Morning briefing: Five things you need to know to start your day

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Updated: February 18, 2019 8:46:03 AM

Here’s what’s moving markets this morning.

Five things you need to know to start your day (Reuters)

Trade talks continue amid hopes of a resolution, Asian markets look set to start the week upbeat and a parade of central bankers will be closely watched as global economic data disappoints. Here’s what’s moving markets this morning.

Ongoing Trade Talks
China-U.S. trade talks resume in Washington this week, after last week’s negotiations yielded claims of progress with few public details. Beijing claimed a “consensus in principle.” President Trump called the meetings “very productive,” and reiterated his willingness to extend a March 1 deadline for increasing tariffs on Chinese goods.

Market Open
Asian stocks are poised to jump after U.S. equities Friday surged to a 10-week high on trade talk optimism and rebounding American consumer sentiment. The dollar fell, with the pound, Australian and New Zealand dollars outperforming. Treasuries edged lower. Oil spiked and gold also advanced. Volume may be thin with the U.S. on holiday Monday. Among events traders will be watching this week apart from developments on trade and Brexit: Singapore’s budget announcement on Monday; Australian wages on Wednesday followed by jobs Thursday; a Bank of Indonesian rate decision also on Thursday, and Japan CPI on Friday.

Central Banks in the Spotlight
Central bankers get a chance to flesh out their increasingly dovish outlooks for monetary policy this year as economic data continue to disappoint, with minutes from the recent Federal Reserve meeting, speeches from the European Central Bank’s Mario Draghi and a parliamentary testimony from the RBA’s Philip Lowe after minutes from the Australian central bank on Tuesday. Fed officials John Williams, Richard Clarida and Randal Quarles are among those speaking on Friday. The week will also see Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz speak on Thursday.

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Ericsson on Huawei and Europe’s 5G
Ericsson AB Chief Executive Officer Borje Ekholm pushed back on notions that restrictions on Chinese competitor Huawei Technologies Co. would deprive European operators of the only vendor capable of delivering equipment for next-generation wireless networks and risk delaying 5G development on the continent. While it’s true there’s a risk Europe could fall behind on 5G, “it is not true that this is because European service providers lack access to the right technology,” Ekholm said in a blog post on Ericsson’s website. Ekholm’s comments come after European operators have warned that restrictions on Huawei, the world’s largest supplier of network equipment, would delay their plans to build out the 5G networks.

Amazon Investors Not Spooked
Investors don’t seem to be spooked just yet by the headline-grabbing distractions that have besieged Inc. Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos in recent weeks, which culminated in the company abruptly scrapped plans to invest $2.5 billion and hire 25,000 people for a giant new office in New York City. RJ Hottovy, an analyst at Morningstar Inc., credited Amazon’s “deep management team’’ as a source of day-to-day stability as the company navigates the negative publicity.


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