New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, facing the worsening situation declared Wednesday that a curfew would be implemented on bars, restaurants and gyms in the state as early as Friday, and has restricted meetings to up to 10 people in private locations.
In Europe, on Thursday evening, French Prime Minister Jean Castex announced the extension of at least two weeks of the two-week refinancing steps in effect in France. Health Minister Jens Spahn has claimed in Germany that the restrictions are unlikely to be lifted before the end of winter.
In the face of increasing health-related concerns, the priorities of the stock market are once again moving to the US Federal Reserve and the political authorities, although the lack of a Democratic ‘blue wave’ in the US Congress has diminished the possibility of a new large-scale stimulus package.
Despite the victory of Democrat Joe Biden in the presidential election on November 3, and the continued Democratic majority in the House of Representatives, Republicans should maintain tight control of the Senate, restricting the ability of the Biden administration to act.
On the central bank side, on Thursday, the Fed and ECB leaders were both cautious. Jerome Powell and Christine Lagarde at the ECB forum on “Central Banks in a Changing Environment” welcomed the imminent arrival of an effective coronavirus vaccine, while remaining skeptical about the economic prospects that remain unclear, even if the vaccine is phased out to the populations of the world in 2021. But because of the ambiguity that remains about the development and delivery of the potential vaccine, I do not want to be exuberant about vaccination, Lagarde added.
The President of the US Fed, Jerome Powell, echoed him, saying that vaccine announcements are “positive and welcome news” but that it is still too early to assess the short-term effects with certainty.” The two central bankers have already indicated that in the face of a relapse in activity, they are ready to increase monetary support to the US and European economies, particularly in Europe, where lockdown measures are increasing fears of a further recession in the fourth quarter.