Brexit secretary David Davis resigns

Government into crisis

David Davis has resigned as Brexit secretary, shattering the hard-won consensus around Theresa May’s Chequers deal and plunging her government into crisis.

His resignation was swiftly followed by that of fellow Department for Exiting the EU ministers Steve Baker and Suella Braverman. It forces May to reshuffle her government, at the same time as trying to convince backbenchers to support her plan.

Davis sent a bluntly worded resignation letter to Theresa May, saying he would not be a “reluctant conscript” to the plan agreed at Chequers, which he said was “certainly not returning control of our laws in any real sense”.

https://www.the guardian.com/

Trump Is Fracturing OPEC

Trump tweets

Trump’s tweet over the weekend that Saudi Arabia agreed to add 2 million barrels per day (mb/d) of supply confused the oil markets, pushing prices down a bit on Monday. Most analysts dismissed the statement, concluding that Trump was confused when the Saudis told him they have 2 mb/d of spare capacity, and not that they had planned to bring that capacity online.

A few days on from that episode, however, it actually doesn’t look that black and white.

Indeed, Trump’s tweet suggests that he very much believes that 2 mb/d of Saudi supply is coming online, and despite the attempt by the Saudis to clarify, by stating that they have surplus capacity waiting to be used in the event of a pinch, the statement was interpreted in different ways by the oil market.

https://www.oilprice.com/

Morgan Stanley hikes oil price forecast to $85

Trump targets Iranian barrels

Oil prices will rise more than previously expected in the second half of 2018, as the Trump administration aims to wipe out Iranian crude exports by November, Morgan Stanley forecasts.

The tougher-than-anticipated U.S. policy means Iran’s production could fall by 1.1 million barrels per day (bpd) at a time of high oil demand. The bank also sees output declining more than it previously forecast in Libya and Angola, leaving the oil market undersupplied by about 600,000 bpd in the second half.

As a result, Morgan Stanley said it now believes international benchmark Brent crude will average $85 a barrel over the next six months. That’s $7.50 higher than its previous estimate.

https://www.cnbc.com/

EU warns Trump’s car tariffs threaten $300 billion of US exports

20% of US exports at risk

Nearly $300 billion of US exports could be hit by retaliatory tariffs if the Trump administration decides to penalize automobile imports from around the world, the European Union says.

The Commission said global retaliation against US tariffs on auto imports would have a much bigger impact on the American economy than the backlash provoked by the Trump administration’s steel and aluminum tariffs this year. It estimated that $294 billion, or around 19% of total US exports last year, could be affected.

President Donald Trump has threatened to place a 20% tariff on all European cars coming to the United States if the European Union doesn’t remove its own trade barriers. In May, the US government launched an investigationinto imports of automobiles, including SUVs, light trucks and auto parts.

The type of investigation, known as Section 232, is meant to determine whether the imports are hurting US national security. It’s the same approach the Trump administration used before it slapped tariffs on steel and aluminum imports earlier this year.

https://www.cnn.com/

Does Trump plan to quit the World Trade Organization?

Better WTO Treatment

President Donald Trump said he doesn’t plan to withdraw from the World Trade Organization (WTO), but wants the U.S. needs to be treated more fairly by the global body.The U.S. won’t exit the Geneva-based organization “at this point,” Trump said Friday. His top White House trade adviser hedged on the question on Saturday, saying any decision was up to the president, and pushed back at critics of U.S. trade moves from companies including auto-maker General Motors Co.

Axios news agency reported earlier in the day that Trump had repeatedly told top White House officials he wants to exit the WTO, citing people familiar with Trump’s thinking. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index and U.S. futures wobbled on the story before recovering. Earlier Friday, White House officials sought to ease concerns over the report, with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin calling it an “exaggeration.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Amazon Makes $1 Billion Splash in Health Care, Buying PillPack

Formidable challenge to pharmacy chains 

Amazon.com Inc. is buying its way into the heart of the U.S. health-care system, instantly shaking up a prescription-drug industry already in the midst of a broader transformation. Insurance companies and drug-benefit managers have struck a series of deals in recent months designed in part to thwart a potential big splash in the health world from Amazon. But the online retail giant’s decision to buy online pharmacy PillPack rapidly accelerates the threat posed to entrenched retailers, suppliers and middlemen.

Most immediately, the move represents a formidable challenge to pharmacy chains including Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. and CVS Health Corp., the two largest drugstore chains in the U.S. Walgreens shares sank 8.5 percent at 10:49 a.m. in New York, while CVS shares shed 8.9 percent.

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Looming ‘financial panic’ in China

Chinese stocks are in a bear market

Sentiment on the Chinese economy has taken a turn for the worse. Chinese economic data has started to falter after a period of near-relentless consistency over the past couple of years. Recent months have seen Chinese stocks and the Chinese yuan tumbling.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index has fallen over 20% since late January, leaving it in a technical bear market. It currently sits at the lowest level since May 2016, having been at a two-year high earlier in the year. The Chinese yuan has also been hammered, losing over 6% since late March, leaving it at the weakest level since late last year.

https://www.businessinsider.com/

Uber wins licence to work in London

15-month probationary licence

Uber will be able to continue operating in London, after a court decided the ride-hailing firm should be awarded a new 15-month probationary licence, after being told of sweeping changes to its practices.

The ride-hailing firm’s future in one of its biggest global markets had been in jeopardy after Transport for London ruled last September that it was not “fit and proper” to hold a private hire vehicles operator licence.

At the start of a two-day hearing, Uber admitted that London’s original decision not to renew its five-year licence had been correct. TfL cited concerns about public safety and security, including a failure to report crimes or alleged crimes to the police, and to conduct proper background checks on drivers.

But Uber’s lawyers convinced Westminster magistrates court that it had since cleaned up its act, while continuing to operate in the capital pending its appeal.

https://www.theguardian.com/

Trade war: Harley-Davidson shifts some production out of the U.S.

Trump last year thanked the company for “building things in America.”

On Monday, Harley-Davidson Inc. said it would shift some production out of the U.S. in order to mitigate the impact of European Union tariffs targeting its motorcycles. Those penalties — which Harley-Davidson estimates may cost it as much as $100 million annually — were in response to U.S. levies on steel and aluminum imported from the EU. Meanwhile, the Treasury Department is reportedly planning to aim a bazooka at a Chinese takeover problem that doesn’t really exist anymore by declaring a national economic emergency. What’s more troubling is a reported plan to crack down on exports of key U.S. technologies.

https://www.bloomberg.com/

EU shut Britain out of Galileo

UK firms are being blocked from bidding for contracts

A fresh row over the UK’s involvement with the Galileo satellite programme, to which the country’s taxpayers have already paid £1bn, threatens to poison the Brexit talks after the EU shut Britain out of the project.

A majority of member states have turned against the UK and voted in favour of pushing forward on the next round of contracts for the £8bn project, despite requests for a delay to allow negotiations over British involvement to progress. UK firms are being blocked from bidding for contracts.

Galileo is an £8bn satellite navigation system intended to rival the US-controlled global positioning system. Once fully operational in 2020 it will provide accurate position, navigation and timing information to be used by governments, citizens, industry and the military.

https://www.theguardian.com/