Jittery market gyrations


Market jitters On Monday, 18th May 2020 the markets basked in positive news pushing stocks up. Fed chair, Jerome Powell, said he had more ammunition to help the economy recover from its coronavirus hit. Then came more positive news from a U.S. pharmaceutical company, Moderna Inc., saying that their vaccine phase one trials had gone very well. Markets soared on the news with the Dow gaining over 900 points. Later, U.S. stocks pulled back in the final hours of trading yesterday as a report surfaced apparently casting doubt over the…

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UK unemployment claims rise


Unemployment claims increased UK unemployment data released at 07:00 BST Tuesday, 19th May 2020 reported a big rise in benefit claims. The benefit claimant count in April 2020 increased by 856,500 to 2.1 million, according to data released from the the Office for National Statistics (ONS). As UK unemployment claims jumped, and wages fell – the unemployment rate actually fell to 3.9% almost certainly as a result of the furlough scheme holding employees jobs. This is in marked contrast to the U.S., where there is no furlough scheme. Unemployment in the U.S. reached…

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Stocks surge on reported coronavirus vaccine progress

Coronavirus vaccine

Vaccine progress As economies struggle to re-open around the globe and as the Fed said that they have more ammunition to fight the virus, came more good news of vaccine progress. Moderna Inc., a U.S. company, announced yesterday that human trials of its coronavirus vaccine showed good progress in all participants involved in the study. This positive news report pushed markets up and they continued to climb all day yesterday, 18th May 2020. UK vaccines There are vaccine plans progressing in the UK too. Oxford University vaccine clinical trials are…

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The shape of things to come

Future recovery

Bounce, Recession or Depression? As economists, traders, investors, politicians and media pundits talk of economic recovery, many countries have already entered recession. The latest being Japan, the third largest economy in the world. The UK, Germany, France and Italy have all entered technical recessions. ‘V’ or not to ‘V’ ? The very same ‘analysts’ also spoke of recovery not of recession. The chatter was about the type of recovery even. Whether economies would see a, ‘V’ shaped (a fast bounce bank to normal), a ‘U’ shape, an ‘L’ and a…

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Stay alert to risk

Stay Alert!

Re-opening the UK economy It is generally agreed that economies will be much harder to re-open than they were to close. The UK PM on Sunday evening set out his plan to re-open the UK economy but this plan is still to be fleshed out. Boris Johnson, throughout lockdown, has been very liberal in his approach trusting the people of the UK to do the ‘right thing’ – and by-and-large they did. But businesses and employees now deserve much clearer and far more precise instruction, the clarity is missing. Second…

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UK exits EU


At 11am (not 12am) on 31st January 2020 the UK will leave the EU After more than three years of indecision, procrastination and paralysis – the United Kingdom will finally cut away from the European Union. Deadline The withdrawal agreement will now come into effect, as the UK moves into the ‘transition’ period. It’s probably safe to say that we, the UK, should expect another year of EU verses UK arguments about the future trade relationship. After-all, we are not due to completely set sail until 31st December 2020. Stronger?…

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Economic news update – Tuesday 22nd January 2020

Global economy

Scheduled events 22nd January 2020 World Economic Forum at Davos. UK public sector net borrowing data due. Canada price index data and interest rate decision due. U.S. housing data. Shares in Asia made gains, as earlier investor concerns about the coronavirus in China eased. Netflix results Netflix reported results for the last three months of 2019 – revenue of $5.47 billion, slightly above the $5.45 billion predicted by analysts. The company also said it expects slower growth in the number of new subscribers in 2020. Boeing has said it doesn’t…

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Trump trumpets triumphs

World Economic Forum

U.S. President Donald Trump yesterday used the World Economic Forum (WEF) at Davos to remind us of his success! Trump used the ‘global’ economic platform – (WEF) – to tout trade deals for U.S. Inc. and schmooze the business world elite to place his America first message back in the limelight. America first…again! Needless to say his ‘America first speech’ didn’t go down well. But, guess what – we all heard his message – even if he was quickly criticised for not showing respect for the ‘climate change activists’ after…

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IMF adjusts global economic outlook

International Monetary Fund

The International Monetary Fund – (IMF) – lowered its forecast for global economic growth for 2020 to 3.3% and 3.4% in 2021. Slightly lower forecast Although these are slightly lower than previous IMF forecasts they do represent a modest acceleration in growth compared with 2019. Weaker growth 2019 saw the weakest growth since the global financial crisis, so we are looking at a performance this year that is likely to be weaker than the average for the last decade. Rebound The rebound is expected to be slightly more modest than…

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Extreme wealth inequality

Extreme wealth inequality

A report issued 20th January 2020 by charity Oxfam calculated that 2153 billionaires hold more wealth than 4.6 billion people combined! Oxfam called on governments to implement policies that may help to reduce wealth inequality. Extreme wealth inequality The charity urged policymakers to increase taxes on the world’s wealthiest by 0.5% over a ten year period in an attempt to reduce extreme wealth inequality. The report comes as delegates gather in Davos, Switzerland, for the annual World Economic Forum. Too rich? Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is currently the richest person…

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