CME Group Featured Commodity Market News Reports

CME Group compiled commodity news reports and global headlines. 

This futures market newsfeed includes prominant global commodity stories, as well as CME Group commodity research and studies.

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  1. Off The Charts! examines the pertinent economic issues of the day, providing a deeper dive into complex topics and framing the issues in a way that can lead to a better understanding of the financial and commodities markets.

  2. Equities could face event-risk turbulence as Congress attempts to legislate eagerly-awaited tax reforms, infrastructure spending and debt ceiling.

  3. With the Dutch elections over, the euro has breathed a sigh of relief.  As Geert Wilders' nationalist Freedom Party fell short in the parliamentary elections on March 15, the euro gained nearly one percent against the U.S. dollar, albeit on a day when most currencies strengthened versus the greenback.  While Wilder’s party suffered a spectacular collapse in polls in the immediate run up to the election, there was never any serious concern that he would be running the Dutch government.  By contrast, the upcoming French Presidential election in April has the potential to be a much bigger source of volatility for the euro, as well as other currencies, equities and bonds.

    France votes in two rounds.  Round one takes place on Sunday, April 23, and the top two vote getters will proceed to the second round on Sunday, May 7.  On both days, the French government will issue an exit poll at 8:00 pm Paris time (7:00 pm London, 2:00 pm New York and 1:00 pm Chicago) with a preliminary projection of the winner.  It appears likely that one of those two top vote getters will be Marine Le Pen of the National Front who promises, among many other things, to hold a referendum on France’s memberships in the European Union (EU) and in the euro currency that spans 19 countries.  As such, a Le Pen victory holds the potential to roil the markets in the way that the surprise Brexit vote did in 2016.

    On the face of it, she seems unlikely to win.  Recent polls have put her at 20-30% behind her most likely second round opponent, the pro-European centrist Emmanuel Macron (Figure 1).   She trails her next most likely second round opponent, the center-right Francois Fillon, a former Prime Minister, by a 10-20% margin (Figure 2).  Fillon is also pro-Europe.

  4. Dr. Janet Yellen’s term as Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve (Fed) System ends in early 2018.  While she could be reappointed for another four-year term as Chair, reading the tea leaves in Washington D.C. suggests a scenario where we may see a person from a business career take over the gavel.  And not just as Chair.  There are three vacancies on the Board of Governors, and we also expect a new Vice-Chair in the summer of 2018.  That is, there is a potential for five new board members on a seven-member board, and some or all of those seats could be filled with business-career credentialed individuals instead of persons with academic or central bank experience.   This could usher in a major cultural change at the Fed.  Such a cultural shift might make a very big difference in how decisions about interest rate policy may be made. 

    Our intuition is that more business experience on the Fed Board of Governors and fewer economists will shift the debate away from academic interpretations of monetary policy and increase the focus on the interplay of rates and debt.  More specifically, the high debt loads in the U.S. will create a bias for lower than otherwise rates, so that increases in debt-service expenses do not derail an economic recovery.  Over the long haul, if this scenario prevails, a bias toward lower rates relative to inflation is likely to also lead to a weaker trend for the U.S. dollar as well. For a podcast on this topic by Blu Putnam, please visit: www.cmegroup.com/podcasts/off-the-charts-podcast-series/what-will-a-post-yellen-fed-look-like-in-2018.html.

  5. Off The Charts! examines the pertinent economic issues of the day, providing a deeper dive into complex topics and framing the issues in a way that can lead to a better understanding of the financial and commodities markets.

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Carley Garner Trading Books

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