As Gareth Southgate urges England to show no fear and build Wembley history in tonight’s Euro 2020 semi-final, we’re being put on the spot. Chinese researchers propose shooting more than 20 rockets to deflect ‘Armageddon’ asteroids, while astronomers have identified four rogue planets and Richard Branson says his upcoming space flight is a ‘pinch me-moment’. Down on earth, North America has just endured its hottest June on record.
FACING OUR PHOBIAS
There are real reasons for fear, with UK house prices falling for the first time since January and Nomura pulling the plug on a chunk of its hedge fund business after its Archegos Capital losses. Fintech group Wise’s Spotify-style listing is a big test for London. Minors in China will have to beat face-recognition technology if they want to play computer games on Tencent after 10pm.
HOLDING OUR NERVE
Some corporates are showing iron resolve, with Shell increasing dividends and recruiter PageGroup lifting earnings guidance. Swedish gaming group Embracer has seen its shares increase 30-fold over the last five years, making it Europe’s most valuable video game developer, while Reese Witherspoon’s media company could sell for as much as $1bn. While Microsoft has lost its $10bn Jedi contract with the Pentagon, Amazon, which will now bid against it and other cloud computing providers for the work, has added $100bn of market capitalisation in two days. Iceland has achieved the economic holy grail of cutting working hours with no loss of productivity. The FTSE All Share is showing no fear as it climbs higher.
LOOKING FOR A SPARK
If the England team lacks genius tonight, it may want to call one of the 14 living descendants of Leonardo Da Vinci. But a Welsh pinot noir grown by a former postal worker and a retired nurse has shown the way to win, beating off the French to claim a wine gold medal. Good luck to England as they try to defeat the Danes tonight.