Thursday 22nd October 2020

US

  • In the US, the stock indices were down across the board, with stocks such as Facebook, Tesla and Amazon underperforming on the open on Wednesday. By the close of business, the Dow Jones industrial average and Nasdaq were down 0.35% and 0.28%, respectively.
  • A top US intelligence official warned that Iran and Russia are attempting to interfere with the presidential election, with Iran already spreading false information to American voters.
  • Purdue Pharma LP will plead guilty to three felonies and pay $8.3 billion to settle federal probes of how it marketed OxyContin, the highly addictive painkiller blamed for helping spark the US opioid epidemic.
  • News late yesterday about the death of a volunteer in AstraZeneca Plc’s vaccine trial in Brazil sent the pharma giant’s US-listed shares lower, before people familiar with the matter said that the deceased man had not received a Covid-19 trial vaccine.
  • US President Donald Trump and his predecessor, Barack Obama, have directed blistering attacks at each other during rival rallies. Campaigning for Democratic White House nominee Joe Biden in Pennsylvania, Barack Obama likened Donald Trump to a “crazy uncle” and said he emboldened racists.
  • PayPal has entered the cryptocurrency market, announcing that its customers will be able to buy and sell Bitcoin and other virtual currencies using their PayPal accounts.

Europe

  • The FTSE100 struggled on Wednesday, losing 1.91% over the course of the day’s trading. In Germany, the cases of COVID-19 jumped to record levels and the DAX responded, falling 1.41%. France suffered particularly in the food, drug and utilities sectors which meant the CAC lost 1.53% on the day.
  • The UK and the European Union will resume talks over a post-Brexit trade deal, less than a week after Boris Johnson suspended the discussions, amid growing signs an accord is in sight.
  • Spain has recorded more than one million coronavirus cases, becoming the first western European country to pass that landmark figure. On Wednesday the country reported 16,973 infections and 156 deaths in the previous 24 hours.
  • Unilever PLC said Thursday that third-quarter underlying sales rose thanks to growth in hand and home hygiene products, as well as in food consumed at home. Unilever said quarterly underlying sales rose 4.4% year-on-year.
  • Rentokil Initial PLC said Thursday that it benefited from revenue growth in the third quarter, boosted by a strong performance at its hygiene business and a return to pest-control growth.

Asia

  • Markets in Asia are mixed this morning, with the Hang Seng up 0.17%. Other major indices such as the Nikkei 225 and the ASX200 lost 0.7% and 0.29%, respectively. The MSCI Asia Pacific is up this morning; 0.85%.
  • The US has approved arms sales to Taiwan worth around $1.8bn (£1.4bn), in a move that is likely to increase tensions with China. The Pentagon said the deal comprised three weapons systems including rocket launchers, sensors and artillery.
  • Thai democracy activists are increasingly adopting tactics used by their counterparts in Hong Kong, as they defy a ban on gatherings after months of mounting protests targeting the prime minister and king.
  • South Korean authorities have sought to reassure people as the number who have died after being vaccinated against seasonal influenza rose to 13. The doctor leading an inquiry into the deaths has said he does not believe the vaccine and fatalities are connected.
  • Asia Pacific is set to recover from its worst recession in living memory, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) says. Growth forecasts for the region have been downgraded again, this time from -1.6% to -2.2% for this year.

Bonds

  • 10yr and 30yr US treasuries are currently trading at 0.81% and 1.62% respectively.
  • 10yr UK gilts trade with a yield of 0.25%.
  • German 10yr bund yields trade at -0.59%.
  • 10yr Italian and Spanish bond yields trade at 0.078% and 0.20%, respectively.

Commodities

  • The WTI crude oil price is $39.95
  • Brent crude is $41.69
  • The gold price is $1,917.17
  • The silver price is $24.94
  • The COMEX copper price is $3.183

Currency

– One pound buys:

  • 1.31 USD
  • 1.11 EUR

– One dollar buys:

  • 104.54 JPY