Today’s news headlines:
‘Impeachment dilemma: Republicans rally behind Trump before Senate trial’. On the eve of President Biden’s inauguration, Senator Mitch McConnell, the chamber’s top Republican, placed the blame for the violent Capitol Hill siege solely on Trump. Just one week after blaming Trump for the riots, he joined 44 fellow Republicans in backing a Senate motion declaring the impeachment trial unconstitutional, due to Trump no longer being in the White House. As Trump prepares for exoneration from the impeachment trial, some suggest that the Republican party will closely align itself with Trump for the foreseeable future. (Financial Times)
‘New variants pose ultimate challenge to UK’s test and trace programme’. The first identified South African variant or 501.V2 has been found in more than 100 people in the UK, with at least 11 individuals not having travelled to South Africa. Surge testing has been rolled out to a number of neighborhoods in response. Data suggests the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine does not seem to offer protection against mild or moderate cases of infection caused by the variant. However, as total vaccinations near 12 million, the government will have a challenge to isolate the variant effectively, while attempting to re-open the economy in the next few months after the countries third national lockdown. (Financial Times)
Today's events, rates, and data
A quiet day on the data calendar as we see the EUR/USD trading below 1.2050 amid US stimulus hopes and falling virus cases. GBP/USD is up this morning as the UK reaches the 12 million Covid-19 vaccination milestone and looks to be on track for its March target.
German Industrial Production m/m: 0.0% vs 1.5% last month.
EUR Sentix Investor Confidence: 9:30am
JPY Average Cash Earnings y/y: 11:30pm
JPY M2 Money Stock y/y: 11:50pm