- European equities finish slightly higher
- House begins debate over impeaching Trump for Capitol riot
- US crude inventories drop for 5th straight week
European indices finished todays’ session slightly higher as investors awaited the accounts of the ECB monetary policy meeting due tomorrow. At the same time, investors remained concerned over the rising number of coronavirus infections and the extension of the lockdowns in some countries. The Netherlands extended lockdown to February 9th and Chancellor Angela Merkel warned Germany may need 8 to 10 weeks of lockdown extension. Even with much of the 19-member euro area in lockdown, ECB President Lagarde continued to forecast a recovery, provided that economic restrictions can be lifted from the second quarter and the bloc can overcome a "laborious" start to vaccinations. In her opinion, Europe has all the tools needed to overcome the crisis. Meanwhile private sector economists are already cutting their growth projections, with Bank of America (BAC.US) now expects only 2.9% expansion - a full percentage point below its previous forecast. DAX 30 rose 0.3%, CAC 40 gained 0.2% and FTSE 100 finished near the flatline.
US stocks were little changed on Wednesday as the market struggled for direction for a second day amid rising rates, political uncertainty and rising coronavirus cases. The S&P 500 rose 0.2%, and the Nasdaq Composite climbed 0.6%. The Dow Jones is trading around the flatline. US House will vote to impeach President Trump for the second time and at least five Republicans have said they would join Democrats to impeach him. Meanwhile, 10-year Treasury yield reached 1.18%, a level not seen since March. Expectations for additional fiscal stimulus is one of the reasons behind the steady move higher in yields. Joe Biden is expected to provide more details regarding his trillions of dollars economic package tomorrow. According to Bloomberg, President-elect will try to make a deal with Republicans, rather than trying to ram a package through without their support. Covid cases also continue to increase in the U.S. At least 253,000 new Covid-19 cases and 3,300 virus-related deaths were recorded each day, based on the seven day average calculated using Worldometers data. On the data front, annual inflation rate rose to 1.4% in December, from 1.2 percent last month and slightly above market expectations of 1.3%.
US crude futures are trading 0.50% lower at $52.90 per barrel, while Brent contract fell 0.90%. US crude oil inventories fell by 3.247 million barrels, a fifth consecutive period of decline, compared with analysts' forecasts of a 2.266 million fall, according to the EIA report. Elsewhere, gold futures are trading near the flat line at $ 1,855.00 / oz, while silver is trading 0.45% lower near $ 25.346 / oz. Bitcoin fell below $ 35,000 level.
Regeneron (REGN.US) stock rose 1.5% as the U.S. government said it would buy 1.25 million additional doses of the company's COVID-19 antibody cocktail for about $2.63 billion. Source: xStation5