S&P 500 futures ticked higher after the benchmark closed at an all-time high gaining 0.3% on Thursday, boosted by positive vaccine news and seeming progress on U.S. stimulus talks. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq Composite also rose 0.35% & 0.5% respectively. U.S policy makers have continued to negotiate over additional stimulus to help offset the economic impact of the pandemic while pursuing a stopgap government funding bill. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin presented a new $916 billion Covid-19 relief proposal to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who hailed progress in the negotiations though deemed parts of the plan as “unacceptable.” It is worth noting that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration meets to discuss the vaccine made by Pfizer/BioNTech on Thursday. If the FDA authorizes emergency use, Health & Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said vaccine distribution could begin within 24 hours.
The European stock markets are seen to be opening higher Wednesday, buoyed by the signs of progress in Brexit talks and its continued confidence in the covid-19 vaccine rollout which began on Tuesday in the U.K ahead of this week’s ECB meeting. We do expect some focus on the development over the progress with the Brexit talks given the success reached on an agreement with the Northern Ireland protocols which has for long being a key critical issue.
The DAX futures contract in Germany traded 0.2% higher, CAC 40 futures in France climbed 0.5% and the FTSE 100 futures contract in the U.K. rose 0.4%. We do expect more monetary support likely this week with the ECB holding its latest policy-setting meeting on Thursday which they are expected to increase and extend its pandemic bond-buying program. More news may come on the recovery fund before the EU leaders meet as Poland and Hungary continue to maintain their stance on the rule of law although comments made by Orban make it look like a deal may be within reach which suggest there might be room for some sort of compromise.
U.S. crude futures traded 0.2% higher at $45.69/bbl, while the international benchmark Brent contract rose 0.1% to $48.89/bbl. These benchmarks remain well above the $40 level, having posted five consecutive weeks. The U.S. crude oil supplies rose by 1.14m/bbl for the week ending Dec. 4, rather than the 1.51m/bbl draw expected which would automatically put the focus now on the supply data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, due later Wednesday.
The Zambian government has formally requested a financing arrangement with the IMF to support its reform efforts. A high-level discussion is expected to take place with the IMF African Department Director Abebe Aemro Selassie and mission chief for Zambia, Alex Segura-Ubiergo set to visit the country between Dec 7th -9th. Discussions between the IMF and Zambia will not be the first to take place this year as they have been numerous back and forts leading to the country’s sovereign default this year.
Ghana seeks to raise a combination of Eurobonds, diaspora bonds, green/social bonds and syndicated term loans worth $5bn from the capital market in 2021 in a statement made by the Ministry of Finance on its website. The proceeds from a possible issue is planned to be used for budget, liability management including refinancing of domestic debt and a buyback of some selected outstanding Eurobonds.