Investors are particularly monitoring developments around the coronavirus. Later in the week, the transfer of power in the United States is central point of interest. Joe Biden is officially inaugurated on Wednesday as the new president of the United States. The week will continue relatively quiet as Wall Street will remain closed on Monday due to Martin Luther King Day.
Investors also assessing a series of macroeconomic figures from China. The Chinese economy grew by 2.3% in 2020. It is thus the only large country that did not show a drop in the coronation year. Economic growth has been the slowest in the last 44 years. In 2019, the second largest economy in the world grew by 6.1%. However, Chinese retail sales in December were disappointing.
In the fight against the coronavirus, Austria is going to extend the current COVID-19 measures by two weeks until 7 February. The Alpine country has been in a hard lockdown since December 26th. In March the British government hopes to relax the lock-down measures against the spread of the coronavirus.
President of the European heads of Government Charles Michel stated that it is still too early for a safe-conduct for passengers in the EU who are vaccinated against the coronavirus. For such a ‘vaccination ID’ could be introduced, more people must first be given a shot. A proposal by the German Foreign Minister to reduce the COVID restrictions for vaccinees received strong criticism in German politics.
On the acquisition front, the Canadian retail company Alimentation Couche-Tard renounces its planned acquisition of the French supermarket group Carrefour, following strong resistance from the French government. The two parties are now looking at opportunities for looser cooperation in the field of fuel purchases and distribution where their networks overlap.
The French automaker PSA, the parent company of Peugeot, Citroën and Opel, and the Italian-American Fiat Chrysler completed the merger on Saturday, which created the world’s fourth automaker. The new group Stellantis will have its headquarters in Amsterdam and will be led by PSA-topman Carlos Tavares.
The euro was worth $ 1,2081, compared to $ 1,2098 on Friday. The price of a barrel of American oil dropped 0.2 percent to $ 52.26. Brent oil cost 0.3 percent less at $ 54.93 a barrel.