New COVID Strain Overshadows U.S. Stimulus

Plus500 | Tuesday 22 December 2020

The U.S. Congress passed a new stimulus bill on Monday night, to provide financial aid during the pandemic. The legislation was funded with $900 billion for COVID relief and a further government funding of $1.4 trillion.

Congress

The aid package is the second-largest in the country’s history, only behind the stimulus package approved under the CARES act in March this year.

The new assistance package will include $8-9 billion for vaccine distribution, which seems to have become a priority, especially as a new, more contagious strain of the virus has been identified.

This new strain of the virus has been found in the U.K., prompting stricter travel restrictions and further lockdowns. As a result, Oil (CL) fell 2.8% on Monday as the possibility of further measures to curb movement spark fuel demand fears. Currently, the new strain of the coronavirus is believed to be more contagious but not deadlier than others. However, experts believe that the Pfizer (PFE) and Moderna (MRNA) vaccines would likely be effective against the new strain.

Futures React as the U.S. Bill Passes

U.S. indices fell during early trading hours yesterday, and started recovering as the new stimulus package was passed, closing with fewer losses.

The Dow Jones (USA 30) dropped 0.6% at the end of yesterday’s trading day while the S&P 500 (USA 500) fell 0.8%. NASDAQ 100 (US Tech 100) futures remained relatively stable going down only 0.4%.

U.S indices weren’t the only market move in yesterday’s trading. As the new Coronavirus strain began causing concerns in Europe, some indices fell: FTSE100 (UK100) -1.3%, Europe 50 (FESX) -1.7%, Spain 35 (IBX)  -2%. 

With the new COVID strain causing concern globally and the U.S speeding to pass the virus stimulus package under pressure, it is unclear how markets will continue to react.


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