16 Jan Record breaking day as ‘Phase One’ trade agreement is signed
The “phase one” trade agreement between the United States and China was officially signed today helping to move U.S. equities all fractionally higher. But it was the precious metals that shined today with gold being the laggard. Currently as of 3:30 EST February futures are up 8/10 of a percent at $1557 after a respectable gain of over $12.
One bright start today was platinum gaining $36.50 bringing it back above $1000 for the first time in nearly 12 months, this after today’s 4% gain. Silver also traded back above $18 at $18.01, after a $0.27 climb. No surprises as the reigning champ palladium scored over 2% in gains putting it $43.70 higher with a fresh new all-time record high for the “Russian Red” metal.
The uptick in the Dow is largely due to the signing of the “phase one” trade agreement between the U.S. and China. Larry Kudlow told Fox News this agreement would add half a percentage point to total U.S. GDP in both years 2020 and 2021. Certainly, setting a good platform for Trump’s reelection in 2020, “our farmers will take it in. I keep saying, ‘Go buy larger tractors, go buy larger tractors,” Trump said at a campaign in Toledo, Ohio last week. This statement could sum up what the U.S. basically got out of “phase one” which is the vowing from China to purchase an additional $200 billion worth of U.S. products, goods and services composed from four primary sectors mainly agriculture.
Other all-time record highs achieved today were in US equities such as the Dow which currently has broken above 29,000 points and at an all-time record high. Earlier record highs were made in the NASDAQ as well as the S&P but closed only marginally higher on the day.
“Phase One” agreement – the devils in the details
It is truly a historical moment that after 18 months of negotiations the United States and China have been able to put words to paper, and more importantly sign the agreement. However, there are some minor caveats to the agreement. No tariffs were rolled back on the U.S. side and Trump has stated they will remain in place until a phase-two agreement is reached.
The agreement will stop future tariffs from being implemented. The agreement by the Chinese to purchase $200 billion worth of U.S. goods does contain some loopholes. The purchases that China has agreed to make are dependent on Chinese demand of these U.S. goods. Lastly is the question of enforcement and accountability and whether or not the Chinese will make good on this agreement.