November 26, 2021
”The safe-haven dollar strengthened after a possibly vaccine-resistant coronavirus variant emerged in South Africa. Market participants are expecting that the increasingly hawkish Federal Reserve will lift rates by the middle of next year, while betting that central banks in Europe, Japan and elsewhere will stick to more dovish stances.”
Sam Cornford, Partner & Head of Trading
US consumers are expected to spend record breaking figures of between $5.1bn and $5.4bn online on Thanksgiving Day, despite surging inflation and product shortages. This year, 64% of Americans planned to go into stores to do their shopping, up from 51% last year. US consumers have already spent $75bn online since the start of November – Americans have spent 20% more in November 2021 than they did in the same period in November 2020. Battling high prices has become a central focus for Biden’s economic team after recent data showed US consumer price growth jumping at the fastest pace since the 1990s.
Boris Johnson and Emmanuel Macron clashed again on Thursday as they struggled to coordinate a coherent response to the deaths of 27 migrants who drowned attempting to cross the Channel on Wednesday. While France called for “additional mobilisation from the British”, the UK home secretary stated it was the responsibility of the French Government to prevent channel crossings. Johnson wrote to Macron on Thursday evening setting out five proposals that the UK prime minister said could alleviate the situation, including reciprocal maritime patrols in each other’s territorial waters. Yesterday, the UK immigration figures released highlighted it received 60% more applicants for asylum in July to September 2021, than it did during the same time in 2020.
Sterling is weaker than most major currencies in overnight trade. The UK Government’s Kickstart jobs scheme has undelivered, according to a report by the National Audit Office. The report highlights the scheme has been undersubscribed and may have been subsidising jobs that would have already been created. The scheme had a budget of £1.9bn and aimed to create 250,000 placements but, their budget has now been reduced to £1.26bn to fund 168,000 jobs. The aim of the scheme, which launched in September 2020 and worked by funding employers to create six-month work placements, was to prevent a surge in youth unemployment fueled by the pandemic.
The euro is well bid against most major currencies overnight. As Covid surges across the continent, the EU took steps to tackle more long term Covid Challenges and harmonise their approach across its 27 countries yesterday. The European Commission proposed EU residents will need to have a booster vaccination to travel next summer, and they would accept all vaccines approved by the WHO. These measures would allow more travel from different continents. Today, French fisherman are set to protest the UK’s failure to grant fishing licenses by disrupting the Channel Tunnel. The fishermen are set to prevent freight trucks going through the Channell Tunnel and blockade three French ports.
The dollar is weaker than the Euro and higher against Sterling in early morning trade. The pharmaceutical industry is preparing for price restrictions in the President’s ‘Build Back Better’ bill, which will reduce industry revenue by $128 billion over the next ten years. The legislation caps annual drug prices at the rate of inflation and requires the government to negotiate prices for expensive medicines covered by Medicare. Meanwhile, an antitrust bill, which aims to curb large technologies market power, is gaining bipartisan support in the Senate. The bill responds to concerns over the size and power of tech giants. It places legal constraints on online platforms such as search engines, app stores and e-marketplaces.
As a new Covid-19 strain was discovered in South Africa, Stocks, Treasury yields and oil sank Friday while the yen jumped. US and European futures fell and the 10-year Treasury yield dropped to 1.55%. MSCI Inc.’s Asia-Pacific equity gauge slid to the lowest since early October, with Japan and Hong Kong underperforming and travel shares among the biggest decliners. Treasury yield dropped to 1.55%. S&P 500 futures fell 1.2% and Nasdaq 100 futures fell 0.6%. Crude shed more than 3% and gold rose. US markets, closed Thursday for Thanksgiving, will have a shortened Black Friday session. Global shares are up about 16% this year, weathering a plethora of risks after investors poured almost $900 billion into equity exchange-traded and long-only funds in 2021 – topping the combined total from the past 19 years.
Main Economic Data/ Central Banks/ Government (All Times CET)
8:00 a.m.: Germany Oct. import price index
8:45 a.m.: France Nov. consumer confidence
9:00 a.m.: Sweden Nov. consumer confidence
9:00 a.m.: ECB’s Lagarde speaks at legal conference
9:00 a.m.: ECB’s Visco speaks
9:05 a.m.: Riksbank’s Ohlsson speaks
9:30 a.m.: ECB’s Schnabel chairs panel
10:00 a.m.: Euro area Oct. money supply
10:00 a.m.: Italy Nov. manufacturing, consumer confidence
11:00 a.m.: ECB’s Centeno speaks
11:30 a.m.: ECB’s Panetta chairs panel
2:00 p.m.: BOE’s Pill speaks
2:30 p.m.: ECB’s Lane chairs panel
4:15 p.m.: ECB’s de Cos speaks
World chess championship gets underway
Earnings include Pinduoduo, Meituan