As per Johns Hopkins University data, global cases reached 54.4m. With cases reaching new highs in several European countries, restringing measures are expected to be in place at least until the beginning of December. The latest country to toughen up the measures is Austria that will impose a strict, three-week lockdown. In the US, new daily infections rose above 166,000 on Saturday. The situation remains particularly acute in the Midwest and West. Michigan ordered closure of schools and restaurants. In New York City, schools are on the verge of closing as the city’s positivity rate is inching closer to the 3% threshold (used as a yardstick to close schools). At the national level, some grocers have started to put back purchase limits on certain items like paper towels and soap according to the Wall Street Journal.
On Monday, Pfizer and BioNTech announced preliminary results of their phase 3 trial showing a 90% efficacy with no serious adverse event. While some questions remain such as production and distribution, how long it will protect against infection and how well it will work in the elderly, the results topped the best-case scenarios. Today, Moderna said its vaccine candidate is 94.5% effective based on preliminary phase 3 data and should be stable at temperature of a standard home or medical refrigerator. Lastly, Eli Lilly's antibody therapy was granted an emergency-use authorization by the FDA.
US economic data
Despite pre-election uncertainty, the NFIB Small Business Optimism index came in at 104.0 in October, unchanged from September and above February’s pre-pandemic level. Weekly new jobless claims slipped to 709k in the week to Nov. 7th as layoffs continued to ease. The University of Michigan survey showed a sharp decline in consumer sentiment this month at 77.0 compared to 81.8. Annual US consumer-price inflation came in at 1.2% in October, lower than 1.4% in September.
Global economic data
Euro Area Q3 GDP came slightly below expectations at +12.6% q-o-q compared to +12.7%. However, on a y-o-y basis growth is down -4.4%. UK GDP expanded by +15.5% in Q3 over Q2, but the UK economy was still -9.7% smaller than at the end of 2019. Japan’s Q3 GDP rose by a better-than-expected +5% (up from -7.9% in Q2) and by +21.4% at an annualized rate. In China, October industrial production came up +6.9% y-o-y versus expectations at +6.7%, retail sales came slightly below expectations at +4.3% y-o-y versus consensus at +5.0%. October CPI was +0.5% compared to +1.7% in September.
China increasing regulation
After strengthening regulations on fintech companies the week before, on Tuesday, the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) released a draft on antitrust guidelines against the monopolistic practices in the Internet industry. Among others, the draft guidelines define monopolistic practices like price discrimination based on big data, bundle sales, predatory pricing, and exclusive dealing.
Dominic Cummings, one of Johnson’s most senior advisors, resigned last week. Over the weekend, the UK’s chief Brexit negotiator declared: “We are working to get a deal, but the only one that’s possible is one that is compatible with our sovereignty and takes back control of our laws, our trade, and our waters. That has been our consistent position from the start and I will not be changing it”. PM Boris Johnson is self-isolating after meeting a colleague who tested positive.