US Briefing - Thursday 07.01
Headlines
  • Democrats Win US Senate As Ossoff Tops Perdue In Georgia Sweep
  • US Stock Futures Advance With Congress Back At Work After Riot
  • US Congress Certifies Biden Win After Pro-Trump Mob Forced Delay
  • Trump Says There Will Be An Orderly Transition To Biden Presidency
  • US Vaccine Rollout Hindered By Faulty Coordination, Messaging
  • Top White House Officials Led By O’Brien Consider Resigning
  • Quebec Imposes Curfew As Covid-19 ICU Cases Near Peak Levels
  • EZ Dec. Econ, Industrial Confidence Beats; CPI Core Y/Y In-Line
  • ECB’s Weidmann: Must Ensure Emergency Tools Don’t Turn Permanent
  • FT: Renzi Attempts Power Play With Threat To Italian Coalition
  • Spain EconMin: Sees Q4 GDP Expanding Despite Virus Restrictions
  • Japan Declares Second State Of Emergency In Tokyo Area
  • Oil Buoyant Near $51 On US Stockpile Draw And Saudi Price Rise
  • Demand For 5, 30 Year Spanish Debt Sales Highest Since 2019
  • Alibaba, Tencent Shares Drop As US Weighs Investment Ban
  • Hong Kong Stock Traders Dash For HSBC As Chinese Giants Sink
  • Bayer Rises As Strikes Covid-19 Vaccine Alliance Deal With CureVac
Commentary
US Congress Certifies Biden Win Hours After Capitol Hill Assault

Hours after hundreds of President Donald Trump's supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol in a harrowing assault on American democracy, a shaken Congress on Thursday formally certified Democrat Joe Biden’s election victory. Immediately afterward, the White House released a statement from Trump in which he pledged an "orderly transition" when Biden is sworn into office on Jan. 20, although he repeated his false claim that he won the November election. On Wednesday, the Republican president had seemingly encouraged his followers to swarm the Capitol.

 

Congress resumed its work certifying Biden's Electoral College win late in the evening after the chaotic scenes on Capitol Hill. After a debate stretching into the early hours of Thursday, the Senate and the House of Representatives rejected two objections to the tally and certified the final Electoral College vote with Biden receiving 306 votes and Trump 232 votes.

 

Vice President Mike Pence, in declaring the final vote totals, said this "shall be deemed a sufficient declaration of the persons elected president and vice president of the United States." Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will take office alongside Biden.

(Reuters - Continue Reading)

Eurozone Headline Inflation Contracts Again In December

FRANKFURT – Annual consumer price growth in the Eurozone remained negative for the fifth straight month in December, but the period in the red may be coming to an end, according to some analysts. Headline inflation in the single-currency area of -0.3% last month was below some estimates for a slight rise to -0.2% and matched the rate in November. Core inflation remained at a historic low of 0.2% year-on-year, as expected.

 

The cost of services increased 0.7% on the year, and prices for food, alcohol and tobacco also rose. Energy costs plummeted 6.9%. “There will be a lot of movement in price developments in the coming months,” said Thomas Gitzel, chief economist at VP Bank. “The time of falling prices is already over in January. In Germany, the VAT reduction expired in December. And yet another German price driver will have an impact on the rate of inflation in the currency area: The CO2 tax, which has been in force since 1 January.”

 

While consumer price growth could return in the Eurozone’s largest economy due to the changes, other countries are displaying deeper problems. “The German VAT cut effect is obvious, but the periphery has experienced a large disinflationary shock,” tweeted Frederik Ducrozet, global macro strategist at Pictet.

(LiveSquawk - Continue Reading)

US Vaccine Rollout Hindered By Faulty Coordination, Messaging

As the U.S. grapples with record hospitalizations and deaths from the Covid-19 pandemic, a crucial vaccination rollout campaign is being impeded by inconsistent messaging and myriad state strategies as a new variant of the virus drives up infection rates, according to public health experts.

 

The missteps have put the number of vaccinations well behind targets set by the Trump administration’s U.S. Operation Warp Speed effort. About 5.46 million doses have been administered in the U.S. since mid-December, or 32% of those that have been distributed across the country and well below the Trump administration’s goal of 20 million by the end of 2020, according to data compiled by Bloomberg News. Vaccination rates have ranged significantly across states, with South Dakota using 69% of the doses sent to it and Georgia just 22%, according to Bloomberg’s data.

 

“The next couple of weeks are going to be really critical to see how we can get this distribution system up and going more smoothly,” National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins said Wednesday in an interview with the Washington Post.

(Bloomberg – Continue Reading)

Citi Cuts ‘Expensive’ US Stocks To Neutral, Favours EM, UK

Investors should cut allocations to “expensive” U.S. equities to neutral and expect better gains from emerging market and U.K. stocks this year, according to strategists at Citigroup Inc. A team including Robert Buckland cut its recommendation on American shares and upgraded stocks from developing economies to overweight in a note to clients Wednesday.

 

The strategists expect just a 2% increase in global stock prices in 2021, according to the report. “Our market targets suggest a flat MSCI AC World index over the year,” they wrote. “We forecast the best returns in the U.K., Australia and EM.”

 

Non-U.S. stocks are outperforming their American peers so far this year with the MSCI World ex-U.S. Index hitting its highest level in more than 12 years. The “rest-of-the-world” gauge is ahead of the S&P 500 by almost 2 percentage points so far in 2021, after lagging by about 11 points last year.

(Bloomberg – Continue Reading)

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