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Today’s Pickup: markets uncertain, awaiting details after Singapore Summit

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Good day,

Investors have now reviewed the details of Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un’s agreement to work toward the complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, and so far there doesn’t seem to be much substance.

“There aren’t any details,” said Kiyoshi Ishigane, chief strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai Asset Management Co. in Tokyo. “They’re saying they’ll try. But we don’t know if this will actually materialize.”

Markets across Asia barely reacted after Trump and Kim signed an agreement Tuesday that said that Trump would provide unspecific security guarantees to Kim in exchange for the North Korean leader’s pledge to work toward easing tensions between the two countries, according to Bloomberg.

Trump added details at a press briefing, but markets were unfazed. “It’s long on talk and relatively short on action,” said Clive McDonnell, the Singapore-based head of emerging market equity strategy at Standard Chartered Bank. “We’re still in a little bit of wait and see mode in terms of detail, but I think the outcome is pretty positive in my mind.”

Did you know?

FreightWaves, the leading provider of data and analytics to the freight markets, has closed an oversubscribed Series A funding round worth $13 million. Total funding to date for the two-year old company is $18.4 million.


“FreightWaves is building on Chattanooga’s legacy as a center of logistics innovation. It is yet another great example of a company outside of Silicon Valley successfully leveraging local industry expertise.”

–JD Vance, Managing Partner of Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund

In other news:

U.S. inflation accelerates to six-year high, eroding wages

U.S. inflation accelerated in May to the fastest pace in more than six years, reinforcing the Federal Reserve’s outlook for gradual interest-rate hikes while eroding wage gains that remain relatively tepid despite an 18-year low in unemployment. (Bloomberg)

OPEC cautious on oil outlook despite end of global glut

OPEC said on Tuesday the oil market outlook in the second half of the year is highly uncertain even though the producer group’s figures show a global glut has ended, suggesting exporters will be in no rush to relax output curbs at a meeting next week. (Reuters)

Free power from freeways? China is testing roads paved with solar panels

The experiment is the latest sign of China’s desire to innovate in, and dominate, the increasingly lucrative and strategically important market for renewable energy. (New York Times)

Home Depot sets $1.2 billion supply-chain overhaul

Retailer will add distribution sites, shipping hubs to speed delivery to most of the U.S. market within a day. (WSJ)

America’s boxcar pool has a leak in CSX

Company pulled some railcars out of a sharing system, irking rivals and International Paper. (WSJ) 

Final Thoughts:

Surging commodity prices can be something of a double-edged sword for freight markets. On the one hand, robust industrial and manufacturing sectors consuming resources are a positive signal for transportation providers—whether by truck, rail, ship, or plane—because both raw materials and finished goods have to be moved. On the other hand, too much price inflation can eventually affect demand, as we might be starting to see with lumber prices and housing starts

Bullish price action on commodities sourced in the U.S. will bolster trucking-intensive resource extraction: but the catch is that these movements are highly localized and mode-specific. Flatbed trucks move rigs and equipment in West Texas’ Permian Basin to support the shale boom and haul logs out of the timber-rich Southeast and Pacific Northwest regions, while reefers carry oranges out of Florida.

Hammer down everyone!

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