Data shows Covid still hitting economies

Garry White, Chief Investment Commentator, provides a round-up of the market movements and the global investing outlook for the week ending 10 September 2021.

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  1. Garry White

Major indices fell this week as President Biden announced more restrictions against a backdrop of surging cases in the country. UK GDP still remains 2.1% below pre-pandemic levels.

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Covid-19

Joe Biden unveiled sweeping new Covid-19 measures requiring workers at large companies to be vaccinated – or face weekly testing for infection. The US President also announced a vaccine mandate for millions of federal government workers with the updated requirements covering about 100 million employees.

President Biden announced tighter rules against a backdrop of surging cases in the country. Hospitals in several states have reached capacity in intensive care amid the spread of the more transmissible Delta variant of Covid-19.

Economics

The UK economy is still 2.1% below its pre-pandemic peak, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). GDP grew by just 0.1% in July – its sixth-consecutive month of growth – but the increase was much lower August’s GDP reading of 1% growth.

The European Central Bank (ECB) put the brakes on its pandemic stimulus programme, deciding to buy bonds at a slightly slower pace in the next three months. However, the ECB insisted that the move wasn’t a “tapering” as the move was relatively small.

Economic data is showing that the long shadow of Covid-19 still hangs over many countries, especially all those that have, for one reason or another, been slow to vaccinate their populations. We look at how the spread of the Delta variant of the virus is resulting in a fitful and patchy global recovery here

Geopolitics

Germany and Japan face important elections this year. We look at their implications here.

The schism between the ideology of Xi Jinping and Deng Xiaoping is growing noticeably by the month. We examine China’s policy shifts against capitalism in the People’s Republic here.

Mergers & acquisitions

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) approved acquisition of Stubhub by rival ticketing site Viagogo. The latter agreed to sell off StubHub's international wing to allay competition concerns.

Environmental Social and Governance (ESG)

Technology

Facebook announced the launch of its long-rumoured “smart glasses” in partnership with Ray-Ban. The cutting-edge spectacles feature two front-facing cameras to quickly capture pictures and video. The history of such wearable technology is patchy. In 2013 Alphabet’s Google started selling a similar prototype called “Google Glass” for $1,500. The headset received a great deal of criticism amid concerns that its use could violate existing privacy laws.

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