Market News 1-3

(JPM on overnight) trade tensions are ratcheting higher (the White House scheduled a last-minute meeting for today at which the steel/aluminum tariffs are expected to be announced – Trump is said to be pushing for 25% on steel and 10% on aluminum; note that a senior Chinese economic official also is at the White House today for meetings).
(JPM on macro) The economic narrative takes growth for granted with the focus nearly exclusively on upside inflation risks (not w/o justification) while the consumer staples subgroup (a key component of the defensive space) is coming off an awful earnings season. Meanwhile, growth data has been weakening at the margin. On an absolute level growth is still strong but momentum is softening and a number of readings from around the world have fallen short of expectations of late.
(Reuters) U.S. crude oil production shattered a 47-year output record in November and retreated slightly in December, the U.S. Energy Department said on Wednesday, as oil production from shale continued to upend global supply patterns.
(Reuters) Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia is likely to cut prices for all crude grades it sells to Asia in April after demand for Middle East crude fell in last month’s trade, trade sources said on Thursday. Middle East crude prices took a dive last month as Asia’s demand for Aprilloading cargoes dropped ahead of a peak refinery maintenance season in the second quarter.

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