Stock markets remain well supported to start the week. US index futures and the FTSE are flat to up slightly, while the Dax is up 0.7%. In currency action, USD is up slightly against gold and the majors. Sterling is the top performer, posting gains against USD, EUR and JPY as traders digest last week passage of the Brexit bill by a big majority through the House of Commons last week with no amendments. Debate in the House of Lords is scheduled to start next Monday.
The biggest action so far today has been in base metal commodities which continue to benefit from last week's strong China trade report which has shifted resource demand expectations upward.. Nickel is up 3.6% while Copper is up 0.6%.This appears to bode well for base metal stocks and the Canadian market especially since the similarly weighted to resources Australian market posted a 0.7% gain overnight.
Canada trading, particularly the loonie may also attract a lot of attention today on political developments. Canadian PM Trudeau is off to Washington to meet with President Trump today. Trade is at the top of the agenda with the new US administration looking to renegotiate or rip up NAFTA. The concern is that even though Trump is targeting Mexico, Canada could get sideswiped in trade disputes. Energy may also come up with the approval process for Keystone XL back up and going.
The big question is whether the two leaders will get along or not and how that could impact relations particularly. The bearish case would say there could be trouble because Trudeau was close to former President Obama with the potential for dustups over climate change or refugees.
On the other hand, PM Trudeau seems to be pretty good at seeing which way the wind is blowing, dumping unpopular ideas and political liabilities overboard (like electoral reform and the latest cabinet reshuffle) and focusing on top priorities. Also a positive, President Trump's meeting with Japanese PM Abe seems to have gone well with VP Pence to continue engagement and no flareups over trade and currency values.
So, we'll see soon enough. Around the meeting pipeline stocks like Transcanada and auto stocks like Magna could attract particular attention from traders.
There have been no major corporate announcements so far today.
Japan GDP 1.0% vs street 1.1%
Upcoming significant economic announcements include:
US President Trump meets with Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau
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