SHANGHAI, Jan 6 (SMM) — This is a roundup of global macroeconomic news last night and what is expected today.
The dollar fell against a basket of major currencies on Tuesday, on the heels of China's decision to lift its official yuan exchange rate by its highest margin since it abandoned a dollar peg in 2005, while US Senate runoff elections in Georgia were also in focus.
China’s central bank set the official yuan midpoint at 6.4760 per dollar before the market opened, up 1% from the previous fix, the biggest adjustment higher since 2005.
In the offshore market, the yuan strengthened as much as 6.4119 for the first time since mid-June 2018. It started the week at 6.494.
The dollar briefly strengthened in a risk-off move on Monday as U.S. stocks dropped, but resumed its downward path after China’s announcement, which also helped lift risk currencies. After initially opening lower on Tuesday, U.S. stocks rebounded to further dent the dollar’s attractiveness, with the outlook of the Georgia runoffs drawing outsized attention.
On Wall Street, US stock futures were flat on Tuesday night as Wall Street kept an eye on two runoff elections in Georgia that will determine control of the Senate.
Dow Jones Industrial Average futures dipped 26 points, or 0.1%. S&P 500 also slipped 0.1%, and Nasdaq 100 futures rose marginally.
Republican Senators Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue are facing Democratic challengers Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, respectively. If both Democrats win, that would make a 50-50 tie in the upper chamber, with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris as the tiebreaker vote to give the party control of the Senate. Both races were too close to call as the polls in the states closed at 7 p.m. ET, according to NBC News.
US benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude futures broke above $50 on Tuesday for the first time since February, boosted by a surprise announcement by Saudi Arabia of a 1 million barrel per day production cut beginning in February and extending through March.
The move higher marks a steady comeback for oil prices after the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent demand loss sent futures prices tumbling, and briefly into negative territory last April.
WTI settled 4.85%, or $2.31, higher at $49.93 per barrel, after earlier jumping more than 5% to trade as high as $50.20 per barrel. International benchmark Brent crude futures gained $2.51, or 4.9%, to settle at $53.60 per barrel. Oil prices also rose one day after Iran claimed it detained an oil tanker “due to repeated violations of marine environmental laws.”
On Tuesday, OPEC and its oil-producing allies, known as OPEC+, agreed to hold output largely steady in February. Saudi Arabia’s surprise voluntary cut — announced in a press conference following the meeting — will more than offset production increases from Russia and Kazakhstan. The two nations will add a combined 75,000 barrels per day to the market in both February and March.
It was the group’s second day of discussions, after talks ended in stalemate on Monday.
Gold hit a two-month high on Tuesday, buoyed by a weaker dollar and growing concerns about COVID-19 as investors awaited the outcome of U.S. Senate runoff elections in Georgia that could impact prospects for more fiscal stimulus.
Spot gold was up 0.4% at $1,950.34 an ounce, having earlier scaled its highest level since Nov. 9, at $1,952.36. U.S. gold futures gained 0.3% to $1,952.50.
“With more risks associated with the virus, short term, we’re seeing people moving money into the safe havens,” said Chris Gaffney, president of world markets at TIAA Bank, adding that the dollar’s weakness has been one of the main supports for bullion in the first few days of 2021.
Britain went into a new national lockdown amid rising COVID-19 cases, while New York found its first case of a more contagious coronavirus variant.
Here's a look at what's on tap:
Germany: Services Sector Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) for December, Initial value of CPI monthly rate for November
Euro zone: Services Sector Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) for December, November Producer Price Index (PPI) by month
US: December ADP Employment, November Trade Account, the Markit services Purchasing Managers Index for December, EIA crude oil inventories as of January 1