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“October Shock”: Markets Tumble After Trump Tests Positive For Covid

"October Shock": Markets Tumble After Trump Tests Positive For Covid



"October Shock": Markets Tumble After Trump Tests Positive For Covid Tyler Durden Fri, 10/02/2020 - 07:51

After going to bed expecting today's jobs report to be the highlight of the day, shocked traders woke up this morning to the real October shock: the news tweeted by Donald Trump himself at 12:54am ET, that he and the first lady had tested positive for covid after Hope Hicks, a senior advisor who recently traveled with the president, tested positive.

The result was an immediate flush in US equity futures and global markets which saw the Emini tumble to exactly 3,300 before rebounding modestly into the European open.

AS they sold risk assets, investors rush to safe assets such as gold, U.S. Treasuries and the Japanese yen.  European shares also opened sharply lower, although they recovered some losses in early London trading after the initial overnight move. The STOXX 600 was down 0.6% as of 730am ET. The MSCI world equity index was down 0.2%.

"We’re just a month to the election so this news does throw the election campaign into a disarray for the Republican Party," said Jingyi Pan, market strategist at IG Asia. “Even though Joe Biden is seen as the friendlier choice for Asia and a Trump absence could in some way or another keep that status quo of a Biden lead, generally, a contested election would generate uncertainties across the world and would not bode well for Asia equities as well.”

After Trump said he had coronavirus, online gambling site Betfair suspended betting on the outcome of the U.S. election. Betfair’s odds had previously shown Democratic challenger Joe Biden’s probability of winning at 60% on Wednesday after the first U.S. presidential debate.

Even before news of Trump’s infection, markets had been more bearish after Washington failed to reach an agreement on a fiscal stimulus package to help the U.S. economy recover from the impact of coronavirus. Late on Thursday, the House passed the Democratic stimulus plan which Republicans oppose, after Speaker Pelosi announce no bipartisan deal was achieved last night

The question now is what happens next as Trump’s exposure could cause a new wave of market volatility with investors braced for the presidential election in November.  How long the risk-averse moves will last depends on the extent of the infection within the White House, said Francois Savary, chief investment officer at Swiss wealth manager Prime Partners.

“We may have to wait until the end of the weekend for more clarity on the situation,” he said. “The reaction has been a bit excessive with U.S. stock futures. It doesn’t mean the U.S. administration is not able to function. It will weigh on the market today and early next week but will not induce a long-lasting correction if the infection is contained to Trump,” he added.

Following the news, the U.S. dollar index rose and the safe-haven yen made its biggest jump in more than a month, reaching 104.95. Versus a basked of currencies, the dollar was up 0.1% on the day at 93.820. The Australian dollar, which serves as a liquid proxy for risk, was down 0.5%. The euro was down 0.3% against the dollar, at $1.1721.

In rates, Treasuries remained higher led by long end after fading from session lows. Yields are still inside Wednesday’s ranges ahead of September jobs report at 8:30am ET. Yields were lower by less than 2bp at long end of the curve, with 2s10s, 5s30s spreads flatter less than 1bp; 10-year is down 1.6bp at 0.661%, outperforming little-changed bunds and gilts, after shedding as much as 2.6bp. Yields rebounded from session lows as stock futures pared declines; S&P E-minis have trimmed a 2% drop on Trump health news to about 1.4%. Germany's benchmark 10-year bond was down around 2 basis points at -0.545%.

In commodities, oil fell, with Brent down 3.3% at $39.57 a barrel to the lowest level since June, having fallen overnight and stabilized somewhat as European markets opened. Gold rose, up 0.1% at $1,906.26 per ounce. “Depending on how this situation evolves over the weekend, notably if more members of the U.S. government’s senior leadership are diagnosed positive, gold could be set for an extended rally,” said Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst at OANDA.

Elsewhere, in geopolitics, EU leaders reached an agreement regarding Belarus and Turkey in which they will impose sanctions on Belarus for violence and its election, although President Lukashenko was not included in the sanctions, while it warned that Turkey could face sanctions if it continues with its gas exploration in Cypriot waters. European Council President Michel said the next 2 weeks will be crucial with Turkey and the summit deal opened a path for dialogue but also showed firmness, while they will return to the Turkey question at the December summit. Furthermore, German Chancellor Merkel said EU leaders agreed they want constructive relations with Turkey and hope for negotiating dynamic with the country

Looking ahead, the last round of monthly U.S. unemployment data before the elections is due at 0830 (see preview here), although analysts say this has been relegated to secondary importance. We also get Factory Orders, Uni. of Michigan (F), Fed's Harker, European Council Special Meeting. Trump’s illness prompted the White House to cancel political events on Friday, including a rally planned outside Orlando, Florida. Campaign and fundraising trips planned for the coming days -- including visits to key battlegrounds including Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Nevada -- are expected to be scrapped.

Market Snapshot

  • S&P 500 futures down 1.2% to 3,327.75
  • STOXX Europe 600 down 0.4% to 360.49
  • MXAP down 0.3% to 169.91
  • MXAPJ down 0.2% to 558.19
  • Nikkei down 0.7% to 23,029.90
  • Topix down 1% to 1,609.22
  • Hang Seng Index up 0.8% to 23,459.05
  • Shanghai Composite down 0.2% to 3,218.05
  • Sensex up 1.7% to 38,697.05
  • Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 1.4% to 5,791.50
  • Kospi up 0.9% to 2,327.89
  • Brent Futures down 3% to $39.71/bbl
  • Gold spot up 0.2% to $1,909.27
  • U.S. Dollar Index up 0.06% to 93.77
  • German 10Y yield fell 0.5 bps to -0.541%
  • Euro down 0.2% to $1.1721
  • Brent Futures down 3% to $39.71/bbl
  • Italian 10Y yield fell 4.4 bps to 0.618%
  • Spanish 10Y yield fell 0.2 bps to 0.23%

Top Overnight News

  • Trump’s illness prompted the White House to cancel political events on Friday, including a rally planned outside Orlando, Florida. Campaign and fundraising trips planned for the coming days -- including visits to key battlegrounds including Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Nevada -- are expected to be scrapped.
  • Four months of European Commission consultations with insurance companies, academics and others ends Friday, aimed at agreeing by next year what really counts as “green” in projects funded by such debt

A quick look across global markets courtesy of NewsSquawk

Asian equity markets traded lower and the E-mini S&P is showing substantial losses after US President Trump tested positive for COVID-19. ASX 200 (-1.4%) reversed yesterday’s strength in which energy and mining-related sectors led the downside following weakness across the commodities complex and as a lacklustre financials sector also contributed to the losses for the index. Nikkei 225 (-0.7 %) was initially buoyed at the open as it played catch-up on return from yesterday’s surprise trading halt in Tokyo due to hardware issues, which Japan’s FSA is reportedly to consider a punishment for. This subsequently weighed on Japan Exchange Group shares and Fujitsu was also pressured given that the Co. is the hardware provider for the market operator, while most the gains in the benchmark index were gradually pared alongside a broad tentative tone and with a lack of participants due to closures in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea and India. Finally, 10yr JGBs were rangebound amid the mixed risk tone and with price action stuck near the 152.00 focal point, while a tepid Rinban announcement by the BoJ which were present in the market for JPY 570bln, also ensured the lackadaisical price action for government bonds.

Top Asian News

  • Malaysia Airlines in Urgent Restructuring as Pandemic Worsens
  • Australia’s Central Bank Is ‘Dysfunctional,’ Ex- Researcher Says

European cash indices briefly trimmed earlier losses (Euro stoxx 50 -0.9%) which were triggered by US President Trump announcing his positive COVID-19 test, in turn sparking risk aversion across markets. Since then, cash and futures have been attempting to lift off lows, with some Brexit optimism potentially providing support as the news of a videoconference between the European Commission President and the UK PM was received well by participants, alongside the Pound, whilst the two sides will continue with negotiations in the run up to the EU Summit mid-month. That being said, EU diplomats are still downbeat over a Brexit breakthrough whilst a UK minister highlighted that very significant issues need to be resolved. Nonetheless, the attempted recovery was fleeting, Europe trades mostly lower with the exception of Spanish and Austrian stocks, with the former supported by ACS (+18%) after Vinci (+2.6%) submitted a bid to acquire the Co’s industrial division. Sectors meanwhile opened lower across the board, but thereafter gained some composure; albeit, Energy remains the laggard whilst Telecoms tops the charts with follow-through from yesterday’s French 5G auction – which raised EUR 2.8bln, as Iliad (+4.0%), Orange (+2%) and Bouygues (+1.3%) prop up the sector. The sectoral breakdown paints a similar picture with Travel & Leisure still under pressure amid the implications of the COVID-19 resurgence on the sector. In terms of individual movers, Lagardere (-0.2%) trades with modest losses despite Vivendi (+0.6%) upping its shareholding of the Co. to 26.7% from 21.2%. Ryanair (-2.2%) meanwhile sees losses amid source reports that the Co. is mulling purchasing Boeing 737Max aircrafts for ~EUR 16bln, whilst traffic September traffic numbers fell -64% YY and the Co. was operating at around 53% of normal September schedule.

Top European News

  • ECB Takes Major Step Toward Introducing a Digital Euro
  • ACS in Talks to Sell Industrial Unit to Vinci for $6.1 Billion
  • German Regulator Limits Staff Trading After Wirecard Scandal
  • BlackRock Sees Board Governance at VW Going in Reverse

In FX, the Yen is in demand on safe-haven grounds after an initial Greenback rally on news of US President Trump catching the coronavirus saw the DXY knee-jerk just over 94.000, with Usd/Jpy subsequently retreating from around 105.66 to test bids/support below 105.00 and the index hovering just above a 93.709 low. Conversely, the Aussie has borne the brunt of risk aversion, as Aud/Usd reverses from the high 0.7100 region through 0.7150, with little consolation from retail sales not dropping quite as much as expected in August. Ahead, NFP would ordinarily command headline status on the first Friday of a new month, but the data now looks somewhat inconsequential in light of the aforementioned events in Washington.

  • GBP – More wild swings for Sterling, partly in line with broad sentiment, but again due to Brexit developments in the main and independently of other external or domestic factors. Cable is firmly back over 1.2900 and Eur/Gbp circa 0.9060 compared to 0.9100+ at one stage following reports that UK PM Johnson and European Commission President von der Leyen will hold a video call on Saturday to assess the situation on trade talks after this week’s formal round of discussions, and the former will push for the 2 sides to enter the tunnel stage of negotiations even though EU chief of Brexit matters, Barnier, is unsure the time is right.
  • CAD/NZD/EUR/CHF – All still softer against their US counterpart, with the Loonie pivoting 1.3300, Kiwi midway between 0.6654-16 parameters, Euro holding above 1.1700 within a 1.1697-1.1750 range and Franc straddling 0.9200. Aside from keeping a White House vigil in the run up to monthly US jobs data, Eur/Usd looks well flanked by decent option expiries given 1.3 bn at 1.1700, 2 bn at 1.1750 and 1.7 bn at 1.1800, if recent peaks in the headline pair are breached. For the record, very little reaction to softer than forecast prelim Eurozone inflation as the individual national reports indicated a downside skew to consensus.
  • SCANDI/EM - The Norwegian Crown may be deriving some traction from a lower than anticipated September jobless rate to compensate for weak oil prices and the impending strike action, but Eur/Nok is not down as much in percentage terms as Eur/Sek, albeit back under the psychological 11.0000 level in similar vein to the latter that has crossed 10.50000 to the downside. Elsewhere, EM currencies are broadly softer vs the Usd, but especially the Rub amidst ongoing diplomatic and geopolitical tensions, on top of Brent losing grip of the Usd 40/brl handle

In commodities, WTI and Brent futures remain pressured, albeit volatility has somewhat cooled down in recent trade, with the initial downside sparked by the risk aversion experienced following President Trump’s positive test. Newsflow which sent WTI Nov and Brent Dec to lows of USD 37.22/bbl (vs. high 38.65/bbl) and USD 39.40/bbl respectively (vs. high 40.77/bbl). Again, crude-specific news flow has been light and we are awaiting the NFP data for some impetus; alongside any further developments around Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis. Looking ahead, next week seems fairly quiet in terms of crude-specific events, although the OPEC World Oil Outlook on the 8th could garner some attention with regards to its medium-term forecasts, but there is a possibly the release will get sideline if the report is consistent with the July release – as was the case last year. Spot gold meanwhile was bid early-doors on safe-haven inflow, which took the yellow metal to a high of USD 1917/oz, whilst spot silver briefly topped USD 24/oz before both precious metals waned off highs. In terms of base metals, LME copper fell to the lowest in seven weeks due to USD upside and sentiment effect from US President Trump. Meanwhile, aluminium prices fell amid talks of US aluminium exemptions for producers in UAE and Bahrain.

US Event Calendar

  • 8:30am: Change in Nonfarm Payrolls, est. 875,000, prior 1.37m; Change in Private Payrolls, est. 875,000, prior 1.03m
    • Unemployment Rate, est. 8.2%, prior 8.4%
    • Average Hourly Earnings MoM, est. 0.2%, prior 0.4%; Average Hourly Earnings YoY, est. 4.8%, prior 4.7%
    • Average Weekly Hours All Employees, est. 34.6, prior 34.6
    • Labor Force Participation Rate, est. 61.9%, prior 61.7%; Underemployment Rate, prior 14.2%
  • 10am: U. of Mich. Sentiment, est. 79, prior 78.9; Current Conditions, prior 87.5; Expectations, prior 73.3
  • 10am: Factory Orders, est. 0.9%, prior 6.4%; Factory Orders Ex Trans, est. 1.1%, prior 2.1%
  • 10am: Durable Goods Orders, est. 0.4%, prior 0.4%; Durables Ex Transportation, est. 0.4%, prior 0.4%
  • 10am: Cap Goods Orders Nondef Ex Air, est. 1.7%, prior 1.8%; Cap Goods Ship Nondef Ex Air, prior 1.5%

DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap

I’m not sure if it’s just me but I seem to have fought off more “Daddy longlegs” in the last few weeks than I can remember in my entire life. It could be local to me but they are everywhere. The twins are very amusing as they have only just discovered Daddy longlegs and think they are the funniest thing in the world. They also ask where Mummy shortlegs are? They then laugh at their own jokes. I’ve taught them well.

The US political spider’s web continued to dominate the narrative yesterday. Notwithstanding this, markets got off to a steady but solid start to Q4. By the close, the S&P 500 was up +0.53% and at a two-week high, though the index fell back somewhat from its opening gains following a report that Speaker Pelosi had told her deputies that she was sceptical a stimulus agreement would be reached. Markets seem to be caught between the crossfire of volatile stimulus news and a steady increase in the probability of a Biden victory in recent days according to respected modellers. Indeed FiveThirtyEight’s model ticked up to an 80% probability of a Biden win for the first time yesterday. Although Trump has traditionally been seen as good for stocks, the uncertainty of a close election, and a possible contested one at that, has been a dampener of late. If markets got more and more convinced of a Democrat clean sweep then this a) reduces uncertainty and b) potentially paves the way for a bigger fiscal stimulus after January. So Biden positive news can outweigh short-term negative news on stimulus.

Indeed, US fiscal stimulus discussions again dominated headlines yesterday. Pelosi said that the two parties are still a ways apart on the total size of stimulus and the means in which it is apportioned. It is likely that the latter is the larger sticking point as the White House has offered $1.6 trillion, well above $1 trillion figures many Senate Republicans were already uncomfortable with. The Democrats’ most recent offer of $2.2 trillion – down from their original $3.5 trillion bill – passed late last night although Senate Republicans are expected to reject it. Pelosi said that she would continue talks with Mnuchin while the passed bill will act as public account for what here caucus was pushing for. The S&P 500 dropped half a per cent yesterday when the intention to vote was announced as it signaled the talks had likely not closed the gap. Lawmakers in both chambers are expected to recess ahead of the elections next week but can be called back to take part in a vote if anything were to get done.

Staying on the US, the main story developing overnight is that President Trump is to quarantine after his aide Hope Hicks tested positive for the coronavirus. The President tweeted that “The First Lady and I are waiting for our test results. In the meantime, we will begin our quarantine process!” In terms of the market reaction, S&P 500 futures fell after the news was released, and are currently down -0.29%, while the dollar index has moved higher and is up +0.22%. Meanwhile in Asia, amidst a number of public holidays, the Nikkei (+0.25%), is trading slightly higher, in spite of Japan’s unemployment rate in August rising to a 3-year high of 3.0%.

In advance of that, equity markets generally moved higher on both sides of the Atlantic yesterday amidst the stimulus discussions and increased probabilities of a more definitive election outcome, particularly large cap tech stocks once again as the NASDAQ gained +1.42%, while the S&P 500 was ‘only’ up +0.53% with the STOXX 600 up +0.20%. The biggest drivers of the S&P and the NASDAQ were those mega-cap tech stocks such as Netflix (+5.50%) and Amazon (+2.30%). On the gap between US and European equity markets, our CoTD yesterday showed that although the gap has been widening over the last decade, if you strip out just 10 mega-cap growth stocks from the S&P 500 then the Stoxx 600 has only been slightly behind the “S&P 490” since the end of 2014. See the evidence here.

Back to markets, andthe energy sector lagged behind yesterday as a result of the major declines in oil prices. Both Brent crude (-3.24%) and WTI (-3.73%) suffered significant losses thanks to concerns about oversupply. Copper, another industrial commodity, had its worst performance (-5.51%) since March as poor global demand weighed on the metal. Precious metals on the other hand rose with gold rising +1.07% and silver gaining +2.40%. Sovereign bonds rallied for the most part as well, with yields on 10yr treasuries (-0.6bps) and bunds (-1.4bps) both falling. Italian debt was the real outperformer though, with 10yr yields down -4.5bps and at a 1-year low, while the country’s 30-year yield fell a further -3.2bps to an all-time low. The dollar fell (-0.19%) for the fifth time in the last six sessions, though Wednesday’s was nearly unchanged.

In terms of the coronavirus, there was further negative news from Western Europe, as Italy reported another 2,548 cases, which was the country’s highest daily total since April 24 albeit with higher testing now. This has prompted Prime Minister Conte to seek an extension of his emergency powers until the end of January. Meanwhile in the UK, another 6,914 cases were reported, which sent the 7-day average up to 6,260. However we should note that the 7-day rolling average as seen in the table below is “only” slightly higher than it was a week ago. A similar story for most of the second wave candidates. Regardless officials noted that London may be at a “tipping point” while further restrictions were announced for parts of northern England, including Liverpool, where it will be illegal to meet with other households indoors. More restrictions may be coming to France as well where the Health Minister said they “may have no choice” but to close bars and restaurants again in Paris, saying the city is on “maximum alert”. And over in the US, New York reported the most new virus cases since May. New York City’s positivity rate on first time tests continued to climb, but remained below the 3% threshold that would close schools. Elsewhere in the US, two Wisconsin mayors have asked President Trump to cancel large rallies in the state which currently has one of the highest daily cases per capita in the US.

Today, attention will turn to the US jobs report, which also has added political significance as the last jobs report before Election Day on November 3rd. In terms of what to expect, our US economists think that nonfarm payrolls will grow by another +800k in September (consensus +875k), which should be enough to lower the unemployment rate to 8.2% from 8.4%. Remember however, that even if this were realised, nonfarm payrolls would still be over 10m beneath their peak back in February, so there’s still a long way to go before we get back to pre-Covid levels of employment.

Ahead of that later, the weekly initial jobless claims data for the week through September 26th showed a reduction to 837k, the lowest since the pandemic began. The continuing claims number for the week through September 19th also fell to a post-pandemic low of 11.767m, and the insured unemployment rate fell to 8.1%. The other main data highlight came from the manufacturing PMIs, though these were fairly unexciting, and saw little movement compared to the flash readings. The Euro Area PMI came in at 53.7, exactly in line with the flash reading, the German number was revised down slightly to 56.4 (vs. flash 56.6), and the French number was revised up slightly to 51.2 (vs. flash 50.9). Over in the US, the ISM manufacturing index came in at 55.4 (vs. 56.5 expected), which was a modest pull back from its 56.0 reading in August.

Elsewhere, it was a volatile day for the pound sterling as a raft of Brexit news came through that saw sentiment switch dramatically as the day went on. In the morning, the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced the beginning of infringement proceedings against the UK on account of the parts of the UK’s internal market bill that violate the Withdrawal Agreement. The EU had previously given the UK until the end of September to remove the relevant provisions from the bill, but with that deadline passing they announced they would be sending a “letter of formal notice” to the UK, which the UK has until the end of October to respond to. Sterling fell to an intraday low of -0.77% in response, though in reality, this is arguably somewhat second order to the ongoing trade negotiations, particularly with the bill having not yet become law and facing serious obstacles in the UK House of Lords. Notably the end-month deadline for the UK to respond is also after Prime Minister Johnson’s self-imposed deadline of October 15 to reach a free-trade deal, so by that point we could be in a very different world depending on how things progress.

Not long after midday however, a tweet from the well-connected FT’s Sebastian Payne sent sterling up to an intraday high of +0.45%, after he said that “Officials with knowledge of the talks say a landing zone on state aid has been identified”. This optimism didn’t last for long though, with sterling falling back again as another headline came through saying that the reports suggesting the two sides were entering the final stage were too optimistic, with differences still remaining on the long-standing sticking points of state aid and fisheries. The 9th round of the negotiations wraps up today in Brussels, with a meeting between the two chief negotiators, so worth keeping an eye out to see if we get any statements from either side of any progress that might have taken place.

To the day ahead now, and as mentioned the US jobs report later is likely to be the main highlight. Otherwise, we’ll get the flash estimate of Euro Area CPI in September, and from the US there’s also the final University of Michigan sentiment reading for September and factory orders for August. From central banks, we’ll hear from ECB Vice President de Guindos, along with the ECB’s Holzmann and Hernandez de Cos, while from the Fed we’ll hear from Harker and Kashkari.

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EUR/AUD bearish breakdown supported by additional China fiscal stimulus and AU inflation

Weak PMI readings from the Eurozone, an increase in China’s budget deficit ratio, and renewed inflationary pressures in Australia may trigger a persistent…



  • Weak PMI readings from the Eurozone, an increase in China’s budget deficit ratio, and renewed inflationary pressures in Australia may trigger a persistent bearish sentiment loop in EUR/AUD.
  • Watch the key short-term resistance at 1.6700 for EUR/AUD.
  • A break below 1.6250 key medium-term support on the EUR/AUD may trigger a multi-week bearish impulsive down move.

The Euro (EUR) tumbled overnight throughout the US session as it erased its prior gains against the US dollar recorded on Monday, 23 October; the EUR/USD shed -104 pips from yesterday’s intraday high of 1.0695 to close the US session at 1.0591, its weakest performance in the past seven sessions.

Yesterday’s resurgence of the USD dollar strength has been attributed to a robust set of October flash manufacturing and services PMI data from the US in contrast with weak readings seen in the UK and Eurozone that represented stagflation risks.

Interestingly, the Aussie dollar (AUD) has outperformed the US dollar where the AUD/USD managed to squeeze out a minor daily gain of 21 pips by the close of yesterday’s US session. The resilient movement of the AUD/USD has been impacted by positive news flow out from China, Australia’s key trading partner.

China’s national legislature has just approved a budgetary plan to raise the fiscal deficit ratio for 2023 to around 3.8% of its GDP which was above the initial 3% set in March and set to issue additional sovereign debt worth 1 trillion yuan in Q4. This latest round of additional fiscal stimulus suggests that China’s top policymakers are expanding their initial targeted measures to address the ongoing severe liquidity crunch in the domestic property market as well as to reverse the persistent weak sentiment inherent in the stock market.

In addition, the latest set of Australia’s inflation data surpassed expectations has also reinforced another layer of positive feedback loop in the Aussie dollar which in turn may put Australia’s central bank, RBA on a “hawkish guard” against cutting its policy cash rate too soon.

The less lagging monthly CPI Indicator has risen to an annualized rate of 5.6% in September, above consensus estimates of 5.4%, and surpassed August’s reading of 5.2% which has translated into a second consecutive month of uptick in inflationary growth.

In the lens of technical analysis, a potential bearish configuration setup has emerged in the EUR/AUD cross pair from a short to medium-term perspective.

Major uptrend phase of EUR/AUD is weakening


Fig 1: EUR/AUD medium-term trend as of 25 Oct 2023 (Source: TradingView, click to enlarge chart)

Even though the price actions of the EUR/AUD have been oscillating within a major ascending channel since its 25 August 2023 low of 1.4285 and traded above the key 200-day moving average so far, the momentum of this up movement is showing signs of bullish exhaustion.

Yesterday (24 October) price action ended with a daily bearish reversal “Marubozu” candlestick coupled with the daily RSI momentum indicator that retreated right at a significant parallel resistance in place since March 2023 at the 65 level which suggests a revival of medium-term bearish momentum.

EUR/AUD bears are now attacking the minor ascending support

Fig 2: EUR/AUD minor short-term trend as of 25 Oct 2023 (Source: TradingView, click to enlarge chart)

The EUR/AUD has now staged a bearish price action follow-through via the breakdown of its minor ascending support from its 29 September 2023 low after a momentum bearish breakdown that was flashed earlier yesterday (24 October) during the European session as seen from the 4-hour RSI momentum indicator.

Watch the 1.6700 key short-term pivotal resistance (also the 50-day moving average) for a further potential slide toward the intermediate supports of 1.6460 and 1.6320 in the first step.

On the other hand, a clearance above 1.6700 invalidates the bearish tone to see the next intermediate resistance coming in at 1.6890.

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GigXR partners with NUS Medicine to deliver holographic clinical scenarios for gastroenterology training

GigXR, Inc., a global provider of holographic healthcare training, announced today its partnership with the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University…



GigXR, Inc., a global provider of holographic healthcare training, announced today its partnership with the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore (NUS Medicine), one of the world’s leading medical schools, to introduce a new gastrointestinal module for the award-winning HoloScenarios application. Created to better prepare medical and nursing students in diagnosing and treating acute gastrointestinal diseases, HoloScenarios: Gastrointestinal delivers evidence-based, robust clinical simulations that present hyperrealistic holographic simulated patients and medical equipment to be used in any physical learning environment, accessed anywhere in the world.

Credit: Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore (NUS Medicine), and GigXR

GigXR, Inc., a global provider of holographic healthcare training, announced today its partnership with the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore (NUS Medicine), one of the world’s leading medical schools, to introduce a new gastrointestinal module for the award-winning HoloScenarios application. Created to better prepare medical and nursing students in diagnosing and treating acute gastrointestinal diseases, HoloScenarios: Gastrointestinal delivers evidence-based, robust clinical simulations that present hyperrealistic holographic simulated patients and medical equipment to be used in any physical learning environment, accessed anywhere in the world.

Going beyond linear step-based training traditionally seen with virtual reality (VR), HoloScenarios: Gastrointestinal uses mixed reality (MR) to simulate the entire patient journey, while including branching logic to catalyze variance in learning experiences. From taking basic medical history to performing invasive testing and emergency procedures, the new module empowers learners to master vital medical decision-making and manual skills as they would see them in real-life clinical scenarios and patient care.

HoloScenarios: Gastrointestinal is created in collaboration with renowned medical professionals and educators from NUS Medicine who specialize in the fields of Gastrointestinal (GI) Surgery and holographic medical training. The module is delivered by the Gig Immersive Learning Platform, the enterprise-scale platform enabling the creation, curation, and sharing of immersive training applications and modules made by the world’s preeminent healthcare institutions and MR developers.

“Gastrointestinal pathologies can be complex and challenging to diagnose. This module will allow learners to form a deeper understanding and appreciation of the gastrointestinal tract, especially the three-dimensional understanding of anatomy and body functions,” said Associate Professor Alfred Kow Wei Chieh from the school’s Department of Surgery and Assistant Dean (Education) at NUS Medicine. “We believe mixed reality is the next evolution in healthcare training, and collaborating with immersive platform innovators like GigXR helps us to bring this vital content to more learners globally and, ultimately, improve patient care.”

With international medical and surgical credentials that include MBBS (S’pore), M Med (Surg), FRCSEd (Gen Surg), FAMS, and FACS, Associate Professor Kow has trained thousands of healthcare professionals and advanced surgical fellows. He received the 2023 REAL Advancing in Liver Transplantation Award for his contributions to global liver transplantation education and is a founding member of The Holomedicine® Association.

“GigXR has one of the most advanced and comprehensive platforms in mixed reality, especially in medical training, and enables the exchange of developments, innovation, and expertise with a wider community across Asia and beyond,” added Associate Professor Kow. He is also the Head and Senior Consultant of the Division of Hepatobiliary & Pancreatic Surgery, Department of Surgery, at Singapore’s National University Hospital (NUH), the teaching hospital of NUS Medicine.

The new module also delivers enhanced realism in training learners to more accurately diagnose and treat acute gastrointestinal diseases. Whereas VR has been widely used in gastroenterology training for linear step-based skills, such as in endoscopic procedures, it is limited in its ability to simulate fully realized clinical scenarios. Holographic patient simulation in MR merges hyper-realistic holograms in physical learning spaces that accurately reflect the clinical environment and tools with which learners will care for real patients.

With HoloScenarios: Gastrointestinal, learners can interact with the holographic simulated patients, holographic medical equipment, instructors, and each other. This allows them to master both technical and soft skills, such as patient empathy and team communication, in hyper-realistic, safe-to-fail environments that reduce cognitive load. If the holographic patient displays the need for further care, such as a definitive surgery, learners can discuss a definitive treatment plan.

To gain a deeper evaluation of outward symptoms, co-located learners can safely walk around the patient hologram that is displayed on top of their real-world surroundings. Whereas VR locks learners into a virtual “box,” MR enables clear visibility and awareness of physical surroundings. This allows learners to move freely without fear of physical collisions and safety so they can fully focus on learning key gastrointestinal treatment, diagnostic, and communication skills with peers and instructors.

“In healthcare, educators are not only trying to help learners master and retain vital knowledge, but recall and apply it when a patient’s life may be at risk,” said Dr. Gao Yujia, MBBS (S’Pore), MRCS, FRCSEd, Consultant and Assistant Group Chief Technology Officer at Singapore’s National University Health System, and Vice Chairman of The Holomedicine® Association. “With HoloScenarios: Gastrointestinal, learners will have the ability to not only visualize the presentation of a given disease in 3D but better understand how to apply key learnings in the clinical context and within team environments.” Dr Gao is also the Director of Undergraduate Medical Education for Surgery at NUS Medicine.

With scenarios across gastrointestinal pathologies that include gastrointestinal bleeding, intestinal obstruction, and chronic liver failure, learners can master complex and potentially critical situations. They can learn, for example, how to stabilize patients who are dehydrated, bleeding, or septic, as well as the types of diagnostic procedures that may then be required to get a definitive diagnosis. Using mixed reality headsets or any Android, iOS smartphone or tablet, learners can access HoloScenearios: Gastrointestinal from anywhere for remotely distributed, yet highly immersive simulation.

“Immersive technology has accelerated the sharing of expertise for teaching, training, and simulation. Mixed reality, with its natural propensity to facilitate hyperrealistic, safe, and collaborative learning, continues to accelerate both the quality and scale of training outcomes,” said Jared Mermey, CEO of GigXR. “We are immensely proud to partner with NUS Medicine which has been at the forefront of adopting mixed reality in both clinical and educational use cases. By bringing their esteemed expertise onto our platform with the co-creation of HoloScenarios’ newest module, we believe clinical breakthroughs in diagnosing and treating gastrointestinal diseases will take a giant leap forward.”

Designed specifically for pedagogy, the Gig Immersive Learning Platform is trusted by over 70 enterprise-scale healthcare institutions across four continents to build full immersive curricula utilizing a robust content catalog – all of which is managed from a single dashboard. Third-party content developed by leading 3D medical partners, including DICOM Director, 3D4Medical by Elsevier, and ANIMA RES, seamlessly integrates with the platform to provide complementary, in-depth anatomy applications that empower learners with a broader physical context for the pathologies that they study.

“The Gig Immersive Learning Platform has quickly become the premier educational, social network for sharing healthcare training expertise in the immersive format, spanning global healthcare institutions and the Department of Defense to content developers and enterprises large and small,” said David King Lassman, Founder of GigXR. “HoloScenarios: Gastrointestinal marks the latest milestone in our rapidly expanding catalog, which now boasts a dozen different licensable training modules that span holographic simulated patients, clinical scenarios, anatomy, pathophysiology, and 3D medical imaging.”

NUS joins the University of Cambridge and Cambridge University Hospitals (CUH) NHS Foundation Trust, University of Michigan, and Morlen Health, a subsidiary of Northwest Permanente, P.C., as the world-class institutions partnering with GigXR to co-create holographic healthcare training. These simulations include modules centered around Respiratory diseases, Basic Life Support, Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Neurology scenarios, and now, with NUS, Gastrointestinal diseases.

GigXR and NUS Medicine plan to launch HoloScenarios: Gastro in Spring 2024. For more information on GigXR, visit or email For more information on NUS, visit

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Public support for extending the 14-day rule on human embryo research indicated by foundational dialogue project

The findings of a foundational UK public dialogue on human embryo research are published today, Wednesday 25th October 2023, as part of the Wellcome-funded…



The findings of a foundational UK public dialogue on human embryo research are published today, Wednesday 25th October 2023, as part of the Wellcome-funded Human Developmental Biology Initiative (HDBI). The HDBI is an ambitious scientific endeavour to advance our understanding of human development. The dialogue project, which was co-funded by UKRI Sciencewise programme, engaged a diverse group of the public to consider how early human embryo research can be used to its fullest, the 14-day rule and the fast-paced field of stem cell-based embryo models.

Credit: Dr Matteo Molè (Babraham Institute)

The findings of a foundational UK public dialogue on human embryo research are published today, Wednesday 25th October 2023, as part of the Wellcome-funded Human Developmental Biology Initiative (HDBI). The HDBI is an ambitious scientific endeavour to advance our understanding of human development. The dialogue project, which was co-funded by UKRI Sciencewise programme, engaged a diverse group of the public to consider how early human embryo research can be used to its fullest, the 14-day rule and the fast-paced field of stem cell-based embryo models.

Headline findings include:

  • Appetite for review of the 14-day rule: Participants recognised that extending the 14-day rule could open up ways to achieve benefits in fertility and health, with participant support for reviewing this, including national discussion.
  • Confidence in regulation: There was a high level of confidence in how human embryo research is regulated, despite a low level of awareness of the regulators and statutes themselves. This included strong desire to see robust regulation governing any changes to the 14-day rule and further regulation for the use of stem cell-based embryo models.
  • Support for improved fertility and health outcomes: The strongest hopes for future human embryo research were where new knowledge would deliver improvements in understanding miscarriage, preventing health conditions such as spina bifida and raising the success rates of IVF procedures.
  • Concerns about genetically engineering humans: The public expressed concerns on the application of developments in this field to genetically alter or engineer humans.

The dialogue engaged a group of 70 people broadly reflective of the UK population in over 15 hours of activities including a series of online and face-to-face workshops with scientists, ethicists, philosophers, policy makers and people with relevant lived experience (such as embryo donors from IVF procedures).

Dr Peter Rugg-Gunn, scientific lead for the HDBI and senior group leader at the Babraham Institute, said: “Recent scientific advances bring incredible new opportunities to study and understand the earliest stages of human development. To ensure this research remains aligned with society’s values and expectations, we must listen and respond to public desires and concerns. This public dialogue is an important first step and as a scientist I am reassured by the findings but there is still a long way to go to fully understand this complex issue.” 

The report is exceedingly timely, following notable scientific advances in human developmental biology presented at conferences and in leading scientific journals in recent months. As well as generating excitement in scientific fields and with the public, announcement of these breakthroughs also prompted some concerns and criticisms, with the view that these findings raised significant ethical issues. The dialogue provides insight into public considerations following deliberation on early human embryo research. The hope is that it will act as a foundational reference point that others in the sectors can build upon, such as in any future review of the law on embryo research.

Professor Robin Lovell-Badge, co-chair of the HDBI Oversight group, senior group leader and head of the Laboratory of Stem Cell Biology and Developmental Genetics at the Francis Crick Institute, said: “We have learnt a lot about human development before 14 days, but there are areas of investigation that could change how we understand development, and associated diseases, that lie beyond our current window of knowledge. Despite low awareness of current laws, members of the public quickly recognised many of the critical issues researchers are keenly aware of when it comes to growing embryos beyond the current limit. This dialogue also reinforced the fact that the public are in support of research that will yield better health outcomes, and in this case, increase the success of IVF procedures.

Other countries will be looking to the UK to see how we deal with the 14-day rule; we are not there yet with any mandate to make a change, but this does give a strong pointer. The next step will be to delve deeper into some of the topics raised through this dialogue as they apply to specific areas of research, as well as feeding into policy changes.”

The 14-day rule and the regulation of stem cell-based models

When considering the regulation of research involving human embryos, the dialogue explored participant’s views on the 14-day rule. Introduced in 1990, the 14-day rule is a limit enforced by statute in the UK. It applies to early human embryos that are donated by consent to research and embryos that are created for research from donated sperm and eggs. It limits the amount of time early human embryos can be developed in a laboratory for scientific study to 14 days after fertilisation. Due to technical advances, it is now possible to grow embryos in the lab past 14 days, but researchers are not allowed to by the law. If the law changed, it would open up this ‘black box’ of development with researchers able to investigate this crucial time in development from 14-28 days after fertilisation.

Professor Bobbie Farsides, co-chair of the HDBI Oversight group and Professor of Clinical and Biomedical Ethics at the Brighton and Sussex Medical School, said: “It has been a fascinating experience to support HDBI in the undertaking of this exercise.  I commend the participants for the care and mutual respect they have shown throughout. Their engagement and commitment to a subject few of them had previously considered allowed for a wide range of views to be expressed and considered. I hope the scientists involved will be encouraged by the high level of interest in their work, and will want to keep the public conversation going around these important subjects.”

The dialogue included participant discussion on what a change to the 14-day rule might look like, and identified points that should be considered, such as defining what the benefits of extending the rule would be and potential mis-alignment with human embryo research regulations in other countries.

Participants acknowledged the astonishing possibilities of stem cell-based embryo models. The majority of participants would like to see these models further regulated. Work in establishing potential governance mechanisms is already underway. In recognition of the need for additional guidance and regulation in this area, the Cambridge Reproduction initiative launched a project in March 2023 to develop a governance framework for research using stem cell-based embryo models and to promote responsible, transparent and accountable research.

Future steps

A key outcome from the public dialogue is the identification of areas for further exploration, with participants proposing how future national conversations might be shaped. It is hoped that the project acts as a reference base for both widening engagement with the subject and also prompting deeper exploration of areas of concern.

Dr Michael Norman, HDBI Public Dialogue coordinator and Public Engagement Manager at the Babraham Institute, said: “This dialogue shows that people want the public to work closely with scientists and the government to shape both future embryo research legislation and scientific research direction. It is crucial that others in the sector build on these high quality, two-way engagement methodologies that allow for a genuine exchange of views and information to ensure that the public’s desires and concerns are listened to and respected. Transparency and openness around science is vital for public trust and through this we, as a society, can shape UK research in way that enriches the outcomes for all.”

Public Participant (Broad public group, south) said: “I do think that an extension of this public dialogue, and educating a wider society has a benefit in itself. This is really complex and sensitive and the wider you talk about it before decisions are made, the better.”

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