1. Futures Edge Lower as Earnings Roll In; Bonds Gain
U.S. futures drifted lower with European stocks as investors weighed a potential setback on progress toward a coronavirus vaccine ahead of a busy period for corporate earnings. The dollar and Treasuries advanced. S&P 500 futures and options traded lower after falling as much as 0.6% on a report that Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine study has been paused due to an unexplained illness in a participant. Futures on the Nasdaq were up nearly 1%.
Equities remained largely range-bound a day after the Nasdaq 100 surged to the biggest advance since April, powered by technology leaders including Amazon.com Inc., Apple Inc. and Twitter Inc. Amazon is gearing up for its Prime Day bonanza, and Apple for its event where it’s expected to unveil 5G iPhones today.
Meanwhile, prospects for a quick end to the stimulus stalemate in the U.S. may be fading with members of the House being told not to expect any action this week.
2. J&J Halts Covid-19 Vaccine Human Trial Due to Unexplained Illness
Johnson & Johnson halted clinical trials of its Covid-19 vaccine after a participant fell ill, the second time that a front-runner developer has paused testing in the race to create a viable immunization against the virus. The participant’s illness is being evaluated. J&J shares fell 2.4% in trading before U.S. exchanges opened. The vaccine is undergoing tests in as many as 60,000 volunteers from Peru to South Africa. J&J is racing along with rivals such as Moderna Inc., Pfizer Inc. and AstraZeneca Plc to deliver a shot to help blunt the pandemic. Drugmakers must balance time pressures — especially as coronavirus cases set new records — with safety considerations in the crucial last stage of testing.
3. China Bolsters Its Dominance of Global Trade
China is cementing its status as the world’s dominant trading nation, over warnings that a once in a century pandemic combined with simmering tensions with the U.S. would derail their status. Surging global demand for everything from hazmat suits to work-from-home technology has allowed China, which contained the virus months ago, to capture record market share of global exports by quickly reopening its factories while the rest of the world grappled with lockdowns. It’s a striking reversal from the first two months of the year when China’s exports contracted by 17.1%. It’s also an outcome that highlights the nation’s enduring role in manufacturing even amid trade tensions with the U.S. that have fueled talk of shifting supply chains to other Asian countries.
4. World economy in deep recession in 2020, growth to be -4.4 per cent: IMF
The IMF predicted a deep global recession this year and the world growth to be – 4.4 per cent, asserting that the global economic crisis is far from over mainly due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. In its latest World Economic Outlook report, the International Monetary Fund also said the swift recovery in China has surprised on the upside while the global economy’s long ascent back to pre-pandemic levels of activity remains prone to setbacks.
Employment has partially rebounded after having plummeted during the peak of the crisis. This crisis is however far from over. Employment remains well below pre-pandemic levels and the labour market has become more polarised with low-income workers, youth, and women being harder hit. The poor are getting poorer with close to 9 crore people expected to fall into extreme poverty this year.
5. BofA Survey Shows Investors Braced for Contested U.S. Election
Fund managers overseeing over $1 trillion are bracing for extreme market turbulence as they expect the result of the November U.S. election to be contested (challenged) even as the Democratic nominee Joe Biden holds a comfortable lead over President Donald Trump. Among investors surveyed in the week through Oct. 8 by Bank of America Corp., 61% believe the U.S. vote’s outcome will be challenged, causing maximum volatility in the final months of the year. The monthly survey took place at a time when Biden held a solid lead nationally over Trump.
BofA’s poll signals that investors remain on edge ahead of the Nov. 3 election and fear a delayed outcome as the Trump campaign continues to raise questions about the legitimacy of mail-in ballots.
6. Europe Tightens Curbs for Second COVID Wave
Investor confidence in the outlook for Germany’s economy plunged, in a sign of concern that resurgent infections could hurt the recovery. Germany had 6,541 new infections in the 24 hours through Tuesday morning, taking the total to 332,850, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. That’s the highest daily increase since April 3 and only slightly below the peak levels of almost 7,000 registered in spring this year. Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday warned that Germany faces a crucial moment. She will meet the premiers of the country’s 16 states on Wednesday to decide on new measures.
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte imposed a series of new curbs on nightlife, social events and amateur sports as the pandemic intensifies, albeit at a slower pace than in other major European nations. Paris ICUs May Be 90% Full of Covid Patients by End-October. Russia and Hungary report record daily deaths due to the pandemic.
7. Singapore Marks Milestone in Virus Fight with No New Local Cases
Singapore recorded no new local cases of Covid-19 for the first time since February, as the city-state rebounded from an outbreak in migrant worker dormitories that at one stage contributed to more than a thousand infections a day. There were no cases in the community as well as in the foreign worker dormitories, according to a statement Tuesday from the Ministry of Health. This was the first time that no new cases were reported in the workers’ dorms since late March. The country still saw four new imported cases.
8. European Union imposes tariffs on aluminium products from China
The European Union will impose duties of up to 48% on imports of aluminium extrusions from China midway through an investigation into whether Chinese producers are selling at unfairly low prices. The EU official journal said on Tuesday that the duties, ranging from 30.4 to 48.0%, would apply from Wednesday. The duties are provisional, meaning they will apply until the investigation’s expected completion by April.
9. Israel sees commercial aviation deal with UAE within days
Israel and the United Arab Emirates will sign a commercial aviation deal imminently, an Israeli official said on Tuesday, as the countries cemented newly normalised relations ahead of reciprocal delegation visits expected next week. Direct air traffic between Tel Aviv and Abu Dhabi or Dubai would be a tourism and business boon for Israel and UAE, while also easing Israelis’ travel to Asia. Saudi Arabia has agreed to expedite such flights by letting them pass over its territory, but it has indicated it is not ready to establish formal ties with Israel, as the UAE and Bahrain did at a Sept. 15 ceremony in Washington.
10. Maldives considers scrapping Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China
Maldives, which has been steadily restricting its ties with China, may scrap its Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Beijing to safeguard trade relations with other countries including India. The FTA established between Maldives and China during the regime of former president Abdulla Yameen will hinder trade relations with other countries, stated Maldives’ economic minister Fayyaz Ismail recently.