Germany has scrapped plans to discuss Brexit at a meeting next week because there has not been “any tangible progress” in talks this summer. The German government currently holds the rotating presidency of the EU council. The high-level meeting of EU ambassadors has scrapped Brexit from the agenda following an inconclusive round of negotiations in August. UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson had said he wanted to seal the deal in July but following an impasse in the talks, the British government has drawn up worst-case emergency plans which include preparing the Navy to protect fishing boat incursions and having 1500 troops on stand-by to help the police. Talks are set to resume on September 7 with both sides accusing the other for the lack of progress.
Italy and France joined Spain in ruling out imposing new nationwide lockdowns despite an upsurge in coronavirus cases. Pandemic restrictions pushed the world’s major economies into a near 10% economic slump in the second quarter, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. France is joining military exercises with Italy, Greece and Cyprus in the Eastern Mediterranean amid a worsening dispute between Turkey and Greece over energy resources in the region.
Asian shares touched two-year peaks in the wake of Wall Street’s record run as cheap cash drove up big-cap tech darlings. The Nasdaq was in focus again as the tech-index was on the brink of doubling in 20 months, its most powerful run this century. S&P500 dipped 0.2%, backtracking after five straight sessions of gains. The Dow ended up 0.3%. in Europe, EUSTX50 and FTSE were little changed.
The dollar wallowed near its lowest level for the week as investors looked for hints from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell that the central bank might tweak its policy framework to help push up inflation. The euro held at $1.1830 and near its recent top of $1.1965. The dollar has been steadily trending lower on the Chinese yuan to reach depths not seen since mid-January at 6.88 yuan. In commodity markets, gold eased back to $1,943 an ounce and remains short of its August peak of $2,072.