Good morning and welcome to our continued coverage of the global economy, financial markets, the eurozone and business.
It’s the last full day of operations before Christmas, and the city is focusing on a few familiar themes: Brexit, the US stimulus package, and the stagnation in Britain’s ports.
Last night, Donald Trump threw a late curveball into the mix: He threatened not to sign the $ 892 billion bipartisan stimulus bill passed by the Republican-controlled Senate and the Democratic House of Representatives, unless it includes more payments. great to help Americans overcome the economic crisis.
In an unexpected development, the president of the United States incorporated the proposal, demanding that Congress “send me a proper bill or else the next administration will have to deliver a Covid aid package.”
Trump called the bill a “disgrace” (even though Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin helped negotiate it, and has welcomed him). He insists that the $ 600 checks issued to most Americans should be increased to $ 2,000, or $ 4,000 for a couple, saying:
“The $ 900 billion package provides hard-working taxpayers only $ 600 each in aid payments and not enough money is given to small businesses.”
“Congress found a lot of money for foreign countries, lobbyists and special interests, while sending the least to Americans who needed it was not their fault.”
The idea was quickly embraced by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, who seems willing to liven up the package as Trump demands.
Markets, as well as struggling families, would welcome larger stimulus controls.
But Trump’s belated decision has surprised investors (those who haven’t pulled out for a holiday break anyway). Kyle Rodda from IG Explain:
The events fueled concern in the market that after months of bartering and dysfunction in Congress to get a much-needed package, it could fall at the last hurdle.
UK and EU continue to push for Brexit trade deal before Christmas, with Commission President Ursula von der Leyen taking personal control of the negotiations last night.
Fishing remains the sticking point, with the two sides now clashing over tens of millions of fish, a small fraction of the cost of not negotiating.
As our Brussels office boss Daniel Boffey explains:
The EU has said it is willing to lose 25% of the value of the fish its fleets catch in UK waters. The UK has proposed repatriation of 35%, a potential difference of € 63.8 million (£ 58.1 million).
However, Barnier said that the British supply did not include pelagic fish such as anchovies, tuna and mackerel, which means that the loss of annual income would approach 230 million euros a year.
Rail, air and sea services between the UK and France will resume this morning after the French government agreed to ease its travel ban over fears over the new strain of Covid-19.
A massive Covid-19 testing program for truck drivers will be launched to ease congestion at British ports following an agreement to reopen the border between France and the United Kingdom.
UK passengers disembarked from ferries in the port of Calais early this morning, but the massive backlog of thousands of trucks and vans will take days to clear. This leaves food transport companies facing a major disruption during the crucial Christmas period, just as the end of the Brexit transition looms.
There is also a deluge of US economic data this morning as we clear the covers for Christmas, including the latest weekly unemployment data (which hit a three-month high last week).
- 13:30 GMT: US Durable Goods Orders for November
- 1.30pm GMT: Weekly Unemployment Claims in the US
- 15:00 GMT: Michigan Consumer Confidence Index
- 15:00 GMT: November US Home Sales Data
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