Stock markets have got off to a relatively positive start on Monday, despite the United States, UK and France carrying out targeted strikes in Syria over the weekend in response to the chemical weapons attack a couple of weeks ago.
U.S. futures are back in negative territory ahead of the open on Wednesday, as stocks continue to fluctuate against the backdrop of a potential trade war. Investors are also awaiting the release of the FOMC minutes from the March meeting.
It’s not often that the see a miss of around 88,000 in the US job creation figures and markets shrug it off but that’s exactly what we’ve seen today. The U.S. jobs report was somewhat overshadowed this week by the ongoing back and forth between the world’s two largest economies, which has threatened to disrupt the period of strong growth the global economy is seeing.
There are a lot of risks that financial markets have shrugged off during the last couple of years to the amazement at times of investors, but the prospect of a trade war is clearly not one of these. European markets are following Monday’s lead from the markets posting substantial gains this morning, while U.S. futures are pointing to another strong start on Tuesday. It has become clear that the main target of Donald Trump’s tariffs on steel and aluminum was China, with a number of other countries being granted extensions and possible exclusions since the announcement, while the threats have intensified toward Beijing.
For a person who’s been obsessed with stock market gains since his election victory 16 months ago, U.S. President Donald Trump doesn’t appear too concerned about the impact his tariffs are having at the moment.
Brexit, trade wars, slow economic growth and heightened tensions with Russia, not exactly the ideal environment for a central bank to consider raising interest rates. Yet, that's exactly what the Bank of England is doing and on Thursday, they may signal and intention to do just that at the next meeting in May.
U.S. futures are coming under pressure once again ahead of the open on Thursday, as investors continue to display an anxiety about the path of interest rates against a backdrop of escalating trade conflicts.