Risk sentiment making small comeback ahead of Yellen testimony and Biden inauguration.
- Stock markets globally are mostly higher today, with major Asian market indices the biggest gainers.
- In the Forex market, the Australian and New Zealand dollars are the strongest currencies on recovering risk sentiment. The U.S. dollar is the weakest major currency.
- Nominated Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will today tell the U.S. Congress that the time has arrived to “act big” to protect the recent U.S. economic recovery from a painful recession.
- Bitcoin has fallen back again to $35k. It is now looking much less likely that Bitcoin will continue to rise and challenge its recent all-time high at $42,000 any time soon.
- President-elect Biden plans to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline on his first day in office. The Canadian PM has asked Biden to reconsider and announced plans to sue the U.S. for damages if the cancellation goes ahead as suggested.
- Global coronavirus deaths have increased dramatically since early October to reach a level approximately 91% higher than the peak last April.
- Total confirmed new coronavirus cases worldwide stand at over 96 million with an average case fatality rate of 2.13%.
- The fastest progression in terms of immunizing a population against the coronavirus has been in Israel, which has already administered a first shot of the Pfizer vaccine to 29% of its entire population (including 75% of the over-60s) and began administering second doses over a week ago. The U.A.E. ranks second, having now vaccinated 20% of its population. For most of the world, a vaccine seems distant: only 9 countries have vaccinated more than 2% of their population so far.
- The rate of new coronavirus infections appears to now be increasing most quickly in Albania, Belarus, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, France, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Latvia, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mexico, Monaco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Russia, Senegal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tunisia, Ukraine, the U.A.E., Uruguay, and Venezuela.