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Here is what you need to know on Wednesday, December 9: 

The market mood is upbeat and the safe-haven dollar is down amid hopes that the US Congress agrees on a fiscal stimulus deal. UK PM Johnson travels to Brussels for last-ditch Brexit talks, the BOC is set to leave rates unchanged and vaccine headlines are in play.

US fiscal stimulus: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, seems ready to agree on a stimulus bill worth around $900 billion. While the GOP is still at odds with Democrats over the details, investors hope a deal could be struck during the lame-duck session.

US politics: The Supreme Court rejected an attempt by outgoing President Donald Trump lost an attempt to overturn Pennsylvania’s results, the last in a series of blows. Markets await January’s runoff races in Georgia, which will determine control of the Senate. The latest polls point to neck-to-neck races. 

Coronavirus cases, hospitalizations, and deaths have been hitting new highs in the US with states considering additional restrictions.

Germany continued reporting high COVID-19 figures and is planning new restrictions. EUR/USD is stabilizing above 1.21. Tensions are rising ahead of Thursday’s European Central Bank decision Thursday. 

Brexit: UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson travels to Brussels for dinner with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in a bid to break the deadlock in talks. On Wednesday, both sides ironed out arrangements in Northern Ireland, the last piece of the 2019 Withdrawal Agreement. While the minor deal prompted hope for a breakthrough, Chief EU Negotiator Michel Barnier said the chances of a trade deal are “very slim.” Nevertheless. GBP/USD has recovered toward 1.34. 

Coronavirus vaccine 1: The UK administered the first shots of the Pfizer/BioNTech inoculation on Tuesday. More importantly for markets, the US Food and Drugs Administration released a promising assessment of the jab ahead of a probable approval on Thursday. The FDA seal will likely trigger further green lights in other countries. 

Coronavirus vaccine 2: A peer-reviewed analysis of the AstraZeneca/ University of Oxford’s immunization confirms an efficacy rate of around 70% but leaves some questions open about protecting older people. 

The Bank of Canada is set to leave the interest rate unchanged in its last decision of the year and is set to comment on the economy after Canadian employment figures beat estimates but growth missed.

See BOC Preview: Why the BOC could send CAD higher, despite downbeat data

Gold has been consolidating its gains around $1,860, underpinned by stimulus hopes. WTI Crude Oil has been unable to hold onto its OPEC+ related advances and changes hands at around $45. 

Cryptocurrencies are on the back foot, with Bitcoin falling to around $18,200. Ethereum and XRP are also well below their highs.