• Brexit talks struggle to progress.
  • Fresh sanctions against China.
  • Hackers intrude key US institutions.
  • BoE retains monetary policy.

Risk-on sentiments took a hit as profit-booking amidst concerns surrounding hacking into US federal agencies, US-China trade relations, Brexit-deal and US stimulus discussions took centre stage.

The US authorities are uncovering hacking into the various key establishments, including nuclear facilities, by suspected Russian hackers who might have hit Microsoft.

The Washington-Beijing relations might take another nosedive as reports suggest Trump could impose new sanctions against Chinese companies like SMC.

The US fiscal stimulus discussions between the Republicans and Democrats haven’t concluded yet with differences persisting over many vital points, the chances of the deal getting pushed to another week are high. Meanwhile, the virus is adversely affecting the economy with the jobless claims rising to 885,000 last week and November Retail Sales numbers coming below estimates.

The global risk sentiments are also affected by the hiccups in the Brexit-deal talks: David Frost, the Chief UK Negotiator, said the discussions are “blocked,” while UK PM also echoed the sentiments.

GBP/USD trades down around 1.3550 from the recent highs surrounding 1.3622.

BoE mostly retained its earlier monetary policy, extending only one lending program. More than 60 Percent of the UK population are now under severe Tier rules, but the central bank looks forward to the vaccine impact to note fewer risks ahead.

Moderna’s vaccine received Food and Drugs Administration approval – the Vice-President will receive the vaccine on Friday, in a televised event. Meanwhile, Europe will start using Pfizer/BioNTech soon. US states are reeling under heavy pandemic hospitalisations.

USD/CAD trades near 1.27 as oil drifts-off from highs and the pair awaits Canadian Retail Sales.