All the day’s economic and financial news, as China reports a 44% surge in exports as steel tariffs loom
- Latest: Dimon says ‘we don’t believe in these tariffs’
- China: Trade war would be a mistake
- Chinese exports smashed forecasts
- Coming up: European Central Bank meeting
Here’s our news story about the slump in profits at John Lewis:
Is the party over for @johnlewisretail & @waitrose ? Profits down whopping 77% as margins squeezed by higher costs and sales stagnant. Partner bonus of 5% lowest for over 60yrs
Strategy of absorbing higher costs at @johnlewisretail & @waitrose instead of passing on laudable (from consumer viewpoint) but backfired for profits and workers as sales barely rose
Bloomberg have helpfully created some video clips of Jamie Dimon discussing tariffs….
Breaking: Jamie Dimon, the head of banking giant JP Morgan has criticised Donald Trump’s plan to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium imports.
There are serious issues around trade. WTO needs to get its act together and get a little more ambitious about fixing some of these problems, but I think tariffs is the wrong way to go about it.
There may be more, there may be retaliations, it kinda opens up a whole Pandora’s Box of additional problems….
Just in: Workers at UK retail chain John Lewis are getting their smallest bonus in decades, after profits slumped last year.
We expect trading to be volatile in 2018/19, with continuing economic uncertainty and no let up in competitive intensity. We therefore anticipate further pressure on profits.
It’s a bad morning for Turkish assets, after Moody’s slashed its credit rating last night.
Moody’s cited the “loss of institutional strength” recently under President Erdogan, and the growing risk of an “external economic shock” due to Turkey’s debts and current account deficit.
Turkey 10 year yields hit highest this year. pic.twitter.com/B3fhBiI0lC
European stock markets are becalmed this morning, as traders wait for this afternoon’s ECB meeting – and any fresh developments over trade.
In London the FTSE 100 is basically flat.
The company is paying dearly for the acquisitive growth that helped its shares climb 80% to peak at 700p just 12-months after its March 2013 IPO.
The problem is that the seemingly unbreakable UK housing market finds itself under increasing pressure with buyers deterred by economic uncertainty related to Brexit and the prospect of higher interest rates, letting investors hampered by both tax changes and rate hikes, clear slowing in house price growth and of course fierce competition from cheaper on-line selling alternatives.
Shares rose on China’s stock market, and beyond, as its strong export data cheered traders.
The CSI 300 index has closed 1% higher, while the Hong Kong Hang Seng index gained 1.5%.
China has also waded into the row over steel tariffs, warning that it will take a necessary response if America begins a trade war.
China’s foreign minister Wang Yi said Beijing hopes to work in partnership with the US, and that a trade war would be a mistake.
Especially given today’s globalisation, choosing a trade war is a mistaken prescription. The outcome will only be harmful.
“China would have to make a justified and necessary response.
Betty Wang, senior china economist at ANZ in Hong Kong, says China is benefitting from the strong global economy.
The broad-based recovery in China’s major export markets could explain part of the reason why exports were still quite strong.
“Global demand remains robust and the economies of the U.S. and Europe are expanding, that’s the biggest boost for Chinese exports.
“The risk of a trade war in which Trump increases tariffs for a broader scope of products seems to be rising.”
China has spiced up the growing debate over trade wars by posting its biggest jump in exports in three years.
Chinese exports jumped by a blistering 44.5% in February, smashing forecasts of a 13% gain, and up from 11.1% in January. It’s the biggest jump since early 2015.
This morning’s Chinese trade data are only likely to reinforce the US administration’s perception of unfair trade as Chinese exports were seen to show a rise 44.5% in February, the best performance in over two years.
Rather than show that the global economy appears to be in fairly good health, they are likely to be used as further evidence by President Trump’s trade hawks that his current policy is appropriate.
China trade: Exports surged 44.5% yoy. Imports slowed to 6.3% from revised 36.8% in Jan. Trade surplus = $33.7bn. Exports to US rose 46.1% with US-China trade surplus $20.96bn
RMB (=). Trade tensions to rise pic.twitter.com/F5sUar99ko
Good morning, and welcome to our rolling coverage of the world economy, the financial markets, the eurozone and business.
Today the focus will be on the European Central Bank rate decision and Mario Draghi’s thoughts on the progress of the Euro area. Investors are eager to find out whether the head of the ECB is ready to start tweaking the bank’s forward guidance and prepare market participants for the gradual unwinding of their QE program.
There’s a debate between analysts on whether Draghi will want to introduce changes to his rhetoric today or instead hold off until early summer.
“There are potential carve-outs for Canada and Mexico based on national security, and possibly other countries as well”.
Link : JP Morgan’s Jamie Dimon criticises Trump’s tariff plan – business live