Here is what you need to know on Friday, October 23:
The US dollar is holding onto Thursday’s recovery. The presidential debate was more civilized than the previous one and post-event opinion polls are awaited. Earlier, hopes for a stimulus bill faded and allowed the dollar to recover. PMIs and COVID-19 statistics stand out on Friday.
Elections: US President Donald Trump and challenger Joe Biden clashed in their last debate, which was much more civilized than the previous encounter. The better tone may have convinced the few undecideds left. Nearly 50 million Americans have already cast their ballots, around 35% of the total 2016 vote count.
Trump continues trailing Biden significantly in national and state polls, while the race to control the Senate – critical for legislation – is closer.
Fiscal stimulus: While Democrats and Republicans have reported progress on talks, they have also expressed skepticism that a deal could be passed before election day. The diminishing chances of an accord have somewhat weighed on the safe-haven dollar.
UK Retail Sales statistics for September stand out in the European morning with a moderate increase of 0.4% projected. Markit’s preliminary purchasing managers’ indexes for October are set to decline – amid the surge in British covid cases – but remain in growth territory.
GBP/USD has been falling from the highs it reached after the EU and the UK announced fresh Brexit talks. Negotiations continue in London.
Preliminary PMIs are also eyed in the eurozone, where the composite indicator is set to drop below 50 – turning from expansion to contraction. Coronavirus infections and hospitalizations are surging in the old continent, with France expanding its nighttime curfew to additional regions.
US Initial Jobless Claims have resumed their falls, dropping under the 800,000 level in the week in which Nonfarm Payrolls surveys are held. Markit’s US PMIs are forecast to remain stable.
Oil prices have edged higher but remain around the $40 level. Gold has stabilized above $1,900 after falling from the highs earlier in the week.
Cryptocurrencies have been extending their uptrend, with Bitcoin surpassing $13,000 and Ethereum topping $400.