Donald Trump has gone even further than expected, banning China’s We Chat as well as TikTok. Chinese companies could also face being delisted on US markets.
There are calls for the sharp downturn in global economies to be officially labelled as a pandemic depression, while the 160,000 deaths so far attributed to COVID-19 in the US could nearly double by December.
Yet it takes more than that to trouble the resilient FTSE 100 in these QE-aided times, though investors have a watchful eye on today’s US jobs figures. Asian markets were predictably not as sanguine overnight, yet the Nasdaq continues to touch new highs.
Zuckerberg is as safe as houses, joining the centibillionaire club, though Gates, another member, is warning that climate change could be even more damaging than COVID-19. US billionaires would probably survive a 60% one-time US tax News Corp and Uber are weathering losses.
British banks may have to withstand COVID-19 losses more than double the level of the £20bn they have provisioned to cover them. One gold bug thinks it wouldn’t be unreasonable for gold to double again to $4,000 an ounce.
All this is not deterring business as normal – unless you annoy a Maori. The New York Stock Exchange’s owner is buying Ellie Mae for $11bn. Standard Life Aberdeen is hanging on to its dividend. As Edison’s Rob Murphy notes in his latest comment, Hargreaves Lansdown now has more than £100bn under administration.
There is good news for Edison client Expert System: Britain is rolling out five million COVID-19 tests, OFGEM is lowering the price cap on power bills by £84 per household and we are all enjoying working from home – though maybe too much.
Finally, an archaeologist may have found the face of God. As you’re enjoying the UK’s heatwave, spare a thought for those predicted to suffer in a hellish US hurricane season. And here’s how to stay cool in a face mask.
Until next week,
The Stream team