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It’s been 27 years since an incumbent U.S. president lost re-election, and judging by the health of the economy and other traditional metrics, Donald Trump looks unlikely to break the trend.

In addition to presiding over sustained growth and low unemployment, Trump enjoys a nation at relative peace, a well-funded campaign and the strong backing of the Republican Party. And yet, as he prepares to formally kick off his 2020 re-election bid with a prime-time speech in Florida, he has reason to be circumspect, Shannon Pettypiece and Mike Dorning report.

Most private forecasters expect the economy to slow entering the election year, as U.S. trade disputes threaten global commerce — hurting core voters like farmers — and the fiscal stimulus from Trump’s 2018 tax cut fades.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into election meddling by Russia, alongside other controversies that have dogged Trump’s administration, are also potential liabilities.

Trump trails six of his Democratic rivals in hypothetical head-to-head contests, a poll showed last week. And no president since 1952 has been re-elected with an approval rating below 48%. Trump has not exceeded 46% in Gallup polls since taking office.

Much hinges on the Democrats. The question is whether they can select a challenger able to attract the funding and support in battleground states needed to deny Trump a second term.

Global Headlines

Iran under pressure | The Pentagon plans to send about 1,000 more troops to the Middle East, even as Trump described as “very minor” the recent attacks on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman that the U.S. has blamed on Iran. The Pentagon also released new photos and a timeline it said bolstered the case that Iran was behind the incidents. Tehran denies any involvement.

Click here to read how Trump’s campaign vow to get the U.S. out of costly foreign entanglements is colliding with the messy reality of commitments in the Middle East.

Trade turmoil | The chairwoman of the world’s biggest bicycle maker delivered an ominous message to China that its days as a global manufacturing hub may be numbered. Giant Manufacturing started rolling production of its U.S.-bound orders back home to Taiwan when Trump made his tariff threats last year, Cindy Wang reports. Trump’s top trade envoy, Robert Lighthizer, is due to appear before Congress this week to account for the trade conflict.

Scottish dilemma | Scots didn’t vote for Brexit and neither did they elect the Conservatives. So the likelihood of a Brexiteer such as Boris Johnson winning the race to succeed Theresa May as Tory leader and prime minister is forcing some hard choices north of the border. As Alan Crawford and Rodney Jefferson report, the sense in Edinburgh is that another referendum on Scottish independence is now inevitable.

As the Conservative field narrows further today, Alex Morales profiles Rory Stewart, the lesser-known candidate suddenly making waves.

Fall from grace | The holding company of the Brazilian construction and energy giant at the center of a massive Latin America graft probe has filed for bankruptcy protection. Odebrecht has struggled since the “Carwash” investigation, which started in 2014 and brought the construction industry to a halt as access to government projects was cut and executives jailed. The political fallout is still reverberating from Ecuador to Mexico, Peru and Brazil.

Waiting game | Democratic Republic of Congo President Felix Tshisekedi still hasn’t named a cabinet five months after taking office, leaving investors in the mineral-rich nation facing endless delays. After a disputed election, Tshisekedi’s protracted talks with his coalition partner have almost paralyzed a nation ranked by the World Bank as one of the most difficult and corrupt places to do business.

What to Watch

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam today apologized for backing a bill to allow extraditions to China, as she seeks to defuse protests that have rocked the city. She declined to resign or withdraw the bill completely — key demands of protest leaders. Rights groups have urged a transparent probe into the death of Mohamed Mursi, the Muslim Brotherhood foot soldier who became Egypt’s first freely elected civilian president. He collapsed during a court hearing over an espionage case, with state-run media saying he suffered a “sudden heart attack.” Chancellor Angela Merkel’s candidate to head the European Commission — Manfred Weber, a German lawmaker in the European parliament — is struggling for momentum, which means she may need to instead focus on getting her preferred person into the European Central Bank’s top job. U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo meets today with European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini in Washington. Mogherini said yesterday the EU will not support Jared Kushner’s Middle East peace plan without a two-state solution included.

And finally…You used to catch only rare glimpses of them in public — a waiter willing to risk jail time might accept them for the right price, street hawkers making offers for them under their breath. Today, U.S. greenbacks are widely used in Venezuela’s supermarkets and bodegas. As Andrew Rosati reports, with the bolivar devalued into irrelevance by Nicolas Maduro’s regime, the cash printed by the gringos he rails against is king. 

 

–With assistance from Karl Maier and Jon Herskovitz.

To contact the author of this story: Kathleen Hunter in London at khunter9@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Rosalind Mathieson at rmathieson3@bloomberg.net, Alan Crawford

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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump captured the Republican Party and then the presidency in 2016 as an insurgent intent on disrupting the status quo. As he mounts his bid for reelection, Trump is offering himself as the outsider once again — but it’s a much more awkward pitch to make from inside the Oval Office.

Trump is set to formally announce his 2020 bid on Tuesday at a rally in Orlando, Florida, where advisers said he aims to connect the dots between the promise of his disruptive first-time candidacy and his goals for another term in the White House. His promises to rock the ship of state are now more than an abstract pledge, though, complicated by his tumultuous 29 months at its helm.

Any president is inherently an insider. Trump has worked in the Oval Office for two years, travels the skies in Air Force One and changes the course of history with the stroke of a pen or the post of a tweet.

“We’re taking on the failed political establishment and restoring government of, by and for the people,” Trump said in a video released by his campaign Monday to mark his relaunch. “It’s the people, you’re the people, you won the election.”

That populist clarion was a central theme of his maiden political adventure, as the businessman-turned-candidate successfully appealed to disaffected voters who felt left behind by economic dislocation and demographic shifts. And he has no intention of abandoning it, even if he is the face of the institutions he looks to disrupt.

Those involved in the president’s reelection effort believe that his brash version of populism, combined with his mantra to “Drain the Swamp,” still resonates, despite his administration’s cozy ties with lobbyists and corporations and the Trump family’s apparent efforts to profit off the presidency.

“He’s still not viewed as a politician,” said Jason Miller, Trump’s 2016 senior communications adviser. “Voters don’t define him by the party label, they define him by his policies and his message of shaking up the status quo in Washington. That’s the biggest reason he was able to win blue states in 2016.”

Democrats, though, predict Trump won’t be able to get away with the outsider branding.

“How can you say: Forget about the last two years, he is an outsider, he is bashing down doors,” said Karine Jean-Pierre, a former senior Obama campaign official now at MoveOn.org. “People’s lives are harder because of what he has done as president. Voters are paying their attention and are not going to buy it.”

Republicans working with the Trump campaign but not authorized to speak publicly about internal conversations said campaign advisers believe that Trump is still perceived as a businessman and point to his clashes with the Washington establishment — including Congress, the so-called Deep State and members of his own party — as proof that he is still an outsider rather than a creature of the Beltway. Helping further that image, Trump advisers believe, is that his main Democratic foils are all career politicians: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, former Vice President Joe Biden and, yes, Hillary Clinton.

“He promised that he’d go to Washington and shake things up, and he certainly has,” said Trump campaign manager Tim Murtaugh.

Still, it’s not as though Trump is running from Washington. If anything, he’s wrapping himself in the trappings and authorities of his office. Last week, Trump granted behind-the-scenes access to his limousine, Marine One helicopter and Air Force One for an hourlong ABC News special meant to highlight the singular advantage he has over his rivals — that he already has the job they want.

And Trump is eager to use the power of the office to further his case for reelection. Last month in Louisiana, he promised voters a new bridge if he wins, and in the pivotal Florida Panhandle, he pledged new disaster relief money would flow in a second Trump term.

Trump advisers also point to his popularity among white working-class voters, who consider themselves “forgotten Americans” left behind and mocked by elite insiders. For those voters, many of whom in 2016 cast their first ballots in decades, Trump remains the embodiment of their outsider grievances, their anger stoked by his clashes with political foes and the rest of government (even when his party controls it).

Advisers believe that, in an age of extreme polarization, many Trump backers view their support for the president as part of their identity, one not easily shaken. They point to his seemingly unmovable support with his base supporters as evidence that, despite more than two years in office, he is still viewed the same way he was as a candidate: the bomb-throwing political rebel.

Americans acknowledge Trump is a change agent, but they are divided in their views of that change. Early this year, a CNN poll found about three-quarters of Americans saying Trump has created significant changes in the country, and they split about evenly between calling it change for the better and change for the worse. More recently, a March poll from CNN showed 42% of Americans think Trump can bring the kind of change the country needs.

___

Lemire reported from New York. Associated Press writer Hannah Fingerhut contributed to this report.

___

Follow Lemire on Twitter at http://twitter.com/@JonLemire and Miller at http://twitter.com/@zekejmiller

FILE PHOTO: An Iranian navy boat tries to stop the fire of an oil tanker after it was attacked in the Gulf of Oman
FILE PHOTO: An Iranian navy boat tackles a fire on an oil tanker after it was attacked in the Gulf of Oman, June 13, 2019. Tasnim News Agency/Handout via REUTERS

June 18, 2019

By Babak Dehghanpisheh

GENEVA (Reuters) – If, despite its firm denials, Iran was behind attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf last week and a further four last month, they represent a calibrated yet risky pushback against a U.S. sanctions squeeze, regional experts say.

The targeting of six vessels on a major artery for world oil supplies was a vivid reminder of the stakes involved in the standoff pitting Iran against the United States and its regional allies.

The latest two attacks, on Thursday, were much more complex than last month’s because the tankers were moving rather than at anchor as previously, said Hossein Aryan, a military analyst who served 18 years in Iran’s navy before and after the 1979 Islamic revolution.

Two government security sources, one American and one European, also noted the sophistication of the attacks, which damaged the tankers without seriously injuring anyone. They told reporters this indicated deliberate calculation.

The two sources, who declined to be named, said the attacks appeared designed to show that Iran could create chaos if it wanted to but at this point did not want to, perhaps in the hope of persuading the United States and other antagonists to back off rather than trigger conflict.

They did not provide direct evidence of Iranian involvement, but the United States and Saudi Arabia have blamed Iran publicly for both sets of attacks.

Whereas some U.S. sources said they believed Iran encouraged allied militants or militia to carry out last month’s attacks, the U.S. military has released a video and still images which it says show Iran’s Revolutionary Guards removing an unexploded limpet mine from one of the latest vessels to be targeted.

Tehran expressed concern over the May attacks and said the footage released after the latest ones by the United States military proved nothing and Iran was being made a scapegoat.

Germany said last week the video was not enough to apportion blame, while Britain said no other state or non-state actor could have been responsible. U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres called for an independent investigation.

The head of the company which owns the Japanese tanker hit said last week its crew had reported flying objects damaged the ship, but Aryan said whoever attacked it and a Norwegian tanker had attached magnetic limpet mines with a timer when they were anchored or using a boat or marine drone when they were moving.

Iran’s military said on Monday that if it decided to block the Strait of Hormuz, a vital gateway in the Gulf for the oil industry, it would do so publicly, and both Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani have said Iran does not want war.

Tehran has been at pains to underline its capabilities, however.

“If attacked, we can make the maritime regions unsafe for the aggressors,” said an Iranian official who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the situation.

BACKFIRED?

Ali Vaez, director of the Iran Project at the Crisis Group think-tank, and other regional sources said that if Iran was responsible, it was clearly trying to show it could threaten global oil supply with a view to deterring the U.S. and its allies from further ratcheting up the pressure.

Saudi Arabia, the Emirates and other regional rivals are backing U.S. efforts to cut off Iran’s oil exports with pledges to boost their own oil production to keep prices stable. But a fifth of the world’s oil passes through the Gulf of Oman and the attacks hit vessels on both sides of the waterway.

“The message being sent by Iran is that we can disrupt operations on east and west. If they can’t export, no one should,” said a Gulf industry source who asked not to be identified.

U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from a 2015 international nuclear deal last year and reimposed sanctions, aiming to push Tehran to negotiate over its ballistic missile program and regional policy, which Washington says is destabilizing the Middle East.

Washington then sent an aircraft carrier, B-52 bombers and Patriot missiles to the region last month in a show of force against what U.S. officials say are Iranian threats to its troops and interests there.

Acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan announced on Monday the deployment of about 1,000 more troops to the Middle East for what he said were defensive purposes, citing concerns about a threat from Iran.

Vaez said Tehran did not appear to have been cowed so far.

“The irony is that the U.S. maximum pressure strategy was supposed to temper Iranian behavior,” he said. “In practice, however, it has clearly backfired.”

LOW COST

Iran could use relatively inexpensive asymmetric attacks to inflict costly damage, according to Tom Sharpe, a former commander in Britain’s Royal Navy who is now a communications consultant.

“They have jet skis and fast boats that are trained for swarm attacks and just one £1,000 jet ski could disable a £1 billion warship,” he told Reuters.

Sharpe said the United States and Western allies were prepared to tackle such attacks.

But the ability of Iran-linked groups to strike goes beyond the Strait of Hormuz.

In the same week that the four oil tankers were attacked off the coast of the Emirates last month, Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthis struck two oil pumping stations within Saudi Arabia with armed drones.

A few days later, a rocket was fired near the U.S. embassy in Baghdad, which had already evacuated non-emergency staff a week after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made a surprise trip to Baghdad to talk to Iraqi officials about U.S. concerns of threats from Iran-backed militias.

Two Iran-backed Iraqi paramilitary groups said talk of threats was “psychological warfare” by Washington.

During the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s, both Iran and Iraq attacked tankers and merchant ships in the Gulf, which drew the United States into the conflict.

Iran learned lessons from that period, which became known as the “Tanker War,” and now has many more tools at its disposal, such as mines and speed boats, to use in asymmetric warfare to send a signal, Aryan said.

“That signal is to show to the Arab states and to the United States that, despite all their military might and presence in the region, the lines of communication in the region are vulnerable, to show that vulnerability.”

The danger for Iran, if it is pursuing that strategy, is that a small incident could quickly escalate, observers say.

“This is an extremely risky strategy,” said Ali Alfoneh, senior fellow at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington. “The gamble of Islamic Republic strategists … may end up provoking a war Iran can ill afford.”

(Reporting By Babak Dehghanpisheh; additional reporting by Mark Hosenball in Washington, Julia Payne in London and Parisa Hafezi and Rania El Gamal in Dubai; editing by Philippa Fletcher)

Source: OANN

Cars and trucks drive along a motorway near Roth
Cars and trucks drive along a motorway near Roth, Germany, August 9, 2018. REUTERS/Andreas Gebert

June 18, 2019

LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) – A planned German highway toll for cars discriminates against foreign drivers and breaches European Union law, the EU’s highest court said on Tuesday.

The European Court of Justice backed a challenge from Austria, which charged the economic burden of the toll fell solely on drivers from EU countries other than Germany.

The ruling means Germany cannot introduce the toll, which was due to take effect in October 2020. It had passed a law in 2015 establishing the charge for passenger cars that used the country’s highways.

Those with cars registered in Germany would have been charged an annual fee of up to 130 euros ($146.09), but they would have been given a corresponding reduction in motor vehicle tax.

Drivers living elsewhere would also have needed passes to drive on German highways, again up to a maximum of 130 euros a year. That worried Austrian drivers, because the fastest east-west route across mountainous Austria involves a shortcut through Germany called the “German corner”.

Austria has a similar annual toll of its own – but without the tax break for local drivers – which can irritate Germans who flock to Austria on holiday or cross it on their way to Italy.

Austria, backed by the Netherlands, complained that the tax relief for German residents effectively meant only foreign drivers were truly paying the charge.

The court agreed on Tuesday, saying the planned system constituted indirect discrimination on grounds of nationality.

“I believe that this ruling of the ECJ really is a good day for the European Union … and that it is also a sign, a clear signal in favor of fairness,” Austrian Transport Minister Andreas Reichhardt told a news conference.

Germany, supported by Denmark, had argued the charge was in line with EU transport policy and the principle that users and polluters should pay the cost of the highway network.

The court disagreed. It said drivers in Germany did not have the opportunity to pay for less than the full year even if they rarely drove on highways.

“I expect that Germany will respect this ECJ ruling and that discrimination against foreign drivers will be abandoned,” Reichhardt said, adding that he would await a public reaction by his German counterpart before discussing the issue.

German ticket operator CTS Eventim and Austrian road systems specialist Kapsch TrafficCom were awarded a 2 billion-euro contract in December to operate the toll.

German already has a road toll for trucks.

(Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; additional repoting by Francois Murphy in Vienna; editing by Catherine Evans, Larry King)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Myanmar Buddhist monk Wirathu speaks at a rally against constitution change in Yangon
FILE PHOTO: Myanmar Buddhist monk Wirathu speaks at a rally against constitution change in Yangon, Myanmar, May 5, 2019. REUTERS/Ann Wang/File photo

June 18, 2019

By Thu Thu Aung

YANGON (Reuters) – A Myanmar official on Tuesday told a court that a nationalist Buddhist monk, Wirathu, who has evaded arrest on sedition charges, “incited hatred” against leader Aung San Suu Kyi and her government.

Police issued an arrest warrant for Wirathu last month but he has not been detained and has taunted authorities on social media.

Complainant San Min, an administrator in the city of Yangon, told the court he had been ordered by the office of President Win Myint, a close ally of Suu Kyi, to file a legal complaint against the monk.

“Wirathu’s speeches can cause disrespect and incite hatred in the people against Aung San Suu Kyi … (and) the government,” San Min said in his complaint.

Wirathu is infamous as a proponent of anti-Muslim rhetoric that has spread as Myanmar has transitioned from full military rule and as social media sites like Facebook have become popular.

He speaks in support of the military and opposes Nobel laureate Suu Kyi and her efforts to amend a 2008 charter that cements the generals’ power.

The sedition charge is related to his criticism of the government, not to his comments on Muslims.

The Western Yangon District Court on Tuesday held the first of several hearings to decide whether Wirathu should be formally declared a fugitive from the law, which requires a judge to rule there is evidence he broke the law.

A video was played of a speech Wirathu gave at a rally in Yangon last month, when he argued broadly against democratic governance and warned Myanmar would “drown in a muddy puddle” if its constitution was amended to reduce the political role of the military.

A transcript of a separate speech Wirathu gave in southern Myanmar in April, submitted to the court, records Wirathu crudely criticizing Suu Kyi’s relationships with foreigners. Suu Kyi married and had two sons with the late British academic Michael Aris.

“Tap, tap, tap go her high heels,” the monk said, according to the transcript, referring to when Suu Kyi meets foreigners.

A Buddhist nationalist group said on Monday that Wirathu’s “positive criticism” of Suu Kyi did not merit legal action.

Some human rights activists have said Wirathu should face action for inciting violence against Muslims, especially the Rohingya minority, rather than for comments critical of a politician.

Buddhist authorities have previously censured Wirathu, but a one-year order banning him from speeches expired this year.

(Reporting by Thu Thu Aung; Writing by Simon Lewis; Editing by Robert Birsel)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam attends a news conference in Hong Kong
FILE PHOTO: Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam looks down during a news conference in Hong Kong, China, June 15, 2019. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

June 18, 2019

By Clare Jim and Noah Sin

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam on Tuesday signaled the end of a controversial extradition bill that she promoted and then postponed after some of the most violent protests since the former British colony returned to Chinese rule in 1997.

In a closely watched press conference, Lam apologized for the turmoil but refused to say whether the bill would be withdrawn, only that it wouldn’t be re-introduced during her time in office if public fears persist.

This was the strongest sign yet that the government was effectively shelving legislation that would allow people to be extradited to mainland China to face trial, even if it fell short of protester demands for the government to scrap the bill altogether.

“Because this bill over the past few months has caused so much anxiety, and worries and differences in opinion, I will not, this is an undertaking, I will not proceed again with this legislative exercise if these fears and anxieties cannot be adequately addressed,” Lam told reporters.

Lam, appearing both contrite and defiant, used much of the same language as a previous press conference on Saturday when she announced a postponement of the bill. A day later, about two million people spilled on to the streets, many demanding that she step down.

Lam, asked repeatedly whether she would quit, refused to do so, saying there remained important work ahead in the next “three years”, which would bring her to the end of her current five year term of office.

Lam apologized for plunging the city into major upheaval, saying she had heard the people “loud and clear” and would try to rebuild trust.

Lam’s climbdown, with the approval of China’s Communist Party leaders, was the biggest policy reversal since 1997 and presented a new challenge for Chinese President Xi Jinping who has ruled with an iron fist since taking power in 2012.

Since the proposed amendments to the Fugitives Offenders’ Ordinance were first put to the legislature in February, Lam has repeatedly rebuffed concerns voiced in many quarters, including business groups, lawyers, judges, and foreign governments against the bill.

Critics say the bill would undermine Hong Kong’s independent judiciary and rule of law, guaranteed by the “one country, two systems” formula under which Hong Kong returned to China, by extending China’s reach into the city and allowing individuals to be arbitrarily sent back to China where they couldn’t be guaranteed a fair trial.

Chinese courts are strictly controlled by the Communist Party.

Lam issued an apology on Sunday night through a written government statement that many people said lacked sincerity. It failed to pacify many marchers who said they no longer trusted her and doubted her ability to govern.

Lam, a career civil-servant known as “the fighter” for her straight-shooting and tough leadership style, took office two years ago pledging to heal a divided society. Some observers say she is unlikely to step down immediately but any longer-term political ambitions she may have harbored are now all but dead.

Many protest organizers say they will continue to hold street demonstrations until Lam scraps the bill, fearing that authorities may seek to revive the legislation in future when the public mood is calmer.

(Reporting by Clare Jim, Noah Sin, Twinnie Siu, Anne Marie Roantree and Hong Kong newsroom; Writing by James Pomfret; Editing by Nick Macfie)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Office buildings are pictured in the financial district of Frankfurt
FILE PHOTO: Office buildings are pictured in the financial district of Frankfurt, Germany, September 15, 2018. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski/File Photo

June 18, 2019

BERLIN (Reuters) – The mood among German investors deteriorated sharply in June, a survey showed on Tuesday, with the ZEW institute pointing to recent weak economic data and an escalating trade dispute between China and the United States.

ZEW said its monthly survey showed economic sentiment among investors plunged to -21.1 from -2.1 in May. Economists had expected a drop to -5.9.

The June reading was the lowest level since November 2018 and marked the second consecutive monthly drop.

ZEW President Achim Wambach said the steep drop was linked to greater uncertainty about the global economy and a downturn in data on the German economy at the start of the second quarter.

“The intensification of the conflict between the U.S. and China, the increased risk of a military conflict in the Middle East and the higher probability of a no-deal Brexit are all casting a shade on the global economic outlook,” he added.

A separate gauge measuring investors’ assessment of the economy’s current conditions edged down to 7.8 from 8.2 the previous month. Markets had predicted a slightly lower reading of 6.0.

The weaker-than-expected sentiment survey adds to signs that German economic growth will be meager this year and that an expected rebound in 2020 could be less impressive than forecast.

Germany’s influential Ifo institute earlier on Tuesday cut its 2020 growth forecast to 1.7% from 1.8% previously as it warned that a manufacturing recession was starting to spill over into other sectors.

The government expects the economy to grow by 0.5% this year and 1.5% next.

(Reporting by Michael Nienaber; Editing by Michelle Martin)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: U.S. dollar banknote is seen in this picture illustration
FILE PHOTO: U.S. dollar banknote is seen in this picture illustration taken May 3, 2018. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

June 18, 2019

By Saikat Chatterjee

LONDON (Reuters) – The dollar weakened against its rivals on Tuesday, heading back toward a recent three-month low before a U.S. central bank meeting gets underway with expectations growing the Fed will signal its first rate cut in a decade.

A CME Fedwatch tool puts the probability of a quarter-point interest rate cut by the Fed at 20%, with a 70% probability of a rate cut at its next meeting in July.

But with so much dovishness already priced into the markets and the dollar having weakened 1% over the past three weeks, some market analysts say the greenback may strengthen if the Fed signals a more neutral stance.

“The majority view among the Fed comments does not suggest any particular appetite for an immediate rate cut, say in June or July,” HSBC strategists said in a note. “The balance of risks favors being long the dollar, not least because positioning is likely a little lighter after the recent sell-off.”

Against a basket of its rivals, the dollar edged 0.1% lower at 97.437 and not far away from a three-month low of 96.46 hit earlier this month.

While hedge funds have pared back some of their long positions on the dollar in recent weeks, overall net positions remain near 2019 highs.

The euro wallowed at the lower end of a recent trading range against the dollar, holding above the $1.12 line, as markets awaited a speech by European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi where he might shed some more light on how policymakers will fight the next economic downturn.

With benchmark interest rates in the eurozone already in negative territory and inflation expectations well below central bank forecasts, financial markets will be closely watching Draghi’s comments.

Elsewhere, sterling held near the $1.2550 line as traders waited for news on the contest for the leadership of the ruling Conservative party.

(Graphic: Major currencies YTD – https://tmsnrt.rs/2ImYoh7)

(Reporting by Saikat Chatterjee; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

Source: OANN

Fox News host Laura Ingraham says President Trump needs to hammer his economic numbers to potential voters heading into the 2020 presidential election.

“If any other president were doing the things Trump is doing for this economy, for jobs, for workers, taking on China most of the media would be throwing rose petals and parade every time he showed up,” Ingraham said on “The Ingraham Angle” Monday.

NEW FOX NEWS POLL: SANDERS DECLINES SHARPLY, BIDEN AHEAD OF TRUMP

Ingraham believes that “should be the play list for Trump 2020” responding to a multitude of clips talking about the positive numbers.

Trump’s re-election bid officially begins Tuesday in Orlando, Florida.

Ingraham also touted Trump’s work on the border and with Mexico.

“Who else has recognized and responded to the crisis at the border like Trump? Using a threat of tariffs and diplomatic pressure, Trump has gotten Mexico to step up finally on their immigration enforcement,” Ingraham said.

According to a recent Fox News poll, fifty-seven percent of voters feel optimistic about the economy. That’s down from 66 percent who felt that way when President Trump was inaugurated in early 2017, and from 63 percent who were optimistic in February.

Ingraham said that voters should vote to keep “the good times going” despite being unhappy with his tweets.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

“The Trump re-election message should be simple, do you want to keep the good times going and make America even stronger? Are you better off than you were in January 2017? Some of you may not like some of Trump’s tweets. But you are going to hate what Democrats will do to the prosperity that his policies have created,” Ingraham said.

Fox News’ Dana Blanton contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News Politics

A Democrat mayor of a Texas town bordering Mexico slammed the federal government and lawmakers, saying “we are sick and tired of the deaf ears” for failing to protect towns like his from illegal immigration.

Bruno Lozano, the mayor of Del Rio, Texas, made his remarks during a meeting with Republican Sen. John Cornyn’s staffers regarding asylum-seekers and immigration.

GUATEMALAN MIGRANTS VOW TO KEEP TRYING TO REACH US BORDER AFTER MEXICO RAMPS UP PRESSURE

The mayor criticized the government and called for a more active approach in combatting illegal immigration that he says overrun his town, urging lawmakers to actually visit the border towns to see the situation.

“They need to see firsthand what’s going on. They need to understand the frustrations that the commissioners, or that the city council, the school board, the hospital officials are managing [and] having to deal with,” Lozano said.

“We’re frustrated. We’re extremely frustrated,” he continued. “Our priorities on the city council are our streets, are our parks, are the economy, are the drive of the community and the places of worship and the places to have leisure activities. It is not the priority to solve immigration.”

“We’re frustrated. We’re extremely frustrated. Our priorities on the city council are our streets, are our parks, are the economy, are the drive of the community and the places of worship and the places to have leisure activities. It is not the priority to solve immigration.”

— Mayor Bruno Lozano

IMMIGRANTS’ SPONSORS TO BE ON HOOK FOR ‘EVERY DOLLAR’ IF NEW ARRIVALS END UP ON DOLE, NEW TRUMP APPOINTEE WARNS

The Democrat added that it’s unfair to ask small towns to handle issues related to asylum seekers and immigration, saying this is where the federal government needs to step up.

“It is not our purview; it is not our jurisdiction. It is your job to ensure that you convey the frustration that I share with you all to ensure that our representatives at the federal level are hearing it,” he said. “It’s falling on deaf ears, and we are tired of it. We are sick and tired of the deaf ears.”

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Lozano’s comments follow the news earlier this month that border patrol have seen a “dramatic rise” in the African migrants being detained at the U.S.-Mexico border.

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection said that since May 30, over 500 people from African countries had been arrested by the agency in Del Rio Sector in Texas.

Source: Fox News Politics


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