tv Bloomberg Markets Middle East Bloomberg September 24, 2017 12:00am-1:00am EDT
♪ >> iran reportedly tests a new ballistic missile defying u.s. to some of its missile program and drawing criticism from the u.k. and friends. turkey sends a final warning to the iraqi kurds, asking them to abandon monday's independence referendum. in an election that could decide whether angela merkel gets a fourth term as chancellor. it is 8:00 a.m. in dubai, 5:00 a.m. in london, and midday in
hong kong. this is "bloomberg markets: middle east." let's get you a quick check of how the markets fared on friday. let's start out with the u.s. close. u.s. equities range bound on friday. kind of bowlers -- kind of boring to be honest with you. dow jones matching a drop. let's look at the broader macro moves that might interest people in the region. look at the 10 year u.s. treasury yield. treasuries catching a bit of a safe haven. the yield on the 10 year falling to 2.25%, after reaching 2.27% thursday after the the more hawkish than expected fed statement. take a look at the emerging markets index. that was falling again friday, a second day of consecutive down days. again off the back of the fed taking a knock off a six year high we had seen. oil is part of the emerging markets story. oil continuing its rally.
we had that technical meeting in vienna by opec members. we will discuss that later in the show. let's take a look also at some of the currencies. we have fx moves in the market. that is where we are seeing the geopolitical story playing up. bloomberg markets down friday as north korea hurls some pretty creative influence at the trump administration. the pound falling after theresa may's big brexit speech. take a look at the euro reading as unchanged, it was up on friday after stronger-than-expected pmi data. let's check in on the first word headlines from around the world. germany is of course heading to the polls sunday as angela merkel seeks a record equaling fourth election victory. the chancellor's christian democrats are up against the social democrats and four other parties, the free democrats, greens, left, and afd.
voting ends at 6:00 p.m. in berlin, following the television exit polls. north korea's foreign minister has told the united nations that pyongyang is ready for a preemptive nuclear attack. speaking at the u.n. general assembly, he said his country have been driven to acquire nuclear weapons because of what he called hostile u.s. policy and that president trump was on "suicide mission." his speech came hours after u.s. air force bombers flew over international waters east of north korea. u.k. foreign secretary boris johnson tweeted that he is extremely concerned by reports that iran tested a missile. he says the action was inconsistent with the u.n. resolutions and called on iran to halt provocative acts. the comments came after iran press tv reported that iran had successfully testfired a new ballistic missile. the messiah was unveiled friday as part of a military parade in
tehran. the saudi led bloc took dispute with qatar to the yuan general assembly -- to the u.n. general assembly maintaining that actions against qatar were required due to which alleged terrorism support. they want about iran's role in festering the situation in the region. >> two years have passed since iran's nuclear agreement with no sign of change in its behavior in the region or to abandon its nuclear conditions. instead iran continues to conduct more tests in violation of the spirit of the agreement. therefore we support enhancing control on iran's nuclear program and continue assessment of the agreement. >> turkey sent a final warning to iraq's kurdish provinces to drop plans for a referendum on independence scheduled monday. it calls the vote a direct threat to its national security, fearing it will set back its own campaign to stamp out kurdish insurgency.
the president of iraq's; taunus kurdistan regional -- semi autonomous kurdistan regional government has refused warnings to go ahead with the vote. let's get to bloomberg news' andrew barton on what is turning into a litany of geopolitical risks. here when itice comes to all sorts of things, particularly missile tests. iran firing a missile test, ostensibly in here when it comes to all sorts of direct opn to the u.s. administration. how much of a game changer is this? >> you were right when you said it is indirect defiance of u.s. criticism. this does not violate the nuclear deal that the u.s. and signed with iran. it does undermine the spirit of that deal if you would like, and n'sgive more fuel to ira critics. the iranians take the opposite view.
trump has come in, he has done everything he can to undermine the deal himself. while the deal holds, in spirit it is being undermined. certainly it doesn't bode signe. well if you are a supporter of the deal for october 15 when trump needs to decide to recertify and extend the deal. >> october 15, definitely a date to highlight on our calendars. , weking of the nuclear deal coming out ofds rex tillerson for instance. is the u.s. willing to unilaterally withdraw from have to -- unilaterally withdraw from that deal? andrew: they have said so. trump's mind is apparently made up on the matter. his announced on twitter his displeasure. come october 15 if he decides
not to renew, that takes it to congress. congress has a decision to make about sanctions. then it gets very messy. the other signatories to the deal has said they would not withdraw, that they feel as though the deal is the best thing going. there are no other good alternatives. you have the situation where you may have the u.s. pulling out for leaving, and the others sticking by it. it begins to get messy because u.s. sanctions might spill over into other areas. >> one other interesting regional story that i mentioned in our intro is the current stand independence -- excuse me, the kurdish independence referendum. we have seen these, every once in a while throughout history. this is a nonbinding vote. is it going to be different this time? andrew: it is different in the sense that the previous referendum was organized by activists and this one has official organization backing.
this is something that the kurds have been trying to get off the ground since the collapse of the ottoman empire. while it is nonbinding, it does send a strong signal, strong enough that all of its neighbors have objected. iran, turkey, iraq obviously. so we will have to see when the results come in. the previous ones were obviously in favor. i expect you will see a similar result this time. the two big questions are, are they seeking to use this as leverage, or will this be the beginning of a process? and of course, how do the neighbors react to this? >> we do have general elections in november i think it is. there is a sense this could be used as political leverage for particular event. andrew: right. in general sharing of oil
revenue, getting more rights -- all of these things are on the table. it could be that they take this result, go to the central government -- let's talk and see what else we can get. of course once you let the horse out of the barn, it's out. there is the uncertainty as to where this might go. host: i want to bring in head of investment strategy at abu dhabi commercial bank. one thing just to begin, i prepped a chart that shows some of the geopolitical tensions we have seen versus other moves in the market. on the top panel is the fear gauge, if you will, and shorts according to cftc data released friday, now at an all-time record. when you contrast that with what you have seen in terms of the political uncertainty index, or policy uncertainty index, looks like the market is not especially that much concern over these events. >> that is true. i would argue that the real
geopolitical risk actually moves out of this region and is now more in the far east with korea. if you look at the geopolitical crises in the past, they will determine market corrections, severe market corrections. we can go back as far as the cuban crisis. typically that would be a buying opportunity. i think maybe the market is not convinced that the actors will push it totypically that would g the extreme. say, instill, i would this part of the world. andrew was hinting that there would be some discussions and agreements post-referendum. it is also true in the far east. the likelihood that they would go to a true conflict is still very low.
china is now gradually interfering in calming down korea, also with helping the u.s. with sanctions. i think that the markets are not expecting this to come to an extreme conflict situation. andrew: pulling it back to this region in terms of iran and the referendum we will see tomorrow, is there one that markets should take more seriously or focusing on more carefully? luciano: to be honest, no. right now i think there is much more concern for what is .appening in the far east i think what is happening right now, in particular with the ardish region, is not particularly -- it is of course
an important part of the oil production, but we have seen it in the past. we have seen it a couple years ago when the islamic state was conquering huge parts of iraq and syria. it didn't have an impact on the oil price. i would suggest that the markets have gotten used to that. i do not think this is going to be a major risk. andrew: does your calculus change come october 15 if donald trump does not recertify jcpoa? luciano: even then we would need to see what happens and how this is being discussed. congress would need to come in. i still think there would be implications, ramifications, qualifications just like we have seen for the climate change deal. that theydiscussions are looking how to adjust it. u.s. is an important
country, so if it pulls out of something out of a global framework, that framework will start adjusting. but somehow the u.s. will also understand that it needs to remain involved. i do not think this will immediately change everything. , no. host: speaking of in andhost: s, andrew leaves us. luciano, he will be sticking because we will be digging into the because we wile digging into the water macro stories we have going on. -- wider macro stories we have going on. later in the show as i mentioned we will be speaking about opec. opec and friends hold steady on output cuts, but it is enough to spur prices? we will talk about the fed balance sheet winding down, and whether investors should get wound up about that particular event. this is bloomberg. ♪
host: this is "bloomberg markets: middle east" live from dubai. emerging-market assets have been the surprise winners of the year. but they did fall ofor two consecutive days last week off the back of a more hawkish than expected fed statement. let's discuss that more with justin carrigan. it feels like when it comes to em assets you have these two camps. some say we are in the early stages of a tremendous rally and you have other people saying that the old relationship between the u.s. and emerging markets -- you know, where u.s. financial conditions go, so do em assets -- is going to reassert itself. >> one of the comments i heard last week is that at this important juncture in the development of this whole story, emerging markets may even
provide a haven for some people. there is a certain amount of certainty, a certain amount of policy certainty that gives comfort to investors while the situation in the developed world is less predictable, to put it mildly. host: a bit topsy-turvy. >> that is comforting to investors. we also have top commodity prices coming back. and growth fundamentals emerging markets are very positive. given those three factors, there are some very strong arguments for staying with the emerging markets story. thehe same time, yes, voices one hears about the possible pullback, if there is a big bond selloff, that could be some of theseor countries, particularly the ones with the week budget balances. you think first and foremost of places like brazil. host: there is one particular em story i want to ask you about, and that is china. the world's second-biggest
economy got downgraded last week by s&p. but the market did not to give too much of a reaction to that. explained the thinking. justin: the first thing to think puttings the cut was china's where the other two credit rating agencies had china. it now equates with israel, ireland, and chile, which gives you an example of what kind of credit profile s&p considers china to have. i think the shrug of the shoulders the market gave was, we heard this story, we know this is out there. we have heard it for a long time now. there have only been minor eruptions that has appeared in the china credit story. i think the need for them to be a few more of those before things get worried -- the growth background in china is still very positive. the chinese have this enormous
firepower at their disposal in order to counter any possible contamination that one or two default might set off. bloomberg's justin carrigan, thanks for joining us. we still have head of investment strategy at abu dhabi commercial bank. before we dig into some other i amhemes of the week, curious to get your read on emerging markets. are we in the bidding -- in the beginning of a rally or are we reaching an end? luciano: by the end of next year emerging markets will be under more pressure. we will have some deterioration in financial conditions in the u.s. the chart pointed out the financial market conditions in the u.s. have actually improved in spite of everything that the federal reserve has been flagging in terms of interest rate year emerging markets will be under more pressure. we will have some deterioration in financial hikes, simply becae dollar has weakened. that is over now. to some extent we are going to
see some rolling over of emerging markets. then one has to be selective of course. i would say that at the general level, without getting into the specific countries, i would say that china is going to tighten. we have seen a run-up in metals and other commodities. i would suspect we are going to have some pressure for the countries delivering those materials. price,ok then at the oil i would say that the oil price will be resilient. i would suspect that countries that have oil price production would also be resilient. that would include paradoxically a country like russia, but also the gcc countries are going to believe.well still i
believe. the big run is over. countries that are more insulated from the global economy -- that could be india, russia, gcc -- could still do fairly well. there are other countries with conditions that are definitely going to suffer oa bit. this tailwind is going to go away. the dollar is not going to weaken further. at the margin we are going to shift in theard curve, but i don't think it will be enormous. tracy: i'm sorry we have to leave it there. head of investment strategy at abu dhabi commercial bank. coming up, our interview with the saudi communications nit mr. for his vision of use of technology in business and government. this is bloomberg. ♪
reform its economy and society, there are a number of challenges the government faces. at the bloomberg global business forum we spoke to the country's minister for communications and i.t. about those challenges. >> today we are putting a clear mandate when it comes to participation as part of the u.n. mandate. within that we are looking at concrete examples, as i have articulated at the beginning. public consultation in which we are soliciting feedback for inducing changes. crowdsourcing ideas how to co-author the future of the nation. indeed we are making strides into concrete examples of how we are opening the flow of communication. we appreciate -- in order to ideas howsion 2030, to co-author the future of the nation. indeed we are makingexperience.
>> can you have a free exchange of ideas while at the same time taking the necessary precautions against terrorism? >> indeed. the short answer is yes. measuring the performance of all the cabinet members, a third-party venture, our nation, a platform where freely our citizens and residents in a nonbiased fashion, within a third-party context, can share the problems of today and tomorrow and how we can best solve this together. >> how much more capital needs to be invested in saudi arabia, in saudi arabia and communications infrastructure to create the 21st century economy? >> i think the challenge today in the kingdom is money. i think the opportunity is for partners to come with no help and an ecosystem -- with knowhow and an ecosystem. >> how do you get those partners to come?
>> we are in serious dialogue with them. here at the bloomberg business forum we have had dialogue about the changes with clarity and consistency about building a compelling foundation for partnership. there have been asks about how we are shifting the needle. we share with them live examples of how the chairman of the stock market today is a female. the head of national digitization is a female. they have the opportunity to mingle with them and appreciate live examples of the changes we are doing. social to me about the transformation. you are to achieve what you have set out to achieve, you will have to attract human capital. people want to live in places that they like. >> that is fair. that is another great question. a number of fortune 500 companies in the tech industry are today top 10 and you are tou have set out to achieve, you will have to attract human capital. top 5 when it comes to the linear thinking
approach, free vision 2030. at that standpoint -- they could not have arrived at that standpoint without. in coinciding with the weolution of industry 4.0, are looking for nonlinear ways of attracting talent and nurturing them. >> what would you say the biggest challenge you face as minister of communications and i.t.? >> not enough time. >> you are trying to do 40 or 50 years of work in 20 years? >> not exactly. because today's pace of change is so unprecedented that we need new level of thinking and new levels of execution. tracy: that was bloomberg speaking to saudi arabia's communications minister. speaking of communications, one thing we would like to bring your attention to is our interactive tv function which you can use to communicate directly with us. you will not only be able to watch us live, you can see previous interviews, including
♪ tracy: it is a: 30 a.m. in dubai. a.m. in dubai. let'swait for the open, take a look at the first word headlines. ruling national party says it is the best lace to secure the party. after his party 146% of the vote, no english said he can form a deal with the first party. the labor leader has refused to concede defeat and said she will
resume a coalition with other parties. slacked fresh sanctions on north korea, curbing oil product exports. it was halted on saturday while exports of oil products be limited from october onward. china come up john gibbons pyongyang's largest trading partner, -- challenges the decision to revoke its london license. transportation authorities concluded the company is not fit and proper to operate in the city and cited failures to do driver background checks or report crime. london is one of uber's most lucrative markets.
movies has blamed -- moody's blames exit for cutting the credit rating. oneowngraded the u.k. notch. the agency said it was not confident the government could secure a replacement free trade agreement with the eu. softbank says it is willing to accept a stop for stock merger with t-mobile valuing sprint closer to its current market cap of $4 billion. t-mobile's majority owner is willing to ease up on it earlier demand for a significant discount to sprints of value. opec and russia said they are halfway toward clearing the global oil glut and while talks in vienna may have ended without a clear signal of supply cut,
ministers welcomed the market recovery. tolda's energy minister number there was reason to be cautious. bright as yous say in many areas. we tracked these things carefully. months, yout few are seeing an influx of show producers and reduced efficiency. tracy: here with us for more is our middle east energy correspondent anthony dipaola. here is the chart. created by me to please opec's ministers on this weekend. it shows back with foundation on the curve, traditionally a bullish sign up for the market. move furtherng to out into the curve, a positive signal. forgetting this evidence of market tightening, white extent
production cuts? anthony: they want to make sure it continues. for 1.8 million barrels a day. bringing that into the market would undo that work. they have agreed to keep these cuts in place until march of 2018. what they are talking about now is, do we need to continue these cuts longer to make sure the price bump stays in place? they don't want to release the oil back on the market. they have been working to make sure the supply and demand is balanced while taking off the stockpiles and of stockpiles are what has been weighing down on price so far the market knows that if the supply does not meet the demand it comes into the market and keeps caps on things. once they were to oil and storage they can see about
easing this back in the market novak was saying it will not talk about that until january otherwise it is too soon to decide whether they will extend through march and maybe get an strategy threat the cuts we will wait for them to decide. one other thing i wanted to ask you was this kurdish vote for independence and what it means for the oil market. it includes one of the big oil centers of the country. tracy: that is a big deal they are involved and the kurdish military forces are de facto helping operate the field and export the oil from iraq. iraq is the third biggest producer there. down but theynd are closing in on 5 million barrels a day, their target for
the end of the year. producing they are 600,000 barrels a day, including the cook productions. it is a sizable amount, bigger than smaller members of opec, puts them on par with qatar. ,his is a sizable chunk of oil taking that oil out of the market would have an impact and give a bump. there is extra capacity in the market that could make up for that. we are far away from having that oil out of the market. we are talking about a nonbinding referendum that the kurds will look at. what do we want to do in the middle east? everything is open for negotiation. this doesn't mean the kurds will create an independent kurdish day in iraq. they could talk to the iraqis to get more power-sharing to firm or the oilransfers
revenues so they can keep more money. this has been an issue going on between the federal state and kurds for a long time. 17% of oil revenues the kurds say they should be keeping. stay tuned. tracy: that's my mind. at the dipaola, thank you very much for bringing us that. founder of in the lighthouse research. i have had two people onset saying the kurdish revenue for -- independence referendum is a ploy to win concessions. do you agree? absolutely. and if are elections set for november. a lot of this is the mystic politics. the k rg has of the trappings of being a functioning state like a security apparatus. they also have security institutions.
it is hard to remember a time when so many of their neighbors could be against them. we have seen the u.s. come out against them, iraq, iran, turkey, 500,000 barrels being exported, half goes through turkey. i brought up the map on the bloomberg and you can see the route the kurdish oil will take. it goes through turkey to get through this port right here. what kind of leverage can turkey bring to bear on this situation? turkey is the main country that can prevent any oil exports from rg evenfrom the k though they have massive oil reserves from that region. it will be difficult to convince people to invest if there is a trade embargo on the region. as anthony said, i expect the vote to go ahead. it will probably be an overwhelming yes vote, it is
nonbinding. it is not about independence, it is about getting concessions from the government and ramping up rhetoric in the government. is now a good time to get those concessions? tough because iraq is facing lower shocks. toy 17 has been a positive year -- 2017 has been a positive year by iraqi standards. they reopened borders with jordan and saudi arabia that have been closed for many years. iny issued $1 million bonds august. by iraqi standards, 2017 was positive and this was another crisis to face. tracy: we have a more later.
♪ tracy: i'm tracy alloway. we are counting down to that market open in the emirates. in just an hour from now, our reporter joins us. he has come prepared with the charts. tell us what this one shows. >> this is showing an interesting situation in qatar. we were showing how stock markets were dramatically hit in qatar. stock seeing a slaughterhouse that imports and sells meat. not a huge company, they have about 300 million in market cap, but they are up 7%.
because they 50% were able to continue business as usual. they imported meat in qatar without any problem during ramadan and those green dots on screen. they dominate the markets. supply, thenty of government subsidizes them, so it is a positive story in qatar. tracy: some unusually positive news. what else are you watching in terms of investment? >> today is a holiday in saudi so markets are not open. distance to liquidity in the region will be lower and usually we don't have for investors in the market. ,hen we have industry names like oman insurance is preparing and opi in oman.
it's not a huge market. it is good news. emaar, the uae, we have announcing a very important development on thursday. on wednesday. they had a board meeting and they gave some announcements and some developments of the ipo after the real estate unit in the uae and the big project in dubai is supposed to be price by investors today. tracy: we have been waiting a long time for that one. thank you for joining us. we still have a lighthouse research here with us. i wanted to ask you about the saudi story because one of the good interviews we saw from our business forum was lloyd blankfein in which he said saudi has to make courtroom --
cultural changes to attract the economy. is he right? guest: i couldn't disagree more. what saudi arabia does not need any more of our ex-pat workers. they have 20 million workers, local -- 7 million ex-pat workers. what they need to be doing is investing in education and jobs lloyd those blankfein is talking about that he thinks should be filled by western ex-pats should be filled by saudi nationals. is definitely not on the cards for saudi arabia in terms of the success of its reforms program. tracy: lloyd was speaking alongside the managing director of saudi arabia's take sovereign , when itnd, the pif
comes to saudi's transformation, how are you judging it progress? what are you looking at? there has been a lot of talk. long,s going to be a drawnout affair. people are expecting results to come to early. they had made progress in some areas in terms of cutting public sector wages, but then they reversed those issues. they announced energy subsidy reforms but then a delay to those reforms. there is a lot of talk now, not as much action. i'm encouraged they have this broader vision of how they want the economy to transform and the next decade or so. that is not something every economy inabilities has. they are making progress, but more definitely they need. we are expecting
second-quarter gdp figures soon. what are you forecasting? guest: it has not been a great year for saudi arabia. if you look at the public available data that comes out of the central bank, we are looking at a slowdown in credit growth, consumer confidence hits an all-time low. if you look at cement sales come up a good proxy for the construction and investment sector, those have collapsed. if you look at remittance it's a good way to understand what is happening in the not oil economies because of these ex-pat workers. those have slowed. gdp data, i am looking for a print of -1% or so. in my mind, the argument is over the weather saudi arabia will be in a recession. it most certainly is.
2018, whatn is, in will the rally in oil prices slow? slowdown and reforms are positive for short-term, negative for long-term. tracy: i have heard people argue that even if you don't get a pop in oil prices, having them range bound is helpful for these national budgets. is it helpful or is there a danger that if it becomes too comfortable and the government loses its motivation? guest: depends on what side of the coin you are on. it shows an improvement in the budget deficit, but it is being driven by higher oil revenues. not much progress in raising nonoil revenues or cutting public expenditure. concernt-term, if your is the short-term, you do not want to see significant reform
momentum, but if you have a vested interest for longer term, you want to see more forward momentum on areas passing a bankruptcy law, rolling back energy subsidies and getting to work in training the local population to fill those jobs which the ceo of goldman sachs was talking about. tracy: what thing i have to ask before you go. o focused ons to saudi aramco. focused ona is too saudi aramco. why? guest: they are putting too much weight on the ipo in terms of what it means for the saudi reform program. people talk about it like it is the cornerstone and it will transform the local economy. that's crazy. thateserves have dropped they are at $500 billion.
it is not an issue of shortage of capital, which is constraining the economy. it is a long process. ,ven though the ipo of aramco in my opinion, who cares. what policies are being implemented to reform this economy, diversify, and get local citizens to work? tracy: we do have other listings from countries in the wings. one more question about some of the current elements. we have a lot of talk about iran and the nuclear deal. how will that affect investment in iran? guest: it's negative. is trump going to withdraw from the jcp away? my instinct is that he is not. there are too many vested interests around the world, a lot of companies have a stake in
maintaining this agreement and you have to think about why they want to withdraw. there is talk about iran's ballistic missile program, their activities across the region. both valid concerns, but the u.s. once to withdraw because of obama. that's what drives every major policy out of the trump administrated. if obama is for it, trump is against it. that is fine if you are trying to repeal health care and your audience is republican congressman. to makea tougher sell to european leaders. there are a lot of companies around the world that have been a just in getting back into the iranian market. tracy: they have already been pivoting toward iran strongly. guest: absolutely. and they will not accept this if they think iran is complying the letter of the jcp away which by
most standards, they still are. is appearing they are sticking to this agreement to the trump administration has to do a better job of selling the argument to the world. tracy: thank you for joining us as always. gold -- can gold continue to shine? we will stick to rat gold how geopolitics and the fed are weighing on the fortunes. this is bloomberg. ♪
what has been driving gold prices and how much further can they go? guest: it is a combination of the trump presidency and the uncertainty it has brought to markets over the last year. the situation with north korea has been the catalyst that has 13 .57.old to a high of it's easy to forget we started the year $200 lower. gold has done a really well. record-breaking dow jones, which is up 13% this year. so is goal. drift we have seen gold in recent weeks. what are the challenges for the gold bugs. from: gold made the break 1250, to 1357. so we are seeing a complete lack of demand from the two major markets, china and india.
also, we are seeing secondary supply come to the markets. a disconnect occurred between the actual price delivered by speculation and the real physical demand of supply of gold. we are back in an area of it will the rim. we will see gold lower. i do think we are in a side market. you mentioned the magic word, speculation. -- stopalk stopping talking about copper. contango is in the copper curve, the highest since 2009. we had people prying off telephone cables in 2009. has the rally out run the fundamentals here? guest: i would say so and it is driven by speculative demand because of china. things are cooling down there.
it's interesting you mentioned copper. it is linked closely to palladium. despite the 17% recent -- 35% since thep start of the year and perhaps my biggest called since the start $680, i palladium was called for a price of four digits and on the fourth of september, we saw palladium traded just above $1000. tracy: where do you see it going? betweenonsolidating $870 and $9,000. tracy: that is just roads, principal consultant at rak gold. that is in for this edition of bloomberg markets middle east. we will be live in the region
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♪ jonathan: from new york city, with 30 minutes dedicated to fixed income, this is "bloomberg real yield." ♪ jonathan: coming up, janet yellen brushes aside plans to the lowflation story -- plans to unwind the balance sheet and entities up another rate hike before year's end. geo politics fuels the bid as north korea threatens to deliver a hard-line response to president trump. and beyond toys "r" us filing for bankruptcy, heavy debt loads continue to haunt retailers. ta