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Trump seeks revival as convention begins, Gulf coast faces double blow, and TikTok set to sue.
President Donald Trump will be in Charlotte, North Carolina for the start of the Republican National Convention today as he seeks to revive his campaign for a second term. He is scheduled to speak on each of the four nights, a departure from the norm where the candidate typically only speaks to accept the party nomination. With the pandemic proving one of the biggest drags on his popularity, Trump is now promoting blood plasma treatment, which the U.S. Food and Drug Administration cleared for use yesterday.
The double threat from Tropical Storm Marco and Tropical Storm Laura has already shut 58% of oil and 45% of natural gas production in the Gulf of Mexico. Marco is set to make landfall in Louisiana later today, while Laura is expected be upgraded to a hurricane tomorrow and may eventually make landfall in Texas. While the double hit will mean a longer than usual halt to crude production from offshore platforms, the price of oil has risen little as investors remain concerned about the resurgence of the coronavirus in parts of Asia and Europe.
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TikTok could file a lawsuit against the Trump administration as soon as today over the executive order banning transactions with the app in the U.S. The president is expected to make his “tough on China” stance a center point of his speeches at the RNC. Tencent Holdings Ltd.’s shares jumped the most in a month after officials are said to have reassured American businesses that its WeChat app won’t be as broad as feared. While the deterioration of relations between the world’s two largest economies remains a concern for investors, the current standoffs still show little sign of causing the end of the trade deal between the nations.
Signs of progress on treatments for Covid-19 and no further worsening of Sino-U.S. relations are helping maintain the market rally. Overnight, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index added 0.9% while Japan’s Topix index closed 0.2% higher. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index had rallied 1.8% by 5:50 a.m. Eastern Time in a broad rally led by cyclical shares including energy, chemicals and basic resources. S&P 500 futures pointed to more gains at the open, the 10-year Treasury yield was at 0.643% and gold rose.
It is a fairly quiet morning on the economic data front, with most investors waiting for Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s address at the Jackson Hole symposium on Thursday. At 8:30 a.m. today the Chicago Fed National Activity Index for July is published. U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy testifies before the House Oversight Committee later. Earnings today include Palo Alto Networks Inc.