By Chuck Mikolajczak

New York, Oct 12 (Reuters)The dollar index was little changed near three-week lows on Monday as optimism over the possibility of a COVID-19 relief bill was curbed by concern over the pandemic, while China’s yuan fell after the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) changed its reserve requirements policy.

On Sunday, the Trump administration called on Congress to pass a stripped-down coronavirus relief bill using leftover funds from an expired small-business loan program, as negotiations on a broader package continue to run into roadblocks. A White House spokeswoman said on Monday that Senate Republicans will go along with what Trump wants in legislation.

The greenback has held within a range of about 2% over the past three weeks as talks have gone back and forth. The dollar had its biggest loss in six weeks on Friday amid rising hopes a fiscal stimulus package would be agreed to stem the economic fallout from COVID-19. More stimulus is seen as negative for the dollar.

“The dollar just retains this soft underbelly on expectations that sooner or later there will be some stimulus out of Washington,” said Joe Manimbo, senior market analyst at Western Union Business Solutions in Washington DC.

“At the same time, if you look at some of the election developments, the polls are trending in a way that is reducing worries about a contested outcome, that is more risk positive and therefore dollar negative.”

Opinion polls show Biden with a substantial lead nationally, but the advantage is smaller in some of the states that may decide the election outcome.

The offshore yuan CNHUSD=R fell 0.76% against the dollar after China’s central bank said on Saturday it would lower the reserve requirement ratio for financial institutions when conducting some foreign exchange forwards trading, a move seen

New York (Reuters) – The dollar index held near three-week lows on Monday as optimism over the possibility of a COVID-19 relief bill was curbed by concern over the pandemic while China’s yuan fell after the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) changed its reserve requirements policy.

FILE PHOTO: Saudi riyal, yuan, Turkish lira, pound, U.S. dollar, euro and Jordanian dinar banknotes are seen in this illustration taken January 6, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

On Sunday, the Trump administration called on Congress to pass a stripped-down coronavirus relief bill using leftover funds from an expired small-business loan program, as negotiations on a broader package continue to run into roadblocks.

The greenback has held within a range of about 2% over the past three weeks as talks have gone back and forth. The dollar had its biggest loss in six weeks on Friday amid rising hopes a fiscal stimulus package would be agreed to stem the economic fallout from COVID-19. More stimulus is seen as negative for the dollar.

“The chances of getting a comprehensive stimulus deal before the election are slim,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst, at OANDA in New York.

“So what that means is that the damage to the economy is going to grow and it means that right now we are talking somewhere around $1.8 or $2 trillion …and that just means the stimulus is going to be bigger the longer they wait.”

The offshore yuan CNHUSD=R fell 0.8% against the dollar after China’s central bank said on Saturday it would lower the reserve requirement ratio for financial institutions when conducting some foreign exchange forwards trading, a move seen as a bid to curb recent yuan appreciation.

The yuan had reached a more than 17-month high on Friday in offshore trade and has gained nearly 8% against the

Fancy house with today's mortgage rates graphics.

Image source: Getty Images

Mortgage rates have been relatively stable in recent weeks, which is good news for borrowers since they continue to remain near record lows. Today, while rates ticked up very slightly, borrowers will still find very competitive mortgage rates that are well worth locking in. Here’s what you need to know about average mortgage rates for Oct. 12.

Mortgage Type Today’s Interest Rate
30-year fixed mortgage 2.908%
20-year fixed mortgage 2.758%
15-year fixed mortgage 2.374%
5/1 ARM 3.336%

Data source: The Ascent’s national mortgage interest rate tracking.

30-year mortgage rates

The average 30-year mortgage rate today is 2.908%, up .005% from Friday’s average rate of 2.903%. Rates below 3.00% used to be unheard of, but have become the norm in recent weeks. At today’s average rate, your monthly payment for principal and interest would total $417 per $100,000 borrowed and total interest costs over the loan’s life would be $49,997 per $100,000 in mortgage debt.

Check out The Ascent’s mortgage calculator to see what your monthly payment might be and how much your loan will ultimately cost. Also learn how much money you’d save by snagging a lower interest rate, making a larger down payment, or choosing a shorter loan term.

20-year mortgage rates

The average 20-year mortgage rate today is 2.758%, up .006% from Friday’s average of 2.752%. The monthly payment for principal and interest if you qualify for a loan at today’s average rate would be $543 per $100,000 in mortgage debt, while total interest costs would add up to $30,215 per $100,000 over the life of the loan.

Savvy borrowers will notice that while the interest rate is a bit below the rate on a 30-year loan, monthly payments are much higher. This occurs due to the faster repayment timeline, which also

There has been a record number of dividend cuts during the ongoing coronavirus crisis, particularly in the energy sector, which is one of the most severely beaten sectors. A bright exception has been the group of U.S. refiners, which have defended its dividends so far. However, as Valero (VLO) is poised to post material losses this year, it is likely to cut its dividend, given also the uncertainty arising from the pandemic. On the other hand, the stock has been beaten to the extreme and thus it has collapsed at its 7-year lows. In this article, I will analyze why Valero has become a conviction buy around its current price.

The effect of the pandemic

The pandemic has caused an unprecedented collapse in the demand for refined products this year. According to the Energy Information Administration [EIA], the global demand for refined products is expected to slump by 8.3 million barrels per day on average this year, from 101.4 to 93.1 million barrels per day. This will mark the steepest decline in the global oil consumption in at least three decades.

In its last conference call, at the end of July, Valero stated that the demand for gasoline and diesel had recovered to 85%-90% of normal, after bottoming at 50% and 70%, respectively, in April. However, the demand for jet fuel remained 50% lower than normal. As a result, Valero planned to ran its refineries at an approximate 79% utilization rate in the third quarter. This is a daunting utilization rate, particularly for the third quarter, which is the strongest quarter for refiners in normal years.

It is also important to note that Valero generates the vast majority of its earnings from its refining business. In addition, most of its refineries are coastal and thus they lack the benefit of

By Madhvi Pokhriyal and Noor Zainab Hussain

(Reuters) – Canadian mergers and acquisitions are set to increase following a modest third-quarter recovery from multi-year lows, as market stability and access to capital give companies the confidence to negotiate and price transactions.

Equity offerings also picked up in the three months through September, as stock market recovery following a tumultuous few months early in the coronavirus pandemic encouraged issuers to tap markets to recapitalize.

Some $40.9 billion worth of M&A deals were announced in the third quarter, the highest since the onset of the coronavirus crisis in late 2019 and a 200% jump from the three months ended in June, Refinitiv data showed. But it was lower than the $50.7 billion worth of transactions from a year ago, the data showed.

“There are clearly indications that we’re in the early stages of recovery, a lot more strategic dialogue going on and private equity is continuing to be very active,” said Emmanuel Pressman, partner at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP.

Canadian security firm GardaWorld’s 2.95 billion pound ($3.8 billion) offer for Britain’s G4S <GFS.L> and cable operator Altice USA Inc’s <ATUS.N> C$10.3 billion ($7.7 billion)proposal to buy Canadian cable company Cogeco Inc <CCA.TO> were among the deals announced in the past quarter.

“We expect continued growth in M&A volumes in 2021, fueled by reduced volatility, increased market confidence and improved access to capital,” said Dany Beauchemin, co-head, Global Investment Banking and Canadian Corporate Banking at Scotiabank.

A deal frenzy in September led to a record third quarter with more than $1 trillion worth of transactions globally https://in.reuters.com/article/us-global-m-a-q3-idCAKBN26L23O.

In Canada, total equity linked deals rose 19% in the third quarter to C$10.5 billion from the previous quarter, though it was flat on the year.

“As volatility and COVID-19 concerns subside, we see both