Stocks Advance on Vaccine Optimism

23/11/2020 Asian stocks began the week with gains alongside European and U.S. equity futures as traders took solace from progress toward a vaccine and signs of a recovering global economy. The dollar is softer. Vaccinations against Covid-19 in the U.S. will “hopefully” start in less than three weeks, according to the head of the federal government’s program to accelerate a vaccine. Japan is shut for a holiday and Treasuries won’t trade until the London open.

South African Reserve Bank Deputy Governor Fundi Tshazibanato speak at Institute of International Finance Emerging Market Central Bank Summit. South Africa fell deeper into junk territory after Moody’s Investors Service and Fitch Ratings lowered the country’s credit ratings on Friday. The ratings cuts come after the coronavirus pandemic pummeled the government’s finances and pushed the economy into its longest recession in almost three decades. Finance Minister Tito Mboweni said on Saturday the downgrades will have immediate implications for borrowing costs and will constrain the fiscal framework.

• Tiger Brands Cuts 400 Jobs as CEO Strives to Reduce Costs.
• Africa’s Biggest Fund Manager Is Seeking New Business.
• Gold Jumps as Mnuchin Says Treasury, Fed Have Plenty of Capacity.
• South Africa’s Sale of Strategic Oil Stock Unlawful, Court Rules.
• Pepkor Holdings Names Wendy Luhabe Chairwoman.
• Sasol Shareholders Reject Company Remuneration Policy at AGM

EARNINGS:
• Naspers.
• Netcare.
• Pepkor, FY Net Loss 3.03B Rand, scraps Dividend

European stocks closed higher on Friday as investors looked past spiraling coronavirus cases and a U.S. Treasury decision to spike pandemic relief programs. The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed up by almost 0.5%, with oil and gas stocks climbing 1.5% to lead gains as almost all sectors and major bourses entered positive territory. FTSE + 0.27%, DAX 0.39%, CAC 0.39%.

In the US all three major averages finished Friday’s session lower, while the Dow and S&P 500 also posted a loss for the week, falling 0.73% and 0.77%, respectively, for their first negative week in three. The Nasdaq Composite managed to eke out a 0.22% gain for the week, marking its second straight week of gains. All eyes this week will be on Covid 19 cases as they continue to spike.

Here are some key events coming up:

Minutes of the most recent Federal Open Market Committee meeting are due Wednesday.
U.S. jobless claims, GDP and personal spending data come Wednesday.
U.K. expected on Wednesday to deliver the government’s spending plans for next year.
Thursday sees a policy decision and briefing from the Bank of Korea.
U.S. celebrates the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday.
The week ends with Black Friday, the traditional start of the U.S. holiday shopping season.
Stocks in Asia-Pacific rose in today’s trade as investors continue to watch for coronavirus developments. South Korea’s Kospi led gains among the region’s major markets as it gained 1.86%, with shares of industry heavyweight Samsung Electronics up more than 3%. Mainland Chinese stocks were higher by the afternoon: The Shanghai composite rose 0.86% while the Shenzhen component gained 0.456%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index trailed as it declined 0.18%. Elsewhere, the S&P/ASX 200 in Australia rose about 0.5%. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.63%. Japan is shut for a holiday.
Oil prices firmed on Friday, and posted their third consecutive weekly rise, buoyed by successful COVID-19 vaccine trials. But renewed lockdowns in several countries to limit the spread of the virus capped gains. Prices also found support from OPEC + who meet on the 30th of November. The group, is looking at options to delay by at least three months from January the tapering of their 7.7 million barrel per day (bpd) cuts by around 2 million bpd. Brent + 0.53% $ 45.25, WTI + 0.42% $ 42.60
Gold is a bit firmer this morning helped by a weaker Dollar and hopes of the stimulus package been back on the table, the metal is up 0.15% at $ 1874. Silver firmed 0.4% to $24.24 per ounce. Platinum fell 0.3% to $943.21, while palladium was up 0.1% at $2,329.01.