Today’s Market Update 30/11/2021


Main Headlines

Federal Reserve Chair Jay Powell is set to warn the spread of the omicron variant threatens US economic recovery and runs the risk of exacerbating inflation. In remarks prepared for a joint congressional hearing today, the Fed Chair is due to explain that the possibility of coronavirus setbacks could dampen economic prosperity at a time when people are returning to the workforce and consumer demand remains buoyant. The Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is also due to testify. She will encourage people to get vaccinated and address that if Congress fail to raise the debt limit, they could ‘eviscerate economic recovery.’
HM Revenue & Customs blocked 3,578 claims for furlough money or £28m total in the first financial year of the UK’s Covid furlough scheme. This figure contrasts with the estimated £5.3bn which was paid out due to fraud and error. The job retention scheme paid out £70bn in wages by the time it closed in September 2021. While the scheme was largely attributed to stopping mass unemployment, figures put 8.7% of all pay-outs in the first year down to fraud and error. Earlier this month, the tax authority revealed that 6.1% of these payouts were due to ‘opportunistic fraud’ while 0.3% were an organised crime. HMRC stated that the fraud came from activity that was difficult to detect and pointed to how the scheme has benefited millions of people

Sterling is higher against the dollar and weaker against the euro overnight. Following the spread of the new Omicron variant, UK health secretary Sajid Javid announced new measures to tackle the virus yesterday. Boris Johnson will hold a press conference this afternoon where he will present the government’s plan to roll out coronavirus booster vaccines to all adults in the coming weeks. These included a significant expansion of its vaccine booster programme to all adults and halving the gap between the second and third injections. People who are immunocompromised will be offered an additional booster jab. Elsewhere, recent figures from the Office for National Statistics highlight that Northern Ireland has outperformed the rest of the UK and has largely financially recovered from Covid-19. In its third quarter, economic output in the country was only 0.3% lower than the final quarter of 2019.

The euro is well bid against most major currencies in early morning trade. Figures from the harmonized index of consumer prices highlighted that German inflation rose by 6% in November from a year earlier, adding to pressure on the European Central Bank to explain why it thinks it is still premature to tighten its ultra-loose monetary policy. Eurozone inflation data is set to be released today and expected to increase to 4.4% this month, the biggest rise in 13 years. Elsewhere, the EU plans to use €300bn of spending on infrastructure for a Global Gateway plan to rival China’s Belt and Road Initiative. The EU programme is due to set out plans tomorrow and would source its funding from member states, national development banks and European financial institutions by 2027.

The dollar is weaker against most major currencies overnight. The Federal Trade Commission has demanded information from retailers and consumers groups about their supply chains. This comes as the US watchdog investigates supply chain issues and how retailers are handling them. They want to understand whether the crisis has led to an increase in anti-competitive behaviours and how it has impacted factors such as increased prices and availability of transport. Elsewhere, yesterday Biden addressed the nation and emphasised his administration was working with three of the major pharmaceutical corporations to organise plans for additional vaccines or boosters to prevent the spread of the Omicron variant. A Pentagon review of military resources worldwide plans to make improvements to airfields in Guam and Australia to counter China but contains no major reshuffling of forces

Moderna Asian stocks Tuesday on worries about the efficacy of current vaccines against the omicron strain doubts that stoked demand for havens including Treasuries. Crude oil tumbled, commodity-linked currencies were in the red, the yen advanced and gold climbed. S&P 500 contracts fell about 1% and the U.S. 10-year Treasury yield sank below the levels hit Friday, when omicron-induced fears for global economic reopening first roiled markets. Risk aversion buffeted cryptocurrencies, with Bitcoin dropping toward $56,000.Inc.’s Chief Executive Officer Stephane Bancel told the Financial Times that existing vaccines will be less effective at tackling omicron. The U.S and European equity futures slid along with

Ballinger & Co. Morning Report– 30th September 2021

Today’s Rates
GBP>EUR – 1.1757
GBP>USD – 1.3359
GBP>CHF – 1.2263
EUR>USD – 1.1363
GBP>CAD – 1.7088
GBP>AUD – 1.8751
GBP>SEK – 12.087
GBP>AED – 4.9063
GBP>HKD – 10.416
GBP>ZAR – 21.560

Main Economic Data/ Central Banks/ Government

• Turkey 3Q GDP
• France Oct. consumer spending, Nov. CPI, 3Q GDP
• Norges Bank 4th annual cyber in finance conference
• Germany Nov. unemployment change
• ECB’s Villeroy speaks
• Italy 3Q GDP
• Riksbank’s Ohlsson speaks
• Italy Nov. CPI
• Euro-area Nov. CPI
• BOE’s Mann speaks at an event with Barclays
• ECB’s de Cos speaks at Senate’s budget committee
• WTO ministerial conference in Geneva

Today’s Highlights

• Breaking: Eurozone Preliminary CPI unexpectedly jumps by 4.9% YoY in November

• GBP/USD climbs to the multi-day top, around 1.3365-70 region

• US Dollar Index looks weaker, breaks below 96.00 ahead of Powell, data

• Forex Today: Dollar retreats alongside yields as focus shifts to EU inflation data, Powell testimony


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