Here is what you need to know on Tuesday, December 15:
The dollar is stable after gaining late on Monday amid a minor drop in markets. Investors still await a US fiscal deal after Joe Biden was formally nominated President while intense Brexit talks continue. Lockdowns and vaccine developments are eyed.
US fiscal stimulus: US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel said it is time to find consensus on COVID-19 relief He has so far been reluctant to move. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that the remaining issues could be resolved quickly. The optimism helped gold come off the lows. The Electoral College formalized President-elect Joe Biden's victory in a smooth process.
Brexit: Intense deliberations continue in Brussels with cautious optimism expressed from both sides. Chief EU Negotiator Michel Barnier reportedly told envoys that there is a "narrow path" to reach a deal. The transition period expires in 16 days and GBP/USD is trading off the highs seen on Monday.
London enters Tier 3 lockdown restrictions amid growing infections and concerns about a new, more contagious strain of coronavirus. According to Health Secretary Matt Hancock, there is no evidence that this variant is more deadly or vaccine-resistant. UK jobs figures are set to show an increase in unemployment:
Europe locking down: Germany enters a hard holiday shuttering on Wednesday and neighbors Czechia and the Netherlands are also tightening their screws while Italy is also considering measures to curb the spread of the disease.
AUD/USD has been standing out with a drop, following reports that China would ban Australian coal. The Reserve Bank of Australia's meeting minutes showed that the RBA has an open door to more bond-buying in 2021.
Chinese Retail Sales and Industrial Production accelerated their gains in November, showing resilience on the global scene. It is set to be the sole major economy to grow in 2020.
Investors await the Federal Reserve's final rate decision of the year, with chances of imminent new stimulus low despite weak jobs figures. US industrial output and the Empire State Manufacturing Index are on the docket on Tuesday.
Oil prices remain elevated despite a ramp-up in Libyan production with WTI holding above $46. Cryptocurrencies have stabilized with Bitcoin consolidating above $19,000.
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