SHANGHAI, Oct 23 (SMM) — This is a roundup of global macroeconomic news last night and what is expected today.
The dollar index ticked higher on Thursday, easing off a seven-week low as hopes for a coronavirus aid package ahead of the US elections faded and COVID-19 cases surged around the world, giving a slight bid to safe-haven assets like the greenback.
Investors were also digesting new US jobless claims data that showed a bigger-than-expected drop, but remained at extremely high levels amid fading fiscal stimulus and a resurgent coronavirus.
Initial jobless claims filed through state programs fell by 55,000 to 787,000 in the seven days ended Oct. 17, marking the first time they’ve dropped below 800,000 since the coronvirus epidemic began in March. New claims in the prior week were also lowered to 842,000 from 898,000, the Labor Department reported Thursday, in an unusually large revision.
US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Thursday negotiations toward a new relief bill were making progress and that legislation could be hammered out “pretty soon.”
The talks had been thrown into doubt after Republican President Donald Trump took to Twitter late on Wednesday to accuse Democrats of being unwilling to find an acceptable compromise and amid deep opposition among Senate Republicans to a large new stimulus package.
Oil prices ticked up on Thursday but struggled to fully recover from the previous session’s losses when a build in US gasoline inventories signaled a deteriorating outlook for fuel demand as coronavirus cases soar.
US gasoline stocks rose by 1.9 million barrels in the week to Oct. 16, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Wednesday, compared with expectations for a 1.8 million-barrel drop.
Overall product supplied, a proxy for demand, averaged 18.3 million barrels per day in the four weeks to Oct. 16, the EIA said - down 13% from the same period a year earlier.
Gold retreated 1% to near $1,900 an ounce on Thursday on better-than-expected US jobs data, with appeal of the metal further weighed down by a stronger dollar and doubts over a US stimulus package before the presidential elections.
“The jobless claims number, which is much better than expected,” was pressuring gold, said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA, adding that “an improving number kind of takes away some of the urgency for getting a stimulus deal done now.”
On Wall Street, the major stock indexes were mostly lower as traders weighed the latest developments surrounding stimulus negotiations. Investors also monitored a warning from US officials that Iran and Russia are trying to interfere in the US presidential election.
German consumer confidence has ebbed with GfK’s forward-looking index for November coming in at -3.1 points, down from 1.7 points in October. Later in the session, a flash estimate from the European Commission showed euro zone consumer confidence falling 1.6 points in October, to -15.5.
On the coronavirus front, the US Food and Drug Administration on Thursday approved Gilead Sciences’ antiviral drug remdesivir for the virus. The intravenous drug has helped shorten the recovery time of some hospitalized Covid-19 patients.
Germany, Eurozone and US preliminary Markit manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Indexes (PMI) for October are set to release today.