1. News
April 7, 2017

US-China meeting overshadowed; Markets await US non-farm payrolls data; Saudi Arabia’s first international sukuk

These three things will have an impact on the wider world.

1. US-China talks overshadowed by Syria attack

Talks between US president Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping began yesterday at Mar-a-Lago. The pair are set to discuss a wide array of pressing issues, from North Korea’s nuclear programme to bilateral trade disputes. North Korea fired a medium-range missile into the Sea of Japan on Wednesday, the latest in a series of launches.

However, the meeting has already been overshadowed by yesterday’s US missile attack on Syria, in response to the use of chemical weapons by forces loyal to Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.

On Friday afternoon in Beijing, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson condemned the chemical weapons attack, calling for an “independent and comprehensive UN investigation.”

2. Markets ready for non-farm payrolls

Non-farm payrolls (NFP) data will be published later today.

Analysts expect the official NFP report will be positive, showing that the US economy created a net 180,000 jobs in March, according to Reuters.

The unemployment rate is expected to stay at 4.7 percent and average earnings to grow 0.2 percent month on month.

Futures markets said there is a 63 per cent chance that the Fed will increase borrowing costs by 25 basis points at its June meeting, according to CME Group’s FedWatch calculator.

3.Saudi Arabia wants help from big banks amid low oil prices

Saudi Arabia hired a number of big banks including Citigroup, HSBC, and JP Morgan to coordinate its sharia-compliant bond offering.

Banks will be tasked with arranging the kingdom’s first international sukuk denominated in dollars, Saudi Arabia’s finance ministry said.

The Saudis are raising funds to diversify their finances and fill a budget hole caused by low oil prices.

Officials from the oil-rich country will start meeting with potential investors on Sunday.