Markets worried about US stimulus delay, dollar rises, consumer confidence eyed

Markets are on the back foot amid concerns about a delay to US stimulus and as tensions mount ahead of the Fed. Investors are digesting encouraging vaccine news from Moderna and Israel and are awaiting additional developments.

President Joe Biden has said that he is ready to negotiate his proposed $1.9 trillion stimulus deal – and markets have seen it as potentially creating a delay and lowering the scope. The Senate has approved Janet Yellen’s nomination as Treasury Secretary and agreed on rules.

Speculation is mounting ahead of the Federal Reserve’s decision on Wednesday. The bank is likely to signal that withdrawing stimulus is not on the cards. The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence measure is due out later in the day.

GBP/USD is hovering around 1.3650 ahead of the jobs report. Britain’s coronavirus caseload continues declining from the highs as the country continues vaccinating at a rapid pace.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte is set to resign in a “tactical move” before rebuilding a government. The political crisis has been marginally weighing on EUR/USD.

EU officials are frustrated with delivery delays from AstraZeneca, ahead of an expected approval of the inoculations on Friday. The British pharmaceutical refuted a report in the German press suggesting its solution is inefficient with older people.

Moderna announced that its vaccination works against the South African strain and that it is working on a booster shot. Maccabi, one of Israel’s Health Management Operators, showed that Pfizer’s jabs work well. Johnson and Johnson are set to report final results from its Phase 3 trial for a one-shot vaccine during the week.

Bitcoin is on the back foot, changing hands below $32,000. JP Morgan told clients that the granddaddy of cryptocurrencies could suffer a “liquidity shock” related to issues with Tether.

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