Weekly News Summary for October 23 to October 29, 2020

Friday, Oct. 23, 2020: Europe At Risk of a Double-Dip Recession

The European economy closed in on a double-dip recession in October, as the second wave of COVID-19 spread through the continent, with IHS Markit’s Flash Composite Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) supporting the pandemic’s pressure on Europe’s economic activity.

The Eurozone’s preliminary PMI fell from the 50-mark, considered the gauge of good economic health, at 49.4 this month, weighed by the continent’s service industry PMI, which declined from 48.0 to 46.2.

Monday, Oct. 26, 2020: China to Sanction US Defense Firms

China announced on Monday its plans to implement sanctions on US firms, including Boeing Co.’s defense unit, Raytheon Technologies Corp., and Lockheed Martin Corp., in response to the US State Department’s approval of the $1.8 billion arms deal with Taiwan.

The sanctions became the latest sign of growing conflict between the US and China concerning Taiwan and came as China’s Communist Party starts a four-day meeting to outline its priorities for the next five years.

Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020: AMD to Buy Xilinx in $35B All-Stock Deal

US semiconductor company Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) Inc. announced on Tuesday to buy chip peer Xilinx Inc. in an all-stock deal worth $35 billion, marking as one of 2020’s biggest merger so far.

The deal is expected to open new markets for AMD, which has traditionally provided chips for laptops and gaming systems, as Xilinx focuses on chips that can be programmed by buyers, including data centers, telecom companies, and the defense sector.

Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020: Virus Concerns Trigger Global Sell-Off

Stock markets worldwide made a sharp sell-off on Wednesday, as several countries implemented stricter restrictions on social gatherings to stop the trend of growing COVID-19 cases.

Germany’s DAX index led the European market’s weakness, losing nearly 3% to a four-month low, and the country’s 10-year government bond yield slipped to its lowest since March at -0.64%, while the Stoxx 600 shed 1.8% to a five-month low.

Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020: Oil Up as Hurricane Postpones US Output

Oil prices on Thursday regained some of the losses incurred from the 5% drop in the previous session, finding support from the possibility of reduced short-term supply with two-thirds of US production postponed in the Gulf of Mexico as Hurricane Zeta hit Louisiana.

The US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 0.72% to $37.66 per barrel, while global benchmark Brent crude futures advanced 0.50% to $39.84 per barrel.

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