Stocks take a breather, bonds under Biden pressure

SectorFinancial Markets
CountryMiddle east

Oil majors BP, Royal Dutch Shell and Total gained as crude prices rose on expectations of a drawdown in U.S. stockpiles."It's a little bit of a pause for reflection after getting off to an absolute flyer this year," said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets."The main focus now is how much worse can it get in respect to COVID in the UK and Europe, and is China starting to see evidence of a second wave," Hewson added.There was little in the way of major corporate earnings news or key economic data as markets waited for the new earnings season on Wall Street, with banks JPMorgan, Citi and Wells Fargo reporting on Friday. "The big takeaway from those will be, how much more will they set aside in terms of loan-loss provision, as they were quite heavy in 2020, and how many of the U.S. banks restart buybacks and dividends," Hewson said."I suspect it won't be as many as people think."A selloff in bonds was fuelled by the prospect of more U.S. government stimulus under President-elect Joe Biden, who takes office next week.Yields were also propped up by markets bringing forward bets on Federal Reserve interest rate hikes to 2023, more...