Trump Administration announced it will increase tariffs on EU aircrafts beginning March 18th on planes from France, Germany, Spain, and the UK, which will be subject to 15% tariffs vs. Prev. 10% that took effect in October.
According to the Financial Times, French Foreign Minister Le Drian has warned that the EU and the UK face bitter negotiations over their future relationship in the coming months as the two sides remain far apart on a range of issues. Le Drian said it will be tough for the UK to reach a free trade deal by year-end and Brussels will defend its interests when talks begin next month.
Rockets dropped near the US Embassy in Iraq, according to officials – no injuries were reported.
Iranian President Rouhani said that Iran will never yield to US pressure for talks.
According to CNBC, Fed’s Mester (Voter, Hawk) said monetary policy is in a good place, reiterated Fed’s guidance that unless there is a material change to the outlook, policy will remain the same. Mester also added that she is not a fan of negative rates. Mester said she does not believe the expansion is tiring and is positive on the US consumer, seen signs ofmanufacturing stabilising. On the domestic economy, she noted that inflation is low but believes it will hit the 2%target at year-end of early next year. She said coronavirus is a risk for growth but has not marked down her 2020forecast because of the coronavirus. Mester reiterated that the overnight operations and treasury bill purchases are not QE. (Newswires)
China’s Hubei province reported 1933 new coronavirus cases and 100 additional deaths as of February 16th vs. Prev.2420 additional cases and 139 deaths on February 14th. Furthermore, China reported 105 new deaths in the mainland from coronavirus on Feb 16th vs. 142 on Feb 15th, with mainland cases rising by 2048 on Feb 16th vs. 2009 on Feb 15th.
Total Mainland coronavirus cases are now at 70548 and death toll at 1770 vs. 1523 on February 14th. Global Times noted that 1425 were discharged from hospital on Sunday, bringing the total “cured and discharged” across China to 10844. (Newswires/Global Times) China will further implement measures this year to reduce corporate taxes and cut unnecessary government expenses to cushion the burden of the virus outbreak, according to Chinese Finance Minister Liu Kun. (Newswires)
Japan reported 70 additional coronavirus cases on Diamond Princess cruise ship, taking the total to 355 – largestoutside China.