all Negative

UK FTSE up 0.8%. German Dax down -0.2%.

The major European stock indices are ending the day with mixed results:
  • German Day is down -0.2%
  • France’s CAC is down -0.4%
  • UK FTSE is up 0.8%
  • Spain’s Ibex is down -0.2%
  • Italy’s FTSE MIB is down -0.2%
  • Portugals PSI20 is up 0.2%
In the European debt market, yields are lower mostly lower:
  • Germany 0.533%, unchanged
  • France 0.779%, -2.2 bp
  • UK 1.207%, +1 bp
  • Spain 1.489%, -7 bp
  • Italy 2.12%, -7 bp
  • Portugal 3.01%, -5.5 bp
  • Greece 5.263%, unchanged.

ECB leaves key interest rates and QE on hold

ECB interest rate announcement now out 20 July

  • main refinancing rate 0.0%
  • marginal lending facility 0.25%
  • deposit facility  -0.4%
  • asset purchase target EUR 60bln

ECB statement:

  • sees rates at present level well past end of QE
  • QE running until end of Dec or beyond if needed
  • QE to run until inflation path

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Germany issues revised travel guidance for Turkey

German foreign ministry out with a statement 20 July

  • warns German citizens to be more careful
  • Turkey not always informing govt of arrests of German citizens in timely dashion
  • consular access not always guaranteed

“People who are travelling to Turkey for pvt or business reasons are urged to exercise increased caution, and should register with German consulates and the embassy even for shorter visits”

Foreign minister Gabriel takes it one stage further:

One can’t advise anyone to invest in a country when there is no legal certainty and where companies, completely respectable companies, are presented as terrorists and there are already examples of expropriation”

I therefore don’t see how we can still guarantee German company investments in Turkey, if as has happened, arbitrary expropriations for political reasons have not only been threatened but have already taken place.”

Lest we forget on-going concerns on matters closer to home in Europe as Turkish president Erdogan continues to cast his influence.

EURUSD unfazed for the moment with EURUSD holding 1.1500 and EURGBP climbing further to 0.8880 ahead of the ECB

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US Fed to hike interest rates by 25bps in Q4 2017

So says the results of another Reuters poll published today 18 July

  • another 25bps in Q1 2018
  • 55 from 85 economists say the Fed will announce balance sheet normalization plan in Sept
  • US GDP to grow annualised 2.7% in Q2 vs 3.0% in previous poll (June)
  • core PCE inflation f/cast to average 1.5-1.6% each remaining quarter of 2017 vs 1.6-1.7% prev

Meanwhile USDJPY has moved up through 112.20 to post 112.32 with some yen selling notable again. GBPUSD 1.3102 and EURUSD 1.1518 with GBPJPY up to 147.20 and EURJPY 129.39

AUDUSD 0.7910 down from 0.7924 but AUDJPY 88.85 near session highs still.

Europe Starts Freezing Britain Out Of EU Contracts

Diplomatic relations between the UK and EU are fast approaching zero degrees Kelvin.

One day after Theresa May not only cemented, but allowed herself Brexit negotiating breathing room with her stunning, yet cunning decision to announce snap elections which would only boost the leverage of her party, Brussles has retaliated and as the FT reports, Brussels is starting to “systematically shut out British groups from multibillion-euro contracts” while urging companies to migrate to one of the 27 remaining EU members.

The Brussels note suggests that tensions between the UK and EU mey deteriorate to the point where even Bremainers may turn on Brussels:

 In an internal memo seen by the Financial Times, top European Commission officials have told staff to avoid “unnecessary additional complications” with Britain before 2019, highlighting an administrative chill that is biting even before Britain leaves the bloc.

 It explicitly calls on EU staff to begin encouraging the UK-based private sector to prepare for the “legal repercussions” of Brexit and consider the need “to have an office in the EU” to maintain their operating permits. Agencies are also told to prepare to “disconnect” the UK from sensitive databases, potentially on the day of Brexit.

Titans of oil world meet in Houston after two-year price war

The biggest names in the oil world come together this week for the largest industry gathering since the end of a two-year price war that pitted Middle East exporters against the firms that drove the shale energy revolution in the United States.

When OPEC in November joined with several non-OPEC producers to agree to a historic cut in output, the group called time on a fight for market share that drove oil prices to a 12-year low and many shale producers to the wall.

Oil prices are about 70 percent higher than they were the last time oil ministers and the chief executives of Big Oil met in Houston a year ago at CERAWeek, the largest annual industry meet in the Americas.

The ebullience as both sides enjoy higher revenues will be a welcome relief from the gloom of a year ago, near the depths of the price war.

“The oil market has been rebalancing and the powerful forces of supply and demand have been working,” said Dan Yergin, vice chairman of conference organizer IHS Markit and a Pulitzer Prize-winning oil historian.

“The mood will be different this year.”