FTSE Heads Lower Despite Pfizer Vaccine Approval

Despite a record setting performance on Wall Street, which saw both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq close at record highs, EU stocks are pointing to a softer start this morning tracking mixed sentiment in Asia.

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Despite a record setting performance on Wall Street, which saw both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq close at record highs, EU stocks are pointing to a softer start this morning tracking mixed sentiment in Asia.

Sentiment got a boost in the US session on Tuesday amid renewed hopes for additional US fiscal stimulus after a group of lawmakers unveiled $908 billion covid rescue plan. However, the rejection of the plan by Majority leader Mitch McConnell took the wind out of the rally’s sails and US futures moved lower after the close. The market has been patiently waiting for more US fiscal stimulus and for now it looks like that wait will continue.

Comment from Joe Biden that he will not undo the Phase 1 trade deal with China has also dragged on market enthusiasm. His comments suggest that it could take some time for relations to normalise.

Vaccine approval
Despite the weaker start, good news was still aplenty after the UK approved the Pfizer covid vaccine meaning that the rollout of the jab will begin next week. Vaccine developments have been the driving force behind November’s stellar performance given that a covid vaccine is the surest and quickest route to returning to pre-pandemic growth levels. 

German retail sales
German retail sales figures were another plus point as sales jumped a forecast beating 2.6% MoM after an upwardly revised drop of -1.9% in September. The surge in sales came ahead of Germany’s November national lockdown and following solid manufacturing PMI data in the previous session.
The EUR continues its relentless charge higher after breaking out above $1.20.

ADP payroll data
Looking ahead attention will be on US ADP private payroll data. Expectations are for 475k private jobs added in November compared to 365k added in October. A strong number would bode well for Friday’s non-farm payroll report.

FTSE Chart
The FTSE continues to consolidate in a horizontal channel between 6250 and 6500 which has held since early November, following the vaccine rally. The FTSE currently trades slap in the middle of the channel. Its currently testing its 50 sma on 4 hour chart at 6375. A break through here could see the 100 sma tested at 6350 prior to a deeper selloff towards 6250. 
Should the 50 sma hold, a move higher back towards 6500 could be on the cards.  

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