This week is relatively light regarding data coming out from countries. However, investors and traders will be focusing on one essential item – clarification on the Pfizer vaccine's efficacy and timeline. Anthony Fauci stated that the Pfizer vaccine has an "extraordinarily high degree of efficacy – more than 90%, close to 95%" and that the U.S. may begin offering the vaccine to priority groups at the end of December. This hope of a vaccine before year-end boosted risk on sentiment last week. But further clarification of the vaccine's timeline may solidify its move upwards, not to mention an additional step back to normalcy in the world.
Let's hope that the vaccine comes sooner rather than later, so we can focus on rebuilding the economy instead of listing deaths like a statistic. Here is your week ahead.
As we put the U.S. election behind us, traders and investors' focus starts turning to the U.S. economy's health. Dubbed as the backbone of the economy, the United States consumer helped lift the economy pre-Coronavirus, helping support equities with higher valuations. The balance between households who were able to save their incomes due to lockdown and the households who could not keep their jobs became the critical question of whether the consumer will become the backbone of the United States recovery. However, with stimulus checks slowly drying up, alongside the Coronavirus worsening in the United States, analysts predict U.S. retail sales growth to slow around 0.5%.
After beating a brutal second wave, Australia is on its way to a long and grueling recovery. Further supporting the recovery is the RBA cutting its interest rate from 0.25% to 0.1%. Analysts will be focusing on Governor Philip Lowe and his explanation on implementing lower rates and whether it will translate to lower retail rates. This contrasts with how New Zealand's implementation of lower rates in which they released a new tool to enable banks to lend at rates near the interest rates. AMP Capital Chief Economist Shane Oliver stated that he expects Governor Lowe to reiterate the Australian Economic Recovery as "bumpy and uneven" and that the bank stands ready to do more.
There seems to be some relief with the Coronavirus situation in the United Kingdom, as the death toll is slowing. However, deaths were at around 170 in the previous couple of days, showing that the Coronavirus grapples with the struggling country. The Bank of England recently held interest rates at 0.1%. However, they decided to expand its target stock of asset purchases to around $1.2 Trillion U.S. Dollars. Vivek Paul, U.K Chief Investment Strategist at BlackRock Investment Institute\, stated that "For an economy with the headwinds of rising Covid rates, a national lockdown. And a still-uncertain outlook on Brexit, a strong monetary and fiscal policy response is essential."
Canada continues to rack up Coronavirus cases with no end in sight. Canada recorded around 5,500 new cases, an all-time high, with Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada's top doctor stating that Canada is on track for 10,000 daily Coronavirus cases if Canada is unable to rein-in the Coronavirus resurgence in the coming weeks. Dr. Tam states "Fires are burning in so many different areas and now is the time to get those under control." The Senior Deputy Governor of the Bank of Canada, Carolyn Wilkins, stated that the Coronavirus's economic "scars" could be permanent without a concerted effort from all Canadians. Canada is also set to release CPI figures year over year for October the day after, with a market consensus of a slight decrease in the growth of the CPI to 0.9%.
As Australia slowly opens up their businesses alongside Australia and New Zealand borders, businesses in Australia slowly grapple with a decrease in foot traffic alongside compliance with certain Coronavirus restrictions. With women primarily bearing the brunt of job losses in the early part of Australia's recession, Shadow Minister for Future Work, Clare O'Neil stating that "a tsunami is coming for workers in predominantly male industries" Australia is set to see a 30,000 decline in employment, alongside an increase in the unemployment rate to 7.2% from 6.9% last month.
China has been reluctant to implement significant monetary policy changes this past year, even during the Coronavirus pandemic, opting for quantitative easing and stimulus instead. As China is relatively ahead of its recovery compared to other countries, it is seen as the first to likely exit its emergency programs, potentially increasing the offshore Yuan. However, if there were a perfect time to cut rates, it would be now as China would be better positioned to take advantage of lower rates, propelling China's recovery. My theory is that the PBoC surprisingly cuts rates this week ahead.
Eyes on the vaccine this week ahead. Stay safe and Trade safe.