Overseas Headlines – December 17, 2020

United States:

SNB Defies U.S. Criticism to Renew Currency Intervention Vow

“The Swiss National Bank renewed its pledge to use currency interventions to counter upward pressure on the franc just a day after being censured by the U.S. for the practice. SNB officials led by President Thomas Jordan called the franc “highly valued,” sticking with a key phrase they use to signal they remain on alert. They also kept their policy rate and deposit rate at -0.75%, a move expected by economists, citing a bleak outlook for inflation.”



BOE Maintains QE Plan, Extends Company Aid on Prolonged Crisis

“The Bank of England kept its monetary stimulus unchanged as it awaits the outcome of trade talks between the U.K. and European Union, while saying the latest pandemic lockdowns will hit the economy at the start of 2021. The nine policy makers, led by Governor Andrew Bailey, voted unanimously to hold their benchmark interest rate at 0.1% and their total asset purchase target at 895 billion pounds ($1.2 trillion).”



China Lags as Thailand, Russia Rank Top Emerging Market Picks

“Thailand and Russia are well placed to be among the emerging-market standouts that could beat expectations next year. That’s according to a Bloomberg study of 17 developing markets gauging their outlook for 2021 based on 11 indicators of economic and financial performance. Thailand topped the list, owing to its solid reserves and high potential for portfolio inflows, while Russia scored No. 2 thanks to robust external accounts and a strong fiscal profile, in addition to an undervalued ruble. China scores fairly poorly given that high expectations are already baked in, while Brazil is a laggard due to a mounting fiscal deficit and debt concerns.”




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