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Weekly News Summary for October 10 – 15, 2020

Friday, October 9, 2020: Yuan Registers a Two-Year High

The yuan posted a two-year high on Friday as China’s financial markets resumed trading after the Golden Week holiday.

The currency climbed as much as 6.6929 against the US dollar in the offshore market to mark its highest since April 2019, with some analysts saying the yuan strengthened from optimism over the domestic economy, Joe Biden’s potential election victory, and a more conciliatory US-China policy.

Monday, October 12, 2020: Stimulus Discussions Remain Deadlocked

Discussions between the House of Democrats and President Donald Trump’s administration regarding a new stimulus package remained deadlocked, weakening hopes that an agreement would be reached before the election.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are expected to talk more this week, as they try to reduce the differences between the Democrat’s proposed $2.2 trillion stimulus and the administration’s counteroffer of $1.8 trillion, although neither parties have announced a date.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020: J&J Pauses COVID-19 Vaccine Trial

Hopes for an early public distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine faded on Tuesday, as Johnson & Johnson (J&J) halted the stage 3 trial of its potential vaccine after a participant experienced adverse effects.

The company’s chief financial officer said a pausing rule in the 60,000-patient clinical trial had been met but declined to elaborate on the patient’s condition, stating that they are looking into the participant’s illness, and it was important to have all the facts before they provide further information.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020: China’s Stock Market Value Passes $10T

China’s stock market value hits a record high as it passed $10 trillion for the first time, indicating the country’s tech companies’ strength, the size of the domestic market, and potential triumph over the coronavirus.

Still, that was not enough to support individual companies and sectors, as shares of Chinese real estate giant Evergrande Group dropped 16% after it raised $555 million in a secondary share sale, which was only half of its initial target of $1.09 billion

Thursday, October 15, 2020: Stocks Fall on Weak Stimulus Hopes

Global stocks fell on Thursday as investors locked in new gains amid growing concerns over rising COVID-19 cases, and after downbeat comments from US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin dimmed the possibility that a fiscal stimulus would be approved before the election on November 3.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.7%, and Japan’s Nikkei 225 lost 0.5%, while the S&P 500 futures fell 0.27% in Asian trading after major stock indexes ended the previous session lower, with the S&P 500 index closing down 0.7% and the Nasdaq Composite slipping 0.8%.

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