Marketmind: Geopolitics lurks beneath markets’ still waters

A look at the day ahead in markets from Alun John

The lull before U.S. inflation data affords a moment to reflect on a darkening geopolitical backdrop.

Ukraine’s creditors are due to vote later on Tuesday on a government proposal to defer payments on its international bonds. Tensions remain high in Taiwan, and a Donald Trump story broke overnight – just like the old days – as FBI agents raided the former President’s gilded Mar-a-Lago estate.

Ukraine’s bondholders have until 5 p.m. New York time (2100 GMT) on Tuesday to decide whether to back government proposal to defer payments on war-torn country’s international bonds for 24 months.

The government seems optimistic as of now.

Meanwhile, Chinese, Taiwanese and U.S. politicians continued their verbal sparring on Tuesday after the scheduled end of China’s military drills around the island.

Trump said FBI agents raided his Mar-a-Lago estate and broke into his safe in what his son said was part of an investigation into the former President’s removal of official records from the White House.

Markets are currently in something of a holding pattern, as investors wait for Wednesday’s release of U.S. CPI data.

A high inflation print following last week’s strong jobs numbers would likely put an end to speculation that the Fed will pivot from primarily worrying about inflation to fearing a recession.

U.S. benchmark 10 year yields were steady in Asia trade, G10 currencies slept and MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose a touch.

Key developments that could influence markets on Tuesday:

Politics: Deadline for Ukraine international bond holders to vote on request for two-year debt payment freeze

Kenya president and National Assembly elections

US earnings: Ralph Lauren, Wynn Resorts

Europe earnings: InterContinental Hotel, Abdrn

US 3-year note auction, US Q2 unit labour costs

(Reporting by Alun John; Editing by Tom Westbrook)