The European Union has issued one of its most upbeat assessments of the state of post-Brexit trade negotiations
BRUSSELS — The European Union on Friday issued one of its most upbeat assessments of the state of post-Brexit trade negotiations, as the talks face an ever tighter deadline for a deal to enter into force for the start of the new year.
EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said “we’ve seen in the last days better progress, more movement on important files.”
“This is good,” von der Leyen told reporters, in comments that contrast sharply with previous statements over the talks that have dragged on with little progress for months.
Her comment came a day after a member of the EU negotiating team tested positive for the coronavirus, which led to the high-level talks being suspended. She said that because work on legal texts had made such progress, further discussions by video over the next days could progress too “since there is now substance where you can go through line by line.”
Over the past few months, the talks have failed to make much headway on some key issues, notably over fishing rights, business regulations and state aid.
“Progress … has been made on the question of state aid,” von der Leyen said, in reference to a key EU demand that the U.K. does not excessively subsidize products that could undercut local EU products.
Despite the upbeat assessment, von der Leyen sought to temper any excessive optimism that may be generated.
“There are quite some meters to the finish line,” she said. “Indeed, time pressure is high without any question at the moment.”
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman, Jamie Davies, confirmed that negotiations will continue next week, well past the mid-November date previously seen by the two sides as a deadline. He said talks would continue remotely and resume in person “as soon as it’s safe to do so.”
Davies wouldn’t say whether the U.K. side shared von der Leyen’s upbeat assessment. “We will continue to work hard to reach an agreement and we will continue that work today and next week,” he said.
Though the U.K. left the EU on Jan. 31, it remains within the bloc’s tariff-free single market and customs union until the end of this year. A trade deal would ensure there are no tariffs and quotas on trade in goods between the two sides, but there would still be technical costs, partly associated with customs checks and non-tariff barriers on services.
However, a trade deal needs to be sorted out soon given that the EU will need about 4 weeks to vet, translate any agreement into all languages and get the necessary approvals from member states and the European parliament.
Though both sides would suffer economically from a failure to secure a trade deal, most economists think the British economy would take a greater hit, at least in the near-term, as it is relatively more reliant on trade with the EU than vice versa.
To guard against any failure to get a deal, France and Belgium, two close neighbors of Britain, asked an EU summit Thursday to speed up preparations for a no-deal scenario on Jan. 1 when the sudden change of the end of a transition period without a trade deal could cause immediate disruptions in commerce and chaos at borders.
The bloc has accused Britain of wanting to retain access to the EU’s lucrative markets, much like any EU country, without agreeing to follow its rules. The EU fears Britain will slash social and environmental standards and pump state money into U.K. industries, becoming a low-regulation economic rival on the bloc’s doorstep.
Britain says the EU is making unreasonable demands and is failing to treat it as an independent, sovereign state.
Lawless reported from London
Author: ABC News
Stock Market News for Nov 20, 2020
U.S. stock markets closed higher on Thursday on hopes of restarting of Congressional negotiations for a fresh tranche of fiscal stimulus. However, the gains were contained by market participants’ concerns on rising new infections of coronavirus. All the three major stock indexes ended in positive territory.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) rose 0.2% to close at 29,483.23. Notably, 18 components of the 30-stock index ended in the green while 12 in red. Moreover, the Nasdaq Composite finished at 11,904.71, advancing 0.9% or 103.11 points due to strong performance by technology stocks.
Meanwhile, the S&P 500 gained 0.4% to end at 3,581.87. The Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) surged 1.6% while the Utilities Select Sector SPDR (XLU) declined 1%. Notably, nine out of eleven sectors of the benchmark index closed in the green and two in red.
The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) was down 3.1% to 23.11. A total of 10.94 billion shares were traded on Thursday, higher than the last 20-session average of 10.44 billion. Advancers outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by a 1.77-to-1 ratio. On Nasdaq, a 1.80-to-1 ratio favored advancing issues.
Senate Minority leader Democrat Chuck Schumer said that Senate Majority leader Republican Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has agreed to resume negotiations over a potential new Covid-19 relief package. Earlier this week, the Trump administration has decided not to negotiate further with Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi regarding a new stimulus. Instead, Senate Majority Mitch McConnell will be the Republican negotiator, who is well known for his tough stand on a new tranche of coronavirus-relief package.
On Nov 19, AstraZeneca plc (AZN – Free Report) said that its experimental COVID-19 vaccine jointly developed by the Oxford University showed robust immune response in older adults in phase 2 clinical trial. AstraZeneca carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Meanwhile, on Nov 18, Pfizer Inc. (PFE – Free Report) and BioNTech SE (BNTX – Free Report) announced that their jointly developed potential vaccine BNT162b2 was more than 95% effective in preventing COVID-19 in trial participants with no previous evidence of the SARS-CoV-2 infection. These two companies are planning to submit for Emergency Use Authorization to the FDA in next few days.
On Nov 16, Moderna Inc. (MRNA – Free Report) reported that the preliminary phase III clinical trial data revealed its potential coronavirus vaccine is more than 94% effective in preventing COVID-19. The study was conducted in collaboration with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. On Nov 10, the FDA had granted emergency authorization to a COVID-19 antibody treatment of Eli Lilly & Co. (LLY – Free Report) .
The Department of Labor reported that initial jobless claims increased by a seasonally adjusted 31,000 to 742,000 for the week ended Nov 14, marking the first increase in weekly jobless claims after four-straight weeks of decline. The consensus estimate was 705,000. Previous week’s claims were revised upward 709,000 reported earlier to 711,000.
The four-week moving average of initial claims, which eliminates volatility in the numbers, decreased 13,750 to 742,00. Continuing claims (persons who are already receiving unemployment benefits) dropped 429,000 to 6.37 million, marking a fresh pandemic-era low.
National Association of Realtors reported that existing home sales in October increased 4.3% to 6.85 million units, surpassing the consensus estimate of 6.45 million units. September’s data was revised upward from 6.54 million units to 6.57 million units. Year over year, existing home sales jumped 26.6% in October.
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NBA Trade Rumors and Free Agency News for Friday, November 20th
NBA trade rumors and free agency news will run hot today. We’ll update this post with all of the latest from Adrian Wojnarowski, Shams Charania, and other NBA news-makers as players discussion burns and players continue to trade teams.
The Milwaukee Bucks are backing off of Bogdan Bogdanovic after a bungled trade attempt with the Kings.
The Bucks are moving on from their pursuit of restricted free agent Bogdan Bogdanovic, who will scan market across league, sources tell me and @sam_amick.
Turns out you can’t sign and trade a player until you actually sign him. Who knew?
The Hawks waive a recently-acquired player.
The Hawks have waived Khyri Thomas.
The guard was part of the trade from Detroit.
Thomas had $744,684 in guaranteed money for 2020-21
Gordon Hayward appears to be headed to the Indiana Pacers.
Derrick Favors is looking to join either the New Orleans Pelicans or Utah Jazz in free agency.
Derrick Favors is expected to have contact with the New Orleans Pelicans and the Utah Jazz as free agency opens, League Sources tell The Athletic. He also holds interest from other teams
Author: Dave Deckard
Non-Lethal Weapons Market Report Till 2025 | Global Manufacturers Analysis
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Global Electroshock Weapons Market 2020 by Manufacturers, Regions, Type and Application, Forecast to 2025
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Every official trade from 2020 NBA Draft
Keep track of all the official trades that happen before, during and immediately after the 2020 NBA Draft.
> Every reported trade from Draft night
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