(Bloomberg) — The dollar may tumble to its lows of 2018 on the rising likelihood of Joe Biden winning the U.S. election and progress on a coronavirus vaccine, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

“The risks are skewed toward dollar weakness, and we see relatively low odds of the most dollar-positive outcome — a win by Mr. Trump combined with a meaningful vaccine delay,” strategists including Zach Pandl wrote in a note Friday. “A ‘blue wave’ U.S. election and favorable news on the vaccine timeline could return the trade-weighted dollar and DXY index to their 2018 lows.”



chart, histogram: Hedge funds turned bearish on the greenback for first time since 2018 in August


© Bloomberg
Hedge funds turned bearish on the greenback for first time since 2018 in August

The ICE U.S. Dollar Index has fallen almost 3.5% this year — trading just over the 93 level on Monday — as investors reacted to unprecedented pandemic-related monetary stimulus from the Federal Reserve and rock-bottom interest rates. The gauge traded below 89 in 2018, a level which would imply a further slide of more than 4%.

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Goldman joins the likes of UBS Asset Management and Invesco Ltd. in predicting a weaker dollar as Biden extends his lead over President Donald Trump with less than three weeks to election day. It recommends investors short the dollar against a volatility-weighted basket consisting of the Mexican peso, South African rand and Indian rupee.

The strategists also suggest buying the euro, Canadian and Australian dollars against the greenback. The firm is keeping open long recommendations for the yuan through unhedged Chinese government bonds.

“The wide margin in current polls reduces the risk of a delayed election result, and the prospect for near-term vaccine breakthroughs may provide a backstop for risky assets,” they wrote.

Read more: Trump-Biden Volatility Is Giving Traders Butterflies: QuickTake

(Updates pricing in third paragraph.)

For more

By Matt Scuffham

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Goldman Sachs Group Inc management is considering whether to scale back financial targets set earlier this year, as the coronavirus pandemic has hindered the bank’s business model revamp, analysts and sources inside the bank told Reuters.

Goldman unveiled plans to boost returns on equity and cut costs during its first-ever investor day in January. To reach its goals, Goldman would squeeze more revenue from existing businesses like wealth management as well as relatively new ones like consumer lending, while launching additional corporate services like cash management.

Since then, the pandemic has slammed into the economy, crippling loan demand and causing widespread unemployment. It has also prevented Goldman bankers from drumming up business with new customers the way they could before coronavirus lockdowns.

Although Goldman’s trading revenue has soared thanks to market volatility, other initiatives have stalled.

“Unless there’s a silver bullet vaccine cure, it looks like Goldman will not hit its targets,” said Viola Risk Advisors bank analyst David Hendler. “It’s behind on wealth management and it’s behind on consumer.”

A spokesman for Goldman referred Reuters to executives’ prior statements but declined to comment further.

Goldman Sachs executives have stood by their targets, stressing that the path to achieving them in the coming years would not be “linear.” They are not expected to move the goalposts on Wednesday when the bank reports third-quarter results.

Instead, the bank may change targets in January, a year after they were set, said the sources, who were not authorized to speak publicly.

As it stands, Goldman pledged to produce a return on tangible common shareholders’ equity (ROTE) of more than 14% by 2023, compared with 10.6% in 2019.

The bank also outlined plans to cut expenses by $1.3 billion over that time frame, producing an efficiency ratio

(Reuters) – Goldman Sachs said the outcome of U.S. elections would not impact its bullish oil and natural gas outlook and that an overwhelming Democratic victory could be a positive catalyst for these sectors.

Goldman reiterated its bullish 2021 view for both natural gas and oil, saying drivers for higher prices supersede the potential outcomes of the U.S. election.

“The recent gyration in oil prices, rallying on days of higher expected stimulus and weakening dollar, suggest that a Biden election and blue sweep could in fact prove a bullish catalyst for oil,” the bank said, adding that natural gas prices could rally too.

Opinion polls show presidential candidate Joe Biden with a substantial lead over President Donald Trump nationally, although with a narrower advantage in some of the states that may decide the Nov. 3 election.

Headwinds to U.S. oil and gas production would rise further under a Biden administration, with the potential for regulations raising the cost of shale production and reducing recoverable shale resources, Goldman added.

Biden’s climate priorities also point to a faster deployment of renewable sources of energy than currently expected, Goldman said, adding such an agenda would require new infrastructure, which alongside a likely large initial fiscal stimulus, would lead to higher oil demand in coming years.

(Reporting by Nakul Iyer and Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru. Editing by Gerry Doyle)

Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.

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Several Wall Street banks have come to dominate a corner of U.S. commercial real estate finance over the past seven months, even as the coronavirus pandemic has cast a long shadow over the market.

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Deutsche Bank (DB) Goldman Sachs (GS) and JP Morgan Chase (JPM) each significantly grew their share of the roughly $550 billion commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) market during the pandemic, according to a new report by Deutsche’s research arm.

The CMBS market is a type of property finance where Wall Street banks make loans on hotels, skyscrapers, and other types of commercial buildings to package into bond deals that investors buy.

This chart shows which Wall Street banks won — and lost — market share since the pandemic took hold in the U.S.

Deutsche Bank Research, Index data

Researchers categorized loans as pre-COVID from January to March, but as post-COVID as of April. Loans made by more than one bank went into the “other” category.

By those metrics, Deutsche, long a major player in U.S. commercial real estate finance, ranked as the top lender in the sector, with a 20% market share of the “COVID-19” lending pie.

Deutsche Bank has been a key financier of the sprawling Hudson Yards complex development on Manhattan’s far West Side, as well as a long time lender to President Donald Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner‘s real estate company.

Goldman Sachs ranked second with a 18% lending share during the pandemic and JP Morgan third with a 15% slice.

Deutsche Bank declined to comment. Goldman and JP Morgan did not respond to requests for comment.

Investors have been looking forward to major banks providing an update on their commercial real-estate exposure for clues about the shape of the broader economy, when the third-quarter U.S. corporate

General Electric GE shares jumped higher in pre-market trading Friday after analysts at Goldman Sachs resumed coverage of the industrial group with a buy rating and a $10 price target.

Goldman Sachs analyst Joe Ritchie, citing the progress towards a ‘”leaner, structurally more productive company with better capital discipline” during the two-year tenure of CEO Larry Culp, said the group’s free cash flows will improve next year as its higher-margin businesses recover from the worst of the coronavirus pandemic. He also argues there is potential upside for both the stock and its longer-term price target heading into the group’s third quarter earnings on October 28.

Culp told investors last month that GE’s industrial free cash flows would be positive before the end of this year, a noted improvement from his July update that it would likely turn positive on in 2021.

General Electric shares were marked 3.3% higher in early trading Friday to change hands at $6.86 each, a move that extends the stock’s one-month gain to around 10%.

In late July, when GE published a wider-than-expected second quarter loss of $2.2 billion, Culp noted “faster progress on elements within our control, including our targeted cost and cash preservation actions.’

GE’s second quarter revenues fell 38.5% from last year to $17.7 billion, a figure that topped analysts’ forecast by around $700 million for the three months ending in June. Industrial free cash flow was also better-than-forecast, at -$2.1 billion from $-2.2 billion in the first quarter, and the conglomerate said at the time it expected to be free-cash flow positive by next year.

Revenues from GE Power, one of the group’s biggest divisions, remained reasonably solid, down 11.1% to $4.16 billion, while Aviation revenues fell 44% to $4.4 billion as global aircraft demand collapsed during coronavirus travel restrictions and Boeing’s