On Thursday, WTI oil dropped 0.2% to $41.74, while gold dropped 0.7% to $1,861.50 an ounce. Domestic oil inventories for the week ended November 13 increased by 0.8 million barrels to 489.5 million barrels, against a forecast of 1.6 million barrels, according to the Department of Energy.
In a worsening health situation, markets worry about ongoing political gridlock in the U.S. Congress on a New Economic Fiscal Support Package. Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer, however has revived hopes on that front, saying Thursday that Senate Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has agreed to restart talks, which have been suspended after Joe Biden won the November 3 presidential election.
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On Monday, the Democratic president-elect (who will not take office until 20 January) urged Congress not to hesitate and “quickly” vote on a new proposal to immediately support the economy. Against the backdrop of a coronavirus pandemic, Joe Biden even expects a ‘dark winter.’
The legendary US banker Jamie Dimon, boss of JP Morgan Chase Bank, also called on the US Congress on Wednesday to resolve its differences, criticizing elected officials’ “childish behavior”
It remains to be seen if Senate Republicans will agree to move beyond their initial minimum $500 billion proposal, while Democrats defend a new package of $2,200 billion (the HEROES Act) to take over last March’s “CARES Act” of the same amount voted, but whose budgets are now depleted.
On Thursday’s economic front, for the first time in more than a month, unemployment registrations increased again last week. Unemployment registrations soared to 742,000 for the week ended November 12, up 31,000 from the previous week, and came out well above than anticipated as the consensus was positioned at 700,000.
742,000 were the four-week total, down 13,750. Finally, in the week ended 5 November, the number of unemployed people paid hit 6.372 million, down 429,000 over seven days (6.4 million consensus).
However other measures remained reasonably well-oriented, pointing to the U.S. economy’s strong resilience. The regional manufacturing index of the Philadelphia Fed rose to 26.3 for November from a consensus of 24.5 and 32.3 for the previous month, respectively.
In October, existing home resales surpassed forecasts at 6.85 million units compared to an industry consensus of 6.47 million and 6.57 million in September. Finally, the Leading Indicators Index of the Conference Board for October increased by 0.7 percent compared to September.