News 

Mortgage rates hold steady, but economists say don’t expect that to last

“Compared to a year ago, mortgage rates were more than a full percentage point lower” writes Jacob Passy for marketwatch.com. This time last year, for instance, Fannie Mae projected that mortgage rates would reach 5% in the fourth quarter of 2019.The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.68% during the week ending Dec. 5, unchanged from the previous week, Freddie Mac FMCC, +2.00%  reported Thursday.The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage dropped one basis point from the previous week to an average of 3.14%, according to Freddie Mac.The trajectory of mortgage rates will largely dictate…

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News Oil 

Russia signals no change to its oil quotas at next week’s OPEC+ meeting

“In Russia, unlike Saudi Arabia and other OPEC producers, condensate is included in its oil production data” writes Midwest Communications Inc for 95kqds.com. OPEC and non-OPEC oil producers have curbed output to balance the market and support prices for the last three years.On Thursday, Russian oil firms suggested to Novak that they meet again at the end of March to discuss the oil deal, Ravil Maganov, a first vice president of Russian oil major Lukoil “We remain in the deal with the same quotas.They also offered to exclude production of…

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News 

Newsom administration sends mixed signals on delta endangered species protections

“The state operations have traditionally adhered to federal endangered species protections for delta smelt, Chinook salmon and other species” writes Bettina Boxall Is for latimes.com. The state lawsuit is also an attempt to avoid the practical nightmare of having different rules govern the federal and state pumping operations. Source: latimes.com

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News Stocks 

European stocks seen cautiously higher as investors track trade and key euro zone data

“Britain’s FTSE 100 was expected to open around 15 points higher at 7,253, Germany’s DAX was seen around 17 points higher at 13,155 and France’s CAC 40 was set to edge around 6 points higher to 5,887, according to IG data” writes Elliot Smith for cnbc.com. European stocks were seen slightly higher on Friday despite mixed signals over the status of U.S.-China trade discussions.Stocks in Asia were mixed on Friday afternoon, with the Shanghai composite down 0.6% while the Shenzhen component and Shenzhen composite each jumped more than 1.2%. German…

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News 

Dollar, yen supported as caution prevails on mixed trade signals

“The yen , regarded as a safe-haven by virtue of Japan’s status as the world’s biggest creditor, touched 108.37 per dollar, its highest since Friday” writes Midwest Communications Inc for 95kqds.com. SINGAPORE (Reuters) – The dollar and the safe-haven yen found support on Wednesday as a lack of clarity on U.S.-China trade talks kept investors cautious ahead of the release of minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve’s last policy meeting.”There’s a slightly cautious tone and mixed messages from the trade war negotiations.”. Moves were slight as jaded traders again weighed…

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News Regulators 

Fed’s Powell signals pause unless there is material change in outlook: Live blog recap

“Fed Chairman Jerome Powell told Congress Wednesday that policy is on hold unless there is a meaningful change in the outlook” writes Senior Economics Reporter for marketwatch.com. A higher rate of immigration can help boost productivity, but Powell only briefly mentioned this.Powell said policy isn’t on a preset course but officials think the 3 rate cuts are enough of an insurance policy against downside risks. Source: marketwatch.com

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News 

Navarro: “There is no agreement to rollback any existing tariffs as part of the Phase One deal”

“There is no agreement to rollback any existing tariffs as part of the Phase One deal,” he said, nothing that it was never on the table when they met and had a handshake deal in October” reports forexlive.com. Kudlow on Thursday said “if there’s a phase one trade deal, there are going to be tariff agreements and concessions.”. Today, Trump spoke with reporters and said the accord with China “has to be the right deal” and that reports on the level of tariffs being lifted was “incorrect.”. The White House…

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News Regulators 

Fed cuts rates for a 3rd time but signals it will now pause

“Powell has pointed to similar rate cuts in 1995 and 1998 as precedents; in both those cases, the Fed cut rates three times” reports thebusinessjournal.com. The housing market has also improved, after slumping in 2018, thanks in part to the Fed’s rate cuts.He and most other Fed officials credit their rate cuts with lowering mortgage rates, boosting home sales and generally keeping the economy on track.Some international tensions have eased since the Fed previously met in mid-September, which might suggest to some that further rate cuts are less necessary.Both have…

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