1. Dollar Up On Renewed Trade Concerns
The dollar rose against most of its peers in early Wednesday trading, amid reports of renewed tension in U.S.-China trade negotiations. U.S. and China have scheduled a new round of high-level trade talks in Beijing and Washington, aiming to close a deal by late April to end the yearlong dispute between the world’s two largest economies. Meanwhile, the Australian dollar wallowed at 3-month lows on a decline in 10-year bond yields and after reports that some U.S. officials expressed concern that China is pushing back against U.S. demands in trade talks.*
2. Oil Down From Four-Month Highs
Oil prices dipped slightly on Wednesday, retreating from a four-month high as economic growth concerns dampened the outlook for fuel consumption. However, voluntary supply cuts led by producer club OPEC and U.S. sanctions against Iran and Venezuela are expected to support oil prices. International Brent crude oil futures (CL_BRENT) were last at $67.67 a barrel, up 8 cents, or 0.1 percent, from their last close. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $59.26 per barrel, down 5 cents, or 0.03 percent, from their last settlement.**
3. More Trouble Ahead For Boeing?
The U.S. transportation secretary, Elaine Chao, asked her agency’s internal watchdog to conduct an audit of how the Federal Aviation Administration cleared the Boeing 737 Max 8, bringing official scrutiny to the rollout of Boeing’s jet. The inquiry is set to start soon, and a Boeing spokesman said the company would fully cooperate with it. In the past five months, two Max 8s have crashed — last week in Ethiopia, killing 157 people, and in October in Indonesia, killing 189 people — under similar circumstances.***
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*Source: CNBC Mar 20, 2019 2:48 AM ET
**Source: Reuters Mar 20, 2019 3:53 AM ET
***Source: NYT Mar 20, 2019 03:07 AM ET