News Archive


Wells Fargo CFO says reputation issues a challenge for wealth unit

(Reuters) – Wells Fargo Co’s (WFC.N) wealth and investment management unit may be having a harder time generating new business because of damage to the bank’s reputation from scandals over its sales practices, Chief Financial Officer John Shrewsberry said on Friday.

FILE PHOTO: A Wells Fargo logo is seen at the SIBOS banking and financial conference in Toronto, Ontario, Canada October 19, 2017. Picture taken October 19, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Helgren

“The employees in that area would make the case that its a little harder to compete for new business or to compete head-to-head with other advisers for new business,” Shrewsberry said on a call with journalists after the bank reported its second-quarter results. “Just as it was a big tailwind because of Wells Fargo’s reputation before that.”

He said reputation issues had not hurt profit in the unit, however.

Wells Fargo emerged from the 2007-2009 financial crisis with its reputation relatively unscathed compared to some competitors. But since 2016 it has had to grapple with a phony accounts scandal and other customer abuse issues, including in its wealth management business.

“The reputational issue is something that we have to work hard to help those team members work through,” Shrewsberry said.

Wells Fargo’s wealth and investment management net income slid 37 percent in the second quarter from a year earlier, reflecting a $214 million write-down on the sale of its stake in the RockCreek Group. It took a $114 million charge to account for refunds to customers in the unit who had been charged incorrectly for certain assets and accounts.

After inquiries from government agencies, Wells Fargo began probing its wealth and investment management division for possible customer abuse, including overcharging and inappropriate referrals.

The unit has been focused on squeezing more revenue out of its advisers by deepening client relationships. Adviser productivity increased 7 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier, spokeswoman Shea Leordeanu said.

The number of financial advisers at the bank fell 2 percent to 14,226 in the quarter from a year earlier.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in June fined the bank $5.1 million to settle charges Wells Fargo Advisors brokerage had improperly pushed retail customers to actively trade complex investments.

Reporting by Imani Moise; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli and Tom Brown

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Oil rises but declines for the week as supply concerns ease

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Oil prices rose about 1 percent on Friday as strike actions in Norway and Iraq hit supplies, but futures were set for a second straight week of decline after Libyan ports reopened and on the view that Iran might still export some crude despite U.S. sanctions.

FILE PHOTO: An oil well pump jack is seen at an oil field supply yard near Denver, Colorado, U.S., February 2, 2015. REUTERS/Rick Wilking/File Photo

Brent crude LCOc1 rose 88 cents to settle at $75.33 a barrel, a 1.18 percent gain. The global benchmark fell about 2.7 percent for the week.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 futures rose 68 cents to settle at $71.01 a barrel, but lost about 3.9 percent this week.

The market pared gains late in the session on a Bloomberg report that the Trump administration is actively considering tapping into the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve, which would add supply to the market. The country holds a reserve of about 660 million barrels, enough for about three or four months of supply.

“People have been talking about that as a rumor,” said Robert Yawger, director of energy futures at Mizuho in New York. “This is nothing different than anything that’s been said in the last weeks here.”

Hundreds of workers on Norwegian offshore oil and gas rigs went on strike on Tuesday after rejecting a proposed wage deal, closing Shell’s (RDSa.L) Knarr field, which produces 23,900 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

In Iraq, about 100 protesters demanding jobs and better services closed access to Umm Qasr commodities port near the southern city of Basra on Friday, port employees said.

“Persistently declining oil supplies from Venezuela and simmering strike actions in Norway and Iraq are prompting bullish sentiment,” said Abhishek Kumar, senior energy analyst at Interfax Energy in London.

Prices weakened earlier in the week after OPEC member Libya reopened major eastern oil ports and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington would consider granting waivers to some of Iran’s crude buyers.

Fears that a U.S.-China trade dispute could hit global economic growth have also kept buyers on the back foot.

Russia and other leading oil producers may boost oil output further if supply shortages hit the market, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said. In June, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other key producers including Russia responded to market tightness by easing a supply-cut agreement.

China’s crude oil imports fell for a second month in a row in June to their lowest since December, as shrinking margins and volatile oil prices led some independent refiners to scale back purchases.

The U.S. oil rig count remained steady at 863 this week, General Electric Co’s (GE.N) Baker Hughes energy services firm said. The rate of growth has slowed over the past month or so with a decline in crude prices from late May through late June.

To view a graphic on OPEC crude supply, click: reut.rs/2NLDrgP

Reporting by Stephanie Kelly, Aaron Sheldrick and Dmitry Zhdannikov; Editing by Marguerita Choy and Jonathan Oatis

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China’s imports to U.S. ports start peaking early amid tariff threat

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Chinese imports to U.S. ports rose more than expected in June, suggesting that some retailers moved up orders to insulate themselves from an intensifying trade war that threatens to send up costs on a growing number of consumer products.

FILE PHOTO: Shipping containers being loaded onto Xin Da Yang Zhou ship from Shanghai, China at Pier J at the Port of Long Beach in Long Beach, California, U.S., April 4, 2018. REUTERS/Bob Riha Jr./File Photo

Retailers such as Walmart Inc (WMT.N) and Amazon.com (AMZN.O) face uncertainty due to U.S. President Donald Trump’s threat to impose more tariffs on Chinese goods, and the jump in imports from the country was likely because of “pre-emptive buying in anticipation of the tariffs”, said Ben Hackett, founder of international maritime consultancy Hackett Associates.

“This is a bump that isn’t quite normal,” he said.

The U.S. container port peak season is traditionally driven by orders for Chinese-made clothing, electronics and toys for the back-to-school season running from June to September, and then the winter holiday season.

The volume of loaded shipping containers from China to all U.S. ports was up 6.3 percent in June from a year earlier after falling 6.9 percent in May and 3.9 percent in April, said Gene Seroka, executive director of the Port of Los Angeles, the busiest U.S. container port and No. 1 hub for ocean trade with China.

Seroka’s data was sourced from IHS Markit’s PIERS and analyzed by Port of Los Angeles staff.

Data about specific products and buyers, which is compiled from paperwork filed when goods are delivered, was not immediately available.

China said on Friday exports unexpectedly accelerated in June. Officials previously said that Chinese exporters were front-loading shipments to the United States to get ahead of expected tariffs.

Walmart and Amazon declined to comment.

Trump has vowed to reset the United States’ global trade agreements, which includes a threat to impose tariffs on more than $500 billion worth of Chinese goods. Retailers, who place orders for general merchandise up to a year in advance, can offset additional costs by raising prices or finding new suppliers in countries not subject to import levies.

On July 6, the U.S. imposed 25 percent tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese goods, including flash drives, remote controls and thermostats, from a list of $50 billion in products first proposed in April. China quickly fired back with tariffs on an equal value of U.S. goods, including soybeans, whiskey, cotton and automobiles.

Those are unlikely to immediately affect retailers.

The Trump administration raised the stakes in the trade battle on Tuesday with a plan to add 10 percent tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, including furniture, handbags, pet food, refrigerators, textiles and auto parts.

That new round could hit during the autumn lead-up to the all-important Christmas and winter holidays. Many products purchased for that season will have arrived at ports well ahead of the imposition of the new levies.

There are some indications that other industries have employed forward buying to avoid tariffs.

Automakers hailed more ships in May in an apparent scramble to bring vehicles to the United States to pre-empt potential tariff increases. The ports of Baltimore, Jacksonville, Florida; and Brunswick, Georgia – the three leading U.S. ports for importing automobiles – that month unloaded a combined 23,000 more cars than they did a year earlier, according to port data, port officials and logistics companies.

Michael Binetti, an analyst at Credit Suisse, said the latest round of proposed tariffs, if implemented, could catch retailers like Restoration Hardware Inc [HOMHDR.UL], Williams-Sonoma (WSM.N), Michael Kors (KORS.N) and Tapestry (TPR.N) in the crosshairs.

Home furnishings seller Restoration Hardware on Friday said it sourced about 40 percent of its products from China in fiscal 2017. It expects to reduce that to around 35 percent fiscal 2018 and to as little as 25 percent in fiscal 2019.

In the long run, “I don’t think that the U.S. ports will be any kind of issue,” Binetti said. “The boats will be coming in from Vietnam instead of from China in the same volumes.”

Reporting by Lisa Baertlein; Additional reporting by Jeffrey Dastin in San Francisco and Nandita Bose and Caroline Hroncich in New York; editing by Vanessa O’Connell, Grant McCool and Marguerita Choy

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‘Together Against Trump’, thousands protest peacefully in London

LONDON (Reuters) – Chanting “Donald Trump has got to go,” tens of thousands of protesters marched through London on Friday waving banners and banging pots to demonstrate against the U.S. president on his first official visit to Britain.

Under a brilliant blue sky, demonstrators streamed through central London’s main streets carrying placards saying “Dump Trump” and “Keep your tiny hands off women’s rights”. Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn was among the throng.

Organisers said 250,000 people were protesting in London and other demonstrations were expected in cities around the country, including Windsor where the U.S. President was due to have tea with Queen Elizabeth.

“Lock him in the tower,” one homemade placard said there, just yards from where Prince Harry married Meghan Markle in May.

Police, who declined to put a number on the size of the demonstration, had sealed off parts of London including Piccadilly and Regent Street for marchers, while thousands filled Trafalgar Square to hear speeches.

“Trump is not welcome in Britain,” said Grish Gregoran, 58, a shopkeeper who took the day off to attend the protests.

“We wanted to embarrass him and I think we have done that today. We know how sensitive he is. It is horrible to hear the inflammatory language that he uses and I am embarrassed that (Prime Minister) Theresa May has done so much to welcome him.”

“DUMP TRUMP”

London regards its “special relationship” with the United States as a keystone of foreign policy and May has courted Trump ahead of Britain’s departure from the European Union.

Demonstrators protest against the visit of U.S. President Donald Trump, in central London, Britain, July 13, 2018. REUTERS/Simon Dawson

But some Britons see the U.S. leader as crude, volatile, unreliable and opposed to their values on a range of issues. Those demonstrating against Trump included women’s rights campaigners, supporters of immigration and LGBT groups.

“Here, queer and angry,” said one banner. “Immigration is not a crime,” said another.

“Our message to our government and our prime minister is: ‘We don’t want a special relationship with bigots’,” Len McCluskey, the head of the country’s biggest trade union, told Reuters.

Activists kicked off the demonstrations on Friday by floating a six-metre-high (20-ft) blimp outside parliament depicting the U.S. president as a snarling orange baby.

Trump told the Sun newspaper he was avoiding the capital as much as possible.

“I guess when they put out blimps to make me feel unwelcome, (there is) no reason for me to go to London,” he said.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who has clashed repeatedly with Trump on Twitter, defended the demonstrations as free speech.

“The idea that we restrict freedom of speech, the right to assemble, the right to protest because somebody might be offended is a slippery slope,” Khan told BBC Radio.

Khan said pro-Trump supporters would march on Saturday, although some were present on Friday, separated from the main demonstration by police.

A small group of pro-Trump supporters waved the U.S. flag alongside the Union Jack, chanting “We want Trump” and “Trump for 2020”.

Slideshow (10 Images)

Charlie Moffitt, a 16-year-old student who was wearing a red “Make America Great Again” cap, said: “At a time when we are leaving the European Union we need to be close to our most important ally.”

Writing by Kate Holton; additional reporting by Paul Sandle; Editing by Richard Balmforth, Robin Pomeroy and Andrew Heavens

Article source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/businessNews/~3/ni_Z0X8NUuI/together-against-trump-thousands-protest-peacefully-in-london-idUSKBN1K31UR

Trump vows ‘great’ trade deal with UK, abruptly changing tack on May’s Brexit plan

WINDSOR CASTLE, England (Reuters) – President Donald Trump said on Friday the United States and Britain could secure a “great” post-Brexit trade deal, lavishing praise on Prime Minister Theresa May and contradicting his own withering assessment of her strategy publicized hours earlier.

Fresh from sending NATO into crisis talks and ahead of a summit with Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin, Trump shocked Britain’s political establishment when he criticized May’s plans for ties with the European Union after Britain leaves in March.

In a newspaper interview published just hours before holding talks with May, Trump said her Brexit strategy would “kill” any chance of a trade deal and said she had not listened to his advice on how to negotiate with the EU.

But, as the two leaders stood together for a press conference in the garden of May’s grand 16th-Century official residence Chequers, Trump said the British leader was doing a “fantastic job”, added it was up to her how to conduct Brexit, and that a free trade deal was very much on the table.

Relations had never been more special, he said, and any criticism was “fake news”.

“Once the Brexit process is concluded and perhaps the UK has left the EU, I don’t know what they’re going to do but whatever you do is OK with me, that’s your decision,” Trump said.

“Whatever you do is OK with us, just make sure we can trade together, that’s all that matters. The United States looks forward to finalizing a great bilateral trade agreement with the United Kingdom. This is an incredible opportunity for our two countries and we will seize it fully.”

  • Donald Trump meets Britain’s Queen Elizabeth at Windsor Castle
  • Snarling orange ‘Trump baby’ blimp flies outside British parliament
  • ‘Together Against Trump’, thousands protest peacefully in London

At the same location a week ago, May finally won agreement for her Brexit plans from her cabinet after two years of tortuous internal wrangling. But within days, two senior ministers had quit, departures which Trump said earlier in the week had left Britain in turmoil.

Some lawmakers in her deeply divided Conservative Party have cast May’s “business-friendly” Brexit plan as a betrayal that would leave Britain too close to the EU and warned that she might face a leadership challenge.

May’s formal proposals were published on Thursday, but hours later the Sun published an interview with Trump where he appeared to side with the prime minister’s critics.

“If they do a deal like that, we would be dealing with the European Union instead of dealing with the UK, so it will probably kill the deal,” he told the Sun. “I would have done it much differently. I actually told Theresa May how to do it, but she didn’t listen to me.”

Asked about that interview, Trump said he had not criticized May, lavishing praise on “a terrific woman”, who was smart, tough and capable.

“This incredible woman right here is doing a fantastic job, a great job,” he said. “She’s a total professional because when I saw her this morning, I said: ‘I want to apologize, because I said such good things about you’. She said: ‘Don’t worry, it’s only the press’.”

“HIGHEST LEVEL OF SPECIAL”

May, likewise, glossed over the comments in the Sun, saying her deal provided a platform for an ambitious free trade deal.

U.S. President Donald Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May meet at Chequers in Buckinghamshire, Britain July 13, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Trump’s remarks to the Sun were the most biting any U.S. president has ever made on visit to Britain. However, under the blue skies of the Chequers’ garden, he said their relationship was “the highest level of special”.

However, while Trump and May exchanged warm words, tens of thousands of protesters marched against the U.S. president through central London, bringing much of the British capital to a standstill. It was one of the more than 100 demonstrations planned across the country during his four-day stay.

“The message we came here to give today is that Trump is not welcome in Britain,” said shopkeeper Grish Gregoran, 58, who took the day off to attend. “We wanted to embarrass him and I think we have done that today.

Trump has also frequently angered British politicians and has been involved in social media spats with London’s Muslim mayor Sadiq Khan who he said had “done a very bad job on terrorism”.

Late last year, May herself criticized Trump for retweeting a message by a member of a British far-right group, and the speaker of parliament has said the president would not be welcome to address the chamber.

After leaving Chequers, Trump traveled to Windsor Castle to have tea with Queen Elizabeth. He was heralded by military bands on his arrival at the 92-year-old monarch’s home where her grandson Prince Harry married U.S. actress Meghan Markle in May.

He was due to fly to one of his golf courses in Scotland later on Friday where he will stay until Sunday when he flies to Helsinki for talks with Russia’s Putin where he said he would bring up the issue of nuclear disarmament.

However his trip is set to be overshadowed by news that a U.S. federal grand jury has indicted 12 military intelligence officers on charges of hacking the computer networks of 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party.

Slideshow (6 Images)

“We have this stupidity going on, pure stupidity, but it makes it very hard to do something with Russia because, anything you do, it’s like: ‘Russia, oh he loves Russia’,” Trump said at the press conference before news of the indictment.

“I love the United States but I love getting along with Russia and China and other countries.”

Writing by Guy Faulconbridge and Michael Holden; Additional reporting by William James, Kate Holton, Andrew MacAskill and Paul Sandle; editing by Larry King, Kevin Liffey, David Stamp, William Maclean

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S&P 500 at five-month high, but banks weigh after results

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. stocks edged higher on Friday, with the SP 500 hitting a more than five-month high, as gains in industrials and other areas offset a drop in financials after results from three big Wall Street banks mostly disappointed investors.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., July 13, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

The industrial sector gained 0.6 percent, with Boeing, Caterpillar and 3M all up more than 1 percent, in the absence of any trade rhetoric overnight.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the United States and China could reopen trade talks if Beijing was willing to make significant changes.

Oil prices rose over 1 percent as strike actions in Norway and Iraq hit supplies, boosting the energy sector 0.89 percent, the most among the 11 SP sectors.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., July 13, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

These gains helped the SP hit 2,804.53, its highest since Feb. 2. The index is now about 2.5 percent from its all-time high of 2,872.87, hit on Jan. 26.

As the trade row continues, investors are looking ahead to what is expected to be a strong second-quarter earning season, though reports on Friday from three of the biggest U.S. banks failed to enthuse.

“There’s pretty impressive resilience in spite of the disappointment from the financials, which have been and continue to be a laggard. Even in the face of that, there’s still relative strength,” said Michael James, managing director of equity trading at Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles.

Earnings “expectations are certainly elevated from where they were a month ago, but if companies do deliver in general, even with elevated expectations, I believe the market as a whole will continue to move higher, and it will not result in a sell-the-news reaction,” he said.

Citigroup slid 1.8 percent, the most among financials, after its revenue fell short of estimates due to lower debt underwriting. Wells Fargo dipped 1.0 percent after its profit fell more than expected as lending slowed and costs rose.

Slideshow (2 Images)

JPMorgan shares were down 0.4 percent though the bank’s profit beat estimates. The financial index fell 0.5 percent.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 96.83 points, or 0.39 percent, to 25,021.72, the SP 500 gained 2.82 points, or 0.10 percent, to 2,801.11 and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.49 points, or 0.01 percent, to 7,824.41.

Netflix sank 3.8 percent after Deutsche Bank warned the company could fall short of subscriber growth numbers when it reports results on Monday.

Johnson Johnson dropped 1.4 percent after a jury ordered it to pay a record $4.69 billion to 22 women who alleged its talc-based products contain asbestos and caused them to develop ovarian cancer.

ATT Inc’s shares fell 1.9 percent on the U.S. Justice Department’s plan to appeal a federal judge’s approval of the company’s already closed $85.4 billion acquisition of Time Warner.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.01-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.16-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

The SP 500 posted 38 new 52-week highs and 2 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 89 new highs and 38 new lows

Additional reporting by Amy Caren Daniel in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Nick Zieminski

Article source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/businessNews/~3/9nElz1Q2-co/sp-500-at-five-month-high-but-banks-weigh-after-results-idUSKBN1K31ML

U.S. stocks edge higher on industrials; dollar flattens

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The benchmark SP 500 hit a more than five-month high on Friday on gains in industrials and energy companies, while the safe-haven U.S. dollar flattened after touching a two-week high.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., July 13, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Gold slipped to seven-month lows and Treasury prices rose after the Federal Reserve reinforced views of strong U.S. economic growth in a report to Congress, reinforcing expectations of higher interest rates.

The Fed reiterated that it “expects that further gradual increases” in interest rates would be appropriate given “solid” growth.

An absence of rhetoric overnight about a U.S.-China trade war helped industrial stocks, as did remarks on Thursday from U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who said that the United States and China might reopen trade talks.

“Despite the ominous headlines about a trade war with China, we’re comfortable with U.S. equities at current prices amid favorable macro trends and surging earnings growth,” said Mike Bailey, director of Research at FBB Capital Partners in Maryland.

Gains from Boeing (BA.N), Caterpillar (CAT.N) and 3M (MMM.N) helped offset a drop in financials after three big Wall Street banks reported mixed quarterly earnings.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose 104.19 points, or 0.42 percent, to 25,029.08, the SP 500 .SPX gained 3.66 points, or 0.13 percent, to 2,801.95 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 0.04 points, or 0 percent, to 7,823.96.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index .FTEU3 rose 0.26 percent and MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe .MIWD00000PUS gained 0.24 percent.

The greenback initially got a boost from the Fed report and from data showing China’s trade surplus with the United States swelled to a record in June, which could further inflame a trade dispute between Shanghai and Washington.

The dollar fell after touching its highest level since June 29.

Against a basket of major currencies, the dollar index .DXY fell 0.06 percent.

Spot gold XAU= dropped 0.5 percent to $1,241.08 an ounce.

While China has vowed to retaliate against the proposed new U.S. tariffs – 10 percent on $200 billion of Chinese goods – the lack of a specific response to date has sparked global relief.

The yield curve on U.S. Treasuries once again reached its flattest level in 11 years, with the spread between 2-year and 10-year notes falling to 24.46 basis points. Prices moved higher on the Fed report.

Benchmark 10-year notes US10YT=RR last rose 6/32 in price to yield 2.8308 percent, from 2.853 percent late on Thursday.

In commodity markets, oil prices had a wild week of price swings, with both the main benchmarks at one point suffering heavy losses as traders focused on the return of Libyan oil to the market.

Even so, oil rose on Friday. Brent crude futures LCOc1 rose 88 cents, or 1.18 percent, to settle at $75.33. U.S. crude oil futures settled at $71.01, up 68 cents or 0.97 percent.

Additional reporting by Tim Finn and Pratima Desai in London; Richard Leong and James Thorne in New York; Amy Caren Daniel in Bengaluru; Editing by Nick Zieminski and Cynthia Osterman

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Facebook, Twitter, Alphabet to testify at U.S. House hearing

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday will hold a hearing to take testimony from Facebook Inc, Alphabet Inc’s YouTube unit and Twitter Inc on whether social media companies are filtering content for political reasons, the committee chairman said.

FILE PHOTO: A 3D plastic representation of the Facebook logo is seen in this illustration in Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina, May 13, 2015. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/File Photo

Conservative Republicans in Congress have criticized social media companies for what they claim are politically motivated practices in removing some content, a charge the companies have rejected.

House Judiciary Committee chairman Bob Goodlatte said in a statement on Friday that he was pleased the companies will send experts “to answer questions on their content moderation practices and how they can be better stewards of free speech in the United States and abroad.”

Reporting by David Shepardson, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien

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Dollar fades from two-week high tied to trade fears

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The dollar dipped against a basket of currencies on Friday, fading from a two-week peak which was tied to news of a record Chinese trade surplus that may fuel U.S.-China trade tensions and that briefly spurred safe-haven bids for the greenback.

A money changer counts U.S. dollar banknotes at a currency exchange office in Diyarbakir, Turkey May 23, 2018. REUTERS/Sertac Kayar

The dollar’s pullback likely stemmed from modest gains on Wall Street and a drop-off in trading volume before the weekend, analysts said.

“The U.S. dollar has been moving inversely with stocks. They could have restrained the dollar somewhat,” said Eric Viloria, currency strategist at Wells Fargo Securities in New York.

An index that tracks the dollar against the yen, euro and four other currencies was down 0.07 percent to 94.740 after touching 95.241, which was the highest since June 29.

The SP 500 index hit a five-month high on strength from the industrial and energy sectors.

The yen recovered from a six-month trough against the greenback after hitting a six-month low at 112.79 yen before recovering to 112.30 yen, up 0.2 percent on the day.

The euro fell to a nine-day low at $1.1610 before ending flat at $1.1680.

The yuan fell half a percent in offshore markets to as low as 6.7250, near an 11-month trough of 6.7326 on July 3.

Despite the greenback’s stalling on Friday, prospects for a strong dollar remain intact.

“It’s hard to see what’s going to dethrone the dollar,” said Paresh Upadhyaya, director of currency strategy at Amundi Pioneer Investments in Boston.

“Trade war concerns amplify the downside risk on global growth. That tends to be positive for the dollar and puts a drag on other currencies,” Upadhyaya said.

Upbeat comments on the U.S. economy from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell also stoked earlier demand for the dollar, analysts said.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Thursday that the United States and China might reopen trade talks, briefly easing concerns about the trade dispute.

But data showing China’s trade surplus with the United States swelled to a record in June could further inflame tensions. U.S. President Donald Trump this week pledged to impose tariffs on $200 billion more in Chinese imports. Beijing has vowed to retaliate.

Escalating trade tensions have not dented the U.S. economy, which on is its second longest expansion on record.

On Thursday, Fed chief Powell said in a Marketplace radio interview he believes the U.S. economy remains in a “good place,” with recent government tax and spending programs likely to boost growth for perhaps three years.

The Fed released its semiannual report on monetary policy before Powell’s testimony to Congress next Tuesday and Wednesday. The report showed solid U.S. economic growth and the Fed expecting to keep raising rates gradually.

Graphic – World FX rates in 2018: tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh

Graphic – U.S. trade with China: tmsnrt.rs/2KAT34a

Graphic – China trade with U.S.: reut.rs/2HjTuSw

Additional reporting by Tommy Wilkes in LONDON; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and James Dalgleish

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