UK opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn said any new referendum should be about the terms of exit from the EU and not a repeat of the 2016 one. The Labour leader is under pressure to endorse a second Brexit referendum following disappointing results for the main parties in both local and EU elections. The EU has repeatedly said that they will not renegotiate the deal which was rejected three times by the British parliament but Corbyn hopes that the newly elected European Commission will be willing to change stance.
Trade tensions continued to hit stocks in Asia and Wall Street with Nikkei down 0.5%, Shanghai composite 0.7% and Hang Seng 0.4%. European stocks were trading higher this morning with Euro Stoxx 50, German Dax and FTSE all registering gains. The Euro on the other hand continued to decline following the Italian budget crisis although the ECB has stated that monetary support measures are available if required. Eyes are now on the G20 summit taking place in Japan on 28-29 June where many of the countries will be using the event to smoothen out their differences and negotiate over trade and strategic collaboration.
The trade war between the US and China has now moved to rare earths, chemical elements used for iPhones, electric car motors, military jet engines, satellites, lasers etc. Beijing has hinted to a threat of using its dominant position as a supplier for leverage during the trade talks. The US has been stocking up the products while the Defence Department has asked for additional federal funds to bolster production and reduce dependence on China.
Canada is expected to ratify the North American trade deal (USMCA) signed with the US and Mexico ahead of the visit of US vice-president Mike Pence. The deal has not been ratified by the other two parties yet with US Democrats asking for stronger provisions for new labour and environmental standards. Pence visits Canada after agreeing to remove tariffs on Canada and Mexico steel and aluminium products. The deal has also been criticised by the Canadian opposition, currently leading the polls, but leader Andrew Scheer said it will vote for the deal “reluctantly”.