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Morning Update

Macro Monday, Gaza ceasefire update, UK railway strikes, public transport initiatives, US labour market data release, and Britain's oldest man.

Macro Monday
As part of COP 21 in 2015, the Paris Climate Agreement saw 197 countries pledged to try to limit global temperature rises to 1.5C by 2100. According to the UN, over 140 countries have net-zero targets. Between them, these countries covering just under 90% of global emissions. In 2021, Boris Johnson pledged that the UK’s electricity grid would come from clean energy sources by 2035.

Gaza

In Gaza; there is more talk of ceasefire, with reports that delegations have left Cairo after talks, but are set to return in the next couple of days to agree final terms. The aim now is that the ceasefire will happen by Eid, which is likely to be this Wednesday. Previous negotiations have obviously ended without success and there’s no guarantee that this time will be different. What could be different, however, is the international pressure that Netanyahu must be feeling and whether this is enough for them to agree to terms.

In the meantime, Israel has withdrawn some troops from the South of Gaza, saying that they are preparing for their next mission, which is the offensive on Rafah. Israel is insisting that the war cannot end until Hamas has been destroyed in Rafah, but the international community is concerned about the possible death toll, as Rafah has more than a million civilians sheltering there.

Strikes

Millions of commuters across the country are again contending today with the latest wave of railway strikes.

With industrial action being taken by train drivers who are members of Aslef, lines including c2c, Greater Anglia, Thameslink, Southeastern, Southern and South Western Railway have been impacted.

This follows a number of Aslef staff walking out on Friday as they press for higher pay and working arrangements.

As we have looked at before, the relative cost of rail travel when compared to against European counterparts remains great. In 2019 for example, the average cost of a 50-mile ticket (in this case from London to Oxford) was 55 pence per mile. According to data from Vouchercloud, a similar journey would cost 46 pence per mile in Norway, 19 pence in Germany, 9 pence in Poland and 4 pence in Turkey. In 2019 then, Britain’s rail travel was almost four times the European average.

Public Transport Initiative

On the topic of public transport, some municipalities have got increasingly inventive. For example, in 2020, commuters in Cluj-Napoca, Romania could get their bus ride ticket for free if they did 20 squats in two minutes. (disabled and elderly people travel for free). Here a smart camera ensures that the squats are compliant and issues a ticket if the target is achieved.

US Labour Market

Last Friday, market focus centred on the release of US Non-farms payrolls in the latest indication that the US labour market continues to remain robust. Data from the US bureau of labor statistics indicated that the Nonfarm payroll’s print came in at 303,000 for the month of March – it’s strongest level in 10 months. This came against expectations of 214,000 and subsequently saw a dollar-on move as markets downwardly revised rate cut expectations from the Fed.

John Tinniswood becomes Britain’s Oldest Man

Last week, John Tinniswood from Liverpool became the world’s oldest living man. This follows the previous oldest living man Juan Vicente Pérez Mora passing away in Venezuela last Tuesday.

John Tinniswood was born on 26 August 1912 during the reign of George V and has seen 23 different prime ministers enter Downing Street. The world population during the year of his birth would have likely been around 1.75bn,  with a UK population since of around 45m.

Click here for more on the life of John Tinniswood.

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