Overseas Headlines- October 10, 2019

October 10, 2019

United States:

U.S. Consumer Prices Trail Forecasts as Used-Car Costs Drop

A key measure of U.S. consumer prices rose by less than expected in September as used-car costs fell by the most in a year, potentially bolstering the case for the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates for the third time in three months. The core consumer price index, which excludes food and energy, increased 0.1% from the prior month, a Labor Department report showed Thursday, below the median estimate of economists. The annual gain of 2.4% matched projections as well as the August increase. The broader CPI was unchanged on the month and up 1.7% annually, trailing projections. The subdued monthly reading could reinforce investor bets that the Fed will ease policy later in October as the global picture darkens and the trade war worsens. Officials favoring a reduction may see little risk that inflation will jump above the central bank’s price goal and a danger that trade tensions will persist for some time. Even so, additional tariffs could still pass through to prices paid by consumers. On Sept. 1 President Donald Trump initiated fees on about $112 billion in Chinese products and the Asian nation immediately retaliated. Chinese and American negotiators are holding face-to-face talks in Washington this week, with levies set to rise further barring any truce. A separate Labor Department report Thursday showed filings for unemployment benefits fell to a three-week low of 210,000, indicating that while job gains are slowing, layoffs and firings remain limited. Ten-year Treasury yields climbed to the day’s highs after the data, and as traders prepared for a 30-year bond auction later Thursday.




Bank of England Unveils New £20 Note With Turner’s Image

“The Bank of England unveiled the new design of its 20-pound ($24) banknote honoring painter J.M.W. Turner. “Light is therefore color” was his famous saying, and it’s also an advanced level of security for the new bill. The new polymer note will be the first to incorporate two windows and a two-color foil, making it the most secure cash yet, the BOE said as it displayed the design at an event in Margate, U.K., on Thursday. The bill will also feature Turner’s most eminent painting, The Fighting Temeraire, a tribute to the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, and an image of the Kent seaside town’s lighthouse. “Our banknotes celebrate the U.K.’s heritage, salute its culture, and testify to the achievements of its most notable individuals,” BOE Governor Mark Carney said. “Turner’s contribution to art extends well beyond his favorite stretch of shoreline. The new 20 pound note celebrates Turner, his art and his legacy in all their radiant, colorful, evocative glory.” The 20-pound note will be the third polymer note to be released by the BOE when it goes into circulation from Feb. 20, 2020. The five-pound bill, featuring Winston Churchill, went into circulation in 2016, followed by the Jane Austen “tenner” a year later. The notes designs have rarely escaped controversy, with issues ranging from the use of tallow in their material to whether the image of Austen is too attractive. Turner was chosen after a two-month public nomination that resulted in 590 possible historical candidates from the field of visual arts. The BOE’s Banknote Character Advisory Committee, a panel of cultural experts led by Deputy Governor Ben Broadbent, produced a shortlist and Carney made the final choice. Joseph Mallord William Turner, an English Romanticist landscape painter who was born in 1775 and died in 1851, is regarded as one of the U.K.’s most important pre-20th Century artists. One of the few works by Turner held in a private collection sold for 30.3 million pounds in 2014, the first time the painting had come to market in more than 130 years and setting an auction record for the painter. As Turner rarely signed his works, so the signature featured on the note is taken from his will. The bill will also contain tactile features to help the vision impaired.”



China Hit by EU Tariffs as High as 66%

“The European Union imposed tariffs as high as 66.4% on steel road wheels from China, targeting manufacturers such as Zhejiang Jingu Co. and Xingmin Intelligent Transportation Systems Co. The duties punish Chinese exporters of steel wheels for vehicles including cars, tractors and trailers for allegedly having sold them in the EU below cost, a practice known as dumping. Dumped imports of steel road wheels from China caused “material injury” to EU-based manufacturers of the goods, the European Commission, the 28-nation bloc’s executive arm in Brussels, said on Thursday in the Official Journal. The anti-dumping duties represent the preliminary outcome of a probe opened in February on the basis of a dumping complaint by the Association of European Wheel Manufacturers. The levies, due to take effect on Friday, will last for six months and may be prolonged for five years. The EU has 11 manufacturers of steel road wheels, according to the commission, which took the unusual step of declining to identify any of them. European producers requested anonymity “on grounds of a fear of retaliatory measures by some of their customers,” the commission said. Chinese exporters’ combined share of the EU market for steel road wheels doubled to 5.3% last year compared with 2015, according to the commission. The rates of the provisional anti-dumping duties are 50.3% against 19 specifically named Chinese exporters — including Zhejiang Jingu and Xingmin Intelligent Transportation Systems — and 66.4% for all others. Separately on Thursday, the commission threatened to stoke longstanding tensions with China over steel trade by opening an inquiry into whether Chinese producers of hot-rolled, stainless-steel sheets and coils receive market-distorting government aid. The probe, due to last as long as 13 months, could lead to EU anti-subsidy duties on imports of these steel products from China. The bloc already has anti-dumping and/or anti-subsidy levies on a range of other products imported from China, the biggest producer of the metal with around half the world’s output. In a third trade development on Thursday, the commission opened an investigation into whether South Korean exporters of heavyweight thermal paper are dumping it in the EU. That probe, due to last as long as 14 months, could lead to European anti-dumping duties on the shipments from Korea.”




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