1. S&P 500 Futures Edge Lower as European Stocks Fall

U.S. equity futures edged lower after a sharp retreat yesterday, while global stocks slumped on worries that tougher virus restrictions will take an economic toll. Contracts on the S&P 500 dipped after U.S. weekly jobless claims came in higher than forecast. In Europe, cyclical shares taking the brunt of the retreat. Norwegian Air plunged 12% after seeking protection from creditors. Germany’s ThyssenKrupp tumbled after saying it would slash 11,000 jobs amid a cash burn at its steel business. Gold dropped for a fourth day amid a drawdown in bullion-backed exchange-traded funds.

Futures on the S&P 500 Index fell 0.3% at early morning New York time.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 0.6%.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index declined 0.5%.

The MSCI Emerging Market Index dipped 0.9%.

2. U.S. Initial Jobless Claims Rise for First Time in Five Weeks

Applications for U.S. state unemployment benefits rose for the first time in five weeks, suggesting the labour-market recovery is slowing amid a surging pandemic and fresh business restrictions. Initial jobless claims in regular state programs totalled 742,000 in the week ended Nov. 14, up 31,000 from the prior week, Labor Department data showed Thursday. Continuing claims — the total pool of Americans on ongoing state unemployment benefits –fell 429,000 to 6.37 million in the week ended Nov. 7. The number of Americans claiming extended assistance continued to rise as many unemployed exhausted regular state benefits.

3. Dollar Loses to Euro as Payment Currency for First Time in Years

The euro was the most used currency for global payments last month, the first time it has outpaced the dollar since February 2013. Data from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT), which handles cross-border payment messages for more than 11,000 financial institutions in 200 countries, showed the European Union’s single currency and the greenback were followed by the British pound and the Japanese yen. The Canadian dollar overtook China’s yuan for the fifth spot, Swift said. Trade upheaval, a pandemic-induced recession and political disharmony renewed pressure to reduce the share of international payments in dollars. The U.S. currency has weakened more than 11% from its March peak.

4. Oxford Study Confirms Astra Covid Shot’s Response in Elderly

The University of Oxford confirmed that the Covid-19 vaccine it’s developing with AstraZeneca produced strong immune responses in older adults in an early study, with key findings from the last phase of tests expected in the coming weeks. The results, published Thursday in The Lancet medical journal, shed more light on preliminary data released in recent months showing the experimental shot generated an immune response in the elderly, who are at highest risk of severe illness.

5. IMF Says Global Recovery May Be Fading, Risks Still Very High

The International Monetary Fund warned the world economy’s recovery may be fading as the resurgence of the coronavirus forces fresh restrictions to be imposed on households and companies. The IMF sounded the alert as leaders of the Group of 20 countries prepare for a virtual summit this weekend, hosted by Saudi Arabia. It noted progress on a vaccine, but also said elevated asset prices point to a disconnect from the real economy and a potential threat to financial stability. “While global economic activity has picked up since June, there are signs that the recovery may be losing momentum, and the crisis is likely to leave deep, unequal scars,” officials at the Washington-based fund said in a report published Thursday. “Uncertainty and risks are exceptionally high.”

6. New York MTA Warns of 40% Subway Cut, Shedding 9,300 Jobs

As the economic fallout from the coronavirus deepens and no federal aid in sight, the U.S.’s largest mass-transport system says it has no choice. On Wednesday, New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) said it will have to slash subways and buses by 40% and chop commuter rail service by half if aid doesn’t come from Washington. Fares and tolls will increase and roughly 9,300 jobs will also be eliminated. For everyday New Yorkers, who rely on mass transit as a way of life, the consequences are hard to overstate. The scale of the cuts threatens major disruptions for commuters and could exert a drag on the city’s economic recovery even after the pandemic recedes. 

7. India’s Economy to Struggle With Effects of Virus Through 2025

India will be worst-affected among the world’s major economies even after the pandemic wanes, with output 12% below pre-virus levels through the middle of the decade. Balance sheet stress that had been building before the coronavirus outbreak will probably worsen. The projected potential growth for India is at 4.5% over the next five years, lower than 6.5% before the virus. While the government has announced a slew of measures to support growth, they have fallen well short of expectations to boost demand, leaving the central bank to do much of the heavy-lifting. A paper published by the Reserve Bank of India last week predicted Asia’s third-largest economy has entered a historic technical recession.

8. South Africa Central Bank Holds Rate and Signals Next Move Is Up

South Africa’s central bank held its benchmark interest rate for a second straight meeting and signalled increases next year, even as its forecasts for the economy and inflation remain muted. The monetary policy committee held the repurchase rate at 3.5%, Governor Lesetja Kganyago said Thursday in an online briefing. Of the five members on the panel, three favoured an unchanged stance and two preferred a 25 basis-point cut, the same vote split as in September. The key rate remains at the lowest level since it was introduced in 1998 after a total easing of 300 basis points this year.

9. Russia COVID Cases Top 2 Million; Tokyo on Highest Alert

Russia surpassed 2 million Covid-19 infections, pushing its hospital system to the brink. The country has the fifth-most cases globally after the U.S., Brazil, India and France and has so far steered clear of a full lockdown during the second wave of the pandemic. In the U.S., deaths from the virus passed the grim milestone of 250,000 and New York City’s public school shutdown and the prospect of a crippled mass transit agency brought a new sense of vulnerability to the city. Tokyo is raising its virus alert to the highest level following a new record of daily cases, while South Australia began one of the world’s toughest lockdowns to contain a cluster of infections.

10. China Power Giant Makes Foray Into Mexican Renewables With Zuma

China’s State Power Investment Corp. is expanding in Latin America’s clean-energy market by acquiring Mexico’s largest independent renewables company. The energy giant known as SPIC bought Zuma Energia through its Hong Kong-based unit China Power International Holding. SPIC has more than $170 billion in assets across 41 countries, including wind, solar and hydropower projects in Brazil and Chile. The deal marks SPIC’s first move into Mexico and comes at a complicated time for the country’s renewable energy industry. Under the administration of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the nation has stepped up its defense of state energy producers Petroleos Mexicanos and Comision Federal de Electricidad by attempting to crack down on private competition. Still, SPIC is bullish on Mexico’s prospects.

Curated from Bloomberg.com

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