December 7, 2021
“The greenback was supported against other safe-haven currencies today, hanging on to a jump made with US yields, as investors hoped early signs the Omicron variant may be mild will be proved correct. Pressure on the euro, meanwhile, has resumed as bets firm on U.S. rates rising far before those in Europe.”
Tim Hallinan, Trading Director
Private employers in New York will have to require their workers to get vaccinated against Covid, the mayor announced Monday in the most sweeping vaccine mandate of any state or big city in the US. The move by Mayor Bill de Blasio comes as cases are climbing again in the country and the worrisome but little-understood omicron variant is gaining a toehold in the nation’s largest city and elsewhere around the country. This time, workers who cannot provide proof they have received at least one dose of the vaccine, will not be allowed to get out of the requirement by agreeing to regular Covid testing instead. The measure will apply to roughly 184,000 businesses and 3.7 million people.
UK consumers splashed the cash in November as Black Friday boosted sales of clothing, toys and jewellery and spending on bars and restaurants rose. Retail sales grew at an annual rate of 5% in November, up from 1.3% the previous month, according to data compiled by KPMG and the British Retail Consortium. The upbeat spending picture was confirmed by separate data from Barclaycard, which tracks nearly half of all UK credit and debit card transactions. Spending on payment cards in Britain rose 16% in November compared with the same period in 2019, reaching its highest level this year. A combination of early gift buying and festive outings had driven growth for the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, showed data from Barclaycard.
The pound is well bid versus most majors this morning. The risk that Tesco will be severely hit by strike action in the crucial pre-Christmas period has escalated dramatically, after the number of distribution centres facing staff walkouts more than tripled to 13 – more than half the total. Britain’s biggest supermarket chain had been facing the prospect of strikes at four depots after members of the trade union Unite voted for industrial action in protest at an “offensive” below-inflation pay offer. Members of the retail workers’ union Usdaw followed suit on Monday, adding a further nine sites to the list of those that could be affected unless a deal can be reached. The union warned that Tesco could face “stock shortages” as a result.
The euro is higher than the dollar and lower than the pound overnight. German industrial output rose more than expected in October, even as supply bottlenecks for raw materials and intermediate goods continued to hamper production in Europe’s biggest economy. The Federal Statistics Office said industrial output was up 2.8% on the month after a revised decline of 0.5% in September. A Reuters poll had pointed to a rise of 0.8% in October. Karl Nehammer was sworn in Monday as Austria’s third chancellor in two months, capping a round of upheaval triggered by the decision last week of Sebastian Kurz, the country’s dominant political figure of recent years, to bow out of politics. Nehammer heads a coalition government with the Greens. It remains to be seen whether the alliance will hold until the next scheduled election in 2024.
The dollar is lower than most majors in the early morning trade. President Biden is taking aim at the use of American real estate as a vehicle for laundering proceeds of government graft and transnational crime as part of the first-ever US strategy on countering corruption. The unveiling of the new five-point strategy and a proposed rulemaking to require more transparency in reporting of all-cash real estate transactions to “curb illicit finance” is part of a major White House push to make anti-corruption efforts a core mission of the administration and comes just days before President Biden will open the inaugural US-hosted “summit for democracy”. A US official said the release of Mr Biden’s new strategy “marks a new chapter” in US anti-corruption efforts.
Asian stocks and U.S. futures rose Tuesday after Wall Street equities rebounded and China pledged measures to support economic growth. Treasuries steadied after tumbling. MSCI Inc.’s gauge of Asia Pacific shares was on track for its biggest gain in more than three months. Hong Kong stocks advanced with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. leading a rebound in Chinese tech firms after the company announced a management shakeup. The S&P 500 wiped out last week’s losses as concerns about the severity of the omicron virus variant receded. European futures gained. Treasury yields have erased Friday’s steep declines, edging higher Tuesday after a large jump Monday. The Australian dollar gained with bond yields after the central bank gave an upbeat assessment of the economy while stressing uncertainty from omicron. Oil extended gains.
Main Economic Data/Central Banks/Government (All Times CET)
8:00 a.m.: Germany Oct. industrial production
9:00 a.m.: Switzerland Nov. foreign currency reserves
11:00 a.m.: Germany Dec. ZEW economic survey
11:00 a.m.: Euro-area 3Q employment, GDP
11:00 a.m.: Euro-area Dec. ZEW economic survey expectations
Greek PM visits Russia to meet President Putin
Bank of Italy balance sheet report
API U.S. oil inventories
U.S. crude exports
EIA Short-Term Energy Outlook
Earnings include AutoZone, Ashtead Group, SentinelOne, Casey’s, ChargePoint, Toll Brothers