US Legislators Reach Deal On $900bn Stimulus Package

21/12/2020 On Friday global stocks took a tumble as market participants waited for news on Brexit deal and direction on the US stimulus package. Wall Street closed in the red, but all major three indices hit record highs during the week. More than 16 million Britons are now required to stay at home as a full lockdown came into force in London. Beijing threatened to impose countermeasures after Washington blacklisted more than 60 Chinese companies. In Asia this morning: markets in Japan, Hong Kong and Australia are unease over a new coronavirus strain that was shutting much of the United Kingdom. Oil prices slipped on Monday as a fast-spreading new coronavirus strain raised concerns that tighter restrictions in Europe and elsewhere could stall a recovery in the global economy and its need for fuel.

On Friday the JSE closed down 1.25 to 59,788 and the Top-40 shed 1.43%, tracking global counterparts. Volumes that went through the exchange were quite decent given the rebalancing (±R42.8bn) following the close-out on Thursday. The rand had the best week, gaining 1.82% against the greenback as the positive mood in global markets gave emerging-market currencies a boost.
• GERMANY MULLS BAN FOR FLIGHTS FROM UK, S.AFRICA ON VIRUS
• USD/ZAR RISES AS MUCH AS 1% TO 14.6814, MOST SINCE DEC. 11
• POUND EXTENDS DROP, FALLS 1% TO $1.3384 ON BREXIT, LOCKDOWN
• SOUTH32 COMMENTS ON SOUTH AFRICA ENERGY COAL DIVESTMENT
• SASOL – DIVESTMENT OF FULL STAKE IN CENTRAL TERMICA DE RESSANO

EU/UK/US
Markets in Europe closed in the red on Friday amid the slow progress regarding the Brexit deal. Shares had advanced this week to the highest level since February on continued optimism that Covid-19 vaccinations will kickstart the global economy. Stoxx Europe 600 index was down 0.35%, Germany’s Dax gave up 0.27% and London’s FTSE saw the session out 0.33% weaker. Post-Brexit trade talks are due to today after the European Union’s chief negotiator said they had reached a “crucial moment”.

U.S. Democratic/Republican leaders reached $900 billion coronavirus relief deal on Sunday that includes stimulus checks. The relief bill gives $600 in direct payments to individuals and boosts unemployment payments by $300 a week. On Monday U.S futures are mixed:- Dow futures marginally up 0.06%, the S&P500 futures down 0.11%, while the Nasdaq’s are up 0.36%.

ASIA
Markets started out the week in Asia on sour note as worsening coronavirus outbreaks overshadowed news that U.S. lawmakers finally have a deal. Markets fell in Japan, Hong Kong and Sydney but rose in Shanghai. Tokyo’s Nikkei lost 0.30%, while in Hong Kong the Hang Seng declined 0.13%. The Shanghai Composite index gained 0.60%.