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U.S. President Donald Trump again lambasted the U.S. Federal Reserve after a European Central Bank rate cut Thursday that sent the euro lower, tweeting the ECB was “succeeding” in “depreciating the Euro against the VERY strong Dollar, hurting U.S. exports” while the Fed “sits, and sits, and sits.”


After the European Central Bank’s bazooka, the wait is on to see what the message is from other central banks. The U.S. Federal Reserve, of course, will cut rates by a quarter point on Wednesday. But Thursday brings policy meetings in Japan, Britain, Norway and Switzerland.

The Bank of Japan, sources say, will discuss further easing; it may even decide to act to head off further economic pain, a third of analysts in a Reuters poll predict. Coming trade and inflation data should show Japan’s export slump deepening and inflation at two-year lows. But its dilemma is the same as elsewhere: how to inject stimulus without hurting banks any further, and how to make it effective.

Switzerland, with a -0.75-per-cent interest rate, is quiet so far on the prospect of emulating ECB easing, but will be concerned at the franc’s surge to two-year highs compared with the euro. On the other hand, the relentless rise in SNB “sight deposits” is hardly tenable: these are at almost 600 billion francs as the SNB intervenes to tamp down the franc.

Brexit clouds the Bank of England’s strategy but Norway, one of very few central banks still pressing on with rate rises, could hike again on Sept. 19. But with easing gathering steam all around, it is very likely to mark the end of its tightening cycle.

There is excitement also in emerging markets, where Brazil is expected to cut 50 basis points on Wednesday. South Africa’s central bank also meets on Thursday, although is not expected to move. But these days, you never know.


Financial markets were quick to seize on recent conciliatory messages and measures between Beijing and Washington as a hopeful sign of an imminent deal in the protracted trade war. Yet, that may be as much a symptom of fatigue from the unremitting tweets and retorts, as genuine optimism.

A Reuters poll of 60 economists shows 80 per cent of them expect relations between Beijing and the Trump administration to deteriorate or at best hold steady until the end of 2020.

The week saw Beijing exempt some agricultural products from additional tariffs on U.S. goods and Mr. Trump delay a tariff increase on certain Chinese goods by two weeks. Junior U.S. and Chinese officials meet in the coming week, followed by talks between senior trade negotiators in early October.

Meanwhile, the IMF has issued dire warnings of a drop in global economic growth next year. China’s neighbours are seeing growth rates slide as their exports to the mainland collapse.

Some are looking for upsides: Vietnam has been a beneficiary of businesses seeking to move or alter trade routes. Thailand just announced a package of tax incentives, investment zones and new legislation that would draw in companies from China, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea. But if tensions are shrinking the world trade pie, any feasting in Southeast Asia may be short-lived.

China also reports industrial output and retails sales data for August on Monday.


Britain’s never ending Brexit drama is set to reach fever pitch again – this time in the country’s top court.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will challenge a ruling of Scotland’s highest court of appeal that his decision to suspend, or prorogue, parliament for five weeks was unlawful and should be annulled. Gina Miller will appeal a rejection of her challenge for a judicial review of Mr. Johnson’s decision to prorogue parliament. Both cases are scheduled to be heard by the United Kingdom’s Supreme Court on Tuesday.

Proroguing parliament until Oct. 14 was seen by most as a tactical move from Mr. Johnson to make sure he maintains a strong negotiating hand with Brussels.

Mr. Johnson wanted to show he can deliver a no-deal Brexit on Oct. 31. Most investors believed him, sending the pound sharply lower at the start of the month, to levels not seen since 1985 in early September.

But the tables seem to have turned for now: Parliament managed to pass a law that forces Mr. Johnson to extend Brexit if a deal isn’t reached by Oct. 19. Traders say this has definitely reduced the probability of a no-deal Brexit on Oct. 31, although the risks of a no-deal Brexit down the road was still high.

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