Stock markets are higher this morning on growing optimism that a coronavirus vaccine will be found. Biotech firms Novavex and Moderna have both made positive comments regarding progress.
- Brent crude rose for a second straight session on Tuesday, trading around $36 a barrel amid hopes of a recovery in fuel demand as many countries continue to lift lockdown restrictions. On the supply side, the main producers’ decision to withhold 9.7 million barrels per day of output reinvigorated markets skittish about oversupply.
- The dollar index erased earlier gains but hold around 99.8 on Monday, as mounting tensions between the US and China dulled risk appetite. The US said it will add 33 Chinese firms and institutions to an economic blacklist and the White House National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien warned about further sanctions if Beijing implements national security law in Hong Kong. The Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Americans should give up their “wishful thinking” of changing China and warned US actions are pushing the two countries to the brink of a new cold war.
- Germany’s gross domestic product shrank by 2.3% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2020, following a 0.4% growth in the previous three month period. That was the steepest contraction since the global financial and economic crisis of 2008/2009, due to the coronavirus crisis. On an unadjusted basis, the economy shrank by 1.9%, also the sharpest contraction in 11 years.
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