Brexit dispute

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson accused the EU of refusing to offer good enough terms, saying he was now ready to leave the European Union’s common market and customs union without a new free trade agreement, in a statement Friday.

While Johnson threatened a no-deal situation, he said London would always be willing to continue negotiations if EU leaders talked to London with a “fundamental change of approach”.

The British leader had previously given until October 5th for an agreement to be signed, saying it would make no sense to continue negotiations after this week without sufficient progress.

The Prime Minister said Britain would now be ready to leave the EU’s single market and customs union without a new trade agreement. “Unless there is a fundamental change in the EU approach, we must move to the Australian solution,” Johnson told a television team.

The EU continues to work towards an agreement, but not at any price. Our negotiating team will go to London next week as planned,” EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said.

Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel said time was running out for a Brexit deal. French President Emmanuel Macron warned Britain that it needed a deal more than the EU.

Pfizer vaccine

The US pharmaceutical company Pfizer announced that it will apply for a special authorization from the US within weeks for the urgent use of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate it has developed with German BioNTech.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has stated that it requires at least two months of safety data before allowing emergency use of any experimental coronavirus vaccine.

Pfizer Chief Executive Officer Albert Bourla said in a statement that he expects to have the safety data requested by the FDA in the third week of November, based on the current test record and dosing rate.

Pfizer had previously said that it was waiting for the last stage trial data in October.

In a series of developments that negatively affected the markets last week, Johnson & Johnson and Eli Lilly stopped vaccine tests due to unexpected safety conditions in subjects.

Lockdown effect on oil

Oil prices fell on Friday amid concerns that the rise in COVID-19 cases in Europe and the United States was reducing demand in two of the world’s largest fuel-consuming regions.

A strong US dollar also increased the pressure on energy prices.

December Brent crude futures fell 38 cents, or 0.9%, to $42.78 a barrel in early London hour, while the US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures for November fell 35 cents, or 0.9%, per barrel to $40.61.

In Europe, some countries are reintroducing curfews and restrictions to combat the increase in new coronavirus cases. Britain started implementing tougher COVID-19 restrictions in London on Friday.

Epidemic cases have increased in the US midwest and beyond, new infections and hospitalizations have reached record levels nationwide as the weather gets colder.

OPEC Secretary-General Mohammed Barkindo admitted that fuel demand appears to be “anemic”, although OPEC + is set to reduce the current supply cut policy of 7.7 million barrels per day (BPD) by 2 million BPD in January.

The downward demand prospect and increased supply from Libya could cause OPEC + to extend the current cuts into the next year, OPEC + sources said on Thursday.

The energy group, the world’s largest cartel, will hold its next policy meeting on 30 November — 1 December.


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