SHANGHAI, Oct 12 (SMM) — This is a roundup of global macroeconomic news last night and what is expected today.
The dollar fell to its lowest in nearly three weeks on Friday and was headed for a second straight week of losses as expectations grew that Joe Biden would win the US presidency and offer fiscal stimulus after the elections.
Several Wall Street banks forecast a stimulus package no matter which candidate wins, but say that a Biden presidency, if Democrats also retake control of the Senate, would be likely to result in a bigger one. The dollar eased 0.3% against a basket of currencies at 93.30 and it is down 0.8% for the week. It fell by a similar margin last week. The dollar reached a two month-high at 94.75 in late September.
The Chinese currency was the biggest beneficiary of the rising hopes of a Biden win. The yuan posted its biggest daily rise in more than four years, though the gains were partly catching up after a long break. The yuan was last up 1.2% at 6.7112 per dollar in onshore trade and up half a percent to 6.7024 per dollar offshore.
Oil prices eased on Friday after an oil worker strike in Norway ended, which should boost output, even though production was still down in the United States ahead of a hurricane.
Norwegian oil firms have struck a wage bargain with labour union officials, ending a strike that had threatened to cut the country’s oil and gas output by close to 25% this week.
In the Gulf of Mexico, Hurricane Delta has shut 1.67 million barrels per day, or 92% of the Gulf’s oil output, the most since 2005 during Hurricane Katrina. Producers have also halted nearly 62% of the region’s natural gas output, or 1.675 billion cubic feet per day.
US stock futures dipped on Sunday evening as investors prepared for a busy week of corporate earnings and monitored stimulus negotiations in Washington.
Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 lost about 0.2%, while those for the Nasdaq 100 were flat.
The weakness in futures follows a strong week for the stock market. The Dow jumped 3.3% to post its biggest one-week gain since August, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite gained 3.8% and 4.6%, respectively, for their best weeks since July.
Chances for another round of stimulus before the election appeared to dim over the weekend, however, as both House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Republicans pushed back on a $1.8 trillion offer from the White House.
In a letter to colleagues, Pelosi highlighted what she said were insufficient offers on healthcare issues.
“The news is filled with the numbers in terms of dollars. The heart of the matter is: can we allow the virus to rage on and ignore science as the Administration proposes, or will they accept the scientific strategic plan in the Heroes Act to crush the virus,” Pelosi said, referring to a bill that Democrats already passed in the House.
Meanwhile, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows called for a separate vote on the Paycheck Protection Program in their own letter to Congress on Sunday.
The apparent impasses follows a whirlwind week in Washington that saw President Donald Trump at one point call off negotiations, saying that Congressional Republicans should focus on confirming Amy Coney Barrett to the vacant Supreme Court seat. Trump then reversed his position and said to “go big” in negotiations.
Monday’s session could also see investors and traders adjusting their positions before the third quarter earnings season kicks into high gear later in the week. Several major banks and airlines are slated to report their results, including JPMorgan Chase and Delta Air Lines on Tuesday.
Gold jumped over 1% on Friday en route to a second straight weekly gain, as the dollar weakened and renewed negotiations for US stimulus prompted investors to buy bullion as a hedge against inflation.
The UK economy grew 2.1% in August on a monthly basis, according to figures published Friday by the Office for National Statistics, well below analyst expectations of a 4.6% expansion as the country’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic slowed.
Movements in the Chinese yuan are set to be watched by investors on Monday, after the People’s Bank of China announced a rule change that made it cheaper to short the yuan.
The central bank announced Saturday that financial institutions now no longer need to set aside cash when conducting some foreign exchange forwards trading, with effect from Monday. Previously, financial institutions had to set aside 20% of the previous month’s yuan forwards settlement amount as foreign exchange risk reserves.