SHANGHAI, Oct 22 (SMM) — This is a roundup of global macroeconomic news last night and what is expected today.
The dollar hit a seven-week low against a basket of currencies on Wednesday after US.President Donald Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi boosted hopes for a large fiscal stimulus package, prompting some traders to ramp up bets on riskier currencies.
The weakness in the greenback came as the White House and Democrats in the US Congress moved closer to agreement on a new coronavirus-related aid package on Tuesday as Trump said he was willing to accept a large aid bill despite opposition within his own Republican Party.
Pelosi, the nation’s top Democratic leader, later said she was optimistic about chances for a fresh aid deal despite resistance from Senate Republicans, though she acknowledged it might not pass until after the election.
On Wall Street, futures contracts tied to the major US stock indexes fell in the overnight session Wednesday evening and suggested further losses ahead for markets when regular trading resumes.
Dow futures dropped 150 points in extended trading while S&P 500 and Nasdaq-100 futures also fell about 0.6%.
Though the overnight session began with modest moves, futures came under pressure after US officials said Iran is taking steps to interfere in the US presidential election, and Russia has obtained American voter information.
Specifically, Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said that Iran has been sending “spoof emails designed to intimidate voters, incite unrest and damage President” Donald Trump.
The announcement from the nation’s top intelligence officials came amid an already-fierce election season and adds to uncertainty as the US tries to navigate the health and economic fallout caused by the coronavirus.
Oil prices dropped Wednesday after US inventory figures showed demand weakening for refined products as global COVID-19 cases spiked.
Crude inventories fell by 1 million barrels in the week to Oct. 16 to 488.1 million barrels, while gasoline stocks rose in another weak showing for fuel demand.
Overall product supplied, a proxy for demand, remained down 13% on the year and over the past four weeks when compared with the year-ago period.
Adding to pressure, worldwide COVID-19 cases crossed 40 million on Tuesday, with some parts of Europe imposing renewed lockdown measures.
Gold rose 1% to its highest in over a week on Wednesday as investor optimism that a US coronavirus aid package will be announced before the Nov. 3 presidential elections pressured the dollar and bolstered bullion’s appeal as an inflation hedge.
The IMF on Wednesday downgraded its forecast for Asia-Pacific to -2.2% in 2020 — “the worst outcome for this region in living memory.”
“Our latest Regional Economic Outlook shows that a recovery started in the third quarter, but growth engines are not all firing with the same power across countries, leading to a multispeed recovery,” Jonathan D. Ostry, acting director of the Asia and Pacific Department at the IMF, wrote in a blog post.
Key economic data slated for release today include US weekly jobless claims, September pending home sales and Eurozone's consumer confidence index for October.