Here is what you need to know on Monday, February 15:
The market mood is upbeat amid optimism about upcoming US stimulus and upbeat vaccine developments, most evident in oil's ascent above $60. Bitcoin has retreated from near $50K while US and Chinese holidays cause thinner volume.
US Stimulus: The US Senate acquitted former President Donald Trump in his impeachment trial after failing to reach a two-thirds majority. The end of the proceedings clears the way for driving through a larger coronavirus relied on the package. President Joe Biden is working with moderate Democrats on a bill worth up to $1.9 trillion.
Vaccine: A large scale study in Israel has shown that Pfizer's vaccine causes a drop of 94% in symptomatic COVID-19 disease. The research compared 600,000 people that received two doses of the vaccine with a group of the same size that has not, and was controlled for various factors.
WTI Crude Oil has topped $60, joining Brent in surpassing this round number. Hopes for a rapid global recovery and output cuts enacted earlier in the year are pushing the black gold higher.
UK: Britain hit the milestone of jabbing 15 million people by February 15, reaching priority groups in most places. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is under growing pressure to ease restrictions ahead of his February 22 speech on the topic. GBP/USD reached a new 34-month high of 1.39.
Mario Draghi has become Prime Minister of Italy after receiving broad support from almost all political parties. His nomination boosted confidence in the eurozone's third-largest economy. EUR/USD is trading above 1.2 ahead of industrial output figures from the old continent.
Bitcoin is changing hands at around $47,000, down from the highs above $49,000, following reports that Morgan Stanley's investment arm is exploring betting on the granddaddy of cryptocurrencies. Tesla's founder Elon Musk continued touting Dogecoin.
Japan's economy grew by 3% in the fourth quarter of 2020, beating expectations and placing the world's third-largest economy on a better footing. It is unclear if the Olympic Games will go ahead in Tokyo in July. USD/JPY is hovering around 105.
New Zealand placed Auckland in a three-day lockdown and the rest of the country under restrictions after a family of three tested positive for covid. NZD/USD is shrugging off the news and edging higher.
US stocks markets are closed on Monday for Presidents' Day, while China and several other Asian countries extend their New Year holidays.
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