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Business news: US inflation and new Covid drug from Novartis

By Jenny McCall

12:18, 10 January 2022

Crumpled US dollar bill
Markets await news on US inflation – Photo: Shutterstock.

Key points

  • Exports and import data: This week will see the announcement of key trade data that will undoubtedly affect the markets. Australia releases its latest import and export figures tomorrow, Japan follows on Wednesday and China on Thursday, with eurozone data expected on Friday.
  • US inflation: On Wednesday, the US will release key inflation data, which many experts believe will still be high and may lead the Federal Reserve to increase interest rates.
  • Covid-19: European healthcare systems are feeling the impact of the Omicron variant as it continues to spread across the continent, with many key staff unwell or self-isolating. Australia is also facing the harsh consequences of Covid, but prime minister Scott Morrison said on Monday that the country must “push through” as infections surpassed one million.
  • Asia-Pacific region: It was a mixed picture from APAC markets today, as investors remained cautious due to rising Covid cases. Australia’s benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index suffered early losses to close 0.08% lower on Monday, while Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index ended close to flat.

Business and economic news

  • Shares in battery materials supplier Novonix surged over 12% today, after the company announced it will list on the Nasdaq.
  • Spire Healthcare Group, a private healthcare company based in the UK, has agreed in principle to support the National Health Service (NHS) as it continues to battle Covid-19.

Markets today

  • Stocks: The FTSE 100 slipped today, driven mainly by housebuilders being hit by $5.4bn in costs to remove cladding from buildings, while banking shares gained as investors anticipated interest rate hikes.
  • Oil: Oil prices rose slightly on Monday, as supply issues in Kazakhstan and Libya offset worries coming from the rapid global rise in Omicron infections.
  • Gold: The price of gold eased today as investors waited for US inflation data in the expectation of interest rate hikes.
  • Forex: The US dollar held firm as investors placed bets on higher inflation data from the US.
  • Crypto: Bitcoin was down by 0.56% and Ethereum was down by 0.68% as traders continued to expect interest rate hikes and awaited inflation data from the US.

What to watch today

  • Novartis (NOVN) announced today that it is developing a new drug to treat Covid-19 patients, and said early-stage testing has been positive.

Read more: Economic preview: markets expect US inflation to touch 7%

Markets in this article

AU200
Australia 200
7925.0 USD
44 +0.560%
J225
Japan 225
38072.9 USD
-98 -0.260%

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The difference between trading assets and CFDs
The main difference between CFD trading and trading assets, such as commodities and stocks, is that you don’t own the underlying asset when you trade on a CFD.
You can still benefit if the market moves in your favour, or make a loss if it moves against you. However, with traditional trading you enter a contract to exchange the legal ownership of the individual shares or the commodities for money, and you own this until you sell it again.
CFDs are leveraged products, which means that you only need to deposit a percentage of the full value of the CFD trade in order to open a position. But with traditional trading, you buy the assets for the full amount. In the UK, there is no stamp duty on CFD trading, but there is when you buy stocks, for example.
CFDs attract overnight costs to hold the trades (unless you use 1-1 leverage), which makes them more suited to short-term trading opportunities. Stocks and commodities are more normally bought and held for longer. You might also pay a broker commission or fees when buying and selling assets direct and you’d need somewhere to store them safely.
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