European Briefing - Thursday 14.01
  • Fed’s Clarida: No Rate Hike Until We Get Inflation To 2% For A Year
  • Fed’s Brainard: Bond Buying Likely Unchanged For Quite Some Time
  • Fed's Harker: Central Bank Is Going To Keep Rates Low For Long
  • Fed's Rosengren: Labour Mkt May Stagnate Till Vaccines In Wide Use
  • Fed’s Beige Book Shows Modest US Recovery As Job Growth Slows
  • CNN: Biden Aides Tell Congress Allies Aid Plan May Be About $2T
  • President Election Biden To Speak On Relief At 7.15PM Thursday
  • House Votes To Impeach Donald Trump Over Role In Capitol Riot
  • US Covid-19 Hospitalizations On Cusp Of First Decline In Months
  • US CDC Mulls New Measures To Allow More International Travel
  • US Chamber Expects High-Level Chinese Visit Early In Biden Admin
  • Trump Shelves Plans For Investment Ban On Alibaba, Tencent, Baidu
  • Italy's Gvt Plunged Into Crisis As Former PM Renzi Pulls Support
  • UK To Require Negative Covid-19 Test For Intl Arrivals From Jan.18
  • China Dec. Trade Surplus Hits Record As Pandemic Fuels Exports
  • BoJ's Kuroda: Japan Economy Picking Up But Still In Severe State
  • Japan Dec. PPI Stronger Than Est; Nov. Core Machine Orders Beat
  • NZ Bonds Rally After Strong Demand At First Bond Sales This Year
  • Early Trial Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Generates Immune Response
  • Citigroup Merges Private Bank, Consumer Wealth Management Units
Biden Aides Tell Congress Allies Aid Plan May Be About $2T

President-elect Joe Biden is expected to unveil a major Covid-19 relief package on Thursday and his advisers have recently told allies in Congress to expect a price tag in the ballpark of $2 trillion, according to two people briefed on the deliberations.


The Biden team is taking a "shoot for the moon" approach with this package, one lawmaker in close contact with them told CNN, though they added that the price tag could still change. The proposal will include sizable direct payments to American families, significant state and local funding -- including for coronavirus vaccine distribution and other emergency spending measures -- to help those struggling during the pandemic. Biden is set to announce the details of his plan in Wilmington, Delaware, Thursday evening.


Democrats hold only the slimmest of majorities in the House and the Senate, and Republicans have recently resisted efforts to pass Covid-19 relief on a multi-trillion dollar scale.  But Biden's party believes it may have only a brief window to pass sweeping relief legislation and the President-elect has faced significant pressure from some Democrats to go big.

(CNN – Continue Reading)

Johnson & Johnson 1-Shot Covid-19 Vaccine Safe In Early Trial

Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose coronavirus vaccine is safe and appears to generate a promising immune response in both young and elderly volunteers, according to trial data published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine. J&J scientists randomly assigned healthy adults between the ages of 18 and 55 and those 65 and older to receive a high or low dose of its vaccine — called Ad26.COV2.S — or a placebo. Some participants in the 18-to-55 age group were also selected to receive a second dose of the vaccine.


Most of the volunteers produced detectable neutralizing antibodies, which researchers believe play an important role in defending cells against the virus, after 28 days, according to the trial data. By day 57, all volunteers had detectable antibodies, regardless of vaccine dose or age group, and remained stable for at least 71 days in the 18-to-55 age group.


The most common side effects were fever, fatigue, headache, muscle aches and pain at the injection site, according to the trial data. Side effects were less common in the older age group, who received only one dose of the vaccine, as well as those who received a lower dose of the vaccine, according to the data.

(CNBC – Continue Reading)

Italy Government on Verge of Collapse After Renzi Party Quits

Italy’s government led by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte risks collapsing in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic after a junior coalition partner pulled out. Former Premier Matteo Renzi said his Italy Alive party is quitting the coalition, attacking Conte for failing to do enough to tackle the country’s problems. Though the party is tiny, Conte relies on it to maintain his majority in parliament.


Renzi’s decision creates a full-blown government crisis with no clear solution in sight. Possible outcomes include another Conte government, a new premier or even snap elections.


Pulling out at a such a crucial moment for the country amounts to “an act of courage,” Renzi said at a news conference in Rome. Conte’s government has not done enough to resolve problems from education to infrastructure, as well as the virus, the ex-premier said. “We are not playing,” Renzi said, addressing critics who’ve accused his party of political posturing during weeks of build-up to the current crisis. “Democracy is not a reality show.”

(Bloomberg – Continue Reading)

German 2020 GDP Contraction Seen Above 5%, Q4 Trend Unclear

FRANKFURT – Economists say the German economy likely contracted more than 5% in 2020 due to the pandemic, and the country’s Federal Statistics Office on Thursday is expected to offer comments about how the country fared in the fourth quarter when it presents the full-year data. A survey of economists predicts that Europe’s largest economy shrank 5.1% last year after growing 0.6% in 2019. Such a decline would be massive but would fall short of Germany’s 5.7% GDP contraction in 2009 following the Global Financial Crisis.


 The German economy whipsawed for the first nine months of last year as the pandemic gripped the country. Record growth of 8.5% in the third quarter followed a record plunge of 9.8% in the prior three months and a 2.2% contraction in the first quarter.


 While Thursday’s data are backward-looking, many economists are still keen to find out about the economy’s health in the final quarter of the year. The statistics office said it will probably not provide a hard number for the growth rate last quarter but could signal how the economy fared during the period. Last January, for example, officials said the final quarter of 2019 showed a “small increase”, which later turned out to be quarterly growth of 0.1% that was subsequently revised down to 0.0%.

(LiveSquawk – Continue Reading)

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