“The US-China trade war has always been serious. Now it’s starting to get scary.
“China allowed its currency to drop sharply on Monday to the weakest level in more than a decade. And China announced its companies have halted purchases of American agricultural goods.
“The Trump administration escalated tensions even further late Monday by taking the historic step of labeling China a currency manipulator. This comes after US President Donald Trump vowed last week to impose tariffs for the first time on a wide swath of US consumer goods from China.
“The trade conflict has reached a new level of seriousness that will be difficult to reverse.”
“Hedge fund manager and Hayman Capital Management founder Kyle Bass said on Monday that without state support, China’s currency would plunge. “What’s happening in China is they have to have dollars to sell to buy their own currency to hold it up.
“If they were to ever free float their currency, I think it would drop 30% or 40%,” Bass told CNBC’s “Closing Bell.””
“A recession will come in nine months’ time if President Donald Trump… imposes 25% tariffs on some $300 billion of Chinese goods not currently subjected to tariffs… in September…
“The real concern, however, is corporate confidence.”
“The spread between three-month and 10-year Treasury yields — a relationship known as the yield curve — on Monday inverted to its widest level since 2007. At its most extended point, the spread reached -32 basis points. That’s a worrisome sign for economists and traders alike, considering such an inversion has preceded every US recession of the past 50 years.”
“U.S. services sector activity slowed in July as new orders dropped to their lowest level in three years, suggesting the economy lost further momentum early in the third quarter….
““The trade war was already inflicting damage to the economy, and now it has been ramped up,” said Jennifer Lee.”
“President Donald Trump on Monday announced the US would expand its existing sanctions against Venezuela with an executive order to impose a total economic embargo against the country.
“The embargo freezes assets of the government of Venezuela and associated entities and prohibits economic transactions with it, unless specifically exempted.”
“Iran’s foreign minister has said he was invited for White House talks with Donald Trump and threatened with sanctions if he did not attend. Mohammad Javad Zarif told reporters in Tehran: “I didn’t accept and was sanctioned.”
“The secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, announced the imposition of sanctions on Zarif on 31 July…”
“The rupee on Monday crashed by 113 paise — the biggest single-day drop in past six years — to close at a five-month low of 70.73 due to heavy capital outflows by investors anxious over the US-China trade tension, a sharp devaluation in yuan and uncertainty over Kashmir issue.
“This was the third straight session of fall for the rupee, during which it lost a massive 194 paise.”
“Following the lead of industrialists, leading bankers in the country have begun to admit that India’s economy faces a slowdown and urgently needs fixing. Chairman Rajnish Kumar of India’s largest state-owned bank, State Bank of India, said that there is a slowdown in demand and it is visible in every sector.”
“Police in Hong Kong fired tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters on Monday as strikes crippled the city’s transport network and forced the cancellation of hundreds of flights amid a deepening political crisis.
“Activists blocked arterial roads and halted traffic across the city in a show of fury as Hong Kong’s leader Carrie Lam warned that the Asian financial hub was on the “verge of a very dangerous situation”.”
“The British economy is showing the greatest signs of strain for seven years amid a continued decline in car sales and as the service sector struggles to grow with Brexit looming.
“According to the latest snapshot from the beleaguered UK motor industry, car sales dropped for the fifth consecutive month in July. New car registrations fell by 4.1% to 157,198, the weakest sales in July since 2012…”
“British retailers have recorded the worst month for sales in July since records began, as consumers tighten their belts with Brexit approaching…
“With the British economy facing growing uncertainty, the industry lobby group said the rise was the weakest since its records began in 1995.”
“Growth in the Eurozone economy softened in July as German output fell to a six-year low and the manufacturing sector continued to struggle, a closely-watched survey has shown.”
“Eurozone investors were at their gloomiest since October 2014 in August, according to a survey from finance data firm Sentix, which called a German recession “inevitable”.”
““The combination of a disappointing Fed and an escalating trade war appears to be too much for this fragile global economy.
“The summer breakdown in copper suggests that volatility will remain a major theme in the markets in H2′19, and the odds of a recession are steadily rising,” said The Steven Report’s Tom Essaye.”
“Global chip sales plunged 16.8% in June from June last year, to $32.7 billion, on a three-month moving average basis, and are down 22% from the peak in October 2018, according to the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics today.
“As the deepest and most relentless plunge in semiconductor sales since the Financial Crisis continues, any hopes for a V-shaped recovery, such as during the Financial Crisis, have been shelved.”