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LGT Navigator: Increasing tensions between the US and China

July 23, 2020

In the middle of the week, fresh sand in the diplomatic gears between Washington and Beijing overshadowed the previously positive sentiment on stock markets. In view of the increasingly sharp tone, a further escalation seems possible and could cause further uncertainty for investors. Nevertheless, stocks on Wall Street rose, while the trend on Asia's stock exchanges was mixed.

Renewed tensions between US and China

The US government's order to China to close the consulate in Houston, Texas, within only three days further strained relations between the two countries, which had already been clouded since the trade war and the outbreak of the corona pandemic. Beijing reacted sharply, calling the action an unprecedented escalation. US President Donald Trump, for his part, doubled his words and warned that the closure of further Chinese diplomatic missions was always possible.

The Dow Jones benchmark index only rose in the last two hours of trading, closing at 27 005.84 points, up 0.62% from the previous day. The broad-based S&P 500 index climbed +0.57% to 3 276.02 points. Tesla's fourth consecutive quarterly profit and possible inclusion in the S&P 500 were positively noted, while Asian stock markets were unable to benefit from the positive overseas performance and were mostly negative. The Nikkei, which comprises 225 stocks, lost -0.58%, while the Hong Kong Hang Seng Index gained just under +0.5%. In Europe, profit taking after the EU summit dominated yesterday. At least the European leading index EuroStoxx 50 yesterday reached its highest level since the end of February.

Global corona infections have now exceeded the 15 million mark, with the three worst affected countries – the US, Brazil and India – accounting for almost half of all confirmed new infections worldwide and more than 40% of deaths.

ECB base economic scenario remains valid

According to statements by the head of the European Central Bank (ECB), Christine Lagarde, the ECB is sticking to its current basic scenario of an 8.7% slump in economic output in the euro zone in the current year. The data for the second quarter would confirm this. Should a significant second wave of corona infections occur, however, the ECB's scenario would be obsolete, Lagarde said. In an interview with the Washington Post, the ECB President also criticized that the corona financial aid pact, agreed at the EU special summit, could have turned out better. Especially with regard to the spoken subsidies to the most affected countries like Italy or Spain, Lagarde said that they could have been higher in relation to the loans.

Is the ECB extending its moratorium on bank dividends?

According to a report by Bloomberg, the ECB is considering to extend its demand, introduced in March, for European banks to forgo dividend payments in the wake of the corona crisis until the end of the year. Previously it had been assumed that the banks would be able to pay a dividend again in the fourth quarter.

Apple wants to become completely climate neutral

Apple has set itself the goal of becoming completely climate-neutral by 2030. Within the next ten years, every Apple device should be manufactured without CO2 pollution and its own emissions should be reduced by 75%, the company promises.

Economic Indicators July 23

MEZ Country Indicator Last
16:00 US Leading Indicator June (m/m) +2.8%

Earnings Calendar July 23

Country Corporate Period
CH Roch H1
CH Sika H1
GE Daimler Q2
NL Unilever Q2
US Coca-Cola Q2
US Texas Instruments Q2
US Visa Q2
US Travelers Q2




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Publisher: LGT Bank (Switzerland) Ltd., Glärnischstrasse 36, CH-8027 Zurich
Editor: Alessandro Fezzi, +41 44 250 83 48, E-Mail:
Source: LGT Bank (Switzerland) Ltd.

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