1. Tech Shares Gain After Chipmaker M&A: Global Markets Update
Tech shares rose after Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) announced a $35 billion takeover of another chipmaker Xilinx, helping to blunt concern about the impact of growing coronavirus infections. Losses for shares in energy and financial companies were a drag on the S&P 500 as it struggled to bounce back from its worst loss in a month yesterday. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index headed toward its lowest close since June amid concern about the faster spread of the coronavirus on the continent.
The S&P 500 Index rose 0.1% as of early morning New York time.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index decreased 0.5%.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index was little changed.
2. U.S. Stimulus Hope On Hold: Senate Leaves for pre-election break
U.S. senators departed the Capitol for a pre-election break Monday, making the logistics for passing a fiscal stimulus package by next Tuesday practically impossible, leaving the economy more vulnerable to damage from a resurgent coronavirus pandemic. The Senate’s departure after the confirmation vote for Amy Coney Barrett to join the Supreme Court left House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to continue negotiating over the stimulus package. After their latest call on Monday, agreement remains pending on both the amount and language of the bill.
3. Germany Plans Restrictions as Italy Boosts Aid
Germany is looking at closing restaurants and prohibiting large events as governments across Europe seek to tackle rising infections and fatalities while avoiding full-scale lockdowns. Italy, the continent’s original epicenter of the pandemic, is coming up with more aid for businesses hardest hit by restrictions. U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson faces growing discontentment within his party over lockdown measures imposed on northern regions. Many countries in Eastern Europe reported fresh daily records for cases and deaths. Hong Kong, meanwhile, will ease some social distancing rules and announced plans for mandatory testing of specific groups. India’s daily infections fell below 40,000 for the first time in more than three months.
4. Dubai to launch ‘Nasdaq’ market for emerging firms & SMEs
Dubai plans to launch a “Nasdaq Dubai Growth Market” to help emerging companies, and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) attract investors and finance their projects, crown prince of the emirate, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid al- Maktoum, said on Tuesday. The Nasdaq Dubai Growth Market will allow SMEs to list if they are valued below $250 million, with a minimum operating history of one year, compared to three years for Nasdaq Dubai’s main market. Nasdaq Dubai is collaborating with government bodies, UAE free zones and expert advisory companies as partners to launch the growth market in early 2021.
5. ADNOC seeks Indian partners for $45 bn petro-chem expansion plans
Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), UAE’s biggest energy producer, is seeking Indian companies for partnership in its ambitious $45 billion (INR 3.3 lakh cr) downstream petrochemical expansion plans. ADNOC CEO Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, during a virtual session Prime Minister Narendra Modi had with global energy chief executives on Monday evening, sought opportunities to strengthen the UAE-India energy relationships. Speaking at the roundtable, Al Jaber said India has always been and will always remain one of the UAE’s closest friends and one of its most important trading partners.
6. Global foreign direct investment halved in first six months of 2020
Global foreign direct investment (FDI) plunged by 49% in the first half of 2020 from the same period a year ago and is on course to fall by up to 40% for the year, driven by fears of a deep recession. FDI flows to European economies turned negative for the first time ever, falling to -$7 billion from $202 billion, while flows to the United States fell by 61% to $51 billion, the U.N. Conference for Trade and Development (UNCTAD) said in a report. Global FDI fell as multinationals postponed investments to preserve cash.
7. Russia Begins Producing Second Covid-19 Vaccine as Cases Spike
Russia has begun production of a second Covid-19 vaccine that hasn’t completed trials as the Kremlin rushes to develop a shield against the pandemic. Output of the vaccine, developed by former biological weapons lab Vector State Virology and Biotechnology Center in Novosibirsk, will ramp up by the end of the year. President Vladimir Putin announced the approval of Vector’s vaccine earlier this month, following a similar trajectory of the Sputnik V inoculation in August, which he claimed was the first to be registered in the world. Both were tested on a limited number of people before receiving provisional registration that will allow for widespread use as they undergo Phase 3 trials to prove they are safe and effective.
8. Pfizer not yet ready to release COVID-19 vaccine data from late-stage trial
Pfizer said on Tuesday it was not yet ready to release data from the late-stage trial of the COVID-19 vaccine candidate it is developing with Germany’s BioNTech. Pfizer’s CEO Albert Bourla has said the company could release data on whether or not the vaccine works as early as this month, but the company said in a presentation that the independent data monitoring board which will determine whether or not the trial has been successful has not conducted any interim efficacy analyses yet. This is a prime vaccine candidate touted by President Trump to be ready by November.
9. China Ramps Up Imports From U.S. as Trade Deal Target Looms
China ramped up purchases of American goods in September as its economy strengthened, though it still remains far from the full-year target set out under its Phase One trade deal with the U.S. The monthly value of U.S. goods that China bought under the trade agreement reached a monthly record high of $9.9 billion in September as oil, soybean and car imports surged. That still leaves China’s purchases at only 38.5% of a total target of more than $170 billion for the year. Under the agreement signed in January, China promised to buy an additional $200 billion of U.S. goods and services over the 2017 level by the end of 2021. The coronavirus pandemic upended some of those plans as demand crashed in the first quarter, but China’s recovery since then is gaining momentum, with imports gradually accelerating.
10. Rolls-Royce Gets Investor Approval for $2.6 Billion Equity Sale
Rolls-Royce shareholders backed a $2.6 billion equity raise, a key step toward shoring up the British jet engine maker’s finances to outlast the Covid-19 pandemic. Investors voted 99.5% in favour of the rights issue. Rolls-Royce’s engine business has been dealt a heavy blow by the coronavirus, with both unit sales and maintenance revenue hurt by a mass grounding of widebody aeroplanes. The company announced a 5 billion-pound refinancing plan at the start of this month, funded through a combination of debt issuance, a rights offer and loans, and now has no pressing need to extend borrowings guaranteed by the U.K. government.