Members of the US Electoral College cast their votes on Monday with the majority of the votes going in favour of Joe Biden, securing his victory over President Trump.
As this election matter is now settled, the focus should return to the stimulus measures to be discussed by policymakers, as the publication of new legislation on Monday could help break the months-long deadlock. Yesterday, a bipartisan group of senators presented a new settlement of $748 billion in fiscal stimulus in a final attempt to support the economy this year.
On the other hand, Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine doses are expected to reach all 50 US states by Wednesday, and another 40 million doses are expected to be available by the end of December if Moderna's vaccine obtains an emergency use permit this week. Despite news of all of that, restrictions remain in effect, and case numbers remain high in the United States.
Elsewhere, in Britain, the British pound rose strongly by 1.5% during yesterday's trading, touching its highest level since December 9 at 1.3444, after news of the extension of negotiations between Britain and the European Union, which raises hopes of reaching an agreement this week. London is now moving to the highest level of lockdown restrictions amid the increasing number of cases, many involving a new type of virus. This comes after a series of new restrictions imposed in Europe, including a strict five-week lockdown in the Netherlands, and Germany had preceded it with a lockdown until January 10, starting from Wednesday.
China's economic recovery is gaining momentum as strong domestic and foreign demand was evident in the November data. Both industrial output and retail sales grew in line with expectations and unemployment decreased slightly. The Chinese central bank is also pumping more money into the country's financial system to support the recovery and is providing more medium-term loans to ensure lenders have adequate liquidity.
Global stock indices declined during yesterday's trading considering concerns about closure measures and additional restrictions, which undermined the prevailing state of optimism with the start of the distribution of vaccines in several countries. This pushed gold prices to rise and trade at $1,840 an ounce, near their highest levels since last Friday.
Oil prices retreated from their highest levels over 11 months in light of concerns about additional restrictions, while the International Energy Agency (IEA) believes that the impact of vaccines on global oil demand will take several months, while it has reduced demand expectations for 2021 by about 170 thousand barrels per day. US crude futures are trading at $47/ barrel.
Chart of the day
NZDUSD is trading in an upward direction on the 4-hour timeframe and currently testing the 50-moving average. Negative divergence is noticed on the MACD indicator that may push the pair to decline to target 0.7000 levels, breaching it could open the door to a strong decline towards 0.6800 / 0.6700 levels from the upside, if the pair rises above 0.7130, prices may push to new highs towards levels of 0.7160 / 0.7200.