1. U.S. Futures Pare Losses; Treasury Yields Rise

U.S. futures pared losses and Treasury yields rose for the first time in three days after a report showed the labor market improved in October. Contracts on the S&P 500 had retreated after the underlying index climbed almost 2% Thursday, heading for its best week since April. Futures on the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100, which is up over 9% this week, also dropped. The global equity rally had stalled as investors unwound some of this week’s surge as the presidential election count continued. Technology and travel stocks were among decliners in the Stoxx Europe 600 Index.

Futures on the S&P 500 Index declined 0.2% early morning New York Time, the first retreat in a week.

Nasdaq 100 Index futures fell 0.6%, the first retreat in a week.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index dipped 0.2%, the first retreat in more than a week.

2. Joe Biden gets closer to a U.S. Presidency bid as more votes are being counted

Joe Biden stood on the threshold of the U.S. presidency in the early hours of Friday, seizing a slim lead over President Donald Trump in Georgia and drawing closer to overtaking him in Pennsylvania. Those victories would secure the 270 electoral votes needed to lay claim to the White House. Biden had already begun to project the image of a man preparing to assume the mantle of office, meeting on Thursday with his economic and health advisers to be briefed on the coronavirus pandemic.

3. US economy adds 638,000 jobs in October as recovery slows

As the world awaits a winner to emerge from the United States presidential election, a snapshot of the country’s labour market on Friday showed just what a daunting economic recovery task awaits either President Donald Trump or his Democratic rival Joe Biden. The US economy added 638,000 jobs in October, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday – 34,000 fewer than September’s revised number – while the unemployment rate ticked down to 6.9%. Notable gains were made in leisure and hospitality, professional businesses services retail trade and construction. A little over 1.2 crore of the 2.2 crore jobs lost in March and April as lockdowns swept the nation have been recovered.

4. Trump’s Vote Count Lawsuits Fail in Court

The flood of lawsuits unleashed by President Donald Trump over vote counts in the swing states struggled to gain traction on Thursday, with two cases thrown out and other rulings in his favor failing to alter the race’s trajectory toward Joe Biden. A Michigan judge rejected the campaign’s request to halt the count of mail-in ballots, ruling the claims were pointless because the tally was almost over in a state where Biden has already been declared the winner. In Georgia, a judge dismissed another suit, saying there was no evidence to back the Trump campaign’s claims. A federal judge denied within hours its emergency request to halt the ballot count in Pennsylvania.

5. Huawei Launches Legal Appeal Against Sweden’s ‘Draconic’ 5G Ban

Huawei is launching a legal challenge against Sweden’s decision to exclude it from 5G spectrum and says the move will create a monopoly for Ericsson. The Chinese company has filed an appeal with an administrative court in Stockholm, arguing that the “draconic measure” violates European Union and national laws by effectively barring it from the Swedish market. The Swedish Post and Telecom Authority last month ruled that operators participating in the country’s upcoming 5G spectrum auction can’t use equipment from Huawei or its much smaller rival ZTE Corp.

6. Sudan’s $140 Million Port to ship Camels to China

A Chinese-built port for shipping livestock from Sudan’s Red Sea coast will be completed by year-end, the latest African component of Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative. Constructed by China Harbour Engineering Co. and located in Haidob, 60 kilometers south of Port Sudan, the facility is being primed to help transport cattle, camels and sheep for mainly Asian markets. Livestock exports are a potential growth area for economically ravaged Sudan, which has invested a total of $142 million (INR 1500 cr) in the port. China Harbour, which worked for three years on the project before suspending in 2017, has since renewed its agreement with Sudan’s transitional government. 

7. Denmark Covid-19 Virus Mutation Leads to New Restrictions

A new Covid-19 mutation that started in Denmark’s mink population has spread beyond the region in which it was first discovered to the eastern part of the country. Health officials made the announcement as a lockdown was imposed on much of Denmark’s western peninsula of Jutland, home to most of the country’s mink production. Denmark is now in talks with the World Health Organization amid concerns the mutant strain found in the animals may derail efforts to develop a vaccine against Covid-19. The mutation affects the spike protein, which could make it particularly hard to fight. Denmark is now taking the drastic step of culling its entire mink population — up to 1.7 crore animals — in order to halt the outbreak.

8. Goldman Moving $60 Billion of Assets to Germany after Brexit

Goldman Sachs is shifting as much as $60 billion (INR 4.5 lakh cr) of assets from the U.K. to Frankfurt, the latest sign that banks are beefing up their European Union operations ahead of Brexit. The Wall Street bank plans to move between its assets to its German subsidiary by the end of the year. With fewer than 40 working days until the U.K.’s transition period expires, international banks are accelerating plans to beef up in Europe to handle the increase in client activity from Jan 1. Even if U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson secures a EU trade deal, finance houses with London headquarters will lose their passporting rights. JPMorgan Chase & Co. is also moving $230 billion to Frankfurt.

9. StanChart Unveils Permanent Move to Flexible Working From 2021

Standard Chartered plans to offer flexible work options to more than 90% of its 85,000 staff over three years, a sign of how pandemic crisis management is leading to long-term change in the role of the office. The bank said about half its staff will be able to apply for some form of hybrid work from early 2021. Standard Chartered expects the program to apply to about 75,000 workers in 55 markets by 2023. The London-based company is also in talks with a third-party firm to provide “near-home” workspaces for staff. Standard Chartered has said it’s looking at office leases carefully in an environment where lenders are under pressure to control costs, even before Covid-19’s disruption to the world economy.

10. Trump administration advances $2.9 billion drone sale to UAE

The U.S. State Department gave Congress notification it plans to sell 18 sophisticated armed MQ-9B aerial drones to the United Arab Emirates in a deal worth as much as $2.9 billion (INR 21,500 cr). The move comes on the heels of last week’s notification of a potential sale of F-35 fighter jets to the middle-eastern country. This would mark the first armed drone export since the Trump administration reinterpreted a Cold War-era arms agreement between 34 nations to allow U.S. defence contractors to sell more drones to allies.

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