At the beginning of the year, oil prices crashed after their “rally”. But that seems to coming to be a halt. Nymex’s February futures agreement for U.S. light crude WTI finished flat at $52.25 a barrel, while North Sea Brent dipped 0.6% to $55.66. WTI soared 7.7 percent last week and Brent rose 8.1 percent, taking advantage of the anticipation of a U.S. stimulus package and the OPEC deal to prolong its production cuts.
On Monday, Gold, which had plummeted 4.1 percent on Friday, recovered 0.8 percent to $1,850.80 per ounce for the Comex futures contract in February, while Bitcoin, still unpredictable, dropped to $33,400 per unit (-15 percent over 24 hours) after approaching $42,000 last Friday.
On the political front, Democratic lawmakers headed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi proposed bills accusing Donald Trump of “inciting insurrection” to impeach the outgoing president. On Wednesday, the bill will be discussed in the house, and if approved, it also has to gain a two-thirds vote in the Senate, which would be impossible to achieve. Also proposed in the House was another motion calling for Vice President Mike Pence to remove Donald Trump from office.
Beyond this volatile presidential transition, financial markets remain worried about an atmosphere of violence that would be harmful to public trust in the world if it were to stabilize indefinitely in the U.S. It should be remembered that Donald Trump’s potential impeachment will have the interest of keeping him from standing for a new presidential term by statute.
On the vaccine front, the U.S. firm Pfizer (up 1.7%), together with the German firm BioNTech (up 8.4%), announced on Monday that it was able to produce 2 billion doses of vaccine this year, significantly more than the previous target of 1.3 billion doses. Also, the BioNTech boss indicated that a version of the vaccine that is easier to store (currently 80 degrees Celsius) could be developed before the end of the year.