Futures in New York climbed 1.4% after closing at an eight-month high. Overnight, we witnessed the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.4% to close above 30,000 for the first time, while the S&P 500 gained 1.6%, to close at 3,635.41, also a record high with Nasdaq Composite adding 1.3%. Positive vaccine news as well as the formal start of President-elect Joe Biden’s transition to power — including the selection of Janet Yellen as Treasury secretary — have fueled optimism about the outlook. At the same time, restrictions to curb surging coronavirus infections threaten to impede the global economic recovery. Next up comes a slew of U.S. economic indicators, from jobless claims to readings on consumer confidence and personal income. Minutes of the most recent Federal Open Market Committee meeting are also due.
Although the European stock market has opened mostly higher on Wednesday, obviously taking the lead from the record-breaking session seen on Wall Street, that has not stopped the latest European PMI data pointing to a double-dip recession in and around Europe which could easily be traced to the recent government-mandated restrictions. The DAX futures contract in Germany did trade 0.3% lower, but the CAC 40 futures in France climbed 0.2% and the FTSE 100 futures contract in the U.K. rose 0.3%. Some governments have started scaling back these lockdowns ahead of the important Christmas shopping period, but German Chancellor Angela Merkel is set to propose a further tightening of the country’s coronavirus restrictions until at least Dec. 20.
Oil prices have continued to push higher Wednesday, despite data pointing to a build in U.S. crude supplies, as traders look to future increases in demand on the back of expectations of a prompt rollout of Covid-19 vaccines. Oil rose toward $46 a barrel as vaccine breakthroughs and expectations OPEC+ will delay ramping up production spurred by demand optimism that has seen most analysts and investors alike come out with rosy price forecasts for next year. Oil’s value has increased by more than a quarter this month amid positive results for three Covid-19 vaccines, reclaiming heights not seen since the pandemic devastated global demand in March/April. The rally has materialized even as a resurgent virus prompted more lockdown measures in Europe and the U.S.
Th big news in SSA, came from the new issuance by IVYCST, as it seems investors did and have overlooked Ivory Coast’s political upheaval to chase higher yields. The world’s leading cocoa producer issued a euro-denominated bonds for the first time this year, with price guidance for the 1 billion euro ($1.19 billion), 12-year deal set at around 5.25%, down from an initial target of 5.5%. That compares with the 5.875% the country paid when it sold 850 million euros of similar maturity in October last year. Ivory Coast’s return to the international market is the first by a sub-Saharan African country since February (last issuance from SSA was from GHANA) before the coronavirus was declared a pandemic. A look at the price guidance for the Ivorian deal does reflect the dearth of supply of new high-yielding sovereign debt in the SSA space.