Gold Futures Flat As Markets Await ECB Policy Announcement

CDC Asks States To Be Ready For Covid-19 Vaccine Distribution By Nov.1

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has told states to get ready to distribute a potential vaccine against coronavirus by November 1, just ahead of the presidential election, US media reported.

The federal health agency is also reportedly asking health officials in all 50 states to get rid of red tape that would prevent distribution sites from opening.

“For the purpose of initial planning, CDC provided states with certain planning assumptions as they work on state specific plans for vaccine distribution, including possibly having limited quantities of vaccines in October and November,” Reuters quoted a CDC spokeswoman as saying.

As per a New York Times report, CDC is preparing for at least one COVID-19 vaccine for distribution in limited quantities by the end of October.

As multiple companies are in a race to bring out their vaccine against coronavirus, President Donald Trump is said to be in a hurry to roll out one for certain groups before it has been fully tested to take advantage from it in the election.

U.S. voters go to the polls on November 3.

Health experts have already expressed concerns over rushing through a vaccine with safety compromised.

Top Democrat Senator Chuck Schumer accused the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration of yielding to “political interference from the Trump Administration (which) as impacted the agencies’ work in response to Covid-19.”

Jane Fraser to Succeed Corbat as Citigroup CEO

Citigroup Inc. (C) said CEO Michael Corbat plans to retire from Citi and step down from the company’s Board in February, 2021. The Board selected Jane Fraser, currently President and CEO of Global Consumer Banking, to succeed Corbat as CEO in February. Jane Fraser has been at Citi for 16 years. The company will name a new CEO of Global Consumer Banking in the coming weeks.

Jane Fraser was the Chief Executive Officer of Citi’s Latin American region from 2015 to 2019. From 2013 to 2015, she was the Chief Executive Officer of the U.S. Consumer and Commercial Banking and CitiMortgage. From 2009 to 2013, Jane served as the Chief Executive Officer of Citi’s Private Bank.

“We believe Jane is the right person to build on Mike’s record and take Citi to the next level. She has deep experience across our lines of business and regions and we are highly confident in her. Jane’s ability to think strategically and also operate a business are a unique combination that will serve our company well,” John Dugan, Chair of the Board, said.

Stock Alert: RH Jumps To New 52-week High After Q2 Results Beat View

Shares of RH (RH) are surging almost 25 percent or $80.22 in Thursday’s morning trade at $401.30, after touching a new 52-week high of $405.55 as the luxury furniture retailer’s second-quarter earnings results beat analysts’ estimates.

RH, the parent company of Restoration Hardware, said Wednesday that its second-quarter net income rose to $98.4 million or $3.71 per share from $63.8 million or $2.86 per share last year. Adjusted earnings were $4.90 per share, compared to $3.20 last year. Revenues rose to $709.3 million from $706.5 million last year.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had a consensus earnings estimate of $3.41 per share on revenues of $707.14 million. Analysts’ estimates typically exclude special items.

RH has traded in a range of $73.14 to $405.55 in the past 52 weeks.

Watch ECB President Christine Lagarde speak after latest policy move

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Christine Lagarde, president of the European Central Bank (ECB), is set to speak at a press conference on Thursday, after the euro zone's central bank announced its latest monetary policy decision.

The ECB on Thursday said it would keep its interest rates and coronavirus-stimulus program unchanged. It comes despite a stronger euro, which is closely watched by the central bank as it makes imports cheaper, hitting exporters in the region and tightening financial conditions for the wider economy. 

Euro area inflation also hit its lowest since readings began last month, raising more questions about whether the ECB may have to take further actions to boost the economy.

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EU Demands Johnson Amend U.K. Market Bill by End of the Month

The European Union gave the U.K until the end of the month to amend the internal market bill, which it said constitutes a clear violation of last year’s Brexit divorce agreement.

If Prime Minister Boris Johnson doesn’t comply, the EU signaled that it will take legal action.

“The withdrawal agreement contains a number of mechanisms and legal remedies to address violations of the legal obligations contained in the text — which the European Union will not be shy in using,” the bloc said in a statement.

Gold Futures Flat As Markets Await ECB Policy Announcement

Gold prices are swinging between gains and losses in a very narrow range Thursday morning as traders await European Central Bank’s monetary policy announcement, due later in the day.

A weak dollar is supporting the yellow metal a bit. The dollar index is down 0.12% at 93.14.

Gold futures for December are down slightly at $1,954.30 an ounce, moving between $1,950.50 and $1,960.40.

Silver futures for December are rising $0.247 or 0.91% at $27.330 an ounce.

Data on U.S. jobless claims, wholesales sales and Conference Board’s Coincidence Index and Leading Index are also due later in the day.