US Market Open: Indices to open higher as ECB unveils more stimulus

The push higher comes during a busy day, with markets preparing for the ECB announcement, US economic data and news on progress in the US with its stimulus package and vaccine approval.

Uptrend 2

  • US indices are called to open higher ahead of CPI and jobless figures being released at 1330 GMT. Markets are also paying attention to efforts to introduce a new fiscal stimulus package and the possibility that the US could approve its first vaccine as early as today.
  • Big US tech stocks are under the spotlight as regulators in the US and the EU ramp-up efforts to regulate the industry.
  • The FTSE 100 and CAC 40 are both trading higher whilst the DAX is holding steady ahead of the ECB’s announcement at 1245 GMT and press conference at 1330 GMT.
  • Oil prices surge higher on hopes that vaccines will increase demand going forward, despite recent US oil data showing a surge in inventories. Gold prices have continued to fall since hitting a two-week high on Monday.

US indices push higher after touching new highs yesterday

US markets will be digesting the unemployment figures and CPI data that is due out at 1330 GMT once they open. Attention is also on whether Congress can make progress with a new fiscal stimulus package and if the FDA will approve the country’s first COVID-19 vaccine.

The S&P 500 is called to open 0.1% higher at 3676.4 after closing at 3672.4 yesterday.

The Dow Jones is set to open 0.2% higher at 30111.0 from 30064.5 at the last close.

Both indices briefly touched new all-time highs during yesterday’s session before giving back those gains to end down for the day.

Find out more about trading indices here.

Time ticking down for US to approve new fiscal stimulus

Politicians in the US are running out of time to agree on a new fiscal stimulus package before the existing one expires at the end of the year. There are currently two packages being proposed, one from a bipartisan group of senators and another put forward by the White House, as differences over matters such as unemployment benefits remain unsettled.

US prepares to approve first COVID-19 vaccine

A panel of biologists and vaccine experts from the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) will meet today to discuss whether the vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech should be considered for emergency approval in the US. A decision is expected to be made sometime between today and early next week. The vaccine has already been approved by the UK and Canada.

The review comes after the US reported more than 3,000 coronavirus deaths on Wednesday – the highest daily toll since the crisis began.

Facebook and Big Tech come under the spotlight

Big Tech stocks are under the spotlight as regulators in both the US and the EU ramp-up efforts to revamp regulation. US regulators federal regulators and more than 45 state prosecutors filed a lawsuit against Facebook that hopes to get courts to consider forcing the break-up of the social media giant by making it offload Instagram and Whatsapp.

Meanwhile, the FT reported that the EU will require ‘very large’ tech stocks like Facebook and Amazon to take greater responsibility for policing the internet or face fines of up to 6% of their global revenue.

European indices: DAX holds steady as FTSE 100 rises

The ECB’s announcement is the main event for European indices this afternoon. The expected ease in the ECB’s monetary policy is thought to be priced-in, but any disappointment could see the DAX test support levels.

France’s CAC 40 is up 0.1% at 5559.0 from 5552.8 at Wednesday’s close.

Germany’s DAX is marginally higher at 13346.0 compared to its closing price of 13342.3 yesterday.

Meanwhile, over the Channel, the FTSE 100 is up 0.3% at 6603.5 from its last closing price of 6580.5. The UK’s blue-chip index is on course to end the day at its highest level since early March. 

Find out more about trading indices here.

ECB expected to hold rates but add new stimulus

The ECB will reveal its interest rate decision at 1245 GMT before holding a press conference at 1330 GMT. The central bank is not expected to change interest rates, but other forms of stimulus – such as more bond purchases (through the Pandemic Emergency Purchase Program) and liquidity for banks – are set to be introduced. How to handle the economic shocks that could be caused by COVID-19, a hard-Brexit and a dispute over the EU’s recovery fund are all on the table today.

The ECB’s stance and approach to the strength of the euro will also be watched today, with EUR/USD trading at its highest level since April 2018.

Brexit talks continue as European Council summit begins

A new deadline for a Brexit breakthrough has emerged as negotiators from the UK and the EU try to strike a last-minute trade deal by Sunday. The UK’s foreign secretary Dominic Raab warned that the UK ‘will need a final decision by Sunday on the future of the negotiations’, warning the EU will need to ‘move significantly’ from their current stance on fisheries and the level playing field if they want to reach agreement.

That means talks will continue as the last European Council summit of 2020 starts today, with EU leaders meeting in Brussels for a two-day event. Reports suggest Brexit will remain off the official agenda with attention being paid to the EU’s approach to COVID-19, climate change and EU-US relations, although the EU may also present its no-deal contingency plans.


UK services industry stalls GDP growth

Figures from the Office for National Statistics said the UK economy grew by 0.4% in October, down from 1.1% in September. It was the sixth month of consecutive growth as the economy bounces back from the pandemic-induced crisis in March, but the latest figures are the slowest seen since May. While the likes of car manufacturing and construction output , the slowdown was primarily caused by the services industry being hampered by COVID-19 restrictions.

Forex: Euro and dollar in focus

Both the dollar and the euro are being watched today as markets digest US economic data, the ECB announcement and other political developments on both side of the Atlantic. The current strength of the euro, particularly against the dollar, will be watched today.

Read more: Will the ECB get the supercharged EUR under control?

The most drastic movements in the currency markets in early afternoon trade, according to data from Reuters, are as follows:

FX Pair


Net Change
















Find out more about trading forex here.

Commodities: Oil moves higher as gold continues to fall

Brent trades 0.9% higher compared to yesterday’s close at $49.45, while WTI is up 0.8% at $46.11.  Oil prices climbed to their highest level since early March last week, briefly hitting $49.86, but have so far failed to move beyond that this week.

The progress being made with the rollout of coronavirus vaccines, with the UK and Canada having approved their first ones and the US set to authorise one as early as this week, is giving markets confidence that demand for oil will increase going forward. That has overshadowed US oil inventory data this week that has shown a huge unexpected jump in the country’s oil stocks.

Find out more about trading the volatility in oil here.

Gold trades 0.3% lower than at yesterday’s close at $1834.5 per ounce as the safe-haven continues to edge lower after hitting a two-week high on Monday.

Find out more about trading gold here.

Market-moving events in the economic calendar

The economic calendar is busy in early afternoon trade. Focus is on the ECB’s rate decision at 1245 GMT and a press conference at 1330 GMT. The latter coincides with the release of US CPI numbers and jobless data.

Look at what the rest of the week has in store using our Economic Calendar, and stay up to date with the latest news and analysis here.

Time (GMT)





ECB Interest Rate Decision



ECB Monetary Policy Statement and Press Conference



Consumer Price Index



Continuing Jobless Claims (Nov 27)



Initial Jobless Claims (Dec 4)



Consumer Price Index Ex Food & Energy (Nov)



Consumer Price Index



Monthly Budget Statement (Nov)


New Zealand

REINZ House Price Index (Nov)


New Zealand

Business NZ PMI (Nov)

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