Friday mood – Locking down

Published on 18-09-2020 12:00:00

Nobody really wants to do it, but as Israel becomes the first country to implement a second national lockdown today, there’s nervousness that others will follow. With scientists said to be recommending a two-week UK shutdown next month, the FTSE 100 is taking cover.

Others are locking down already, with almost half of British firms set to cut jobs. £50bn of cash has gone missing, while the Queen’s property company has written off £500m. P&O Cruises won’t sail again until January and Volkswagen is planning for Bugatti to motor into different ownership.

The City is preparing to go into isolation, with Investec axing 210 jobs, the London Stock Exchange waving goodbye to its Italian cousin and green bonds possibly sliding into irrelevance.

In the US, banks look set to be confined to an extended dividend cap, while Tencent is the latest Chinese company that Trump wants to put in a hole.

In Australia, scientists have discovered a ’truly venomous‘ stinging tree that can cause pain for weeks. And there are even problems in space as a new solar cycle poses potential hazards for astronauts.

Yet other avenues are opening up. DIY sales have driven a fourth consecutive month of UK retail recovery, Cornwall could be set for another mining boom  and shares in Edison client Trackwise Design are up 21% today on a manufacturing and supply agreement with a UK electric vehicle-maker.

As a seafood firm plots an IPO, COVID is causing a deep freezer boom, Obama’s memoir has to be printed in Germany as so many people want to read it and a Brexit deal might just be possible after all.

If going back into isolation still feels like the end of the world, take comfort that REM’s Michael Stipe doesn’t feel fine about it. And you might just win a trip to space on this new TV reality show.

Until next week,

The Stream Team

Share this with friends and colleagues