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Tuesday, July 2: Five Things You Need to Know to Start...

Business Maverick

Business Maverick

Tuesday, July 2: Five Things You Need to Know to Start Your Day

Demonstrators use hammers to break windows at the Legislative Council building during a protest in Hong Kong, China, on Monday, July 1, 2019. Protesters flooded into Hong Kong's legislative building Monday evening after smashing their way through entrances in a dramatic escalation of efforts to force the government to withdraw controversial extradition legislation. Photographer: Eduardo Leal/Bloomberg
By Bloomberg
02 Jul 2019 0

Hong Kong's protesters storm the city’s legislative chamber. The U.S. proposes adding tariffs to an additional $4 billion of EU goods. And Asia’s banks must brace for a worsening storm, McKinsey says. Here are some of the things people in markets are talking about today.

Chaos in Hong Kong

A group of Hong Kong protesters occupied and ransacked the city’s legislative chamber on Monday in an escalation of demonstrations against the China-appointed government. The city’s leader, Carrie Lam, condemned the “use of extreme violence,” then promised without specifics to govern in a more inclusive way. Riot police fired tear gas after demonstrators smashed their way into and then vandalized the city’s Legislative Council.  A peaceful march earlier drew hundreds of thousands of people. Read more about the extradition bill controversy in our QuickTake.

New EU Tariffs Proposed

The U.S. has proposed a supplemental list of 89 “tariff subheadings” with a trade value of about $4 billion that could be subject to additional trade levies.  The U.S. Trade Representative wants to “enforce U.S. rights in the World Trade Organization dispute against the European Union” over subsidies on large civilian aircraft, the agency said in statement. The U.S. and EU have been accusing each other of illegally subsidizing their main aircraft makers. The list of proposed goods includes cheese, milk, coffee, certain metal products including copper, Irish and Scotch whiskies and pork products.

RBA Cut Likely

The RBA will probably cut rates for a second straight meeting, taking its benchmark down 25 basis points to 1%, according to consensus. Australia’s jobless rate remains mired above 5%, first-quarter growth was the slowest since 2009 and housing prices keep sliding, Bloomberg Economics said. Governor Philip Lowe said last month that it’s “not unreasonable” to expect further easing.

In the Red

Nikkei and Hang Seng futures are both in the red after U.S. stocks pared gains from record highs. Presidents Trump and Xi’s G-20 trade truce lifted U.S. stocks but weak American manufacturing data cut the gains. Treasuries fell, with 10-year yields up two basis points. The dollar rose against every G-10 counterpart, with the Swiss franc and Aussie leading declines. Gold dropped almost 2% amid general risk-on sentiment. Oil closed higher in a roller-coaster trading session.

Asia’s Banks Losing Share

The days of a “free lunch” are over for Asia’s banks, which face an intensifying threat from slowing economic growth and competition with technology firms, according to McKinsey & Co. After years of rapid expansion, banks in the region are now seeing their revenue and profit growth slow and global market share shrink. “Many banks will struggle as the storm worsens,” McKinsey wrote. “The road ahead is difficult, and less efficient banks will disappear.”


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