US Briefing - Wednesday 18.11
Headlines
  • Pfizer Covid-19 Vaccine 95% Effective In Final Analysis Of Big Trial
  • US Democrat Leaders Ask For Aid Talks As McConnell Holds Firm
  • Ohio Orders A State-Wide Curfew, NY Virus Hospitalisations Surge
  • California, LA County Warn May Bring Back Stay-At-Home Orders
  • EU States To Get Update On Brexit Trade Talks On Friday 0700GMT
  • AFP: Slovenia PM Backs Hungary, Poland In EU Rule Of Law Row
  • EZ Inflation Y/Y Confirmed Negative In October On Weak Energy
  • EU October Car Sales Slide 7.1% On Reimposed Virus Restrictions
  • EU Advises Temporary, Targeted Gvt Spending On Covid-19 Recovery
  • Insee See French Q4 GDP At -2.5%; Cut 2021 GDP Growth F/C To 6%
  • Italy To Scrap Bad Loan Law That Could Have Saved Banks Billions
  • UK CPI (Y/Y) Oct: 0.7% Above 0.5% Forecast; Core: 1.5% (est: 1.3%)
  • EU’s Dombrovskis: Now In Last Moments To Reach Brexit Trade Deal
  • UK’s Mclean: Covid-19 R Between 1 & 1.2; Rate Has Been Falling
  • API Crude Builds 4.2M; Gasoline: +0.256M, Distillate Stocks Draw 5M
  • Saudi Energy Minister: The Jury Is Out On An Oil-Cuts Extension
  • Bitcoin Advances Above $18,000 As It Retraces Its Record Highs
  • Boeing Shares Up As Wins Approval From US FAA To Resume Flight
  • Morgan Stanley Bullish On Tesla For First Time Since 2017; PT: $540
  • Apple To Cut By Half App Store Fees Charged To Small Developers
  • Target Q3 Revenue, Adj EPS Beat; Lowe's Falls On Q3 Adj EPS Miss
Commentary
Unseasonal Factors Lift October Inflation To Three-month High

London - UK consumer price growth surprised markets with a larger-than-expected rise at the start of the fourth quarter, but analysts say inflation will remain subdued in the months ahead as the lockdown bites.

 

Annual headline inflation last month rose to 0.7% to exceed the expected growth rate and previous print of 0.5%. Core CPI was also elevated at 1.5% versus September’s 1.3% increase, with the latter also the market forecast.

 

The Office for National Statistics said, "The rate of inflation increased slightly as clothing prices grew, returning to their normal seasonal pattern after the disruption this year.” (LiveSquawk - Continue Reading) 

Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 Vaccine Now 95% Effective

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has now proved 95% effective in preventing coronavirus and has met the safety criteria needed for emergency authorisation, the firms have said. Pfizer and BioNTech say they plan to submit the COVID-19 vaccine to the US regulator for emergency use approval "within days" before sharing with others around the world.

 

The UK regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), is poised to fast-track authorisation of the vaccine, which could mean it is rolled out to priority groups from mid-December. Final efficacy analysis of the jab showed 95% were protected from the virus within 28 days of the first dose - up from when results of Phase 3 trials were shared last week.

 

It also proved 94% effective among adults over the age of 65 - who are generally more vulnerable. "No serious safety concerns" were reported in the analysis, with only 2% of the 43,000 involved reporting a headache and 3.7% reporting fatigue, the companies said.

(Sky News - Continue Reading)

ECB Wants Next Stimulus To Be Judged On Quality, Not Quantity

European Central Bank policy makers are trying to persuade investors not to focus too much on the size of their next dose of monetary stimulus, hoping they will instead look at its design. President Christine Lagarde and colleagues have used a run of public comments to stress that December’s much-anticipated policy decision will aim to cement cheap money for the duration of the economic crisis, achieved through both asset purchases and more loans to banks.

 

“What is really important is that we make sure that the financing conditions are stable, are conducive to economic recovery as it comes,” she said at Bloomberg’s New Economy Forum on Tuesday. Economic operators must “not only know that the level of financing is going to be there but that it will be available for a period of time that will last long enough.”

 

The emphasis might be an attempt to contain expectations for an out-sized increase in bond purchases beyond the additional 500 billion euros ($594 billion) anticipated by some economists, now that another contraction is materializing with resurgent coronavirus infections and new lockdowns.

(Bloomberg – Continue Reading)

SNB Faces Cliffhanger Vote On $21Bln In Stock Investments

The Swiss National Bank faces a cliffhanger national vote on its equity investments that could force it to sell defense company stocks worth about 19 billion francs ($21 billion).

 

Support for a proposal that would forbid the central bank from investing in companies that get more than 5% of their revenue from arms sales has declined in recent weeks and is heading toward rejection, according to a poll by gfs.bern. But the initiative still has 50% backing ahead of the Nov. 29 ballot. Note: Poll conducted Nov. 2-11 among 10,069 individuals eligible to vote; margin of error +/- 2.7 percentage points

 

Victory for the initiative would have repercussions for the SNB, as well as public and private pension funds. With 20% of its 872 billion francs of foreign-exchange reserves in equities, the central bank fears the proposal would “significantly restrict” its investment options. It said it would have to exclude about 300 companies -- about 11% of stock holdings -- from its portfolio, and warned of legal and practical issues.

(Bloomberg - Continue Reading)

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