FTSE 100 set to open lower as US stimulus hopes rest with the Whitehouse and Covid cases hit a new r

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The FTSE 100 looks set to open lower amid fading hopes a stimulus bill will be signed this side of next week’s election and against a backdrop of a third record day for coronavirus infections.

The former first: US House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, said she will pursue a pandemic relief deal after the election if the Whitehouse fails to sign off the latest plan.

She is hoping for a response Monday, though analysts suspect it will be a ‘no’ from the Trump administration.

The United Nations, meanwhile, called the pandemic the ‘greatest crisis of our age’ as Spain entered a state of emergency.

“On the health crisis front, things seem to be taking a turn for the worse,” said CMC Markets analyst, David Madden with a degree of understatement.

“A number of US states, and countries, like Italy, The Netherlands and Hungry have registered a jump in Covid-19 cases.

“Spain has declared a state of emergency, and France is believed to be preparing for tougher restrictions.”

Here in the UK, the news wasn’t much better with infection rates still sharply on the rise.

A fire-break lockdown is now in place in Wales and many of England’s major cities are subject to the highest level of restrictions.

However, it has been mooted that a state of nationwide house arrest may well be re-introduced to stem the spread of the infection.

The economic impact, meanwhile, is resulting in a ‘jobs bloodbath’, according to one newspaper.

On the markets, ahead is a week packed full of corporate news, led by oilers BP (LON:BP.) and Shell (LON:RDSA). We also have updates from Lloyds (LON:LLOY), the high street bank and telco BT (LON:BT.A).

Around the markets 

  • Pound worth US$1.3025 (down 0.11%)
  • Bitcoin US$13,096 (up 0.71%)
  • Gold US$1,897.90 (down 0.38%)
  • Brent crude US$40.89 (down 0.88%)   

6.45 am: Early Markets: Asia / Australia

Asia-Pacific stocks were mostly lower today as new COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the US and across Europe.

In China, the Shanghai composite was down 0.88% while Japan’s Nikkei 225 dipped 0.06%.

Over in South Korea, the Kospi fell 0.30% and Japan’s Nikkei was 0.06% lower.

Hong Kong shares skipped the trend with the Hang Seng index rising 0.54%.

Shares in Australia opened higher, but the S&P/ASX 200 gave back its gains to close 0.18% lower.

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Proactive Australia news:

Tietto Minerals Limited (ASX:TIE) has grown the overall gold resource at its Abujar project in central west Côte D’Ivoire, West Africa, by 40% or 870,000 ounces, to 3.02 million ounces with further resource growth likely due to continued strong drilling results.

Piedmont Lithium Ltd (ASX:PLL) (NASDAQ:PLL) has closed a strongly supported US public offering to raise US$57.5 million or A$81.2 million which will support ongoing development of the company’s Piedmont Lithium Project in the US

Great Boulder Resources Ltd (ASX:GBR) will investigate the potential for nickel sulphide bodies at Whiteheads following the recent discovery of massive sulphide at T5 prospect within Estrella Resources Ltd’s (ASX:ESR) Carr Boyd project north of Kalgoorlie.

Fenix Resources Ltd (ASX:FEX)  has executed a contract for the road transport component of its Iron Ridge Project in Western Australia with Fenix Newhaul Pty Ltd, an incorporated joint venture company between Fenix and Newhaul Pty Ltd.

Cogstate Limited (ASX.CGS) has expanded its partnership with Japanese pharmaceutical company Eisai Co Ltd in a global agreement to develop Cogstate’s digital cognitive assessment tools to be used by individuals and healthcare professionals.

Linius Technologies Ltd (ASX:LNU) has developed new features to ensure punters and fans on Racing.com enjoy an improved digital experience when it comes to watching race replays and other curated video content.

Strategic Energy Resources Limited (ASX:SER) has completed the drilling of three diamond holes at Saxby Gold Project in northwest Queensland on schedule with all holes hitting their respective target areas.

Boadicea Resources Ltd (ASX:BOA) has gained a new substantial holder in IGO Ltd (ASX:IGO) which holds a 10.11% interest following the recent approval of the asset sale of nine Fraser Range tenements to IGO at the company’s recent general meeting.

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