Connect with us


Week Ahead – Volatility to remain

Omicron and central banks to dominate The past week has been dominated by Omicron news as we all try to piece together the limited information we have and determine what it all means for the coming months. So much is still unknown and so the volatility…



Omicron and central banks to dominate

The past week has been dominated by Omicron news as we all try to piece together the limited information we have and determine what it all means for the coming months. So much is still unknown and so the volatility and seesaw action we’ve seen this week may continue until we get a better idea of the threat posed by the new variant.

The RBA and BoC both hold meetings next week and will likely be armed with little more information than OPEC+ had on Thursday, which makes the job of providing reliable guidance extremely challenging. Even the Fed, ECB and BoE the week after will find life difficult and two of them were expected to announce tightening measures prior to the news of the Omicron variant.

And this is at a time when central banks have an incredibly tough job on their hands. They’re already being forced to tighten monetary policy before they would like to and may soon have to make much tougher choices if the Omicron news isn’t good.

Fed eyes Omicron developments after NFP miss

Lira continues to slide despite desperate CBRT attempts to support the currency

Chinese property sector facing a big week


The US economy is adding jobs at a slower pace as employers are starting to have success luring people back to the labor force. If wages continue to rise, that will be the key for companies to reach their hiring targets. 

The November employment report showed US employers added 210,000 jobs, a miss of the 550,000 consensus estimate and well below the upwardly revised prior reading of 546,000 jobs.  A headline miss with the nonfarm payroll report may be mostly attributed to seasonal factors. The underlying components make this a solid labor market report as people are coming back to the labor force, with the participation rate improving from 61.6% to 61.8%.   

Wage pressures may be slowing as average hourly earnings dipped in November from 0.4% to 0.3%, but some of that could be attributed to the weakness in lower-paying hospitality jobs. 

The Fed may view this as a positive employment report as minority unemployment improved significantly and the participation rate is now only 1.5 percentage points lower than in February 2020. Fed rate hike expectations are settling around two rate hikes next year. The headline jobs miss takes away momentum from accelerated tapering but allows them to increase the taper pace by $5-10billion. 


A relatively quiet week ahead for the euro area, with much of the headline data being revisions and ZEW figures the only notable releases. The focus is on the ECB the week after, although that will be heavily influenced by the scientific data on the new Omicron strain which will determine how the next six months will look.


Much like in Europe, the UK next week sees a number of low-level economic data releases, with GDP numbers on Friday the only outlier. Meanwhile, Deputy Governor of the Bank of England, Ben Broadbent, will appear on Monday. The BoE meeting the week after is still a live one although the odds of a rate hike have slipped significantly as a result of the Omicron variant.


Russian data next week is a little thin, with CPI on Wednesday the only release. 

The focus will remain on the buildup of forces on the border, with tensions rising in recent weeks and a resolution not looking close. Talks between Biden and Putin could take place in the coming weeks although no date has been set.

South Africa

Omicron cases are rising rapidly, with the rate of transmission believed to be faster than that of Delta. Early evidence appears to suggest that symptoms are mild although the sample size is small and contains a lot of younger people that reportedly make up a large number of the countries unvaccinated. Time will tell whether that trend continues.

On the economy, we have a few notable releases next week including GDP data for the third quarter on Tuesday.


Coming off the back of another eventful week that’s seen the Finance Minister – a vocal opponent of recent rate cuts – replaced and multiple unsuccessful FX interventions by the CBRT, there should be plenty to look forward to. Currency markets are far from stable, with the lira hitting fresh lows at the end of the week and remaining under severe pressure. Next week offers unemployment data on Friday, although this will naturally fall well down the pecking order below the rants of President Erdogan and the actions of the central bank. More volatility in the FX markets and intervention to stabilise them appear likely.


China releases its trade balance, CPI, and PPI inflation data this week. Of the three, the market focus will be on exports and PPI for evidence of slowing growth and/or rising inflationary pressures.

Data aside, it is China’s property sector that poses the most risk in the coming week. Both Kaisa and Evergrande face final payment deadlines and in the case of Kaisa, an official default is increasingly likely. Hong Kong equities are particularly vulnerable in this case, and will likely continue to face delisting nerves in the US from dual-listed Chinese giants.


A firm Non-Farm Payrolls number would have turned up the heat on emerging market currencies in the week ahead as monetary policy remains out of sync with the US. The Reserve Bank of India can alleviate some of that stress in the future by finally indicating that tighter monetary policy is on the way in 2022, even if it does not move at its policy meeting on Wednesday. India releases manufacturing, industrial production, and inflation data on Friday. A high inflation print will elevate the return of stagflationary pressures if the RBI is dovish mid-week, leaving the currency and equities vulnerable.


The Australian dollar is wallowing at 2021 lows as Fed taper nerves and omicron concerns sap risk sentiment of which the AUD is a major barometer.

The Reserve Bank of Australia has its policy meeting on Tuesday with its ultra-dovish mantra suffering credibility issues. No change in tone from the statement will deepen pressure on the currency, although local equities will continue chasing their tails in line with Wall Street volatility.

New Zealand

The NZD/USD, a risk sentiment barometer for global markets like AUD/USD, is also testing 2021 lows and remains vulnerable to stronger US data increasing Fed-taper nerves, as well as risk aversion flows via NZD/JPY on omicron. 

Friday’s Business PMI could negatively impact the currency if it is higher than forecast, increasing the noise that the RBNZ is falling further behind New Zealand’s rapidly escalating inflation problem. 

New Zealand’s government has eased Covid-19 restrictions in Auckland and brought in a new system of freedoms/restrictions across the country. A large spike in delta cases (the prevailing variant) could negatively impact the currency and stock market.


The Japanese Yen has rallied 250 points this week versus the US Dollar on omicron haven flows, also recording impressive gains via the Yen crosses. Yen’s rally is entirely based on omicron, and an easing of those tensions and firmer US data could see USD/JPY’s rally resume. 

Japanese equities continue to show a high correlation to Nasdaq moves and we expect volatile, but directionless trading to continue as the Nasdaq and Nikkei bounce around on omicron headlines. No significant data.

Key Economic Events

Saturday, Dec. 4

China central bank Governor Yi Gang and Guo Shuqing, chairman of the country’s financial regulator speak at the International Finance Forum in Guangzhou.

France’s Republican party is expected to announce its presidential candidate

Germany’s Social Democrats (SPD) to announce its ministry posts and votes on the deal for the incoming coalition government.

Economic Data/Events

Thailand consumer confidence

Sunday, Dec. 5

Economic Data/Events

World Petroleum Congress starts in Houston.

Germany’s Free Democrats (FDP) vote to approve the incoming government’s coalition deal.

Monday, Dec. 6

Russia President Vladimir Putin visits New Delhi  

BOE’s Broadbent speaks at Leeds University about the outlook for growth and monetary policy.

Sweden’s Riksbank publishes the minutes of its Nov. 24 meeting.

Turkish President Recep Erdogan travels to Qatar for a regular bi-lateral visit

Economic Data/Events

Germany factory orders, construction PMIs

Greece GDP

New Zealand construction work value, ANZ commodity prices

Australia inflation gauge, ANZ job advertisements

Italy retail sales

Turkey effective exchange rate

UK construction PMIs

Tuesday, Dec. 7

Greek PM Mitsotakis visits Russia to meet President Putin.

Economic Data/Events

US Trade

China Trade

Eurozone GDP: Eurozone

South Africa GDP

Sweden GDP

Australia rate decision: Expected to keep cash rate target at 0.10%

Australian consumer confidence, house price index

South Korea BoP

Taiwan CPI

Japan cash earnings, household spending, leading index

Philippines CPI, unemployed

Singapore foreign reserves 

China foreign reserves 

Australia foreign reserves 

Switzerland foreign reserves 

Germany ZEW survey expectations, industrial production

Mexico international reserves

South Africa gross and net reserves

Turkey cash budget balance

Wednesday, Dec. 8

Olaf Scholz becomes German chancellor.

ECB President Lagarde speaks at the Fifth ESRB annual conference.

Economic Data/Events

Canada Rate decision: Expected to keep Interest Rate unchanged at 0.25% 

Poland Rate decision:  Expected to raise rates by 50 basis points to 1.75%

India Rate decision: Expected to keep Repurchase Rate unchanged at 4.00%

Russia CPI

Hungary CPI 

Japan bank lending, BoP, GDP, bankruptcies

South Africa retail sales, SACCI business confidence

Bank of France industry sentiment indicator

EIA crude oil inventory report

Thursday, Dec. 9

Fed’s Kashkari speaks

Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Philip Lowe speaks at Payments Summit 2021.

Economic Data/Events

US wholesale inventories, initial jobless claims

Hungary Rate decision: The central bank is expected to deliver another 20bps rate hike.   

Germany Trade

Hungary Trade

China CPI, PPI, money supply, new yuan loans, aggregate financing

Japan money stock, machine tool orders

Thailand foreign reserves, forward contracts

Mexico CPI

New Zealand ANZ heavy traffic index, manufacturing activity

South Africa manufacturing production, current account, mining, gold, and platinum production

Turkey non-resident bond holdings, foreigner net stock invest

Russia gold and FX reserves

UK RICS house price balance

Norway GDP

Friday, Dec. 10

Economic Data/Events

US Nov CPI M/M: 0.7%e v 0.9% prior; Y/Y: 6.7%e v 6.2% prior, University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment: 68.0e v 67.4 prior

G-7 foreign ministers meet in Liverpool, UK

Germany CPI

UK GDP, BOE inflation attitudes survey, Industrial Production

India Industrial production

Mexico Industrial Production

New Zealand card spending, manufacturing index, home sales

Japan PPI

China FDI

Russia trade, money supply

Turkey unemployment, expected inflation for next 12 months

Sovereign Rating Updates

Czech Republic (Fitch)


United Kingdom (Fitch)


Netherlands (Moody’s)

Read More

Continue Reading

Spread & Containment

Don’t believe the claim that only 17,371 people have died from COVID in England and Wales

A freedom of information request is only useful if you know how to read the data.



There is no doubt that the pandemic has led to many deaths; however, in the past week, new claims have emerged that the true number of people who have died from COVID in England and Wales is much lower than previously thought. These claims have been widely shared on social media and even amplified by a senior MP. Can it really be true that new data shows that COVID has killed far fewer people than we previously thought?

To arrive at an answer, we first need to delve into the various ways that COVID deaths are counted in England and Wales. There are two main sources of this data: the first, published by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) and featured prominently on the government’s coronavirus dashboard, is a simple count of all deaths that occur within 28 days of a positive COVID test.

The second, published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) is based on death certificates that list COVID as a cause of death. Being based on a medical assessment of the circumstances of each individual death, the ONS figures represent the gold standard.

The UKHSA figures will include some deaths that are clearly unrelated to COVID – for example, somebody who has a mild case of COVID and is involved in a car accident three weeks later – and exclude some COVID deaths where someone is in hospital for more than 28 days. The UKHSA data gives us a picture of what is happening now – albeit an imperfect one – while the ONS data takes several weeks to process.

We also need to understand how death certificates work in England and Wales. When somebody passes away, a medical professional completes a death certificate. This includes a field for the “disease or condition directly leading to death” – often called the “underlying cause”. It also includes the option to list one or two diseases or conditions that were not the underlying cause, but which contributed to the death (“contributory causes”).

The data that the ONS publishes shows that, in 2020 and 2021 combined, 157,889 deaths were registered where COVID was mentioned on the death certificate. Of these, 139,839 listed COVID as the underlying cause. In almost 90% of cases where COVID was a factor in somebody’s death, it was considered by medical professionals to be the primary reason they died. So where does the figure of 17,371 COVID deaths come from?

Freedom of information request

This figure originates from a freedom of information request to the Office for National Statistics that asked for the number of deaths where COVID was the only cause of death recorded. This is complicated by the fact that often COVID itself can cause complications, such as severe respiratory difficulties or organ failure, which will then be listed alongside COVID on the death certificate.

To exclude these deaths, the ONS responded by giving the number of deaths where no “pre-existing conditions” were listed on the death certificate. Which comes to 17,371 for the period up to the end of September 2021. But what is a “pre-existing condition”?

Pre-existing conditions and their International Classification of Diseases (ICD) codes

Office for National Statistics

This list is extensive, including high blood pressure, asthma, COPD, diabetes and a wide range of other common conditions. The argument being made by some is that 17,371 is the true number of COVID deaths, because people with these pre-existing conditions, who make up the vast majority of deaths that list COVID on the death certificate, were already sick. But even a cursory glance at the list makes it clear that this will be incorrect for a great many people.

Over a quarter of adults have high blood pressure, 4 million people in England have diabetes and a similar number have asthma. Having one of these conditions is neither a death sentence nor a sign of being in poor health. You almost certainly know several people with one or more of them, or are living with one yourself.

The idea that people with a pre-existing condition are at death’s door is simply untrue. Over half of people aged 50 and over have at least one long-term health condition. But if someone with one of these conditions is unlucky enough to catch COVID and subsequently die, all it takes is for the condition to have some impact for it to end up being listed as a contributory cause on the death certificate.

Let’s take asthma as an example. COVID frequently attacks victims’ lungs, leading them to require ventilation. As a respiratory condition, asthma may well exacerbate these difficulties and will therefore be listed on the death certificate if the person dies. It would be bizarre to claim that the person died of asthma on this basis. Perhaps they would not have died if they didn’t have asthma, but they certainly wouldn’t have died if they hadn’t got COVID.

The vast majority of people who get seriously ill with COVID were living full, independent lives before they were hospitalised. And reasonable estimates suggest that the average number of years of life lost per COVID death is around ten. The idea that people who died from COVID are all extremely ill and would have died soon anyway is not borne out by the facts.

To argue that the deaths from COVID of people with pre-existing conditions don’t count as true COVID deaths is to say that people with pre-existing conditions don’t matter; that their lives are expendable and shouldn’t be considered when assessing the impact of the pandemic. Over 140,000 people with pre-existing conditions have died of COVID in the last two years. We should be mourning this tragic loss of life, not minimising it.

Colin Angus does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

Read More

Continue Reading

Spread & Containment

As Omicron-specific boosters are in the news, BioNTech to expand German site workforce by 200 employees

BioNTech has added about 200 jobs to its Marburg, Germany manufacturing site since it took it over from Novartis in 2020. This year, it will add another 250, as demand for Covid-19 boosters has led to calls for an omicron-specific vaccine in adults.



BioNTech has added about 200 jobs to its Marburg, Germany manufacturing site since it took it over from Novartis in 2020. This year, it will add another 250, as demand for Covid-19 boosters has led to calls for an omicron-specific vaccine in adults.

Currently, there are around 500 employees at the site, which is north of Frankfurt. The boost is expected to cost around €50 million, or $56.5 million, and will include the addition of office spaces in anticipation of future growth, the company said. The Marburg site has supplied 1.2 billion Covid-19 vaccine doses to the world so far, and a total of 4 billion doses are expected to be doled out by the end of this year.

The news came out of an interview with Bloomberg, a spokesperson for the company confirmed. The $56 million expansion is planned for just the Marburg site alone, the spokesperson confirmed. Before the sale to BioNTech, Novartis invested in the site heavily since 2016, equipping it with capabilities for cell and gene therapy, recombinant proteins, cell culture and viral vector production. In the future, once the need for Covid-19 boosters dies down, BioNTech has said it will other mRNA vaccines, antibody and C&G therapy candidates, as well as its cancer and infectious disease pipeline.

Testing for the vaccine tailored to the pesky variant — which has been deemed more transmissible with less severe symptoms for those that are vaccinated — began this week, BioNTech said along with Pfizer. The trial will test 1,420 healthy adults under the age of 55. Three groups of people, representing different levels of immunity,

In March 2021, Marburg began producing Covid-19 vaccines. It started with the production of mRNA, the active pharmaceutical ingredient for the vaccine. The first batch of doses shipped out in April.

Uğur Şahin

The site has become an example for further growth. BioNTech made waves in the summer of 2021 when it announced plans to collaborate with the African Union to manufacture doses for the continent amid a severe shortage, and in October, the company said that its Rwandan site, which construction is set to begin in the middle of this year, will be modeled after Marburg. Capacity for that one will start at 50 million doses a year, then increase with added manufacturing lines and sites as the project progresses.

CEO Uğur Şahin has already said that the Rwandan site will spin its production into malaria and tuberculosis vaccines once there is a less desperate need for Covid-19 manufacturing.

Read More

Continue Reading


Metallum Resources to Present at the Sequire Metals & Mining Conference on January 27, 2022

(TheNewswire) January 26, 2022 TheNewswire – Vancouver, British Columbia – Metallum Resources Inc. (TSXV:MZN) ("Metallum" or the Company") is pleased to announce that it will be presenting virtually at the upcoming Sequire Metals & Mining Conference.




January 26, 2022 TheNewswire - Vancouver, British Columbia - Metallum Resources Inc. (TSXV:MZN) ("Metallum" or the Company") is pleased to announce that it will be presenting virtually at the upcoming Sequire Metals & Mining Conference on Thursday, January 27th, at 10:30 AM EST (Track 4).  Kerem Usenmez, President and CEO of Metallum Resources, will be giving the presentation and taking 1x1 meetings.

" I am excited to present at the Sequire Metals and Mining Conference as our first event of the year!  I look forward to telling our story and updating our plans for 2022 as we move forward toward developing the Superior Lake Project and taking steps to re-open the mine.  Zinc and Copper prices have been going up, and Metallum is very well positioned to fast track towards production to supply high quality Zinc and Copper concentrate," stated Metallum's President and CEO, Kerem Usenmez.

Event: Metallum Resources Presentation at the Sequire Metals & Mining Conference

Date: Thursday, January 27th, 2022

Time: 10:30 AM EST

Register to watch the presentation HERE . Investors can also request 1x1 meetings with Metallum Resources CEO on the event website.

Summary of Sequire Metals & Mining Conference

With a massive uptick in the mining industry and electric vehicles on the rise, Sequire is spending the entire day with public mining companies and industry experts exploring possibilities, opportunities, and the latest news.

Qualified Person

The technical information in this news release has been reviewed and approved by Andrew Tims, P.Geo., Exploration Manager of the Company, and a Qualified Person as defined by NI 43-101.

About Metallum

Metallum Resources (TSXV:MZN) is developing its Superior Lake Zinc and Copper Project located in Ontario, Canada.  Superior Lake Project is one of the highest grade zinc Projects in North America (2.35Mt at 17.9% Zn, 0.9% Cu, 0.4 g/t Au and 34 g/t Ag – Equivalent to 1Moz of 13 g/t Au), with a 9 year mine life and After Tax NVP 8% of $253M and IRR at 35% (Zn at US$1.55, Cu at $3.31) .  Metallum is a member of the Gold Group of companies, led by Simon Ridgway.

For further details about the Company and the Superior Lake Project, please visit the Company's website at .


Kerem Usenmez,

President & Chief Executive Officer

Metallum Resources Inc.

Symbol: TSXV-MZN

For further information, contact:

Kerem Usenmez, President & CEO

Tel: 604-688-5288;  Fax: 604-682-1514



Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

Certain statements contained in this news release constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of Canadian securities legislation. All statements included herein, other than statements of historical fact, are forward-looking statements and include, without limitation, statements about the Company's corporate property exploration and development activities. Often, but not always, these forward looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as "estimate", "estimates", "estimated", "potential", "open", "future", "assumed", "projected", "used", "detailed", "has been", "gain", "upgraded", "offset", "limited", "contained", "reflecting", "containing", "remaining", "to be", "periodically", or statements that events, "could" or "should" occur or be achieved and similar expressions, including negative variations.

Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from any results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by forward-looking statements. Such uncertainties and factors include, among others, whether exploration and development of the Company's properties will proceed as planned; changes in general economic conditions and financial markets; the Company or any joint venture partner not having the financial ability to meet its exploration and development goals; risks associated with the results of exploration and development activities, estimation of mineral resources and the geology, grade and continuity of mineral deposits; unanticipated costs and expenses; risks associated with COVID-19 including adverse impacts on the world economy, exploration efforts and the availability of personnel; and such other risks detailed from time to time in the Company's quarterly and annual filings with securities regulators and available under the Company's profile on SEDAR at Although the Company has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual actions, events or results to differ materially from those described in forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that cause actions, events or results to differ from those anticipated, estimated or intended.

Forward-looking statements contained herein are based on the assumptions, beliefs, expectations and opinions of management, including but not limited to: that the Company's stated goals and planned exploration and development activities will be achieved; that there will be no material adverse change affecting the Company or its properties; and such other assumptions as set out herein. Forward-looking statements are made as of the date hereof and the Company disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or results or otherwise, except as required by law. There can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, investors should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.

Copyright (c) 2022 TheNewswire - All rights reserved.

News Provided by TheNewsWire via QuoteMedia

Read More

Continue Reading