By Geoffrey Smith
GossipMantri.com – Donald Trump and Joe Biden clash, virus claims millionth victim as Mike Pence warns of rising infections, Fed speakers galore – and Turkish and Russian currencies weaken as their allies clash in the Caucasus. Here’s what you need to know about the markets on Tuesday, September 29.
1. Seconds eliminated, first round
Donald Trump and Joe Biden will take part in their first face-to-face debate ahead of the presidential election at 9 p.m. ET (5 p.m. GMT).
The state of the economy, handling of the pandemic, and issues of racial inequality and public order are likely to top the list. Another issue of note is likely Trump’s tax records, which leaked to the New York Times over the weekend.
Opinion polls suggest that Biden is at risk right now: a poll average on RealClearPolitics.com puts him nearly 7 points ahead nationally. The debates are nonetheless likely to be a severe test of the 77-year-old’s powers of concentration, whom Trump has repeatedly pointed out as a weakness of his opponent.
2. Covid-19 crosses the million mark
Covid-19 has now officially killed more than a million people worldwide, according to data from Johns Hopkins.
There is no particular power in such numbers, but markets remain under pressure from signs of rising infections across much of Europe and from US Vice President Mike Pence, who argued during from the summer that there was no “ second wave, ” Americans said Monday should expect the number of cases to increase in the coming days. While he attributes this to more widespread testing, positivity rates have also increased across much of the Midwest in recent days.
Deaths from the virus rose 40% in England and Wales to their highest level in five weeks, while German Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned she could impose tighter restrictions on public gatherings to prevent a further increase in infections.
On the bright side, India – which has been the world‘s hotspot for the virus in recent weeks – recorded its lowest level of new infections in nearly a month.
3. Stocks consolidate after big gains
U.S. equity markets are set to open broadly flat ahead of Tuesday’s presidential debate, consolidating after rapid gains in the past two sessions.
At 6:30 am ET (10:30 am GMT), and were both flat, as they were down 0.1%.
Markets reacted with skepticism overnight to new proposals from House Democrats for a $ 2.2 trillion stimulus package for the economy. The numbers remain well above what the Republican-controlled Senate has announced it will approve.
Stocks likely to be the focus later include chipmaker Micron (NASDAQ 🙂 and cruise operator Carnival (NYSE :), both of which issue quarterly updates. Investors will also be on the lookout for more details on Palantir’s IPO. It is expected to start trading on Friday.
4. Fed Stakeholders, Consumer Confidence, Home Price Data Due
The data calendar fills up a bit more today, with updates to Consumer Confidence at 10 a.m. ET and the House Price Index for July an hour before that.
A series of Federal Reserve speakers will also hit the newspapers, starting with John Williams (NYSE 🙂 of New York at 9:15 a.m. and ending with Randall Quarles, head of banking supervision, at 3 p.m. The influential vice president is sandwiched between them at 11:40 a.m. ET.
Overnight European data highlighted the continued weakness in the euro area in September, which followed an extremely conciliatory speech in the European Parliament by ECB President Christine Lagarde on Monday.
5. The fighting in the Caucasus hits the currencies; oil not so much
Oil prices fell overnight as a brief rally in geopolitical concerns fizzled out ahead of the weekly stocks update.
As of 6:30 am ET (10:30 am GMT), were down 0.5% to $ 40.39 per barrel, while futures were down 0.5% to $ 42.66 per barrel
The eruption of fighting between Azerbaijan and Armenia briefly raised concerns about the safety of a 1.2 million barrels-per-day pipeline that transports Azeri crude to the Mediterranean. The two former Soviet republics both have strong supporters in Turkey and Russia, who wield considerable influence over both.
While the fighting did not have a lasting effect on oil prices, it affected both currencies and currencies, both of which fell against the dollar (the Turkish lira hit another historic low in the overnight).