Global markets are jittery after China's parliament moved forward with national security legislation for Hong Kong and with President Trump holding a press conference later today on potential sanctions on Chinese officials. A revocation of Hong Kong's favored status is considered a worst-case outcome of the press conference for investors. (SA)
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell takes part in a moderated virtual discussion later today with former Fed Vice Chairman Alan Blinder. While the market sees a lower chance of negative rates, the range of Fed tools is likely to be discussed. Latest data shows its holdings of corporate debt ETFs rose to almost $3 billion, while the weekly balance sheet added a line item for muni bond purchases. It is also likely that Powell will be asked to comment on whether policy makers will engage in yield-curve control, as flagged by New York Fed President John Williams earlier this week. (Bloomberg)
Oil prices are lower after U.S. inventory data showed soft fuel demand, despite the hopes for a Memorial Day weekend rush of motorist activity. Still, there is optimism bubbling under the surface in the oil markets after strong gains in May followed the disastrous supply glut and limited storage turmoil in April. While ships full of crude are still anchored on the high seas with onshore storage sold out, the volume of crude stored on ships in Asia has come off the peaks seen earlier this month on a recovery in demand in China and India. A fresh report from the International Energy Agency projects global oil demand in May is set to decline ~25 mb/d compared to a year ago, with June demand clocking in at ~15 mb/d below last year's level. (IEA)
With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Josh Fenili.