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Here is what you need to know on Tuesday, November 24:

Markets are advancing and the US dollar is retreating as the transition to Biden administration begins and former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen is nominated as Treasury Secretary. US data is closely watched after Markit’s PMI triggered a dollar rally on Tuesday. Vaccine news is also on the radar.

Transition: President Donald Trump finally authorized his administration to allow a transition to his successor Joe Biden. While Trump continues fighting in courts, the certification of his loss in Michigan and pressure from fellow Republicans pushed him to allow the General Services Administration to work with the President-elect’s team. Markets responded positively to the news and the safe-haven dollar retreated. 

Janet Yellen will probably become the next Treasury Secretary. The highly regarded central banker is set to push for expansive policies while refraining from going too far to the left, as a supporter of free trade. Her candidacy will probably easily pass muster in the Senate. 

US data: Markit’s Purchasing Managers’ Indexes for November beat estimates with 56.7 in the manufacturing sector and 57.7 in the services one. The figures had an outsized impact, boosting the dollar and reversing its losses. House price and the Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence are eyed later in the day.

Gold is licking its wounds at around $1,830 after tumbling down in response to upbeat economic figures. The precious metal is changing hands at the lowest in July. 

Cryptocurrencies: Ripple’s XRP has been leading the charge with a leap to $0.70. Ethereum hit the $600 mark while Bitcoin has been consolidating its gains above $18,000.

Vaccine: Doubts about the efficacy of the Astra/Zeneca/University of Oxford immunization candidate cooled market enthusiasm. The project reported an average of 70% efficiency but 90% using a lower dosage regimen. The third vaccine report in as many weeks had a limited impact on markets. Full data is expected later in the week. 

The German IFO Business Climate figures for November are set to show a decline amid lockdowns. The final read showed Europe’s largest economy growing by 8.5% against 8.2% originally published.

Europe’s coronavirus cases are beginning to decline and governments are making plans for Christmas. Christine Lagarde, President of the European Central Bank, is due to speak later in the day. 

GBP/USD is holding onto gains above 1.33 as markets await a breakthrough on Brexit. Officials conveyed a message that an accord is close, yet both sides have yet to agree on the thorny issues of fisheries and governance. Reports of an “interim deal” surfaced on Monday. 

NZD/USD jumped after the Reserve Bank of New Zealand considered adding house prices to its mandate. Including rising house prices in calculating inflation would imply tighter monetary policy. 

Oil prices have been extending their uptrend, with WTI trading above $43. 

More When the market shivers, the Fed delivers? Where next for markets

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