Former ExxonMobil boss Rex Tillerson who was last week appointed by Donald Trump to be the next US Secretary of State, is under scrutiny as it appears he may have a compromised his position from past business roles. Leaked documents from the corporate registry in the Bahamas show that Tillerson held a long-term directorship with a Russia-US firm.
What this does prove is that Trump is going to be keen to smooth over the relationship with Russia, that has been very publicly frosty in the past. However, the main question about Tillerson is the $200m shares in Exxon and his $70m pension in their fund. If negotiations with Russia are smooth joint ventures into oil could help boost profits giving an alternative motive for potential future decisions.
Thursday’s data dump
GDP data and Durable Goods Orders will be released on Thursday and could cause the USD to make further gains. The recent interest rate hike has now led to substantial speculation that there could be 3 or 4 more hikes next year. If there is further good news for the US economy I would not be surprised to see the US Dollar to continue its recent strengthening.
Christine Lagarde found guilty of negligence
This afternoon a French Judge has ruled that the leader of the IMF Christine Lagarde is guilty of negligence, however no penalty was imposed. It is now up to the IMF to decide if they will allow her to continue or if the new information makes her position untenable. The case was surrounding Lagarde’s failing to challenge a state arbitration decision to payout a businessman 400m Euros when she was the French Finance Minister.