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Here is what you need to know on Wednesday, December 23:

The dollar is on the back foot, shrugging off President Trump’s rejection of a crucial part of the stimulus bill as tensions about the covid strain recede. Optimism about an imminent Brexit deal and a packed day of data await traders.

US fiscal stimulus at risk? President Donald Trump said that the relief package that Congress passed is a “disgrace” – specifically referring to checks sent to all Americans, the most symbolic part of the $900 billion package. He wants it raised from $600 to $2,000.

House Democrats support the additional cash, putting Republicans in a conundrum. Trump stayed short of stating he would veto the hard-fought bill. Uncertainty partially weighed on the market mood. However, the US dollar is retreating from the highs. Gold, which jumped on Monday after the parties struck a deal, is retreating. 

Covid strain: Scientists seem to agree that vaccines will work against the new coronavirus variant discovered in the UK, easing the market mood. Pfizer stated that in case it is necessary, it could adapt its immunization within six weeks. 

France agreed to open its border with Britain to trucks and EU passengers, conditioned on a rapid coronavirus test. The Franco-British arrangement is set to dissolve the massive traffic jam leading to the Dover port. 

Brexit: Chief EU Negotiator Michel Barnier said talks are at a “crucial point” with eight days to go until the transition period expires. He is haggling with member states and the UK on an arrangement around fish. Some speculate a deal could be reached on Wednesday, while a delay or a no-trade Brexit is also on the cards. GBP/USD trades above 1.34. 

The day before Christmas Eve is packed on the economic calendar. Weekly jobless claims are set to remain at a high level of 885,000 for another week. Durable Goods Orders figures for November are forecast to show a moderate increase. On the other hand, both Personal Spending and Personal Income are projected to have declined last month.

See

  • US Personal Income Preview: Dollar may decline on the reminder of dire straits yet timing matters
  • Durable Goods Orders Preview: Long-term investment likely got a shot in the arm, dollar-positive

Cryptocurrencies: XRP extends its collapse following a lawsuit from the US Securities and Exchanges Commission. Bitcoin is trading close to $24,000.