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LGT Navigator: Biden has presidency within reach, while the Fed confirms its course

November 6, 2020

US presidential candidate Joe Biden is catching up in the counting of votes in several highly contested states, coming ever closer to the required 270 electoral votes. The focus is on the still ongoing counts in Arizona and Nevada (Biden leads) and in Georgia and Pennsylvania (Trump leads). Meanwhile, Trump's Republicans are covering the country with a wave of legal action. At the same time, the Federal Reserve (Fed) reaffirmed its unchanged expansive monetary policy in view of the risks posed by the corona pandemic.

Biden has presidency within reach

Joe Biden is very close to the leap into the White House with 253 votes, Trump currently has 213. If the Democrats win in the hotly contested states of Nevada and Arizona, where they are currently in the lead, with the 17 additional electoral votes Biden would come in at exactly the required 270. The swing states of Georgia and Pennsylvania, where Trump currently has a narrow lead, remain equally hotly contested. Meanwhile, according to Bloomberg, the Republicans have filed 300 lawsuits in 44 states! The main issue is the record number of 101 million postal votes cast in the midst of the pandemic. Even if Biden can already claim victory, there is still uncertainty about how Trump will act and the legal battle will drag on. In addition, the race for the Senate remains open, with the Republicans having the advantage here.

On the New York Stock Exchange, sentiment remained positive despite the continuing uncertainty about the outcome of the US presidential election, and the Dow Jones Industrial closed with a solid daily gain of +1.95% at 28 390.18 points, which means that the stock market barometer has so far recorded a plus of around +7% in the current election week. The broad S&P 500 also gained just under +2% to 3 510.45 points. The technology stock exchange Nasdaq (100) even recorded a plus of +2.56%. The positive trend also continued in Asia to some extent, with the Nikkei Index, which comprises 225 stocks, trading around +1% higher in Tokyo. On the Chinese stock markets, however, most of the indices posted losses.

Fed remains on course in view of the risks of the corona crisis

US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell stressed on the occasion of yesterday's interest rate decision that the recovery of the US economy and the labor market had weakened again and that the corona pandemic continued to pose a considerable risk. Against this background, the Fed confirmed its ultra-expansive monetary policy course to date. In other words, it left its key interest rate unchanged at a record low of 0.0-0.25% and is continuing its billion-dollar bond purchases to support the economy.

Meanwhile, the number of initial applications for unemployment benefits in the US remains at a high level. Compared to the previous week, 751 000 people made their first application last week ­only 7,000 fewer than the week before. In the course of the corona crisis more than 22 million have disappeared in the US and so far only about half of them have been recovered. The official US labor market report due this afternoon at 14:30 (CEST) is now eagerly awaited.

Bank of England opens the money gates again before the Brexit

Even before the Kingdom's final withdrawal from the EU and against the background of the corona pandemic, the British central bank announced an expansion of its current securities purchase program by GBP 150bn to GBP 895bn. The increase in volume was thus higher than analysts had expected at GBP 100bn. At the same time, Governor Andrew Bailey left the key interest rate unchanged at a record low +0.1%. A further easing into negative territory does not seem out of the question, given the gloomy economic outlook due to the renewed lockdown to contain the coronavirus. The Bank of England is expecting a record-high slump in gross domestic product of -11% in the current year. In the spring, the central bank was still expecting a minus of -9.5%.

Euro economy on a long road to pre-crisis levels

According to the EU Commission, it will take the eurozone economy until 2022 to regain its pre-corona crisis level. The second pandemic wave has slowed down the economic recovery. In its autumn forecast, the Brussels executive expects economic output to decline by -7.8% in the current year. Growth is then expected to return to +4.2% in 2021 and +3.0% in 2022.



Economic Indicators November 6

MEZ Country Indicator Last
08:00 GE Industrial Production (September, y/y) -9.6%
09:00 SP Industrial Production (September, y/y) -5.7%
14:30 US Unemployment Rate (October) 7.9%
14:30 US Non-Farm Payrolls (October) 661,000
14:30 US Private Payrolls (October) 877,000

Earnings Calendar November 6

Country Corporate Period
SZ Richemont H1
GE Allianz Q3
US Marriott Q3


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Source: LGT Bank (Switzerland) Ltd.

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US employment growth remains dynamic at the beginning of the year