A 'risk on' start to the week. U.S. futures pointing higher, Asian indices in the green (Japan closed for holiday today), oil slightly stronger with CL trading in the high 42's and Brent over $45.
South Korea's KOSPI outperforming on the back of strong export data for the first 20 days of November.
"Latest PMI data showed the recovery in the Australian private sector economy gained pace during November, setting the scene for a stronger GDP performance during the final quarter of 2020.
A further easing of virus containment measures particularly benefited the services sector, which saw business activity growth accelerate in November.
Manufacturing output also rose at a faster pace.
"A sustained increase in business activity saw firms boost their headcounts for the first time since January, with factory hiring particularly robust. Business confidence also improved to the strongest for over two years as firms were optimistic about market conditions returning to normal in a year's time.
"That said, the subdued rise in new business remains a concern. Renewed lockdown measures in parts of the world due to second waves of infections may keep border controls and travel restrictions in place for a longer period, thereby dampening external demand.
If Australian sales growth continues to lag behind the rise in business activity in the months ahead, the current economic recovery could risk losing momentum."
The Trump administration is close to declaring that 89 Chinese aerospace and other companies have military ties, restricting them from buying a range of U.S. goods and technology, according to a draft copy of the list seen by Reuters.
The list, if published, could further escalate trade tensions with Beijing and hurt U.S. companies that sell civil aviation parts and components to China, among other industries.
A spokesman for the U.S. Department of Commerce, which produced the list, declined to comment. The Chinese foreign ministry did not immediately response to a request for comment.
Commercial Aircraft Corp of China Ltd (COMAC), which is spearheading Chinese efforts to compete with Boeing and Airbus, is on the list, as is Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) and 10 of its related entities. The list is included in a draft rule that identifies Chinese and Russian companies the U.S. considers “military end users,” a designation that means U.S. suppliers must seek licenses to sell a broad swath of commercially available items to them.
According to the rule, applications for such licenses are more likely to be denied than granted.
U.S. President Donald Trump has stepped up his actions in recent months against China. Ten days ago, he unveiled an executive order prohibiting U.S. investments in Chinese companies that Washington says are owned or controlled by the Chinese military.
The pending list comes after the Commerce Department expanded the definition of “military end user” in April. The April rule includes not only armed service and national police, but any person or entity that supports or contributes to the maintenance or production of military items -- even if their business is primarily non-military.
The export restriction applies to items as disparate as computer software like word processing, scientific equipment like digital oscilloscopes, and aircraft parts and components.
A list also would provide European competitors with an opening to promote their manufacturers, by pointing out they do not have to clear such hurdles, even if the U.S. grants the licenses, the industry source said.
General Electric Co and Honeywell International, both supply COMAC and have joint ventures with AVIC.
Besides the 89 Chinese listings, the draft rule also designates 28 Russian entities, including Irkut, which is also aiming to break into Boeing’s market with its MC-21 jetliner development.
The 117-company list is “not exhaustive,” the draft rule said, and is considered an “initial tranche.”
A two star Navy admiral overseeing U.S. military intelligence in the Asia-Pacific region has made an unannounced visit to Taiwan, two sources told Reuters on Sunday, in a high-level trip that could vex China.
The sources, who include a Taiwanese official familiar with the situation, said the official was Rear Admiral Michael Studeman. They were speaking on condition of anonymity. According to the Navy’s website, Studeman is director of the J2, which oversees intelligence, at the U.S. military’s Indo-Pacific Command.
The Pentagon, asked whether Studeman was visiting Taiwan, declined to comment. China claims democratically-run Taiwan as its own territory. The Trump administration has ramped up support for Taiwan, including with new arms sales and high-level visits.
The UK government will announce on Monday that self-isolation will no longer be required for those who have come into contact with people who have tested positive for COVID-19, the Telegraph reported.
Contacts of those who test positive will be asked to undergo daily tests for seven days, and will be allowed to go about their business in the meantime, the newspaper said.
Ministers will say that the current system of requiring people to stay at home for 14 days will be dismantled nationwide in January, if pilot schemes succeed, according to the newspaper.
Nothing will be decided in a formal sense until all four nations of the United Kingdom are as one. And the decision is slightly harder because Northern Ireland's leadership wants a Christmas consensus with Dublin.
But it is looking highly probable that all four UK governments’ special Christmas exemption from coronavirus restrictions will allow us to socialise with people from two households in addition to our own household over five days beginning on 23rd of December and ending on 27th December.
Or to put it another way, for those five days, a typical family will be able to enjoy festive meals indoors with both sets of grandparents, or two groups of friends, or whomever is most special to them.
Positive noises on the Brexit front;
Boris Johnson is preparing to make a significant intervention in the Brexit trade talks this week as negotiators begin the “final push” before a deadline in eight days’ time.
The Prime Minister is expected to speak to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in an attempt to clear away the final barriers to a deal which both sides now believe is well within reach.
Agreements on fishing and state aid remain the two stumbling blocks, and EU leaders have set a deadline of Tuesday next week for all remaining disagreements to be resolved.
Face-to-face talks are expected to restart on Thursday, giving the teams a maximum of six days to thrash out a deal before the deadline expires.
Britain will resist a European Union demand for a review of a future trade, security and fishing deal in 2030 if countries such as France are unhappy with the loss of fish catch quotas
The expected demand, a further potential sticking point as talks go to the wire over the next two weeks, would give the EU the chance to call the whole agreement into question over fisheries, throwing trade between Britain and Europe into question in ten years.
Lord Frost, the chief British negotiator, has offered the EU a transition period of at least three years to allow French, Irish, Dutch, Danish and Belgian fishing communities time to adjust to new fishing quotas after 2021. His negotiators are resisting the attempt to link fish to trade after a final agreement because it would allow the EU to unravel a future deal prolonging instability and uncertainty for trade.
Barrie Deas, from the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations, told The Sun: “I’m sure a ten-year deal with links to trade would suit the EU very well. But it would not be compatible with the UK’s status as an independent coastal state and I would expect it to be rejected if tabled.”
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Looking ahead, a PMI focused calendar today, plus the usual assortment of central bank speakers.
BOE's Haldane at 9:30, ECB's Schnabel at 13:10.
BOE's Bailey, Haldane, Tenreyro & Saunders giving evidence to the treasury secretary committee at 15:00, Fed's Daly at 18:00, BoC's Gravelle at 19:00 & Fed's Evans rounds things off at 20:00.