Financial markets were choppy on Wednesday amid news of the US fiscal stimulus package and the COVID-19 vaccine. The DOLLAR index.DXY briefly rose 40 points to a new session high of 91.17. Spot gold plunged more than $30 from its peak to below $1,840 an ounce. U.S. stocks retreated from record highs and turned from gains to losses. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Democrats on Tuesday “abandoned” the Republican coronaveaid proposal and continued to flip-flop on the aid package. In the case of the COVID-19 vaccine, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said four phase III volunteers who received Pfizer’s vaccine developed Bell’s palsy. Meanwhile, two NHS health workers in the UK are recovering after developing anaphylaxis – like symptoms following a vaccination on The 8th. The Medicines and Health Watchdog has now issued guidance to the NHS saying that anyone with a history of “severe” allergies to drugs, food or vaccines should not be vaccinated.
A spokesman for the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress on the US sanctions
In response to the US State Department’s announcement of sanctions against the vice chairman of The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, a spokesman for the standing Committee of the National People’s Congress said in a statement that the US ‘gross interference in China’s internal affairs under the pretext of Hong Kong affairs was despicable and was a typical example of political bullying and double standards, according to the state-run CCTV website on Wednesday.
“The US grossly interferes in China’s internal affairs under the pretext of Hong Kong affairs is despicable,” said a spokesman for the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress. “It is a typical case of political bullying and double standards. We strongly condemn it and firmly oppose it.”
“Hong Kong is China’s Hong Kong and Hong Kong affairs are China’s internal affairs,” the spokesman said. The Constitution of the People’s Republic of China and the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region together constitute the constitutional basis of the Region. The National People’s Congress authorizes the HKSAR to practise ‘one country, two systems’,’ Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong ‘and a high degree of autonomy in accordance with the Basic Law.”
‘Relevant Chinese authorities will impose reciprocal sanctions on relevant U.S. personnel who put forward and promote the Agenda related to Hong Kong, interfere in Hong Kong affairs and undermine China’s sovereign security,’ the spokesman said.
The US Treasury Department on December 7 announced sanctions against 14 Chinese officials for their involvement in the disqualification of four Hong Kong pro-democracy legislators. All 14 are vice-chairmen of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress. The U.S. sanctions would bar them and their families from entering the U.S.
The dollar rose sharply as gold plunged from its highs in the wake of the fiscal stimulus package’s twists and turns and new vaccine news
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Democrats on Tuesday “abandoned” the Republican coronaveaid proposal and continued to flip-flop on the aid package. He said Democrats had “poured cold water” on his proposal to shelve state aid and liability protection in the aid bill, and rejected a $916 billion proposal from U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. McConnell said there are many helpful policies that both sides agree on, but that Democrats will not be able to do anything unless they are sure they really want to enact a bill.
McConnell has previously said he wants Congress to pass a coronavirus relief bill that does not grant exemptions to corporate laws or state and local government aid. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer said McConnell’s proposal to move forward with stimulus talks without aid from state and local governments is disingenuous.
Meanwhile, investors remain focused on the COVID-19 news and hope it will accelerate the economic recovery process.
On Tuesday, Britain became the first Western country to begin mass vaccinations, with Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson making further progress in trials and regulatory approvals, respectively.
But there is some disturbing new news about vaccines. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says four phase III volunteers who received Pfizer’s vaccine developed Bell’s palsy, or facial paralysis, but there is no clear evidence linking the vaccine to an uncomfortable medical condition.
In the US trial of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, four of 21,720 people who received Pfizer’s vaccine were found to have the condition, compared with none of the 21,728 people who received the placebo.
In response, the FDA said in its report that four cases in the vaccine group did not occur more frequently than the overall expected number. The report concluded that all the people with facial paralysis happened to be in the vaccine group, and that the same number of people were at risk of developing the disease regardless of the vaccine. The agency also said there was no clear evidence linking the vaccine to an uncomfortable medical condition. Still, federal regulators recommended “monitoring bell’s paralysis cases and deploying the vaccine in a larger population.”
Two NHS health workers in the UK are recovering after developing symptoms similar to anaphylaxis following an inoculation on August 8, according to Sputnik News and Sky News.
The Medicines and Health Watchdog has issued guidance to the NHS that anyone with a “severe” allergy to drugs, food or vaccines should not be vaccinated and from Tomorrow all prospective patients will be asked if they have a history of allergies. The first COVID-19 vaccine will be available in hospitals for the elderly, those aged over 80 and staff in nursing homes.
The news sent the DOLLAR index up 40 points in intraday trading to a new session high of 91.17.
Major stock indexes pared gains after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told Politico that Republicans and Democrats were still seeking further financial assistance. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Tuesday presented a $916 billion economic stimulus package to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Adam Crisafulli of Vital Knowledge said: “The US fiscal stimulus process has become a bit more intense, but Congress still has 1.5 weeks to try to reach a compromise. The budget deadline is going to be pushed to December 18th.”
However, analysts say the outlook for U.S. stocks in December remains positive.
Bank of America chief technical analyst Stephen Suttmeier recently looked at nearly 100 years of market data and found that December was a good month to buy U.S. stocks because it was the biggest month on average for stocks.
Specifically, in the 93 years since 1928, the S&P 500 has risen 74% of the time in December, with an average gain of 1.3% and a median gain of 1.5%.
Although the S&P rose 1.8 percent through December 8, bank of America’s historical data suggests that the closer the year gets to the end of the year, the stronger the market is likely to be. Over that time period, the S&P 500 has a roughly 59 percent chance of rising over the first 10 days of December, with an average gain of just 0.01 percent. In the last 10 days, the probability of a rise reached 72%, with an average increase of 1.2%. Among them, “seasonal bullish” between Christmas and New Year’s day is the most obvious.