Forex & Commo Market News

Jan 16 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump (last week), U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ)

- Concerns of a rise in inflation during the Biden administration are largely overblown, says Hans Olsen, the chief investment officer at Boston-based Fiduciary Trust Co. Even before the pandemic, the US had been running trillion-dollar deficits and the inflation rate remained relatively low for the better part of the past decade, he says. The Biden administration will likely moderate inflation with the normalizing of bilateral and multilateral trade agreements, he adds. "If there is a sort of a renaissance of multilateralism again, that's going to lead to I think lower prices through more reliable trade than what we've had" during the previous administration, he says.

- NRG Energy and the company's political action committee suspended political contributions to members of Congress who objected to the certification of the presidential election, the power company said yesterday. "At NRG, we stand in firm support of our democratic institutions and all they stand for," the Princeton, NJ company said. The suspension, which will last for one election cycle, follows similar decisions by other big companies, including Marriott International and the Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance group, after supporters of President Trump on Jan. 6 stormed the US Capitol.

- President-elect Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus proposal can still be whittled down in Congress, "but it is a significant step forward for a US economy that is slowing down," as Covid-19 restrictions impact sectors of the labor market and retail sales weaken, Nordea's Sebastien Galy says. He notes, however, that "markets have been hesitant to welcome such a deal," in an indication that "we are entering into a period of consolidation that could last a few days."

- Danske Bank expects the euro to fall to $1.16 in the next year from $1.2123 currently, citing expectations for monetary policy tightening by the Federal Reserve. The market is "starting to price a scenario" where the Fed may raise interest rates and taper bond purchases as the prospect of greater fiscal stimulus under the Biden administration has increased expectations of a strong U.S. economic recovery, Danske Bank's Lars Merklin says. In contrast, the European Central Bank is "unlikely to change any parameters," he says. "If this divergence between expectations on the path of future policy rates continues, we would expect the USD to go higher."

Jan 15 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- The dollar's rebound from a near three-year low faltered after U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said interest rates would not rise any time soon.
- Oil prices were lower as concerns about Chinese cities in lockdown due to coronavirus outbreaks tempered a rally driven by strong import data from the world's biggest crude importer and U.S. plans for a large stimulus package.
- Gold ticked up as prospects of a substantial U.S. pandemic relief package boosted the metal's appeal as an inflation hedge, while the Federal Reserve's dovish monetary policy stance also supported prices.
- Base metals prices rose as investors bet on rising demand for the sector, amid U.S. President-elect Joe Biden's plan to pump $1.9 trillion into the pandemic-ravaged economy.
- Chicago corn futures were poised for their biggest weekly gain since July as the U.S. government's forecast of tightening global supplies supported prices.
- Raw sugar futures on ICE closed 5.2% up on Thursday, setting the highest price in more than 3-1/2 years, as funds remain keen on commodities, especially those with near term supply tightness like sugar.  
- Malaysian palm oil futures reversed early gains to extend losses for the fifth straight session, due to dismal partial January export data and were on track for it biggest weekly decline in 10 months.

- The dollar may strengthen further in tandem with U.S. government bond yields after President-elect Joe Biden unveiled a $1.9 trillion stimulus plan on Thursday but the gains won't last, Commerzbank says. EUR/USD levels below 1.20 seem "quite justified" over coming months as the stimulus will support the U.S. economy, lifting yields and the dollar, Commerzbank's Esther Reichelt says. However, EUR/USD should rise slowly over the medium-term as the "continued and significant overvaluation" of the dollar is no longer justified due to the Federal Reserve's promise to only consider an interest rate rise once full employment is achieved and inflation exceeds 2% for some time, she says. EUR/USD falls 0.1% to 1.2136 and the dollar index rises 0.2% to 90.3840.

- Gold is unchanged despite President-elect Joe Biden's plans for a near-$2-trillion stimulus package. Futures are flat at $1,851.90 a troy ounce. Overnight, gold moved in the opposite direction to Treasury yields, which initially rose before easing back. The limited response of both yields and gold to Biden's plans could suggest investors are doubting how much of it will be acceptable to the U.S. Senate, says Jeffrey Halley at Oanda. The Democrats have a razor-thin Senate majority, but not all parts of Biden's plans can be passed by a simple majority--some will require bipartisan support, he says. "Given the distaste Republicans have for state aid, Mr. Biden's bipartisan hopes will be immediately tested," says Halley.

- The $1.9 trillion virus relief package proposed by President-elect Joe Biden is unlikely to gain enough support in Congress, says Paul Ashworth, chief U.S. economist at Capital Economics. Initiatives such as stimulus checks and an increase in unemployment benefits could draw enough bipartisan support in the Senate, but it is hard to see enough votes for aid for State and local governments or for adding funds to public health-care insurance, he says. "We suspect that, even though the Democrats now narrowly control the Senate too, any package eventually passed by Congress will be half that size or less," Ashworth says.

- The IPC stock index closes up 0.7% at 46071 points, gaining for the first time this week. Cemex shares rise 6.7%. In addition to the $750M in 2025 notes it plans to prepay, the cement maker will amortize all $1B of its notes due 2026. The notes to be redeemed carry interest of 5.7% and 7.75%, respectively, while Cemex recently sold $1.75B in 10-year notes at 3.875%. The peso strengthened to 19.69 against the US dollar from 19.86 Wednesday, gaining along with other currencies as market participants awaited details of Joe Biden's stimulus spending plan.

- The NZD/USD lifts above 0.7200 as traders bet on an expected pickup in trade due to US President-elect Biden's planned US$2T stimulus package. US data overnight were soft, illustrating the impact that Covid-19 is having on the economy. "That's clearly a negative, but if it underscores the need for fiscal support and accelerates it, which seems to be the vibe, that is likely to only fuel risk appetite further, in a convoluted sort of way," says Australia & New Zealand Banking Group. It sees bulls in charge of the NZD/USD, which was last at 0.7233. Resistance looms at 0.7290.

- McDonald's says it is halting political contributions, the latest big US company to do so in the aftermath of last week's riot at the US Capitol. "We have already paused all of our political giving while we review our policies and procedures," McDonald's says. Going forward, we will ensure that all contributions continue to align with our values and the purpose of our business." The world's largest fast-food company by sales joins tech and other industrial giants in reassessing political contributions.

- Oil prices resume their upward trend, with the WTI rising 1.25% to $53.57, as markets expect President-elect Biden to announce fiscal stimulus details. Mizuho's Robert Yawger says markets are also bracing for reduced refinery activity, with the proximity of the US turnaround season. But he notes China is buying less oil, which could curb the bulls. "The market may have lost the supersized buyer who had ruled (it) in recent months," he says, adding that China built up oil stockpiles when prices were down, but now looks inclined to "buy what they need until prices pull back a bit."

- The US renewable fuels industry is up in arms this week amid reports that the outgoing Trump administration may grant a bevy of waivers to small oil refineries to allow them to not meet the renewable fuel standards for blending ethanol in gasoline. "There is no justification for President Trump, Andrew Wheeler, and their allies to award a massive, short-sighted handout to oil companies at the expense of farm communities," says a joint statement of groups representing biofuels, such as the Renewable Fuels Association and the National Farmers Union. The possibility also has elicited responses from politicians representing rural areas. Last week, the US Supreme Court agreed to review a ruling by a lower court that said small-refinery waivers were unlawful.

- Copper prices are edging higher, supported by a weaker dollar. Three-month copper on the LME is up 0.3% at $7,997 a metric ton. In contrast to the sharp rises and falls over the last week, base metals have been largely flat over the last two sessions. Many traders seem to be standing aside as the political drama in Washington over President Trump's second impeachment plays out, says Malcolm Freeman CEO of Kingdom Futures. Traders are also nervously watching an outbreak of Covid-19 in Hebei province, China, he says. Later, President-elect Biden is set to outline his economic rescue package, an event investors will be keenly watching to gauge the level of stimulus they can expect from the incoming administration.

Jan 14 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- Oil prices eased for a second day as mounting coronavirus cases globally raised demand concerns, although a drawdown in U.S. crude stocks for a fifth straight week and robust data from China capped losses.
- Gold prices inched lower as U.S. Treasury yields and the dollar rebounded, while investors awaited details on incoming U.S. President Joe Biden's coronavirus stimulus proposal.
- Copper prices fell as the dollar extended its rebound from near three-year lows, making greenback-priced metals more expensive to holders of other currencies.
- Chicago corn futures lost ground as the market took a breather after hitting a 7-1/2-year peak in the previous session, although losses were limited by tight global supplies.
- Arabica coffee futures jumped 3% on ICE on Wednesday and raw sugar gained 2.4% amid positive fundamental news, fund buying and the strengthening in the currency of major sugar and coffee producer Brazil.
- Malaysian palm oil futures fell for a fourth straight session and touched a two-week low, hit by tepid demand concerns as key market China commits to more imports from rival Indonesia and as Malaysia kept a high 8% tax on February exports.

- Copper prices are edging higher, supported by a weaker dollar. Three-month copper on the LME is up 0.3% at $7,997 a metric ton. In contrast to the sharp rises and falls over the last week, base metals have been largely flat over the last two sessions. Many traders seem to be standing aside as the political drama in Washington over President Trump's second impeachment plays out, says Malcolm Freeman CEO of Kingdom Futures. Traders are also nervously watching an outbreak of Covid-19 in Hebei province, China, he says. Later, President-elect Biden is set to outline his economic rescue package, an event investors will be keenly watching to gauge the level of stimulus they can expect from the incoming administration.

- China's tech giants are up in morning Hong Kong trading amid expectations that the U.S. government will let Americans keep investing in tech majors like e-commerce group Alibaba. The WSJ reported earlier that the U.S. no longer plans to add Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu to a Defense Department blacklist after officials weighed the companies' alleged ties to China's military against the potential economic impact of banning them. Nine other Chinese companies will be added, the report said. Alibaba rises 3.8%, while gaming and social media group Tencent adds 4.2%. Peers in the tech industry, though not directly affected by the expected U.S. decision, track the upbeat momentum. Food-delivery company Meituan jumps 5.5%, while telecom carrier China Mobile gains 3.1%.

- Lockheed Martin joins Boeing and other big government contractors including Raytheon Technologies by halting all PAC contributions. The world's biggest defense contractor by revenue says in a statement that it routinely evaluates its political funding with each election cycle, but unlike peers including Boeing, doesn't make any explicit reference to last week's events in Washington, D.C.

- The FAA says it will take a harder line on unruly passengers following what it describes as a "disturbing increase" in disruptive or violent behavior on flights. The FAA will no longer issue warnings or counseling, but will pursue legal action against any passenger who assaults, threatens or interferes with crewmembers. Passengers who engage in this behavior are subject to fines of up to $35,000 as well as potential jail time. Lawmakers have called on the FAA to crack down on bad behavior in flights ahead of next week's presidential inauguration. The recent incidents, the FAA says, stem from passengers' refusal to wear masks and from "recent violence in the US Capitol."

- The Biden administration and Congress shouldn't shy away from spending in its pursuit of post-pandemic economic recovery, said Austan Goolsbee, the former top economic adviser to President Barack Obama. Recent jobs numbers, showing employment fell in December, point to the possibility of a double dip recession, Goolsbee said at a University of Chicago economic outlook briefing. "That is not the moment to go tighten the belt in my view," he said. A focus on trimming the deficit following the economic downturn and Trump-era tax cuts would be wrong, he said, adding it would be a "complete misread of the economic moment."

- "Very important that OPEC increase the flow of Oil. World Markets are fragile, price of Oil getting too high. Thank you!" That March 2019 Tweet from President Trump came as oil and gasoline prices were soaring, and were common during his presidency. Fast-forward to 2021 and energy prices are surging again as OPEC tightens supplies, leading analysts to wonder what may halt the bull run. "With President Trump on the way out and President Elect Joe Biden's desire to transition away from oil, it will give the Saudis a free pass to jack up the price of oil without the fears of a nasty tweet," says Price Futures' Phil Flynn.

- The dollar is likely to remain supported in the short-term by speculation that the Federal Reserve could taper asset purchases due to the prospect of increased fiscal stimulus under the Biden administration, Commerzbank says. "Even if the first Fed rate hike is a long way off the U.S. administration's further aid payments are likely to fuel the economic recovery in the U.S. and thus recent speculation that the U.S. central bank might reduce its asset purchases as early as year-end 2021," Commerzbank forex analyst You-Na Park-Heger says. Speculation on the matter should continue over the coming weeks, she says. The dollar index is last up 0.1% to 90.2480.

Jan 13 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- Oil prices gained more than 1%, with U.S. crude rising for a seventh day, after industry data showed a bigger than expected drop in inventories and investors shrugged off worsening developments in the pandemic.
- Gold edged higher as the U.S. dollar and Treasury yields pulled back, and the prospect of massive U.S. fiscal stimulus boosted the metal's appeal as an inflation hedge.
- Nickel prices gained, with Shanghai nickel climbing more than 3%, on worries about supply disruptions in top ore producers New Caledonia and the Philippines.
- Chicago corn jumped 4% to a 7-1/2-year high and soybeans climbed to their loftiest since June 2014 after a widely watched U.S. report reduced its forecast for global supplies.
- Arabica coffee futures closed down on ICE on Tuesday, having hit a one-month low in the previous session on increased ICE-certified stocks and lingering worries that COVID-19 lockdowns are hurting demand.
- Malaysian palm oil futures snapped a two-day losing streak as rival soyoil prices jumped after a U.S. government report forecast tighter soybean supplies, although gains were limited by falling demand.

- Raytheon Technologies becomes the biggest government contractor to halt PAC contributions in the wake of last week's unrest in Washington, DC, with an across-the-board move. "We have paused all political action committee contributions to reflect on the current environment and determine appropriate next steps," the company said. Raytheon and United Technologies, which merged last year, secured $25B in federal obligations in fiscal 2019.

- Casual-dining restaurants say they fear any changes floated by the incoming Biden administration as to how many states now factor tips into servers' minimum wages. The president elect has said that the so-called tip credit should change. Darden Restaurants and Chuy's both say they are watching the issue closely, as it could negatively impact their labor expenses. Darden CEO Gene Lee says they will push restaurant trade groups to lobby against changes, and will also do so directly. "We are trying to solve a problem that really doesn't exist," Lee says at the ICR Conference.

- Leidos becomes the biggest federal contractor to signal a pause in all PAC contributions, with CEO Roger Krone in a statement citing last week's violence at the Capitol. The government IT specialist ranked 10th with $7.3B in contract obligations in fiscal 2019, according to federal records.

- Rising coronavirus cases and the related restrictions that come with it aren't the only thing weighing on small business owners' minds. They're also worried about the shifting of presidential power, Wells Fargo says. "As a group, small business owners are much more politically active than the population as whole and also tend to skew more Republican," Wells Fargo says. Small businesses view a Democratic win as increasing the prospects of more regulation and higher taxes. Furthermore, the Georgia election results and Capitol unrest could spell another decline in the NFIB survey in January, Wells Fargo says. Small business confidence declined 5.5 points in December, an historically large fall, according to NFIB's chief economist.

Jan 12 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- Oil prices rose on expectations of a drawdown in crude oil inventories in the United States for a fifth straight week, but investor worries over climbing coronavirus cases globally capped price gains.
- Gold ticked higher as stocks slipped on political turmoil in Washington and the slow pace of COVID-19 vaccinations worldwide, although a firmer dollar and higher U.S. Treasury yields limited gains.
- Shanghai copper prices fell to a one-week low on demand concerns amid new restrictions to prevent a resurgence in coronavirus cases in China, the world's biggest metals consumer.
- Chicago soybeans edged lower as investors awaited the U.S. government's forecast on global grain and oilseed production later in the day, with a focus on South American output.
- Arabica coffee futures on ICE were sharply lower on Monday as lockdowns to slow the spread of COVID-19 raised concerns about the demand outlook, with rising exchange stocks and weakness in Brazil's real currency also bearish factors.
- Malaysian palm oil futures eased to a one-week low tracking deep losses in rival Dalian oils, and as weak partial January exports data weighed on sentiment.

- The Biden administration should keep in place some tariffs enacted by President Trump until it can enact broader trade policy concerning China and the metals industry, AFL-CIO head Richard Trumka says. Trumka believes the US should maintain existing tariffs on steel and aluminum and others directed specifically for China because they sustain US production and jobs. He says President-elect Biden will need to hold China accountable, but should do so as part of an international coalition. Trumka also says the US shouldn't rush to enter into new trade talks. "We believe that we ought to hit the pause button for a while on negotiating new trade deals until major new domestic investments are made in infrastructure, education, training and manufacturing," he says.

- The White House Space Council, reinvigorated under Vice President Pence's leadership, isn't expected to retain its stature or influence in a Biden administration, according to industry and government officials. Based on transition activities so far, these officials said, incoming Vice President Harris isn't likely to inherit leadership of the space portfolio. Rather, the responsibility may be spread throughout future White House staffers. For the past four years, the council has worked to accelerate NASA's manned space exploration program while supporting robust military initiatives outside the atmosphere. Vice President Pence also sought to boost private-public partnerships in space, a goal almost certain to be embraced by the next administration.

- Tyson Foods joins the roster of major US corporations reassessing political donations and involvement after last week's riot at the Capitol. A spokesman for the Arkansas company, which produces roughly one in every five pounds of beef, chicken and pork consumed in the US, says Tyson is temporarily suspending all political action committee activity while it reviews and considers the events of the past week. AT&T, ConocoPhillips, Dow, Facebook and other companies have also said they are halting or reviewing campaign donations from their PACs to lawmakers and political candidates.

- U.S. small-business confidence declined to 95.9 in December for the second consecutive month as owners continue to digest the results of recent elections and reacted negatively to renewed lockdowns to contain Covid-19, Mark Vitner, senior economist at Wells Fargo, says. "Small-business owners are much more politically active than the population as whole and also tend to skew more Republican," he says, so the results of the Georgia elections as well as the recent unrest at the nation's Capitol could lead to another decline in the survey in January. The prospects for increased regulation and higher taxes have increased considerably from where they were in December, Vitner says, something which could also contribute to a further decline for the index.

- The recent spike on Treasury yields shows that markets are going through "a short-term tone shift...as the Democratic ripple is digested short-term," AmeriVet says. "The focus now (is) turning to growth and inflation and perhaps a combination of both," the broker says, adding that "In general, broader financial conditions still remain very loose." AmeriVet thinks the Fed is unlikely to shift gears soon, as the central bank "is getting what it has been asking for: likely more fiscal aid and higher inflation expectations." The 10-year yield reaches 1.166%, a level not seen since March.

- Gold gains as concerns about a second impeachment of President Trump and potential disturbances during the transition of power sparks some haven-seeking. Comex futures are up 0.2% at $1,854.40 a troy ounce. "Gold appears to have picked up a risk-aversion tailwind," says Jeffrey Halley, market analyst at Oanda. "That takes the immediate heat of gold but does not yet release it from the fire," he says, noting that further gains for the U.S. dollar and U.S. Treasury yields would likely outweigh any gains in the near term. The ICE Dollar Index is steady close to a three-week high. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note is up at 1.153% from 1.131% on Monday.

- Democratic lawmakers are urging the FAA to crack down on people who misbehave on flights following reports of unruly passengers traveling to and from last week's riot in Washington DC. Rep. Peter DeFazio (D. Ore.), who chairs the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and Rep. Rick Larsen (D., Wash.) urged FAA Administrator Stephen Dickson to pursue civil penalties against passengers who disrupt flights and refer criminal violations to the Justice Department. The lawmakers also asked the FAA to work with industry and labor groups to try and keep "those connected with last Wednesday's attack or their sympathizers" from flying to DC for the inauguration. In a statement over the weekend, Mr.Dickson said the FAA would pursue "strong enforcement action against anyone who endangers the safety of flight."

- Political analyst Charlie Cook said he doesn't expect President Trump to be removed from office, noting that the current Cabinet is unlikely to invoke the 25(th) Amendment and that impeachment proceedings at this point would require unanimous consent from the Senate until Jan. 19, the day before the inauguration. The House on Monday introduced an article of impeachment against President Trump for incitement of insurrection, and Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI), one of the writers of the impeachment article, said the House had sufficient votes to impeach. Separately, Cook sees the new government taking a more down-the-middle, incremental approach. Don't expect any big tax increases or polarizing legislation, he said at an Economic Club of New York event on Monday.

- AT&T says it will suspend political contributions to US lawmakers who voted against affirming Joe Biden's election as president, joining a growing list of corporations that have rebuked the all-Republican bloc after last week's deadly riot at the US Capitol. "Employees on our Federal PAC Board convened a call today and decided to suspend contributions to members of Congress who voted to object to the certification of Electoral College votes last week," the company says in a terse statement. The telecom and media giant didn't say how long the suspension will last.

- Concerns about negative coronavirus news, the prospect of further U.S. civil unrest and U.S.-China tensions have contributed to Monday's risk aversion and a stronger safe-haven dollar, Saxo Bank says. The rapid spread ofcoronavirus infections world-wide is "frustrating any hopes" that economic activity can normalize any time soon, Saxo Bank's John Hardy says. Another "potential source of unease" could be the risk of further unrest after social media companies banned President Donald Trump, he says. Trump is also "laying down all manner of anti-China landmines" that the incoming Biden administration will have to deal with, he says. The dollar index rises 0.4% to 90.4910, having earlier reached a three-week high of 90.7280.

- Copper falls as the implications of Democratic control of the U.S. Senate continues to be assessed. Copper on the LME is down 2.8% at $7.861 a metric ton. Greater legislative freedom for a Joe Biden administration is having both positive and negative effects on the metals market, TD Securities says. Biden's green policies "will lead to structurally higher demand for metals down the road," the bank says, but the win in Georgia has also sparked a rally in Treasury yields, which is driving investors to close their short positions on the dollar. The ICE Dollar Index is up 0.4% and on course for a third consecutive daily rise, which in turn is weighing on base metals, TD says.

- Democrat Congressional control "will result in less severe bill supply cuts in 1H (of 2021) and higher bill supply in 2H," Bank of America says. The investment bank says the new political environment increases the likelihood of a $1T Covid-19 stimulus, including $2,000 checks, in the short-term, plus a $2T-to-$4T spending package later this year. "More bill supply would be needed," later this year to fund the stimulus, BofA says. "Less extreme bill supply cuts could reduce downward pressure in front end rates markets. However we still expect increasing reserves will suppress front end rates in the coming months."

Jan 11 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- Oil prices fell, hit by renewed concerns about global fuel demand amid tough coronavirus lockdowns in Europe and new curbs on movement in China, the world's second-largest oil user, where infections jumped.
- Gold eased, touching a near six-week low earlier in the session, as a stronger dollar and higher U.S. Treasury yields kept prices under pressure.
- Industrial metals fell on demand worries as top metal consumer China saw its biggest daily increase in COVID-19 cases in more than five months.
- Chicago soybean futures rose for a second straight session to hit their highest in 6-1/2 years, as tightening supplies and strong Chinese demand underpinned prices.
- Raw sugar futures on ICE closed stable on Friday after the previous session's 4% dive, ending the week little changed.
- Malaysian palm oil futures fell after data from the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) showed the world's second-biggest palm producer imported record high levels of palm oil in December.

- The dollar could extend gains if concerns about risks to economic growth and political turmoil intensify, reducing demand for safe haven assets, TD Securities says. "Friday's disappointing US employment data may have re-sensitized investors to growth risks while political turmoil has done the same for broader sentiment," TD forex strategist Ned Rumpeltin says. A further escalation of both factors would "expose the U.S. to greater upside potential" at least in the near term, he says. The dollar index rises 0.6% to a three-week high of 90.7280.

- Darden Restaurants expects labor to remain a challenge for restaurants in 2021, with many workers leaving the sector during the pandemic and not returning. CEO Gene Lee hopes the incoming Biden administration will make policy changes to help boost immigration to the US to fill restaurants' ranks. Minimum-wage increases backed by the president-elect are a concern, and restaurants will likely have to pass those along to customers, Lee says at the ICR Conference.

- The Democrats' newly won razor-thin majority in the Senate makes it "virtually certain" that President-elect Joe Biden will enact stimulus in 2021 that contains decarbonization policy, likely benefiting clean-energy equipment companies and utilities and causing pain for the fossil-fuel industry, Sahil Mahtani and Deirdre Cooper of investment firm Ninety One say. They add that a Democrat-appointed Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will help approve offshore wind farms that the Trump administration delayed. "This implies significant upside for leading wind developers and companies in their supply chains, such as turbine-blade makers. Additional upside for solar is more muted, just because the growth outlook is so strong anyway," they say.

- USD/SGD rises on safe-haven demand spurred by risks related to U.S. President Trump. "I fear that markets are not pricing in just how much of a finale President Trump intends to make his last nine days in office," says Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at Oanda, noting that the U.S. over the weekend eased restrictions with Taiwan. "The president will almost certainly generate more fireworks this week," which could spur more flows into the haven U.S. dollar, Halley adds. USD/SGD is up 0.3% at 1.3292.

- USD may rally modestly further in the near term, but CBA expects the rally to be brief and contained. The global economy is entering the sweet spot of a growth upturn with low inflation, CBA says and adds that economic recovery will be supported by increased prospects for more fiscal stimulus in the U.S. with Democrats controlling both houses of Congress. There's a handful of Fed officials speaking this week including Chairman Jay Powell on Friday, it notes.

Jan 08 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- Oil prices held near 11-month highs and were on track for a strong weekly gain as Saudi Arabia's pledge to cut output continued to buoy market sentiment.
- Gold fell as the U.S. dollar and Treasury yields firmed, although hopes for additional stimulus in the world's largest economy kept bullion on course for a second straight weekly gain.
- Shanghai copper hit a more than nine-year high, while its prices in London rose to their highest in nearly eight years as hopes of more stimulus spurred risk sentiment.
- Chicago corn rose with the market set for a fifth week of gains, as concerns over supplies from key South American suppliers underpinned prices.
- Raw sugar futures on ICE closed 4% down on Thursday as investors cashed in gains after the sweetener hit a fresh 3-1/2-year high earlier in the session. The retreat, however, was seen as temporary given tightening supplies and fund buying appetite.
- Malaysian palm oil futures eased, tracking weaker rival soyoil, but the contract was set to rise a fourth consecutive week on a tight supply outlook ahead of industry data. Palmoil prices easing slightly both yesterday and overnight with Malaysia and Indonesia announcing that they will delay rolling out their expanded biodiesel blending mandates. For now Indonesia continue to retain their export duty model so that has not so far changed to ease the export flow of Palmoil. Technically overbought so maybe we get some more of a correction.

- Georgia's Senators-elect Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff campaigned on climate change and will prove a boon to President-elect Joe Biden's legislative agenda that targets net-zero greenhouse gas emissions for the U.S. by 2050, says Ashim Paun, global co-head of environmental, social and governance research at HSBC. "Local climate ambition is important in Georgia, where flooding has caused considerable damage in recent years particularly in coastal areas, as it is in the US overall, where states and cities often set ambitious policy agendas and targets," he says. Biden has pledged to rejoin the Paris Agreement and has proposed spending $2 trillion to combat climate change over four years.

- Most actively traded gold futures slide 1.2% to $1,890 a troy ounce following the latest jobs data, dropping more than 3% from a peak hit Monday ahead of the Georgia Senate runoff elections. One reason for the reversal is that longer-term Treasury yields are climbing steadily, making gold a less attractive haven asset when compared to government bonds. The yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note has risen to around 1.1%. Even though Friday's December jobs data were disappointing, upward revisions for October and November and expectations for more stimulus are supporting riskier assets like stocks. Some traders appear to be pricing in a "Goldilocks" scenario with rising economic growth but contained inflation that keeps the Federal Reserve's ultralow interest-rate policy intact, a negative environment for haven metals.

- The 140,000 jobs lost in the US in December is "really disappointing," says Chris Zaccarelli, chief investment officer of Independent Advisor Alliance, and signals that the economy remains in "bad shape." Yet US stock futures are still trading higher. Zaccarelli says today's report may be giving investors hope that more fiscal stimulus--particularly after this week's Democratic wins in Georgia for US Senate seats--may be ahead in order to continue to fuel the US economy's recovery. "The size of the package is always in doubt, and the timing is always in doubt," he says. "But I think there's a much higher probability that we get some kind of stimulus in the next few months given the current makeup of the Senate."

- The dollar edges higher, tracking a rise in U.S. Treasury yields on expectations of fiscal stimulus from President-elect Joe Biden's incoming administration, though gains are limited because of caution before monthly U.S. jobs data at 1330 GMT. "Rising yields in the U.S., with the 10-year maturity climbing above 1%, offered the dollar some relief," UniCredit says in a note. Investors don't want to be too exposed to the dollar, however, ahead of data that are "very likely to confirm that the U.S. labor market lost momentum at the end of last year, amid the increase in new Covid-19 cases and new restrictions," it says. The DXY dollar index is up 0.2% at 90.0240, while EUR/USD falls 0.3% to 1.2232.

- The FTSE 100 index is expected to open 20.3 points higher, according to IG, having closed Thursday at 6856.96, tracking gains in the U.S. and most Asian stocks on expectations that the incoming U.S. administration will favor fiscal stimulus. "There is a feeling that President-elect Joe Biden will push for more financial support when he takes over the top job later this month," says David Madden, market analyst at CMC Markets. Congress has now certified the election results, and fears of a repeat of the violence seen at the Capitol are diminishing, he says. Focus will center on U.S. monthly nonfarm payrolls data at 1330 GMT. Shares in Marks & Spencer and Barratt Developments will be watched after releasing updates on the companies' performance.

- Oil nudges higher in early Asian trade on hopes for more U.S. fiscal stimulus, after the Congress confirmed President-elect Joe Biden as the winner of the election, and President Trump said there'll be an orderly transition on Jan. 20. Oil markets are continuing to mimic the broader markets trading off the same U.S. stimulus impulse, axi says. Front-month WTI crude oil futures are up 0.2% at $50.93/bbl; front-month Brent crude oil futures gain 0.2% at $54.48/bbl.

- People who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday should be added to federal no-fly lists, says Rep. Bennie Thompson (D., Miss.) who chairs the House Committee on Homeland Security. Mr. Thompson called on the FBI and TSA to bar those who have been identified as having entered the Capitol from flying, citing reports of "unruly mobs" on flights headed toward Washington, D.C., earlier this week. "It does not take much imagination to envision how they might act out on their way out of D.C. if allowed to fly unfettered," he said in a statement. The Association of Flight Attendants on Wednesday made a similar demand.

- The National Milk Producers Federation decries Wednesday's riot at the US Capitol, and the charged rhetoric that led up to it. "We emphatically reject the rhetoric of elected officials whose words encouraged and perpetuated yesterday's assault on our democracy," says Jim Mulhern, CEO of the dairy farmer trade group, without naming specific officials. The Arlington, Va.-based group says it looks forward to working with the incoming Biden administration.

- Australia's S&P/ASX 200 is on track to rise at the open after investors apparently looked past the violence in Washington to send all three major US indices to record closes. ASX futures are 0.3% higher after financial and tech stocks led US gains. The broad-based S&P 500 rose 1.5%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.7%, and the Nasdaq Composite jumped 2.6%. Gains by the likes of Nvidia, Advanced Micro Devices and Lam Research may point to a reversal for Australia's tech sector. Tech was the benchmark index's best performer for 2020, but is 2021's laggard with a 6.1% fall over four sessions.

- New Zealand's NZX-50 index rises 1.0% to 13620.53, as investors looked past Wednesday's violent clash between pro-Trump protesters and law enforcement in the Capitol building in Washington DC. Overnight, the DJIA gained 0.7% and the Nasdaq leapt 2.6% while the S&P 500 advanced 1.5%. New Zealand telecoms stocks are early risers, with Chorus up 0.3% at NZ$7.85 and Spark NZ rising 2.4% to NZ$4.835. Investors' desire to own utilities remains firm, with Contact Energy up another 4.6% at NZ$11.09 and Meridian Energy adding 0.5% to NZ$9.45, extending yesterday's 10% gain. Among the few fallers was Port of Tauranga, down 0.4% at NZ$7.47.

Jan 07 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- The dollar languished near its lowest level in nearly three years after Democrats won control of the U.S. Senate, clearing the way for a larger fiscal stimulus under President-elect Joe Biden.  
- Oil prices rose as Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest exporter, unilaterally agreed to cut output over the next two months and as U.S. crude stockpiles fell.
- Gold prices rose as a Democrat sweep of Georgia's Senate runoffs boosted expectations of additional U.S. stimulus, although soaring Treasury yields held back bullion below a two-month high scaled in the previous session.
- Copper prices advanced, hovering near an eight-year high, on hopes of further stimulus measures from the United States after Democrats won control of the Senate.
- Chicago corn slid as the market took a breather after hitting its highest in more than six years in the previous session, although losses were limited as dry growing conditions in South America stoked concerns about global supplies.

- Raw sugar futures climbed to a 3-1/2-year high on Wednesday, boosted by short-term supply tightness and broad-based strength in agricultural commodity markets.
- Malaysian palm oil futures snapped a six-day rally and dropped from a near 10-year high hit in the previous session, as a larger-than-expected increase in Indonesian inventories weighed on prices.

- Turmoil in Capital Hill drove investors into the safe-haven U.S. dollar, lifting the currency after several months of weakness, yet whether gains can be sustained is less certain, says TD Securities. "Some caution is warranted, but as long as the U.S. real yield backdrop remains inferior to many of its major peers, the sustainability of a dollar reversal will be in question and should be viewed with a tactical perspective," senior forex strategist Mazen Issa says. A currency pair to watch for cues on dollar strength is USD/JPY, with 104.20-104.50 a key resistance area, he says. USD/JPY rises 0.8% at 103.8250, its highest in more than a week, according to FactSet.

- Walgreens won't see profit upside from Covid-19 vaccinations in its fiscal 2Q, with executives noting that its current work vaccinating people in long-term care facilities is "extremely labor intensive." However, the company expects vaccines to add to profit during the 2H of its fiscal year. The vaccination work will help offset weakness generated by the pandemic, according to the company. Another executive tells investors on an earnings call that Walgreens expects the vaccination work to accelerate into the spring and that the chain is in touch with the incoming Biden administration.

- Another round of stimulus in the U.S., which BofA economists believe could be close to $1 trillion, would be a game-changer and could add another one percentage point to economic growth in 2021. A package that included another round of checks to get to the full $2,000, an extension of unemployment insurance beyond the 11 week cutoff, aid for state and local governments and more support for healthcare workers would leave the economy to flirt with 6% growth in 2021, they say. "This estimate assumes conservative multipliers, suggesting the positive impact could be even larger," BofA says.

- News consumption in five European countries increased by 32% in 2020 on year, according to analysis by the Axel Springer and Samsung-run news app, Upday. App users focused on news as the most important section of Upday, as it leapfrogged the Beauty/Fashion/Lifestyle section, which was top in 2019 in Germany, Spain and France. Articles with the coronavirus tag were read most often in Germany, the U.K., France, Italy and Spain, while Trump-related articles were searched for second most in Germany, in contrast with the other countries, which all saw other coronavirus-related searches making up the top five tags of the year. The analysis shows on average more than seven million people used Upday every day, with around four billion users visiting publishers websites via the app.

- The storming of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday hasn't notably affected markets, which are more focused on wins for Democrats in Senate races, analysts at Oanda say. Congress has reconvened to ratify President-elect Joe Biden's victory after violent demonstrations from Trump supporters, but confirmation that Democrats won both Georgia Senate runoff races, easing the path for Biden's agenda, is more on investors' minds. "Georgia's Democrat clean sweep and its ramifications are likely to dominate markets today, with stimulus sentiment well in the ascendant," Oanda says. The U.K.'s blue-chip FTSE 100 index trades 0.1% lower, while the STOXX Europe 600 rises 0.3%. In New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 1.4% higher Wednesday, while the S&P 500 closed up 0.6%.

- The dollar remains at weaker levels after a Democratic sweep in the Georgia runoff elections that hands the party control of the Senate. The DXY dollar index trades up 0.1% at 89.6640 after falling to its lowest level since March 2018 at 89.2090 on Tuesday when the Democrats won both Georgia runoff races. "The outlook for looser fiscal policy in the U.S. after the Democrats gained control of the Senate following the Georgia vote is boosting appetite for risk," Unicredit says. Improved risk appetite weighs on the dollar due to its safe-haven status.

- European credit markets are likely to gain from an uptick in risk sentiment, fueled by expectations of further fiscal stimulus in the U.S., says UniCredit. The Democratic party strengthened its grip on the Senate after the Georgia runoff delivered democrats to the chamber. "The outlook for looser fiscal policy in the U.S. after the Democrats gained control of the Senate following the Georgia vote is boosting appetite for risk," says UniCredit. Risk appetite is being reflected in major equity market futures advancing this morning, with European credit likely to experience a solid session today, says the bank.

- The FTSE 100 looks set to extend gains after reaching the highest level since late February on Wednesday. IG expects the London index to open 61 points higher, having reached a 10-month high of 6859 points in the previous session, according to FactSet. Traders have shrugged off news of tighter restrictions across several European countries, and they are taking a "longer-term view" that the rollout of vaccinations will allow economies to reopen, CMC Markets analyst David Madden says. Investors also cheered a Democratic sweep of runoff elections in Georgia--which will give the party control of the Senate--due to optimism that it will lead to larger fiscal stimulus, he says.

- The IPC stock index rises 1.5% to 45587 points, its highest close in almost a year. Cement maker Cemex shares rise 8.3%, and retailer Walmex shares close up 3.2%. The peso firms to 19.68 against the US dollar, its strongest level since March of last year. Expectations that a Biden administration will apply more aggressive fiscal stimulus helped lift the peso, says Banco Base. On Thursday the statistics agency Inegi reports December inflation and the Bank of Mexico publishes minutes to its Dec. 17 meeting at which it left interest rates unchanged in a split decision.

- New Zealand's NZX-50 index rises 1.1% to 13479.77, responding to gains on Wall Street where investors bet big on Democrats ushering in another round of stimulus as the party heads toward control of the Senate. The DJIA closed up 1.4% and the S&P 500 added 0.6%, despite a mob of pro-Trump supporters invading the Capitol building in Washington DC. Meridian Energy rises another 5.3% to NZ$8.98 as its recent rally showed no sign of slowing down. Meridian's stock is now up nearly 40% since the start of December. Other utilities also making strong gains today are Contact Energy, up 2.4% at NZ$10.14 and Genesis Energy, up 3.6% at NZ$3.99. Among other stocks, Fletcher Building rises 2.3% to NZ$5.80 and Ebos lifts 1.3% to NZ$28.89.

- The US dollar weakens as markets brace for greater fiscal spending, since President-Elect Biden's Democratic Party seems poised to flip control of the Senate, while protesters overrun the Capitol. The EUR/USD is down 0.2% and the WSJ Dollar Index is down 0.1%. Fed minutes also indicated a continuation of monetary stimulus, often a dollar-weakening factor, as markets expected.

- Gun maker Smith & Wesson Brands shares are up more than 20% during Wednesday's trading session, on pace for its best trading day since August 2018 after an armed standoff between protestors and police officers took place inside the US Capitol. Shares have climbed 35% over the past five trading sessions.

- With results from the Georgia Senate runoff pointing toward two Democratic wins, the market is driving alternative-energy names higher, Truist Securities says. Truist believes a split Senate with a vice-president tie-breaker will have clear positive regulatory implications for biofuels, with potential for an eventual rollout of a nationwide low-carbon fuel standard-type program becoming more of a possibility. "For the biofuels names, we believe that a split senate with a VP tie-breaker will amount to a continuation of tax-credit incentives as we saw recently with the [alternative fuels tax credit] extension as part of the recent stimulus package," Truist says. Among Truist's coverage, Green Plains surges 14%, Rex American Resources rises 8.6% and Renewable Energy Group jumps 14%.

- President Trump granted the chairman of Puerto Rico's powerful financial oversight board a fresh three-year term, using his lame-duck executive power to reappoint University of Pennsylvania law professor David Skeel, according to people familiar with the decision. The president also appointed former bankruptcy judge Arthur Gonzalez to the board, which has steered Puerto Rico's financial restructuring since 2016. With the appointments, all seven slots on the board have been filled by Trump appointees, four of them Republicans and three Democrats. That balance will persist into the Biden administration.

- Base metals have turned lower after the dollar reverses course to rise sharply as investors digest the results from the Georgia Senatorial runoff. Three-month copper on the LME is down 0.3% at $8,034 a metric ton. Despite the declines the red-metal has held above the $8,000 a ton level, supported by hopes that Democratic control of the senate would mean more stimulus and infrastructure spending. President-elect Joe Biden's $2 trillion infrastructure spending plan is likely to drive additional demand for copper and steel, says Bernard Dahdah, senior commodities analyst at Natixis. "Base metal prices could benefit strongly in 2021 if it is perceived that the Biden administration is making progress" to pass the plan in the U.S. congress, says Dahdah.

- All signs pointing to unified Democratic control of government after Tuesday's Georgia Senate races doesn't necessarily mean big changes in lawmaking, says a new report from research firm Capital Economics. "President-elect Joe Biden will have a much easier time confirming his picks for cabinet positions and the chances of a limited fiscal stimulus passing further down the line are a bit higher," the report says. But the firm added the incoming president's biggest priorities, "including a large Green New Deal-style infrastructure package partly funded by higher taxes on high-income individuals and corporations are still unlikely to become a reality, so we are not minded to change our (above-consensus) forecasts for 2021 or 2022."

- The oil industry is waking up with some mixed emotions as oil prices climb to a nearly 11-month-high $50 a barrel, but in a riskier environment as Georgia election results may mean Democrat-control of the Senate, House and White House. "The outcome, if the Democrats take the Senate, is going to be a blow for the US energy industry and will put the country on a path towards higher energy prices and more loss of energy jobs," says Price Futures' Phil Flynn. "US oil production will be stymied by more regulations and banks who want to be politically correct and will refuse to lend money to US energy producers."

- Gold prices tick higher as investors await the results of the U.S. Senate runoff. Comex futures are up 0.2% at $1,958 a troy ounce. If Democrats win both seats in Georgia they will take control of the Senate, which some investors are anticipating will mean an easier path for a Biden administration to pass more stimulus measures. But other analysts caution that Democrats could still struggle to get their agenda through. "We are not sure that a win by either party will make much of a difference," says Ed Meir, metals consultant at ED&F Man. "The margin for either side will be so thin, that a few defections could tip the vote on any major legislation."

- London copper prices have risen above $8,000 a metric ton for the first time since 2013, supported by strong manufacturing data and hopes for more fiscal stimulus in the U.S. as the Democrats take an early lead in the Georgia Senate runoff elections. Three-month copper on the LME is up 0.8% at $8,117.50 a ton. It broke through the psychologically important level late Tuesday after a surprise jump in U.S. manufacturing PMI data, which showed factory activity expanded by its fastest rate in two years. Providing further support are bets from investors that the
Democrats are poised to take control of the Senate amid the runoff elections in Georgia.

- Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. shares are surging amid hopes that the political headwinds the company faces could be easing. Shares of the Chinese chipmaker in Hong Kong have climbed as much as 18% after slumping nearly 10% on Tuesday while A-shares ended 3.0% higher. CICC says the rebound could be due to market expectations of a potential easing in geopolitical uncertainties in the coming weeks. SMIC has been hit by U.S. sanctions that analysts say were likely a political tactic by the Trump administration to position for the Georgia runoffs. With election results currently being counted, more clarity could emerge. SMIC's H-shares are up 17% at HK$22.85.

Jan 06 - DJ Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- Oil prices rose to their highest since February 2020 after Saudi Arabia agreed to reduce output more than expected in a meeting with allied producers, while industry figures showed U.S. crude stockpiles were down last week.
- Gold edged lower as the dollar firmed with investors tracking two closely contested U.S. Senate runoff races in Georgia that will likely determine President-elect Joe Biden administration's fiscal policy.
- Copper prices rose, as investors eyed more policy support in the United States amid chances that Democrats could take over control of the crucial Senate chamber.
- U.S. corn futures rose more than 1% to hit their highest in more than six years, as concerns about global supplies were fuelled by production issues in South America, a major exporting region.
- Raw sugar futures on ICE rose 2% to reach a new 3-1/2-year peak on Tuesday with the market underpinned by short-term supply tightness and continued investment flow from funds.
- Malaysian palm oil futures extended gains for a sixth day, peaking near a 10-year high on forecast of a deep cut in December supply and tracking strength in Brent crude oil and rival Dalian oil.

- Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. shares are surging amid hopes that the political headwinds the company faces could be easing. Shares of the Chinese chipmaker in Hong Kong have climbed as much as 18% after slumping nearly 10% on Tuesday while A-shares ended 3.0% higher. CICC says the rebound could be due to market expectations of a potential easing in geopolitical uncertainties in the coming weeks. SMIC has been hit by U.S. sanctions that analysts say were likely a political tactic by the Trump administration to position for the Georgia runoffs. With election results currently being counted, more clarity could emerge. SMIC's H-shares are up 17% at HK$22.85.

- Government bonds in the eurozone are selling off in early trade, driving yields higher, as markets react to the prospect of a Democratic sweep in the Senate runoff election in the U.S. state of Georgia. "The markets have finally started to react to the potential for Democratic control of the Senate," says Stephen Innes, chief global markets strategist at Axi. The 10-year U.S. Treasury yield has moved above 1%, last trading at 1.017%, up from 0.955% on Tuesday, according to Tradeweb. Eurozone 10-year government-bond yields trade higher by up to 4.8 basis points across the board, except for Greece's. The 10-year Bund yield is trading 4.2 basis points higher at -0.542%, according to Tradeweb.

- The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note has inched closer to 1% as incoming returns from Georgia's two runoff elections cause investors to increase bets that Democrats could win narrow control over the Senate--an outcome that many believe could lead to more government borrowing and higher inflation. The 10-year yield was recently 0.985%, up from 0.955% at the 3 p.m. ET close. Some analysts have said the yield might reach 1% for the first time since March if Democrats were to score victories. The move, however, could be constrained because Congress already passed significant spending legislation last month and Democrats would still only hold the slimmest of advantages in the Senate.

- Gold fluctuates between gains and losses in early Asian trading ahead of the results of the U.S. state of Georgia's Senate runoff elections. Gold may stay in a holding pattern until the election results are released, axi says. If the results disappoint markets, for example, and there is no "blue wave," gold could pull back, axi says. Spot gold is trading little changed at $1,948.59/oz.

- Copper prices in London rise to just shy of the psychologically important $8,000 a metric ton level. Three-month futures are up 1.5% at $7,980 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange as a weaker dollar lifts the prices of all dollar-denominated commodities. Investors are awaiting results from the Georgia Senate runoff, with a Democratic win in both the seats up for grabs likely to further depress the dollar and support prices, analysts at TD Securities say. "The odds of a 'blue sweep' are reinforcing a downward spiral in the [dollar] and in turn contributing to expectations for a recovery in commodity demand," they say.

- Positive sentiment among US farmers climbed over the past month, according to data from Purdue University and the CME Group. According to their Ag Economy Barometer, farmer sentiment rose 7 points in December to a score of 174. The generally positive sentiment stems from the high grains prices of recent weeks, with grain futures currently trading at or near 6-7 year highs across the board. "The rise in the Ag Economy Barometer was primarily driven by farmers' perception that the current situation on their farms really improved," says James Mintert, director of Purdue's Center for Commercial Agriculture.

- The dollar will weaken irrespective of the outcome of Tuesday's runoff elections in Georgia that will determine which party controls the Senate, TD Securities says. If the Democrats take control of the Senate, the safe-haven dollar faces "additional downside momentum" as the prospect of increased fiscal stimulus outweighs the risk of tighter regulations and higher taxes, TD's Mazen Issa says. It would also give the incoming Biden administration more leeway in pursuing a "more effective" Covid-19 strategy, he says. If Republicans retain control of the Senate, the dollar could "find better footing in some places," particularly against the euro, but it won't be enough to "push the market off the prevailing bias" for a weaker dollar.

- The Chinese renminbi should continue to appreciate against the dollar in the year ahead as U.S.-China tensions are expected to ease under U.S. President-elect Joe Biden, MUFG Bank says. Building optimism that the incoming Biden administration will adopt a "less combative" stance against China than President Donald Trump has already boosted the renminbi with USD/CNY moving closer to its 2018 lows, MUFG's Lee Hardman says. "A reduction in US-China trade policy tensions/uncertainty would create a more supportive backdrop for the renminbi while it should continue to benefit from relatively higher yields on offer in China and the cyclical outperformance of China's economy." USD/CNY trades flat at 6.4633, having earlier reached a two-and-a-half-year low of 6.4303, according to FactSet.

- Uncertainty over the outcome of Tuesday's U.S. Senate runoff elections in Georgia is likely to keep the euro range bound versus the dollar, ING says. However, "more upside in EUR/USD lies ahead" as the Federal Reserve maintains average inflation targeting, U.S. inflation-adjusted rates remain negative and the U.S. current account deficit "bites," ING analysts say. A possible Democratic victory in Georgia's runoffs could raise concerns about more regulation but this might be outweighed by expectations of larger fiscal stimulus, which would keep risk assets supported and the dollar weak over the coming months, they say. They note that polls are narrowly pointing to Democrats winning the two runoff races. EUR/USD last trades up 0.3% at 1.2283.

- Gold prices are flat as investors take profits after the precious metal jumped on the first trading day of the year thanks to a weaker dollar. Comex gold futures are unchanged at $1,946.70 a troy ounce. Gold rose 2.7% on Monday as the dollar slipped, which has prompted some profit taking from investors, says Jeffrey Halley, market analyst at Oanda. Focus shifts to the Georgia Senate runoffs, Halley says. "A Republican gain of just one seat will likely be regarded as a market positive and should see some of the risk-hedging based gold buying unwound," he says. A strong win for the Democrats could see gold rally toward $2000 an ounce, he adds.

- The dollar falls as traders brace for Tuesday's runoff elections in Georgia that will determine who controls the U.S. Senate. The dollar would weaken if the Democrats win the two runoffs as it raises the prospect of further fiscal stimulus designed to support the economic recovery, lifting inflation while the Federal Reserve keeps interest rates low, Commerzbank's Esther Reichelt says. The dollar would still fall on a Republican victory but at a slower pace as the likelihood of less fiscal spending means a "less rapid" rise in inflation and a "more hesitant" Fed in tapering quantitative easing, she says. The dollar index drops 0.2% to 89.7190, EUR/USD rises 0.2% to 1.2272 and GBP/USD gains 0.1% to 1.3584.

Jan 05 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- Oil prices were little changed before deadlocked talks between major producers about potential changes in February output are set to continue later in the day while fuel demand concerns lingered amid new COVID-19 lockdowns.
- Gold prices eased after hitting an eight-week high, as the U.S. dollar recovered from multi-year lows ahead of Senate runoff elections in Georgia that will decide the future path of fiscal stimulus in the world's largest economy.
- London copper prices crept towards the psychological level of $8,000 a tonne, as a weaker dollar made greenback-priced metals cheaper to holders of other currencies.
- Chicago soybean futures rose for a fifth straight session, with prices trading near previous session's highest level since 2014 as dry crop weather and disruptions to exports in South America buoyed prices.
- ICE raw sugar futures broke through 16 cents on Monday to hit their highest in nearly 3-1/2 years on tightening supplies and as funds piled into commodities, betting the rollout of coronavirus vaccines would ultimately lift the global economy.
- Malaysian palm oil futures dropped to snap a four-session gaining streak as cheaper rival Dalian oils weighed on prices despite expectations of a slump in December stockpiles.

- Investors are assuming a Republican win tomorrow in Georgia that would keep the conservatives in control of the Senate, TS Lombard's Steven Blitz tells WSJ, but he notes that polls indicate a tight race and a Democratic sweep remains possible. Blitz says President-elect Biden is capable of getting the votes he needs even in a Republican senate, but if his party takes the two seats at play markets could get nervous. "If it's a Democratic sweep, that's going to mean a lot," Blitz says. "The markets are probably going down in anticipation that higher tax rates are coming."

- US benchmark oil prices drop 1.9% lower at $47.62 a barrel. Crude prices had been drifting between gains and losses earlier in the session as the market awaits a decision by the OPEC-plus group on whether to allow members to raise production slightly amid signs of rising global demand. But a sharp fall in US stock markets, with the Dow trading about 400 points lower, is suddenly pulling some risk appetite from commodity markets. The global benchmark Brent falls 1.3% to $51.10 a barrel.

- Short-seller bets against the safe-haven dollar may be temporarily called into question if the Democrats take control of the Senate following Georgia's runoff elections Tuesday, TD Securities says. The policy agenda for the incoming Biden administration could become "more uncertain, at least initially," TD forex strategist Mazen Issa says. A Democratic victory would likely lead to a larger fiscal package but that could be "temporarily overshadowed" by market chatter of higher taxes, he says. "We think the latter is overly ambitious, as we think Biden will want to spend political capital elsewhere with a slim Senate power grab."

- The Department of Transportation quietly drops a probe into how airlines share information such as fares and schedules with online travel providers, though the incoming Biden administration could revive what's long been a touchy consumer issue. Airlines including Delta restricted information shared with some online travel sites, prompting DoT to start surveying the industry back in 2016. It suspended the process in a federal notice published Dec. 31.

- Gold investors are awaiting the Georgia run-off on Tuesday with an eye on whether the Democrats will win both seats, thus securing a slim majority in the Senate and making further government spending more likely, says Daniel Briesmann, a commodities analyst at Commerzbank. The Democrats need both of the seats up for grabs to take control of the U.S.'s upper chamber. Doing so would increase President-elect Joe Biden's ability to "push through his planned expansionary fiscal policy," says Briesmann, which would likely pressure U.S. real yields even more and support gold prices, he says.

- The safe haven dollar will continue to weaken if the Democrats secure control of the Senate following Tuesday's Georgia runoff elections, MUFG Bank says. "It would open the door to a much bigger fiscal stimulus package under incoming President Joe Biden," MUFG currency analyst Lee Hardman says. The prospect of larger stimulus is likely to be "welcomed by risk assets" as it would help strengthen the global recovery, he says. "In contrast, the market reaction should be limited if the Republicans hold on to control of the Senate." The dollar index falls 0.6% to 89.4250, its lowest level since April 2018.

Jan 04 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- Oil prices touched multi-month highs on expectations that OPEC and allied producers may cap output at current levels in February as the coronavirus pandemic keeps worries about first-half demand elevated.
- Gold prices started the new year on a high by notching an eight-week peak, as spiking COVID-19 cases and prospects of tougher restrictions boosted the safe-haven metal's appeal.
- Copper and most other industrial metals rose as a weaker U.S. dollar boosted the appeal of the greenback-priced metals, with sentiment aided by gains in the commodities markets on hopes of a recovery in the global economy.
- Chicago soybean futures kicked off 2021 on a bullish tone, climbing to their highest since June 2014 as tightening South American supplies and strong Chinese demand underpinned prices.
- Raw sugar futures on ICE climbed to a five-week high on Thursday, boosted by tightening supplies and a weakening dollar, while arabica coffee prices also advanced.
- Malaysian palm oil futures climbed, as rival soyoil gained on concerns over disruptions to Argentina supply and dry weather conditions in South America.

- Gold investors are awaiting the Georgia run-off on Tuesday with an eye on whether the Democrats will win both seats, thus securing a slim majority in the Senate and making further government spending more likely, says Daniel Briesmann, a commodities analyst at Commerzbank. The Democrats need both of the seats up for grabs to take control of the U.S.'s upper chamber. Doing so would increase President-elect Joe Biden's ability to "push through his planned expansionary fiscal policy," says Briesmann, which would likely pressure U.S. real yields even more and support gold prices, he says.

- The safe haven dollar will continue to weaken if the Democrats secure control of the Senate following Tuesday's Georgia runoff elections, MUFG Bank says. "It would open the door to a much bigger fiscal stimulus package under incoming President Joe Biden," MUFG currency analyst Lee Hardman says. The prospect of larger stimulus is likely to be "welcomed by risk assets" as it would help strengthen the global recovery, he says. "In contrast, the market reaction should be limited if the Republicans hold on to control of the Senate." The dollar index falls 0.6% to 89.4250, its lowest level since April 2018.

- The dollar falls as hopes the global economy will recover reduce demand for safe haven assets. Strong manufacturing purchasing managers' index surveys across Asia have raised economic recovery hopes, denting the dollar, Oanda analyst Jeffrey Halley says. However, investors should "probably wait" until after Tuesday's runoff elections in Georgia before "committing heavily" to new dollar short positions that bet on the currency weakening, he says.A Democrat victory would lead to a "sharp correction higher" in the dollar due to concerns about higher taxes, he says. The dollar index drops 0.4% to 89.5920, EUR/USD gains 0.2% to 1.2271 and GBP/USD rises 0.2% to 1.3693, having earlier reached its highest level since April 2018 at 1.3704, according to FactSet.

Dec 31 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ)

- The US dollar continues to fall, weakening broadly against major currencies, including 0.4% against the euro, 0.3% against the yen. The ICE US Dollar Index declines 0.4%, its fourth loss in five sessions. US stocks inched higher today with the Dow settling at a fresh high.

- The FTSE 100 index falls 1.4% to 6463.34 on the final trading day of the year as more areas of England were placed under stiff restrictive measures as the number of Covid-19 cases continues to increase. British Airways-owner International Consolidated Airlines is among the biggest fallers, down 3.1%, while alcoholic beverages giant Diageo loses 2.6%. The rise in the pound to its highest level against the dollar since April 2018 also weighs on internationally-focused stocks. Although the U.K.-EU trade deal was approved by a big margin in the U.K., there will now be concerns that a difficult adjustment to much more restrictive U.K.-EU trade will hurt many businesses. Trade is thin, however, with markets set to close early Thursday before Friday's New Year bank holiday.

- The FTSE 100 is expected to open 52.8 points lower on the final trading day of the year, according to IG, having closed Wednesday at 6555.82, amid concerns about rising coronavirus cases and the announcement of tougher restrictions in more parts of England. Internationally-focused stocks are likely to be hurt by the pound's rise overnight to its highest level since April 2018 against the dollar after the U.K. parliament backed the U.K.-EU trade deal by a large majority. Trading is likely to be quiet, with markets only open for half a day and closed on Friday, although there may be some last-minute year-end portfolio adjustments.

- Long-term Treasury yields extend gains, a bullish sign that belies reports that the new strain of coronavirus was found in Colorado, while vaccination remains slow and Congress fails to approve higher stimulus checks. RenMac research firm says odds of $2,000 stimulus payments increase if Democrats win Senate races in Georgia's runoffs. The benchmark 10-year yield is at 0.942%, up from 0.934% and off the morning high of 0.96%.

- WTI oil prices rise 0.7% to $48.34 a barrel and are within $1 of a 10-month-high amid a weaker dollar and expectations weekly EIA data will show a bullish decline in US oil inventories. A proposed US coronavirus stimulus package to pay individuals $2,000 could "add dollars to a system that is already flooded by greenbacks," says Mizuho's Bob Yawger. "The more greenbacks in the system, the cheaper the dollar...the cheaper the dollar, the more dollars it takes to buy a barrel of Crude Oil." Adding to price support, expectations are high that today's EIA data at 10:30 am will show drops in crude and fuel inventories on recovering demand.

- US stock futures climb as they enter the penultimate trading session of 2020 and investors watch the back and forth in Washington over the size of stimulus checks following the $900B relief bill's passage. Intel is off 1% in premarket trading after climbing 5% Tuesday following a call by an activist hedge fund for the chip maker to enact sweeping changes. AstraZeneca is up 2% after its Covid-19 vaccine, developed with the University of Oxford, gets green lighted by U.K. authorities for emergency use. Pending homes sales for November--a leading indicator of housing activity--are due later this morning. While the housing market was strong in the spring and summer, pending home sales dropped in October and are expected to fall again in November. S&P futures are up 11 points.

- The U.S. dollar continues its weakening trend against a basket of currencies on the back of further U.S. stimulus and the rollout of wide-scale Covid-19 inoculations. U.S. president Donald Trump's decision to sign off a new $900 billion fiscal stimulus package has helped buoy market sentiment over the economic outlook in 2021 in the last week of this year, despite a rising number of virus infections and an uptick in the death toll globally. The ICE U.S. DXY Dollar Index falls almost 0.3% at 89.7470, the lowest level since April 2018.

- Gold prices are flat as investors wind down activity during the last week of the year, while a move among U.S. lawmakers to raise the value of stimulus checks appears to stall. Comex gold futures are unchanged at $1,882.90 a troy ounce. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he would tie the bipartisan move to raise stimulus checks to $2,000 from $600 to two other issues that lack bipartisan support. Democrats said the decision to attach the checks to other, contentious issues was designed to sink the effort for bigger payments. Gold prices have been supported this year by the large levels of fiscal stimulus, which raises deficits and inflation expectations, both of which can support gold prices.

Dec 31 - Majority of Wall Street Investors Believe Stock Market Will TANK Under Biden Administration Compared to Trump Following 60 Percent Rally Since 2017

Two-thirds of Wall Street investors believe the stock market will fare worse under President-elect Joe Biden than under President Donald Trump.
A survey conducted by financial news network CNBC which questioned dozens of insiders, strategists and traders on Wall Street, say they believe stocks will see a far lower return in the next four years compared to the 60 percent rally they have undergone since Trump took office in January 2017.
The findings reveal mixed feelings among Wall Street traders with only 33 percent stating they believe stocks would be "better" under Biden than Trump mainly due to the president's corporate tax cuts which led to increased profits.
That said, out of those surveyed, despite a lower performance overall, the insiders still believe the market will continue to rise and 2021 will finish at a new high with the Dow closing above 35,000. It is currently at 30,400.
Only a small proportion (five percent) believe the Dow will reach the heights of 40,000 by this time next year.
Ten percent believe the Dow could go in the opposite direction and finish 2021 below 25,000.
A third also stated they believe Bitcoin will gain renewed traction next year to become the hottest new investment in 2021 with the crypto-currency becoming more acceptable among market-watchers.

The main reason for such a cautious outlook is in part due to Biden's tax plan which will see corporate taxes rise from 21 percent to 28 percent and a 15 percent alternative minimum tax to apply to corporate income higher than $100 million.
Trump's 2017 tax cuts are not set to sunset until 2025 and will require congress to act if they are to be reversed.
"The central banks are not going to give up their control over monetary policy. That's just not going to happen. The Fed will not give it up, the Bank of England will not give it up, the ECB will not give it up, the Bank of Canada and the reserve banks of New Zealand and Australia, the People's Bank of China, they're eventually not going to want to give up monetary authority. And that's just a given," said Dennis Gartman to Fox Business.
Gartman also warned investors to be wary of cryptocurrencies predicting a fall of between 40 and 50 percent should regulators step in.

Dec 30 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ)

- Gold prices are flat as investors wind down activity during the last week of the year, while a move among U.S. lawmakers to raise the value of stimulus checks appears to stall. Comex gold futures are unchanged at $1,882.90 a troy ounce. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he would tie the bipartisan move to raise stimulus checks to $2,000 from $600 to two other issues that lack bipartisan support. Democrats said the decision to attach the checks to other, contentious issues was designed to sink the effort for bigger payments. Gold prices have been supported this year by the large levels of fiscal stimulus, which raises deficits and inflation expectations, both of which can support gold prices.

- A federal judge freezes bondholders from enforcing a $1.9B claim against Venezuela's Citgo Petroleum pending an appeal by the country's US-backed opposition. Judge Katherine Polk Failla of the US District Court in New York blocked bondholders from foreclosing on Citgo, one of the largest US oil refiners. The ruling eliminates the risk Venezuelan opposition leaders will lose control of Citgo to creditors until the conclusion of a lengthy appeal process. The opposition movement in Caracas led by Juan Guaidó took over Citgo last year with the Trump administration's support. Removing the company from the hands of Venezuela's ruling regime was part of an unsuccessful US effort to drive President Nicolás Maduro from power. US sanctions also keep Citgo safe from seizure through at least July, and could be further extended by President-elect Joe Biden's Treasury Department.

- Treasury prices fall amid hopes Congress will substantially increase the value of stimulus checks to Americans, sending the 10-year yield up to 0.945% from 0.932%. Many investors see the potential fiscal impact as irrelevant. "I am not worried about more expansionary fiscal policy; it is helpful to offset the pandemic's effects," Bill Miller, portfolio manager at Miller Value Partners, tells WSJ. By selling off low-risk Treasurys, he says, "the market continues to tell us that deflation would present a much bigger issue than inflation. The Fed is likely on hold for years."

- WTI oil prices rise 1.2% to $48.20 a barrel ahead of weekly reports on US oil inventories that are expected to show bullish declines. Price support is also coming from improved risk appetite in the broader market and a weaker dollar that can boost oil purchases abroad. "The end of the year rally continues to extend itself as the futures point to a record higher opening this morning," says Peter Cardillo at Spartan Capital. "As congress passes a bill for $2,000 stimulus checks, the dollar index is lower sitting around its 52-week low." Trade group API reports weekly US inventory data at 4:30 pm ET, followed by official EIA data Wednesday.

- US stock futures are higher and hinting that benchmark indexes may continue to rally after closing at records Monday. Sentiment got a boost after the House approved sending $2,000 stimulus checks to many Americans, a day after President Trump signed a Covid-19 aid bill but said $600 payments were too small. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell hasn't commented on whether he will take up the bill. One stock to watch: Arcturus Therapeutics. It's off 37% premarket after releasing test data for its Covid-19 vaccine candidate that seemed to "raise more questions than answers," according to Guggenheim. Housing data in the spotlight over the next two days with the October S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices expected at 9am ET. On Wednesday, November pending home sales data is set for release. S&P futures up 15 points.

Dec 29 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on U.S. Politics ( WSJ DJ )

- The dollar faces further declines if U.S. inflation rises while the Federal Reserve keeps interest rates low, Saxo Bank says. The U.S. House of Representatives on Monday approved President Trump's proposal to increase stimulus checks to individuals, and if the Senate "moves forward with something on this scale," it could boost inflation unless recipients of the aid add to their savings, Saxo Bank forex strategist John Hardy says. A strong economic recovery on the successful rollout of vaccines in coming months and increased personal spending could bring a "rush of inflationary pressures," leading to "very negative" real inflation-adjusted interest rates and a weaker dollar, he says. The dollar index falls 0.3% to 90.0410.

- European stocks rise as the agreement of a U.K.-EU trade deal and U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to sign a $900 billion coronavirus relief bill boost investor sentiment. The Stoxx Europe 600 rises 1.1%, the FTSE 100 jumps 2.5%, the DAX climbs 0.4% and the CAC-40 adds 0.5% following record gains in U.S. stocks on Monday. Travel stocks such as TUI and Deutsche Lufthansa are among the best performers while U.K. bank stocks including Lloyds Banking Group and Barclays fall. AstraZeneca shares jump 4.6% on reports the U.K. will shortly approve its coronavirus vaccine developed with the University of Oxford.

- Base metals rise as the London Metal Exchange reopens following the Christmas holiday and metals welcome the news that President Trump signed a Covid-19 stimulus bill into law on Sunday. Three-month copper is up 0.6% at $7,877.50 a metric ton. Nickel gains 1% to $17,150 a ton and tin rises 0.8% to $20,200 a ton. Aluminum, however, falls 1.2% to $2,006 a ton. Base metals prices are correlated with global growth expectations, and the passage of the stimulus bill raises hopes that the U.S. recovery can continue despite the pandemic.

- The euro rises against the safe haven dollar as a post-Brexit trade deal and President Trump's decision to sign a coronavirus spending bill lift market sentiment. The U.K. and the EU agreed a trade deal last Thursday while Trump approved the $900 billion fiscal spending bill on Sunday. Meanwhile, the U.S. House of Representatives on Monday voted in favor of Trump's demand to increase coronavirus relief checks to $2,000 per individual from $600. "The Brexit and U.S. stimulus agreements minimize headline risk this week leaving year-end flows the primary driver of market movements," BK Asset Management forex analyst Kathy Lien says. EUR/USD rises 0.3% to 1.2256.

- Oil prices rise, lifted by U.S. measures to support the economy. Brent crude oil is up 1.2% at $51.50 a barrel and WTI is up 1.2% at $48.17 a barrel. U.S. politicians on Monday voted to raise stimulus checks to $2,000 from $600, a day after President Trump signed a Covid-19 aid bill into law. Both moves support hopes of higher oil demand, says Oanda market analyst Jeffrey Halley. However, plans by oil-producing nations to increase output in January and the Senate run-off in Georgia next week are "introducing a note of caution to an otherwise positive backdrop," Hally says. "That probably means that oil will continue to range sideways, albeit noisily, for the rest of the week," he adds.

- The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 closes up 0.7% at 398.58 as sentiment gets a boost after U.S. President Donald Trump finally signed a coronavirus stimulus package. "We can finally breathe a big sigh of relief and say that chaos over the stimulus bill is over," says Hussein Sayed, chief market strategist at online broker FXTM. "This could provide one last boost to risk assets in the last four trading days of the year," albeit likely a limited one as much of the news is "probably already priced in," he says. Agreement on a U.K.-EU trade deal late last week is also buoying sentiment. Trade is quiet, however, with U.K. markets closed for a public holiday and many traders away from their desks during the year-end holiday period. Germany's Dax index closes up 1.5% and France's CAC 40 ends up 1.2%.

- A risk-off mood sends Treasury bonds tumbling, with the benchmark 10-year yield rising to 0.953 from 0.933% on Thursday. The bulls are riding on Trump's approval of the stimulus bill. Investors are also increasingly seeking inflation protection, with the spread between the 10-year Treasury and the inflation-protected 10-year TIPS approaching 2%. Spartan's Peter Cardillo says part of the bullishness may stem from usual end-of-quarter portfolio adjustments as concerns over the economy ease.

- US stock futures gain after President Trump signed a $900B Covid-19 relief bill Sunday night, paving the way for the government to make direct payments to American households amid a surging coronavirus pandemic. In market news, US-listed shares of Alibaba Group Holding fall 1.4% ahead of the New York open after Chinese financial regulators moved to rein in Ant Group, the financial-technology giant controlled by billionaire Jack Ma. Alibaba, the e-commerce giant Ma co-founded, owns a third of Ant. Hong Kong-listed shares of Alibaba tumbled 8% Monday. AstraZeneca ADRs up 4% in premarket after the Financial Times says the U.K. is planning to approve a Covid-19 vaccine produced by AstraZeneca and Oxford University in the coming days. S&P futures rise 25 points.

- The safe-haven dollar falls after President Trump finally signed a coronavirus stimulus package, boosting market sentiment and lifting risky assets such as equities. "Currency markets are reflecting the upbeat mood with the safe-haven dollar declining against most major peers," says Hussein Sayed, chief market strategist at online broker FXTM. The DXY dollar index falls 0.3% to a one-week low of 90.0120, while EUR/USD rises around 0.3% to 1.2242. The rollout of Covid-19 vaccinations across Europe adds to the improved sentiment, Sayed says.

- Gold prices in New York rise following the long Christmas weekend halt to trading. The precious metal is lifted after President Trump signs into law a coronavirus relief bill, says Jeffrey Halley, market analyst at OANDA. Comex gold futures are up 0.3% at $1,888.10 a troy ounce. The fiscal and monetary support doled out by central banks and governments this year has driven expectations of higher inflation. That has supported gold which is generally considered a hedge against inflation. The signing of the bill has also weakened the dollar, which is also supporting gold, which is priced in dollars. The ICE Dollar Index falls 0.3% to 90.03.

Dec 28 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ )

- Japanese stocks extend gains as President Trump signs a pandemic-aid bill, easing concerns about a U.S. government shutdown. The Nikkei Stock Average is up 0.6% at 26814.26. Electronics stocks are getting a boost. Sony Corp. is up 2.3%, Murata Manufacturing is 3.3% higher and TDK Corp. is up 2.6%. Still, concerns about Japan's Covid-19 containment measures continue to weigh as both infections and deaths are on the rise. The airline sector is the worst performer. ANA Holdings is down 2.5% and Japan Airlines is 2.7% lower.

- Gold is higher in Asian trade as U.S. President Donald Trump signed the Covid-19 aid bill, averting a government shutdown. The precious metal gains after Trump tweeted that there is "good news" about the $900 billion bipartisan package, says Phillip Futures senior commodities manager Avtar Sandu. Spot gold is 0.8% higher at $1,894.04 an ounce.

- Base metals broadly rise after President Trump signaled that he would sign sweeping pandemic-aid legislation, which would avert a government shutdown. While traders are increasingly at odds over copper's direction, the outlook for the metal in 2021 should be positive, Huatai Futures says. A weak U.S. dollar due to the Fed's loose monetary stance and strong demand from China could buoy copper prices, the brokerage adds. The three-month LME copper contract is down 0.2% at $7,830 a ton, while the aluminum contract is up 0.1% at $2,030 a ton.

- Palm oil gains in early Asian trade, as two-month old bullish factors - low output and tight stockpile by the year-end - sustain the edible oil's rally without any healthy correction in sight, says a Kuala Lumpur-based palm oil analyst. The market might be overlooking some bearish factors, such as record-high Indonesian palm oil stocks and the projected rise in Malaysian palm oil output starting March, he says. The benchmark contract for March delivery increases MYR3 to MYR3,572 a ton on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange.

- Gold prices in New York rise following the long Christmas weekend halt to trading. The precious metal is lifted after President Trump signs into law a coronavirus relief bill, says Jeffrey Halley, market analyst at OANDA. Comex gold futures are up 0.3% at $1,888.10 a troy ounce. The fiscal and monetary support doled out by central banks and governments this year has driven expectations of higher inflation. That has supported gold which is generally considered a hedge against inflation. The signing of the bill has also weakened the dollar, which is also supporting gold, which is priced in dollars. The ICE Dollar Index falls 0.3% to 90.03.

- The Brexit deal agreed between the EU and the U.K. will avoid tariffs in bilateral trade but trading conditions are deteriorating when compared with the current situation, Christoph Balz, senior economist at Commerzbank, says. "Services were largely left out of the negotiations, even though they are much more important for the U.K. in particular than the exchange of goods," he says, noting that British financial companies lose automatic access to the EU market. Even though the deal avoids a scenario that would have led to mutual recriminations and poisoned relations between the EU and the U.K. in the years to come, the agreement's implementation will lead to renewed disputes, he says.

- The Brexit deal between the EU and the U.K. may boost sentiment, but most of the near-term costs associated with a no-deal are still likely to materialize, Citi economist Benjamin Nabarro says. "We expect newfound U.K.-EU trade frictions to hit the U.K. economy hard in early 2021, leaving output around 2% or 2.5% smaller than in a scenario in which the transition was extended," he says. In Citi's view, the economic benefits of the trade deal are relatively limited compared with trading on WTO terms, as the agreement does "very little" beyond ensuring zero tariffs and quotas.

- Hong Kong stocks ended the session lower, with the benchmark Hang Seng Index losing 0.3% to settle at 26314.63. Chinese tech stocks continued to decline after authorities last week launched an antitrust probe into e-commerce giant Alibaba, whose shares slumped 8.0% during today's session. Food-delivery company Meituan shed 6.8% and Tencent lost 6.7%. Hardware makers also weakened, with smartphone company Xiaomi dropping 4.0% and component supplier AAC Technologies down 3.0%.

- China is unlikely to impose extreme measures on internet companies as it pushes for antimonopoly rules in the industry, Nomura says. The investment bank believes the authorities will try to balance regulation and growth, particularly when dealing with "giants that not only form a cornerstone of China's entire internet industry, but also spearhead technological innovation that the country so badly needs." There is unlikely to be "excessively strict regulation" or orders to break up certain major companies, which some investors have been concerned about since the latest antitrust probe into Alibaba, Nomura says, adding closer scrutiny on the sector will likely last through 2021.

- European stocks rise in early trade, with the pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 up 0.4% at 397.73, after President Trump signed a coronavirus-stimulus package, having objected to the legislation last week. Combined with the agreement of a U.K.-EU trade deal, this helps to bolster market sentiment. Trade is likely to be thin, however, as U.K. markets are closed for a public holiday and many traders are away from their desks during the year-end holiday period. German airline Deutsche Lufthansa is the biggest pan-European riser, up 4.8%, while banks are also broadly higher. Germany's DAX 30 rises 1.4%, while France's CAC 40 is up 0.5% and Italy's FTSE MIB is up 0.7%.

- Chinese stocks ended the session mixed, maintaining muted trading momentum since earlier this month. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index edged up 0.72 point to settle at 3397.29, while the Shenzhen Composite Index lost 0.99 point to 2273.01. The ChiNext Price Index, a measure for emerging industries and startups, added 0.1% to 2842.81. Consumer-product sectors such as food-and-beverage stocks and home-appliance makers were the top risers, while financial and telecommunication industries weighed on the market.

- The Kospi eked out a small gain on a mix of institutional buying of blue chips before Tuesday's ex-dividend date and retail profit-taking after the index hit a new intraday high. Heavyweight Samsung Electronics added 1.2%, Hyundai Motor rose 1.3% and LG Electronics jumped 11%. Among decliners, chip maker SK Hynix erased early gains to close 2.1% lower while Naver shed 0.4%. The Kospi closed 0.1% higher at 2808.60. Korean markets close Wednesday until the new year.

Dec 24 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- Oil climbed for a second day in light holiday trade as a drawdown in U.S. stockpiles of crude and gasoline raised demand hopes, while hints of an imminent Brexit deal raised investors' risk appetite.
- Gold prices edged up as the dollar eased and investors bet on further U.S. stimulus though President Donald Trump threatened to veto a long-awaited pandemic relief bill.
- London copper prices edged lower, giving up some of the previous session's gains, although the market remained close to its highest since 2013 on expectations of economic recovery and Chinese demand.
- Chicago soybeans gained more ground, with prices climbing to their highest since 2014, as concerns about supplies from Argentina underpinned the market.  
- Asia's coffee export markets were dull this week with few deals clinched ahead of the Christmas and New Year holidays, while prices in Vietnam edged up due to unfavourable weather, traders said.
- Malaysian palm oil futures rose, tracking gains in rival oils on the Dalian Commodity Exchange and Chicago Board of Trade as markets worried over tight Argentine supplies due to labour strikes.

- A Brexit deal could lead global investors to reconnect with U.K. domestic-focused companies, which have suffered an elongated period of international disengagement after the result of the June 2016 vote, Jefferies says. "We expect global investors to refocus on UK domestic earners with major non-pound sourcing," analysts at Jefferies say. Interest in grocers Tesco, J Sainsbury and Wm. Morrison Supermarkets, as well as in Next PLC, Marks & Spencer Group and B&M European Value Retail should be rekindled, the bank says. Exporters such as Primark-owner Associated British Foods and Kingfisher stand out as relative laggards on Brexit merits alone given foreign-exchange translation effects, Jefferies says.

- Copper prices in London are flat as trading is likely to be thin ahead of the Christmas holidays. Three-month copper prices on the London Metals Exchange are unchanged at $7,847 a metric ton. The exchange will be closed Friday and Monday for the U.K.'s Christmas and Boxing Day holidays while some other financial markets in Europe and the U.S. will close early Thursday. Other base metals were gaining some support from a weaker dollar. Aluminum was up 1.2% at $2,027 a ton while zinc rose 1.3% to $2,861 a ton and nickel gained 1.4% to $17,090 a ton.

- London gold prices are up 0.4% at $1,879.63 a troy ounce, with expectations that a Brexit deal between the U.K. and the EU is imminent, according to Oanda's Edward Moya. While a deal would reduce geopolitical risk, it has also buoyed the British pound against the dollar, and the dollar and gold tend to move inversely to one another. "Gold could see further gains if Congress and President Trump are able to quickly resolve the stimulus impasse," he says. LME three-month copper futures are up 0.2% at $7,861 a metric ton, reducing their losses this week to less than 2%. Broader bullish sentiment in financial markets and a weaker dollar have also helped copper claw back some ground, CMC Markets' David Madden says.

- Base metals prices are mixed amid thin trading volumes ahead of the Christmas break. Markets will likely be buoyed by positive fundamentals, ANZ says. Aluminum could gain due to concerns that the U.S. may reinstate sanctions on Rusal, a major supplier of the metal, the bank says. The three-month LME copper contract slips 0.1% to $7,834 a metric ton while the three-month aluminum contract is up 0.1% at $2,007 a ton.

- Australian shares are expected to open higher, Morningstar says, with ASX/SPI futures up 47 points at 6612 ahead of the open. It is nevertheless likely to be a relatively quiet day of trading, with the market scheduled to close early ahead of the Christmas holiday. BHP says its Samarco joint venture with Vale is restarting iron-ore operations, while Cimic signs final documentation for the 50% sale of its Thiess unit. Think Childcare has also confirmed a revised takeover proposal from Alceon.

- The US dollar weakens 0.3% against the euro and 0.1% against the yen following some mixed economic data today. The WSJ Dollar Index falls 0.3%. Jobless claims declined to just over 800,000 last week and November household spending fell for the first time in months. The UK pound strengthens 1% against the dollar on reports the UK and EU are close to a Brexit trade deal.

- Steel supply outside of China is yet to catch up with demand, which has picked up globally, although it "is likely to return to balance by mid-2021," according to KeyBanc Capital Markets. Output beyond China, by far the world's top maker of the material, "continues to recover gradually, yet with significant ground to cover to reach normal levels," notes KeyBanc. An easing in China's otherwise strong output growth rate is likely due to seasonal weakness and higher raw material prices, it adds.

- Livestock futures on the CME finished higher - with most-active live cattle futures gaining 1.1% to $1.14275 per pound, while lean hog futures closed up 2.8% at 67.85 cents per pound. This morning's export sales report from the USDA showed that while 2020 sales are diminished, sales for 2021 are picking up steam. "Meat sales for the week were also mixed with more interest being shown for next year than 2020," says Karl Setzer of AgriVisor. Pork exports totaled 16,300 metric tons for 2020, and 23,400 tons for 2021. Beef exports totaled 6,000 tons for 2020, with 7,200 tons for 2021.

- Natural gas prices drop 6.2% to end the session at $2.608/mmBtu, the biggest one-day decline in two weeks as the market retreats sharply from Tuesday's three-week-high. Prices rallied in recent days amid a blast of pre-Christmas, arctic air that boosted gas-fired heating demand. But NatGasWeather.com has already dropped its seven-day outlook for nationwide demand to "LOW" from "HIGH" just a few days ago, and weather forecasts for early 2021 are also looking a bit less bullish than previously thought. A slightly-smaller-than-forecast decline in the EIA's report on weekly gas inventories also influenced the day's sell-off, as it kept a bearish storage surplus intact.

- US benchmark oil prices jump 2.3% to close at $48.12 a barrel as risk appetite improves amid some expectations that a coronavirus stimulus package could be increased to provide some $2,000 in payouts to individuals. Crude prices also got a boost from weekly EIA data that showed an across-the-board decline in US inventories for three key indicators -- crude-oil, gasoline and diesel fuel. The data also showed a second-straight weekly increase in implied gasoline demand, to 8M bpd, as many Americans choose to travel for the Christmas holiday despite warnings from some health officials. But WTI remains $1 lower for the week and on track for its first weekly decline in eight weeks.

- Grain shipments in the US are up slightly from last week, the USDA says in its weekly grains transportation report, which was released early ahead of Christmas. According to the USDA, US Class I railroads originated 28,390 grain carloads during the week ending Dec. 12, up 2% from the previous week and 37% more than last year. However, barge movements are down 11% from the previous week, totaling 996,816 metric tons, which is more than double from the same time last year. Indications of higher domestic movement of grains are bullish indicators for CBOT futures.

- Grains futures trading on the CBOT rise, but if they turn lower in the coming days, there's only so far traders expect them to fall. "We don't see July Soybeans trading below $11 [per bushel] or July corn below $4 [per bushel] anytime soon," Craig Turner of Daniels Trading says. For corn, many factors are at play that are expected to support futures. "I don't see July corn going below $4 given the current carryout, likely South American production issues, high prices around the world, [and] the fight for acres we are going to see in the US between corn and soybeans," Turner says. Corn futures are up 1.2% to nearly $4.49 a bushel, while soybeans rise 0.8% to over $12.60.

- Wheat futures are trading at their highest level since October due in part to strong winds hitting the US Plains. "Wheat prices are also posting double-digit gains today, with Russian export targets being lowered and with strong dry winds now buffeting much of the US central and northern Plains hard red winter wheat belt," Arlan Suderman of StoneX says. In the western Midwest, blizzard conditions are expected later this week. Most-active wheat futures on the CBOT rise 2.4%, corn gains 1.3% and soybeans are up 1%.

- The number of active, oil-targeted rigs in the US rises for a fifth consecutive week and for the 13th time in the past 14 weeks, according to data from oilfield services company Baker Hughes. The report shows a one-rig increase in the latest week, to 264, the highest total since early May, but far below the 683 oil rig-count in early March, just before the coronavirus pandemic hit, oil prices collapsed and new drilling activity dried up. Oil prices show little reaction to the somewhat bearish report, with WTI crude still up 2.5% at $48.17 a barrel, and the global benchmark Brent 2.4% higher at $51.27.

- Natural gas prices extend earlier declines, falling 4.6% to $2.651/mmBtu after the EIA reports a slightly-smaller-than-forecast decline in gas inventories. The government agency says gas-in-storage fell last week by 152B cubic feet, compared to predictions in a WSJ survey for a 159-bcf decline. That puts total storage at 3.574T cubic feet, which is a 7% surplus to the five-year-average. Prices were already declining before the report due to weather forecasts for the next two weeks that look somewhat bearish compared to the current, pre-Christmas cold snap.

Dec 23 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- Oil fell in early trade after industry data showed U.S. crude oil stocks rose last week, defying expectations for a decline, and U.S. President Donald Trump rattled markets by threatening not to sign a long-awaited COVID-19 relief bill.
- Gold prices rose, helped by a weaker dollar and as investors remained optimistic about a U.S. stimulus package even after President Donald Trump threatened not to sign the pandemic relief bill.
- Nickel prices dropped to their lowest in two week as a more infectious coronavirus strain dimmed hopes of a swift global economic recovery, while a trading limit on iron ore triggered a broader sell-off in ferrous-related commodities.
- U.S. soybeans snapped a four-day rally in thin trading ahead of holidays, as traders booked profits after prices hit a more than six-year high in the previous session, while supply concerns due to South American weather capped losses.
- Raw sugar futures on ICE steadied on Tuesday as some risk appetite returned to the wider financial markets, with global equities moving higher thanks to a U.S. stimulus deal that offset angst over the new, highly infectious coronavirus variant.
- Malaysian palm oil futures reversed course to edge higher as fears of a potential supply crunch and gains in rival soyoil helped offset pressure from higher export taxes.

- Late-stage Brexit trade talks and President Trump's surprise overnight refusal to sign off a Covid-19 relief stimulus package approved earlier this week by Congress have so far failed to trigger demand for the haven U.S. dollar, Hussein Sayed, chief market strategist at FXTM, says. "There has so far been little demand for the safe-haven dollar on Wednesday," as the currency has declined against most major currencies, he says. The U.S. dollar DXY index is last down almost 0.3% at 90.4260.

- The FTSE 100 index is expected to open 15 points lower at 6438 after U.S. President Trump overnight demanded changes to a $900 billion stimulus bill passed by Congress earlier this week. "There are concerns he will not sign it off," David Madden, market analyst at CMC Markets, says. U.S. index futures came under pressure on the news but they have since recovered--though European indices are tipped to open in the red, he says. U.K. equity traders appear to be shrugging off the reopening of cross-border trade between the U.K. and France, providing lorry drivers test negative for Covid-19. Thousands of lorries had been stuck at the Channel after France closed its border Sunday due to concerns over a new virus variant in England.

- Base metals fell in early Asian trade, with Mizuho saying investor sentiment has been dented by the possible derailment of a U.S. fiscal stimulus package passed by Congress. President Trump in a tweeted video criticized the roughly $900 billion coronavirus relief deal and called on lawmakers to amend the bill. The approval of the stimulus package would have been a boost for metal prices, ANZ says. The three-month LME copper contract falls 0.3% to $7,724.00 a metric ton while the three-month aluminum contract is down 0.1% at $1,993.00 a ton.

- The approval of a Covid-19 stimulus package through Congress includes $13B apportioned for agriculture, a welcome fresh wave of government aid for the beleaguered industry. "The assistance provided by this bill will go a long way in providing the certainty corn growers need to recover from the impact of the coronavirus on our industry," says John Linder, president of the National Corn Growers Association. The bill is particularly beneficial for the ethanol industry, with biofuel producers deemed eligible for aid and tax credits extended. "More than half of the ethanol industry shut down during the extraordinary demand collapse in the spring," Renewable Fuels Association head Geoff Cooper says.

- The Senate has twice adopted legislation this month setting a markedly bipartisan course for NASA that strongly reduces the likelihood of landing astronauts on the lunar surface by 2024 like officials in the Trump White House have envisioned. The omnibus year-end spending bill allocates $23.3B for FY21, about $2B less than NASA leaders requested. The difference means development of human landers for the moon will be delayed, though spending on the deep-space Orion capsule and Space Launch System rocket still match White House requests. Just days earlier, the Senate unanimously passed a largely symbolic NASA authorization bill establishing similar priorities. The pair of votes appears to set the stage for the incoming Biden team at NASA to steer more funding toward science and robotic missions.

Dec 22 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- Oil prices dropped further, adding to steep losses from the previous session, as a new strain of the novel coronavirus in the United Kingdom triggered concerns over fuel demand recovery.
- Gold prices fell, as support from the U.S. Congress passing a long-awaited near $900 billion coronavirus aid was countered by a stronger dollar, while some profit-taking also weighed on sentiment.
- Base metals prices mostly fell on concerns that a more contagious new strain of the coronavirus detected in the United Kingdom could hurt global economic recovery.
- U.S. soybean futures rose for a fourth consecutive session to hit a more than six-year high as adverse weather in South America and a labour strike stoked concerns about global supplies.
- Arabica coffee fell on Monday as investors sought refuge in the perceived safety of the dollar, unnerved by news of a fast-spreading new coronavirus strain that shut down much of the United Kingdom and disrupted international freight.
- Malaysian palm oil futures jumped more than 1.5%, tracking gains in rival oils on the Dalian Commodity Exchange and the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) on global supply concerns.

- The Senate has twice adopted legislation this month setting a markedly bipartisan course for NASA that strongly reduces the likelihood of landing astronauts on the lunar surface by 2024 like officials in the Trump White House have envisioned. The omnibus year-end spending bill allocates $23.3B for FY21, about $2B less than NASA leaders requested. The difference means development of human landers for the moon will be delayed, though spending on the deep-space Orion capsule and Space Launch System rocket still match White House requests. Just days earlier, the Senate unanimously passed a largely symbolic NASA authorization bill establishing similar priorities. The pair of votes appears to set the stage for the incoming Biden team at NASA to steer more funding toward science and robotic missions.

- Spot gold failed to post a sustainable rebound and retreated from $1,884.0.
Currently, the gold prices returned to the level below both declining 20-period and 50-period moving averages. The 14-period RSI locates at 30s, suggesting the downside momentum for the prices. The MACD is below its 0-level and signal line. In this case, as long as the resistance level at $1,884.0 is not surpassed, the yellow metal prices could consider a drop to $1,855 and even to $1,844 in extension. On the other hand, a break above $1,884 would turn the outlook to positive and call for a rebound with a target at $1,893.0. Spot gold is trading at $1,872 an ounce.

- Metals prices are heading for another down day, with LME three-month copper futures down 1% at $7,797 a metric ton, extending its losses this week. Several metals in both the industrial and precious baskets dropped on Monday, with the dollar recovering on a combination of health and Brexit anxieties in Europe, CMC Markets' David Madden says. Copper investors are also dumping bets on rising prices, RBC Capital Markets analyst Sam Crittenden says.

Dec 21 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- Oil prices dropped about 3% as a fast-spreading new coronavirus strain that has shut down much of the United Kingdom fuelled worries over a slower recovery in fuel demand amid tighter restrictions in Europe.
- Gold climbed to a six-week high, driven by news that U.S. congressional leaders reached agreement on a COVID-19 aid package, while lockdowns in the United Kingdom soured appetite for riskier assets and added to the metal's support.
- London copper dipped from a key $8,000 per tonne level, after a seven-week rally, as a stronger dollar dented the appeal of the greenback-priced LME metals.
- U.S. soybean futures scaled a more than six-year high, underpinned by concerns about production in South America.
- Raw sugar futures closed down 1.6% on ICE to end the week at the exact same point where they started it, as the uncertainty about U.S. coronavirus relief legislation and a high global number of coronavirus cases weighed on sentiment on Friday.
- Malaysian palm oil futures snapped a three-day rally to trade slightly lower, tracking losses in soyoil on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT), although the losses were limited following a jump in exports.

- London copper futures are down 0.7% at $7,936 a metric ton, with the impact of fresh coronavirus restrictions and the emergence in the U.K. of a new more transmissible strain of the coronavirus not spreading through the commodities basket beyond oil. Copper prices, however, are still up 5% this month. A boost for the U.S. dollar means that dollar-denominated copper prices are now more expensive for other currency holders. China's economic rebound from the coronavirus has also had a major impact on prices in recent months. Citi's China Copper End-use Tracker shows double-digit growth for a second month in November, meaning China's year-to-date end-use copper consumption is almost flat, "a long way from the 20% year on year decline in 1Q 2020," the bank notes.

- The FTSE 100 falls 1.5% to 6434.19 as stocks of travel companies, banks, home builders and retailers drop as a new Covid-19 strain prompted fresh restrictions in parts of England and European countries cut travel links with the U.K. to contain its spread. U.K.-EU trade talks remain at an impasse days before the transition period is due to end. "The new coronavirus strain is weighing heavily on sentiment as the U.K.'s isolation from Europe becomes increasingly physical as well as conceptual," says Richard Hunter, head of markets at Interactive Investor. British Airways-owner International Consolidated Airlines slides 14.2%, Lloyds Banking Group drops 7%, British Land is down 7.3% and Associated British Food loses 5.1%. Oil giant Shell falls 4.6% after saying it expects to book charges of between $3.5 billion to $4.5 billion in 4Q.

- Trump enacts law that could expel Chinese firms from US stock markets
Donald Trump on Friday enacted a law that would drive Chinese companies off U.S. stock exchanges unless they adhere to the country's audit standards, the White House said, giving the Republican president a new tool to threaten Beijing before leaving office in January. The "Foreign Business Responsibility Act" prohibits foreign company securities from ticking on any U.S. stock exchange if they have not complied with audits by the Public Accounting Oversight Board for three years in a row. Although applied to companies in any country, the law sponsors attempted to link it to target Chinese companies listed in the United States, such as Alibaba, technology firm Pinduoduo Inc and oil giant PetroChina Co Ltd.
Legislation, like many others that take a tougher line with Chinese companies, had been passed by Congress by wide margins e.g.
Lawmakers, both Democrats and Republicans, echo the president's hard line against Beijing, which became fiercer this year when Trump blamed China for the coronavirus ravaging the United States.
The law would also require public companies to disclose whether they are owned or controlled by a foreign government. Chinese officials have criticized the measure as a discriminatory policy that politically oppresses their companies. Authorities have long been reluctant to allow foreign regulators to inspect local accounting firms, citing national security concerns.

Dec 18 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- The US dollar continues to weaken as stocks climb to all-time highs and Congress continues to hammer out a coronavirus relief package. US currency softens 0.6% against the euro and 0.3% against the yen, and the ICE US Dollar Index falls 0.7%, its biggest one-day loss since early November. The pound has appreciated this week on optimism over Brexit negotiations.

- Oil prices eased but stayed within touching distance of nine-month highs hit in the previous session as soaring COVID-19 cases weigh on fuel demand and U.S. lawmakers battle over a $900 billion economic stimulus package.
- Gold prices retreated as the dollar rebounded, after growing U.S. stimulus hopes drove a three-day rally in bullion, putting the metal on course for a third consecutive weekly gain.
- Shanghai copper prices leaped to a more than nine-year high, while the London contract breached the key $8,000 per tonne mark to hit a near eight-year peak, buoyed by low inventories and U.S. stimulus hopes.
- U.S. soybean futures rose more than 1% as upbeat demand and concerns about dry weather conditions in key growing areas of South America pushed prices to their highest in more than six years.
- Sugar, coffee and New York cocoa futures on ICE rose on Thursday buoyed by the weakness of the dollar, while sterling-denominated London cocoa prices eased.
- Malaysian palm oil futures rose nearly 1.5% as traders expect another month of subdued production and improving exports.

- China looks like it will need a few million metric tons of U.S. soybeans this marketing year but there are some complications, Darin Friedrichs of StoneX says. "First is that Brazil is cheaper so there's an incentive to wait. Also, soybean and soybean meal stocks [in China] are also at high levels for this time of year," the senior Asia commodity analyst says. Because of this, some companies might feel comfortable with their stocks levels and try to wait until Brazil has a new crop.

- Grain markets are generally well-supplied, but the fundamental picture is darkening, with dry weather recorded in various wheat-growing areas, especially Eastern Europe as well as parts of South America during an important part of the planting season, Fitch Solutions says in a note. This has sent soybean, wheat and corn prices rallying, it adds. Speculative sentiment is now very bullish and prices are likely to be buffeted by a combination of factors including external market volatility, especially relating to U.S.-China trade, and a significant recent ramp-up in Chinese grain purchases, Fitch Solutions says.

- Base metals gain in early trade, buoyed by rising optimism that U.S. lawmakers are close to agreeing on a fiscal stimulus package, ANZ says. Industrial metals lead gains, with copper extending its rally amid strong demand from China. The three-month LME copper contract is 1.3% higher at $8,025.00 a metric ton, while the aluminum contract gains 1.0% to $2,072.00 a ton on reports that the U.S. could reapply sanctions on Rusal, which could crimp the supply of the metal, ANZ adds.

- Palm oil prices gain on market expectations for a tight supply situation to persist in the near term amid labor shortages in Malaysia, says a Kuala Lumpur-based palm oil trader. The vegetable oil market will likely remain resilient in the near term as sentiment is boosted by December exports estimates, which indicate strong external market demand, he says. The benchmark contract for March delivery rises MYR27 to MYR3,405 a metric ton on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange.

- Gold is lower in Asia trade as bullish sentiment has temporarily given way to profit-taking and vaccine optimism, says axi. The research firm says hopes for a year-end breach of the technical and psychologically significant $1900 level were dashed by Covid-19 vaccine developments. The EU drug regulator is slated to decide on the Pfizer vaccine, now being distribution on Dec. 21. Spot gold is 0.3% lower at $1,879.08 an ounce.

- Morgan Stanley turns more positive on the Australian energy sector, arguing that downside risks are receding and share prices can rise more if oil continues to rise toward US$50-55/bbl. The bank expects Brent crude -- the global oil-price benchmark -- to reach US$55/bbl by 2H of 2021, and it has also increased its long-term price forecast to US$47.50/bbl. "In our large cap coverage, Oil Search retains the most leverage to Brent with near 50% upside at US$55/bbl as growth projects in Papua New Guinea and Alaska offer significant upside," Morgan Stanley says. So, its price target for Oil Search rises 21% to A$4.00/share.

- Morgan Stanley expects the Australian government to end its JobKeeper wage subsidy in March, but its fiscal policy should continue to boost the economy through 2021. The bank expects recently implemented income-tax cuts and business investment incentives to drive a recovery from Australia's first recession in 29 years. "We continue to expect the next Federal Budget in May 2021 (potentially the last before the next election) will be a stimulatory one, with further spending measures likely to be announced," Morgan Stanley says. The AUD/USD is at 0.7620 today.

- The S&P/TSX index rises 0.5% to 17652, while the blue-chip S&P/TSX 60 index climbs 0.4% to 1050. Among the winners are gold stocks like Centerra Gold, up 6.8%, and Kinross Gold, rising 3.5%. Cannabis stocks are mostly lower across the board a day after Canadian pot companies Aphria and Tilray agreed to merge. The combined company will control 17% of the adult-use Canadian cannabis market by revenue, according to Raymond James.

- Natural gas slides as storage levels remain higher than usual despite a steeper-than-expected inventory reduction of 122B cubic feet in the EIA weekly report and a snow storm in the east coast. Mizuho's Robert Yawger says future contracts for the last month of winter are trading lower than the first month of summer. "That is not a good sign of the times for natural gas," he says. "Bottom line, too much gas in storage," and it's needed "a draw of 130 to move the needle to higher prices." Natural gas for January closes down 1.5%, at $2.64/mmBtu.

- Oil rises for the fourth consecutive session as investors look past dismal short-term economic data to bet on the benefits of mass vaccination expected for 2021. "I don't know if much has changed from the demand standpoint," Direxion's Ed Egilinsky tells WSJ. "I think it's more due to the cooperation with OPEC+ in terms of some level of supply cuts remaining intact longer and the fact that we have a vaccine and that demand will start to pick up," he says. The US WTI benchmark rises 1.1% to $48.36 a barrel, the highest settlement since February.

- Livestock futures trading on the CME close mixed. Live cattle futures closed 0.6% higher at $1.1445 per pound, while lean hog futures were down 0.7% to 65.5 cents per pound. For cattle, movement in futures comes ahead of tomorrow's Cattle on Feed report from the USDA -- with analysts surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expecting the amount of cattle on feed as of December 1 to be roughly the same as the previous month. For hogs, many traders are looking ahead to next week's quarterly hogs and pigs report -- with growing supplies of heavy swine expected.

Dec 17 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- Oil hit a nine-month high after government data showed a fall in U.S. crude stockpiles last week, while progress towards a U.S. fiscal stimulus deal and strong Asian demand also buoyed prices.
- Gold prices scaled a fresh one-week peak as progress on a U.S. fiscal stimulus deal weighed on the dollar, while a pledge by the Federal Reserve to keep rates low until an economic recovery is secure lent further support.
- Copper prices, often seen as a gauge of global economic health, rose, with the London contract set for a third straight session of gains, as investors eyed more stimulus and support from the United States, the world's largest economy.
- U.S. wheat futures rose as Russia, one of the world's largest producers of the crop, moved to limit exports, while soybeans and corn firmed on concerns about production in South America.
- Arabica coffee futures on ICE rose to a three-month high on Wednesday, buoyed by supportive technicals and a lack of selling by producers, while raw sugar prices also advanced on a day when the Indian government finally decided on subsidies for exports.
- Malaysian palm oil futures rose for a second straight session on the back of strength in rival oils on the Dalian Commodity Exchange and the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT), although a stronger ringgit capped gains.

- The incoming Biden administration's climate plan is ambitious, particularly in targeting net-zero emissions by 2050, HSBC says, noting that if the plan is realized, incumbent energy companies like oil and gas would face challenges. Biden has pledged to invest $2 trillion over four years in clean energy, low-carbon transport, building energy efficiency and infrastructure. HSBC says the plan could be challenging to turn into law given the competing and urgent challenges the country faces in containing the coronavirus pandemic and rebuilding the economy. "With the U.S. accounting for around 15% of global emissions, we think re-joining the Paris Agreement can catalyze global impetus around climate action", HSBC says.

- Canada has relied on domestic consumption, housing and immigration to fuel growth. The arrival of President-elect Joe Biden could force Canada to work harder to attract newcomers to the country, Bank of Canada Gov. Tiff Macklem said. In remarks, Macklem did not mention the Trump administration by name. He said, instead: "For the past four years, the policies and attitudes of the US administration helped make Canada look more attractive to students and workers, giving us an advantage. With the incoming US administration, Canadian schools and companies may have to fight harder to attract and retain talent." Economists at Royal Bank of Canada had previously warned that race for talent was going to get tougher for Canada with President-elect Biden's arrival.

- Striving to lock in space priorities as the Trump administration winds down, a Presidential memo calls for the Pentagon and NASA to rely heavily on private data to track debris posing potential threats to commercial and government satellites circling earth. The wide-ranging document, covering military, civilian and corporate space activities, envisions using such commercial information to help foster a safe and predictable space environment including "measures to mitigate orbital debris." Other provisions call for the military and federal agencies to refrain from competing with commercial entities to the fullest extent feasible, while fostering commercial initiatives aimed at identifying and tracking various objects in orbits close to the earth and deeper in space.

Dec 16 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- The dollar languished near 2-1/2-year lows as progress toward a massive U.S. government spending bill and COVID-19 relief measures whetted risk appetite, sapping demand for the safest assets.

- Oil prices dropped on a surprise gain in crude oil inventories in the United States and as investors continued to worry about demand for fuel being squeezed amid tighter lockdowns in Europe to counter the coronavirus pandemic.
- Gold prices rose to a one-week high, building on the previous session's rally on growing prospects of further U.S. stimulus, while investors awaited the Federal Reserve's policy decision.
- Copper prices advanced as market sentiment was boosted by solid manufacturing data from top consumer China and the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines in some major economies.
- U.S. soybean futures edged higher as strong demand pushed the oilseed to more than a two-week high.
- Raw sugar futures on ICE closed up on Tuesday for the first time in the last four sessions, recovering from some recent losses amid projections for lower Brazil production next season.
- Malaysian palm oil futures climbed more than 1%, as rival Dalian and CBOT soyoils gained while cargo surveyor data showing a rise in exports for the first half of December also underpinned prices.

- Gold has recorded a series of higher tops and higher bottoms since Dec. 14, confirming a bullish outlook. Currently, gold prices are trading above both the rising 20-period and 50-period moving averages. The 14-period RSI is above its neutrality level at 50, suggesting the lack of downward momentum for prices. The MACD is above its 0-level. As a result, as long as the support level at $1,843.0 isn't broken, gold prices could expect a rise to $1,866.0 and even to $1,875.0 in extension. On the other hand, a break below $1,843.0 would call for a drop to $1,834.0 an ounce. Spot gold is trading at $1,854.1 an ounce. [This piece contains the opinions of Trading Central and does not constitute personalized investment advice or form part of any invitation or inducement to buy or sell any security. The author has been prohibited by Trading Central from purchasing or otherwise directly or indirectly acquiring any direct or indirect beneficial ownership of any instruments or markets for which Trading Central or its affiliates issues recommendations.

- Copper demand next year should continue to benefit from the effects of Chinese stimulus while also being boosted by a broader global economic recovery, Fitch Solutions says, upgrading its 2021 average copper-price forecast to $6,800/ton from $6,300/ton previously. Copper, currently fetching $7,800/ton, will battle some headwinds related to supply, Fitch notes, tipping a recovery in copper mine output and downstream production outside of China.

- Base metals rise in morning trade as investors continue to cheer stronger-than-expected Chinese economic data released on Tuesday. Copper has been in demand on expectations for higher demand from China, the world's biggest consumer of the metal, ANZ says. China's major economic indicators, including industrial output, investment and consumer spending, all grew at faster paces last month, according to official data. The three-month LME copper contract is up 0.6% at $7,825 a metric ton while the aluminum contract is up 0.3% at $2,037 a ton.

- Dairy auction prices posted gains for the third consecutive week, indicating that the recovery in global dairy demand is on solid ground, says Nathan Penny, agri economist at Westpac Bank. "In fact, we argue that further price increases may be likely over 2021 as the Covid vaccine rolls out and in-restaurant demand picks up, for example." He notes that global supply is unlikely to respond in the short term, thus providing prices with room to go higher. The Global Dairy Price Index ended up 1.3% in the overnight auction.

- China's egg prices have rallied sharply, with the May contract up 13% the past four trading days, says Darin Friedrichs, senior Asia commodity analyst at StoneX. "The increased bullishness seems to be attributed to increased demand ahead of the holiday, increased protein prices as hogs and pork continue to rally, and the oversupply situation in poultry getting fixed." He said egg prices had been pushed down earlier in the year, as small farmers switched from raising hogs to raising chickens. However, many of these small farmers have now left the industry due to overcapacity and high feed costs.

- ICE sugar prices will likely be higher in 2021 on average, according to Fitch Solution, which raised its average annual forecast to $0.137 a pound from $0.127. It says that the supply outlook for sugar has deteriorated significantly in recent months due to a confluence of factors, including weather challenges in Thailand, low prices in Russia and disease in the European Union. It notes that it also sees significant downside risks to the 2021-22 production outlook for Brazil due to La Niña. ICE front-month sugar is currently trading at $0.1424 a pound.

- The Westpac-Melbourne Institute's leading index of Australian economic activity stood at 97.00 in November, a jump from 96.56 in October, signaling that above-trend growth in the economy will continue in the near term. The jump reflects rising share prices, supported by low interest rates and higher international commodity prices, such as for iron ore. Still, a rising Australian dollar is proving to be a headwind by crimping commodity price gains, the report showed. The economy grew by a strong 3.3% in 3Q and is expected to expand strongly in 4Q.

- Meat grown from animal cells is set to hit the menu of a Singapore restaurant this weekend, marking the first time the long-in-development product will be sold and served to the general public. The restaurant 1880 is gearing up to offer a limited amount of cell-culture chicken developed by California company Eat Just, which says the product will be presented in entrees reflecting Chinese, U.S. and Brazilian cuisines. The Singapore government last month deemed the meat safe for human consumption, the first country to grant such an approval.

- The economics of St Barbara's proposed sulphides development at its Simberi operations in Papua New Guinea look compelling to Goldman Sachs. The bank estimates a development would have a more than 50% internal rate of return based on assumptions included in St Barbara's prefeasibility study and management's updated timeline. "We now include the project in our base case," says Goldman, which rates St Barbara at buy. "While we only ascribe value up to 2028 (end of current mining lease,) this adds A$0.43/share to our net asset value."

- Resolute Mining's Bibiani gold mine in Ghana fetched a fair price of $105M, says RBC Capital Markets, which had valued the asset at $110M. Bibiani wasn't core to Resolute's portfolio and RBC sees the strategic rationale for its sale to China's Chifeng Jilong Gold Mining. "Furthermore, this should bolster Resolute's near-term cash reserves and gearing--especially if the company were to experience any further hiccups at their Syama Sulphides Operation in the near term," RBC adds. The bank estimates Resolute's cash at $86M in 3Q, with $341M debt.

Dec 15 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- Oil prices fell as tighter lockdowns in Europe and a forecast for a slower recovery in demand next year outweighed relief from vaccination rollouts and concerns about a flare-up of tension in the Middle East.
- Gold prices inched higher as the dollar weakened, though the start of COVID-19 vaccinations in the United States and Canada buoyed hopes of a swifter global economic recovery and kept the metal's gains in check.
- Copper was little changed as concerns over the economic impact of new coronavirus-induced lockdowns eclipsed strong industrial output data from China.  
- U.S. wheat futures edged higher, rebounding from sharp losses in the previous session, though gains were checked amid expectations that Russia could accelerate exports before a tax is introduced to curb sales.
- Raw sugar futures on ICE closed down on Monday as investors liquidated their long positions, mindful of improved weather in top producer Brazil and renewed talk that India will announce a sugar export subsidy.
- Malaysian palm oil futures fell from a more than eight-year high, tracking weakness in rival soybean oil and crude, even as data showed exports rose in the first half of December.

- Gold, as shown on the 30-minute chart, posted a rebound from $1,818.0 (the low of Dec. 14) and struck against the upper Bollinger band. The bullish cross between 20-period and 50-period moving averages has been identified, indicating a bullish reversal signal. The 14-period RSI broke above its overbought level at 70 but hasn't displayed any reversal signal. The MACD is above its 0-level and its signal line. To conclude, as long as the $1,830.0 support level isn't broken, expect a further advance toward $1,856.0 and even toward $1,866.0 in extension. Alternatively, a break below $1,830.0 would trigger a return to $1,818.0. Spot gold is trading at $1,842.3 an ounce.

- The U.S. economy is set to expand 3.7% in 2021 and 2.8% in 2022 supported by the progressive reopening of the economy, resilient household consumption and renewed fiscal support next year, economists from Societe Generale say. The forecasts assume that the health crisis won't force new lockdown measures and that the Biden administration will have congressional support to implement fiscal stimulus. The main risk for the outlook remains on the health and political fronts, they say, as an aggravation of the epidemiological situation would suppress consumption until the arrival of a vaccine, while political gridlock could block major increases in government spending.

- The Federal Reserve, a lone holdout among major central banks, has joined the international Network of Central Banks and Supervisors for Greening the Financial System, it said Tuesday. This group aims to ensure the financial system is doing its part to reduce the risk of climate change. The Fed joined as it has already begun to take into account the impact of climate and severe weather events in its bank oversight work. That said, Fed officials have already said broader climate policy should be set by elected officials, and that the Fed doesn't see itself as a frontline regulator in this effort to ensure the American financial system is dealing with climate risks properly. Some have noted the timing of the Fed's joining is likely tied to the incoming Biden administration, which has pledged to rejoin the Paris Agreement.

- The Turkish lira should strengthen further after the Trump adminstration slapped less harsh sanctions than expected on Turkey over its decision to purchase a Russian missile defence system, Rabobank says. "The sanctions are soft and ease pressure on President-elect Biden to take immediate action against Turkey when he moves into the White House next year," Rabobank FX strategist Piotr Matys says. Biden is likely to refrain from escalating tensions with Turkey at the early stage of his presidency, he says. Rabobank expects USD/TRY to fall below 7.00 next year. USD/TRY last trades down 0.2% at 7.8371.

- Senator Bernie Sanders urges Kroger, the nation's largest grocer, to reinstate bonus pay and ensure worker safety. Sanders joins union groups in writing to Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen, noting the pandemic continues to spread and that workers are in a financially weaker position today than in the spring. Most grocers offered temporary bonus pay earlier in the pandemic but are now taking divergent approaches to wages. Whole Foods Market is offering a one-time bonus while Albertsons and Wakefern Food are providing retroactive hazard pay.

Dec 14 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- The British pound rose against the dollar and euro on hopes that Britain and the European Union will secure a free trade agreement after their decision to extend negotiations beyond the Sunday deadline.

- Oil prices rose, pushing Brent back above $50 a barrel, buoyed by hopes that a rollout of coronavirus vaccines will lift global fuel demand while a tanker explosion in Saudi Arabia jangled nerves in the market.
- Gold prices eased as COVID-19 vaccine rollouts lifted riskier assets, overshadowing hopes for further U.S. fiscal and monetary stimulus.
- London base metals rose across board, lifted by the euphoria about the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines and optimism over prospects of an additional U.S. economic stimulus and as the European Union and the UK agreed to extend trade talks.
- U.S. wheat futures edged higher to hit a near three-week high on expectations of strong demand for U.S. supplies as key producer Russia would soon move to restrict exports of the grain.
- Raw sugar futures on ICE closed 1.5% down on Friday as investors shied away from risk in wider markets and speculation of an Indian export subsidy deal resurfaced, while London cocoa rallied as sterling sank on fears over no deal on post-Brexit trade.
- Malaysian palm oil futures gained for a third straight session, on higher prices of rival soybean and crude oil, with expectations of lower output aiding sentiment.

- Base metals are higher in early Asian trade. ANZ expects base metals will be one of the beneficiaries of a rapidly evolving new-energy sector, which appears to be the driver behind the sector's rally in recent weeks. The three-month LME copper contract is up 0.6% at $7,816 a metric ton, while the aluminum contract is up 1.3% at $2,049 a ton. Nickel rises the most among base metals following strong demand from China and the EV battery sector. The three-month LME nickel contract is up 2.5% at $17,720 a metric ton.

- Gold is lower in Asian trade, partly weighed by vaccine optimism after the FDA approved an emergency rollout for Pfizer's Covid-19 vaccine in the U.S. Gold is likely to trade within a limited range for now, axi says. "Wait for the dust to settle where gold should start to shine again as the dollar begins to weaken off," it adds. Spot gold is down 0.2% at $1,835.90/oz.

Dec 11 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- The dollar headed for a fourth weekly loss in a row to languish in multi-year troughs against other majors, and sterling snapped a five-week winning streak after British and European leaders remained far apart on a post-Brexit trade deal.

- Oil rose, extending a sharp rally overnight that saw Brent rise above $50 for the first time since March, as coronavirus vaccination rollouts kept hopes alive that demand for crude would build up next year.
- Gold edged up as the dollar held near a two-and-a-half-year low, offsetting concerns over delays in a U.S. coronavirus package.
- Shanghai nickel prices surged, with the benchmark contract hitting its upper limit in early trade on a strong demand outlook and continued speculative buying in ferrous futures markets in China.
- Chicago soybean futures rose, although the market was poised for a second straight weekly loss as a key U.S. report showed a smaller-than-expected reduction in supplies.
- Arabica coffee futures on ICE closed more than 3% up on Thursday, boosted partly by a strengthening in the currency of top producer Brazil, while cocoa and sugar prices weakened.
- Malaysian palm oil futures tracked rival oilseeds and crude oil higher, although slowing exports kept the benchmark contract on track for its first weekly drop in three.

- The upward move in the University of Michigan's gauge of U.S. consumer confidence in December was driven by a partisan shift in attitudes following the election, says Michael Pearce, senior U.S. economist at Capital Economics. Democrats became much more upbeat following the confirmation of Biden's victory and this optimism more than offset the share of Republican's becoming more downbeat, he says. "We saw a similar partisan boost to confidence following the 2016 election which was not followed by a spike in consumption, so we doubt this apparent rise in confidence signals a jump in spending either," Pearce says.

- U.K. bank shares could slump 10% to 20% and the FTSE 250 could drop 6% to 10% if the U.K. and EU fail to reach a trade deal, Morgan Stanley says. Analysts at the U.S. investment bank say they still expect a trade agreement, but the lack of a breakthrough in Brexit negotiations "points to an increased risk" of a no-deal outcome. A no-deal Brexit would represent a "genuine surprise" that markets are likely "under-prepared" for, the analysts say. The FTSE 100 would, however, show little reaction to a no-deal outcome as sterling would weaken, boosting overseas earners on the index, they say. But the FTSE 250 and U.K. banks would be hit hard under such a scenario, they add.

- The Turkish lira falls on concerns about fresh U.S. and EU sanctions against Turkey. The U.S. is expected to impose sanctions on Turkish entities in response to Ankara's acquisition of a Russian air-defense system, The WSJ reports. EU leaders have announced they are preparing sanctions over Turkey's unauthorized gas drilling off the coast of Greece and Cyprus. USD/TRY rises 0.3% to 7.9129, having reached a two-and-a-half-week high of 8.0287 earlier, according to FactSet. The lira's pullback amid risks of new sanctions indicates investors have "probably become more prudent" about the currency's recovery in the near term, UniCredit analysts say. The Turkish central bank's policy meeting on Dec. 24 may represent "another important crossroads for the TRY's fortunes," they say.

- Gold ticks higher, supported by hopes for fiscal and monetary support. Comex futures are up 0.2% at $1,840.80 a troy ounce. The ECB's move to extend its stimulus programs should add to gold's support, says Carsten Fritsch, a commodities analyst at Commerzbank. EU heads of state have also agreed to a coronavirus aid package worth EUR750 billion. "The liquidity glut is likely to drive up inflation, pushing real bond yields (further) into negative territory," says Fritsch. "We certainly see this as good news for gold." Stimulus talks in the U.S. experienced a setback after Senate Republicans said they couldn't accept some parts of a bipartisan push to get a deal, but most investors are banking on an agreement by January that would also support gold.

Dec 10 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- Sterling slid after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen gave negotiators until the end of the weekend to decide if a trade pact can be struck after failing to bridge gaps themselves.

- Oil prices rose, buoyed by a COVID-19 vaccine rollout in Britain and the imminent approval of a vaccine in the United States that could spur a rebound in fuel demand, despite a large build in U.S. crude stocks last week.
- Gold prices were little changed after a steep sell-off in the previous session as a breakthrough in long-running U.S. fiscal stimulus negotiations remained elusive.  
- Copper prices dipped as investors tempered their expectations for another coronavirus U.S. stimulus deal while a firm dollar made greenback-priced metals less attractive to buyers, though supply concerns supported aluminium.
- Chicago soybean futures rose for a second straight session as investors took positions ahead of a key U.S. supply-demand report, with strong demand led by China also underpinning prices.  
- Raw sugar futures on ICE closed 4% up on Wednesday, recouping some of their recent weakness amid market talk of Indonesia preparing to announce its import license program in coming days.  
- Malaysian palm oil futures inched up on expectations of tight November supply, while weaker soyoil prices limited gains.

Dec 09 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- The dollar slipped in Asia as signs of progress in beating back the COVID-19 pandemic sapped demand for the safest assets, while the pound was on tenterhooks ahead of a leaders meeting to try and salvage a Brexit trade deal.

- Oil prices eased as an unexpected jump in U.S. oil inventories fuelled concerns over slow demand, but positive news on COVID-19 vaccines boosted investor optimism about a recovery in fuel demand, capping losses.
- Gold prices slipped from a two-week peak as encouraging coronavirus vaccine developments pushed investors toward riskier equities, with global shares rising to a record high.
- Copper prices advanced, as sentiment was upbeat about the first coronavirus vaccine rollouts in the UK and hopes for a potential COVID-19 aid package from the United States.
- U.S. soybean futures edged up from a six-session low hit in the previous session, although gains were capped by forecasts for rain in South America that eased supply concerns.
- Raw sugar futures on ICE closed down on Tuesday as funds continue to reduce their long position and the market consolidates lower on lack of fresh fundamentals.
- Malaysian palm oil futures slipped for a third straight session as concerns grew over demand and Dalian soyoil fell, although worries about declining output limited losses.

- LPL Financial says it expects global central banks to remain supportive and individual economies to continue to refine their response to Covid-19. LPL, a retail investment advisory firm, independent broker-dealer and registered investment advisor custodian, says for the US "what will likely be a divided government may help limit new taxes and regulations," while still supporting more stimulus that could include high-priority items for both Democrats and Republicans. The firm says in its "Outlook 2021: Powering Forward" it sees 4% to 4.5% US GDP growth next year. For the US, LPL says continued progress in the response to Covid-19, including further stimulus, will be the key to sustaining the recovery.

- Few buyback authorizations are as eye-catching as the $5 billion just approved by the Raytheon Technologies board, even if retired Army general and company director Lloyd Austin wasn't expected to be named as U.S. defense secretary. Raytheon had previously flagged up to $8 billion in repurchases over four years, with the timing dependent in part on signs of recovery in the airline industry. Big buybacks have drawn criticism in the past from Pentagon leaders, keener that defense companies direct more of their cash to investment.

- Amid escalating danger to American forces from weaponized drones -- often small commercial models -- lawmakers have agreed to accelerate development and deployment of systems to counter such threats. The bipartisan Pentagon 2021 authorization bill beefs up research spending on counter-drone technology, mandates enhanced coordination among the services and calls for speedy strategy shifts to combat hostile drones. "The scope and complexity of this threat will only increase over the next decade," according to the Senate Armed Services Committee, which earlier urged new tactics "that would allow for the survivability" of drones in potential conflicts with China, Russia or other countries." The current measure prioritizes utilizing commercial parts or subsytems able to deter fully autonomous threats.

Dec 08 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- Sterling clung to hopes of a meeting between British Prime Minister Boris Johnston and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen salvaging a Brexit trade deal, while worry about surging infections put a brake on the dollar's decline.

- Oil prices fell, adding to losses from the previous session that came as California tightened its pandemic lockdown through Christmas and coronavirus cases continued to surge in the United States and Europe.
- Gold prices scaled a two-week high on hopes that U.S. lawmakers would agree on a fiscal stimulus deal to cushion the economic blow from surging coronavirus infections.  
- Copper prices dipped from near an eight-year high hit in the previous session, as concerns about growing U.S.-China political tensions weighed on sentiment.
- Chicago soybean futures fell for a third consecutive session as rains in parts of Brazilian crop-growing regions pressured prices, although losses were capped by strong demand for U.S. supplies.
- Raw sugar futures on ICE closed little changed on Monday, paring losses after falling to their lowest level in a month as funds dismantled their large long positions amid easing concerns over short-term supplies.
- Malaysian palm oil futures firmed, regaining some ground lost in the previous session, as estimates of declining production in the coming months underpinned the market.
 
- The timing of Georgia's runoff election for the state's two Senate seats makes it likely that even if both Democrats prevail, the Senate won't take up marijuana legalization before the end of the current Congress. That makes the House's passage of legalization legislation last week largely symbolic, Canaccord says. Still, the bill is an important signal of sentiment, the firm adds. Thirty-four states have legalized marijuana, and polling shows more than two-third of Americans supporting federal legalization, according to Canaccord. State and federal policy around cannabis shows signs of continuing to trend toward gradual easing, the analysts write.

Dec 05 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ The Post Reuters)

- The dollar started the week on the back foot after soft U.S. jobs data only solidified expectations of a fresh economic package, while the British pound eyed last-ditch trade talks between the United Kingdom and European Union.

- Oil prices fell as a continued surge in coronavirus cases globally forced a series of renewed lockdowns, including strict new measures in Southern California in the United States, the world's top oil consumer.
- Gold prices ticked higher, as grim U.S. jobs data bolstered hopes for more fiscal stimulus, although optimism around coronavirus vaccine rollouts kept gains in check.  
- London copper prices dipped, slipping from a near eight-year high hit in the previous session, as data showed a decline in imports of the metal by top consumer China.
- Chicago wheat lost more ground, with prices dropping to their lowest in more than two months, as estimates of higher production in Australia and Canada offset worries over adverse weather in the U.S. Plains.  
- Raw sugar futures on ICE closed lower on Friday as funds scaled back long positions and forecast showers aided prospects for cane crops in top producer Brazil, while cocoa and coffee prices also fell.
- Malaysian palm oil futures edged higher on forecasts for lower November production and inventories, although weaker soyoil prices capped gains.

- Doubts Grow About AstraZeneca Vaccine
Doubts are being raised regarding AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine. The company is probably going to do a new efficacy trial to substantiate existing data. The head of the White House’s so-called “Operation Warp Speed”, has expressed concern that maybe things are going a bit too fast, and are wary over the age group tested. Meanwhile, 4 million doses of this vaccine are slated to be distributed in the United Kingdom as soon as next month. The vaccine supposedly has 70% effectiveness at preventing infection. The U.K. government’s top scientific advisor, Patrick Vallance, said the focus should be on the fact that the vaccine actually works, rather than, presumably, safety issues, which by implication should take a back seat. “The headline result is the vaccine works and that’s very exciting,” Vallance said on Thursday. Regarding safety, he said that regulators will make an assessment with “lots of data that is not currently in the public domain.”

- Trump to Concede Election of Electoral College Votes for Biden
US President Donald Trump now says he will leave the White House if the Electoral College votes for Joe Biden. “Certainly I will. Certainly I will. And you know that,” he said when asked if he would leave 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue if voted out by the group of electors. Lawsuits continue to be filed regarding election fraud in various states, but it is becoming less certain of any of these will amount to anything. In the meantime, Trump has said that he will campaign for two Republican Senate candidates on December 5 for the runoff election that will determine which party controls the Senate. The latest polls conducted on November 17th have all four candidates basically in a dead heat.

- Twitter Unblocks Link To Lawsuit Against Election Certification
Lawyer Sidney Powell, who has been making waves threatening threatening to overturn the election results in several key states, had a link to her lawsuit seeking to decertify election results, blocked by Twitter for being unsafe. Twitter has since announced that it has reversed is censorship of the link, which shows an aim to change the outcome of Georgia’s 2020 election results. Plaintiffs seek to decertify the results and have Trump declared the winner. “The URL referenced was mistakenly marked under our unsafe links policy — this action has now been reversed,” a Twitter spokesperson told fox. As this is happening, Parler, a competitor to Twitter that isn’t as heavyhanded on the censorship button, hash catapulted to #1 on the Apple app store. Whether Parler will be kept on Apple’s platform remains to be seen.

- Retail Trading Volume from Young Traders Declines
Retail investor trading volumes have fallen from about 23% of all market volume in June to 16% in September. According to JPMorgan, this raises questions about the narrative that retail traders were responsible for the summer rally in stocks. Retail volume as a percentage of total trading, however, is still historically elevated, and the dichotomy that JPMorgan is pointing out relies on a differentiation between younger and older traders, though both are retail. The decline though isn’t stopping trading services from capitalizing on the still-elevated number of retail traders entering the game. Trading platform Trust Capital TC Managing Director Farah Hawilo comments, “Our commitment is to take every possible step to deliver the best trading experience to our clients to make them feel safe and comfortable.”

Dec 04 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- The euro was headed for its best week in a month and has blown past major resistance levels as investors piled into bets the U.S. dollar has further to fall while the world begins to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.

- Oil prices jumped around 2%, heading for a fifth week of gains, as major producers agreed on a compromise to continue some cuts to production to cope with coronavirus-hit demand even though these fell short of expectations.
- Gold prices steadied and were set for their first weekly gain in four as the dollar weakened on growing hopes of U.S. stimulus, ahead of U.S. non-farm payrolls data due later in the day.
- London copper prices advanced to their highest in nearly eight years and were poised for a fifth straight weekly gain on optimism over a potential U.S. stimulus package and a swift economic rebound.
- U.S. wheat futures edged lower as ample global stocks pushed the grain towards a weekly loss of 4%, the first weekly loss in three and the biggest decline since October-end.
- Cocoa prices on ICE steadied on Thursday following losses in the previous session, with investor attention turning to low exchange stockpiles that were partially caused by a dispute between industry and top producers Ivory Coast and Ghana.
- Malaysian palm oil futures climbed and were set to gain 1.5% for the week on higher levies by top producer Indonesia and a likely drop in November stockpile.

- The St. Louis Fed is applauding the elevation of its research director Christopher Waller to be a Fed governor in Washington. Waller "has served superbly as the St. Louis Fed's director of research," says St. Louis Fed leader James Bullard in a statement. "He exemplifies the Bank's longstanding tradition of thought leadership in monetary policy and macroeconomic research," Bullard says, adding that Waller "will be an excellent Fed governor, and I look forward to our new working relationship as well as our continued friendship."

- The USDA says net farm income will jump $36B to $119.6B this year, a 43.1% uptick. While higher prices for crops like soybeans helped elevate farmer income, it was also elevated by higher government payments. Government aid totaled $46.5B, a 107.1% uptick from the previous year propelled by coronavirus and trade assistance payments.

- Hopes that U.S. lawmakers will agree fresh stimulus measures to support the economy through coronavirus is weighing on the dollar, Commerzbank says. "Additional fiscal stimulus ahead of the new President Joe Biden assuming office would lower the current downside risks for the economy and thus principally fuel inflation expectations, which will weaken the dollar in view of the [Federal Reserve's] long-term expansionary monetary policy targets," Commerzbank FX analyst Esther Reichelt says. The dollar index falls 0.1% to 90.9960, having earlier reached its lowest level since April 2018 at 90.8380, according to FactSet.

Dec 03 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- Oil prices fell as producers including Saudi Arabia and Russia locked horns over the need to extend record production cuts set in place in the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Gold rose to more than one-week high , as the dollar fell to multi-year lows on hopes of coronavirus vaccine roll-outs soon, while investors kept track of developments on a U.S. stimulus deal.
- London aluminium rose on strong demand, while growing optimism over COVID-19 vaccines and hopes for more stimulus boosted sentiment.
- Chicago soybean futures rose, rebounding from a more than two-week low hit in the previous session, although gains were checked by forecasts of rains in dry areas of top producer Brazil.
- Cocoa prices on ICE closed sharply lower on Wednesday, with investors taking to the sidelines as a dispute simmered between the industry and top producers Ivory Coast and Ghana over a premium aimed at combating farmer poverty.
- Malaysian palm oil futures edged up, helped by estimates of a steep drop in November production, ahead of data on the market outlook from top industry analysts.

Dec 02 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- The dollar stayed near a 2-1/2-year low as investors assessed the likelihood of further fiscal stimulus in the United States, while riskier currencies held onto gains as investor confidence improved.
- Oil prices extended losses, hit by a surprise build in oil inventories in the United States and as OPEC and its allies left markets in limbo by delaying a formal meeting to decide whether to increase output in January.
- Gold eased, as doubts over the progress of a U.S. stimulus package made investors cautious, with further pressure added by reports of developments on a COVID-19 vaccine.
- Copper slipped as investors booked profits after prices rallied to multi-year highs on coronavirus vaccine hopes and strong economic recovery in China, but U.S. stimulus hopes limited losses.
- Chicago wheat edged up, after suffering losses in the previous two sessions that dragged the market to its lowest in two months on lack of demand for U.S. cargoes and improving global supply situation.
- Raw sugar futures on ICE bounced off the lowest level in more than three weeks and ended unchanged on Tuesday, while cocoa and coffee prices weakened.
- Malaysian palm oil futures eased as weakness in rival Dalian oils and crude eclipsed support from forecasts of tight supply that is likely to persist until the first quarter of next year.

- The dollar's recent weakness is driven by bets that potential fresh U.S. fiscal stimulus will push up inflation while the Federal Reserve keeps interest rates low, Commerzbank says. The prospect of further coronavirus relief aid was "strengthened" by Joe Biden's victory in the U.S. presidential election, the selection of former Fed Chair Janet Yellen as Treasury secretary and news that two proposals for a fiscal package were brought forward in Congress, Commerzbank's Thu Lan Nguyen says. While that drives up inflation expectations, it's unlikely to lead to higher rates for "some time," she says. The dollar index is flat at 91.3390, having earlier reached its lowest level since April 2018 at 91.1090.

- Investors sell Treasurys, sending yields up, but buy inflation-indexed equivalents, putting the spread at a 17-month high. Peter Earle, from the American Institute for Economic Research, says Janet Yellen--as Biden's pick for Treasury Secretary--is "particularly conducive to coordinated fiscal-monetary policy efforts." He adds that, "the last few day's change in 10-year TIPS spreads reflects the view that whether or not there is a third stimulus package in the works, monetary easing and fiscal deficits are likely to continue into the foreseeable future."

- Long-term Treasury yields rally, with the 10-year reaching 0.933%, while its inflation-protected equivalent falls to a negative 0.92%, creating a 1.85% spread, the widest since May 2019. The spread, an indication that investors expect higher inflation, is a result of Biden's pick for Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen's tweet about recovering "the American dream," economist Peter Earle, from the American Institute for Economic Research, tells WSJ. "The rise in the 10-year TIPS spread is an acknowledgement of how expensive that raft of postulated benefits is becoming to savers, creditors, and holders of dollar-denominated assets," he says.

- A divided Congress that limits corporate tax increases would be celebrated by investors, Direction's Sylvia Jablonski says. "One of the concerns about a blue sweep is corporate tax and I do think that, in a very necessary recovery, that could take some of the profits off of the table." If President-elect Biden has some pushback from a Republican Senate, which depends on Georgia's runoff results, "there would be more thought around raising taxes and what taxes to raise, and that would be favorable to markets" she says.

- The Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer--a measurement of farmer optimism about the agricultural economy--fell 16 points in November to a reading of 167, falling off of an all-time high set in October. "Producers were more pessimistic about future economic conditions on their farms in November than they were just a month earlier," says James Mintert, the barometer's principal investigator and director of Purdue University's Center for Commercial Agriculture. "This is the opposite of what happened following the November 2016 election." According to Mintert, farmers say that they expect to see higher regulations and a weaker safety net for US farmers, driving sentiment lower amid the election of President-elect Joe Biden in November.

Dec 01 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- An under pressure U.S. dollar handed back part of its month-end bounce, as investors reckoned on more monetary easing by the Federal Reserve and a gathering recovery elsewhere.

- Oil prices fell as concerns over mounting supply returned to the fore after leading producers delayed talks on 2021 output policy that could extend cuts as the coronavirus pandemic continues to sap fuel demand.
- Gold prices recovered from five-month lows as worries over spiking COVID-19 cases offset optimism around vaccine developments and nudged investors towards the precious metal.
- Copper rose, with Shanghai prices hitting a more than eight-year high, as solid Chinese data and prospects for COVID-19 vaccines underpinned hopes of a swift economic recovery.
- Chicago wheat futures edged higher on bargain buying following previous session's deep losses, although forecasts of a near record Australian crop and higher Russian exports curbed gains.
- Arabica coffee futures on ICE weakened on Monday, slipping from the prior session's 2-1/2 month high, while cocoa and sugar prices also fell.
- Malaysian palm oil futures reversed early losses to trade 0.6% higher, tracking soyoil gains on the Chicago Board of Trade and as supply remains tight.

- The Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer--a measurement of farmer optimism about the agricultural economy--fell 16 points in November to a reading of 167, falling off of an all-time high set in October. "Producers were more pessimistic about future economic conditions on their farms in November than they were just a month earlier," says James Mintert, the barometer's principal investigator and director of Purdue University's Center for Commercial Agriculture. "This is the opposite of what happened following the November 2016 election." According to Mintert, farmers say that they expect to see higher regulations and a weaker safety net for US farmers, driving sentiment lower amid the election of President-elect Joe Biden in November.

- The lobby group representing Canada's blue-chip CEOs says the government's fall economic update fails to deliver a "substantive plan" to spur private-sector investment. The Business Council of Canada says there is nothing in the update, introduced in the legislature, that addresses private-sector job creation and attempts to place Canada as a more attractive investment destination -- a crucial element for any meaningful Canadian recovery, it adds. The Business Council is also disappointed about the lack of fiscal restraint. The budget deficit will narrow in FY21-22, although remain at historical elevated levels. Further, the Liberal government has pledged to spend up to C$100B over three years to help cement a recovery.

- Elections in Georgia remain a major source of uncertainty for investors weighing the possibility of fiscal stimulus against the prospect of higher taxes and regulations, Newfleet's David Albrycht tells WSJ. The Georgia vote in January will decide whether Biden faces a Republican majority in the Senate. "In the case of a blue wave, it would be possible to have a much bigger fiscal program while they won't be able to raise taxes" for as long as the economy heals from the pandemic, he says. "However, for the long term a gridlock means pretty much status quo, no big regulation."

- The Renewable Fuels Association, a trade group representing the ethanol industry, is calling on the Trump Administration's EPA to stand aside and wait for the administration of President-elect Biden to handle new regulations for renewable fuels. This comes after the current EPA has apparently missed its deadline to publish its final rule for renewable volume requirements among fuel refineries. "It shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone that EPA is missing its statutory deadline for publishing the final rule for 2021 RVOs, given that we still haven't even seen a proposed rule," says Geoff Cooper, president of the RFA. According to Cooper, a Biden Administration is likely to be more friendly for the ethanol industry, which could lead to higher domestic consumption of US corn.

- Alibaba, JD.com and other Chinese companies are selling off as lawmakers prepare to vote on a bill that could result in such stocks getting delisted from US exchanges. US-listed ADRs of Alibaba and JD.com are down 3.7% and 4.4%, respectively. PetroChina has fallen 4.7% in morning trading, while China Life Insurance is down 5% and Pinduoduo is down 4.3%. The House of Representatives is expected to vote on a bill this week that would ban US trading of stocks in Chinese companies after three years if Washington and Beijing are unable to resolve a long-running standoff over oversight of public-company audits in China and Hong Kong. The bill passed the Senate earlier this year with bipartisan support, and the House added it to its voting calendar on Friday after markets closed.

Nov 30 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- The dollar touched a more than two-year low and is set to log its largest monthly fall since July as a combination of vaccine optimism and bets on more monetary easing in the United States drove investors out of the world's reserve currency.

- Crude oil prices fell, amid investor jitters ahead of a meeting of producer group OPEC+ to decide whether to extend large output cuts to balance global markets, but vaccine hopes helped keep them on track to rise more than a fifth in November.
- Gold slid more than 1% and was set for its worst month since November 2016, as hopes of a coronavirus vaccine-led economic rebound lured investors into buying risk assets.
- Copper rose, with the Shanghai benchmark hitting a more than eight-year high and London prices set for their best month in four years, as solid China manufacturing data and risk-on sentiment fuelled by vaccine developments lifted sentiment.
- Chicago soybeans gained for the second consecutive session, with the market poised to end November with the biggest monthly rise since June 2016 as strong demand and weather concerns buoy prices.
- Arabica coffee futures rose sharply on Friday, boosted by concerns about dry weather in top producer Brazil, while sugar prices also advanced.
- Malaysian palm oil futures extended their losses, tracking weakness in rival edible oils on the Dalian Commodity Exchange and the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT).

- Alibaba, JD.com and other Chinese companies are selling off as lawmakers prepare to vote on a bill that could result in such stocks getting delisted from US exchanges. US-listed ADRs of Alibaba and JD.com are down 3.7% and 4.4%, respectively. PetroChina has fallen 4.7% in morning trading, while China Life Insurance is down 5% and Pinduoduo is down 4.3%. The House of Representatives is expected to vote on a bill this week that would ban US trading of stocks in Chinese companies after three years if Washington and Beijing are unable to resolve a long-running standoff over oversight of public-company audits in China and Hong Kong. The bill passed the Senate earlier this year with bipartisan support, and the House added it to its voting calendar on Friday after markets closed.

- Euphoria about a Covid-19 vaccine has helped push the 10-year Treasury yield close to 1% this month, but it retreated to 0.85%, a sign of caution in the markets, as investors remain unsure about economic recovery. AmeriVet lists the following concerns as keeping investors from abandoning the safety of sovereign debt: The January 2021 Senatorial election in Georgia that could trigger a change in Senate control, rising Covid-19 cases, economic data this week likely showing a short-term slowdown and "growing discussion of longer end purchases from the Fed."

- After a still dark winter, spring and summer should be bright once seasonal factors help to contain the spread of the coronavirus in the Northern hemisphere, says Holger Schmieding, economist at Berenberg. "The economic outlook for 2021 is unusually positive for advanced economies and many emerging markets," he says. Thanks to vaccines and other medical progress, hopefully Covid-19 won't come back to depress economic activity badly again next autumn, Schmieding says. A rapid rebound from the 2020 "mega-recession" that gains momentum from April onward, calmer U.S. trade and foreign policy and record monetary and fiscal stimulus should add up to sustained strong economic growth and risk-on investment opportunities for 2021.

Nov 28 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ)

- While Biden's choice of John Kerry to be his climate change envoy makes clear he'll push an anti-fossil fuel, pro-wind and solar agenda, what's less certain is how much Kerry may push for nuclear to play a bigger role than its current 20% share of US electricity generation. Kerry said in 2017 he flipped his view to become pro-nuclear because "given this challenge we face today, and given the progress of 4th-generation nuclear, go for it! No other alternative." Nuclear energy is controversial, and National Geographic calls it a non-renewable energy source, partly because the uranium used isn't renewable. Uranium stocks like UR-Energy rose after Kerry was tapped earlier this week.

- The dollar could weaken further if the U.S. imposes tighter restrictions to stem rising coronavirus cases, MUFG Bank says. The Thanksgiving holiday could lead to an escalation of infections and deaths in the U.S., MUFG analyst Derek Halpenny says. With Covid-19 cases set to be elevated when Joe Biden becomes president in January, it "seems likely" that tougher lockdown measures are on the way, he says. "If the rest of the world is recovering by then, it could result in further reason to sell the dollar." The dollar index drops 0.1% to 91.8970, having earlier reached a 12-week low of 91.8710, according to FactSet.

Nov 27 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- The dollar eased in thin trade and was set for weekly losses as investors sought non-dollar assets due to improving risk appetite stemming from good news on COVID-19 vaccines and hopes for a smoother transition to a Biden administration.
- Oil prices were lower in quiet trade due to the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday, dropping amid concerns about oversupply and doubts about a vaccine to end the coronavirus pandemic.
- Gold eased en route to a third straight weekly drop as investors weighed doubts over a leading COVID-19 vaccine candidate against optimism that vaccines will arrive sooner than expected.
- Copper prices were on track for a fourth straight weekly gain, with the London contract edging near a seven-year high, as falling inventories, positive coronavirus vaccine trial results and global stimulus hopes buoyed sentiment.
- London cocoa rose on Thursday, heading back towards Tuesday's two-month highs amid tight nearby supplies, though volumes were thin with U.S. markets closed for the Thanksgiving holiday.
- Malaysian palm oil futures erased early gains and looked set for a weekly drop of 2% as market participants feared India's import tax cut on crude palm might not be sufficient to spark a near-term pickup in demand.

- Donald Trump Boasts Of Record Stock Market High; Claims COVID Vaccine Will Be Out Next Week - Newstex
President Donald Trump claims that COVID vaccines are around the corner, with its distribution likely to get rolling in the next week or two. “We are rounding the curb,” said Trump on a Thanksgiving call with the U.S. troops stationed overseas, while gloating over the record stock market this week – the Dow hit 30,000 for the first time. The president conducted the teleconference in the Diplomatic Room of the White House.
“The vaccines are being delivered literally starting next week and week after, and the frontline workers and seniors and doctors, nurses, a lot of people going to start getting,” he added, reportedly enthusing how the rapid development of the vaccine was akin to a “medical miracle.”
“Some people call that a medical miracle really a miracle. It could have taken four or five years to do this normally. It probably would have taken four or five years, just getting it through the FDA. We pushed it very hard,” he averred.

The statements come amid a time when the United States of America continues to grapple under the pandemic, having logged in over 12.9 million infections and more than 263,000 deaths for the virus.  As per recent reports, three vaccines have almost made the cut, having progressed to Phase 3 clinical trials. The final go-ahead lies with the Food and Drug Administration, and a meeting between Pfizer and FDA is slated on Monday.

On the other hand, Gen. Gustave Perna, who is spearheading the Operation Warp Speed that’s committed to offering fair distribution of the coronavirus vaccines nationwide, previously hinted at how he believes the FDA's authorization is likely to happen between Dec. 10 and Dec. 14. Upon authorization, it would roughly take about 24 hours to make the vaccine available to various communities.
The President interacted with different members of service stationed around the world, during the overseas call. He also spoke with Navy service members on the USS Winston S Churchill in the Red Sea, members of the Space Force in Colorado, and Coast Guard forces in the Kingdom of Bahrain.
On the teleconference, all the service members sported face masks barring Trump. Trump reiterated that the developments in the U.S. military have panned out much better than imagined during his four years at the White House.
“Your equipment is getting newer and newer and better and better,” said Trump to crew members of the Churchill. “On the Army, we just made a tremendous purchase of equipment,” he added.

Nov 26 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- Oil rose for a fifth day after a surprise fall in U.S. crude inventories gave further legs to a rally driven by optimism that vaccines will end the coronavirus pandemic and revive demand for fuels.
- Gold prices rose, aided by a weaker dollar , as investors bet that grim U.S. jobs data and surging COVID-19 cases worldwide would spur authorities to announce further stimulus measures.
- London copper prices hit near seven-year high, fuelled by hopes that progress in developing COVID-19 vaccines would spur a swift global economic revival.
- Chicago wheat futures fell more than 3% on Wednesday and corn and soybean futures also slipped as traders booked profits after recent highs in all three markets, and ahead of Thursday's U.S. Thanksgiving holiday, analysts said.
- New York cocoa futures retreated from the prior session's nine-month peak on Wednesday, weighed down by profit-taking ahead of the upcoming U.S. holiday, while raw sugar also fell.
- Malaysian palm oil futures slipped, dragged down by worsening November exports, but supply concerns limited losses.

- Trump ridicules Trump: Said a Biden win would crash the stock market over & over. This happened - Newstex
Donald Trump and his cabal made predictions to scare their pew into voting for them. Most did not buy it. Nor did the stock market at a new high. The stock market does not reflect the state of the economy for most Americans. But it is the playing field Donald Trump wanted to play on as he campaigned.

The president chose to ignore all the economic, medical, and social ills afflicting the country to define his presidency by the stock market level. He did everything in his power to juice the market, from a deficit-spending tax cut scam to cajoling the feds to cater to the financial sector. For months, Donald Trump has been going on to any network that would have him to tell the audience that a massive stock market crash would occur if Joe Biden is elected.

Well, as soon as the GSA started the transition process, the market rose to a record. The New York Times reported it as follows.
A day after the Trump administration effectively acknowledged the election of Joseph R. Biden Jr., investors showed their relief by pushing the two major stock market indexes to all-time records on Tuesday.It was a welcome party of sorts for Mr. Biden, but what investors were really embracing was the end of uncertainty. President-elect Biden has vowed to push for more stimulus to bolster the economy. His selection for Treasury secretary, Janet L. Yellen, is well known from her days as Federal Reserve chair. And several new coronavirus vaccine candidates mean that the pandemic could be under control in the months ahead.

President Trump, who on the campaign trail had warned that Mr. Biden’s election would lead to stock market armageddon, on Tuesday implied that the day’s highs were his own doing, making an unscheduled stop at a White House briefing to play up the latest gains in the Dow Jones industrial average.
Trump’s predictions were almost as accurate as Ted Cruz’s COVID-19 predictions. The clown show continues. Luckily we have less than two months to deal with it. (The views expressed in content distributed by Newstex and its re-distributors (collectively, "Newstex Authoritative Content")

Nov 25 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- The dollar nursed losses as progress in developing a novel coronavirus vaccine and expectations for a fiscal boost from a new U.S. government triggered a shift of funds from the greenback to riskier assets.

- Oil rose for the fourth straight session as the market shrugged off an industry report showing U.S. crude stockpiles rose more than expected, extending a rally driven by hopes that a COVID-19 vaccine will boost fuel demand.
- Gold fell as the formal start of Joe Biden's transition to the White House and optimism over coronavirus vaccines dented bullion's safe-haven appeal.
- Copper prices hovered around a near seven-year peak, as sentiment was lifted by prospects of U.S. political stability, development of coronavirus vaccines and demand from China.
- Chicago wheat futures rose for a fourth consecutive session to their highest since early November, as a crop quality downgrade by the U.S. government stoked concerns about global supplies.
- New York cocoa hit a nine-month high on Tuesday, boosted by continuing tightness in nearby supply in the physical and futures markets, while sugar prices fell.
- Malaysian palm oil futures rose, tracking stronger crude and soyoil, but a slump in November exports capped gains.

- News that former Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen is expected to become the next Treasury Secretary reduces the risk that the dollar might lose its dominance, Commerzbank says. "Yellen really is balm for the souls of all those who suffered as a result of the previous government's chaotic dollar policy over the past four years," Commerzbank FX analyst Ulrich Leuchtmann says. Yellen may return to the "old Rubin doctrine" that considers a strong dollar to be in the U.S. interest or she may repeat the G7 promise that exchange rates should be determined by the market, Leuchtmann says. Either approach could "stop the erosion of the dollar's dominance, possibly even reverse it," he says.

- Brent crude oil is up 1.4% at $48.43 a barrel and WTI futures are up 1.2% at $45.44 a barrel with crude remaining near its highest price since March after sharp gains Tuesday. Tuesday's rally came thanks to increasing optimism that recent Covid-19 vaccine breakthroughs will lead to a swift recovery in global oil demand next year, says DNB Markets's Helge Andre Martinsen. The news that the Trump administration has agreed to start the formal transition to a Biden presidency sparked broader rallies in markets, he adds. That said, API data showed a far larger increase in U.S. inventories than the market expected, highlighting the divergence between expectations for the oil market this year and next. The EIA releases data later Wednesday.

- The safe-haven dollar falls broadly on coronavirus vaccine hopes and reduced U.S. political uncertainty. This pushes the DXY dollar index down to a 12-week low of 91.9470 while EUR/USD rises to a 12-week high of 1.1929. On Monday AstraZeneca and Oxford university announced positive trial results of their coronavirus vaccine while the General Services Administration told U.S. President-elect Joe Biden that the Trump administration will make federal resources available for his transition into office. "That eliminates the lingering political uncertainty in the U.S. and will make the transition smoother," while vaccine developments leave hope for the "light at the end of the tunnel," says Marshall Gittler, analyst at BDSwiss.

- The FTSE 100 is expected to open 33 points higher following strong overnight gains in U.S. equities on hopes for a coronavirus vaccine and a smooth transition to power for U.S. President-elect Joe Biden. Market sentiment received a boost after Monday's news of encouraging trial results of a vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, which follows recent positive updates from Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech. Investors also cheered on news of the U.S. General Services Administration declaring Biden the winner of the U.S. election. Meanwhile, a key focus for traders will be the spending review of U.K. Treasury chief Rishi Sunak, expected at 1200 GMT.

- CEOs and chairs of major European industrial and tech companies are cautiously optimistic about business prospects despite the resurgence of Covid-19 across the continent, data from The Conference Board's Measure of CEO Confidence shows. The survey, which polled members of the European Round Table for Industry, signals a sharp increase in its main diffusion rating to 61 in the second half of the year compared with the 34 reading in the first half. Ratings above 50 reflect a positive response, whereas those below reflect a negative response. Some 80% of the ERT members surveyed report that the economy is doing better compared with six months ago, while expectations for the next six months also swung to positive territory.

- Australia's S&P/ASX 200 index is on track to open with gains after the DJIA climbs 1.5% closes above 30,000 points for the first time--with ASX futures 0.6% higher. The rally in US stocks comes amid hopes President Trump will facilitate a smooth transition to his successor. Ahead of the Australian session, APA Group says it will invest up to A$460M in a new gas pipeline in the country's west. Australian shares lifted 1.3% on Tuesday.

- President-elect Joe Biden will likely approach China with more diplomacy and multilateralism than his predecessor-and that could be a boon for deal-making, says Analog Devices Chief Executive Vincent Roche. Irrespective of the political shift, he says Analog is on track to close a $20B acquisition of Maxim Integrated Products that requires Chinese approval, one of several big chip-industry deals this year. Analog reported quarterly results before market-open on Tuesday that came in ahead of Wall Street expectations, although its shares trade slightly lower.

- European stocks rise amid continued vaccine optimism and hopes for a smooth transition to a new US government. The Stoxx Europe 600 gains 0.9%, the FTSE 100 is up 1.5% and the CAC-40 and the DAX advance 1.2% and 1.3% respectively. Brent crude and base-metal prices increase, boosting oil and mining stocks, but gold and silver prices fall as investors pull out of safe-haven assets. "Though President Trump hasn't conceded, it's starting to look as if he will go quietly," says David Madden at CMC Markets. "Equity traders welcomed the signals that the transition of power should be uneventful."

Nov 24 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- Risk-sensitive currencies gained as investors breathed easier after U.S. President Donald Trump accepted the start of a transition to a Biden administration, that is expected to include former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen as Treasury secretary.

- Brent crude prices hit their highest levels since March as news of a third promising coronavirus vaccine candidate spurred hopes of a quicker recovery in oil demand, while U.S. President-elect Joe Biden received the go-ahead to begin his leadership transition.
- Gold extended declines to a four-month trough as investors dived into riskier assets following drugmaker AstraZeneca's boost to the coronavirus vaccine race and a U.S. federal agency's White House transition approval for Joe Biden.
- London copper futures rose as progress in a third COVID-19 vaccine related developments and strong U.S. factory data pointed to a positive outlook for industrial metals' demand.
- U.S. wheat futures edged higher for a third consecutive session as traders worried about the prospect of crop losses due to adverse weather, which has already weighed on production in the United States.
- New York cocoa hit a nine-month high on Monday as funds continued to buy given tightness in nearby supplies in the physical and futures markets, where stocks are falling.
- Malaysian palm oil futures fell for a third session in four, as cargo surveyor data showing lean November exports stoked demand concerns while losses in rival edible oils also weighed on the market.

- The dollar could fall further if former Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen becomes the next U.S. Treasury secretary, ActivTrades says. "This move creates the prospect of greater harmony between the two institutions and is conducive to guaranteeing the co-ordination of fiscal and monetary stimulus, conditions which are likely to lead to further dollar weakness," ActivTrades analyst Ricardo Evangelista says. U.S. President-elect Joe Biden plans to nominate Yellen as Treasury secretary, the WSJ reported Monday. If confirmed by the Senate, she would become the first woman to hold the position. The dollar index falls 0.3% to 92.2290.

- The pound racks up gains against the U.S. dollar driven by positive news on a Covid-19 vaccine developed in the U.K., a forthcoming U.K.-EU trade deal and stronger-than-expected preliminary purchasing managers' data for November, says BK Asset Management. "The AstraZeneca news was just one of several pieces of positive data that fueled a rally in cable," says the asset manager. "Sterling was up nearly 100 pips from Friday's close leading G-10 FX on optimism over the Brexit deal, better-than-expected economic data and AstraZeneca vaccine news." GBP/USD trades last at 1.3394, almost a three-month high, according to FactSet.

- Higher Call As Trump Agrees Biden Transition
Stock prices in London are seen opening higher on Tuesday after US President Donald Trump dropped opposition to government aid for Joe Biden's transition team.
IG futures indicate the FTSE 100 index is to open 41.26 points higher at 6,375.10. The blue-chip index closed down 17.61 points, or 0.3%, at 6,333.84 on Monday.
Trump came his closest yet to admitting election defeat Monday after the government agency meant to ease Joe Biden's transition into the White House said it was finally lifting its unprecedented block on assistance.
Trump acknowledged it was time for the General Services Administration to "do what needs to be done". In the same tweet he insisted that he was still refusing to concede, saying: "Our case STRONGLY continues, we will keep up the good fight, and I believe we will prevail!"
But for the Republican to sign off on the GSA's decision to work with the Biden transition team signalled that even he sees the writing on the wall after three weeks of evidence-free claims that the November 3 election was stolen from him.
This means that Biden's team will now have access to funds, office space and the ability to meet with federal officials.

"Momentum has been boosted again though by President Trump instructing the General Services Administration to start providing Biden's team with transition resources. It came, coincidentally, a few hours after Michigan state certified its election results in favour of Biden. Although no concession has been formally announced, denied in fact, it appears that President Trump has conceded the writing is on the wall," said Oanda analyst Jeffery Halley. Investors also welcomed news reports that Biden has tipped former Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen for the role of US treasury secretary.
In addition, markets have cheered news that Anglo-Swedish drugmaker AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford will seek regulatory approval for their coronavirus vaccine, following similar announcements by Pfizer and Moderna.
"Positive Covid vaccine news puts risk sentiment on the front foot for the third consecutive week, following encouraging trial results from Oxford-AstraZeneca yesterday," said AxiCorp's Stephen Innes.

The Japanese Nikkei 225 index closed up 2.5% on Tuesday. Financial markets in Japan reopened on Tuesday after being closed for a holiday on Monday.
In China, the Shanghai Composite is down 0.4%, while the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong is up 0.1%.

The risk on sentiment sent the dollar lower against major counterparts for the second straight session.
The pound was quoted at USD1.3341 early Tuesday, up sharply from USD1.3289 at the London equities close on Monday.
The euro stood at USD1.1856, up from USD1.1821. Against the Japanese yen, the dollar was trading at JPY104.37, lower from JPY104.52.
Brent oil was quoted at USD46.60 a barrel Tuesday morning, up sharply from USD45.78 a barrel at the equities close in London on Monday.

Gold was trading at USD1,828.65 an ounce, lower from USD1,8333.31.
In the US on Monday, Wall Street ended mostly higher, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 1.1% and the S&P 500 up 0.6%, though the Nasdaq Composite closed down 0.4%.
The UK corporate calendar has annual results from contract caterer Compass Group, half-year results from blue-chip water company Pennon Group and FTSE 250 electrical goods retailer AO World, as well as trading statements from building materials firm CRH and safety testing firm Intertek.
The economic calendar has German third-quarter gross domestic product figures at 0700 GMT and US house price index and consumer confidence readings at 1400 GMT and 1500 GMT respectively.

Nov 23 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- Oil prices extended gains as traders eyed a recovery in crude demand thanks to successful coronavirus vaccine trials, although prices were contained by renewed lockdowns in several countries.
- Gold rose, supported by a softer dollar and bets for further U.S. monetary stimulus to revive the pandemic-hit economy outweighing pressure from optimism over a possible COVID-19 vaccine rollout next month.
- London copper prices retreated from a 29-month peak touched in the previous session amid thin trade, as rising coronavirus cases globally tempered optimism over a rollout of vaccines.
- Chicago soybean futures rose more than 1% , gaining for a seventh consecutive session as dry weather in key suppliers Brazil and Argentina stoked supply concerns.
- New York cocoa futures climbed to the highest level in almost nine months on Friday, buoyed by low stocks and a recent large front-month premium, while arabica coffee prices retreated from the prior session's two-month peak.
- Malaysian palm oil futures fell for a third straight session, hitting a near two-week low on shrinking November exports and tracking losses in rival Dalian oils.

- Asia markets turn lower as lockdown reality trumps vaccine hope

Stocks fell in Asia on Thursday as a global rally fuelled by vaccine optimism gives way to the harsh reality of surging infections that are forcing fresh lockdowns and threatening to shock the global economy again. While the broad consensus is that 2021 will see a healthy recovery across the world as people are gradually inoculated, traders are focusing on the immediate crisis as the US and Europe suffer a second wave of the killer disease.
World markets have enjoyed an impressive run in November thanks to Joe Biden’s US election victory and then news that two vaccine candidates had shown to be more than 90 percent effective in late trials. The announcements lifted hopes that the planet can begin to get back to some form of normality soon. However, New York’s three main indexes took a decisive turn lower in late trade Wednesday when the city’s Mayor Bill de Blasio said he would shut schools because of rising infections. The news realised fears among investors that the soaring number of new cases around the US — the country has registered more than 100,000 every day for two weeks — would force lockdowns similar to those that battered the economy earlier this year.

Key European economies including France, Germany and Britain have already imposed new or partial lockdowns, while other countries around the world including Japan and South Korea have been forced to take new containment action.
“Once again, rising infection rates and lockdown concerns are the market’s primary focus,” said Axi strategist Stephen Innes.
“Predictably, the US stock market has reacted extremely negatively as traders cut and trim while hedging against this necessary health care move that could be the trigger that sends both the market and the economy back on the Covid-19 doom loop.”
He added: “While the vaccine does offer bright green lights at the end of the tunnel, the tunnel just got more cavernous and lengthier.”

Asian markets tracked the US sell-off. Hong Kong and Singapore each lost 0.7 percent, while Tokyo and Seoul were down 0.6 percent. Shanghai, Sydney, Taipei and Wellington were down a little less, and Manila dropped 0.8 percent. Observers said the losses were also caused by profit-taking and the positive impact of the vaccine news had largely now been built into prices.

High-yielding currencies also dropped against the dollar as traders sought out safer assets.
“We are expecting tough times in coming months because of the resurgence of cases, but in terms of the longer term recovery path, the vaccine was a very important news milestone,” Melda Mergen, at Columbia Threadneedle Investments, told Bloomberg TV.
“We think that the cyclical recovery is going to come back but there are going to be some bumps along the road.”

Key figures around 0230 GMT

Tokyo – Nikkei 225: DOWN 0.6 percent at 25,566.93 (break)
Hong Kong – Hang Seng: DOWN 0.6 percent at 26,359.50
Shanghai – Composite: DOWN 0.2 percent at 3,339.16
Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.1849 from $1.1853 at 2150 GMT
Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.3243 from $1.3270
Dollar/yen: DOWN at 103.81 yen from 103.86 yen
Euro/pound: UP at 89.47 pence from 89.33 pence
West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 0.3 percent at $41.68 per barrel
Brent North Sea crude: DOWN 0.1 percent at $44.30 per barrel
New York – Dow: DOWN 1.2 percent at 29,438.42 (close)
London – FTSE 100: UP 0.3 percent at 6,385.24 (close)

Nov 20 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- Oil prices were little changed, on track for a third consecutive weekly rise, but demand concerns stemming from surging coronavirus cases and renewed lockdowns in several countries capped any further gains.
- Gold prices fell after U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin called for an end to some of the Federal Reserve's pandemic lending, sparking uncertainty about stimulus programmes that have played a key role in reassuring financial markets.
- Shanghai copper prices hovered near 2-1/2-year highs, underpinned by strong physical demand in China and hopes of supportive U.S. policies for the metal used in renewable energy under a Joe Biden presidency.
- Chicago soybeans rose for a sixth consecutive session, with the market poised for a third weekly gain, as robust Chinese demand and dry South American weather supported prices.
- Raw sugar futures on ICE closed down on Thursday, retreating from a near nine-month peak set earlier this week, although the market remained underpinned by tightening supplies with a global sugar deficit expected in the current 2020/21 season.
- Malaysian palm oil futures reversed early gains, set to post losses of 1% for the week, as exports slumped during the first half of November.

- U.S. President Trump is likely to escalate sanctions against China with a focus on the tech industry to garner personal political capital, Jefferies says. Following a ban on U.S. investment in 31 Chinese companies and a push to delist China ADRs, Trump's next possible moves could include revoking operating licenses for China Telecom and China Unicom in the U.S and putting China's top chip maker Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. on the entity list, the bank says. Revoking the license of the two carriers could hurt investor sentiment though fundamental impact will likely be minimal, it says.

- Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton calls for early financial literacy as a way to fight social inequity. "If you are not connected in this economy, financially, you are being left behind," Clayton says at an event sponsored by the Economic Club of New York. "If you don't have a bank account, we can't get your paycheck protection. If you don't have an understanding of basics of investing, you are not going to have as good a retirement," he says.

Nov 19 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- Oil futures eased, surrendering some gains from the previous day as the surge in coronavirus cases and tighter economic restrictions around the globe stoked fears over slower fuel demand, outweighing upbeat vaccine news.
- Gold prices inched lower, as a firmer dollar and progress in COVID-19 vaccine developments offset concerns over spiking virus cases in the United States and hopes of more stimulus.
- China's new global copper contract had a spluttered start, reflecting a downbeat trend across the complex amid concerns that more coronavirus lockdowns could temper demand.
- Chicago soybean futures edged lower, after hitting their highest level since June 2016 in the previous session on the back of strong demand and dry weather in parts of South America.
- New York cocoa futures on ICE climbed to their highest since late September on Wednesday, supported by low exchange stocks, while arabica coffee rose sharply to a two-month peak as Storm Iota caused devastation in Central America.
- Malaysian palm futures hit their highest in more than eight years, boosted by a sharp rise in rival soybean oils on the Dalian exchange and the Chicago Board of Trade, and expectations of weak output due to heavy-rain forecasts.

- Get the stimulus deal that is doable done, says Marriott International CEO Arne Sorenson. He says at a session of the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing that the most important piece of any stimulus is extensions of small-business support, the Paycheck Protection Program and unemployment benefits. Sorenson notes restaurants have a hard time functioning at full capacity. At limited capacity, many are not viable. "What kind of stimulus can tide them over?" Sorenson says. Business Roundtable CEO Joshua Bolten says at the event it's also imperative that the federal overnment is adequately financed to roll out vaccines. "It would be a terrible thing for the science to move faster than Washington," he says.

- The euro is likely to remain rangebound versus the dollar until there is more clarity over Brexit and whether the Democrats or Republicans will take control of the US Senate, Danske Bank says. Traders may take the euro a "new leg higher" if the UK and EU agree to a trade deal by the year-end deadline, the Democrats secure a majority in the Senate following January runoff elections in Georgia and there is continued positive coronavirus vaccine news, Danske Bank strategist Lars Sparreso Merklin says. "But all the events have to fall in line for us to see that happening." Until then, the euro will continue to trade in a tight range versus the dollar as market optimism is "equally alive" as pessimism, he says.

- While starting to implement a full transition of power is preferred, at minimum the Trump administration should begin coordinating with the Biden team on Covid-19 and national security, says Joshua Bolten, president and CEO of the Business Roundtable. Bolten says during a panel at the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing conference he'd like to see the Biden administration institute a national mask mandate. While it would still be tough to enforce, it would give front-line workers another way of dealing with uncooperative customers. You'd have to wear a mask because it is "a federal requirement, not because Walmart is trying to be mean to you." The BRT is not, however, in support of a national lockdown.

- Travel spending in the US could fall 45% to $617B from last year, according to the US Travel Association, as the Covid-19 pandemic has decimated the sector this year. Domestic leisure-travel spending is expected to fall 34%, while domestic business travel could decline 55% and international inbound travel could plunge 77%, the association says. USTA blames the lack of extra stimulus before the Nov. 3 election for the further devastation of the industry. "A lot of businesses that need help to retain and rehire their people won't be there in January if we wait until the next Congress to get more aid passed," USTA CEO Roger Dow says. "The pain among travel employers is extremely acute, and so is the frustration that Washington has been unable to act so far given the size and obviousness of this problem."

- President Trump formally taps Brian Brooks to become the Comptroller of the Currency, a role he has already filled in an interim capacity since May, overseeing big national banks such as JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America. His pathway through the Senate in the lame-duck session of Congress is uncertain and he would almost certainly be replaced shortly after Joe Biden's inauguration in January.

- Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics, says that without a meaningful support package the economy will fall back into recession in the first half of 2021. Speaking at an Economic Club of New York event, Zandi says he is "increasingly disconcerted by the policy response," and pointed to the fast-approaching expiration date of some relief programs, like mortgage forbearance and the rental eviction moratorium as well as the Federal Reserve's emergency lending programs. "Think of what January is going to feel like," Zandi says. "It's increasingly irresponsible for lawmakers not to come forward," he adds, later adding he expects "a meaningful, sizable package in February 2021. That is key to avoiding a double-dip," recession.

Nov 18 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- Oil prices were mixed as a bigger-than-expected build in U.S. crude stocks and weaker U.S. retail sales stoked fears over fuel demand, although hopes that OPEC and its allies will delay a planned rise in oil output lent support.
- Gold prices edged lower due to optimism over a potential COVID-19 vaccine, but concerns over the economic impact from the resurgence of coronavirus cases in the United States limited their decline.  
- Copper edged lower as concerns grew over rising COVID-19 cases worldwide that have prompted fresh lockdowns in the United States and Europe, dampening hopes of a swift global economic recovery from the pandemic.
- Chicago soybeans slid after climbing for three sessions to hit their highest in four years as dry weather in South America and robust Chinese demand stoke supply concerns.
- Raw sugar prices on ICE touched an 8-1/2-month high on Tuesday, buoyed by signs the market is growing tighter and moving towards a wide deficit this season, before pulling back later in the day.
- Malaysian palm oil futures rose, underpinned by expectations of tight supplies in November, although concerns of slowing demand from Indonesia limited gains.

- President Trump formally taps Brian Brooks to become the Comptroller of the Currency, a role he has already filled in an interim capacity since May, overseeing big national banks such as JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America. His pathway through the Senate in the lame-duck session of Congress is uncertain and he would almost certainly be replaced shortly after Joe Biden's inauguration in January.

- Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics, says that without a meaningful support package the economy will fall back into recession in the first half of 2021. Speaking at an Economic Club of New York event, Zandi says he is "increasingly disconcerted by the policy response," and pointed to the fast-approaching expiration date of some relief programs, like mortgage forbearance and the rental eviction moratorium as well as the Federal Reserve's emergency lending programs. "Think of what January is going to feel like," Zandi says. "It's increasingly irresponsible for lawmakers not to come forward," he adds, later adding he expects "a meaningful, sizable package in February 2021. That is key to avoiding a double-dip," recession.

- Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a leader of the US government's pandemic response, calls for mass adoption of a Covid-19 vaccine but left open whether the government should mandate the vaccine. "In the NIH government hospital that I'm in, if I don't get a flu vaccine, I'm not going to be allowed to see the patients in there," Fauci says at a New York Times' DealBook event. "Whether industry wants to do that, I leave that up to them," Fauci says, adding, "I'm telling you as a public health person, it would be to the advantage of the individual and to the nation if everyone gets vaccinated with a safe and effective vaccine."

- Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) said the next head of the Securities and Exchange Commission should take more steps to require companies to disclose risks related to climate change. In a testy exchange during a Senate hearing Tuesday,Warren criticized outgoing SEC Chairman Jay Clayton for not mandating that all companies disclose aspects of their business that could be affected by climate change or the push by governments to stymie it. Clayton countered that the SEC requires such disclosures if companies deem them "material," and that investors want "decision-useful information." Warren's remarks nevertheless established climate-related disclosure as a top priority for the SEC among progressives Democrats in the Biden administration. "We need a new SEC chair who will put this climate crisis at the top of the agency's agenda," the senator said.

- The 10-year Treasury yield could rise to 1.35% before 3Q 2021, Bank of America says, "if data improves and the pandemic becomes more controllable." The bullish scenario assumes markets pricing a Fed lift off by early 2022, a sharp departure from current estimates. The 10-year yield, which rises as bond prices fall, is at 0.87%, with markets estimating a 1Q 2024 lift off. "While the actual Fed path may turn out to be quite different from the current market path and the hypothetical scenarios we pose, we believe this analysis provides a plausible upper bound on a near-term selloff."

- Major US farm and environmental groups are joining forces to peddle a sweeping set of climate policy recommendations on Capitol Hill, hoping the proposals will win broad support in a divided Congress. The proposals, drawn up by groups including American Farm Bureau Federation and The Nature Conservancy, address topics from soil health to food waste, and include ideas--like establishing a USDA-led "carbon bank"--that would pay or provide tax credits to farmers who store carbon in their soils. The rollout comes as some farmers fear a ramp-up in burdensome environmental regulations under President-elect Joe Biden, who pledged during his campaign to invest in "climate-friendly farming" and help decarbonize the agricultural sector.

- A new advocacy group, Zero Emissions Transportation Association, forms as companies tied to the electric-vehicle market expect policy support from President-Elect Biden. The group, which counts Tesla, Uber Technologies, utilities including Duke Energy and Southern, plus lithium producer Albemarle, among its founding members, says it will push for "national policies that will enable 100% electric vehicle sales throughout the light-,
medium-, and heavy-duty sectors by 2030." That timetable for phasing out gas-powered cars is more ambitious than California's move to ban sales of new gas-powered cars starting by 2035. Through July 87% of registrations in the US were for light-vehicles powered by gasoline, per IHS Markit.

- Walmart CEO Doug McMillon congratulated "President-elect Biden," on the company's earnings conference call Tuesday. "We look forward to working with the administration in both houses of Congress to move the country forward and solve issues on behalf of our associates, customers and other stakeholders," McMillon said. Days after the election McMillon also supported the results through his role as head of Business Roundtable. The CEO organization put out a statement the weekend after the election which congratulated President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris saying "while we respect the Trump campaign's right to seek recounts, to call for investigation of alleged voting irregularities where evidence exists and to exhaust legitimate legal remedies, there is no indication that any of these would change the outcome."

- The safe-haven Japanese yen should strengthen against the dollar in coming months as optimism over a coronavirus vaccine fades, Societe Generale says. After promising trial data on two separate coronavirus vaccines, market "euphoria is understandable but unsustainable," SocGen forex strategists Kit Juckes and Olivier Korber say. "The surge of Covid-19 cases in the U.S. and Europe's second lockdown guarantee global economic weakness for several more months," they say. Elsewhere, there are plenty of geopolitical risks to worry about during the next two months as the U.S. conducts a very messy handover of power to U.S. President-elect Joe Biden, the strategists say. SocGen recommends betting on a weaker USD/JPY through put options.

Nov 17 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Commodities (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- Oil prices edged higher on expectations OPEC and its allies will extend oil production cuts for at least three months, while sentiment was bolstered by news of another promising coronavirus vaccine.
- Gold prices eased as market optimism over a second possible COVID-19 vaccine countered a subdued dollar and concerns over rising coronavirus cases globally.
- Nickel prices hit a one-week low after the benchmark Chinese futures contract for stainless steel slumped to the weakest in five months as producers faced high input costs and sluggish demand.
- Chicago soybean futures rose about 1% to their highest in more than four years as tightening supplies in key exporting countries and strong demand buoyed the market.
- Raw sugar prices on ICE surged to an 8-1/2-month high on Monday, boosted by nearby supply tightness, while cocoa futures were also sharply higher.
- Malaysian palm oil futures climbed 1%, as supply is estimated to be tight this month, with gains in crude prices spurred by news of another potential COVID-19 vaccine making the oilseed a more attractive option for biodiesel feedstock.

- Aluminum is continuing its steady rise and has reached its highest level since late-2018 in early European trading. Three-month aluminum on the LME is up 0.8% at $1,968.50 a metric ton. It has gained 12% so far this quarter. Increasing hopes for Chinese demand have outweighed concerns over increasing supply and supported prices, says Wenyu Yao, senior commodities strategist at ING. The high prices are incentivizing Chinese smelters to ramp up production, she says, citing official data showing a nearly 10% rise in aluminum output last month, year on year. But so far, there were no signs that the extra metal was sitting idle in warehouses as Chinese inventories have not risen, she adds. Copper prices were up 0.1% at $7,104 a ton.

- Gold prices are edging lower but have recouped their losses from Monday, when news of Moderna's vaccine trials prompted a sharp drop. Comex futures are down 0.1% at $1,886.10 a troy ounce. They had slipped by around $30 in a few minutes after Moderna said its experimental Covid-19 vaccine had fared well in clinical trials, but regained most of that ground by the end of the session, suggesting investors continue to see gold dips as buying opportunities. Later in the day investors will be watching for data on U.S. retail sales and industrial production.

Nov 16 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- Oil prices climbed, recouping some losses from the previous session as hopes that OPEC+ will hold current output curbs offset concerns about weaker fuel demand due to rising COVID-19 cases and higher production from Libya.
- Gold prices touched a one-week high as the dollar retreated, while mounting U.S. coronavirus cases fuelled concerns over the pandemic's impact on economic recovery, underpinning hopes of further monetary stimulus.
- Industrial metals rose, with copper prices hitting 29-month highs and Shanghai aluminium scaling a three-year peak, on optimism around demand in top metals consumer China.
- Chicago soybean futures rose, trading close to a more than four-year high hit last week, as strong demand from top buyer China and dry weather in South America underpinned prices.
- ICE raw sugar prices edged up on Friday after sharp gains in the previous session, with the market holding an upside bias as traders await news from India on its sugar export policy.
- Malaysian palm oil futures rose, tracking strength in rival Dalian oils, although expectations of a slowdown in exports to top buyers India and China kept a lid on gains.

- After becoming politicized during the last election, the US Postal Service hopes it can move forward to fix the agency, whose financial picture continues to worsen. "It's time to put away the harsh rhetoric, lower the temperature and collaborate on new solutions," Postmaster General Louis DeJoy says at the agency's board meeting, where it touted its performance during the election, including delivering ballots from voters to election officials in, on average, 1.6 days, and 99.7% of ballots delivered within five days. Now, DeJoy and the Postal Service will look to discuss measures with Congress like easing an unusual requirement that USPS must prefund retiree benefits decades in advance as well as modernizing operations.

- Consumer confidence in the U.S. was apparently hit by the election results, with a modest rise in sentiment among Democrats being offset by a sharp slump in sentiment for Republicans, according to the University of Michigan survey of consumers. Contrary to what happened four years ago when Donald Trump's victory drove a surge in confidence among Republicans that outweighed the despondence of Democrats, causing overall confidence to jump, Andrew Hunter, senior U.S. economist at Capital Economics, says. "With that 2016 surge in confidence failing to feed through to any notable pickup in consumption growth, we wouldn't expect the nascent reversal of that shift to have much of a negative impact either," he says.

- The Chinese yuan could appreciate against the dollar over the medium term if trade tensions between the U.S. and China ease under U.S. President-elect Joe Biden, UniCredit says. "Moreover, the firmer Chinese recovery and Beijing's intention to shift the engine of economic growth from external to internal demand will likely allow Chinese policymakers to withstand a firmer currency over time," UniCredit forex strategist Roberto Mialich says. USD/CNY could fall to 6.50 over the "coming quarters" from 6.6073 at present, he says.

- Danske Bank expects the 10-year US Treasury and German Bund yields to rise to 1.10% and -0.40%, respectively, over the next three months. U.S. President elect Joe Biden "means a more expansionary fiscal policy and higher yields," says Arne Lohmann Rasmussen, chief analyst and head of cross-Scandi research at the Nordic bank. He adds, however, that there is a need to distinguish between a Covid-19 relief package and more long-term fiscal easing. Vaccine news from Pfizer, and the timing of a viable vaccine, "could have decisive significance for how the global economy develops in 2021," he says. The 10-year Bund yield trades 1.5 basis points lower at -0.548%, the 10-year US Treasury yield trades at 0.866%, according to Tradeweb.

Nov 13 - Asia markets take fresh hit as virus surge trumps vaccine hope (WSJ DJ)

- A spike in coronavirus infections across the United States and Europe hit Asian markets again Friday as traders fear another wave of lockdown measures will throw an already shaky economic recovery off course. The rally fuelled by excitement over a possible vaccine before 2021 and relief at Joe Biden's US election win has given way to the reality that while there is light at the end of the tunnel, the killer disease remains rampant. Several European economies including England and France have already been all but shut down to contain a fresh eruption, but they continue to record frighteningly high numbers of new cases -- raising the possibility the measures could be extended. And major US cities including New York and Chicago are being forced to act as leaders worry that the northern hemisphere winter will be more deadly than spring.

- This all means economies that had started to see signs of life after a searingly bad first half of the year could stumble again, with some observers indicating the world will see a so-called W-shaped recovery. Top US health adviser Anthony Fauci said while he was confident vaccines would bring an end to the pandemic, it was crucial that people "hang on and continue to double down on the public health measures".

- All three main indexes on Wall Street finished in the red, though the Nasdaq fared slightly better as tech firms benefit from bets on people using gadgets while stuck at home. Those losses seeped into Asia, where profit-taking also played a role after a week-long rally. Tokyo, Sydney, Singapore, Manila and Mumbai were all in the red, though there were gains in Seoul, Taipei, Wellington and Jakarta. "Despite some truly remarkable news on the healthcare and vaccine front this week, which saw investors cheer it to the rafters... investors could not shake the sentiment-crushing aspects of the continually soaring Covid-19 cases and the unpleasantries of new economic restrictions," said Axi strategist Stephen Innes.

- 'Winter of discontent' -
"It feels a bit deflated today as investors look to hunker down for what is bound to be a winter of discontent. The vaccine cannot get here quick enough as what should be a festive time of the year looks bound to be weeks of holiday gloom," he added. Hong Kong and Shanghai were also hit by news that Donald Trump had signed an order banning Americans from investing in Chinese firms that could help the country's military and security apparatus.
The executive order, due to take effect on January 11, said Beijing obliges private firms to support these activities and through capital markets "exploits United States investors to finance the development and modernization of its military". The prohibition targets a list of 31 companies, including telecoms, aerospace and construction firms, according to reports. Among the firms on the list China Mobile plunged five percent in Hong Kong while China Telecom Corp dived almost eight percent. Adding to the downbeat mood on trading floors are concerns that a new US stimulus is unlikely to be passed before Biden moves into the White House. With Donald Trump continuing to reject defeat and concede, reports said he has stepped back from talks on a new round of spending for the beleaguered economy. "This means that stimulus hopes now depend on the ability of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi finding common ground," said National Australia Bank's Rodrigo Catril. "But, notwithstanding the prospect of the US economic recovery losing momentum as tougher social restrictions are introduced, hopes of a big stimulus don't look great."

- In early trade, London, Paris and Frankfurt all fell - Key figures around0820 GMT
Tokyo - Nikkei 225: DOWN 0.5 percent at 25,385.87 (close)
Hong Kong - Hang Seng: DOWN 0.1 percent at 26,156.86 (close)
Shanghai - Composite: DOWN 0.9 percent at 3,310.10 (close)
London - FTSE 100: DOWN 0.7 percent at 6,292.91
Euro/dollar: UP at $1.1813 from $1.1807 at 2230 GMT
Pound/dollar: UP at $1.3145 from $1.3118
Dollar/yen: DOWN at 105.02 yen from 105.10 yen
Euro/pound: DOWN at 89.87 pence from 89.96 pence
West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 1.5 percent at $40.50 per barrel
Brent North Sea crude: DOWN 1.1 percent at $43.05 per barrel
New York - Dow: DOWN 1.1 percent to 29,080.17 (close)

Nov 13 AM - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- Oil prices fell, pressured by fears about a slow recovery in the global economy and fuel demand due to an accelerating rise in COVID-19 infections, but remained on track for a second straight weekly gain, helped by vaccine hopes.
- Gold prices held firm in a narrow range, supported by fears over the economic fallout from mounting COVID-19 cases, but the metal headed for its worst weekly loss since September as hopes for a vaccine boosted risk assets earlier this week.
- London copper prices eased as a rise in COVID-19 cases and tighter restrictions around the world dampened the prospect of a swift global economic recovery.
- Chicago soybean futures ticked lower, but the market was on track for a second weekly gain because of strong demand from top importer China.
- ICE raw sugar prices rose 3% on Thursday but remained firmly within recent ranges as traders awaited news from India on its sugar export policy.
- Malaysian palm oil futures fell after four straight sessions of gains, tracking losses in rival oils on the Chicago Board of Trade and the Dalian Commodity Exchange, with a weaker crude oil also weighing on prices.

- Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman calls the death of George Floyd, a Black man killed while in police custody in Minneapolis, a tipping point to address structural inequities. "It wasn't enough to simply write the gratuitous memo, give a bunch of money and say we are done," he says. Morgan Stanley added a commitment to diversity and inclusion as a fifth value to its guiding principles and set up the Institute of Inclusion, responsible among other things for setting policy and overseeing the mentoring, development and promotion of women and employees from diverse backgrounds. The institute, he says at an Economic Club of New York event, met for the first time today. "We are nowhere near where we need to be as a society," Gorman says. "As a major corporation, we've got to play a constructive role."

- Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman, asked about trade policy for President-Elect Joe Biden's administration, says the first challenge will be to get past the pandemic, "then trade will move very quickly." "Ultimately, we need functional, not dysfunctional, relationships between the largest trading partners for the benefit of the whole world, " Gorman says, speaking at an Economic Club of New York event.

- With President-elect Joe Biden's proposal for housing assistance, hours worked in the US in 2030 would be 2.4% lower than it would be if current regulations were to remain, according to an estimate by Penn Wharton Budget Model. But that means residents can spend less time working without having to consume less, the model says. "The main marginal effects of the Biden housing assistance plan are to increase debt and to decrease hours worked, capital, and thus output," the group says. Government expenditures such as the supplemental nutrition assistance program and Medicaid would also be higher relative to the status quo, according to the model.

- US GDP in 2030 could be 0.4% lower under Biden's proposals than under current regulations, according to an estimate by Penn Wharton Budget Model. The model assumes Biden's proposals on immigration, tax, public investment, housing, social security and health care. "The drag to GDP is due mostly due to the increase in taxes," says Richard Prisinzano, director of policy analysis. "The taxes specifically hit high-income folks, which in our model are the ... more productive people, and it hits capital." Capital would be 0.7% lower under the Biden plan relative to the current law, according to the model. Average hourly wage would be 2.7% higher, while hours worked would be 2.4% lower relative to current law.

- Wind turbines are being installed at breakneck speed in 2020 to take advantage of subsidies due to expire. "Project developers expect more than 23 gigawatts of wind turbine generating capacity to come online in the US in 2020, far more than the previous record of 13.2 GW added in 2012," the EIA says, noting Texas and Oklahoma are leading the way. "The impending phaseout of the full value of the US production tax credit (PTC) at the end of 2020 is leading to more capacity additions than average this year, just as previous tax credit reductions led to significant wind capacity additions in 2012."

- Goldman Sachs is still expecting more government help for an ailing economy: "Our base case for additional stimulus remains the same: roughly $1 trillion in additional fiscal measures, most of which would be spent in 2021." In a note, the firm acknowledged very complicated politics around achieving a new package, but even so, it sees renewed enhanced jobless benefits, more paycheck protection aid and some help for local governments. That said, "it is also very unclear what President Trump would be willing to sign before he leaves office, and the continued disagreement over the election result has made negotiations more difficult," the firm says.

- Hill & Smith Holdings is well positioned to benefit from increased spending on infrastructure, particularly following the news that Joe Biden will become president of the U.S., Shore Capital says. Biden has pledged to spend $2 trillion on infrastructure, which would benefit sales across all of Hill & Smith's divisions. "At this stage, we do not expect to materially upgrade our 2021 or 2022 forecasts, but we believe there may be scope to do so at a later date," Shore Capital says. Shares rise 2.6% after a trading update for the July-October period from the supplier of infrastructure products and galvanizing services.

- The Trump administration has put economic pressure on Cuba, including through curbs on tourism, and it will be up to the incoming Biden administration to determine the future of US-Cuba relations as part of its expected efforts to reverse Trump-era policies. The US last year barred American cruise ships, yachts, sailboats and private flights from going to Cuba. "While no specifics were given, we think it's reasonable that Cuba-U.S. travel could be resumed, which would be ideal for a cruise restart," Credit Suisse says. The bank says Cuba contributed about 4% to Norwegian Cruise Line's itineraries before the ban.

Nov 12 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- The dollar held broad gains as investors tempered bullish expectations about a COVID-19 vaccine, while the kiwi hovered at an almost 20-month peak as the odds lengthened on New Zealand imposing negative interest rates.
- Oil prices rose, taking the week's gains to more than 11% on growing hopes that the world's major producers will hold off on a planned supply increase as soaring cases of COVID-19 dent fuel demand.
- Gold prices edged higher, after dropping over 1% in the previous session, as concerns over the economic fallout from surging COVID-19 cases outweighed positive vaccine news.
- Shanghai aluminium prices rose to a near three-year high, helped by a fall in inventories and an uptick in demand from some sectors in top consumer China.
- Chicago soybean futures eased after hitting a more than four-year high in the last session, although strong demand and concerns over global supplies kept a floor under the market.
- ICE cocoa prices rose on Wednesday as Barry Callebaut, the world's largest chocolate maker, gave an upbeat outlook in its full-year earnings report.
- Malaysian palm oil futures snapped a three-session rally as traders booked profits, but concerns over lower production estimates for this month kept losses in check.


- The dollar selloff that occurred in the immediate aftermath of Joe Biden's victory in the U.S. presidential election has faded, along with market euphoria over a potential vaccine, Unicredit says. The second coronavirus wave and lockdown measures across Europe have "returned center stage" to reverse recent gains in the euro and sterling versus the safe haven dollar, Unicredit analysts say. European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde's new warnings over the inflationary impact of a strong euro and reports that Brexit negotiations may continue into next week don't help sentiment, they say. EUR/USD rises 0.1% to 1.1781 and GBP/USD falls 0.2% to 1.3189, dropping away from highs reached earlier this week of 1.1920 and 1.3295 respectively, according to FactSet.

- Positive steps in the development of a Covid-19 vaccine may have taken a little wind out of gold's sails, but Capital Economics doesn't expect the yellow metal to fall too far. It expects gold ETF holdings to take time to pull lower, saying investors are likely to be cautious in exiting so long as there is uncertainty about the distribution and production of a vaccine. It also expects US real yields to remain low, or perhaps even fall in the year ahead, supporting assets such as gold that don't pay interest. Spot gold is down 0.6% at $1,866/oz. Capital Economics expects prices stabilizing around $1,900 through the end of 2021.

- The US dollar strengthens broadly, including 0.3% against the euro and 0.1% against the yen, and the WSJ Dollar Index rises 0.2%. Coronavirus cases and hospitalizations in the US remain high, but a tech rebound sent the S&P 500 0.8% higher today. UBS expects another round of fiscal stimulus even if Democrats don't get a Senate majority by picking up two Senate seats in a January runoff in Georgia, which will weaken the dollar. UBS adds that depreciation will be faster if they do flip the Senate. The bank says safe-haven flows to the dollar should also fall as the economy recovers and a vaccine becomes available next year.

- US benchmark oil prices give up most of their sharp gains from earlier in the session, ending a slight 9 cents, or 0.2% higher at $41.45 a barrel, as the market's three-day rally appears to be running out of steam. WTI crude jumped more than 4% to above $43 during the overnight session, but slowly gave up those gains during NY trading hours, in part due to a late turn lower in US equities. Still, oil's modest price increase marks a third consecutive session of gains for WTI, and the rally may re-accelerate Thursday as weekly EIA data due at 11 am ET is expected to show another bullish decline.

- The EIA is expected to lower its ethanol inventory estimate in its report this week, says Terry Reilly of Futures International. According to Reilly, US ethanol inventories are expected to slide 75,000 barrels, bringing them to roughly 19.6M barrels--the lowest they've been since December 2016. This would be indicative of stronger consumption of ethanol in the US, and could be the beginning of a trend if a Biden Administration is as friendly to the renewable fuels industry as anticipated. The EIA will issue its ethanol data tomorrow, with it delayed a day due to Veterans Day.

- Under his climate-change agenda, President-Elect Biden will reverse Trump's executive orders on power-plant emissions, methane leaks, car emissions and the Keystone XL oil pipeline, among others, analysts at HSBC say. And even if Biden's $2 trillion climate plan fails in Congress, his "administration will focus on climate change to an extent not previously witnessed in the US," the bank's analysts say. HSBC ranks the US second in the world after China among countries that can profit off the decarbonization of the global economy.

- A senior lawmaker in Washington believes the state can be the next hub for consumer privacy in the US, following California's lead. But as Democratic state Sen. Reuven Carlyle prepares to introduce a bill in January, he faces continued opposition from within his own party over how to enforce data protections. Democrats in the state House and attorney general's office support a private right of action that would allow individuals to sue companies for privacy violations, threatening to derail Carlyle's efforts for the third time in as many years.

- A White House led by former Vice President Biden would be positive on some policy fronts tied to lithium, such as providing incentives for electric vehicles powered by batteries containing the material, J. Kent Masters, CEO of lithium producer Albemarle, told WSJ last week. But the tax and regulatory environment would likely grow tougher, he said in an interview conducted before news outlets called the election for Biden, adding such moves depend in part on the control of the Senate. Other jurisdictions have pushed harder to foster sales of EVs, including in Europe, where the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association says 26 EU countries offer some form of stimulus for purchasing EVs, which generally cost more than traditional cars and trucks.

- The voters that elected Joe Biden as the next president represent the lion's share of total American economic output, new data from the Brookings Institution show. According to the think tank, those who voted for Biden hail from parts of the economy that represent 70% of total economic output, an improvement over 2016, when those who voted for Hillary Clinton represented two thirds of US output. "Biden captured virtually all of the counties with the biggest economies in the country," the Brookings report said, while "Trump won thousands of counties in small-town and rural communities with correspondingly tiny economies." Biden also won in districts that were more diverse in terms of education and income. "Blue and red America reflect two very different economies: one oriented to diverse, often college-educated workers in professional and digital services occupations, and the other whiter, less-educated, and more dependent on 'traditional' industries," the report said.

- The dollar should weaken as fresh U.S. fiscal stimulus will be agreed even if Democrats fail to flip the Senate in January when Georgia holds run-off elections, UBS Global Wealth Management says. The dollar would fall faster if Democrats take control of the Senate, resulting in more generous stimulus, but the currency will still decline "over time" in the event of a split government, says Caroline Simmons, U.K. chief investment officer at UBS. Interest rate differentials between the U.S. and other currencies have narrowed while the dollar is "overvalued," she says. Safe-haven flows to the dollar should also fall as the economy recovers and a vaccine becomes available next year, she says. UBS expects EUR/USD to end 2021 at 1.22, versus 1.1753 currently.

- Vice-president-elect Kamala Harris could be a force for strengthening environmental, social and governance standards in business and finance judging by her record, including the Climate Equity Act she introduced with congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, says Diane Menville, head of ESG at Scope Group. "All the same, we have to be realistic about what Biden and Harris can achieve: the plans the Democratic Party has agreed will confront political reality soon enough," she says, pointing to the upcoming runoffs for two U.S. Senate seats in Georgia.

- Financial analysts covering issues such as economics and energy are eager to start predicting US government policies over the next four years, and have generally recognized the media's declaration of Biden as the presidential-election winner. But just in case, some are adding caveats as Trump, Secretary of State Pompeo and top Republican senators urge the public to let the process play out. "We acknowledge there is some uncertainty as to the
outcome of the presidential election," say analysts at Morgan Stanley in an energy research note, before beginning their energy analysis: "A Biden administration will clearly drive a change in tone on US climate policy, with increased attention to climate efforts already beginning to take place."

Nov 11 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- Oil prices climbed over 1%, after an industry report showed U.S. crude inventories have fallen more than expected, while hopes of an effective COVID-19 vaccine continued to bolster sentiment.
- Gold prices edged higher, supported by a softer dollar, while concerns about surging COVID-19 cases in the United States and logistical challenges over the mass roll-out of a potential vaccine further bolstered the metal's appeal.
- London copper prices climbed towards their highest in 29 months, as hopes for a coronavirus vaccine lifted expectations of a swift reopening of the global economy, while prospects of further stimulus also lent support.
- Chicago Board of Trade soybean futures rose 1% to hit their highest in more than four years after the U.S. Department of Agriculture said the end-of-season stockpiles will fall to their smallest in seven years.
- ICE raw sugar futures fell on Tuesday as funds remained on the sidelines after pushing prices above 15 cents and as wider market euphoria subsided somewhat over news of a promising vaccine for the novel coronavirus.
- Malaysian palm oil futures rose for the third session, lingering at over eight-year highs, on tight October inventories and gains in rival oils.

- Investors are snapping up riskier euro-denominated corporate bonds as Joe Biden's victory at the U.S. election last week and positive developments on the quest for a Covid-19 vaccine have lifted optimism over the economic outlook this week. "Even after the latest rally...investors still appear to have appetite for lower credit quality and duration," says UniCredit, adding that a cautious rotation into cyclical sectors can be observed, with bonds from sectors such as travel and leisure, industrial goods and services and tech outperforming.

- Sterling's recent gains make sense as Joe Biden's victory in the U.S. presidential election may pressure the U.K. government to reach a trade deal with the EU, Commerzbank says. Northern Ireland is a "sensitive subject" for Biden as he supported the peace process while he seems to favor "diplomacy, unity and cooperation" so could see the U.K.-EU split "critically," Commerzbank's Antje Praefcke says. That may encourage the U.K. agree a compromise with the EU but it will be difficult to reach a deal that resembles "even remotely to what full access to the internal market offers," she says. GBP/USD rises to a two-month high of 1.3292, according to FactSet. EUR/GBP falls 0.3% to a 10-week low of 0.8875.

- From a capital market point of view, some burdensome uncertainties now seem largely resolved, says German asset manager DWS. "There was no immediate turmoil surrounding the U.S. election, the risks to higher U.S. bond yields appear to be lower in the currently foreseeable power constellation," DWS says. On vaccines, it has been shown what, and that anything, is possible. "Even with Brexit, something seems to be moving," DWS says.

- Berkeley economist Maurice Obstfeld, former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, calls for the US to rescind Section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs "to show a shift of the US administration toward a more cooperative trade stance." Obstfeld's comments were part of a memorandum for the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

- Berkeley economist Maurice Obstfeld, former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, calls for the US to re-engage with the Paris climate agreement, rejoin the World Health Organization, engage constructively with the World Trade Organization and sign up for the Covax initiative, the main global effort to provide vaccines to poor countries. "The world economy will not do well if we have a two-speed recovery," due to uneven availability of a Covid-19 vaccine, says Obstfeld, a nonresident senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, "so getting the whole world healthy should be a priority."

- Former US Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers calls on an incoming Treasury secretary to put credibility first as a national asset. "At some very difficult moment, it will be necessary that your credibility be employed to inject confidence and provide reassurance," Summers says, speaking at a Peterson Institute for International Economics event. "In anticipation of that moment, it is necessary to preserve that credibility and resist the appeals that will come from many sources."

- The US should offer to convene a G20 leaders summit in the first months of the new administration to forge a Compact for Inclusive Global Growth and schedule a preparatory meeting of G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors to prepare the discussion, Former US Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers writes in a memorandum to President-elect Joe Biden's administration as part of a Peterson Institute for International Economics series on
Rebuilding the Global Economy. "This will both signal the new administration's recommitment of the United States to economic cooperation and provide an action-forcing deadline for crucial actions to combat the Covid-19 crisis," Summers wrote.

- Former US Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers says the next Treasury secretary's legacy will likely be more closely tied to international affairs than domestic ones, in part due to the difficulty of domestic divisions. Summers, speaking at a Peterson Institute for International Economics event, calls for the US to re-engage with the international community and more effectively connect international cooperation with domestic concerns. "It should never be forgotten that the GI Bill, the Treaty of Detroit, the availability of low-cost mortgage finance to build out the suburbs were essential parts of the broad program that permitted the growth of the Bretton Woods Institutions and the Marshall Plan," Summers said.

- Today's arguments in the Supreme Court are buoying the shares of managed-care companies such as Centene, Molina and Anthem, which have Medicaid and individual-plan businesses tied to the Affordable Care Act. Comments from conservative Justices, seen as signaling they would lean against striking down the entire law, reassure investors that the big insurers likely won't face huge disruptions. Stephens analysts write that the comments suggest the court will "uphold the vast majority of....the law using the severability clause." Centene up 3.5%, Molina rises 7% and Anthem gains 2%.

- Hotel owner Hersha Hospitality Trust expects a boost from the upcoming US presidential inauguration, COO Neil Shah says on a conference call, a rare opportunity as business travel remains depressed during the Covid-19 pandemic. "New administrations bring jobs, increase lobbying on the Hill, the likely return of higher-rated foreign delegations and an overall increase in corporate and leisure travel," he says. President Obama's inauguration in 2013 led to a 23% RevPAR boost for Hersha's portfolio during that quarter, and President Trump's led to 15% growth, Shah says. Hersha continues to expect sluggish recovery in 2021, and some of its hotels are for sale, Shah says. The real-estate investment trust posted a wider 3Q loss of $1.27 a share as revenue fell 75%. Shares fall 4.1% to $7.20.

- The federal government is allocating nearly 80,000 doses of Eli Lilly's newly authorized Covid-19 treatment, bamlanivimab, this week to US states and territories based on their rates of new diagnoses and hospitalizations in the past week, US officials said on a conference call Tuesday. States receiving the most include Illinois, Texas, California and Wisconsin. The federal government agreed to purchase 300,000 doses for $375M, with an
option for another 650,000 doses by mid-2021. The drug itself, which is meant for mild to moderate Covid-19, will be free of charge to patients, though some Medicare patients may face a $60 bill for administering the IV infusion, federal officials said. Lilly is boosting production, but CEO Dave Ricks tells the WSJ there's a "potentially huge gap between possible use and available product," at the moment. Eli Lilly shares up 3.2%.

- President-elect Joe Biden poses a threat to Canada's effort to ambitiously boost immigration, which has turned out to a crucial growth engine for the Canadian economy. Unlike the Trump administration, economists at Royal Bank of Canada write, Biden "will be more open to immigration, creating a more competitive environment for Canada." RBC says the Biden campaign has pledged to lift suspension of H-1B visas, which are used extensively by the tech sector, among other things. How much Biden can implement on immigration front depends on which party controls the Senate. Canada pledged to bring in 400K immigrants next year, higher than previous years' target. Immigration accounts for the bulk of Canada's population growth. And in recent years, economic growth in Canada can be attributed to labor-force expansion rather than productivity, which has stagnated.

- The International Energy Agency, in its renewable energy outlook released Tuesday, says that policy uncertainty could hamper the growth of renewable energy, with tax credits incentivizing decarbonization ending in China and the U.S. over the course of the coming months. Mindy Lubber, chief executive and president of sustainable-finance nonprofit Ceres, says she sees a Biden administration reinstating green-energy subsidies and phasing out fossil-fuel subsidies. "The production tax credit has made a huge difference for renewable energy," she says, adding that while some companies like Tesla are doing well and "will move forward with modest to no subsidies," the Biden administration will want to extend tax credits for another two or five years, to jumpstart industries with subsidies "until those industries are fully up and running again."

- Republican wins in Congressional races and other down-ballot elections have some Democrats reeling in expectations for what President-elect Joe Biden can do to address climate change. Control of Congress is still up in the air pending Senate runoff elections in Georgia, but at best Democrats would have the slimmest of majorities. Some oil executives are already counting on Republican allies in Congress to hold off potential new environmental policies beyond reviving the executive actions of the Obama administration. "And thank goodness it looks like we're going to control the Senate, add to the House representation," Harold Hamm, the founder and executive chairman of Continental Resources, said on an earnings call Friday. "That's the game we'll be playing again to hold them at bay." Continental was recently trading up 13% from a week ago to $14.35.

- Oil, gas and coal companies have plenty of reason for optimism following US elections. They get a stable administration likely to support free trade, but not likely a big Democratic majority in Congress that would give major support to the energy transition, lobbyists say. "This is shaping up as an ideal outcome for the fossil-fuel industry," says Stephen Brown, a long-time lobbyist who works for both renewable-energy and oil companies. The Biden administration is likely to scale down what it might ask of Congress, searching for compromises with Republicans and incremental change, Bracewell lobbyists say. The XOP ETF has risen 13% during the past week.

- US options trading had its busiest day in history yesterday, with about 48M contracts changing hands, according to data provider Trade Alert. To compare, on an average day last year, roughly 19M contracts traded. Options volumes have been booming this year as individual and institutional investors seek to profit from the market's wild swings. The contracts can be used to hedge portfolios or make directional wagers on where individual stocks or indexes are headed. Yesterday's activity continues a banner year for this corner of the derivatives market. Nine out of 10 of the busiest days for US listed options volumes have been in 2020, according to Trade Alert.

Nov 10 AM - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- The yen recouped some losses against the U.S. dollar, after the safe currency took a drubbing on news of the development of a coronavirus vaccine which raised optimism of a global economic recovery.

- Oil prices fell as worries over near term fuel demand in coronavirus-hit Europe and the United States haunted the market after an overnight surge driven by encouraging news on a COVID-19 vaccine.
- Gold rose 1%, following a sharp slide in the last session, as focus returned to the likelihood of more monetary stimulus to revive a global economy still reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Prices of copper, often used as a gauge of global economic health, dipped as concerns about economic recovery due to a resurgence in COVID-19 cases outweighed optimism over positive trial results in the development of a vaccine.
- Chicago soybean futures slid, as the market took a breather after climbing to its highest in more than four years on the back of strong Chinese demand and successful data from a potential COVID-19 vaccine.
- ICE coffee futures fell on Monday on profit taking, reversing earlier gains on news of Joe Biden's election as president of the United States and promising developments from Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine candidate.
- Malaysian palm oil futures firmed, underpinned by expectations of a sharp fall in inventories, but weakness in rival soyoils and crude kept a lid on prices.

- A Biden White House and a Republican controlled Senate, assuming that this is the ultimate outcome of the elections, would put off the table some of the president's proposals of higher taxes and an upsized fiscal package, says Jack Janasiewicz, portfolio manager at Natixis IM. However, the president-elect could accomplish some others via executive action as they do not require congressional signoffs such as rejoining the Paris climate accord or the Trans-Pacific Partnership, reversing the withdrawal from the WTO, repealing the ban on immigration from mostly Muslim countries, reinstating DACA or reaffirming the U.S. commitment to NATO, among others, he says.

- U.S.-China relations could have an almost shocking civility under a Biden presidency compared with the past four years, but challenges will remain, former U.S. diplomat Ford Hart says. The idea of decoupling the Chinese and U.S. economies was a "nonsense" political bumper sticker that should disappear from discussion, he told a panel on China-U.S. relations in Wellington, New Zealand. Cybersecurity and intellectual-property tensions will continue, he adds, but Biden will likely dial down the trade war without completely dropping it. Later on, Biden may try to get the U.S. into the TPP trade pact that Trump jettisoned, as a way to shape China's role in the world economy, he says.

- The 10-year Treasury yield notches it's largest one-day rise since March, to 0.957% from 0.821%, as markets rally on news of meaningful progress in the search of a Covid-19 vaccine, and after Joe Biden was declared winner of the US presidential election over in the weekend. The yield has risen 0.189 percentage point over the last three trading days, as investors increasingly embraced riskier bets than bonds. Ally Invest's Lindsey Bell says investors may be overlooking risks, including lingering uncertainties about fiscal stimulus, the impact of a new Covid-19 wave on the economy and potential legal battles over the election's result.

- Livestock futures rise, with live cattle futures up 2.9% to $1.11825 per pound and hog futures climbing 1.1% to 65.6 cents per pound. Macro markets were the primary factor behind the uptick of livestock--but the recent strength in grain futures may soon turn to pressuring livestock. "Corn and soybeans make up a large portion of total feed costs and a majority of total costs," says Steiner Consulting Group. "Rising feed costs reduce profitability holding all else constant."

- Broadcast station owner Tegna says it raked in a new 3Q record $116M in political advertising. The 2020 presidential election boosted revenue at Tegna and its peers, including Nexstar and Sinclair, which reported earnings last week. Overall, Tegna's quarterly total revenue was $738M, up 34% compared to the same period last year. Not including political ad revenue, Tegna's total revenue rose 14%. The company said full-year political ad revenue through Election Day was $395M, and more revenue will be booked in 4Q due to run-off elections in Georgia in January. Tegna shares up 5%.

- The Kiwi and Australian dollars both ride a rally in markets after Pfizer and BioNTech said their Covid-19 vaccine was 90% effective in latest trials, adding to optimism following Joe Biden's presidential election win. NZD/USD reached 0.6855 overnight, which was its highest since March 2019, and AUD/USD rose to 0.7340. New Zealand's government said last month it expects to start receiving doses of the Pfizer vaccine as soon as 1Q of 2021. "The USD was boosted by higher yields, but NZD found even more favour on last night's vaccine-optimism risk rally," says ANZ.

- Natural gas prices decline for a sixth consecutive session, ending down 1% at $2.859/mmBtu as unseasonably warm temperatures keep demand for gas to heat homes and businesses well below normal, which could cause a 5% storage surplus to widen. Oil, gasoline and other energy commodities saw sharp price increases today amid rising hopes for a coronavirus vaccine, and as US election results so far point to a Biden victory. But natural gas prices remain hyper-focused on near-term fundamentals that point to weak, weather-driven domestic demand throughout the month. Gas's six-session losing streak is the most since Oct. 2, 2019 when it fell 12 straight sessions.

- Canadian officials say the fate of the $8B Keystone XL pipeline project will be among the most urgent matters to resolve with President-elect Biden's administration. The Biden campaign said in May it was Biden's intention to revoke the presidential permit the Trump administration issued to TC Energy in 2017 to allow construction. "This is top of the agenda. We're going to be making our case," Canadian Foreign Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne tells Canadian Broadcasting Corp. Champagne says if the Biden administration reconsiders the Keystone XL project, it should take into account Canada has a carbon tax in place and pledged to move toward net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Construction on the project--which would ship Canadian heavy crude to Nebraska, then to refiners on Gulf Coast--is expected to be completed in 2023.

- Will the largest US farm group have a seat at the table under President Biden? That's the question on the mind of American Farm Bureau Federation president Zippy Duvall, who tells WSJ his first goal is to "build a bridge of trust" with the incoming administration so the group's views will be sought on policies affecting rural America. One message that's clear already: climate-related initiatives should be "market-based and voluntary," Duvall says. Also critical: "holding other countries' feet to the fire" on agricultural trade and finding a way to "ease out of" record federal payments pledged to farmers this year by President Trump, who enjoyed broad support in the agriculture sector.

- A coronavirus recovery bill under president-elect Joe Biden is likely to look very different to recent stimulus proposals and could include environmental elements linked to job creation, in line with Biden's climate plan, says Joe Keefe, President at Impax Asset Management. Biden has pledged to invest $2 trillion over four years in clean energy, low-carbon transport, building energy efficiency and infrastructure. "Infrastructure spending in particular would create employment across the country, including in Republican-leaning areas where Senators will come under political pressure to support additional fiscal stimulus," Keefe says, adding that while legislation is unlikely to be passed until after the inauguration in January, work on the shape of the package will start over the coming weeks.

- Following Biden's victory, news emerging from Pfizer and BioNTech of their vaccine trial showing 90% efficacy has made markets roar back, says Adam Vetesse, analyst at eToro. The S&P rallied to record highs, while the Dow Jones and FTSE 100 have been up more than 5% on the day. The vaccine news has injected optimism into travel stocks in particular, as the sector has been among the hardest hit by coronavirus restrictions, Vetesse says. EasyJet and IAG moved strongly on the back of the announcement and oil stocks jumped, he notes. While this is a positive step forward, Pfizer will only be able to submit its vaccine for emergency use once two months of data has been collected, Vetesse says.

- Oxford Economics expects a Biden administration "to have some positive implications for China." The research firm believes Biden would take a "less aggressive and more predictable," approach, even though it doesn't expect the overall US stance on economic issues regarding China to "soften much." "A Biden government would also make a 'common front' of developed countries that push China on policy changes more likely," OE says.

Nov 09 PM - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- News of Pfizer and BioNTech's progress in developing a potential coronavirus vaccine is more significant for financial markets than the weekend's Democratic win in the U.S. presidential election, says AJ Bell. The news that the jab developed by the two companies was found in trials to be more than 90% effective in preventing coronavirus would, if the vaccine is approved and becomes widely available, effectively pave the way for restarting economic growth globally, says AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould. That was evident by Brent crude oil prices jumping 9% to more than $43 a barrel, he says. "Oil prices are an economic bellwether and that massive increase in price is a perfect illustration of how markets are now adopting an extremely bullish view."

- The election of Democrat Joe Biden should see climate change high on the new administration's agenda, says Jason Bordoff, founding director of the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University. Speaking at the Adipec conference he says, "It looks likely, not certain, that we'll have a Republican senate that constrains him to some extent with numbers like $2 trillion," but there's still a lot an administration can do through existing regulatory authority, leasing authority, and foreign policy. In August, Biden announced a $2 trillion climate plan to boost investment in low carbon energy.

- Global stock markets get a boost from lower electoral tension in the US, says deVere Group's Nigel Green. "Although a Biden win was pretty much priced-in by the markets, his victory will eliminate uncertainty--which they loathe--and they will rally further as a result." Green says legal challenges from Trump "will be dismissed by investors." He expects a Biden administration to reduce trade tensions with China and keep the US in the World Trade Organization, both moves Green thinks investors will applaud. "This would have investors think about a broader-based economic recovery," he says.

- Along with surging crude-oil prices, the price for gasoline in the futures market soars 9.2% higher to $1.18 a gallon, and prices at the pump are likely to follow amid vaccine hopes, and as WSJ and other media outlets declare Joe Biden winner of the 2020 election. "For now, it appears that a solid dose of optimism may soon drive [retail gasoline] prices up," says Patrick DeHaan at GasBuddy. President Trump has been a frequent advocate for lower gasoline prices for consumers, something the oil industry sometimes didn't appreciate. It remains to be seen what stance Biden would take, given his green energy agenda could benefit from higher gasoline prices for drivers.

- Renewable-energy installations in the U.S. will benefit from a Biden-appointed Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and Environmental Protection Agency, say Deirdre Cooper and Graeme Baker, portfolio managers at Ninety One Global Environment Fund. They say there is more upside to wind installations than solar because the production-tax credit for wind ends earlier than the investment tax credit for solar. "To the extent that the PTC is extended and the ITC is introduced for standalone storage, then that would lead to as much as 100% upside in our wind-installation forecasts for 2022-2025, depending on the level of policy support," they say.

- Treasury yields rise back to March levels as it becomes clear that Biden will be the next president and Pfizer reports substantial progress in the search for a Covid-19 vaccine. The 10-year yield reaches 0.93%, well above the 0.80% 200-day moving average, in a sign that investors are selling bonds to move into riskier assets as political uncertainties diminish and the prospect of getting back to normal life next year increases. "Progress on the health side is by far the greatest form of stimulus we could ask for," AmeriVet says.

- Many negative catalysts such as Covid-19, the U.S. elections and Brexit may soon be out of the picture, leading to the outperformance of several parts of the European credit market, says JPMorgan. This view has prompted the U.S. bank to play the "compression everything" trade, referring to lower spreads, as risk is priced out, prompting capital gains on the value of the debt assets. "We expect an outperformance of pandemic-affected sectors, lower-rated credit, and subordinated paper" during the first half of 2021, it says.

- A U.S. infrastructure package next year could boost green investments even if president-elect Joe Biden's $2 trillion climate-change plan fails to pass muster in Congress, say Deirdre Cooper and Graeme Baker, portfolio managers at Ninety One Global Environment Fund. "Infrastructure stimulus is generally popular with politicians of all stripes and we continue to expect a package in 2021, with a horse-trade between Democrats looking to implement climate-positive measures and Republicans looking to protect the fossil-fuel industry," they say.

- The change of guard in Washington, D.C. "is likely quite good news for investments in Chinese equities and fixed income as the unpredictability disappears, " says Nordea's Sebastien Galy. He expects a Biden administration to keep pressure on China, "though not one tweet at a time." Galy predicts China will let an "extremely weak" renminbi to appreciate in order to avoid retaliation. "We remain focused on a China-led rebound spreading to Asia Pacific with a focus on the middle class and the IT sector," he says.

- Under Biden's administration, an abrupt switch away from fossil fuels is likely to be limited as a result of continued low natural-gas prices, infrastructural obstacles and possible push-back from a Republican-controlled Senate, says Guillaume Mascotto, vice president, head of ESG and investment stewardship at American Century Investments. During the final presidential debate, Biden said he would transition away from the oil industry and that oil has to be replaced by renewable energy "over time." Mascotto says that in a gradual energy transition, natural gas extracted through the controversial fracking technique is likely to continue to be labeled as "a transitional fuel" that eventually gives way to renewables.

- Since president-elect Joe Biden has already pledged to re-join the Paris Agreement on day one, the United States' formal withdrawal less than a week ago "will have no meaningful effect on the state of the agreement because COP26 has been postponed until 2021 because of Covid-19," analysts at HSBC say. The bank's analysts say they expect U.S. officials to engage in preparatory meetings on the Paris Agreement throughout the year. Still, the analysts caution that the U.S.'s position as a leader on climate change will depend on who controls Congress.

- The Russian ruble could weaken against the dollar in the near term on weak oil prices and the risk of fresh EU and U.S. sanctions against Russia, Commerzbank says. Joe Biden's victory in the U.S. presidential election also raises risk of stricter U.S. sanctions as Russia is viewed to have been an ally of Donald Trump, Commerzbank's Tatha Ghose says. However, the ruble should rise moderately from next year on an economic recovery in the second half and on the "solid credibility" of Russia's central bank, which maintains a "neutral-to-positive" inflation-adjusted interest rate, he says. Commerzbank expects USD/RUB to rise to 80.0000 by December, from 75.9870 currently, before falling to 70.0000 by the end of 2021.

Nov 09 AM - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- Oil prices rose more than 2%, with Brent futures topping $40 a barrel, after Joe Biden clinched the U.S. presidency and buoyed risk appetites, offsetting worries about the impact on demand from the worsening coronavirus pandemic.
- Gold prices rose to a near-two month high, propelled by a weaker dollar and hopes of more coronavirus stimulus measures under U.S. President-elect Joe Biden.
- Copper prices advanced, with the London contract hovering around the key level of $7,000 a tonne, as Democrat Joe Biden's victory in the U.S. presidential election dented the U.S. dollar.
- Chicago soybean futures gained more ground, rising for four out five sessions as concerns over dry weather in South America and strong Chinese demand kept prices close to a four-year high.
- Futures of coffee, cocoa and sugar all closed up on Friday as the dollar weakened against a basket of currencies and the prospect of a divided Congress in the United States boosted risk appetite by funds.
- Malaysian palm oil futures rose, their fourth daily rise in five, as crude and global equities gained strength after Democrat Joe Biden clinched the U.S. presidency, while lower stockpile outlook further supported prices.

- Global trade and its related industries such as shipping and manufacturing will likely become clear beneficiaries of a Biden presidency, Citi says. "The U.S. foreign policy will enter a more predictable phase without escalating tariff threats," the bank projects. President-elect Biden's victory means a return to more conventional governance, and a move away from tariff-threat negotiating tactics to focus more on alliance building, Citi says. This could benefit emerging markets and weaken the dollar, it says. Another positive is Biden's potential ability to achieve bipartisan compromises within a divided government, which should help move pandemic-relief measures along and better facilitate an economic recovery, Citi says.

- CNH strengthens versus USD on hopes that U.S.-China trade tensions will stabilize following Joe Biden's victory in the U.S. presidential election, Mizuho Bank says. "With Biden's stance against the unilateral tariffs, his victory should keep the new trade war risk subdued," says Ken Cheung, chief Asian FX strategist at Mizuho Bank. Biden's administration could try to re-negotiate with China for a tariffs' reduction in exchange for concessions in other areas, and Biden's policy should be more predictable and consistent, he says. USD/CNH is down 0.5% at 6.5621 after earlier touching 6.5589, the lowest intraday level since June 2018, according to FactSet.

- Australia's S&P/ASX 200 index closed at a nine-month high as investors responded to Joe Biden's win in the U.S. election by buying shares in sectors from resources to industrials. The S&P/ASX finished up 1.8% at 6298.8, led by BHP's 3.5% advance to A$35.88 and Fortescue Metals' 6.4% increase to A$17.61. Resources stocks would benefit from a faster economic recovery if a Biden administration is able to bring the coronavirus in the U.S. under quicker control. Elsewhere, REA benefited from a string of positive broker notes to rise 9.1% to A$139.50. Crown added 3.6% to A$9.13 after it got the go-ahead from the Victoria government to restart some electronic gaming machines and electronic table games.

- Shares of China's semiconductor makers could rally further on expectations for lessened U.S. sanctions under the administration of President-elect Joe Biden, Jefferies says. However, it believes the U.S. is unlikely to end its tech rivalry with China, even though tensions could cool. For China's leading chip foundry SMIC, the pursuit of advanced nodes will still be very costly even without any U.S. restrictions, the bank says. It prefers Hua Hong Semiconductor Ltd. instead. SMIC and Hua Hong shares in Hong Kong are both up more than 6%.

- Removal of uncertainty about the outcome of the U.S presidential election proved to be AUD-supportive, says Ray Attrill, head of currency strategy at NAB. The currency market is proceeding on the basis that without a Democrat clean sweep or blue wave, it means less fiscal support for the U.S. economy, less risk of higher taxes and less risk of tighter regulation. That will keep the onus on the Fed to support the U.S. economy, he says. Attrill is concerned that at some point soon, the market will be forced to focus attention more on the Covid-19 situation and whether there is
any sort of meaningful virus-related fiscal support this side of 2021. This a potential risk-negative scenario that, were it to come about, could support the USD and undermine the nascent AUD rally into the year-end, he adds.

- Base metals are higher in early Asian trade alongside a global stock rally after weekend confirmation that Democrat Joe Biden had won the U.S. presidential election. The base metals are getting a boost from rising risk appetite, with copper on the verge of breaking above the $7,000 a metric ton level, ANZ says. Meanwhile, China's aggressive targets for electric vehicles bodes well for the renewable energy sector, which could in turn support prices for copper and nickel, the bank says. The three-month LME copper contract is up 0.8% at $6,999 a metric ton while the aluminum contract is 0.6% higher at $1,913 a ton.

- Asian currencies strengthen against USD as Joe Biden's win in the U.S. presidential election spurs risk-on sentiment. "There is no denying the positive sentiment further unleashed with the confirmation of the U.S. presidential election outcome," says Jingyi Pan, senior market strategist at IG. The USD Index notably continued its decline, touching a fresh low since early September and eyeing a break below 92.00, she adds. USD/KRW slips 0.5% to 1,116.58 and USD/SGD drops 0.2% to 1.3457 while AUD/USD gains 0.3% to 0.7283. The ICE USD Index is little changed at 92.20.

- Joe Biden's victory over Donald Trump in the U.S. presidential election is likely to have only a limited effect on grains futures, says Sal Gilbertie of Teucrium Trading. "I don't think it's going to affect prices much at all," says Gilbertie, noting that corn could experience a slight bump due to Biden's perceived friendliness for low carbon fuels. However, Gilbertie says, perceptions of how Biden handles China could become an issue after he assumes the presidency. "I do think it has a big impact on global trade," Gilbertie says of Biden's victory.

- U.S. stock futures edge higher as trading reopens for the first time after the AP called the U.S. presidential election for Democratic nominee Joe Biden. S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average futures are up about 0.5%. Stocks surged last week with Mr. Biden closing in on victory and Republicans looking likely to maintain control of the Senate, a combination that analysts say should limit large policy changes and dampen volatility moving forward. Some traders had worried about a contested election result that could drag on for weeks and weigh on stocks and other risky investments. U.S. crude-oil prices and gold are also slightly higher, with many analysts expecting global central banks to extend stimulus programs as coronavirus cases surge around the world.

Nov 07 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- Industrial companies may see the prospects of big infrastructure spending plans dashed by a divided congress, says Brentview Investment Management Investment Chief James Boothe. "If there was a big stimulus package, it would include infrastructure spending," he tells WSJ. But, he adds, "A big stimulus package is probably out of the picture." This won't bode well for some industrial companies because they stood to benefit from expansive public works projects, he says.

- Canadian stocks break a four-day winning streak with the benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index easing 0.1% to 16282.83 but ending the week up 4.5%, and the blue-chip S&P/TSX 60 Index declines 0.2% to 966.87 but ending the week up 4%. Marijuana companies like Aurora Cannabis and Hexo were among the biggest winners Friday on bullish prospects for the sector following ballot approvals in several US states.

- AT&T picks director William Kennard as its new chairman starting in January, replacing longtime chairman Randall Stephenson. Kennard, an AT&T board member since 2014, boasts political bona fides including stints as Federal Communications Commission Chairman from 1997 to 2001 and later ambassador to the European Union from 2009 to 2013. The appointment could help the telecom and media giant navigate a new regulatory environment under a likely Biden administration--Kennard is a Democrat--while making good on the pledge to split AT&T's chief executive and chairman posts. Stephenson held both jobs until this year, when the board gave John Stankey the corner office.

- A Democratic presidency and a divided Congress could make the US more attractive for companies to bring some of their supply chain back home, says StoneX Global Market Strategist Yousef Abbasi. Corporations could take advantage of a more measured and multilateral approach to trade policy under a Joe Biden administration along with a steady corporate tax rate. Moreover, the Covid-19 crisis has already given companies the "ultimate stress test" to their supply chains, further spurring the willingness to reshore their production. "A lot of companies will realize that, 'okay, we may lose some margin, but to be in control of our supply chain in a highly uncertain world, that may be worth that,'" he says.

- US benchmark oil prices end the session a steep 4.3% lower at $37.14 a barrel as continued US election uncertainty and still-weak global demand due to coronavirus trigger an end-of-the-week sell-off. A Baker Hughes rig-count report was also bearish, as it showed a seventh straight week of increases to the oil rig-count. But WTI crude still managed to end with a 3.8% weekly increase, fueled by a big decline in US oil inventories earlier in the week, and a renewed commitment by OPEC and Russia to delay production increases planned for the end of the year if coronavirus lockdowns in Europe and elsewhere continue to hurt global oil demand.

- Democratic nominee Joe Biden has said he would mend US relations with key allies such as the EU if he wins the US presidential election. But on trade, there is an opportunity for the prospective administration to achieve concessions as it rethinks Trump tariffs on Chinese goods, says John Scannapieco, chair of Baker Donelson's global business team. "You're not going to just lift them; you're going to try to get some concessions," he tells WSJ. "It would be very difficult for the Biden administration to just let them go."

- Copper prices are set for a sizable weekly gain, while zinc and aluminum set fresh highs after the U.S. dollar weakened in the wake of the election. Three-month copper prices on the LME are up 1% at $6,937.50 a metric ton, putting them on course for a 3.3% weekly gain. Aluminum hit an intraday high of $1,914.50 and zinc is up 0.7% at $2,626 ton, both of which constitute their highest levels in more than 18 months. "Nearly all assets including most commodities have enjoyed a strong surge" since the election, says Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank. "The everything up and U.S. dollar down narrative unfolded despite the prospect of at least two years of political gridlock in Washington," he says.

- European stocks are mostly lower as investors take profits following strong gains this week, await US presidential election results and fret over rising coronavirus cases. The Stoxx Europe 600 drops 0.2%, the DAX declines 0.7%, the CAC-40 falls 0.5% while the FTSE 100 rises 0.1%. "European equities enjoyed strong gains this week so it is not surprising that volatility has tapered off and that some indices are offside today," CMC Markets analyst David Madden says. Shares in information-technology services firm Netcompany Group slump 8.9% after it cuts revenue guidance. Compagnie Financiere Richemont shares jump 9% after the luxury goods company says sales started to recover in 2Q.

- Farmworker Justice, a Washington-based advocacy group, is blasting a rule by the Trump administration that freezes wages for agricultural guestworkers as the coronavirus pandemic takes a heavy toll among farmworkers. The rule, issued by DOL this week, freezes wages through 2022 for some 250,000 foreign workers who enter the US each year on seasonal agricultural visas, and adjusts the process for calculating future wages. Under the rule farmworkers will lose $1.7B over a decade, the advocacy group says, slashing incomes for workers who already are among the lowest-paid in the country. USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue praised the rule, saying farmworker wages have increased in recent years at a
faster rate than other industries and that it ensures stability for farmers by helping then "plan and budget for their workforce needs."

- The head of the biggest US farm group says it's crucial that all ballots are counted, and urges patience as the presidential vote-tallying drags on. With Former Vice President Biden in the lead across several of the remaining states, American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall strikes a bipartisan tone in a Friday statement: "The issues facing agriculture and rural America are larger than political parties," he says, saying regulatory reform should continue and rural broadband access expanded further. Farmers in pre-election surveys heavily backed President Trump; the Farm Bureau doesn't endorse candidates.

- The 2020 political cycle was a boon to the advertising industry. For digital-ad sales software company Trade Desk, it's expected to contribute a "mid-single-digit share" of annual revenue. "As you can imagine, we have seen strong political spend in the month of September and also into October. However, it is fair to assume that we will still end 2020 as we had previously indicated, with political spend representing a mid-single-digit share as a percent of our spend," CFO Blake Grayson said on a quarterly earnings call yesterday evening. Trade Desk logged $216M in 3Q revenue, representing 32% growth over the same period a year earlier. Shares surge 29%.

- European stocks are mostly lower in volatile trade as Joe Biden pulls ahead in the U.S. presidential election. The Stoxx Europe 600 falls 0.2%, the DAX drops 0.7%, the CAC-40 declines 0.4% while the FTSE 100 rises 0.4%. Democrats have the possibility of turning the Senate into a 50-50 tie, which raises the prospect of higher corporation taxes and increased regulation, BK Asset Management says. "The prospect of such a scenario has cooled investor enthusiasm a bit after yesterday's giddy rally which was based on the idea of gridlock in Washington along with the steady, conventional stewardship of the presidency by Joe Biden," BK's Boris Schlossberg says.

Nov 06 - City traders declare Trump a sure loser (WSJ)

IF Donald Trump still seriously thinks he is in with a shot of staying President, he should ask stock markets. They decided he will not at least two days ago. That certainty grew in Asian markets overnight and on to London today.

The chaos on Monday and Tuesday that birthed a thousand “traders with heads in hands” pictures has been replaced by a steadier vision of the near future.
The FTSE is on track to end the week up 6%. The S&P is up 7% in the last four days. Globally, stocks are eying an all-time peak while the dollar and US bond yields stayed sluggish, as Democrat Joe Biden edged closer to the White House in defiance of Trump claims that the election was “stolen” from him.

More takeover chatter, led by the RSA deal, also injected some fizz.
Russ Mould at AJ Bell said “Global markets continue to feel more comfortable about the likely outcome of the US election and so equities press ahead once again. It’s an interesting change of fortunes with investors feeling nervous only a week ago.”

The FTSE 100 rose gently in early trading to 5933 but drifted off a little later, down 13 at 5892. That was seen as profit taking rather than nerves. The best performers were the supermarkets and the banks, with Sainsbury up 5p at 203p, Morrison up 3p at 165p. Barclays rose 2p to 112p, and NatWest gained 1.6p to 126.8p. All were helped by the feeling that supply chains and markets in Europe might well remain easily accessible.

There is a “50/50” chance that Britain and the European Union will be able to reach a deal over the terms of Britain’s exit from the bloc, EU Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton said today.

The oil price keeps falling, another sign that markets think Trump – a fan of big oil – is out. Brent Crude lost 30 cents to $40.93. It was nearer $45 a month ago.

Away from the traditional stock market, Bitcoin continues to defy sceptics.
Donald Trump might think Bitcoin is a fake investment. But it was up more than 6% today to crash past $15,000 to $15,438. Fans include those who think the dollar’s reputation as a reserve currency is trashed. But that’s fake news, probably.

Nov 06 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics ( WSJ DJ Reuters )

The dollar steadied against many currencies but traders say more losses are likely as a contentious U.S. presidential election diminished hopes for large stimulus to support the economy any time soon.
- U.S. oil fell more than 2% as new lockdowns in Europe to halt surging infections of COVID-19 sparked concern about the outlook for demand, while markets remained on edge over drawn-out vote counting in the U.S. election.
- Gold fell, as the dollar gained, but was set for its best week since late July on hopes for more central bank economic support as investors bet on a divided U.S. Congress under a Joe Biden presidency.
- Copper prices declined as a slightly firmer dollar dented the appeal of greenback-priced metals, due to investors exercising caution as counting continues for the final tally of the U.S. presidential election results.
- Chicago soybean futures gained more ground, with the market on track for its biggest weekly gain since late August as dry weather in Brazil and strong Chinese demand supported prices.

- Coffee and cocoa futures rose on Thursday on supply concerns as political violence in top cocoa producer Ivory Coast impacted flow and climate-related difficulties are seen threatening coffee output in major producers Brazil and Vietnam.
- Malaysian palm oil futures ticked up and were headed for a 7% weekly gain, underpinned by concerns of lower supply in October, and tracking higher soyoil prices.

- A win by Democratic candidate Joe Biden with a split U.S. Congress is "perhaps the best outcome for riskier asset classes in the medium term," says Pictet Asset Management Chief Strategist Luca Paolini. Donald Trump's corporate tax cuts will stay in place while fiscal stimulus should turn out to be sufficient, not excessive, he says. Presidency by Joe Biden should also make policymaking less erratic, "which could reduce stocks' risk premium over time," Paolini says. A Biden administration with a more conventional approach to international relations should also provide a boost to emerging-market assets, in which Pictet AM retains an overweight position, Paolini says.

- A smaller U.S. spending program than it would have been in the event of a Democratic sweep implies the Fed might have to loosen policy again, says Pictet Asset Management. The asset manager expects additional stimulus of around $1.5 trillion in the U.S., significantly short of the $2.2 trillion it had envisaged in the event of a Democratic sweep, says chief strategist Luca Paolini. "All of which means the U.S. Federal Reserve may find itself having to loosen the monetary reins even further if Covid-19 infection rates continue to rise," he says. Biden will inevitably have to water down his plans for tax hikes, too, Paolini adds.

- CNH may strengthen as China is expected to benefit from a more stable trade relationship with the U.S. under a likely Biden presidency, Citi says. This view is also underpinned by China's economic outperformance, improved current account, capital market inflows and CNH's attractive carry. If Biden is confirmed as president, Chinese companies may be more encouraged to offload USD, Citi says, citing factors such as seasonality. Citi recommends investors re-enter bullish CNH exposure against a basket consisting of 50% USD and 50% EUR. USD/CNH is up 0.2% at 6.6266; EUR/CNH is up 0.2% at 7.8349.

- Heavily urbanized, services-dependent states have borne the brunt of the job losses, former White House economist Robert Wescott said Thursday at an Equifax-sponsored event. "Just like Italy and Spain, your travel and tourism destinations, we have our Italy and Spain in the U.S., and they are called Nevada and Hawaii," Wescott said. "They are clearly ground zero for the pain."

- Former White House economist Robert Wescott expects to see more collaboration across the political aisle but says the rural-urban divide would likely impact talks for an infrastructure program. "Infrastructure to Republicans means highways to rural areas and to Democrats it means mass transit in urban areas," Wescott, founder and president of Keybridge Research, says at an Equifax-sponsored event on Thursday. "So it's going to be really tough to see a really large-scale infrastructure plan."

- There's a consensus that new fiscal stimulus will materialize in the next few months, but it may not have a significant impact on monetary policy, American Institute for Economic Research economist Thomas Hogan tells WSJ. "If we have fiscal-policy programs increasing employment, then the Fed needs to do a little bit less on monetary policy. But if those programs allow people to stay home and not go back to work, that's not going to change the Fed's decisions," he says.

- With inflation expectations running well below the 2% targeted by the Fed, why isn't monetary policy more aggressive? "The Fed should be doing more," American Institute for Economic Research's Thomas Hogan says. He thinks what's holding back the central bank is uncertainty about how fast consumption will snap back once all Covid-19 restrictions are lifted. "It's a very unusual situation for the Fed," Hogan says. "Because of the lockdowns, people can't go out and spend. That's something the Fed can't control."

- If Biden becomes the next president, Fed Chairman Powell could enjoy a better relationship with the White House, American Institute for Economic Research economist Thomas Hogan tells WSJ. "Trump was very abusive to Powell a few years ago," he recalls. "The fact that Powell stood up to him...I'm sure that he won some favor with the Democrats for doing that." The Fed's lender of last resort programs also appealed to Democrats in Congress, Hogan says, noting that, on the other hand, the party's left wing might press for more financial regulation.

- Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said that for those asking the question, is the Fed out of bullets, "the answer to that would be no." He says the Fed is strongly committed to using its tools and "there is more that can be done." But there is skepticism about this. Former New York Fed leader William Dudley wrote last week "no central bank wants to admit that it's out of firepower. Unfortunately, the U.S. Federal Reserve is very near that point."

- The rally in US stocks could be a result of investors unleashing cash they had held back when they were still expecting a blue wave in the election, says Crit Thomas, global market strategist at Touchstone Investments, citing his conversations with financial advisers. Now, investors are betting on a divided government, he says, a makeup that could make it more difficult to pass legislation aimed at regulating tech companies and raising corporate taxes. "The Senate is more the key than who wins [as] president," Thomas tells WSJ.

- Homesharing companies such as Airbnb, one of the brighter spots during the Covid-19 pandemic as vacationers seek driving-distance getaways, could face more tax scrutiny under a Biden administration, says Tom White, analyst at DA Davidson. "I'd expect probably heavier regulation of that under a Democratic administration and a Democratic-controlled Congress," he tells WSJ. But that is unlikely in the near term, he says, as the government remains occupied with the Covid-19 pandemic. Senate Republicans won enough of Tuesday's re-elections to diminish chances Democrats could pick up enough seats to take control of the Senate. White says he doesn't expect sizable swings in travel-exposed stocks as a result of the election.

- Shopping mall operator Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield SE is watching the situation around its 34 US venues closely and coordinating with local enforcement authorities after the Nov. 3. elections, Chief Financial Officer Jaap Tonckens says Thursday. All of the company's US shopping centers are currently open, Tonckens says, including in New York City and Los Angeles. "We don't see any reason to board up in expectation of civil unrest," Tonckens says.

- Pressure on the dollar has shifted from stimulus to improved trade relations for other countries, says Clifton Hill, global macro portfolio manager at Acadian Asset Management. The market is no longer expecting a major stimulus package -- perhaps $1 trillion now, compared with an expected $3 trillion to $4 trillion package, Hill says. The dollar is now under pressure as other countries like China, Mexico and Canada see their currencies rise on the likelihood of a Biden administration that would likely mean smaller tariffs and less trade friction overall, Hill says.

- Weakness in the US dollar is helping push grain futures higher. "The dollar is dropping hard and fast and weather in South America is less than ideal," says Dennis Smith of Archer Financials. Weather service DTN expects dryness in southern Brazil to continue over the weekend. The USD index trading on the Intercontinental Exchange is down 0.7% Thursday, owed in part to signs that former Vice President Joe Biden is favored to win the US presidential election once the vote counting is complete. Meanwhile, corn futures on the CBOT are up 1.4%, while soybeans climb up  1.5%.

Nov 05 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- The dollar slipped to its weakest level in more than two years against the yuan and eased against other Asian currencies as Democrat Joe Biden edged closer to the White House in a nail-biting U.S. presidential election.
- Oil dropped as Democrat Joe Biden edged closer to the White House in a nail-biting U.S. presidential election but the Republicans look likely to retain Senate control, decreasing the chances of any huge COVID-19 relief package.
- Gold held firm in a narrow range as investors were cautiously optimistic Democrat Joe Biden would edge past President Donald Trump in a tight race to the White House.  
- Copper prices in London were unchanged as volatility sparked by the U.S. presidential election tapered off, with Democrat Joe Biden predicting victory over President Donald Trump after winning two critical U.S. states.
- Chicago soybean futures jumped to their highest in more than four years, rising for a third consecutive session, as dry weather in parts of South America and strong demand from the world's biggest importer China supported prices.
- Sugar and coffee futures traded rangebound on Wednesday with many investors on the sidelines as the outcome of Tuesday's U.S. presidential elections remained uncertain.
- Malaysian palm oil futures rose to a near four-year high, extending gains for a third day on surveys showing a steep decline in October stockpiles and production.

- The prospect of a divided government is fueling a surge in technology stocks, but questions linger as the presidential election remains undecided. Tech won't be the most affected sector, says Dan Ridsdale with Edison Investment Research. But uncertainty surrounding immigration, trade and increased regulation still loom over the industry. For some in Silicon Valley, however, the election may be little more than a minor nuisance: "If you look at tech nowadays, you've got Big Tech, and then you've got everyone else," Ridsdale says. "Big Tech is so big, they're almost more powerful than the president now."

- Copper is edging moderately higher thanks to a weaker dollar, but concerns over delays to U.S. stimulus measures cap gains. Three-month copper on the LME is up 0.2% at $6,851 a metric ton. The ICE Dollar Index is down 0.8%, offering some support to base metals. But copper's gains are modest as President Trump's attempts to challenge the election results and the prospect of a Republican-controlled senate suggest a stimulus package could be smaller and further off than many had hoped. "What the legal challenges will do is to make it difficult for the various sides to get anything done going into year-end, with the stimulus package likely being the first casualty," says Ed Meir, metals consultant at ED&F Man.

- A potential Biden win could tone down tensions in US-China relations and favor tech companies, according to Wedbush. That would be beneficial for Apple, Cisco and semiconductor companies caught in the US-China race, Wedbush says. With a Republican-controlled Senate, tech companies could also avoid major antitrust actions, the firm says. "The Street's view appears to be that a Biden Presidency will take a relatively more friendly tone on China technology and policy," Wedbush says. "However the long standing issues around piracy and IP theft are not going away."

- The euro could trade in a range of $1.15 to $1.20 until the result of the U.S. presidential election is clear, ING says. The pair will move lower on prospects of Donald Trump being re-elected and higher on signs of Joe Biden clinching victory, ING's Chris Turner says. This is partly due to Trump's "protectionist policies" which could include further U.S. tariffs on European goods, Turner says. ING projects the euro rising to $1.25 in 2021 as it expects the safe-haven dollar to fall on a global economic recovery as well as further U.S. fiscal stimulus, along with an end to "unpredictable trade wars" under a Biden presidency. EUR/USD rises 0.7% to 1.1809.

- Gold prices have climbed steadily higher throughout the day and are currently up 3% as the prospect of a Joe Biden presidency weakens the dollar. Comex gold futures are up 3% at $1,952.70 while the ICE Dollar Index falls 0.8%. Investors are banking on a President Biden adopting a less confrontational foreign policy approach which would reduce haven demand for the dollar and lift gold, say analysts at TD Securities. "While a Republican senate is interpreted as implying a smaller fiscal package and potential gridlock during the lame-duck session, a Biden presidency has done more to reduce the geopolitical premium," they write in a note.

- "The tail risk of a disputed election still remains," Barclays warns investors as stocks extend this week's rally. With the prospect of a Democratic sweep now unlikely, "the probability of both tax hikes and infrastructure spending has declined significantly," Barclays says. But the bank adds "in the very short term, what matters for equities is not so much who wins the election but that the tail risk scenario of "Prolonged Uncertainty", in which the outcome is still not known by December, is avoided."

- The Democrats could still pull off a clean sweep of the U.S. presidency and both chambers of Congress, potentially sparking fresh market uncertainty, Evercore ISI says. The brokerage says its dominant central probability is a Joe Biden win with a Republican Senate and Democrat House, while there is a diminishing possibility that Donald Trump wins. Still, it says there is a modest but increased possibility of a Democrat clean sweep of the House of Representatives and the Senate after run-off elections in Georgia, sparking fresh questions about the U.S. tax and investment outlook. "At a minimum, residual uncertainty as to whether Biden with divided government is the right outcome to price could influence market dynamics in the weeks ahead," Evercore analysts say.

- As former Vice President Joe Biden's prospects for winning the presidential election grow much brighter, investors are adjusting. "A Biden presidency with a Republican-led Senate likely means less fiscal spending, but also few tax increases and partisan constraints on legislative action," UBS says. The bank says the market's realignment "was likely prompted by lower interest rates due to expectations for a smaller stimulus package" and adds "in the case of healthcare, substantial changes to healthcare policy or drug prices now look less likely." That said, events are fast moving, Biden's election isn't yet in the bag, and there are also chances Senate control isn't settled given ongoing vote counting in Georgia.

- If further vote counting brings no surprises, it seems likely that Washington, D.C. could host a Biden White House, a Democratic House of Representatives and a Republican Senate. The compromise--or gridlock--that would ensue will probably bring a muted regulatory environment and therefore a relatively positive business climate, Pictet Asset Management's Supriya Menon tells WSJ. "I actually saw a sweep scenario being at best a mixed bag," Menon says. "The most benign outcome has actually come to pass. You don't really have the possibility of the disruptive policies that might emerge from a largely Democratic Senate."

- US stocks have continued to rise as a divided government, with a potential Democratic presidency and a Republican Senate, remains the most likely outcome of Tuesday's voting in the eyes of many election analysts. One reason for the market's positive reaction could be investors' comfort with the potential for a new stimulus package of modest size, Supriya Menon of Pictet Asset Management tells WSJ. Pictet's models show that a stimulus package approximately the size of those that have been proposed by Republicans would be appropriate to support the American economy through a potential abatement of the pandemic toward the end of next year, Menon says. A "wall of cash," that had been waiting on the sidelines before the election also may be supporting bullish trading in the days since, Menon adds.

- The recent vote in Chile to rewrite its constitution is drawing investor attention on calls about 3Q results among miners active there. Albemarle, which produces lithium in Chile's Atacama desert region, doesn't expect any changes to its lithium rights tied to the process, CEO Kent Masters tells analysts, but says the company is watching the constitutional rewrite closely. Freeport-McMoRan CEO Richard Adkerson said last month the copper miner, who operates the El Abra mine with Chile's state-owned mining company, said last month "there's a growing recognition of the need for Chile to not lose its competitive edge that it's had."

- Energy-sector stocks including Chevron, pipeline firm Enbridge, oilfield services' Schlumberger and refiner Marathon Petroleum all stand to benefit from US elections that don't appear to be ushering in a so-called Democrat Sweep. "Divided government policy paths suggest a more constructive backdrop for Energy vs. pre-election expectations," say analysts at Morgan Stanley. "Lack of single party control in Congress [and whatever the outcome of still-undecided presidency] means legislative options to constrain the oil & gas industry could be effectively 'off the table' - a key tailwind for the sector." Still, they note this could mean a smaller fiscal stimulus, "a modest negative for the energy macros," and say uncertainties remain regarding Iran if Biden wins.

- Biden would treat his European allies more respectfully and not threaten them with punitive tariffs on cars like Trump, but the U.S. under Biden would remain fundamentally protectionist, says Joerg Kraemer, chief economist at Commerzbank. "De-globalization should continue, which is problematic for exporting countries like Germany," Kramer says. Biden would moderate his anti-China policy in tone and be less aggressive with punitive tariffs, but he would also put pressure on the allies to join a coalition against China, Kramer says. "European companies will at some point have to decide which side they want to be on in the conflict between the U.S. and China," he says, and in the long run,
this threatens the Chinese business of many German companies.

- Gold rises as investors increasingly see the outcome of the U.S. election as a Biden presidency but a Republican-controlled senate. Comex gold futures are up 0.9% at $1,914 a troy ounce. Biden late Wednesday took important victories in Wisconsin and Michigan, according to the Associated Press, meaning he would only need Nevada, where he currently leads, to secure enough electoral votes to become president. Without control of the senate though, the Democrats will be unlikely to quickly pass a large stimulus bill, Daniel Ghali, commodities strategist at TD Securities, says. "A Biden victory and Republican senate--which is what markets are beginning to price in--will likely mean no fiscal deal until, at the earliest, February," he says.

- Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index closed 3.3% higher at 25695.92 after broad-based gains across its constituents. The rally in Hong Kong tracked strong gains on the Chinese mainland, likely driven by hopes for cooling tensions between the U.S. and China under a Joe Biden presidency, with the Democratic challenger currently leading in the electoral-vote count. Shares of Chinese tech companies, which have been targeted by the Trump administration, jumped during the session, pushing the Hang Seng TECH Index up more than 5% and to a record high. Alibaba and Tencent each climbed more than 6%. In the broader Hong Kong market, shares of telecom-equipment maker ZTE Corp., an early target of the administration's crusade against Chinese tech firms, soared 19%.

- Crude oil recoups some of its sharper earlier losses amid continuing election volatility. Brent crude is down 0.9% at $40.85 a barrel and WTI futures are down 1% at $38.77 a barrel after both benchmarks on Wednesday staged their sharpest daily gains in a month, with OPEC jawboning, surprisingly bullish EIA data, and a weaker dollar all boosting prices. Former Vice President Joe Biden is looking likely to win the election and "while the expected weakness in the dollar from a Biden presidency should be supportive for the broader commodities complex," says ING's Warren Patterson, the increased likelihood of a softer Democratic approach toward Iran, could lead to the lifting of sanctions, and the return of Iranian oil supply to the market.

- The safe-haven dollar edges lower, with the DXY dollar index down 0.1% at 93.3170, as Democratic candidate Joe Biden looks likely to beat current President Trump in the U.S. presidential elections. This increases the prospect of more fiscal stimulus, although the Senate is expected to remain Republican which is likely to make decision-making more difficult. Trump's team have called for recounts and filed legal challenges, however, which analysts say will increase uncertainty and temper any gains in riskier assets and any subsequent falls in safe-haven assets. EUR/USD rises 0.2% to a one-week high of 1.1750, according to FactSet.

- A Biden presidency with a Republican-led Senate likely means less fiscal spending but also fewer tax increases amid partisan constraints on legislative action, UBS says. Market pricing across asset classes on Wednesday reflected this policy pivot, as well as policy clarity, the Swiss bank says. Markets could be volatile in the near term until the election is considered final and the near-term Covid-19 trends and timing of fiscal stimulus could also drive markets, the bank says. "Our preferred US large-cap equity sectors remain consumer discretionary, financials, healthcare, and industrials," UBS' strategists say. They also continue to prefer US mid-caps.

- Markets have been subject to a lot of revisionism as the current most likely scenario--a Biden presidency and Republican Senate--was the most feared pre-election, especially with the close race suggesting legal challenges ahead, Deutsche Bank says. However, such a scenario didn't deter the market as investors rallied round the idea of a Republican Senate preventing tax rises and increased regulation, offsetting the reduced likelihood of near-term major stimulus. Developments are reminiscent of 2016, when a Trump victory was feared and then within minutes of his acceptance speech the market narrative changed quickly to tax cuts and deregulation, DB says. According to DB's equity
strategist Binky Chadha, in close elections it doesn't matter who wins, the market always goes up afterward.

- Markets have responded positively to the election results so far, reflecting some reduction in uncertainty as investors know more about the likely outcome and potential policies, UBS says. The S&P 500 closed up 2.2%, while the Nasdaq finished 3.9% higher Wednesday. Downside risks remain in a contested election outcome, says Mark Haefele, chief investment officer at UBS Global Wealth Management. "The key drivers for risk assets are still in place in our view: the economic recovery from the global pandemic, widespread availability of a vaccine by the second quarter of 2021, and continued aggressive policy support from central banks," Haefele says.

- Columbia Threadneedle Investments recommends investors to stay focused on long-term goals and avoid emotional decisions as markets may remain volatile in the wake of the U.S. elections. It adds that in the long run, changes in presidential administration rarely lead to material fundamental changes in how the U.S. economy works, especially if Congress is divided. "Consequently, the basic economic tenets that the financial markets rely on are unlikely to change, so staying focused on long-term goals remains the best course of action," it adds. Columbia Threadneedle's global chief investment officer Colin Moore adds that "mitigating the impacts of Covid-19 is much more significant for the U.S. and global economy than the outcome of the U.S. election."

- Downside risks remain in a contested U.S. election outcome, but the key drivers for risk assets are still in place, Mark Haefele, chief investment officer at UBS Global Wealth Management, says. These key drivers are the economic recovery from the global pandemic, widespread availability of a vaccine by the second quarter of 2021, and continued aggressive policy support from central banks, he says.

- Union Bancaire Privee expects the U.S. Fed to maintain its dovish stance, waiting to see the election results first, and commit to do more if the inflation or growth outlook were to require further actions, says Mohammed Kazmi, portfolio manager at UBP's Absolute Fixed Income team. "For now we think the Fed will be comfortable with financial conditions to not act at this meeting, instead choosing to see the outcome of the U.S. elections and its impact on fiscal policy before acting," he says. UBP expects the Fed to provide more decisive guidance on quantitative easing at the December meeting, at which there is a possibility that it lengthens the duration of asset purchases, Kazmi says.

- Technical resistance is likely to cap gold around $1,915-$1,920 while U.S. election results continue to trickle in, MKS Pamp says. Spot gold is up 0.2% at $1,907/oz as Joe Biden holds a narrow lead in the race to the White House. With a number of results still in limbo, the precious metal is rangebound, MKS says. Should prices pull back again, a likely floor would be around $1,880-$1,860, it says.

Nov 04 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- Oil rose around 2% after industry data showed crude inventories in the United States fell sharply, but trading was choppy as the outcome of the U.S. presidential election remained unclear.
- Gold fell as the dollar strengthened after U.S. President Donald Trump grabbed an early lead in the key state of Florida, muddying the path for his Democratic rival Joe Biden.
- Prices of industrial metals fell as a stronger U.S. dollar made greenback-priced metals more expensive for buyers holding other currencies.
- Chicago soybean futures rose for a second session, with prices underpinned by robust demand for the oilseed from Brazil to China and lower-than-expected U.S. harvest progress.
- Raw sugar futures on ICE closed down on Tuesday after hitting a fresh eight-month peak earlier in the session, as some absent players on Monday returned to the market on Tuesday hedging future sales.
- Malaysian palm futures hit a near 10-month high, riding on expectations of a drop in October stockpiles and lower output, although volatile global trading ahead of the U.S. election results limited gains.

- European stocks are set to open lower as the U.S. election looks set to be much closer and more drawn-out than polls had suggested, with President Trump winning Florida and Texas. Germany's Dax index is expected to open 45.2 points lower, according to IG, having closed at 12088.98, while the U.K.'s FTSE 100 is expected to open down 38.3 points, having closed at 5786.77. "We find ourselves in a state of electoral paralysis," and it is clear neither candidate is ready to concede yet, says Stuart Clark, portfolio manager at Quilter Investors. "We wouldn't be surprised to see this contest wind up in the courts." "An extended battle is ultimately the worst outcome for investors as markets hate uncertainty," he says, adding that it also dims the likelihood of a swift fiscal-stimulus package.

- The FTSE 100 is expected to open four points higher at 5790 amid uncertainty about the outcome of the U.S. presidential election. Asia markets are trading higher and the Dow closed 2.1% ahead as investors hoped for a clear result, though the outcome is closer than expected. "Going into the election, traders were concerned there would be no clear winner today and that is what looks like will happen," David Madden at CMC Markets says. "Political pundits are fixated on Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin and we might not know those results for a day or two."

- The dollar rises as markets turn increasingly risk averse, with the U.S. election looking too close to call and President Trump, who has won Florida and Texas, doing better than many expected. "It is close enough for both sides to feel they have a shot at victory," RBC says. "No Democrat landslide, Senate likely a Republican hold, big blue wave trades unwinding. The fear of a contested outcome has not really materialized in risk-off yet, but it does unfortunately seem more likely in the day ahead," it says, adding this should mean a higher yen and U.S. dollar. The DXY dollar index is up 0.5% at 94.0250, EUR/USD falls 0.7% to 1.1641, while USD/JPY is up 0.4% at 104.93.

- Oil prices rise on surprisingly bullish API inventory data and hopes that OPEC+ may cut supply more deeply or for longer. But the elephant in the room is the U.S. election, says Bjornar Tonhaugen, head of oil markets at Rystad Energy. "The market has boosted prices... and its result could definitely weigh on the price direction," he says. "Without an already clear winner, the election's outcome is not yet really priced in." A victory for President Trump could help price levels keep gains more easily, Tonhaugen says, while a Joe Biden victory could mean a boost in demand but also carries a supply risk, "which could flip the positive effect." U.S. crude futures are up 2.3% at $38.52 a barrel.

- SGD weakens against USD, as concerns that Donald Trump might win the U.S. presidential election undermine risk-on sentiment. USD has strengthened across the board as Trump seems to be performing better in the election than national polls suggested, CBA says. However, CBA cautions that many votes in the swing states are yet to be counted and few of these states have been called for either candidate by major news organizations. As such, the eventual winner remains uncertain, CBA adds. USD/SGD rises 0.35% to 1.3653, according to FactSet.

- The stock market isn't getting the "blue wave" it expected but it appears like it's getting something it might like even more: a divided government. "The odds now begin to favor a divided government," said Tom McLoughlin, head of Americas fixed income at UBS Global Wealth Management, "which would constrain options on the president next year and force him to focus on areas where he has broader discretion--foreign policy, international trade, regulatory policy--whether it's Trump or Biden." This looks like what the market is pricing in, he said, pointing to the Nasdaq's gains. This outcome might lead to a fast restart on stimulus talks, which would be good for stocks, he said, adding the pandemic and a recovery from it will remain the key driver for stocks regardless of the election's outcome.

- Traders are paring back bets on a Democratic sweep in currencies, fueling a selloff in emerging-market currencies as investors position for the possibility that President Trump's protectionist trade policies could continue for four more years. The Mexican peso is down nearly 2% against the dollar, while the South African rand slides more than 1%. The Chinese yuan was recently down 0.5%, paring some of its earlier decline, as investors monitor a close presidential race and tight Congressional results. While it could take days for the results to become clear, some are already positioning for a Trump victory. "You've got to go back to the Trump playbook," said Christopher Stanton, chief investment officer of Sunrise Capital Partners.

- Financial markets, including U.S. stock-index futures, Treasuries and gold, are being buffeted by choppy moves driven by high uncertainty over the U.S. election outcome, analysts say. "It appears that the market is getting kicked once again as the voting count goes on and increased uncertainty seemingly the case," says Jingyi Pan, senior market strategist at IG. "It remains a very fluid situation. The market certainly can be seen feeling every move here," she adds. eMini S&P 500 futures are up 1.6% at 3415.00, while spot gold falls 0.5% to $1,899.65/oz. The U.S. 10-year Treasury note yield is down 4 bps at 0.84%.

- The U.S. dollar recoups some of losses made on Tuesday versus the euro and other major currencies as the U.S. election results start to come in. EUR/USD is at 1.1639, after briefly falling to 1.1604, the lowest level since July 24, compared with 1.1771 earlier in the day. USD/JPY is at 105.09 after hitting 105.34, the highest level since Oct 21. President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden have each clinched a handful of states they were expected to win, while the race appears to be close in several battleground states.

- BOJ Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda says he will keep a careful eye on the impact of the U.S. presidential election, while noting that the yen has been stable recently. Mr. Kuroda adds that the BOJ will continue to carefully watch trade talks between the U.S. and China. "If conflicts between the world's two biggest economies--the U.S. and China--deepen, it could affect the world economy through deterioration in trade and business sentiment and by destabilizing financial markets," Mr. Kuroda said at an online meeting with business leaders in Nagoya, which is home to some of Japan's major exporters, including Toyota Motor.

- The Chinese yuan weakens against the USD in onshore and offshore markets amid concerns that Donald Trump may win the U.S. presidential election. Crowded yuan-long positions are "running for the exits, as some bookies have Trump winning," says Stephen Innes, chief global market strategist at axi. USD/CNH is up 0.7% at 6.7252 and USD/CNY is up 0.7% at 6.7228, according to FactSet.

- Investors are walking back bets that the U.S. presidential election will be quickly decided. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note has fallen to 0.812% after trading around 0.94% earlier in the evening, and stock futures tracking the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 have receded from their session highs and entered negative territory. Higher yields have been associated with the prospect of more fiscal stimulus, which has faded as the chances of a "blue wave" seem to have receded, analysts said. "Early prospects for a quick resolution to the U.S. election have given way to the reality of an extended process, not only with regards to the White House but also the Senate (and thus the prospect of more gridlock)," wrote Ian Lyngen, head of U.S. rates strategy at BMO Capital Markets. "This volatile price action can only be expected to persist for the time being."

Nov 03 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- The U.S. dollar hovered just below a one-month high, as investors opted for caution in the hours ahead of polls opening on election day in the United States, while the Australian dollar slipped after a central bank rate cut.
- Oil prices held steady ahead of the U.S. presidential election, retaining their steep overnight gains but capped by demand concerns and worries about rising supplies.

- Gold prices edged down, as cautious investors awaited the outcome of the U.S. presidential election with President Donald Trump closely trailing Democrat Joe Biden in national opinion polls.
- Prices of most industrial metals edged higher, as robust factory data from the world's biggest economies boosted sentiment, though trading volumes were thin on the eve of the U.S. presidential election.
- Chicago soybean futures rose, gaining for two out of three sessions, on expectations of lower U.S. yields and as the U.S. Department of Agriculture pegged the pace of the harvest behind market forecasts.
- Raw sugar futures on ICE rose sharply on Monday amid uncertainty about India's sugar export policy, while also benefiting from a recovery in financial markets after positive data on manufacturing in the United States and Europe.
- Malaysian palm oil futures rose 2%, snapping a four-session losing streak, as expectations of a drop in October inventories and a rise in rival edible oils underpinned prices.

- Expectations over election results aren't enough to explain today's rally, Matt Lloyd, from Advisors Asset Management, tells WSJ. "There's still uncertainty, a lot of hesitation" about the political outcome he says, adding that the rally is "a culmination of the risk off" sentiment that brought down share prices and bond yields in past weeks. Whoever wins, he says, will produce a stimulus package early next year to beef up the economy. For now, there's a lot of money just waiting to get back into the market. "There're so many people on the sidelines that any skew will make the tail wag the dog," Lloyd says.

- If Joe Biden wins the presidency and the democrats recapture the Senate, addressing climate policy via a large spending bill will be more politically feasible than hard caps on emissions, according to Morningstar equity analysts Preston Caldwell and Aron Szapiro. They note Biden's Clean Energy program references large investments in energy conservation, electric vehicles and clean energy research & development but also makes reference to highway infrastructure and affordable housing. This, they say, suggests the bill could become "an omnibus for all sorts of spending, whether specifically related to clean energy or not."

- Cyberattackers may weaponize disinformation and confusion about the presidential election in the coming days in order to target workers and businesses with phishing emails, security experts say. "You have distraction, you have anxiety, you have starvation for information," said Marcus Fowler, director of strategic threat at cybersecurity firm Darktrace Ltd. "That usually translates to clicking on more links."

- Base metals are higher across the board thanks to a weaker dollar as polling stations open for the U.S. election. Copper is up 0.6% at $6,813 a metric ton, while aluminum rises 1.7% to $1,902.50 a ton, its highest level in just under two years. The ICE Dollar Index falls 0.8% to 93.39, providing some decent support to base metals which are already seeing strong demand from Chinese factories. For aluminum, declining stockpiles and concerns that European lockdowns could crimp supply are adding extra support, says Ed Meir, a metals consultant for ED&F Man.

- Voters in three states are considering measures that would set new rules for consumer data. The California Privacy Rights Act would overhaul the state's existing privacy law and set de facto national standards for businesses' treatment of customer information. In Massachusetts, a ballot measure would compel auto manufacturers to share diagnostic data with car owners and, in turn, third-party repair shops. A constitutional amendment in Michigan would require law enforcement to get a warrant in order to seize any electronic data or communications.

- Efforts at oil majors like BP to shift their businesses toward green energy sources have attracted a lot of attention, but smaller companies involved in fossil fuels are also trying to showcase their environmental work. Earlier Tuesday, Baker Hughes said it would acquire a company that can capture carbon emissions, which cause climate change. On an investor call, executives at natural-gas pipeline operator Williams said the company has established a team to explore opportunities tied to adding more solar-energy systems across its operation, in hydrogen energy and carbon-capture technologies, among other efforts. Oil, gas and coal companies face heightened pressure from some investors to demonstrate how they will push against climate change and may deal with new regulatory requirements, depending on today's election.

- The election outcome that matters for hospitality businesses such as restaurants and hotels, which have been battered by the Covid-19 pandemic, isn't so much about who gets to sit in the Oval Office, says Luke Pototschnik, a consumer-goods consultant at Boston Consulting. It's control of Congress that matters, he says, as the body would ultimately decide how much the businesses get in stimulus and how they operate during the pandemic. "It's probably going to be less about the person and more about the policy," Pototschnik says. The market lately has been buoyed partly by bets that Democrats will take control of both the White House and Congress. That outcome would make it more likely lawmakers will approve a generous stimulus package to spur economic activity.

- A Democratic sweep of Tuesday's election could help boost electric-vehicle adoption in the US, which has lagged compared with China and Europe, according to Baird. With control of Congress and the White House, Democrats could restore the full tax credit for electric vehicles, and work with state and local governments to deploy public electric-vehicle infrastructure. Under a Biden presidency with a divided Congress, executive action on fuel-economy standards or trade with China could be the biggest influence on electric vehicles. Overall, a Biden win would be a net positive for the space, according to Baird.

- Livestock futures trading on the CME are mixed on election day. "The reality is that the livestock are likely the least impacted of any of the major markets followed here," says StoneX. "But that doesn't mean they won't be impacted at least indirectly." Live cattle futures on the CME are down 0.3% Tuesday, while lean hog futures are up 0.4%.

- The safe haven dollar and the Japanese yen could rise sharply if Tuesday's U.S. presidential election result is contested, Saxo Bank says. Few market participants are well prepared for a contested election if the outcome proves close, potentially causing uncertainty for "days and weeks," Saxo Bank's John Hardy says. "In a contested election scenario, watch for hefty yield curve flattening in the U.S., a possible USD spike, but very likely a strong JPY spike and then ugly volatility in some of the currencies best positioned for the reflationary narrative, from commodity currencies to emerging markets." (renae.dyer@wsj.com)

- Investment bank UBS says that regardless of who wins the election today--their firm expects a Democratic sweep--the economy will continue to mend. "The pace will be affected by the timing and magnitude of additional fiscal stimulus, and that hinges on the election outcome," writes Jason Draho, leader of asset allocation for UBS Global Wealth Management. "But the bounce-back in manufacturing, the strength of consumer spending, and Federal Reserve accommodation all support a continual recovery," he said.

- The latest polls suggest a Biden victory, which combined with Democratic majorities in the House and Senate will mean bigger fiscal stimulus, Barclays says. More fiscal stimulus would boost growth and inflation expectations, but widen deficits and push up public debt, the bank says. On the world stage, a change in leadership could well bring about multilateralism, with implications for global treaties on climate change and potential reforms of the World Trade Organization and NATO alliances, Barclays says. While the U.S. approach toward China would likely remain one of competition and deterrence even under a Biden presidency, the relationship could possibly become "more structured and constructive," the bank says.

- The dollar edges lower in early trade on the day of the U.S. presidential election, where polls suggest Democrat candidate Joe Biden is likely to win. Danske Bank says a "Democratic sweep" would lift EUR/USD "towards the high end of the 1.15-1.20 range." EUR/USD is last up 0.3% at 1.1675, while the DXY dollar index falls 0.3% to 93.8240. However, UniCredit says moves will be limited before results are known, while euro gains could be tempered by concerns about virus-linked lockdowns. "Investors are expected to wait for early projections of the U.S. presidential election during the night for an initial grasp of the possible outcome and the size of the victory of either candidate," UniCredit says.

- JPMorgan expects limited spillover from the U.S. election outcome into German rate markets, with a modest selloff and steeper curve under a Democratic sweep, its rates strategists say. Under a Democratic sweep, JPM expects a modest, 5-10 basis point selloff in 10-year German Bund yields and very limited market impact in any other scenarios. JPM stays neutral on German 10-year Bunds despite its outlook of higher German yields into the year-end on vaccine optimism and no rate cuts from the European Central Bank. "We believe that ongoing macro/restriction on Covid-19 resurgence would limit any material selloff over the near term." The 10-year Bund yield is trading 0.3bp higher at minus 0.63%.

- Given the likelihood of "a bit more" volatility in the coming weeks, TwentyFour Asset Management says extending duration in U.S. Treasury could be a trade worth considering. Felipe Villarroel, partner for portfolio management at the asset manager says the U.S. election is a major driver of markets, and it looks like the probability of not knowing the definitive result in a timely fashion is increasing. "Treasuries might rally due to an increase in uncertainty," he says.

- Mining stocks should ultimately benefit regardless of the U.S. election outcome, Jefferies says. While a Democratic sweep would theoretically be the most positive driver, as Green New Deal policies would support demand for metals such as copper, a Trump win would also be bullish because of his pro-growth policies, the bank says. Either way, mining shares should rally into year-end, Jefferies says.

- Treasury markets little changed ahead of election day, with the 10-year yield slightly down to 0.85% from 0.86% on Friday. Investors fear disputed election results could lead to a prolonged legal battle, paralyzing policy making as Covid-19 rebounds and new lockdowns are imposed. Fears are partially offset by positive economic data, with the ISM's factory survey composite index rising to 59.3 in October from 55.4 in September.

- All eyes are on tomorrow's vote in the contest between President Trump and former Vice President Biden, but executives at Waste Management emphasize the garbage disposal and recycling company with more than 240 solid-waste landfills as of the end of last year is also honed in on state and local elections. States and municipalities face major financial pressure in the aftermath of the coronavirus-sparked economic shock, generating questions from analysts on an earnings call today about 3Q about those customers. "A lot of these municipalities are facing budget constraints," operations chief John Morris said. "But I would tell you where we're having success is getting the price up, being paid adequately for the service we're providing." Shares up 2.2% with adjusted profit per share and revenue ahead of consensus estimates for the quarter.

- For the shipping market, which candidate -- Trump or Biden -- floats their boat? London-based VesselsValue argues it's a mixed bag, saying a Trump victory would benefit the tanker market as US crude production and exports could stay strong, and "his sanctioning of Iran and temporary blacklisting of certain fleets of large Tankers has been beneficial for the Tanker markets (in the short term at least)." But Biden wins the day for container ships and bulker ships that carry things like grains and ore, they say, because these markets "have suffered as a result of Trump's protectionist policies and the ongoing trade war between the US and China."

- Gasoline prices aren't grabbing headlines this election like previous presidential votes, but that doesn't mean Americans aren't paying attention, especially as they drop toward $2 a gallon. Patrick DeHaan at price-tracking firm GasBuddy says a sharp drop in crude-oil prices in recent weeks sent the national average gasoline price 2.7 cents per gallon lower last week, to $2.12 today, and "it's virtually guaranteed the national average will fall to under $2 per gallon in the next two weeks." The reduced focus on gas prices this election is partly due to the pandemic, as some drivers are filling up less, with EIA data showing a 10% year-on-year drop in gasoline demand, to 8.6M bpd.

- Verizon Communications' digital ad arm won't accept political advertising from Wednesday to Sunday, people familiar with the matter say. Verizon Media, which sold $7.5B worth of digital ads in 2019, told political advertisers last week about the move, according to the people and an email reviewed by WSJ. The ban blocks election-related ads and some awareness-raising ads on political or social issues. Facebook and Alphabet's Google will also temporarily ban political ads after Election Day. The bans are meant to limit post-election misinformation, such as premature victory claims.

- Female donors' power and influence has been on display this election cycle. Avani Ramnani, a New York City-based financial adviser, says more of her female clients say they've made political donations this year compared to four years ago. According to OpenSecrets.org, part of the Center for Responsive Politics, women contributed nearly $1.7 billion this election cycle and 43% of political donors in the 2020 cycle are women, the highest percentage on record. "This is encouraging and proof of the increase in women's control of wealth," Ramnani says.

- Export inspections of US soybeans have stayed strong again this week. The USDA says soybean export inspections have totaled 2.08M metric tons, driven largely by inspections for soybeans destined for China. 1.49M tons are destined for the Chinese mainland, the USDA says. Meanwhile, corn export inspections totaled 721,623 tons this week, while wheat inspections  totaled 287,059 tons--which is below the expectations of analysts. The evidence of strong soybean inspections destined to China may provide fuel for a rebound in soybean futures trading on the CBOT, once the uncertainty of the US presidential election subsides.

- A day before Election Day, Agricultural Secretary Sonny Perdue has gone public in advocating for President Trump's actions in supporting US farmers. In an op-ed published by Fox Business on Monday, Perdue says the Trump tax cuts have benefitted farmers, and aid programs have been beneficial to keep distressed farmers afloat. "Whether by cutting taxes for all Americans, fighting for better trade deals, expanding the use of ethanol, or connecting rural Americans to high-quality broadband Internet, the President has made sure that America is better off," says Perdue.

Nov 02 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- The U.S. dollar steadied as investors prepared for U.S. presidential elections on Tuesday, while a surge in global coronavirus cases continued to weigh on sentiment.
- Oil prices fell more than 3% on worries that widening coronavirus lockdowns across Europe will weaken fuel demand, and as traders braced for turbulence during the U.S. presidential election week.
- Gold ticked higher as caution crept in ahead of Tuesday's hotly contested U.S. presidential elections, sparking some bids for the safe-haven metal.
- Copper futures fell, despite better-than-expected manufacturing data from top consumer China, as a firmer dollar ahead of the U.S. presidential election made greenback-priced metals more expensive to holders of other currencies.
- Chicago corn futures slid 1%, as lower oil consumption amid coronavirus lockdowns raised concerns over demand for the grain-based fuel ethanol.
- Raw sugar futures on ICE closed down on Friday in a choppy session with prices falling amid some fund long liquidation triggered by deepening gloom across financial markets as COVID-19 infections climbed.
- Malaysian palm oil futures fell nearly 2% to its lowest in over a week, amid caution about the U.S presidential election and as key market Europe widens coronavirus-driven lockdowns.

- Should the U.S. election result in a contested outcome, "there might be a temporary safe haven flight," says Florian Spaete, analyst at Generali Investments. "However, we doubt that this will last," he says. At some point, a result will be declared, removing the political uncertainty, he says. The U.S. budget deficit will remain high in any case and this, combined with the expectation that a Covid-19 vaccine will be found soon and with the U.S. manufacturing sector being rather resilient, "the upward trend [in yields] is likely to continue," he says. The smallest rise in yields in the medium term is seen in the event of a split government as Congress and President would struggle to agree on major policy changes, he adds.

Oct 31 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- For grains, the outcome of next week's presidential election is seen as unlikely to change a lot in  perceptions of the grain market--with export demand expected to remain strong as well as farmers' crop yields for this year. However, corn futures may take a hit if Joe Biden emerges victorious, tied mostly to the belief that a Biden Administration would enact regulations designed to encourage the proliferation of electric vehicles, which would decrease gasoline consumption and therefore ethanol usage. "There is a perception that Biden will focus on eliminating gasoline powered vehicles which is really bad for ethanol," says Sal Gilbertie of Teucrium Trading. "If there is an election price reaction at all in the big ag markets, it might be negative for corn on a Biden win."

- Oxford Economics says a Biden win next week wouldn't significantly soften the overall US policy stance regarding China on economic issues. "A Biden government should also mean a less aggressive and more predictable China policy and be more interested in engagement on issues such as climate change," Oxford predicts. "A Biden government would also make it more likely that a 'common front' of developed countries emerges, to push China on policy changes," the research firm says.

- Farmers' strong support for President Trump hasn't been moved by the debates, the Supreme Court nomination battle, his coronavirus diagnosis or much else, according to a Farm Journal survey. The agriculture publisher's latest survey of 1,311 farmers, conducted this week, finds 85% of respondents planning to vote for Mr. Trump, the same number as the prior Farm Journal survey in early September. Despite financial pain from the Trump administration's trade wars, farmers have said they trust Mr. Trump to keep their taxes low and further ease regulations. Mr. Biden received 11%, down one point from the early-June Farm Journal survey.

- Corn futures trading on the CME are slightly higher pre-market, with some grains traders taking the opportunity to jump back into corn. "The longer term fundamental outlook is supportive due to strong China demand and a US stocks forecast that is about half of what we thought it would be mid-summer," says Doug Bergman of RCM Alternatives. "The correction potentially has more room to go, but corn buyers should start looking at ways to reduce upside risk." Corn futures have fallen in recent sessions in reaction to election uncertainty as well as rising
coronavirus cases.

- A second term for U.S. President Donald Trump could raise the risk of trade conflicts between the U.S. and the E.U., say economists at Berenberg. The brokerage notes that Trump pursued "an erratic and confrontational" foreign and trade policy over the last four years while weakening multilateral institutions. Joe Biden seems to have similar protectionist inclinations, but would implement a calmer trade policy that reaches out to traditional allies such as Europe, possibly finding a common line versus China, it says. This approach "could be positive for global trade," Berenberg adds.

- European Central Bank's signals of likely further stimulus if the eurozone's economy weakens have soothed European credit markets after a week of shaky trading in risk assets. "After signals of further easing in December from the ECB, European credit markets are likely to close the week in a quiet mood," says UniCredit. Yet volatility still lays in store. The Italian bank says volatility in broader markets will likely remain elevated given the looming U.S. election on Nov.3, with credit investors likely continuing to remain cautious.

Oct 30 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- Global oil prices fell more than 1%, extending losses and on track for a second monthly fall, on growing concerns that the rise in COVID-19 cases in Europe and the United States could hurt fuel consumption.
- Gold prices rose, as the dollar retreated, supported by worries of soaring coronavirus cases in the United States and Europe as well as uncertainty over the upcoming U.S. presidential election.
- London copper rose, on track for its seventh straight monthly gain, after the world's largest economy- the United States- reported strong economic growth and lifted sentiment.
- Chicago corn slid, weighed by concerns about the economic harm caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, although the market is poised for its third straight month of gains on the back of strong demand.
- Raw sugar futures on ICE were sharply lower on Thursday while coffee and cocoa prices also weakened as lockdowns in Europe weighed on crude oil and many other commodity markets.
- Malaysian palm oil futures rose, set for a second straight weekly gain on strength in rival oils and expectations of dwindling output.

- A second term for U.S. President Donald Trump could raise the risk of trade conflicts between the U.S. and the E.U., say economists at Berenberg. The brokerage notes that Trump pursued "an erratic and confrontational" foreign and trade policy over the last four years while weakening multilateral institutions. Joe Biden seems to have similar protectionist inclinations, but would implement a calmer trade policy that reaches out to traditional allies such as Europe, possibly finding a common line versus China, it says. This approach "could be positive for global trade," Berenberg adds.

- European Central Bank's signals of likely further stimulus if the eurozone's economy weakens have soothed European credit markets after a week of shaky trading in risk assets. "After signals of further easing in December from the ECB, European credit markets are likely to close the week in a quiet mood," says UniCredit. Yet volatility still lays in store. The Italian bank says volatility in broader markets will likely remain elevated given the looming U.S. election on Nov.3, with credit investors likely continuing to remain cautious.

- Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky says the company's 4Q outlook has lots of uncertainty. Beyond the usual vagaries around weather and holiday spending plans, this year also has a U.S. election. "We saw some disruption in 2016," Mr. Olsavsky says.

- Rep. Ro Khanna, a California Democrat who represents Silicon Valley, backed the Justice Department's antitrust suit against Google as "reasonable" at The Wall Street Journal's Future of Everything conference, calling for targeted regulation and saying the tech giant shouldn't be allowed to pay Apple for exclusive agreements that limit how people use an iPhone. "My view is we need well-crafted regulation," he said. When asked about how Google employees count among Khanna's largest group of donors, Khanna said they back his overall vision for tech. "I believe very much that the entrepreneurial economy in Silicon Valley can contribute a lot of good, but I'm willing to call things as I see them," he said.

- Grain traders say futures trading on CBOT could drop in the short term if President Trump pulls an upset victory over challenger Joe Biden next week. "If Trump pulls the chestnuts out of the fire, we probably get a short term break as the market feels there is political risk to the export market again," Charlie Sernatinger of ED&F Man Capital says. However, prices are expected to be stable longer-term, based on the assumption that countries buying US grain exports won't drastically change their buying programs depending on who wins. "Either way we look at it, everyone needs to eat, so we don't expect election results to change the current US export demand landscape," Terry Reilly of Futures International says.

- The record 33.1% annualized growth in the third quarter for the U.S. economy is unlikely to affect the Nov. 3 presidential election result, says Daniel Vernazza, chief international economist at Unicredit. Payrolls are still almost 11 million down on pre-pandemic levels, and new Covid-19 cases are surging again across the length and breath of the country, which puts the focus on President Trump's handling --or mishandling-- of the public health crisis, he says. "Anyhow, more than 77 million people have already voted," Vernazza notes.

- Crocs has told employees that no meetings will be scheduled on Nov. 3, the day of the US presidential election. The move is aimed at encouraging employees to vote, according to Anne Mehlman, chief financial officer at the plastic clog maker. Crocs had approximately 3,800 employees as of Dec. 31. The company is encouraging voter participation in other ways, including giving employees voting-themed cards decorated with Jibbitz charms that customers use to decorate their clogs. Encouraging employees to turn out on election day, and doing so in a "very unique-to-Crocs way," is a key priority at the company, Mehlman says.

- Russian President Vladimir Putin embraces one of US President Donald Trump's talking points, calling Democrats' approach to domestic issues more "socialized." In a speech to investors he also hedges his bets less than a week ahead of the US presidential election saying Moscow would work with any administration. The comments come after the US intelligence community concluded that Moscow has undertaken a broad effort to undermine Joe Biden's bid for the presidency.

- A former lobbyist for an Ohio power company is pleading guilty in a corruption case surrounding the state's bailout of two troubled nuclear plants. Juan Cespedes, a former lobbyist for Energy Harbor Corp., is expected to enter his plea in federal court on Thursday, according to court records. He was accused along with former Ohio House speaker Larry Householder and several others of running a pay-to-play scheme to secure subsidy legislation benefiting the company. Householder has pled not guilty. The bailout helped Energy Harbor, then a subsidy of FirstEnergy Corp., emerge from bankruptcy with its two nuclear plants still running. Federal authorities are probing Energy Harbor itself to find out if payments it made to a nonprofit were meant as bribes or as legitimate lobbying efforts.

- The 10-year Treasury yield is stable at 0.779%, in a sign investors don't think much of the stronger-than-expected 3Q GDP report, says Spartan's Peter Cardillo. "The 33.1% growth is great for the headlines, but the 4Q is a different story," he tells WSJ. "Without help, it will be a double-dip recession." Even the weekly jobless claims, which also beat expectations, is being shrugged off by investors given the uncertainties around next week's elections. If Joe Biden wins and Republicans still control the Senate, "there's no reason why Republicans will help him passing a big stimulus package," Cardillo says.

- A flight into perceived safe-haven assets is likely to be the dominant trend for investors after the U.S. election, given exhausted central bank policy and government stimulus tools, says Joel Kruger, currency strategist at LMAX Group. The outlook post-election, regardless who sits in the White House, "is an outlook that projects risk-off flow in markets, with stocks seen under pressure and the U.S. dollar mostly in demand given its traditional safe haven appeal," he says.

- The argument for a selloff or a rally in financial markets after the Nov. 3 U.S. general election is equally compelling for both candidates, says Joel Kruger, currency strategist at LMAX Group. Financial markets could sell off on expected social unrest in response to President Donald Trump being re-elected, but "could just as easily rally on the relief of a continuation of policies that have encouraged favourable market conditions over the past four years," he says. Similarly, a victory by Democratic candidate Joe Biden could either prompt a selloff in financial markets on uncertainty around changes in policy, including a possible rise in corporate tax, or trigger fresh demand for risk assets on expectations of a greater fiscal stimulus, he says.

- Oil prices extend their losses, with Brent crude oil down 3.5% at $38.27 a barrel and WTI futures are down 3.7% at $35.99 a barrel. Brent is on course for its lowest close since June and WTI futures are at a seven-week low, with fresh coronavirus lockdown measures in Europe and investor jitters ahead of next week's presidential election in the U.S. piling pressure on oil prices. "Oil has been propped up for so long by hope. It's consumer driven and many consumers in Europe are being locked up," says Global Risk Management trader Edward Marshall. "You can prop up equities with free cash but you can't do that with oil." Still, unlike March, there's no price war and lockdown measures are more nuanced meaning a similar price collapse is unlikely he says.

- Higher-than-expected stimulus following the U.S. election could exacerbate a selloff in government bonds and surprise credit investors, potentially particularly hurting the investment-grade market, says Andrey Kuznetsov, senior credit portfolio manager, at the international business of Federated Hermes. "The outcome of the upcoming U.S. presidential election will determine where interest rates go," he says. Yet a wider mix of catalysts could move government-bond yields either way and investors should pay close attention to the duration exposure of their portfolios, he says. "The uptick in coronavirus cases, U.S. election, the U.K.'s imminent exit from the EU and Q3 earnings will all be in focus over the next few weeks."

- Copper prices are edging higher after wavering Wednesday amid a broad risk-off move in markets. Three-month copper is up 0.2% at $6,759 a metric ton. The metal slipped on Wednesday as stock markets fell sharply lower, before recovering some of its losses. In focus Thursday would be the conclusion of a meeting of top Chinese Communist Party officials which is expected to produce policy documents detailing the nation's next five-year plan, says Anna Stablum, at brokerage Marex Spectron. The plan will be parsed by investors for China's infrastructure spending plans as well as detail on how it will achieve its pledge to be carbon neutral by 2060, both of which could significantly boost China's demand for base metals like copper.

- China's economy could rise by a further 0.2% in 2021 if Biden wins the U.S. election, as it would mean stronger economic growth in the U.S. next year and a more accommodative trade policy, says Oxford Economics. The economists forecast that a Biden win will boost U.S. economic growth in 2021 by an extra 1.2%, and the faster growth would increase China's exports and also economic activity. Meanwhile, a Trump victory might lead to a continued U.S.-China trade war and a decoupling of both economies, says Louis Kuijs, an economist at Oxford Economics.

Oct 29 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- Oil prices recovered slightly from a 5% slump in the previous session, gaining support from the prospect of tighter short-term supply with two-thirds of U.S. output shut in the Gulf of Mexico as Hurricane Zeta slammed Louisiana.
- Gold edged up after a plunge in the previous session as surging global coronavirus cases and fears of a contested U.S. presidential election spurred demand, although a strong dollar capped gains.
- Industrial metals prices moved in a narrow range, as traders maintained a cautious stance ahead of U.S. election and on concerns that a resurgence in COVID-19 cases in Europe, the United States and elsewhere would threaten economic recovery.
- U.S. soybean futures rose after earlier hitting a nine-day low as concerns about the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic loomed over prices.
- Coffee and cocoa futures fell on Wednesday amid a sea of red across financial markets as rising coronavirus cases globally triggered fears of lockdowns disrupting an already fragile economic recovery.

- Gold is flat in early Asian trade after gold futures fell sharply overnight to mark their lowest settlement in about a month. The bullion market is likely to be volatile until the U.S. election, axi says. It notes that a scenario where Biden wins could be optimistic for gold, as the market would expect more U.S. fiscal stimulus. Spot gold is flat at $1,876.54/oz.

- The dollar strengthens against most major currencies, including 0.4% against the euro. It weakens slightly against the yen, which was also generally stronger as investors looked for haven assets. The ICE US Dollar Index rises 0.5% and is at its strongest level in more than a week. "Markets are still in risk-reduction mode, likely on a combination of pre-election jitters, a longer wait for vaccine efficacy news, and rising virus cases and mitigation measures," Goldman Sachs says

- Societe Generale expects the euro to rise back to $1.20 eventually, but a victory for former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden at the Nov. 3 presidential election "gets us there faster," says currency analyst Kit Juckes. Juckes says he would look to take a long position in EUR/USD below 1.17, with a stop loss order below 1.15. If EUR/USD rises to 1.20 in November it could trigger a "significant spike" in GBP/USD if a U.K.-EU trade deal "of sorts" causes falls in EUR/GBP, he says. "Having a directional view in GBP is hard," but cheap bets on GBP/USD rising are "more appealing" than "expensive" bets on it falling, Juckes says. EUR/USD is last down 0.5% at 1.1732, while GBP/USD is last down 0.6% at 1.2961.

- The oil and gas industry's leading trade group hits back at recent comments from presidential candidate Joe Biden about "getting rid of the subsidies for fossil fuels," arguing that energy tax policy is actually disproportionately tilted towards benefiting renewables rather than oil and gas. "According to the Congressional Research Service, 65% of all federal energy-related tax incentives benefitted renewables in 2017 even though just 13% of all U.S. energy production came from renewables," the American Petroleum Institute says in a blog post. "Don't believe the hype -- natural gas and oil companies receive no special tax treatment from the federal government."

- A second term for President Trump combined with a blue sweep in Congress is the worst-case scenario for markets in the upcoming election, says Esty Dwek, head of global market strategy at Natixis Investment Managers. A majority for the Democrats in Congress would give them power to block almost any of Trump's policies and could set up a veto situation that would see very little get done and a lot of executive orders, Dwek says. "Concerns about fiscal stimulus, China and more would remain on investors' minds, extending uncertainty and volatility," she says.

- Oil extends its losses, with Brent crude oil down 3.7% at $40.08 a barrel and WTI futures down 4.5% at $37.78 a barrel amid a coronavirus-driven market selloff. Prices have whipsawed around this week, dropping on Monday and rallying Tuesday thanks to hurricane-related production closures in the U.S. Despite waves of hurricane driven outages recently, crude stocks registered a surprise build in the U.S. last week. "The build was a mini-shock for traders, not something they never expected to happen--but rather a development they slightly hoped would just not come," says Rystad Energy's Bjornar Tonhaugen. Mr. Tonhaugen expects more oil price volatility ahead of the U.S. election, and says portfolio managers are reducing risk ahead of the vote.

Oct 28 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- Oil prices slid about 2 percent, giving up most of the previous day's gains, as a surge in U.S. crude stocks and growing coronavirus infections in the United States and Europe fanned fears of a supply glut in oil and weaker fuel demand.
- Gold prices steadied above the $1,900 mark as uncertainties about the U.S. elections and surging global COVID-19 cases countered pressure from a firmer dollar and fading hopes of an immediate U.S. stimulus package.
- Shanghai nickel prices jumped the most in nearly three months, helped by supply worries after the Philippines' top nickel ore producer suspended operations at one of its four mines following an outbreak of the coronavirus.
- U.S. wheat futures fell nearly 1% to a two-week low as concerns about global supplies eased on forecasts for rain across the U.S. Plains, a major grain-producing region.
- Raw sugar futures on ICE hit an eight-month peak above 15 cents per lb on Tuesday, with traders on tenterhooks as India, a top producer, has yet to announce its sugar export policy.
- Malaysian palm oil futures fell for a second straight session, tracking weaker rival oils and on profit booking after hitting a one-month high earlier this week.

- The U.S. energy, tech and finance sectors, some of the winning industries during Donald Trump's presidency, could face a hit if he isn't re-elected, says Fraser Lundie, head of credit at the international business of Federated Hermes. Democratic candidate Joe Biden is likely to revisit Trump's 2017 tax bill with a view to reversing it if Democrats sweep both houses of Congress, Lundie says. This would weigh heavily on recovery from the pandemic and industries such as technology and finance--which have benefited from the tax cuts--would be hit the hardest, he adds. A Trump win, "while unlikely," would maintain low taxes, deregulation, aggressive and unpredictable foreign policy, as well as "significantly more support for the oil and gas sector," Lundie says.

- Copper prices are edging lower amid concerns over coronavirus infection rates. Three-month LME copper is down 0.1% at $6,784 a metric ton. Worries are building that stricter lockdown measures are likely in Europe, which would weigh on the fragile economic recovery and could dent demand for base metals. What's more, with less than one week until the U.S. election hopes of a stimulus deal between Democrats and the White House are fading. "Another move to the downside is likely as the news is filled with endless coronavirus doom and gloom," said Malcolm Freeman CEO of Kingdom Futures. "It now looks certain that the U.S. Covid aid package will not be signed off until after the election," he added.

- In early voting in the U.S., the Democrats' "Blue Wave" may have swept in first, and the Republicans' "Red Wall" will have to see if it can rise above it on Election Day, Rabobank says. TargetSmart data shows that at least 59 million Americans have already voted in 2020, which is equivalent to 43% of the voter turnout in 2016. News reports today suggest 70 million Americans have cast their ballots, which is more than half of the total turnout by the usual standards of a presidential election, Rabobank says. In the early voting, 26.7% of the turnout has been by registered Democrats, compared with 16.1% by Republicans and 55.8% by independents, the bank says. "That implies a lead for Democrats that Republicans will have to better on the ground on Nov. 3 with in-person ballots," Rabobank
says.

- USD/SGD nudges lower amid market nervousness ahead of next week's U.S. elections, analysts say. The elections have made investors and traders highly cautious, AvaTrade says. "No one wants to take much risk ahead of this event," says Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at AvaTrade. While polls are widely predicting that Democrat candidate Joe Biden is likely to win, traders have learned from their mistakes and don't want to rely on polls as they can be terribly wrong, Aslam says. USD/SGD is down 0.1% at 1.3595.

- The winner of the Nov. 3 election will have outsized influence in shaping the US role in global cybersecurity, lawmakers and cyber experts say. The key questions revolve not only around cyber conflicts, but data-privacy standards key to digital economic growth, says James Lewis, director of the strategic technologies program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. "How do you impose consequences [on Russia and China]?" he says. "And how do you strike a deal with Brussels and Berlin?"

- Grain futures are lower as some traders take a cautious approach on commodities ahead of next weeks' presidential election. "There is an 'air' of correction in the marketplace," says AgResource. "The risk vs. reward amid improving South American, US and Black Sea weather forecasts is not there with a major US election in a week."

- Some key swing states that are set to determine the outcome of the presidential election registered falls in consumer expectations--data that offer little encouragement for Donald Trump, James Knightley, chief international economist at ING, says. According to data from The Conference Board, consumer expectations in October dropped by 20 points in Florida, by 21 points in Michigan, and by 25 points in Pennsylvania compared with the prior month. In the U.S. overall, the expectations index--based on consumers' short-term outlook for income, business and labor market conditions--fell by 4.5 points.

- A decline in consumer confidence is to be expected ahead of elections and doesn't necessarily reflect renewed Covid-19 anxieties, Amherst Pierpont's Stephen Stanley says, after the Conference Board's October gauge dropped to 100.9 from a downwardly revised 101.3 in September. Stanley expects the index to recover after the election, when "the majority of people should generally be happy with the results." Other factors such as "the course of the virus, the progress of treatments and vaccines, and whether the federal government enacts further support," will also weigh on confidence, he says.

Oct 27 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- Oil prices rose after recent sharp losses, but market sentiment remains muted as surging COVID-19 cases around the world hurt the outlook for crude demand while supply is rising.
- Gold prices rose as a weaker dollar and a fresh wave of coronavirus infections threatened to further slow down a global economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, bolstering bullion's safe-haven appeal.
- London copper prices rebounded from earlier losses, as a weaker dollar boosted the appeal of greenback-priced metals, although gains were capped on surging global coronavirus infections and stalling of U.S. stimulus negotiations.
- Chicago wheat futures edged higher after a U.S. report pegged the condition of the country's crop below forecasts, although the gains were capped on expectations of rain in key exporting regions in the Northern Hemisphere.
- Raw sugar futures on ICE closed slightly up on Monday with market attention remaining on India's export policy, while weak crude oil prices and a firmer dollar limited the upside.
- Malaysian palm oil futures fell as traders booked profits after prices hit a one-month high in the previous session, although losses were limited by higher prices of rival oils elsewhere.

- Miners in Chile are eyeing what Sunday's vote in favor of a creating a new constitution could mean for the sector, which includes state-owned copper company Codelco; copper mines like Escondida, majority owned by BHP Group; properties run by Antofagasta; and lithium production from Albemarle and Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile. The head of Sonami, a Chilean mining trade group, said Sunday Chile-based and international miners need certainty and stability. Teneo, a consultancy, says left-wing and center-left parties face divisions, which is one reason a constituent assembly focused on drafting a new constitution won't necessarily skew toward those political perspectives.

- Smallcap, high volatility and value stocks--companies that are trading below their book value--tend to outperform after U.S. elections, research firm Style Analytics says. Meanwhile, stocks that consistently underperform after U.S. elections include those known as growth--companies that tend to promise large payouts in the distant future--, momentum--those that have had high returns in the preceding months--and quality--those of companies with higher and more reliable profits, low debt and other measures of sustainable earnings--, Style Analytics says, citing its own analysis of how stocks performed in the seven months following U.S. elections in the past nine presidential races. "These results hold regardless of which party wins the election and whether or not the elected president is an incumbent," Style Analytics says.

- Investors could face U.S. election-related uncertainty after next week's vote on top of the lack of a U.S. stimulus bill and a potentially softening economy, says AGF Investments. It may take several days after Tuesday's poll for all the votes to be counted, due to the relatively large number of mail-in ballots cast, the asset manager's Chief U.S. Policy Analyst Greg Valliere told CNN. "More ominously, if Donald Trump narrowly loses, he's made it clear he'll appeal and go to the courts," he says. "I think he'll go to Mr. Barr, his Attorney General, and say I want you to take it all the way to the Supreme Court because I won."

- The worst outcome from the U.S. election for markets would be if President Donald Trump refused to leave office after losing the Nov. 3 presidential election, says Jim Leaviss, chief investment officer of public fixed income at M&G Investments. "The worst outcome for the dollar, bond markets and risk assets would be if Trump were to lose the election but refuse to step down," he says. "Anything that causes us to question the sanctity of Western democratic law would be problematic, leading to issues around the state of the U.S. dollar as the primary bond market, equity market and currency market," he adds.

- A victory by Democratic candidate Joe Biden at the Nov. 3 presidential election is likely to bring fresh fiscal stimulus and spur growth, yet Treasury yields are unlikely to rise materially, says Jim Leaviss, chief investment officer of public fixed income at M&G Investments. "At the moment, the market thinks we are unlikely to see the first Fed [U.S. Federal Reserve] hike [in interest rates] until around 2024/25, but there is some research that indicates a Biden victory and a stimulatory fiscal policy would bring that forward by a couple of years," he says. However, "we are unlikely to see substantially higher bond yields given that the inflationary outlook is still incredibly weak."

- U.S. real yields and breakeven inflation could increase further in the event of a Democratic sweep in the U.S. elections, but this doesn't pose a threat to credit markets, say Lotfi Karoui and Michael Puempel at Goldman Sachs. The trend for higher real yields and breakeven inflation has prompted investors in spread products to question the implications for future excess returns, they say. However, "a growth-driven selloff in rates that features higher real yields and higher breakeven inflation" would not dent returns on investment grade corporate bonds. Empirical evidence from the past two decades suggests that "market episodes of higher real yields and higher breakeven inflation are typically accompanied by positive excess returns across the entire quality spectrum of the corporate bond market," they say.

- Heightened uncertainty around the Nov. 3 general election could give way to a rally in risk assets if a clear outcome emerges, boosting investor sentiment, Goldman Sachs analysts say. "Options markets are still pricing uncertainty beyond Election Day, partly due to the risk of a contested election," they say. "A clear result with less uncertainty on fiscal policy could be supportive for risky assets," as a decline in volatility and related uncertainty can boost investor sentiment. "The Tuesday to Tuesday close return prior to Election Day shows the S&P 500 rallying in 11 out of the last 12 U.S. elections," they say.

- Some forex traders may take profits on the U.S. dollar against the Turkish lira if the dollar weakens on the back of Joe Biden comfortably winning the Nov. 3 presidential election, but this won't last long, says UniCredit. "Any possible profit taking there if the USD weakens again after the U.S. presidential election ... will likely be short-lived and buying interest on USD/TRY is set to resume rapidly," says the bank. The Turkish lira "remains under pressure, given the ease with which the 8.00 threshold against the USD was breached," it says. USD/TRY rises 0.9% to a record high of 8.1622, according to FactSet.

- Base metals prices are flat amid low volumes as the U.S. election race enters the home straight. Three-month LME copper is up 0.1% at $6,780 a metric ton. Most market participants are awaiting the outcome of the election before making strong directional moves. Also in traders' minds is a meeting of top Chinese officials to discuss the country's next five-year plan. The plan is expected to focus on infrastructure and green technology which  could boost metals demand. "A key focus will be on the type of policies needed to kickstart President Xi's push for China to achieve carbon net-zero status by 2060," says Ed Meir, metals consultant for ED&F Man.

- Trading activity in foreign exchange markets remains subdued ahead of the Nov. 3 U.S. presidential election, as uncertainty hinders any clear trend in direction, says UniCredit. This means that the euro is likely to stabilize for now just above $1.18, while the pound may hover just above $1.30, with U.S. data due later today unlikely to "seriously alter this deadlock," it says. "The impasse on both U.S. budget talks and Brexit negotiations, as well as the implications of rising Covid-19 infections on 4Q20 GDP growth, play in favor of more EUR/USD and GBP/USD stabilization for now," UniCredit says. EUR/USD is last up 0.1% at 1.1821, while GBP/USD is flat at 1.3020.

- Twilio's 4Q revenue targets were ahead of analysts' projections but was only modestly higher than the 3Q. Twilio, which reported 3Q revenue of $448M, projects 4Q revenue around $450M to $450M. This is pretty conservative given the communications software maker could get a boost from a big election year, D.A. Davidson Analyst Rishi Jaluria tells WSJ. "I imagine with fundraising and get-out-the-vote efforts and communications, that that works in their favor," he says. Twilio's shares dropped 1.5% after hours to $296.

- New Zealand's NZX-50 index drops 0.7% to 12386.49 early on Tuesday after a bruising session on Wall Street overnight that saw the DJIA give up 2.3% for the worst day for blue chips since Sept. 3. Sentiment was pummeled by rising coronavirus cases in the US and Europe, and concerns about the economic outlook after US Congress and the White House failed to agree on a much-anticipated fiscal stimulus deal. Meridian Energy leads large-caps lower, falling 2.9% to NZ$5.38, while Genesis Energy dropped 0.5% to NZ$3.275. Sky Network TV, which announced an initial 6-month agreement to enable Spark NZ to offer Sky Sport Now, dropped by 1.9% to NZ$0.152.

- Bonds rally, sending the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury down to 0.80%, from Friday's 0.84%, the largest decline in nearly two weeks. Traders expect a choppy market for the next few days, as investors fret about a new wave of Covid-19 possibly leading to further lockdowns. The proximity of US elections exacerbates the risk-off mood--with fears of a prolonged legal battle post-election.

- US benchmark oil prices fall sharply, ending the session down 3.2% at a three-week-low $38.56 a barrel on worries of excess global supplies due to Libya's resumption of production and exports. Oil investors have also become risk averse due to a drop in US stock markets, persistent worries of weak oil demand due to coronavirus, and the failure of Washington lawmakers to pass a stimulus bill to help revive the economy. "Ugly headlines are everywhere," says Oanda's Edward Moya. "Europe's second [coronavirus] wave is accelerating and unleashing a new round of restrictions, while the US is poised to see record hospitalizations."

- The energy agenda in the U.S. will be radically different depending on who is the next president, says Edoardo Campanella, economist at UniCredit. If re-elected, President Trump is likely to boost the domestic oil industry and continue the deregulatory efforts that have characterized his first term, Campanella says. A Biden presidency, on the other hand, is likely to put climate and the environment at the center of its policy agenda through green investments or re-regulation of the shale industry. "Energy dominance would remain the guiding principle of Trump's pro-fossil fuel agenda...Biden's Green New Deal would shape his whole presidency beyond energy," Campanella says.

- The U.S. general election could still deliver a close and contested result, despite opening polls showing a 9% lead for Democratic candidate Joe Biden and the betting markets currently giving him a two-thirds chance of victory, says Rupert Thompson, chief investment officer at Kingswood. "It remains far from a done deal with the battle in some of the key swing states tight" and "control of the Senate, which will be critical in determining to what extent Biden can implement his agenda, is even more of a close call," he says. "A close and contested result with possibly weeks of rancour and confusion in prospect" would be the worse outcome, he says.

- President Trump could be re-elected if he holds onto five contested states -- Florida, Georgia, Iowa, North Carolina and Ohio -- and keeps Arizona and Pennsylvania, writes Gerald Seib of The Wall Street Journal. However, former Vice President Joe Biden's campaign believes that their candidate is holding his own with working-class white men, thanks to union support; that fear and unhappiness over the coronavirus are pushing senior citizens to the Democrats; and that Mr. Biden is outperforming Hillary Clinton among Florida Hispanics. They also think big demographic changes in Georgia open the way for a Democratic surprise.

- Alliance Resource Partners says the coal miner has "priced contract commitments" for about 20M tons of coal for next year and is targeting a 10% gain year-over-year in sales volumes. Looming over that forecast, however, is a potential Biden victory in the presidential campaign. The Biden campaign says in policy statements it would prohibit federal agencies like the Export-Import Bank from financing coal-fired power plants, for example, and that it wants to reduce carbon emissions. Other coal miners, including Arch Resources, are looking to get out of the business of providing coal to generate electricity and instead hone in on producing coal for steelmaking. Alliance shares are up 7%.

- The election result "matters only up to a point," and while some market dislocations are to be expected, they will likely be temporary. TS Lombard says. The research firm notes that markets expect a Biden victory, and many believe his Democrat party will take over the Senate, too. But "the President matters more than the Senate," TS Lombard says, and some trends are here to stay. "A Trump victory will not stop the inevitable decline of 'old' Energy; China will be antagonized regardless of the winner; and small caps have lagged large caps despite the very favourable conditions of the past four years," the firm forecasts.

- Benchmark Treasurys rise as coronavirus cases tick up over the weekend. Saturday came close to Friday's all-time record of just under 84,000. The yield on 10-year US government debt falls to 0.811% from 0.840% on Friday. "The latest on the virus includes the US reaching a record number of daily cases, including Marc Short, US Vice President Pence's chief of staff," says Deutsche Bank. This is weighing on market sentiment on Monday, the firm adds.

Oct 26 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- Oil fell more than 2%, extending last week's losses as growing cases of COVID-19 in the United States and Europe raised worries about crude demand, while the prospect of increased supply also hurt sentiment.
- Gold fell below the key psychological level of $1,900 to its lowest in more than a week, pressured by a firmer dollar and stalled progress in talks for a new U.S. coronavirus aid package.
- London copper prices hit a near one-week low after a surge in coronavirus cases raised doubts about a global economic recovery and as the dollar strengthened, making greenback-priced metals more expensive for buyers holding other currencies.
- Chicago soybeans rose for a sixth consecutive session, climbing to their highest in more than four years on the back of strong Chinese demand and dryness in parts of top producer Brazil.
- Raw sugar futures on ICE closed slightly down on Friday but clinched the sixth consecutive week of gains in a fund-led rally that started in early May and has been boosted this week by India's delay in announcing its sugar export subsidy policy.  
- Malaysian palm oil futures jumped 1.8% to one-and-a-half-week high, tracking gains in rival oils on the Dalian Commodity Exchange and the Chicago Board of Trade.

- The euro falls against the safe haven dollar on doubts that U.S. lawmakers will agree fresh coronavirus fiscal stimulus measures before the November 3 presidential election which dampen the U.S. inflation outlook and hit risk appetite. The performance of EUR/USD currently depends on the progress of U.S. stimulus talks and "things are not looking very promising on that front," Commerzbank's Ulrich Leuchtmann says. An agreement before the U.S. elections is unlikely and it "remains unclear" whether lawmakers will reach a deal shortly after the election or if it will wait until January, Leuchtmann says. Less fiscal policy momentum means less inflation, boosting the dollar, he says. EUR/USD falls 0.2% to 1.1845.

- Asian currencies are mixed against USD ahead of an event-packed week. "Beyond the U.S. election developments, it is no doubt a big week for markets amid the slew of central-bank meetings, data releases and stream of U.S. earnings reports," says IG. Fiscal-stimulus talks seem to be going nowhere even as House Speaker Pelosi suggested over the weekend that a deal could be done this week, before the Nov. 3 U.S. elections, IG says. USD/KRW is little changed at 1,128.57, USD/SGD is up 0.1% at 1.3590, while USD/TWD is down 0.1% at 28.61.

Oct 23 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- Oil prices held on to gains from the previous session, after Russian President Vladimir Putin indicated he would be prepared to extend record supply cuts in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Gold edged up on hopes that a U.S. stimulus package would eventually be passed, boosting the metal's appeal as an inflation hedge, although a stronger dollar capped gains.
- London copper prices declined as investors' caution ahead of the U.S. presidential election fuelled support for the dollar, making greenback-priced metals more expensive for buyers using other currencies.
- U.S. wheat futures gained as traders worried expected rains across key producing regions would be insufficient to ease the threat of reduced output.
- Raw sugar futures on ICE rose to an eight-month high on Thursday as the market resumed its upward trend, helped by delays from the Indian government to decide its sugar export policy for the 2020-21 season.
- Malaysian palm oil futures reversed course to trade lower, set to end a three-session rally that put the vegetable oil on course for a 1.6% weekly gain as wet weather conditions and COVID-19 curbs fuelled concerns over supply.

- Copper prices have pulled back from the $7,000 a metric ton high they hit this week but, nonetheless, are on course to end the week 2.3% higher. Three-month LME copper is currently down 0.4% at $6,878.50 a ton. The uncertainty of the U.S. election is likely to keep metals markets in check until the results are known, say analysts at TD Securities. "With the final US Presidential debate offering little to chew on for the industrial metals, and the slight tick down in Biden betting odds, it is likely the metals will remain in wait and see mode with just weeks until the election," they say.

- Many political commentators are calling presidential candidate Biden's comment that the oil industry needs to be replaced with renewables an unforced error, but Edward Moya at Oanda says perhaps the time had come. "What Biden did was provide a moment of truth for the energy industry, the world is moving to more climate-friendly policies, even the oil giants are moving toward renewables," Moya says. And though Moya says Biden's remarks might not play well in New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Colorado, possibly providing an edge to the Republicans in those Senate races, he also says "a Biden presidency would accelerate the tapering of US production, which in turn would be supportive for oil
prices."

- Last night's debate had a nearly-12 minute discussion on energy, raising the question of what happens to gasoline prices after the election, say analysts at GasBuddy, a travel and navigation app used by Americans to find cheap gas stations. "Traditionally, presidents had limited ability to move the needle at the gas pump, but in recent years that has changed," they say. "Bottom line: Gas prices could climb significantly if Biden is elected and acts to curb oil supply while not offering a major new program to move Americans away from their internal combustion-powered vehicles, while Trump is likely to keep the status quo on the oil industry, keeping prices at the pump lower."

- In an apparent response to presidential candidate Biden saying last night he wants to eventually do away with the oil industry, the industry's largest trade group, the American Petroleum Institute, says "we aren't going anywhere," adding that Democrats, Republicans and Independents alike know the vital role of oil and gas. "I would transition from the oil industry .... because the oil industry pollutes, " former VP Biden said during a debate with incumbent Trump. "It has to be replaced by renewable energy over time." Trump called Biden's remarks "a big statement," and said "basically what he's saying is he's going to destroy the oil industry. Will you remember that Texas? Will you remember that, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma?"

- A new U.S. administration under Democrat Joe Biden may hurt the U.K. government's chances of agreeing a trade deal with the U.S. any time soon, as President Donald Trump has backed the U.K. leaving the EU and emboldened the Brexit movement, Frederique Carrier at RBC Wealth Management says. Although Biden's position is less well known, the Obama administration opposed preferential trade terms for a U.K. "out of Europe," she says. Moreover, given the size of the European Union compared with the size of the U.K., Biden is unlikely to prioritize a U.K. trade deal. With U.S.-U.K. free trade deal talks on hold until spring because of the pandemic, Biden could pause all negotiations while
re-examining U.S. trade policy, Carrier says.

- ANZ Bank has crunched some numbers on the outcome of the U.S. presidential election and has returned with a view that the probability of former Vice President Biden winning at 75%. Democrats look likely to eke out a small majority in the Senate and should easily retain the House making it a blue wave. ANZ sees key differences between 2016 and the 2020 race including: fewer undecided voters; Biden has consistently polled above 50%; and, pollsters have improved the quality of swing state polls.

- US benchmark oil prices end 1.5% higher at $40.64 a barrel after a mid-morning spurt of buying on reports that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said lawmakers are "just about there," on efforts to pass a stimulus bill for coronavirus. Many analysts say they still think the deal may not happen until after the upcoming presidential election, but say it now seems likely it will at least happen relatively soon. Prices also are gaining support on continued data showing Asia is on a path toward economic recovery from coronavirus, with India, China and other countries all showing improvements in key economic metrics that could mean higher global demand for oil.

- Ten-year Treasury yields continue to rise, currently at 0.851% from 0.815% yesterday and trading at levels not seen since June. Jobless claims fell to 787,000 last week, and revised numbers from the week ended Oct. 3, at 767,000, are the lowest since the March 14 week. Sales of previously owned homes in the US rose to a 14-year high last month. Yields have risen lately on expectations of more government spending, either from a possible stimulus package before the election, or expected if Biden wins, and such spending often makes yields rise by increasing bond supply and possibly by boosting economic growth and inflation.

- A Democratic win in next month's U.S. presidential election could boost European equities more than a second term for incumbent Donald Trump, Barclays says. A Joe Biden victory and Democratic sweep could be perceived as more beneficial to Europe, the bank says. "This is due to possibly reduced trade uncertainty, stronger ties with the U.S., and greater stimulus lifting the reflation trade," Barclays's analysts say. The risk of a disputed outcome remains, despite Biden's lead in the polls, the analysts add. "We thus believe a convincing win by either candidate would be market-positive in the short run, as it would eliminate the tail-risk of a contested outcome," they say.

- The Turkish lira would probably fall further if U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden wins November's election, TD Securities says. "Should Biden win, the risk of sanctions on Turkey would become more concrete and, with that the extension of an upside move in USD/TRY," TD Securities analyst Cristian Maggio says. That could force Turkey's central bank to deliver "significantly more tightening," he says. USD/TRY rose to a record high of 7.9792 earlier Thursday, according to FactSet, after the central bank unexpectedly left its main policy rate at 10.25% but lifted the late liquidity window lending rate to 14.75% from 13.25%. USD/TRY is last up 1.8% at 7.9564.

- The prospects of a fiscal stimulus package in the U.S. are vanishing, at least before the elections, says Paer Magnusson, senior rates strategist at Swedbank in a webinar Thursday. "It seems we are not getting the stimulus package anytime soon," he says. Given that the new president's term begins on Jan. 20, "no sooner than late january can a new package be adopted," he says. In the case of a landslide Democrat win, they can deliver a large package, but it will take some time, Magnusson says. "We aren't going to see any new money going out to those who need it sooner than February or even March," he says.

- The dollar could weaken if Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden performs well in his televised debate with President Donald Trump later Thursday, ING says. "The dollar has been surprisingly soft this week, seemingly driven by the on-again-off-again prospect of a fourth fiscal stimulus package and a growing sense that a Biden administration would restore some order to world trade," ING's Chris Turner says. The presidential debate is "perhaps the president's last chance to seriously close the gap in the polls," he says. The DXY dollar index rises 0.2% to 92.7960.

- The optimism of European investors and business owners outside Switzerland about their region's economy over the next 12 months is above average, according to UBS's investor sentiment survey. In the survey, more than 4,000 investors and business owners across 14 markets globally were polled in late September and early October. Fifty-eight percent of European respondents say they are optimistic versus 55% saying so globally, according to the survey. Compared with their international peers, European investors are more likely to be planning to adjust their portfolios after the U.S. elections, with 65% saying they will do so, the survey shows.

Oct 22 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- Oil prices dropped in early trade, adding to heavy losses overnight, after a build in U.S. gasoline inventories pointed to a deteriorating outlook for fuel demand as coronavirus cases soar in North America and Europe.
- Gold slipped from a more than one-week high hit in the last session, as the dollar recovered some lost ground after doubts emerged whether an agreement on a new U.S. fiscal coronavirus aid package could be reached before the election.
- London copper eased, snapping three sessions of gains that pushed prices past $7,000 a tonne for the first time since June 2018, as traders fretted over the slow pace of talks to hammer out additional U.S. stimulus.
- U.S. wheat futures fell 1%, as traders booked profits after prices hit a near six-year high in the previous session, although losses were limited on concerns about adverse weather in key producing regions.
- Raw sugar futures on ICE were lower on Wednesday, with the market slipping back from a 7-1/2 month peak set early this week.
- Malaysian palm oil futures firmed for a third straight session, as fears over declining output helped offset the pressure from weakness in prices of rival soybean oil.

- The optimism of European investors and business owners outside Switzerland about their region's economy over the next 12 months is above average, according to UBS's investor sentiment survey. In the survey, more than 4,000 investors and business owners across 14 markets globally were polled in late September and early October. Fifty-eight percent of European respondents say they are optimistic versus 55% saying so globally, according to the survey. Compared with their international peers, European investors are more likely to be planning to adjust their portfolios after the U.S. elections, with 65% saying they will do so, the survey shows.

- The euro falls against a stronger safe-haven dollar on doubts over another U.S. fiscal stimulus package being agreed before November's presidential election. "The U.S. presidential elections are only 12 days away, before that nobody wants to commit too much to a particular direction in EUR/USD," Commerzbank analyst Esther Reichelt says. In particular, hopes lawmakers will agree a fiscal package before the election "are crumbling once again" as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell signalled he won't accept a vote before then, she says. The elections mean "we face a completely new situation afterwards" and that applies to the outlook for fiscal stimulus and the "resulting USD
consequences," she says. EUR/USD falls 0.2% to 1.1841.

- The FTSE 100 is expected to open 16 points lower according to IG, following declines in Asian and U.S. stocks after U.S. President Donald Trump cast doubt on the prospect of a fiscal stimulus deal. Even as Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she made progress in talks with White House officials for another coronavirus relief package, Trump said on Twitter that he doesn't see "any way" an agreement could be reached. "This impasse looks set to continue well past next month's election date, because even if the Democrats were to win, they would still be unable to enact anything until Joe Biden was sworn in as President in January next year," CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson says.

- House Democrats joined calls for an investigation into bond trades by hedge funds hoping to profit from Puerto Rico's debt restructuring. Seven Democratic lawmakers urged Puerto Rico's financial oversight board to probe the trading activity, saying it had "put the integrity of the restructuring proceedings into question." Signatories to Wednesday's letter included Reps. Raul Grijalva (Ariz.), Darren Soto (Fla.) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.). Bond guarantors with billions of dollars on the line have also questioned some debt trades, suggesting they were based on non-public information gleaned from private talks. The hedge funds involved have denied wrongdoing and said they complied with the terms of court-ordered negotiations.

- The election between incumbent President Trump and former VP Biden could be pivotal for the future of energy, though market forces and government checks and balances will probably prevent any drastic changes in the short term, no matter who wins. "Trump has not been able to realize all of his ambitions for energy, which included reviving the US coal industry. The same would be true of Biden," says Ed Crooks at Wood Mackenzie. "President Donald Trump rejects the idea of using government policy to cut greenhouse gas emissions .... Joe Biden says he would create jobs through a 'clean energy revolution' to set the US on a path to net zero emissions by 2050."

- A Democratic or Republican sweep at the U.S. elections would increase the likelihood of a fiscal stimulus package being agreed, and cause U.S. Treasury yields to rise, Pictet Wealth Management's chief investment officer and head of investments Cesar Perez Ruiz says in a webinar Wednesday. The passing of a fiscal package could bring about a "big rotation" in the short term between growth and value stocks and Pictet would look to buy those companies that would benefit from that, including green companies, materials and construction, but "still not oil," he says. "If Biden or Trump does not get the full Congress, then the likelihood of fiscal stimulus becomes significantly lower and much more dependent on the situation of the pandemic," Ruiz says.

- The euro may reach $1.19 Wednesday as reports that U.S. lawmakers have made progress on coronavirus stimulus talks reduce safe haven flows into the dollar, ING says. EUR/USD is last up 0.2% at 1.1852, having earlier reached a one-month high of 1.1870, according to FactSet. "Risk assets continue to find some support from rising hopes around a pre-election fiscal stimulus bill in the U.S.," ING analysts say. Stimulus negotiations may remain the market's dominant driver for the rest of the week as the Democrats and Republicans attempt to reach a deal by the
weekend, the analysts say. Any collapse in the negotiations wouldn't have "major negative market implications" as hopes for a post-election Democrat stimulus bill "still offer a buffer," they say.

- The DXY dollar index falls 0.3% to a one-month low of 92.78, while the euro rises to a one-month high of $1.1865, helped by improved prospects of a U.S. fiscal stimulus package being agreed before the election. ING says the chances of a bipartisan deal "still look rather slim," but the fact that the chances are increasing should leave the dollar "gently offered across the board." Talks are reportedly intensifying, although little progress appears to have been made to bring Republican senators onboard, ING says. However, investors have low expectations and the market impact would be limited if talks were to collapse, it says.

- The U.S. election will have an enormous impact on Europe, says Carsten Brzeski, global head of macro at ING. For trade, with President Trump there would be a continuation of his current policies, while with Joe Biden, Brzeski says only the tone will change. "Biden will reach out to the Europeans to become an ally in this trade war against China," Brzeski says. With President Trump an investment package is expected to exclude Europe, while with Biden there would be more openings for European companies to enter the investment package. Don't expect a big change coming out of the U.S., the economist says. "Europe on its own needs to learn how to deal in this big competition between the U.S. and China," Brzeski says.

- Copper is rallying as hopes for a stimulus deal are lifted, the dollar weakens further and labor disputes in Chile threaten to crimp supply. Three-month copper on the LME is up 1% at $6,972 a metric ton. That takes the red-metal to a fresh 28-month high. Despite Democrats setting Tuesday as the deadline for an agreement on a fresh stimulus package, both they and the White House say they will continue talks Wednesday, raising fresh hopes for a deal. At the same time, strikes from miner workers in Chile continue to support prices, as does a weaker dollar. The ICE Dollar Index falls 0.3% to 92.82.

- Government oversight that spurs competition in the tech industry is a positive thing, IBM Chief Executive Arvind Krishna says, following a Justice Department lawsuit against Google alleging anticompetitive conduct. While Krishna didn't comment directly on the Google suit, he says tech regulation should be targeted if it's to be productive. "I think precision regulation that is aimed at fomenting ethical use of certain technologies is always good," Krishna says at the WSJ Tech Live conference. "I think broad-brush regulation where you take a sledgehammer to solve a small problem you can always question."

- A Trump win in the presidential election would benefit risk assets and lead to near-term strength in USD, according to Invesco. That would be favorable to growth and momentum stocks, the firm says. But the administration's trade-policy framework would pose a risk to emerging and developed market equities outside the US, the investment-management company says. "This scenario would likely deliver a negative impact on our model portfolio, given our overweight exposures to value, size, foreign exchange and equity markets outside the US," Invesco says. The firm
says markets would need to brace for uncertainty a few weeks after election day because some states could have longer vote processing times due to the pandemic.

- Coal consumption in the US has been on the decline in recent years, a trend that is likely to accelerate if former Vice President Joe Biden wins the 2020 general election, says Moody's. "Thermal coal producers - already reeling from a combination of challenges including market disruption following outbreaks of coronavirus and diminishing access to capital that limits resilience to further weakness - would see an accelerated decline in demand under the policies proposed by Democratic candidate Joseph Biden," says Moody's. The firm points to the difference in environmental policies between the Republican and Democrat parties as a difference especially of consequence for the thermal coal industry.

- If former Vice President Joe Biden wins the election, his proposal to raise corporate and personal income taxes could be delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic's effects, Invesco says. Projected increases in infrastructure spending that could spur near-term growth could offset the effect of higher taxes, the investment-management company says. Reduced trade-policy uncertainty could also be a plus under Biden, Invesco says. "Overall, we think the impact on equity and credit markets is likely to be positive in the medium-term, despite risks of an initial sell-off," Invesco says of the electoral scenario. But with a split Congress, a policy impasse could remain on health care infrastructure spending, minimum wage and tax reform, according to Invesco. "We believe this scenario may have a moderately positive impact on our model portfolio," the firm says.

Oct 21 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- Oil prices eased after a surprise build-up in U.S. crude stockpiles stoked concerns about a global supply glut even as a spike in global COVID-19 cases fuelled fears of slower recovery in fuel demand.
- Gold prices rose as optimism that U.S. lawmakers could reach agreement on a pre-election coronavirus relief package pressured the dollar and bolstered the precious metal's appeal as an inflation hedge.
- London copper hovered near its 28-month high on expectations for fresh U.S. stimulus, with a weaker dollar and a stronger yuan also lending support.
- Chicago corn futures rose for a third consecutive session and hit their highest in 14 months, as strong demand and Brazilian dry weather underpinned the market.
- Arabica coffee futures on ICE fell to a three-month low on Tuesday as prospects for demand of high-quality beans weakened due to the new wave of coronavirus cases that is forcing some European countries to close shops and restaurants.
- Malaysian palm oil futures rose to a one-week high, extending gains into a second session as they tracked strength in rival Dalian oils and exports picked up amid slowing production.

- The U.S. election will have an enormous impact on Europe, says Carsten Brzeski, global head of macro at ING. For trade, with President Trump there would be a continuation of his current policies, while with Joe Biden, Brzeski says only the tone will change. "Biden will reach out to the Europeans to become an ally in this trade war against China," Brzeski says. With President Trump an investment package is expected to exclude Europe, while with Biden there would be more openings for European companies to enter the investment package. Don't expect a big change coming out of the U.S., the economist says. "Europe on its own needs to learn how to deal in this big competition between the U.S. and China," Brzeski says.

- Copper is rallying as hopes for a stimulus deal are lifted, the dollar weakens further and labor disputes in Chile threaten to crimp supply. Three-month copper on the LME is up 1% at $6,972 a metric ton. That takes the red-metal to a fresh 28-month high. Despite Democrats setting Tuesday as the deadline for an agreement on a fresh stimulus package, both they and the White House say they will continue talks Wednesday, raising fresh hopes for a deal. At the same time, strikes from miner workers in Chile continue to support prices, as does a weaker dollar. The ICE Dollar Index falls 0.3% to 92.82.

- Government oversight that spurs competition in the tech industry is a positive thing, IBM Chief Executive Arvind Krishna says, following a Justice Department lawsuit against Google alleging anticompetitive conduct. While Krishna didn't comment directly on the Google suit, he says tech regulation should be targeted if it's to be productive. "I think precision regulation that is aimed at fomenting ethical use of certain technologies is always good," Krishna says at the WSJ Tech Live conference. "I think broad-brush regulation where you take a sledgehammer to solve a small problem you can always question."

- A Trump win in the presidential election would benefit risk assets and lead to near-term strength in USD, according to Invesco. That would be favorable to growth and momentum stocks, the firm says. But the administration's trade-policy framework would pose a risk to emerging and developed market equities outside the US, the investment-management company says. "This scenario would likely deliver a negative impact on our model portfolio, given our overweight exposures to value, size, foreign exchange and equity markets outside the US," Invesco says. The firm says markets would need to brace for uncertainty a few weeks after election day because some states could have longer vote processing times due to the pandemic.

- Coal consumption in the US has been on the decline in recent years, a trend that is likely to accelerate if former Vice President Joe Biden wins the 2020 general election, says Moody's. "Thermal coal producers - already reeling from a combination of challenges including market disruption following outbreaks of coronavirus and diminishing access to capital that limits resilience to further weakness - would see an accelerated decline in demand under the policies proposed by Democratic candidate Joseph Biden," says Moody's. The firm points to the difference in environmental policies between the Republican and Democrat parties as a difference especially of consequence for the thermal coal industry.

- If former Vice President Joe Biden wins the election, his proposal to raise corporate and personal income taxes could be delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic's effects, Invesco says. Projected increases in infrastructure spending that could spur near-term growth could offset the effect of higher taxes, the investment-management company says. Reduced trade-policy uncertainty could also be a plus under Biden, Invesco says. "Overall, we think the impact on equity and credit markets is likely to be positive in the medium-term, despite risks of an initial sell-off," Invesco says of the electoral scenario. But with a split Congress, a policy impasse could remain on health care infrastructure spending, minimum wage and tax reform, according to Invesco. "We believe this scenario may have a moderately positive impact on our model portfolio," the firm says.

- The dollar would weaken if U.S. lawmakers surprise the market by agreeing another coronavirus relief package before November's presidential election, Commerzbank says. "The improved economic outlook drives U.S. inflation expectations upwards and that would be negative for the U.S. dollar," Commerzbank FX analyst Thu Lan Nguyen says. The Fed's new strategy of average inflation targeting means higher inflation no longer automatically results in a higher chance of rising interest rates, she says. An overshooting of the Fed's 2% inflation target has been "out of the question" recently due to coronavirus but the pandemic will end at some stage so traders should keep a close eye on inflation expectations, she says. The dollar index falls 0.1% to 93.2990.

- Gold is edging lower amid creeping skepticism that U.S. politicians can reach an agreement on a stimulus package ahead of the presidential election. Gold futures are down 0.3% at $1,905.60 a troy ounce. Democrats have set a Tuesday deadline for the final chance to strike a deal, but both sides sounded less than confident Monday. Gold has benefited from the large stimulus measures so far unleashed to fight a coronavirus slowdown. Stimulus adds liquidity to financial markets that can drive up assets including gold, and in so doing, also raises expected inflation, which also boosts the appeal of gold, traditionally seen as an inflation hedge.

- Democrats under a Biden administration are likely to be fiscally expansionary, Nordea Senior Macro Strategist Sebastien Galy says, but assuming a thin majority in the Senate, they will do so somewhat prudently by raising taxes on households and especially corporates. "Many argue the mix would lead to a higher inflation and weaker currency or both." Democrats' dollar policy is likely to be as robust as the Republicans, Galy says, though paying little attention to allies or the likes of Switzerland. He says this suggests China will be forced to accept some currency appreciation because its foreign reserves can be easily tracked. Victory for Democrats is likely to be bullish for emerging markets, Galy says, but he doesn't see it having a clear effect on EUR/USD, which he puts at 1.30 at the end of 2020.

- The dollar could weaken if Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden wins November's election as it may lead to a wider external deficit for the U.S., Standard Chartered says. In the event of a Biden victory, Democratic policymakers could put "more emphasis on redistribution and income support" while improved consumer confidence among Democratic voters could translate into a "higher average propensity" to spend, StanChart's Steve Englander says. The result could be a wider external deficit and more downside dollar pressure "at the margin," he says. "We see this as the most likely medium- to long-term outcome." The dollar index falls 0.4% to 93.2730.

Oct 20 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- The yuan held near a two-year high against the dollar in offshore trade, on signs of China's robust economic recovery while the Australian dollar slipped to a three-week low as the central bank looks set to enhance monetary easing.

- Oil prices slipped for a fourth straight day on worries a resurgence of coronavirus cases globally is stifling a promising recovery in fuel demand, while growing output from Libya adds to plentiful supply.
- Gold prices eased, trading in narrow a range, as caution set in ahead of the deadline to reach an agreement on a new U.S. coronavirus stimulus package and the upcoming presidential election.
- London copper prices fell as a spike in coronavirus infections in Europe and uncertainty about a U.S. stimulus deal raised worries about the prospect of a sustained global economic recovery.
- Chicago wheat futures edged higher, with prices trading near the previous session's six-year peak on concerns over dryness in the key Northern Hemisphere producing regions.
- Raw sugar futures on ICE rose to a 7-1/2-month high on Monday, boosted by fund buying against a backdrop of uncertainty about the extent to which India might subsidise exports in the current season, while cocoa prices also climbed.
- Malaysian palm oil futures extended early gains, underpinned by hopes of an uptick in Oct. 1-20 exports, although concerns that rising coronavirus cases in Europe would hurt demand kept a lid on prices.

Oct 19 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- Asia's trade-exposed currencies inched higher as China's rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic stayed on course last quarter, even as caution about the U.S. election outcome kept the U.S. dollar supported against other majors.

- Oil prices fell after reports that China's third-quarter economic growth did not rise as much as expected, underscoring concerns that surging coronavirus cases globally are impacting demand in the world's largest oil importer.
- A firmer dollar held back gold near the $1,900 per ounce psychological level even as U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi raised hopes for a coronavirus relief package before the presidential election.
- London copper and other base metals rose in range-bound trade on hopes of a fresh U.S. fiscal stimulus package, though gains were muted after top metals consumer China's third-quarter economic growth came in below forecasts.
- Chicago wheat futures climbed more than 1% to their highest in almost six years as dry weather in the world's leading exporting regions raised worries about supplies for 2021.
- Cocoa futures recovered on Friday after touching the lowest prices in several weeks as the market digested data showing plunging demand for the chocolate ingredient during the coronavirus pandemic.
- Malaysian palm oil futures fell more than 2% to hit a two-week low, tracking sharp losses in rival Dalian and CBOT soybean oil, with slowing demand from top buyer India sparking worries over exports of the vegetable oil.

- Democrats under a Biden administration are likely to be fiscally expansionary, Nordea Senior Macro Strategist Sebastien Galy says, but assuming a thin majority in the Senate, they will do so somewhat prudently by raising taxes on households and especially corporates. "Many argue the mix would lead to a higher inflation and weaker currency or both." Democrats' dollar policy is likely to be as robust as the Republicans, Galy says, though paying little attention to allies or the likes of Switzerland. He says this suggests China will be forced to accept some currency appreciation because its foreign reserves can be easily tracked. Victory for Democrats is likely to be bullish for emerging markets, Galy says, but he doesn't see it having a clear effect on EUR/USD, which he puts at 1.30 at the end of 2020.

- The dollar could weaken if Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden wins November's election as it may lead to a wider external deficit for the U.S., Standard Chartered says. In the event of a Biden victory, Democratic policymakers could put "more emphasis on redistribution and income support" while improved consumer confidence among Democratic voters could translate into a "higher average propensity" to spend, StanChart's Steve Englander says. The result could be a wider external deficit and more downside dollar pressure "at the margin," he says. "We see this as the most likely medium- to long-term outcome." The dollar index falls 0.4% to 93.2730.

- The dollar would rise modestly on demand for safe havens if hopes for further U.S. fiscal stimulus are dashed, Saxo Bank says. There is "room for a mishap" on the stimulus front but the market seems "somewhat complacent," Saxo Bank FX strategist John Hardy says. However, recent headlines suggest stimulus prospects are "still strong," he says, referring to news that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has issued a 48-hour deadline for reaching an agreement on fresh coronavirus relief aid. Even when stimulus prospects appeared less strong, many market participants saw rising odds of a Democratic sweep in November's presidential election leading to a "far larger package" by spring, he says. The dollar index falls 0.5% to 93.2410.

- Gold is pushing higher as it finds support ahead of an uncertain U.S. election and from a weaker dollar. New York gold futures are up 0.4% at $1,913 a troy ounce. The precious metal, however, is still sticking tightly to the range it has been in for the last month as many investors are awaiting the outcome of the U.S. election. The election could catalyze a breakout for the metal, says Stephen Innes, market strategist at Axi. With both candidates pushing for more fiscal stimulus, suggesting gold can rally further, he says. "Fiscal policy support has been a critical support factor for gold, and if there is one sure thing, the stimulus is coming," he says.

Oct 16 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- The yen rose and the dollar was headed for its best week of the month, as surging coronavirus cases and stalled progress toward U.S. stimulus had investors seeking safe assets.
- Oil prices slid dragged down by concerns that a spike in COVID-19 cases in Europe and the United States is curtailing demand in two of the world's biggest fuel consuming regions, while a stronger U.S. dollar also added to pressure.
- Gold slipped and looked set to post its first weekly drop in three, as the dollar held firm while additional U.S. fiscal stimulus appeared unlikely before the presidential election.  
- Copper prices rose as hopes of strong demand in top metals consumer China and risks of supply disruptions outweighed concerns that a resurgence in COVID-19 cases in Europe may weaken the global economic recovery momentum.
- U.S. wheat futures hit a near six-year high, as dry weather in key global producing regions raised supply concerns, pushing the grain towards its third straight weekly gain.
- ICE cocoa futures closed 2% down on Thursday as grind data from Europe showed a near 5% reduction on volumes as the pandemic continues to curb demand in mature markets.
- Malaysian palm oil futures rose on supply worries, but were set for a 1.2% weekly fall pressured by a drop in October exports so far and heavy losses in rival oils.

- Investors could sell off risk assets such as stocks and corporate bonds in the event an U.S. election victory by Democratic candidate Joe Biden is perceived as less likely, says Mark Dowding, chief investment officer at BlueBay Asset Management. "A blue wave remains the most likely result, but it seems that there is a lingering concern that the race could tighten in swing states and that there is also scope for a contested outcome, which could see risk assets under pressure," he says. However, Dowding reckons "there is sufficient cash on the sidelines wanting to buy into any dip" that "any retracement lower is likely to be relatively limited in the short term."

- A bad week for market sentiment could end on a more optimistic note, reducing safe-haven flows into the dollar, on hopes for fresh U.S. fiscal stimulus and improved U.S. economic data, ING says. President Donald Trump fuelled hopes for another coronavirus relief package after saying Thursday that he is willing to raise his offer of $1.8 trillion in stimulus to get a deal with the Democrats. U.S. data on retail sales, industrial production and consumer confidence later Friday "may also turn relatively supportive" for risk appetite with ING economists expecting "decent increases," ING FX strategist Francesco Pesole says. The dollar index falls 0.1% to 93.7350.

- Europeans are overwhelmingly for a Biden-win, Katharine Neiss, chief European economist at PGIM Fixed Income says in a webinar, dedicated to the prospects of the US elections. If outgoing President Trump is re-elected, "I wouldn't be surprised to see trade tensions coming to the forefront again, particularly around automobiles," she says. In case of a win by Democrat candidate Joe Biden, a "repair, a renewal," in trade issues as well as more cooperation should be expected, she says.

- If incumbent US President Trump is re-elected, the US is more likely to see more unconventional policies, Nathan Sheets, chief economist and head of global macroeconomic research at PGIM Fixed Income, says in a webinar. "Trump is who he is, his policies are unconventional, his style is unconventional," he says. "We'd likely see more of that in a second term." In contrast, a Biden administration would be much more activist, would be looking for opportunities for the government to provide support and help address challenges the economy faces, Sheets says. Under Biden a big stimulus package would be likely to come in 1Q, implying via tax hikes.

 - "We are seeing a clash of economic philosophies," between President Trump and Democrat candidate Joe Biden, Nathan Sheets, chief economist and head of global macroeconomic research at PGIM Fixed Income, says in a webinar. Trump's policy has been and is likely to continue to be an "all out push for growth," he says. This means further efforts to cut taxes and further deregulation, he says. In contrast, Biden sees that the government has an important role in addressing some of the distortions, problems and inequalities that exist in the economy, Sheets says.

- The 10-year Treasury yield erases losses and climbs to 0.73% after starting the day below 0.70%, snapping a two-day downward streak. There's no clear catalyst, as investors grapple with disappointing economic data and a protracted negotiation over stimulus they deem key to keep the economy humming. Some good, potentially yield-boosting news comes from Philadelphia Fed data, showing business activity jumped and beat expectations.

- The virus, economic data and the U.S. elections are the main themes Eurizon Asset Management is watching near term as factors which could trigger bouts of volatility, but it says that none of these themes are likely to stop the cyclical recovery. They may instead simply "extend what is currently a transition phase for the markets, after a swift recovery," it says. Economic data for the third quarter confirmed a 'V'-shaped global recovery after the April crash, Eurizon says, and it expects the recovery to continue in the fourth quarter, albeit "marred by greater uncertainty." There is a risk of a potential neck-and-neck finish in the U.S. elections, while there's also general uncertainty over the United States' new global political approach.

- Corporate bonds from renewable energy, hospitals and construction, particularly homebuilding and infrastructure-related activities, are likely to be the big winners from a Democratic sweep at the U.S. general election on Nov. 3, says Pimco. Conversely, paper issued by oil and gas exploration and production companies, especially those firms exposed to drilling on onshore and offshore U.S. federal lands, healthcare and pharmaceuticals would be among the losers, says the asset manager. A victory by Democratic candidate Joe Biden would have a mixed impact on financial and tech debt, it says.

- U.S. credit markets have primarily focused on the effects of the global pandemic and the path to economic recovery in 2021, which suggests credit spreads at the sector level are not fully pricing in the implications of a Democratic sweep, says Libby Cantrill, head of public policy, and John Devir, portfolio manager and head of Americas credit research at Pimco. "Under a Democratic sweep, we believe the financial markets would initially price in higher taxes - including corporate, personal, and capital gains. This could be problematic for equity and corporate credit markets currently trading at above-average valuation multiples," they say.

- Investors should look at the U.S. elections from a long-term perspective, because short-term noise around the event may have little relevance in the longer term, says Columbia Threadneedle Investments. The U.S. elections cause a lot of volatility and anxiety beforehand, and then "not much of substance for the broad economy and financial markets afterward," says global chief investment officer Colin Moore. A lot of the temporary volatility is triggered by politicians making speeches about policies and programs "that they are rarely able to fully enact," Moore says. "Long-term market and economic direction are about what actually happens, and in that respect, a single election is almost irrelevant to our long-term outlook," he says.

- Continuum Economics forecasts 10-year U.S. Treasury yields to rise to 1.8% by the end of 2021, driven by fiscal stimulus in the event of a Democratic sweep in U.S. elections. "A Democratic clean sweep would mean a very large budget deficit in 2021 and 10-year yields would see funding pressures," the research group says. In this scenario, the 10-year U.S. Treasury yield would rise the most, to 1.8% by the end of next year, while the rise would be more modest in other scenarios, it says. The 10-year U.S. Treasury yield is last at 0.699%, according to Tradeweb.

Oct 15 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- Oil prices edged higher, extending their 2% gains from the previous session, after data showed U.S. crude stockpiles fell last week, while OPEC and its allies were seen complying with their pact to curb output in September.
- Gold prices dipped as the dollar steadied and comments from U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin dashed hopes of a new fiscal stimulus package before the presidential election.
- Copper prices declined as hopes faded for another round of U.S. fiscal stimulus to support recovery in the world's largest economy, but supply risks and hopes for stronger demand later in the year cushioned the metal's drop.
- Chicago soybean futures rose for a third consecutive session as strong demand from China and dry weather in Brazil underpinned the market.
- London cocoa futures on ICE fell to a seven-week low on Wednesday, weighed partly by a stronger pound, as the market waited to see if third-quarter grinding data would provide further evidence of weakening demand.
- Malaysian palm oil futures were little changed as signs of subdued supply due to wet weather and a labour shortage countered demand worries driven by lower Oct. 1-15 exports.

- U.S. credit markets have primarily focused on the effects of the global pandemic and the path to economic recovery in 2021, which suggests credit spreads at the sector level are not fully pricing in the implications of a Democratic sweep, says Libby Cantrill, head of public policy, and John Devir, portfolio manager and head of Americas credit research at Pimco. "Under a Democratic sweep, we believe the financial markets would initially price in higher taxes - including corporate, personal, and capital gains. This could be problematic for equity and corporate credit markets currently trading at above-average valuation multiples," they say.

- Investors should look at the U.S. elections from a long-term perspective, because short-term noise around the event may have little relevance in the longer term, says Columbia Threadneedle Investments. The U.S. elections cause a lot of volatility and anxiety beforehand, and then "not much of substance for the broad economy and financial markets afterward," says global chief investment officer Colin Moore. A lot of the temporary volatility is triggered by politicians making speeches about policies and programs "that they are rarely able to fully enact," Moore says. "Long-term market and economic direction are about what actually happens, and in that respect, a single election is almost irrelevant to our long-term outlook," he says.

- Continuum Economics forecasts 10-year U.S. Treasury yields to rise to 1.8% by the end of 2021, driven by fiscal stimulus in the event of a Democratic sweep in U.S. elections. "A Democratic clean sweep would mean a very large budget deficit in 2021 and 10-year yields would see funding pressures," the research group says. In this scenario, the 10-year U.S. Treasury yield would rise the most, to 1.8% by the end of next year, while the rise would be more modest in other scenarios, it says. The 10-year U.S. Treasury yield is last at 0.699%, according to Tradeweb.

- Cyclical disinflation is set to displace any US inflation scare says economic analysis firm TS Lombard. The researcher says disinflation--perhaps even some deflation--"will now follow the record disruptions to this year's economy and the recessionary environment that is emerging." TS Lombard believes Washington's failure to produce another stimulus package will extend the timeline for "the low for inflation," which it had pegged as sometime in 2021. The firm argues that the stimulus battle is likely worsening the current recession "and could, in turn, push recovery out to late 2021 or even 2022--at which point the cyclical upturn in inflation takes hold."

- European stocks trade mixed as worries about coronavirus lockdowns dampen positive sentiment surrounding US bank earnings, with the Dow falling 0.5%. The Stoxx Europe 600 dropping 0.09%, the FTSE 100 down 0.6% and the CAC-40 retreats 0.1%. Still, the DAX edges slightly higher and markets in the Nordics, Spain and Italy also rise. The price of a barrel of Brent crude increases 1.7% to $43.16. "An improvement in US bank earnings has provided one source of good news for the day, but with US stimulus talks now looking dead in the water and European Covid outbreaks gathering momentum, it may be tough for stock markets to recoup the recent positive atmosphere," says IG's Chris Beauchamp.

- Next month's U.S. presidential election is likely to produce a comfortable victory for the Democrats, says Sporting Index. Democratic nominee Joe Biden looks set to secure 322 votes in the Electoral College--a body of 538 electors from each state and Washington DC--to incumbent Donald Trump's 216, the spread-betting firm says. The winner needs a majority of 270 votes, with Barack Obama's 365 and 332 in 2008 and 2012 representing the biggest victories of the 21st century. "We now expect a landslide victory for Biden," says Sporting Index's Phill Fairclough. "There's still time for Trump to turn things around and given the events of the 2016 election, it wouldn't be wise to completely write him off. However, he'd need a huge swing."

- A resurgence in coronavirus cases in Europe is a "clear negative" for economically-sensitive currencies versus the safe-haven dollar but the fiscal response from governments should soften the decline, ING says. The "rising odds" of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden winning the election and providing larger U.S. fiscal stimulus should also offset "rising downside risks" to cyclical currencies, ING analysts say. "The 2021 outlook for USD therefore still looks negative, but coming weeks and months may prove more challenging for cyclical currencies."

- Mixed U.S. bank earnings so far, coupled with election risk are likely to prompt European credit markets to trade sideways, says UniCredit. "Amid the start of the U.S. earnings season and the approach of the US presidential election, the European credit market is increasingly adopting a wait-and-see stance," says the Italian bank, adding that Tuesday's mixed picture from U.S. banks' third-quarter results show high scope for vulnerability as more banks report this week. So far European Additional Tier 1 debt spreads remained unchanged at 560 basis points, but "there is temporary scope for widening if there is more pressure on equities," it cautions.

Oct 14 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- Oil prices slipped on concerns that fuel demand will continue to falter as rising coronavirus cases across Europe and in the United States, the world's biggest oil consumer, could impede economic growth.
- Gold struggled to gain traction and was stuck below the key $1,900/ounce psychological level, as lack of an agreement on additional U.S. fiscal stimulus helped the dollar stay firm.
- Copper prices rose in London, as the threat of supply disruptions in top producer Chile and hopes for stronger consumption by leading consumer China supported prices.
- Chicago soybean futures slid, weighed down by a rapid pace of U.S. harvest, although losses were limited by lack of rains in top producer Brazil.
- Raw sugar futures on ICE closed up on Tuesday as the market resumed its recent uptrend after the prior session's setback, while London cocoa hit its weakest in 1-1/2 months ahead of key third quarter grinding data due later this week.
- Malaysian palm oil futures eased, tracking weaker rival soybean oil, and looked set to end a seven-day rally, but supply concerns underpinned prices as Indonesian and Malaysian producers brace for heavy rains brought by La Nina.

- Households spent only 29% of their economic impact payments by the end of June, and saved 36%--with the remaining 35% used to pay down debt. In a new study the New York Fed says households expect to spend an even lower share of any future stimulus payment. Paying debt is a priority, according to the research. "These findings indicate that the economic impact payments, by increasing both household income and the debt pay down, contributed importantly to the sharp increase in the overall saving rate during the early months of the pandemic," the study says.

- European stocks fall as coronavirus-vaccine worries and US election uncertainty weigh on market sentiment. The Stoxx Europe 600 and FTSE 100 drop 0.5% apiece, the CAC-40 is down 0.6% and the DAX retreats 0.9%. The price of a barrel of Brent crude increases 1.8% to $42.45, though gold and silver prices fall. The Dow is off 0.4% after Johnson & Johnson temporarily halted a Covid-19 vaccine trial and traders ponder election prospects. "There's a growing feeling among analysts that a blue wave come November is arguably the best outcome for the markets, given the sizeable stimulus package Joe Biden and the Democrats are likely to push through with a clean win," says Connor Campbell at Spreadex.

- CEO James Dimon says the US government is a big reason consumers and business appear to be in decent financial health. In March, after coronavirus shut down the economy, Congress quickly rallied to pass a $2 trillion stimulus bill with expanded unemployment, small-business funding and aid for airlines and other pandemic-hit industries. Much of that money is gone, and lawmakers are at an impasse on a second round of stimulus. Dimon says a "good, well-designed stimulus package will simply increase the chance we get better outcomes, but there is so much uncertainty we're not saying that that is definitive."

- Overtures to the US ethanol industry, which has been under pressure amid the Covid-19 pandemic and the battle over waivers of the renewable fuel standards for small oil refineries, has been part of former Vice President Joe Biden's platform in his 2020 election bid. Biden is perceived as being moderate in his positions on agribusiness, not pitching any ideas to break up large agribusiness ventures unlike his opponents in the Democratic Primary, Arun Sundaram of CFRA says. "Biden says he is in support of biofuels and has vowed to promote and advance renewable energy, ethanol, and other biofuels to help rural America and the country's farmers," says Sundaram, noting that under the Trump Administration, annual ethanol production sank for the first time in nearly a decade.

- A change of occupant in the White House could ripple down to occupants of US cattle ranches. Jayson Lusk, an agricultural economist at Purdue University, says on the AgriTalk podcast that a Biden-Harris administration could make new appointments to federal committees that make US dietary guidelines, and notes the widening gap between how liberals and conservatives look at food issues like red meat consumption. Vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris during her presidential run said that she would support changing US dietary guidelines to support reduced red meat consumption, though she emphasized her personal fondness for cheeseburgers.

- Yields fall as markets reopen after Columbus Day and a new stimulus package remains elusive. The 10-year Treasury yield is 0.748%, down from 0.782% on Friday. "There is short-term trading positioning around a deal happening or not happening that elevates short term volatility," says David Bahnsen, of the Bahnsen Group. Recently, bond prices rose, driving down the yield, whenever investors believed a new package could take longer to materialize because of political gridlock. "Markets are well aware some deal is going to happen, whether it is before the election, after the election, or both," Bahnsen says.

- European oil stocks trade mixed as investors increasingly ponder the implications of next month's U.S. presidential election for the industry. Royal Dutch Shell and Repsol trade higher, though BP, Eni and Total fall even as the price of Brent crude rises 1.4% to $42.31 a barrel. ActivTrades says the odds of a Democrat victory in the election are increasing, with implied probability increasing from 65% to 69.2% over the weekend. "A Biden victory could see less support for the shale-oil industry, pulling up the oil price as a result," says Chief Analyst Carlo Alberto De Casa. "Vice versa, if Trump manages to defeat forecasts, shale oil would probably benefit from the tycoon's help."

- Financial markets seem unimpressed by the outbursts of U.S. President Donald Trump, says Olivier de Berranger, chief investment officer at La Financiere de l'Echiquier. The significant decline in stock volatility in the past few days suggests that the president's behavior "is not getting through to investors, presumably because a clear, hard-to-contest victory for the Democrats is becoming increasingly likely," de Berranger says. However, he warns over complacency about the election outcome, referencing the surprising outcome of the 2016 election. This "should always be a reminder to us that the bear's fur should not be spread before it is shot."

- The extraordinary levels of private savings, the Federal Reserve's QE-related demand, and considerable uncertainties surrounding the U.S. economic outlook should keep U.S. yields low, says Deutsche Bank's strategist Stuart Sparks. He sees the presidential elections as the next potential catalyst for yields to rise, but says that there are important caveats. "The potential for significant fiscal stimulus is greatest given single party control of the Congress and the presidency," he says, but adds that size in itself might not guarantee the efficacy of fiscal stimulus. Sparks adds that the scope for higher yields is constrained by the Fed's efforts to keep real yields lower through Treasury purchases.

- A Democratic sweep of the presidency and Senate in the U.S. presidential elections would result in higher U.S. Treasury yields, although not necessasrily a structural break higher, says Deutsche Bank's strategist Stuart Sparks. The outcome could enable "a sufficiently large fiscal stimulus to raise real yields through supply pressure," he says. However, fiscal stimulus wouldn't guarantee a structural increase as the size and composition of it is uncertain and "size might not in itself guarantee the efficacy of fiscal stimulus," he says.

- The CARES Act and regulators provided accounting relief, forbearance programs and fiscal stimulus, but "this will mask the underlying deterioration in reported asset quality metrics, potentially reducing the overall utility of reported results" from banks in 3Q, Fitch says. U.S. banks' differing approaches to granting loan modifications and reporting data adds to the obscurity on pandemic losses, Fitch says. Under certain pandemic provisions, loans could be considered troubled debt restructurings instead of delinquent. "These interventions will result in more significant delays in recognition of TDRs, delinquencies, nonperforming loans and ultimately credit losses," Fitch says. Asset quality performance will likely truly be understood in 2021 once relief programs expire, the firm also says.

Oct 13 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- Oil prices were steady, sitting on losses of nearly 3% from the previous session as supplies began to resume in Norway, the U.S. Gulf of Mexico and Libya, while the IEA forecast a 5% fall in global energy demand in 2020.
- Gold prices fell with a slight rebound in dollar, while investors clung to hopes of a U.S. stimulus package being eventually released.
- Shanghai aluminium prices climbed to their highest in two-and-a-half years as a smelter curtailment in Spain fuelled worries about supply, although demand from top consumer China remained weak.
- Chicago wheat futures rose around 1%, underpinned by worries that dry weather in key U.S. and the Black Sea region producing areas could threaten 2021 supplies.
- Raw sugar and arabica coffee futures closed down on ICE on Monday as speculators liquidated some of their long positions in several agricultural commodities and the dollar weakened.
- Malaysian palm oil futures eased as traders booked profits after a six-day rally, although a tight supply of the vegetable oil and hopes for higher October exports limited losses.

- The extraordinary levels of private savings, the Federal Reserve's QE-related demand, and considerable uncertainties surrounding the U.S. economic outlook should keep U.S. yields low, says Deutsche Bank's strategist Stuart Sparks. He sees the presidential elections as the next potential catalyst for yields to rise, but says that there are important caveats. "The potential for significant fiscal stimulus is greatest given single party control of the Congress and the presidency," he says, but adds that size in itself might not guarantee the efficacy of fiscal stimulus. Sparks adds that the scope for higher yields is constrained by the Fed's efforts to keep real yields lower through Treasury purchases.

- A Democratic sweep of the presidency and Senate in the U.S. presidential elections would result in higher U.S. Treasury yields, although not necessasrily a structural break higher, says Deutsche Bank's strategist Stuart Sparks. The outcome could enable "a sufficiently large fiscal stimulus to raise real yields through supply pressure," he says. However, fiscal stimulus wouldn't guarantee a structural increase as the size and composition of it is uncertain and "size might not in itself guarantee the efficacy of fiscal stimulus," he says.

- The CARES Act and regulators provided accounting relief, forbearance programs and fiscal stimulus, but "this will mask the underlying deterioration in reported asset quality metrics, potentially reducing the overall utility of reported results" from banks in 3Q, Fitch says. U.S. banks' differing approaches to granting loan modifications and reporting data adds to the obscurity on pandemic losses, Fitch says. Under certain pandemic provisions, loans could be considered troubled debt restructurings instead of delinquent. "These interventions will result in more significant delays in recognition of TDRs, delinquencies, nonperforming loans and ultimately credit losses," Fitch says. Asset quality performance will likely truly be understood in 2021 once relief programs expire, the firm also says.

- European stocks mostly close higher after an upbeat start to trading on Wall Street, though falling oil stocks limit gains as crude prices drop. The Stoxx Europe 600, CAC and DAX all rise 0.7% while the FTSE 100 closes down 0.25%. The price of a barrel of Brent crude retreats 2.8% to $41.65, hitting shares of BP, Eni, Repsol, Royal Dutch Shell and Total. The Dow gains 1%. "There hasn't been much in the way of news to drive sentiment, but dealers are still a little optimistic in relation to US politicians brokering a coronavirus relief package," says David Madden at CMC Markets.

- An expected selloff in US Treasurys in case of a Democratic sweep in the election "is likely to be transitory rather than structural, and suggests that the low inflation, low yield environment is likely to survive not only the current, but also the next presidential election cycle," Deutsche Bank says. DB argues a large stimulus package widely expected under a Democratic government may be insufficient to create inflation if the funds fail to reach poorer people, who are more likely to spend rather than save. "The fundamental issue is that private sector savings have increased as government spending has increased," DB says.

- Cannabis legalization looks likely to pass in New Jersey's ballot, in a potential boost for the marijuana market, Alliance Global Partner says. The broker estimates the new market could reach $2B five years after legalization, depending on how it will be regulated. But the biggest potential comes from a "domino effect" AGP says an approval in New Jersey could spark. "States such as PA, NY, CT & RI have all looked at legalizing cannabis & we believe NJ's legalization of cannabis will help provide the catalyst for other states to follow suit," Alliance Global Partner says.

Oct 12 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- Oil prices dropped for a second straight session as U.S. producers began restoring output after Hurricane Delta weakened, while a strike that had affected production in Norway came to an end.
- Gold fell back from a three-week high as the dollar firmed, although hopes for a new U.S. coronavirus aid package checked the precious metal's losses.
- Copper prices in London fell due to continued uncertainty around a U.S. stimulus package, which could boost demand for the metal.
- Chicago soybean futures edged higher, trading near a more than two-year peak hit in the previous session as the U.S. government's estimate for lower supplies supported prices.
- Arabica coffee futures rose for the fourth consecutive session on Friday, continuing to recover from a two-month low last week as dry and hot weather in Brazil provides support.
- Malaysian palm oil futures rose for a sixth straight session, touching a three-week high on the back of strength in rival Dalian oils and higher exports so far in October.

- An expected selloff in US Treasurys in case of a Democratic sweep in the election "is likely to be transitory rather than structural, and suggests that the low inflation, low yield environment is likely to survive not only the current, but also the next presidential election cycle," Deutsche Bank says. DB argues a large stimulus package widely expected under a Democratic government may be insufficient to create inflation if the funds fail to reach poorer people, who are more likely to spend rather than save. "The fundamental issue is that private sector savings have increased as government spending has increased," DB says.

- Cannabis legalization looks likely to pass in New Jersey's ballot, in a potential boost for the marijuana market, Alliance Global Partner says. The broker estimates the new market could reach $2B five years after legalization, depending on how it will be regulated. But the biggest potential comes from a "domino effect" AGP says an approval in New Jersey could spark. "States such as PA, NY, CT & RI have all looked at legalizing cannabis & we believe NJ's legalization of cannabis will help provide the catalyst for other states to follow suit," Alliance Global Partner says.

- The U.S. presidential elections are "one of the most polarizing in U.S. history," says Jean-Marie Mercadal, chief investment officer of OFI Asset Management. What worries the markets even more is that the U.S. economy is in one of the deepest recessions in recent history, with no further government aid program in sight before the election, he says. President Donald Trump's policies are geared to the well-being of U.S. companies. Democrat candidate Joe Biden aims to strengthen state regulation, to raise the corporate tax and those for the wealthiest, as well as the minimium wage and make higher demands on the health insurance offered by employers, Mercadal says.

- Hopes that U.S. lawmakers will agree new fiscal-stimulus measures has helped the euro recover above 1.18 versus the safe-haven dollar but further gains may be limited in the near term, Unicredit says. "We still target 1.22 for 4Q20, but given the ongoing U.S. presidential election race and continuing remarks by many European Central Bank members on the disinflationary impact of a firmer euro, we think that EUR/USD may now steady in the 1.18-1.19 range before investors think about new assaults on 1.20 and beyond," Unicredit analysts say. EUR/USD is last down 0.2% at 1.1807.

- A change of government in the U.S. on November 3 would certainly have far-reaching foreign and sociopolitical consequences, but the "impact of the U.S. elections on the markets is overestimated," says Bernhard Matthes, head of BKC Asset Management. Previous elections showed that the impact of election results on subsequent capital market developments has usually been much less than previously assumed," he says. What really matters for the
markets is that central banks' monetary policy as well as fiscal policy remain ultra-expansive, while the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic remain to be dealt with. "No far-reaching changes are therefore to be expected from the election results at the level of asset allocation," although there may be some impact within asset classes, Matthes says.

- The dollar would potentially weaken but only briefly if Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden wins November's election, Commerzbank says. The "economic arguments" that point towards dollar weakness in the event of a Biden victory include more regulation that reduces companies' profit margins, stronger competition policy and "more consistent" trade policy towards China, Commerzbank FX analyst Ulrich Leuchtmann says. However, in the event of a Democratic sweep, a contested election result would be less likely and fiscal policy would become more expansionary, he says. "If the dollar was to suffer considerably as a result of a Biden victory that would smack of political prejudice in my view--with the possibility of a medium-term correction." The dollar index is flat at 93.0710.

- Gold nudges lower, but could be supported by dip-buying interest. Traders may seek to buy gold on dips to the $1,880/oz-$1,900/oz area, axi says. Any indications of more support for Democrats in the upcoming U.S. election could be positive for gold, as a larger fiscal stimulus package would become more likely should the Democrats sweep the elections, axi adds. Spot gold is down 0.1% at $1,928.03/oz.

Oct 10 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ)

- Bank of America economists believe fiscal stimulus will come only after the election, but they say recovery from Covid-19 recession will stumble without that help. They argue much of the consumption over the past few months happened thanks to a higher-than-usual savings rate, which in turn was due, in great part, to massive influx of government money into households budgets. "As this stimulus fades and the savings from it are spent, the savings rate should continue to decline," BofA says. "The economy will have to hold its own over the next few months," they say, exhausting current fiscal stimulus "and relying on private sector expansion."

- Gold prices have jumped as Chinese investors return to the market after a long holiday. New York futures are up 1.1% at $1,915.20 a troy ounce, adding to small gains made late on Thursday. "The return of pent-up China buying after an 8-day holiday partially explains the rise in prices," says Jeffrey Halley, market strategist at Oanda. Investors are also likely adding safe-haven gold to their portfolio ahead of the weekend to protect against any unexpected surprises that might come out of the presidential race, he adds. The U.S. Dollar Index is down 0.2%, likely adding further support to gold buying.

- EUR/USD edges up 0.1% to 1.1771 in early trade Friday and is likely to trade in a "reasonably tight range" of between 1.16 and 1.19 until the upcoming U.S. elections, Commerzbank currency strategist Antje Praefcke says. "The market probably has no desire for a revaluation of EUR-USD before the elections," she says. Investors have "pretty much abandoned hope" that a major fiscal stimulus package will be agreed ahead of the presidential election. Meanwhile, Democratic candidate Joe Biden is currently ahead in the polls but that could change and the election remains uncertain. "Why go out on a limb and drive EUR-USD into one or the other direction if there are no new or convincing arguments to do so?" she says.

- The Office of the Special Council ordered USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue Thursday to reimburse the government following remarks the office determined were a violation of the Hatch Act. The OSC said Mr. Perdue ran afoul of the ethics law at an official event related to a USDA coronavirus-relief program for farmers and hungry families, where he made a case for President Trump's reelection and encouraged people to support the president. Mr. Perdue is to reimburse the U.S. Treasury for costs related to the event, OSC told the Washington group that filed a complaint on the matter. Farmers remain a key constituency for President Trump, who recently announced $13B in additional relief funds at a Wisconsin campaign rally.

- Base metals are higher as comments from President Trump raise hopes for a fresh round of stimulus measures before the election. Copper is up 0.3% at $6,682 a metric ton while aluminum gains 1.1% to $1,805 a ton and nickel rises 0.9% to $14,645 a ton. After calling a halt to talks between Democrats and Republicans over stimulus measures on Tuesday, Trump on Thursday said the talks were back on. "Markets have turned more buyerish over the past 24 hours as the feeling is that some sort of stimulus package will now come out of Washington," says Ed Meir, a metals consultant for ED&F Man.

Oct 09 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- The dollar drifted toward a small weekly loss, while the Chinese yuan soared to a 17-month high, as investors wagered on a Joe Biden presidency and on more U.S. stimulus spending.

- Oil prices eased, slipping at the end of a week of big gains made on the risk that supplies from Norway could be slashed by up to 25% due to a strike by oilworkers.
- Gold prices rose 1%, supported by a weaker dollar and optimism over a new U.S. coronavirus relief package after President Donald Trump said talks with Congress had restarted.  
- Copper prices in London were on track for their biggest weekly gain in three months over hopes for more U.S. stimulus and a labour strike at a mine in top producer Chile.
- U.S. wheat futures rose, as prices lingered near a five-year high hit in the previous session, while the grain is poised to record weekly gains of 4% on concerns that adverse weather in key growing regions would hit global production.
- Raw sugar futures closed up on Thursday after hitting a seven-month high, fueled by fund buying on news of adverse weather hurting some major producing countries.
- Malaysian palm oil futures were set for a near 8% weekly rise on hopes for better October exports ahead of the Diwali festival in India, and as heavy rains and widening coronavirus restrictions raised output concerns.

- Yields on the 10-year Treasury slide to 0.764% from 0.785%, the largest one-day decline since Sep. 21. Scott Colyer, from Advisors Asset Management, says markets are struggling to price bonds, as the Fed uses its bazooka to keep rates low. "It's hard to understand the price of Treasurys with the central bank literally putting a lid on yields," he tells WSJ. Today's weekly jobless claims report was "relatively benign," he says, while investors still hope for help from the government. "It all depends on what happens to stimulus," Colyer says.

- Traders pile into bullish bets on the iShares Global Clean Energy Exchange-Traded Fund. The increased wagers come as former Vice President Joe Biden scored a big lead over President Donald Trump in election polls. Biden has proposed a $2T plan aimed at achieving zero carbon emissions from the grid by 2035. "The [iShares Global Clean Energy ETF] has been trading higher in lockstep with the odds of Joe Biden and the Democratic Party winning the 2020 Presidential Election," writes Chris Murphy, of Susquehanna, in a note to clients. "This might be a situation where retail traders are piling into this ETF via calls as a play on a Democratic Sweep and move toward renewable energy." The fund's price hit a record on Thursday and bullish call options volume tied to it surged.

- Base metals are higher as comments from President Trump raise hopes for a fresh round of stimulus measures before the election. Copper is up 0.3% at $6,682 a metric ton while aluminum gains 1.1% to $1,805 a ton and nickel rises 0.9% to $14,645 a ton. After calling a halt to talks between Democrats and Republicans over stimulus measures on Tuesday, Trump on Thursday said the talks were back on. "Markets have turned more buyerish over the past 24 hours as the feeling is that some sort of stimulus package will now come out of Washington," says Ed Meir, a metals consultant for ED&F Man.

- US benchmark oil prices are extending earlier gains, rising $1.10, or 2.8% to $41.05 a barrel and are now $4 higher this week as US stock markets rally amid stimulus hopes, and worries over Hurricane Delta's potential onshore impact are reduced. "Oil prices are rebounding on hopes that Hurricane Delta might not be as catastrophic as feared," says Price Futures' Phil Flynn. "The oil price sold off on fear the storm would create massive demand destruction because of power outages and flooding, but forecasts seemingly lowering the strength of the hurricane means that production and demand might come back faster than anticipated."

- Markets are trading on hopes that Biden will win the election and deploy substantial fiscal stimulus, according to Nordea's Sebastien Galy. "We trade as if we had a Democratic government and the in between is discounted," he says. But the political tension will stoke volatility until the final result is known. "We remain constructive on risk in one to two weeks expecting volatility till then by a President pushed into a gambler's corner."

- The dollar should weaken in the medium term regardless of who wins November's U.S. presidential election, Citigroup says. The Federal Reserve's "uber-loose policy" of quantitative easing, low interest rates and average inflation targeting is "indicative of a lower USD over time," Citi analysts say. "Meanwhile, U.S. federal deficits are rapidly expanding at a time when domestic savings are insufficient to fund these deficits," they say. The U.S. will require capital inflows from foreign savers but they may want a discount for U.S. assets through higher yields and/or a lower dollar given deficits are expanding globally, they say. U.S. Treasury yields remain close to all-time lows so the "only escape value for worsening U.S. fundamentals" is via a lower dollar.

- Saxo's chief economist and chief investment officer Steen Jakobsen considers the U.S. election as "the biggest political risk in several decades." He expects the U.S. election to come with increased volatility and risk. Either candidate would spend huge amounts of money, lean on the U.S. Federal Reserve for supporting easy financing conditions and neither would seek deep reform, he says. "So to a large extent, the two Presidential candidates are the diametric opposite of what the U.S. needs," he says. The backdrop is the end of the economic cycle meeting "inequality, social unrest and a market feeding frenzy driven by the policy response to this deep economic crisis, zero interest rates, infinite government and central bank support," he says.

- U.S. Treasurys don't provide any long-term upside, says Saxo Bank. "U.S. Treasuries today are the biggest mousetrap of all time," says fixed income specialist Althea Spinozzi. The U.S. yield curve is "doomed to steepen faster than expected due to inflation," she warns. However, in the short term U.S. Treasurys should provide trading opportunities ahead of the U.S. elections. Near-term, Saxo expects the US yield curve to flatten if Democrat candidate Joe Biden wins, and to steepen if incumbent President Donald Trump wins.

- The trade policies of U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden would likely support the euro given President Donald Trump's protectionism, Citigroup says. If re-elected, Trump could impose fresh tariffs on Europe, which would be "detrimental" to the euro, Citi analysts say. "Biden's policies would infer lower volatility to the global trade structure, and [be] supportive for currencies that are strategic allies such as Europe, Japan and some emerging markets." EUR/USD trades flat at 1.1758.

- Uncertainty over November's U.S. presidential election will probably cause dollar volatility leading up to the result, Saxo Bank says. Noting that Donald Trump's victory in the 2016 election was unexpected, Saxo Bank's John Hardy says: "The lessons of 2016 are preventing strong market confidence in the outcome--with trust in the polls one very prominent issue." That means it will be "supremely difficult" for the market to put "much confidence" behind its dollar view, he says. "This could lead to choppy trading until at least election day, with the strong risk of a contested outcome--and the back forth headlines that would come with it--amplifying volatility until a victor emerges." The dollar index is flat at 93.6090.

- European stocks gain amid cautious optimism about U.S. economic-relief prospects, though attention has switched to narrow measures rather than a package. "Hope springs eternal, but I don't see how or why the Democrats will want to pursue piecemeal action on the virus bill," says Justin Low at foreign-exchange analysts Forex Live. "With Joe Biden leading the polls and suggestions of there being a 'blue sweep', they have some added leverage in negotiations--for now at least." The Stoxx Europe 600 and DAX rise 0.6% apiece and the FTSE 100 and CAC both gain 0.5%. The price of a barrel of Brent crude increases 1.8% to $42.73, while gold and silver prices also rise.

- Asian currencies consolidate against USD amid mixed signals. On the one hand, U.S. President Trump's remarks overnight that he's open to negotiating a "mini" fiscal stimulus package has offered relief, CMC Markets says. On the other hand, however, U.S-China tensions seem to be on the rise, given media reports that the White House is exploring restrictions on Alibaba's Ant Group and Tencent Holdings over concerns that their digital payment platforms threaten national security, it says. USD/KRW is little changed at 1,157.67, USD/SGD is steady at 1.3594, while USD/TWD edges 0.1% higher to 28.71.

Oct 08 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- Oil prices inched up as oil workers evacuated rigs in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico ahead of Hurricane Delta, though fuel demand concerns persisted on fading chances for a U.S. economic stimulus deal and a build in U.S. crude inventories.
- Gold prices ticked up, helped by a softer dollar and renewed optimism over some U.S. coronavirus relief aid, with investors eyeing the weekly jobless claims data to further gauge the health of the world's largest economy.
- Copper prices slipped from a near one-week high hit in the previous session, as top consumer China stayed away from the market due to a major holiday.
- Chicago soybean futures rose for a fifth consecutive session, buoyed by concerns over dry weather in key exporting countries.
- Raw sugar futures rose above 14 cents per pound for the first time since March on Wednesday, disregarding jitters in wider financial markets and supported by worries over adverse weather in several producing regions.
- Malaysian palm oil futures inched down, snapping three days of gains as rival soyoil fell on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT), although prices were underpinned by supply concerns due to wider coronavirus curbs and heavy rains.

- The US Dollar Index falls 0.2%, with forex markets reversing course from yesterday after President Trump backed some piecemeal federal-aid measures just hours after telling his representatives to walk away from talks with Democrats. The dollar weakens 0.2% against the euro and strengthens 0.3% against a broadly weaker yen. Goldman Sachs points to the reversal in risk appetite but adds "our DC analysts had already said that pre-election fiscal stimulus looked unlikely even after the talks were revived in recent weeks, but the market had begun to price a higher probability of action. We now see a possibility for very limited fiscal measures over the next few weeks," with larger items likely to be delayed until after the election or early next year if the White House changes hands.

- US stocks rise after President Trump said he would support sending $1,200 stimulus checks to Americans, an airline-support package and more money for the PPP last night after shutting down stimulus talks with Democrats just hours earlier. Many investors are betting a big round of stimulus will only happen if either party wins a decisive victory. The Dow jumps 1.9% to 28303, the S&P gains 1.7% to 3419 and the Nasdaq advances 1.9% to 11364. Airlines rise on hopes of federal aid with United, American and Delta all gaining at least 3%. Eli Lilly adds 3.4% after requesting authorization of a Covid-19 antibody drug following positive results from testing.

- Henry Kissinger calls for a "return to nonpartisan debates" in accepting the Economic Club of New York award for leadership excellence. The award was presented by previous award winner Alan Greenspan. The 97-year-old, German born Kissinger called for international dialogue and said that old principles, such as balance of power, remain applicable to some extent "because if any country or group of countries has the capability to impose its will with minimum risk, that is not a world one can live in safely or productively." China and US leaders "have to discuss the limits beyond which they will not push threats and how to define that, and how to keep that discussion from getting out of hand," Kissinger said. "And that doesn't apply only to China," he added, warning of the threats of unilateral superiority.

- "The Fed's projections in June had been in my view implausibly gloomy, and they were dead wrong. The Fed, however, essentially doubled down on its pessimism," Amherst Pierpont's Stephen Stanley says about today's minutes. Stanley notes that dissension seems to have been heavier on the side calling for less emphasis on the promise of low rates for years. "It is mildly interesting to see that the hawkish outliers appear to outnumber the dovish ones," he says. Without any expectation of higher rates until 2024, Stanley says monetary policy "is pretty boring right now," while calls for federal stimulus mean "fiscal policy could hardly get more exciting."

- Uncertainty over November's US presidential election and renewed worries about the economic fallout from coronavirus may cause short sellers to close out earlier bets against the safe haven dollar in coming months, Rabobank says. "Investors may have to face a contested [election] result and the knowledge that the recovery in the US labor market is slowing as winter approaches and household incomes are feeling more strain," Rabobank FX strategist Jane Foley says. "We see scope for short-covering of USD positions on a one to three month view." Rabobank maintains its one-month forecast for EUR/USD at 1.17, versus 1.1766 currently.

- Texans say it's not just low taxes but plentiful energy supplies that could entice entities like Nasdaq to shift toward the Lone Star state. Gov. Greg Abbott confirmed on Twitter yesterday he's "been talking with the Nasdaq stock exchange about moving some of their operations to Texas. They want to flee high taxes." Ed Curtis, CEO of YTexas, a relocation/networking group, says in an email "Nasdaq requires a massive amount of data storage - because of our low-cost supply of energy, data centers are flocking to Texas." Financial services provider Charles Schwab announced yesterday it is officially switching its corporate headquarters from San Francisco to Westlake, Texas on Jan. 1.

- Minneapolis Fed leader Neel Kashkari isn't on board with a WSJ opinion article co-written by Stanford University's John Taylor, a former Treasury official best known for advocacy of rules-based monetary policy. In the article, Taylor writes favorably on President Trump's economic record, especially job creation. Kashkari seems to believe Taylor's voice isn't one to be heeded due to his record. "The labor market gains the authors cite happened in part because the Fed ignored the Taylor Rule," which called for tighter monetary policy than the central bank pursued, Kashkari tweets. "And as I wrote in December 2016 'if the FOMC had followed the Taylor rule over the past five years, 2.5 million more Americans would be out of work today.'"

- Bank of America's Athanasios Vamvakidis sees "the recent market correction as only the beginning of the risk-off move we have been expecting for the rest of the year." He expects the global economy to weaken as Covid-19 makes a comeback and "it is becoming increasingly unlikely that a vaccine will be approved before the end of the year." Add uncertainty about the elections and policy-making, and Vamvakidis foresees further strength in the dollar. "We have an optimistic baseline for 2021, but this is still subject to high uncertainty," he says.

- Stocks have their best years under a Democratic presidency and Republican Congress, consumer-finance website WalletHub says after analyzing 1950-2019 historical data. The study found the index returned 16.2% a year, in average, under such combination, and only 4.5% when the president was a Republican and Congress, Democratic. The Democratic presidency-Republican Congress mix has also been good for the economy in general, although real GDP growth was best when Democrats controlled both branches. Employment, poverty levels and government debt all have performed better when the president was a Democrat and at least one chamber of Congress was controlled by Republicans.

- US stock futures trade higher following Tuesday's selloff as President Trump indicates he is still ready to support coronavirus stimulus measures. Shares fell on Tuesday after Trump called off talks between his administration and Democrats on relief measures ahead of the election. United Airlines and Delta Air Lines gain over 3% premarket after Trump tweets support for airlines. On Tuesday, Federal Chairman Powell warned of potentially tragic economic consequences if additional support isn't provided to businesses and households. The dollar weakens against the euro and gains against the yen, while Treasurys extend losses, with the 10-year yield rising to 0.78%. S&P futures rise 20.5
points.

- Brent crude oil is down 1.2% at $42.27 a barrel and WTI futures are down 1.2% at $40.18 a barrel. The declines come after the American Petroleum Institute late Tuesday released weekly inventory data showing a rise in crude stocks, as well as amid broader market risk-off sentiment after President Trump said he is halting U.S. stimulus talks until after the election, according to DNB Markets' Helge Martinsen. Investors will be keeping an eye on Energy Information Administration data due Wednesday, and the path of Hurricane Delta as it heads toward the Gulf of Mexico.

- Copper is flat as two opposing factors are at play: President Trump's decision to halt negotiations over a possible U.S. stimulus deal, and the bullish possibility of strikes in Chile. Three-month copper futures are unchanged at $6,439.50 a metric ton. The metal had rallied earlier in the year as China's economy rebounded. But the rally has since dissipated and copper's sideways trading over the past few months highlights why investors were hoping for more stimulus measures, says Robin Bhar, an independent metals consultant. "You get a sense that the easy part of the recovery has been done. The coiled spring has snapped back, that's the easy part. The harder part is sustaining it, which is why markets are looking for more stimulus measures."

Oct 07 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- The dollar held gains against most currencies after U.S. President Donald Trump abruptly cancelled talks on economic stimulus with Democrat lawmakers, heightening demand for safe-haven assets.

- Oil prices fell after U.S. President Donald Trump dashed hopes for a fourth stimulus package to boost the coronavirus-hit economy and on a larger-than-expected increase in U.S. crude inventories.
- Gold prices edged up, after hitting a one-week low in early trade, lifted by renewed fears over economic recovery and uncertainty around the U.S. presidential election after President Donald Trump's COVID-19 diagnosis.
- Copper prices fell after U.S. President Donald Trump halted negotiations with the U.S. Congress on a large coronavirus stimulus bill.
- Chicago wheat futures slipped from their five-year high hit in the last session, but losses were limited by concerns over dry weather in key exporting nations.
- Raw sugar futures on ICE rose 2% on Tuesday to a seven-month top as weather worries in several producing regions reduce expectations for a supply surplus in 2020-21.
- Malaysian palm oil futures firmed on lower production outlook amid wet weather and tightening coronavirus restrictions, but weaker crude and soyoil capped gains.

- Apple's and Google's app marketplaces give the companies persistent market power and an unfair advantage over companies with competing products, concludes a report released Tuesday from Democratic staff of the House Antitrust Subcommittee. The findings come as "Fortnite" maker Epic Games is suing both companies over their stores' policies. "There are no competitive constraints on the power Apple and Google have over the software distribution marketplace on their mobile ecosystems," the report says, raising the possibility they'll be forced to make changes that could have a significant impact on their businesses. Apple's App Store is a key source of revenue for the company as iPhone sales slow, while Google's marketplace helps drive traffic to its flagship search engine, as well as its YouTube app and new videogame-streaming service Stadia.

- The ICE US Dollar Index rises sharply after President Trump tells Republicans to stop negotiating with Democrats on coronavirus relief. The dollar strengthens against most major currencies as investors looked for safe investments. US currency strengthens 0.4% against the euro but weakens 0.1% against the yen, another traditional haven currency. The president's announcement sent the S&P 500 tumbling 1.4%, reversing earlier gains.

- US stocks turn sharply lower after President Trump tells his representatives to stop negotiations with Democrats over a coronavirus relief package until after the election. This comes after Fed Chairman Powell again urged Washington earlier today to provide more support to households and businesses to stave off economic risk. The Commerce Department says the US posted its largest monthly trade deficit since 2006 in August as imports of consumer goods recover but exports of services and manufacturing products stall. The Dow falls 1.3% to 27772, the S&P declines 1.4% to 3360 and the Nasdaq stumbles 1.6% to 11154. Boeing sinks 6.8% after saying it sees a challenging near-term aerospace market with resilience in the long term.

- Yields follow stock indexes downward after President Trump tweeted he's instructing representatives to quit negotiating a much-expected stimulus package. "Just like that we are back in the red," Bokeh Capital's Kim Forrest tells WSJ. "The market was up the past two days because it anticipated a 'small' stimulus package," she says. "But that looks like it's off the table for now. So are the market gains." Investors have been watching political talks as Fed officials highlight the importance of fiscal stimulus to revive the economy. In this tweet, President Trump says "We are leading the World in Economic Recovery." The 10-year yield dropped to 0.73% from 0.78% after the tweet.

- Banks have performed better historically when a Republican is in the White House. But the pandemic has added unique considerations this cycle. "There had been a strong sense previously that a Biden victory would be good for banks on day one, as it would increase the odds of additional stimulus," Piper Sandler's Scott Siefers tells WSJ. Down the road, investors were more concerned that a Democratic-dominated Washington could lead to more regulation and higher corporate taxes. "But there's an emerging hope that a Biden victory would be OK on day one and on day two as well," Siefers says. If Biden wins, "we will see more regulations, but it will take some time," Piper Sandler's Mark Fitzgibbon says. "Changes to the heads of regulatory agencies would have to funnel through."

- European stocks rise after US President Trump returns to the White House after hospital treatment for coronavirus. The Stoxx Europe 600 and the FTSE 100 gain 0.1%, the DAX adds 0.6% and the CAC-40 climbs 0.5%. "Now that Trump, irresponsibly or otherwise, is out of hospital and back at the White House, hopes appear to have been stirred that the Democrats and Republicans can finally...get a new Covid-19 stimulus package over the line," Spreadex analyst Connor Campbell says. Rolls-Royce shares jump 21.6% after the jet engine maker announced a GBP1B convertible bond offering. Banks and travel stocks are also among the top risers.

- President Trump's high-profile use of Regeneron's antibody cocktail to treat his Covid-19 infection coincided with data released last week showing that the drug reduces virus levels in non-hospitalized patients. The data contribute to a conviction that an FDA OK via an emergency-use authorization is imminent, SVB Leerink analysts write. Although the product has potential to be used as a preventative measure as well, SVB Leerink expects that Regeneron's antibody cocktail will mainly be used to treat infected patients given the quick progress of vaccine development. Leerink believes Regeneron's is likely to be the first approved Covid-19 antibody treatment, well positioned to beat out competitive offerings from Eli Lilly and AstraZeneca. A partnership with Roche will help expand manufacturing capacity. Regeneron shares are up 60% year-to-date.

- US benchmark oil prices rise 2.4% to $40.13 a barrel and are now 8.3% higher this week as they fully recoup an 8% slide during the final two sessions of last week. The quick rebound comes amid several bullish factors including Hurricane Delta that is expected to knock out a significant portion of offshore oil production in the Gulf of Mexico. President Trump's seemingly healthy return to the White House after being hospitalized with coronavirus has also boosted risk appetite as it eased political uncertainty. Finally, data show US gasoline demand is rising sharply, a trend that could continue as top fuel-consuming state Texas announces more economic reopenings. (dan.molinski@wsj.com)

- Stephen Li Jen, chief executive of Eurizon SLJ Capital, sees dichotomy between short-term worries and longer-term optimism, he says. "4Q could be a bit tricky of course, for all the known reasons," he says. His view on the markets remains unchanged over the coming quarters, positive on equities and the dollar, and modestly positive on U.S. Treasury yields, he says. The last quarter of 2020 sees a number of event risks, the U.S. election, Brexit, second wave of coronavirus infections and U.S. budget negotiations, but most event risks fading in the coming weeks.

- Speaking at the WSJ CEO Council, former Unilever CEO Paul Polman says one of the biggest catalysts for change at companies is their own employees, citing the pressure from Amazon workers on Jeff Bezos on climate change issues as an example. He says the two biggest bottlenecks to progress today are continuing to live in a system where we measure the wrong things--just return on financial capital rather than social and environmental metrics too--, and governments that fail to act since without good policy little tends to happen.

- The dollar could weaken on the rising prospect of the Democrats taking full control of the Senate and House in November's presidential election, MUFG Bank says. Noting that the latest opinion polls show Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has extended his lead, MUFG currency analyst Lee Hardman says: "The increasing possibility of a Blue Wave that would open the door for much needed fiscal stimulus would be a welcome development for risk assets and could undermine the U.S. dollar." The dollar index is last down 0.1% at 93.4550.

Oct 06 - DJ Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- Oil prices rose following U.S. President Donald Trump's return to the White House from hospital after being treated for COVID-19 last Friday, while another storm brewing in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico posed a threat to refineries.
- Gold prices dipped, as equities gained following U.S. President Donald Trump's discharge from hospital after treatment for a coronavirus infection, though a softer dollar limited losses.
- London copper rose as investors hoped for progress on U.S. stimulus talks, while a looming strike at a copper mine in top producer Chile raised production risks.
- Chicago soybean futures ticked higher for a second session, with strong demand underpinning prices, although gains were capped on rapidly progressing U.S. harvest.
- Raw sugar futures on ICE closed up on Monday on signs supplies will tighten and an upbeat sentiment in wider financial markets, while arabica coffee headed lower again.
- Malaysian palm oil futures climbed 2%, tracking a rise in rival soyoil and underpinned by concerns that heavy rains brought by a La Nina weather pattern could hurt output in the next few months.

- Brent crude oil is up 0.4% at $41.46 a barrel and WTI futures are up 0.4% at $39.36 a barrel after U.S. prices began the week with their biggest daily percentage gain since May, as broader markets rallied on hopes for a U.S. stimulus package and signals of the President's improving health. Tropical Storm Delta is strengthening off the Gulf of Mexico and is expected to make landfall on Friday, according to the National Hurricane Center. Some producers in the region may shut in production. Elsewhere, JBC analysts point out that Norwegian offshore strikes have shut in 330,000 barrels of oil equivalent capacity per day.

- The FTSE 100 drops 0.4% to 5919 as a higher close on Wall Street following U.S. President Donald Trump's return to Washington from hospital failed to inspire investors. "While it's more than possible that Trump's case of Covid-19 will return to the top of the table at some point, presently his discharge has left the markets looking a bit aimless," says Connor Campbell at Spreadex. Ocado Group shares are the biggest loser, down 3.7% as investors in the U.K. online grocer took profits after a rally, though Rolls-Royce is 8% higher after the jet-engine maker said it was starting a series of meetings with fixed-income investors about a potential bond offer.

- Gold prices are steady and holding onto their gains from Monday which came as the dollar weakened and President Trump left hospital. New York futures are unchanged at $1,919.50 a troy ounce. Gold rallied back above the $1,900 an ounce level on Monday as Trump's expected return to the White House "sparked a general rally across asset markets," says Jeffrey Halley, market analyst at Oanda. Gold also received support from a weakening dollar. The market later in the day would be eyeing speeches from the Fed's Bostic and Kaplan while jobless claims data on Thursday would likely be the key data release of the week.

- President Trump's recovery after contracting Covid-19 means the dollar is likely to weaken, reversing recent gains when concerns about his health boosted safe-haven assets, says Commerzbank. "Everything all told that is likely to mean that the dollar will tend to remain under pressure," says currency strategist Antje Praefcke. She points to the lack of any agreement on a U.S. fiscal package, as well as the Fed likely sticking to an expansionary policy. "The talks between the speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi and Secretary of Treasury Steven Munchin about a new fiscal package continue without any sign of a breakthrough," she says. The DXY dollar index is last down 0.1% at 93.3950. EUR/USD is up 0.1% at 1.1792.

- German 10-year Bund yields are trading marginally higher, pulling eurozone core and semi-core peers along in a sign of less demand for safe-haven papers. Boost to risk comes from better-than-expected German manufacturing-order data for August, as well as US President Donald Trump's return to the White House following his stay in a hospital after testing positive for Covid-19. "Optimism due to Trump's Covid-19 recovery and hopes for potential stimuli supported risk," say Danske Bank's analysts. Issuance on Tuesday comes from Austria and Germany, with the latter selling inflation-linked bonds. The 10-year German Bund yield is trading at -0.51%, up 0.5 basis points, according to Tradeweb.

- Nordic markets are likely to open little-changed with IG calling the OMXS30 flat at around 1839. President Trump's return from the hospital to the White House helped spur U.S. equities higher, SEB says. "With recent polls indicating a widening gap in favor of Mr. Biden, markets are also contemplating whether a Biden victory would indeed be negative for equities." While the resurging pandemic has weighed on the European service sector, the spread is also gaining pace in parts of the U.S., triggering new local restrictions, it says. Asian markets are trading higher this morning while U.S. stock index futures are a mixed bag. OMXS30 closed at 1839.68, OMXN40 at 1872.64 and OBX at 754.37.

- Asian currencies are mixed against the USD amid uncertainty over the upcoming U.S. Presidential election. Following President Trump's discharge from the hospital, the main uncertainty for investors seeking reflationary trades is a boost for Trump in the polls, axi says. "This matters because polling in the swing states suggested a much closer result than implied by prediction markets," says Stephen Innes, chief global market strategist at axi. A narrower gap between Trump and Biden in the polls would suggest a higher risk of a close result, increasing the possibility of a contested outcome that might benefit USD, analysts say. USD/KRW is up 0.4% to 1,161.75, USD/SGD is down 0.1% at 1.3594
while AUD/USD gains 0.2% to 0.7192.

- South Korea's stock benchmark Kospi is up 0.6% at 2372.64 in early trade, buoyed by heightened hopes for new U.S. stimulus measures. News on President Trump's improving health condition after testing positive for Covid-19 also boosts risk appetite, Kiwoom Securities says. South Korea's stronger-than-expected September inflation further supports investor sentiment. Technology, retail and banking stocks lead gains. Index heavyweight and tech giant Samsung Electronics adds 1.5%. LG Electronics rises 6.3%. Food company CJ CheilJedang advances 3.5%, while retailer E-mart gains 2.1%. Hana Financial Group climbs 1.5%.

- Japanese stocks are likely to gain thanks partly to the yen's recent weakeness. Nikkei futures open up 95 points at 23400 on the SGX. USD/JPY is at 105.74, up from 105.57 as of Monday's Tokyo stock market close. U.S. and Japan policy developments are closely watched after President Trump left hospital on Monday evening for the White House. The Nikkei Stock Average rose 1.2% to 23312.14 on Monday.

- Farmers form a reliable core of support for President Trump in rural America, but not all of them are enthusiastic about awarding him a second term. Wanda Patsche, a hog and soybean producer from Minnesota, says at the WSJ Global Food Forum she "unfortunately" will vote Republican in the upcoming presidential contest, though neither major party candidate appeals much to her. "I can't go the direction where there may be more government involvement, more overreach, more regulations," Patsche says of the Democratic party.

- The US dollar weakens 0.6% against the euro and most other major currencies and strengthens 0.4% against the yen in a risk-on day of trading in which the WSJ Dollar Index fell 0.3%. The S&P 500 gains 1.8% and the 10-year Treasury yield jumps to 0.768% from 0.694% Friday on news President Trump's health was improving and that progress was made in stimulus talks. "News that President Trump contracted COVID-19 has introduced new uncertainty into the US election, just one month ahead of the vote," Goldman Sachs says. The firm says it's unsure how this will affect the results of the election, but any change that raises the odds of a Biden win along with Democrats taking the Senate "should accelerate US Dollar weakness, in our view, whereas developments that favor President Trump's reelection should support the currency."

- US stocks rise with news President Trump will leave the hospital later today and hopes of fresh fiscal stimulus, with Speaker Pelosi saying over the weekend lawmakers had made progress. September's ISM services index beats expectations, showing continuing recovery in the services sector. The Dow rises 1.7% to 28148, the S&P gains 1.8% to 3408 and the Nasdaq jumps 2.3% to 11332. Regeneron soars 7.1% after the White House said Trump received the company's experimental antibody cocktail as part of his Covid-19 treatment, and Gilead gains 2.3% following the reported use of its remdesivir in the president's regimen.

Oct 05 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- The dollar clung to familiar ranges as financial markets awaited news on the health of U.S. President Donald Trump, who last week tested positive for the coronavirus, sending investors into safe-haven assets.  
- Oil prices rose more than 2%, lifted by comments from doctors for U.S. President Donald Trump suggesting he could be discharged from hospital as soon as Monday, just a few days after his positive coronavirus test sparked widespread alarm.
- Gold prices were little changed, as investors sought more clarity on developments in U.S. President Donald Trump's health after he tested positive for COVID-19 last week.
- Copper prices rose after data from top producer Chile showed output fell in August, but trading volume was thin due to a holiday in key consumer China from Oct. 1 to 8.  
- Chicago corn futures slid for a second session with prices coming under pressure on expectations of a weekly U.S. report showing rapid harvest progress.
- Arabica coffee futures closed up on ICE on Friday, recovering in the final moments of the session after sliding during the session to the lowest level in more than two months.
- Malaysian palm oil futures tracked rebound in oil prices after doctors for U.S. President Donald Trump suggested he could be discharged from hospital soon, a few days after his COVID-19 results sparked widespread alarm.

- Gold prices are falling as concerns over President Trump's health ease. New York futures are down 0.8% at $1,892 an ounce. Trump's doctors said that his condition was improving and that he could return to the White House on Monday. The news that Trump had tested positive for the coronavirus added fresh uncertainty to the race for the White House and prompted gold to jump around $30 as investors moved to safe havens. "Ostensibly the President testing positive for Covid-19 appears gold bullish, as it adds to uncertainty as we head into an election," says Stephen Innes, market strategist at Axi. "It is no surprise to see the reaction today as the markets tentatively toggle risk after the
President's better-than-expected Covid prognosis."

- A delay in U.S. election results or investor worries about a corporate tax hike "could create a bid for safe havens in the short term," says Barclays' rates strategists. Market reaction, however, could be "very different" in the medium term, they say. A unified U.S. Congress is likely to see yields rising, particularly if Democrat candidate Joe Biden becomes President, Barclays' rates strategists say. In contrast, under a divided Congress, yields are likely to fall, they add. The U.S. elections are due to be held on Nov. 3.

- The FTSE 100 rises as optimism about U.S. President Donald Trump's health offsets negative sentiment surrounding Friday's lower-than-expected U.S. non-farm payrolls. London's blue-chip index is up 0.5% at 5931, with gains for a broad range of stocks outshining losses for precious-metal miners such as Fresnillo and Polymetal International as gold and silver prices edge lower. Still, oil majors Royal Dutch Shell and BP advance 2.3% and 1.1% respectively as the price of a barrel of Brent crude increases 1.5% to $39.85.

- U.S. President Donald Trump's health appears to be the key potential driver for bond markets in the coming days, in the absence of other major factors, analysts say. "There doesn't look to be much on the week-ahead schedule to take the focus away from Trump's health, U.S. stimulus progress and Brexit negotiations," say Mizuho's rates strategists. Trump is expected to be discharged from the hospital on Monday, being transferred there last week after he had tested positive for coronavirus. In the eurozone, German industrial orders and production data on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively, as well as French industrial production data for on Friday for the month of August are among the data to be watched. The 10-year Bund yield is trading at -0.543%, down 1 basis point, according to Tradeweb.

- The dollar steadies, with the DXY index last at 93.7920 after reports that U.S. President Donald Trump's health is improving after contracting coronavirus, and that he could be discharged from hospital on Monday. Further reports of improvement may see the dollar weaken as investors buy back riskier assets and shun safe havens, although many uncertainties remain related to Trump's health, whether a fiscal package will be agreed, and the upcoming U.S. election. "The health of President Trump will dominate this week," says FX firm Caxton. Price action will likely remain volatile and fast-moving given the uncertain situation, it says. EUR/USD is last up 0.1% at 1.1724.

- The FTSE 100 is expected to open 40 points higher at 5,942, against a backdrop of upbeat trading in Asia and optimism about President Trump's health. "The Nikkei 225 has rebounded from Friday and the Hang Seng is up after being closed for two days at the end of last week," says David Madden at CMC Markets. "Hopes in relation to Trump's health and a U.S. relief package are lifting sentiment." Meanwhile, the price of a barrel of Brent crude up is up 1.8% at $39.98.

- Oil is higher in early Asian trade, following news that President Trump's doctors say he could leave the hospital as soon as Monday. Investor focus is likely to remain on the upcoming U.S. elections. Should Biden win, he is likely to take a softer stance on sanctions against Iran and Venezuela, and may also push for a new nuclear deal, ANZ says. This could lead to a flood of oil hitting the market in the near term which may weigh on prices, it says. Front-month WTI is up 1.6% at $37.65/bbl and front-month Brent is 1.4% higher at $39.82/bbl.

Oct 03 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- Australian Market sinks on Trump Covid result
The Australian sharemarket slumped on Friday after US President Donald Trump confirmed he had tested positive for coronavirus. The ASX200 finished 1.39 per cent lower at 57915.5 points while the All Ordinaries Index slid 1.42 per cent to 5983.2. In the final hour, all sectors sank lower on the news Mr Trump and First Lady Melania Trump had been diagnosed with COVID-19.
“On balance this perhaps makes it less likely Trump will win the Presidency, which has tended to be viewed as negative for stocks due to the risk of increased corporate taxes under Biden,” said BetaShares chief economist David Bassanese. “The counter to this view is that Trump’s incapacitation may make the result on election night clearer — even if it’s in Biden’s favour — which reduces the chance of a drawn out court challenge.” Retail stocks were mixed after official figures showed Australia’s retail trade fell 4 per cent in August. Retail spending fell 1.1 per cent in Queensland and 12.6 per cent in Victoria. Super Retail shares slipped 11c to $10.53 on Friday while supermarket groups Coles and Woolworths were up 6c to $17.06 and 3c to $36.49, respectively.

- European stocks mostly edge higher even as Wall Street falls after news that US President Donald Trump had tested positive for coronavirus. The Stoxx Europe 600 rises 0.2%, the FTSE 100 is up 0.4% and the CAC-40 gains 0.02%, but the DAX falls 0.3%. The price of a barrel of Brent crude decreases 2.7% to $39.84, while gold and silver prices also retreat. The Dow drops 0.6%. "Dealers have been in risk-off mode today on the back of the Trump news," David Madden at CMC Markets says. "The US job data was mixed, so that didn't sway sentiment that much."

- The 10-year Treasury yield rises to 0.70% after bottoming out at 0.65% earlier today, as markets digest news that President Trump has Covid-19. "The market can hardly price this rationally or coherently," David Bahnsen, from the Bahnsen Group, tells WSJ. He says Trump's coronavirus diagnosis "elevates uncertainty to some degree, and offers more excuse for volatility, but it's not an easily discernible event." Potentially countering the impact of Trump's health, the September jobs report was mixed and some traders are hoping a stimulus agreement could come through as soon as today.

- "The September jobs report was a modest disappointment overall," Bank of America says. While the unemployment rate fell to 7.9% from 8.4%, "it was largely for bad reasons," the broker says, "as the labor force participation rate fell to 61.4% from 61.7%, reversing the pickup in August." BofA also notes that long term unemployment picked up, "which argues for slower progress going forward," and highlights the number of people unemployed more than 27 weeks, which climbed to 2.4M from 1.6M.

- Brent crude oil is down 3.9% at $39.36 a barrel and WTI futures are down 3.7% at $37.30 a barrel with broader markets dropping. Several analysts cite President Trump's coronavirus diagnosis, but not everyone agrees. "While some will want to link this to... the prospect of a Biden victory, I'm not really buying it," says Oanda's Craig Erlam. "The simple fact remains that we're heading into a worrying period for Covid and the impact on the global economy and oil demand will be significant," he says, adding that "OPEC+ will likely be forced to hold a special meeting prior to December if they want prices to hold around $40." OPEC exports rose 273,000 barrels a day in September, thanks to Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and Libya, Kpler says.

- USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue tested negative for Covid-19 in his most recent check for the coronavirus, conducted Tuesday, according to an agency spokesman. Perdue, who is scheduled to visit Wisconsin Friday, has not been around President Trump this week. Trump announced late Thursday he has tested positive for Covid-19.

- The direction of the euro versus the safe haven dollar remains dependent on global market sentiment and Covid-19 developments, particularly after U.S. President Donald Trump tested positive with the virus, Unicredit says. "The risk of a messy handover of power in the U.S., which could act as a drag on the USD, is also gaining attention after the first public debate between Donald Trump and [Democratic presidential candidate] Joe Biden," Unicredit FX strategist Roberto Mialich says. "That said, EUR/USD has held the 1.16 baseline, has regained the 1.17 handle and is also reapproaching the 1.1780 area, whose break--according to charts--would help reduce selling pressure towards the 1.14 area." EUR/USD falls 0.2% to 1.1717.

- Livestock futures trading on the CME are mixed Friday--with live cattle futures down 0.9% and lean hog futures up 1.1%. "'Risk off' appears to be the theme of the morning across commodity and financial markets and cattle futures are likely to be a part of that as well," says StoneX--referencing the general weakness seen in macro markets after President Trump confirmed last night that he tested positive for coronavirus. Meanwhile, hog futures appear to be propelled by higher cutout prices, with the carcass price up $4.28 per hundredweight yesterday, putting the price at $95.65 per cwt.

- Grain futures on the CBOT are down in early Friday trading, following US markets as a whole amid news that President Trump tested positive for Covid-19. "There is little doubt developments to this and its potential impact on the Presidential Election process will be factors for the next several weeks," says Karl Setzer of AgriVisor. Corn futures are off 0.6%, soybean futures are down 0.4%, and wheat futures fall 0.4%. Meanwhile, Vice President Mike Pence and his wife both tested negative for the disease, according to Pence's press secretary.

- The DJIA is off about 200 points, recovering from even steeper, earlier losses following news that President Trump contracted Covid-19, demonstrating that the virus continues to be a threat to markets, says Chris Zaccarelli, chief investment officer of Charlotte-based Independent Advisor Alliance, in a note. Regarding Friday's September jobs report, he adds that the decline in the labor force participation rate, which measures the number of people working or actively looking for work, is concerning. The report shows that the participation-rate decline was particularly steep for women compared to the change for men.

- Canada PM Justin Trudeau's plan to aggressively expand fiscal policy could face headwinds because the country's pension funds might opt for higher-yielding securities over Canadian government bonds, Pavilion Global Markets says. Roughly 70% of Government of Canada-issued debt is held domestically, and the Bank of Canada has been engaged in relatively aggressive large-scale asset purchases to fuel a recovery. Pavilion said Canada bond yields have dropped rapidly, and at a significant gap to pension plans' discount rate (a measure of what plan managers believe can reasonably be expected to return over the long term). Furthermore, Pavilion says, Canadian pensions have a high proportion of their liabilities indexed to inflation. These factors, Pavilion says, will make it harder for the BOC to cease quantitative easing should private demand wane.

- News that President Trump has tested positive for Covid-19 has James McDonald, CEO of Hercules Investments, feeling even more apprehensive about the market's path heading into the elections. Noting the development could, in a worst-case scenario, "completely change the direction of the campaign," McDonald says he's been forced to "double down" on his firm's strategies betting on an uptick in market swings. "We have been long volatility due to market overvaluation, the absence of fiscal relief from coronavirus-triggered economic pressure and uncertainty heading into the US presidential election," he says. McDonald adds that he's advising investors to increase their cash holdings or take out insurance against market swings by buying futures contracts tracking volatility indices.

- A move lower in U.S. Treasuries is the more likely reaction from heightened uncertainty surrounding the U.S. general election, says TD Securities. Treasury rates face a "tricky reaction" from "a classic safe-haven move lower in yields or pricing in much [government bond] supply moving rates higher," says the Canadian bank. Yet it expects safe-haven moves to dominate, especially as it expects the Federal Reserve to ease monetary policy further in order to absorb much of the U.S. government borrowing needs. The 10-year Treasury yield trades last at 0.658%, according to Tradeweb.

Oct 02 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- Oil prices extended losses to fall around 2% after U.S. President Donald Trump tested positive for the coronavirus, while a U.S. stimulus package eluded negotiators amid ongoing worries about demand.
- Gold was headed for its best weekly gain in nearly two months, despite prices slipping from a more than one-week high as the dollar strengthened amid doubts regarding the U.S. stimulus package.
- London copper dropped to its lowest in seven weeks as prices came under pressure after the dollar strengthened on stalled U.S. stimulus talks and amid a jump in inventories.
- Chicago corn futures slid, although the market is set to end the week on a positive note, trading near a seven-month peak as strong global demand underpinned prices.
- Arabica coffee futures on ICE lost nearly 4% on Thursday to a two-month low as an outlook for large supplies pressured prices.
- Malaysian palm oil futures were poised for a second consecutive weekly decline as they extended losses, tracking a drop in crude and Chicago Board of Trade soyoil prices.

- European stocks drop as falling crude prices hit oil majors after it emerged that U.S. President Donald Trump has tested positive for coronavirus. The Stoxx Europe 600 drops 0.4%, the FTSE 100 is down 0.5%, the CAC-40 retreats 0.5% and the DAX sheds 0.6%. The price of a barrel of Brent crude decreases 2.7% to $39.82, knocking shares in BP, Royal Dutch Shell, Total, Repsol and Eni. A.J. Bell says the weak prices suggest the latest decline in equity markets may not entirely be caused by Trump testing positive. "Oil is an economic bellwether and a decline in the price could be a red flag that the global economic recovery faces some near-term headwinds," says Bell's Russ Mould.

- A victory by U.S. President Donald Trump in November's presidential election would be more dollar supportive than a win by Democratic candidate Joe Biden given their trade and fiscal policies, Societe Generale says. Speculators are on average short of dollars, betting that the safe-haven currency will fall, because they think a Biden win is more likely, SocGen FX strategist Kit Juckes says. "On that basis, increased pre-vote uncertainty is likely to help the dollar," he says. The dollar index is last flat at 93.7340.

- Commerzbank remains cautious on European junk debt as yields look too thin to compensate for mounting downside risks. "We would continue to take advantage of episodes of weakness via quality names, but remain cautious with regard to the lower end of the rating stack," says credit strategist Cem Keltek. "Particularly in euro HY we see insufficient reward for the still major fundamental downside risks." Cases of Covid-19 infections have climbed, prompting governments to reimpose curbs and localised lockdowns, while hopes for a fresh U.S. fiscal package fade amid heightened uncertainty over the U.S. election as President Donald Trump tested positive for Covid-19.

- Brent crude oil is down 2.5% at $39.89 a barrel and WTI futures are down 2.5% at $37.75 a barrel, with Thursday's dismal trading intensifying early Friday on the news that President Trump and the First Lady have tested positive for coronavirus, according to JBC Energy analysts."The news throws uncertainty into the immediate future of both the incumbent's election campaign and potentially the U.S. leadership," they add. Both benchmarks are on course to close out the week more than 6% lower, with prices under heavy pressure on Thursday. "The initial catalyst for yesterday's pressure was... concerns that OPEC oil output is on the rise at a time when the end-user demand rebound is floundering, " JBC adds, pointing to Libya and Iran.

- Copper is flat as the metal seems unfazed by the news that President Trump has tested positive for Covid-19. Three-month forwards on the LME are down less than 0.1% at $6,337 a metric ton, following a 5.1% decline Thursday on poor economic data. Volumes remain light with Chinese markets closed for a week-long national holiday. Copper's fall could spark some renewed buying when Chinese traders come back to work next week, says Malcolm Freeman, CEO of Kingdom Futures. "With the Chinese away on holiday the big players and indeed the major buyers of copper are out of the game but you can be assured that they will be watching at a distance... they have no need to chase the market and will happily let prices come towards them."

- The dollar would receive a boost from flows into safe-havens if November's U.S. presidential election is postponed due to President Donald Trump testing positive for coronavirus. Trump debated with Democratic candidate Joe Biden for 90 minutes Tuesday "admittedly at a distance" but if Biden was to become infected, "Trump and others could well push for a delay" to the election, MUFG analyst Derek Halpenny says. The news also raises the risk of a closely contested election as some in the market may "no doubt see" it as "possibly benefitting" Trump, he says. The dollar index rises 0.1% to 93.8130, EUR/USD falls 0.2% to 1.1729 and GBP/USD drops 0.1% to 1.2870.

- The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index falls 1% in early trade to 358.97 after news that President Trump tested positive for coronavirus. Stocks could be set for further falls as a U.S. fiscal stimulus package looks unlikely until after the election, says Han Tan, market analyst at FXTM. "With the prospects of a pre-election breakthrough still up in the air, equities may unwind more of the gains accumulated since March if investors are resigned to the fact that the much-needed financial support for the U.S. economy may not arrive until after the November election," he says. "A growing sense of risk aversion could dominate market sentiment until there is further clarity about the president's health response to the coronavirus," he adds. Germany's Dax index falls 1%, France's CAC 40 is down 0.9% and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 loses 0.7%.

- Gold prices have jumped after President Trump said he has tested positive for Covid-19. New York futures have risen by about $25 dollars an ounce after Trump made the announcement on Twitter. Gold, which had fallen in Asian trading, is up 0.2% at $1,919.20 an ounce. Trump's quarantine means he will miss rallies in three swing states, including Florida, and many investors are now pricing in a higher likelihood of Joe Biden winning the race, Stephen Innes, global market strategist at Axi, says.

- The FTSE 100 index drops 1.1% to 5813.15 in early trade after news that U.S. President Donald Trump tested positive for coronavirus, leaving uncertainties surrounding the election and the passing of a U.S. fiscal stimulus package. "Markets have tanked on the news that President Trump has contracted the coronavirus, with less than five weeks left until the U.S. election," IG says. "We have seen risk-off dominate as stocks decline and assets flow into havens such as bonds, the dollar and yen." Miners are among the biggest fallers, with Glencore down 1.8% and Anglo American down 1.4%. Travel-related stocks also drop, with InterContinental Hotels losing 2.1%, and Rolls-Royce falling 3.3%.

- The failure in the U.S. to reach an agreement on fresh fiscal stimulus and reports that President Donald Trump has tested positive for Covid-19 warrant cautious on European credit Friday, says UniCredit. "The failure to reach bipartisan agreement on fresh fiscal stimulus in the U.S, together with reports that President Trump has tested positive for Covid-19 is driving equity futures lower this morning and creating an adverse input for European credit today," says the Italian bank. "While European corporate seniors should remain supported at current levels by the technical backdrop, high-yield debt and subordinated debt remains vulnerable."

- News that U.S. President Donald Trump has tested positive for coronavirus is likely to weigh on market sentiment and support the safe-haven dollar ahead of September's U.S. non-farm payrolls report due later on, Unicredit says. The dollar "may suffer" if the labor market data disappoint by showing slower net job creation in September after the ADP employment survey on Thursday "surprised on the strong side," Unicredit analysts say. Unicredit expects the data, due at 1230 GMT, to show non-farm payrolls rose 850,000 in September after a 1.37 million increase in August. The dollar index rises 0.1% to 93.7560.

- Commodity prices may fall further in the remainder of the trading week, following President Trump testing positive for Covid, which could raise uncertainty over the U.S. presidential election, CBA says. Base metals and oil are extending losses in afternoon Asian trade following the news. Meanwhile, the U.S. dollar may also react further once trading sessions in London and New York fully open, the bank says. It notes the dollar index has risen 0.1% while the U.S. stock futures plunged after Trump's test result.

- The FTSE 100 is expected to open 52 points lower after U.S. President Donald Trump said he and First Lady Melania Trump would quarantine themselves after they tested positive for coronavirus. "This put pressure on U.S. index futures and European indices are called lower," CMC Markets analyst David Madden says. There also "isn't much hope" that the Senate--where Republicans hold a majority--will sign off on the $2.2 trillion Democratic plan for fresh coronavirus relief that the House of Representatives approved Thursday, he says. Meanwhile, the U.S. non-farm payrolls report, to be published at 1230 GMT Friday, will be a key focus for investors. Weaker oil prices may also continue to weigh on energy stocks.

- Spot gold reverses early losses to edge higher in afternoon Asian trade, on strong safe-haven demand after President Trump says he has tested positive for the coronavirus. The initial reaction to Trump's infection is a shift to massive haven demand and provides more cause to cut all risk into the weekend, AxiCorp says. Spot gold is up 0.4% at $1,912/oz.

- Eurozone government bond yields drop across the board, tracking their U.S. peers, after President Trump said he tested positive for Covid-19. The 10-year Bund yield leads the drop among core and semicore bonds, trading 1.2 basis points lower at -0.546%, according to Tradeweb, indicating that investors take a cautious stance by buying into havens. Drops in 10-year bonds of eurozone core and semicore yields are of similar magnitude to that of German Bund yields. The 10-year U.S. Treasury yield last traded at 0.66%, down from the previous day's peak of 0.72%, according to Tradeweb.

- President Trump's positive test result for the coronavirus is a strong market negative and investors are likely to move quickly into defensive positioning, Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at Oanda says. Equities will fall along with energy, and gold will strengthen while the U.S. dollar and U.S. Treasurys will rally, he says. If Covid-19 has spread to the upper echelons of the U.S. government and the Republican leadership, there could be longer and more profound negative effect on markets, he says. U.S. stock futures are lower while oil prices are extending losses in Asian trade following Trump's tweet that announced his infection.

Oct 01 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- Oil prices were steady as renewed hopes for U.S. fiscal stimulus provided support but concerns over rising infections hampering fuel demand capped gains.
- Gold rose, as an easing dollar and signs of progress in talks for fresh U.S. stimulus measures bolstered the metal's appeal.
- Copper prices rose, as a softer dollar and renewed hopes for another U.S. stimulus boosted demand for the metal that is often used as a gauge of global economic health.
- Chicago soybean futures rose for a second session to trade near its highest since early March as strong demand from China tightened U.S. supplies.
- Raw sugar futures closed up on ICE on Wednesday as the front-month October contract expired and traders noted the largest delivery ever for the exchange at 2.62 million tonnes.
- Malaysian palm oil futures rose 2.3% on bargain buying and overnight rally in soy prices on the Chicago Board of Trade.

- The euro and sterling rise against a weaker safe-haven dollar after remarks by U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin raised hopes for a fresh coronavirus stimulus package. Mnuchin reportedly said on Wednesday that talks with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi about new fiscal stimulus measures made progress. His comments "helped risk sentiment and thus weakened the dollar against other G10 and EM currencies," Unicredit analysts say. The risk of a "messy handover in power" in the U.S. is also receiving attention after the first presidential debate Tuesday, they say. EUR/USD rises 0.3% to a nine-day high of 1.1759, according to Factset. GBP/USD gains 0.1% to 1.2930, after earlier reaching a 10-day high of 1.2951.

- The FTSE 100 is expected to open 29 points higher following strong gains in U.S. equities on hopes U.S. lawmakers will agree fresh fiscal stimulus measures. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin reportedly said on Wednesday that talks with the house speaker made progress on a coronavirus relief package. "The commentary from Mr. Mnuchin gave dealers hope that some sort of a compromise might be achieved," CMC Markets analyst David Madden says. Meanwhile, investors are waiting for the final U.K. manufacturing purchasing managers index survey for September at 0830 GMT. Economists in a WSJ survey expect the PMI to be unrevised at 54.3, down from 55.2 in August.

- The prospect of a long period of extremely low interest rates is more likely under President Trump than under a Biden administration, SkyBridge's Troy Gayeski tells WSJ. "What you'd see under a Biden victory and a Democratic sweep is a much more muscular fiscal stimulus, which would definitely benefit the real economy, raise inflation expectations" and drive "the back end of the yield curve higher," Gayeski says. On the other hand, a quicker Democratic fix would likely be followed by growth-curbing regulation down the road, whereas Trump's stance would delay the recovery but possibly bring on stronger activity in the future.

- SkyBridge's Troy Gayeski tells WSJ today's market rally is fueled by investors' growing hopes that fiscal stimulus may materialize before the election. Not that he is so sure himself. "There's a lot of ground to cover" as lawmakers negotiate a deal that could heavily influence the result of the presidential election as well as the Senate's. "Why would a red senator vote on federal help" that would "disproportionately help blue states," he said. Still, on a sign of the market's good mood, the yield on the 10-year Treasury rises to 0.69% from 0.64%, the widest jump since Sep 4.

- Despite gaping differences between Biden and Trump, whoever wins the election will have to face the fallout of Covid-19 and the economic recession right off the bat, Control Risks' Jonathan Wood tells WSJ. However, their approach will depend on how much control the winner exercises over Congress. Wood says current polls indicate only the Democratic Party has any chance of holding the presidency and both chambers of Congress. In the probable scenario of a divided government, "we will continue to see states take a lead in key areas such as privacy and environmental regulation."

- "The ground is set for a contested scenario," after last night's presidential debate, Control Risks' Jonathan Wood tells WSJ. He says corporations are bracing for "absolute social unrest both because there will be some reaction to some initial results on election night and the days following it," he says. Wood adds companies are also uncertain about policymaking going forward. "What does the outcome of this election hold for the business environment in terms of regulation and doing business in the US?" as the candidates push starkly different proposals for key themes such as environmental regulation.

- Corporations around the world fear that the US, historically considered one of the best places to do business, is entering a prolonged period of political turbulence that could change that, mostly after last night's edgy debate, Control Risks' Jonathan Wood tells WSJ. "Our outlook of a contested election is increasingly likely," with a probable tight result almost certainly to be contested both in courts and on potentially violent street demonstrations. "Both campaigns are going to challenge the results where possible and as much as possible," in a potential threat to business.

Jan 09 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- U.S. oil prices hit their highest since 2015 again as speculators bet on further price rises amid OPEC-led production cuts and a dip in American drilling activity, though some warned the rally could run out of steam.
- Gold prices inched down amid expectations for more U.S. interest rate hikes this year.
- London copper inched up in early trade as an advancing U.S. dollar lost steam, while Shanghai copper recovered from a drop in the previous session to trade marginally higher.
- Chicago wheat fell for a fourth consecutive session with prices pressured by improved weather conditions in the U.S. southern Plains although a lack of protective snow cover kept a floor under the market.
- The yen jumped after the Bank of Japan trimmed its buying of long-dated Japanese government bonds in market operations, helping to stoke speculation about a future exit from its massive stimulus policy.   
- As a result of tax reform, Visa is improving 401(k) benefits for its U.S.-based employees, according to a company spokeswoman. Visa will increase its 401(k) match beginning in February. Currently Visa contributes $2 for every $1 an employee contributes, up to 3% of base pay. Visa will raise that to 5% of base pay. The company is also "exploring other global employee benefits and investments...which [it] hope[s] to unveil in the near future," says a spokeswoman.
- Former lawmakers urged President Donald Trump to preserve Nafta, citing withdrawal from the trade agreement as the fastest way to undermine any tax benefits or regulatory relief farmers might otherwise see from his administration. As Mr. Trump addressed farmers at an annual meeting in Tennessee, former Senators Max Baucus (D., Mont.) and Richard Lugar (R., Ind.), now co-chairs of a non-profit organization advocating for free trade for farmers, warned that withdrawing from Nafta would be akin to levying a new tax on farmers. They cautioned that U.S. farmers would suffer retaliatory action if the U.S. imposes tariffs on its trading
partners and said American growers already are disadvantaged since Trump pulled the U.S. from a key Pacific trade agreement.
- President Trump used a speech to farmers to highlight benefits of the GOP's tax overhaul, tout his deregulatory agenda and sign executive orders aimed at improving broadband access across rural America. Addressing farmers at an annual convention of the American Farm Bureau Federation, Trump called the recently-passed tax cut "historic relief for farmers," saying family farms would be spared from a "deeply unfair estate tax," and told a welcoming crowd that he was "putting an end to the regulatory assault on your way of life." Signing two orders to expand internet connectivity in rural areas, he said: "You are going to have great, great broadband."
- United Natural Foods CFO Mike Zechmeister says the tax policy changes are impacting how it assesses returns on potential investments. The natural foods distributor saw a four percentage point difference in returns on a recent investment before and after the tax bill, for example. "The tax savings are real," Zechmeister tells investors gathered at the annual ICR Conference. "You could take a project that may be unattractive in the past or one you would have passed on, and it becomes a project you could go forward with."
- US auto industry stands to benefit from the recently passed tax legislation, which will likely boost earnings per share by an average of 5%-6%, Barclays estimates. The tax reforms are expected to cut nominal tax rates for most US auto manufacturers and parts suppliers, even though the reduction in actual taxes paid will be "slightly less impacted" due to widespread use of losses carried forward, Barclays says. Auto parts suppliers domiciled overseas for tax purposes, such as Adient, Aptiv and Delphi Technologies, won't gain much from lower US corporate tax rates, but also may face lower risk from another part of the tax legislation--a hike in levies targeting unremitted foreign earnings, it says.
- United Natural Foods, up more than 5% as its CFO outlines "significant" financial benefits from the tax bill. The Providence-based natural food distributor expects the taxes it pays overall to fall to around 28% in its 2019 fiscal year from 40% currently. CFO Mike Zechmeister tells investors gathered at the annual ICR Conference that the reduced corporate tax will result in around $17M in savings during its current fiscal year, and it will also benefit from a one-time boost on deferred liabilities. The company expects an aggregate rate reduction of as much as 17 percentage points this year, and 13 percentage points in 2019. "That is a meaningful increase to our free cash flow," Zechmeister says.
- Changes to the US tax code could help push Caterpillar's stock price to $200 by the end of the year, JPMorgan analyst Ann Duignan says. The recently passed federal tax law's provision allowing 100% depreciation on new and used equipment will likely prolong the replacement cycle in US construction, she says. That's in addition to a lower corporate tax rate that will boost free cash flow. "As a result of our analysis, we believe that the stock remains undervalued, despite the significant outperformance last year," she said in a note. Caterpillar stock was up about 70% in 2017. Caterpillar shares were up 2.6% to $166.13.
- USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue touted accomplishments of the Trump administration and his own agency ahead of a planned presidential address to farmers at an annual trade convention. Perdue listed what he sees as trade victories, including opening China to American beef and rice, for farmers worried about the fate of Nafta. Speaking at a meeting of the American Farm Bureau Federation, he said USDA has begun rolling back burdensome regulations, targeting 27 rules that will save $56M annually, and urged farmers to flag the "silliest, most onerous rules" they think should be ditched. As for farmers' tax burden, Perdue tells the crowd that thanks to Trump's recent tax overhaul, "Help is not only on the way. It's already here."
- The parent of Alaska Airlines, like Southwest Airlines, American Airline and JetBlue Airways before it, said it plans to award $1,000 bonuses later this month to 23,000 employees, in celebration of the new federal tax bill. The corporate tax-cut windfall will reduce the tax rate to 21% from 35%, effective this year, which should save millions in tax liabilities and allow airlines to invest more in planes, products and their employees, although some of the savings may also go toward share buybacks. Alaska Air shares are down 1% to $72.97.
- Former Navy acquisition chief and acting Navy secretary Sean Stackley joins L3 Technologies, complementing the deal-hungry defense company's M&A team and continuing the run of Obama-era Pentagon officials who've popped up on corporate boards and management teams. Former defense secretary Ash Carter joined the Delta Air Lines' board while his deputy, Bob Work, is now a Raytheon director. Ex-Air Force secretary Deborah Lee James is now on the Textron board while Leidos added former Pentagon acquisition chief Frank Kendall to its director roster, with his deputy Katharina McFarland joining Engility.
- Eli Lilly (LLY) CEO David Ricks said the U.S. tax overhaul will cause American companies to make investments based more on business factors than taxes. "On the next decision you face it really re-balances the calculus on where to build a plant or make hires," he tells the WSJ on sidelines of JP Morgan healthcare conference in San Francisco. He expects Lilly to have "more infrastructure" in the US within the next 7 years as a result of the overhaul. In September the drug maker announced plans to cut 8% of its work force including many jobs in its home state of Indiana. Ricks also sees the mix of Lilly acquisition targets shifting to more US companies than foreign firms. Though Lilly already had a lower tax rate than the former top US corporate rate due to operations abroad, he sees Lilly's total tax bill coming down.
- J.P. Morgan says the introduction of the U.S. tax reform has done very little to lift the market's downbeat view of potential U.S. growth," which is expected to be smaller compared with other countries or areas around the world. This explains why the U.S. dollar hasn't benefited much from either the introduction of the tax reform or from good economic data, it says. "The global economic activity surprise index is at a post-GFC high," J.P. Morgan says, highlighting eurozone, as well as German growth, which for the first time ever "outpaced the U.S. for four consecutive years." J.P. Morgan adds: "This lack of economic exceptionalism ... is turning out to be more of a drag on the currency."