Closing Wrap - Monday 22.02
Headlines
  • 'Real-World' UK Data Shows 70% Decline In COVID Infections After First Pfizer Shot
  • Fed's Kaplan Sees US Economy Growing At Least 5% This Year -
  • Fed's Barkin: No Fundamental Shift In Inflation Expectations
  • Biden Picks Up Where Trump Left Off In Hard-Line Stances At WTO
  • ECB Is ‘Closely Monitoring’ Bond Yields As Gains Spark Concern
  • EU To Call On G20 Not To Withdraw COVID-19 Stimulus Too Early
  • UK PM Johnson Sets Out Plan For Full Reopening In June
  • Germany Weighs EUR50 Bln Spending Boost On Virus Costs
  • Bitcoin Falls Below $50,000, Hits Lowest Since Mid-February
  • Copper Breaches $9,000 A Tonne In Bet On Economic Bounce And Supply Limits
  • Samsung’s Leaked AR Glasses Can Play Videos, Open Emails, And Fly Drones
Commentary
RBNZ Seen On Hold As Policy Debate Shifts To Tightening

The New Zealand Central Bank is expected to leave its monetary policy settings unchanged this week, although the recent improvement in the economic outlook has convinced many that the easing cycle has ended, and tighter policy is on the horizon.  

 

In a recent Reuters poll, all 12 economists said they see the official cash rate (OCR) on hold at 0.25% at Wednesday’s meeting and the parameters of the large-scale asset purchase (LSAP) programme unchanged - the RBNZ has committed to buy up to NZD 100bln of government bonds by June 2022. 

 

Economists also unanimously agreed that rates would remain on hold for the remainder of the year, but some are predicting the first hike will occur in 2022 if the economy continues on its current trajectory and that asset purchases could be curtailed early. (LiveSquawk - Continue Reading)

Powell To Face Pressure From Lawmakers Over Stimulus This Week

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell can expect pressure to support the stimulus plan of Democratic lawmakers when they host him this week on Capitol Hill for the first time since regaining control of Congress.

 

In testimony before the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday and the House Financial Services panel the following day, Powell will probably play down the risk of inflation despite the size of President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronarvirus relief proposal.

 

The Fed chief could cite the millions of Americans still out of work due to the pandemic, and repeat that the central bank is not thinking about withdrawing monetary policy support anytime soon.

 

The fiscal package being weighed by Congress would amount to the largest in U.S. history. That’s raised concern among some economists in both Democratic and Republican circles that its size could lead to unwanted price pressures and financial-market excesses. (Bloomberg - Continue Reading)

'Real-World' UK Data Shows 70% Decline In COVID Infections After First Pfizer Shot

England’s coronavirus vaccine campaign is significantly reducing cases of COVID-19, with a drop of around 70% in infections among healthcare workers who have had a first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech shot, British health officials said on Monday.

 

Data analysed by Public Health England (PHE) showed the Pfizer provided high levels of protection against infection and symptomatic disease from a single dose, and that hospitalisation and death from COVID-19 will be reduced by more 75% in elderly people who have had a first dose.

 

“Overall, we’re seeing a really strong effect to reducing any infection, asymptomatic and symptomatic,” PHE’s strategic response director Susan Hopkins told a media briefing.

 

PHE’s head of immunisation Mary Ramsay described the data as “strong evidence that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is stopping people from getting infected, while also protecting cases against hospitalisation and death”. (Reuters - Continue Reading)

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