Overseas Headlines – November 20, 2020

United States:

Mnuchin-Powell Split Shows Rare Discord as Economy Struggles

“The top two U.S. economic policymakers clashed over whether to preserve emergency lending programs designed to shore up the economy — a rare moment of discord as the nation confronts the risk of a renewed downturn spurred by the resurgent coronavirus. The disagreement erupted late Thursday when outgoing Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin released a letter to Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell demanding the return of money the government provides the central bank so it can lend to certain markets in times of stress. Minutes later, the Fed issued a statement urging that “the full suite” of measures be maintained into 2021.”



U.K. Retail Sales Rise as Christmas Shopping Kicks Off Early

“U.K. retail sales rose for a sixth straight month in October, helped by early Christmas shopping as consumers moved to get ahead of virus lockdowns that closed stores. The volume of sales increased 1.2%, defying economists’ expectations for a modest decline, according to data published Friday. But another report on household confidence gave reason for concern, showing that sentiment is subdued and people are more worried about their personal finances.”



Malaysia Set for ‘Slow’ U-Shaped Recovery as Virus Risks Mount

“Malaysia’s economic recovery will likely be more U-shaped than V, dampened by renewed restrictions amid a resurgence of coronavirus infections, according to Trade Minister Azmin Ali. The government is seeking to stamp out the virus without hurting businesses by bring back a national lockdown, Azmin said in an interview with Bloomberg TV. Still, he said more could be done to flatten the curve of rising cases.”




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