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Good morning. Donald Trump may be able to leave hospital as soon as today, Boris Johnson warns of a tough winter, and it’s crunch time for Brexit. Here’s what’s moving markets.
U.S. President Donald Trump could be released from hospital as soon as today, according to Johns Hopkins University pulmonary expert Brian Garibaldi, who is on Trump’s medical team. The President had made a surprise outing from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Sunday, waving to supporters gathered outside from his motorcade. Still, questions remain after White House physician Sean Conley disclosed for the first time that he was given supplemental oxygen and has received a medication that’s typically used in more severe Covid-19 patients. Meanwhile, Asian stocks climbed with U.S. futures as traders reacted to Garibaldi’s announcement.
U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he accepts the public is angry with his handling of the pandemic after officials confirmed thousands of positive cases had been missed from Covid test results, and warned that the country still faces a “very tough winter” ahead. Meanwhile, the Financial Times reported that less than half of the U.K.’s population can expect to be vaccinated against Covid-19. With global cases above 35 million, France plans to shut down bars in the Paris region, according to a report, while New York City will close schools and non-essential businesses in nine hotspots.
French water utility Veolia Environnement SA’s bid for Engie SA’s stake in rival Suez SA expires today. Buying the stake would make Veolia Suez’s largest shareholder, and the target has fiercely resisted, instead backing a potential takeover bid led by private equity firm Ardian SAS. Veolia is closing in on a deal nevertheless, offering guarantees to Engie’s board that include not pursuing the remaining shares in Suez in a hostile fashion after securing the stake.
The stage is set for a showdown on Brexit at a European Union summit this week. French President Emmanuel Macron’s reluctance to make concessions on fishing is stirring concern among officials he could sink efforts to reach a wider trade accord as negotiators begin a two-week period of intense talks today. This follows Saturday’s call between Boris Johnson and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. The two sides are nervous that major compromises on the key disagreements of fishing rights and state aid are still to be made, officials said.
Euro Stoxx futures are pointing to a positive open, following Asian stocks’ moves higher. It’s a quiet morning on the earnings front after Switzerland’s EMS-Chemie Holding AG forecast a full-year dividend cut. Purchasing managers’ index data is due for the U.K., U.S. and Eurozone. The bloc’s finance ministers are due to nominate a new ECB executive board member. German fertilizer company K+S AG could announce a $3 billion sale of its Morton Salt unit to Kissner Group as soon as this week, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
What We’ve Been Reading
This is what’s caught our eye over the past 24 hours.
And finally, here’s what Cormac Mullen is interested in this morning
Hedge funds are positioning themselves ever more aggressively for a steeper U.S. yield curve. Speculative net short positions in long bond futures have hit a record, while net long positions in 10-year Treasuries have climbed to their highest since October 2017, according to the latest Commodity Futures Trading Commission data. So-called steepener trades are often seen as bets on reflation, and come as the Federal Reserve shifts its policy to show a greater tolerance for price pressures to overshoot. But investors are also positioning for the possibility of a Democratic sweep in November’s election, and the associated impact that could have on the U.S. deficit. While the 10-year/30-year curve has steepened over 30 basis points so far this year, it remains below the near 81 basis points level it hit in June. If Joe Biden maintains his lead in the polls through Donald Trump’s coronavirus battle, the curve could steepen further as election day approaches.
Cormac Mullen is a cross-asset reporter and editor for Bloomberg News in Tokyo.
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Read More: Stock Markets Today: Trump’s health, Johnson’s warning, Brexit showdown