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Macro Roundup (Nov 20)
Nov 20,2020 08:29CST
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The dollar slid for a sixth straight session on Thursday, after trading higher for most of the day, on reports that U.S. Senate Republican leaders have agreed to resume negotiations on another coronavirus stimulus package.

SHANGHAI, Nov 20 (SMM) — This is a roundup of global macroeconomic news last night and what is expected today.

The dollar slid for a sixth straight session on Thursday, after trading higher for most of the day, on reports that U.S. Senate Republican leaders have agreed to resume negotiations on another coronavirus stimulus package.

Top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer said on Thursday that Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has agreed to resume COVID-19 relief talks as cases surge across the country.

The report led to a bounce in stocks, pushed the euro to a session high versus the dollar, and pared losses in currencies that benefit from higher risk appetite such as the Australian dollar and the Norwegian crown.

Prior to the Nov. 3 U.S. election, financial markets had been riveted by the back-and-forth from lawmakers during the stimulus talks. In the end though, investors were resigned to the fact that any stimulus plan would be passed after President-elect Joe Biden takes office in January.

On Wall Street, Stocks futures fell in overnight trading on Thursday as rising new coronavirus cases cast doubt on a swift economic recovery.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 220 points, implying a loss of more than 200 points at Friday’s open. S&P 500 futures slid 0.7% and Nasdaq 100 futures dipped 0.3%.

The overnight action followed slight gains on Wall Street led by tech shares on Thursday. The Dow eked out a 40-point gain, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq rose 0.4% and 0.9%, respectively. It marked the first positive day in three for the major averages.

The market’s rally to records slowed down in recent days as more immediate concerns about the worsening pandemic overshadowed optimism toward a viable vaccine.

The U.S. seven-day average of daily new Covid-19 infections now stands at 161,165, according to a CNBC analysis of John Hopkins data, 26% higher than a week ago. Many states have rolled back reopening plans and implemented fresh restrictions to curb the spread.

Oil prices slipped on Thursday as hopes for a vaccine were overshadowed by a surge in new cases of the coronavirus around the world, which raised concerns about the outlook for crude demand. Brent crude fell 0.32% to settle at $44.20 per barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude slipped 8 cents to settle at $41.74 per barrel.

The Brent price contango, a market structure in which near-month barrels are cheaper than those in later months, implying current oversupply, was at its shallowest in more than four months. This suggests concerns about a glut are easing.

“COVID is definitely weighing on the market,” said Bob Yawger, director of energy futures at Mizuho in New York. For crude oil, specifically, though, there’s a risk that a new OPEC price war could emerge, Yawger said. “I think they will come to an agreement, but 24 hours ago, it seemed like a done deal,” he said.

Gold slipped as much as 1% on Thursday as the dollar firmed and progress in COVID-19 vaccine development boosted hopes of a faster economic rebound and tempered bets for an immediate U.S. coronavirus relief package.

Spot gold fell 0.8% to $1,856.58 per ounce, after hitting its lowest since Nov. 9 at $1,851.83. U.S. gold futures slipped 0.9% to $1,856.80.

A stronger dollar and uncertainty over further economic stimulus is weighing on gold, said Jeffrey Sica, founder of Circle Squared Alternative Investments.

“Though there’s an anticipation for more (stimulus), some people are electing to take profits until there’s more clarity.”

Rival safe haven dollar rose 0.4% versus major currencies, as coronavirus cases surged globally.

Gold tends to benefit from economic stimulus since it’s considered a hedge against inflation and currency debasement that it may trigger.

Optimism over progress in vaccines, which could be ready for U.S. authorisation within weeks, have also dented bullion’s appeal.

Key economic data slated for release today include UK Seasonally-adjusted Retail Sales for October, Eurozone Consumer Confidence Index for November and Canada Retail Sales for September.


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