Dollar Down on Vaccine News; France, UK to Relax Lockdowns

Dollar Down on Vaccine News; France, UK to Relax Lockdowns

The dollar slid and risk assets were up around the globe amid positive news on the development of COVID-19 vaccines. The good news boosted investors’ optimism.

AstraZeneca said its drug was developed with the University of Oxford. Furthermore, the company said it had proved up to 90% effective in a large-scale trial.

It should now immediately prepare the regulatory submission of the data. The data will be forwarded globally to authorities with a framework for conditional or early approval.

France, U.K. to Relax Lockdowns, PMIs Fall

For the first time in five months, the eurozone’s economy contracted in November under the pressure of lockdown restrictions.

Notably, preliminary purchasing managers indices from IHSMarkit presented a broadly weak picture. The composite Eurozone PMI fell to 46.1 from 50.0 in October. Moreover, French manufacturing and German services both fell by more than expected.

In other economic news, France announced it would reopen non-essential stores ahead of Christmas. This will be in response to a sharp drop in new infections of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Later Monday, the U.K. is likewise preparing to announce that some lockdown measures will be relaxed as of December 1.

Oil Rises amid Yemeni Rebels Claiming Saudi Strike

Crude oil prices reached their highest level since August overnight. This followed reports of a military strike by Yemeni Houthi rebels against a Saudi Arabian oil storage and distribution center.

Saudi Aramco, the facility’s owner, has not confirmed any attack. This is an echo of a more serious attack on its facilities in 2019.

At the same time, news that Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had met with Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu. It was the first known meeting between Saudi and Israeli heads of government.

U.S. crude futures climbed 0.4% at $42.82 a barrel by 0618 AM ET. Brent crude futures rose 0.5% at $45.59 a barrel

Stock Markets Set to Open Higher

Stocks in the United States are set to open higher amid the prospect of an end to uncertainty over the election. Moreover, the dynamic, good news on the coronavirus vaccine front.

Dow 30 futures gained 200 points, or 0.7% by 06.18 AM ET (1118 GMT). S&P 500 futures were up 0.6% while Nasdaq futures were up 0.3%.

Likely to be in focus next include casino stocks. Governor Steve Sisolak of Nevada has cut the maximum capacity utilization at casinos in the state to 25% from 50%. This was in an attempt to slow the spread of the pandemic.

In focus, as well, could be cruise lines. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) raised its warnings against cruises to the highest on its scale.

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