Market Morning: Trump Picks Judge, Judge Blocks Trump, China Shoots, Brent Booms, Hard Brexit Looms?

Market Morning

Politics: Trump Picks Judge, Other Judge Blocks Trump on Imprisoning Immigrant Children For Extended Periods

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United States President Donald Trump has picked his nominee for the Supreme Court, and his name is Brett Kavanaugh, a Washington D.C. district court judge. According to the Washington Post, Kavanaugh’s most recognizable positioning on issues is for strong executive power and using military commission to try terrorism suspects, rather than using civilian due process systems. Given his views on presidential power, it seems clear why Trump picked him, though any additional power he may rule for with regard to the executive branch could wind up biting conservatives if a liberal administration were to make use of it. Give the misgivings that some of Trump’s core supporters have against him, including ties to the GOP establishment and the Bush family in particular, there is at least a decent chance that Kavanaugh’s nomination could be blocked.

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In other judge news, federal judge Dolly Gee has blocked the Trump Administration’s request to hold immigrant children in prisons with their parents for extended periods. The argument was that this would be the only way to both reunite children with their parents and keep the parents incarcerated during immigration proceedings. Still, neither side is clear about the meaning of Gee’s ruling, whether it mandates catch and release or if it allows the government to give a choice to parents over whether to keep their children imprisoned with them or released to find a sponsor, or foster family while their case unfolds.

China Shoots Another Round of Ammo in Trade War, This Time Against Optical Fibers

China ups the ante in the trade war, surprise. Optical fiber tariffs will be raised from between 4.7% and 18.6% to now between 33.3% and 78%. Optical fibers are used in data transmission for computer applications. The new tariffs will be applied starting tomorrow, July 11. Expect a Trump Administration response to this new response, and so forth and so on.

Brent Crude Nears $80 Again as Norway Strikes, Libya Halves Production

Another supply outage out of Norway is pushing crude oil prices (NYSEARCA:USO) higher again today. A Norwegian oil field operated by Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDS-A) has been shut down as workers have rejected a wage deal. West Texas Intermediate is now up past $74, and Iranian sanctions haven’t even kicked in yet. Libya’s oil production has fallen to 527,000bpd from 1.28 million in February due to an ongoing war that is destroying infrastructure. Another danger is that if OPEC raises capacity to maximum in order to counter upcoming supply disruptions from Iran, there will be little spare capacity to combat a rising price.

Risk of Hard Brexit Steepens as Boris Johnson Resigns

Boris Johnson, UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s Secretary of State, has resigned in protest against May’s soft Brexit plans. He says that her way of enacting Brexit leaves Britain in the position of becoming a colony of Brussels. He has not ruled out running for Prime Minister himself to replace May, and was previously floated as a candidate for Prime Minister before May showed up and took the top spot. This come one day after the resignation of Brexit Secretary David Davis and a slew of other hard line Brexit junior ministers. If May’s government falls and a hard line Brexiter is elected in her place, the chances of a so-called “Hard Brexit” without an agreement with Brussels becomes more likely, and the chances of market disruption and collapse of British bank stocks also become more likely.






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