Tom and Jerry of world politics, US and China, seem to have taken their rivalry up a notch. Reports hit the wire that Trump Administration is considering slapping steep trade tariffs, investment and possible visa restrictions on China. A Section 301 investigation was run to study Chinese trade strategies and how they impacted US trade. China currently runs over $375 billion trade surplus with the US. This new information is a silent yet loud way of the US calling out their biggest enemy. The reshuffling of top officials within the White House has also gotten investors alert. The recent departure of Rex Tillerson and his replacement by Mike Pompeo are a direct indication of Trump trying to get the House in his confidence and establish his people at all crucial points.
On the economic front, the US CPI data played the wild card on Tuesday. US consumer price inflation rose in line with expectations for February. The key takeaway was that core inflation remained at 1.8% YoY, ignoring the noise around it. The headline index came in at an annual rate of 2.2 % growth, up from the 2.1 % reported in January. On a month-on-month basis, headline prices rose just 0.2%, a down from the 0.5% recorded in the month prior.