Forex Today: Dollar gains ground as lockdown concerns dampen mood, Brexit, jobless claims eyed

Here is what you need to know on Thursday, November 19:

The market mood is mixed as rising US coronavirus figures counter hopes for a quick via a vaccine. Brexit talks have yet to yield a breakthrough and the Australian dollar falls to rise on upbeat labor figures. US jobless claims and another speech by the ECB's Lagarde are eyed.

US coronavirus deaths have hit the grim milestone of 250,000 and hospitalizations have hit a new high above 79,000. While there are some tentative signs of flattening of the case curve, additional states are imposing restrictions. New York's schools will close in the most high-profile development. 

In the old continent, German coronavirus infections and deaths remain elevated but France is beginning to bend the case curve. Japan is also suffering an increase in cases. 

Pfizer and BioNTech reported efficacy of 95% in their updated vaccine candidate figures, ahead of asking for emergency use authorization. The latest report also shows immunization is sustained in high-risk patients. Further information from Moderna and other companies is awaited. 

AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford reported significant immune response among adults in its Phase 2 trial and said that Phase 3 figures are likely within several weeks.

Brexit: London and Brussels have yet to reach an agreement on future relations ahead of an EU leaders' videoconference later in the day. Apart from talks with the UK, the 27 leaders in the bloc will try to unleash a long-term budget, after objections from Poland and Hungary over rule-of-law clauses.

Britain and Canada are nearing a free trade agreement, according to Bloomberg. The pound has been on the back foot after rising on Wednesday. An official update on negotiations is due early on Friday. 

Australia reported a leap of 178,800 jobs in October and an unemployment rate of 7%. While both figures beat estimates, AUD/USD eventually retreated from the highs. 

US Unemployment Claims are set to remain around 700,000, indicating stabilization after a gradual decline. Existing Home Sales and the Philly Fed Manufacturing Index are also eyed.

See US Initial Jobless Claims Preview: Watching for bad news

Bitcoin has dropped below the $18,000 mark after surging above that level on Wednesday. High volatility continues in cryptocurrencies. 

Oil prices are stable around $41 amid reports that the United Arab Emirates could leave OPEC amid a rift with Saudi Arabia. 

More What you need to know about the dollar in the post-vaccine announcement world


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