• Asian and US equities trade mostly higher ahead of further trade talks today
  • GBPUSD trades sideways amid varied news
  • AUDUSD traded in a wide range overnight with mixed headlines

Asian and US equities were mostly higher yesterday as trade negotiations continue in Washington. Today US Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, Trade representative Lighthizer and China’s Vice Premier He will meet to continue the discussions, after lower-level talks earlier in the week (Bloomberg)
The S&P 500 was up c.0.18% and in Asia the Hang Seng was up c.0.3% although China’s CSI 300 traded c.0.27% lower after earlier moves higher (Bloomberg)

In FX, AUDUSD had a tumultuous day of trading overnight, initially gaining on a positive jobs report in Australia, but falling after a forecast that showed the RBA would cut rates in August and November. AUD fell further after a report citing an official as saying that one of China’s ports had banned the import of Australian Coal (FT)

GBPUSD traded through 1.3100 yesterday before retracing overnight. News yesterday morning that three Conservative MPs had defected to the newly formed Independent Group weighed on Sterling, but it traded higher during talks between UK PM May and EC President Juncker, which were later described as ‘constructive’ (Bloomberg)
Yesterday Fitch cautioned that it may cut the UK’s Sovereign rating as it believes there is ‘heightened uncertainty’ over the outcome of the Brexit process (FT)

The FOMC Minutes from the meeting on 30th January were released overnight, and indicated that the Fed’s balance sheet normalization would be completed sooner than expected, by the end of the year. The minutes also mentioned that ‘many participants’ saw the outlook as uncertain enough such that they were not clear on what further adjustment to the policy rate path would be needed