The boost in the Pound was short lived and has been almost entirely reversed by scepticism across the channel that a Brexit deal will get done. Angela Merkel however has urged that something does get done and has said that the EU must understand that a deal needs to be “in the interests of both parties, in British interests as well as the interests of the 27-member EU”. At the moment there isn’t enough progress for the EU to agree to enter the final phase of talks and the UK imposed deadline exspires at close of play tomorrow. Boris is set to speak to Ursula von der Leyen again today, which will hopefully get us back and moving in the right direction, at speed. Hopefully.
Lockdown plans in the UK look like they’re going to get a lot tougher than the tiers outlined by the PM on Monday. Sir Kier Starmer has called for a two to three week circuit breaker and Northern Ireland have approved plans to have a four week lockdown, with schools closed for half of that time and strict rules on hospitality, leisure and businesses with ‘close contact services’ will have to shut for the duration. The October half term starts on October 26th and the government are saying that a nationwide lockdown remains an option if the measures imposed don’t work – but even if they do, it won’t manifest in the numbers for at least ten days, probably longer, so it almost seems inevitable – particularly if you look at the scenes in Liverpool last night, with people giving the pubs a ‘final farewell’.
Europe have been given the go ahead to impose tariffs on the US after a WTO ruled that the US had given Boeing unfair state aid, in a sixteen year dispute! This has been a back and forth case since 2004 and even though there’s been this ruling it doesn’t mean it’s over – instead the WTO are hoping that this ruling gets the two countries to draw up an agreement for what are acceptable levels of state aid in the aviation sector – something they probably want to get to quite quickly given the cheques that are about to be written in the US to help airlines through the pandemic. The FT has the story.
In the US: Another late stage covid trial has been halted over safety concerns. Eli Lilly is working on an antibody treatment for covid, but announced yesterday that it has been paused by the regulators for the time being. The market seems to be getting used to these pauses though and didn’t take it out too much on the share price, which fell less than three percent on the news. CNBC has more.
Apple’s iPhone 12 event wasn’t the share price booster that many had thought, despite them ticking all of the boxes on models and also quoting a stat that has to be good for sales – ‘40% of the 950 million iPhones in circulation haven’t been upgraded in the last 3.5 years’, giving them a potentially massive opportunity once the 5G network is more established and the benefits clear to see – sadly that’s on the networks to sort out and one share price that did do very well off the back of the announcement was Verizon’s. They got some stage time at the event and announced a nationwide US rollout of 5G, which saw an immediate uptick.
A curiosity being reported by Bloomberg about the event was that Chinese video platforms decided to drop the livestream of the event without giving any notice. We’re not sure who gave the instruction for them to do so, but something that would garner so much attention globally would usually be seen as a ‘must have’ on your platform.
An FT article this morning talks about who China would vote for in the upcoming US election, if they could. It’s not as clear cut as you’d think and they say that though Biden would make life easier for them in the short term, his longer term plans of getting America back in the circle of other major democracies would likely lead to a ‘China Vs. the world’ situation, which would be a tougher position for China to be in. It’s worth a read.
Looking at today: The data set is pretty light, but there seems to be a huge amount of central bank speakers out to have their say on the matters at hand (it’s under control, have faith, monetary policy isn’t guesswork, trust us etc.)
Have a great day