A palpable sense of relief is prevalent today. Rishi Sunak has performed his U-turn over pandemic support, retail sales have managed another record rise and Trump and Biden have at last had a proper election debate.
We can also take comfort from the fact that there is finally an approved COVID-19 treatment in the US. France is placing most of its citizens under curfew, while Wales will only let supermarkets sell essentials. But things could be much worse, couldn’t they? Perhaps it’s not surprising that the FTSE 100 is surging higher.
Some matters are still stuck in a gear change. While Brexit negotiations have got under way again, the trade deal that Britain is announcing is with Japan, not the EU.
But we can take succour from Barclays’ results accelerating to beat City expectations and be soothed by KFC creating 5,400 finger-lickin’ new jobs – even though that’s no longer the takeaway giant’s slogan. We can also receive reassurance from a £630m takeover bid for retirement housebuilder McCarthy & Stone. Edison’s initiation of coverage of Canadian miner Monarch Gold adds some lustre
Never mind that Goldman Sachs is paying a $2.9bn penalty for its involvement in a Malaysian financial scandal or that Americans could owe $72bn in unpaid rent and retailer Gap is set to pull out of owning stores in Europe. We’re in need of some cheer and The Great Gatsby seems a suitable plot for a triumphant West End reopening.
If you want to test your braking speed, try the latest instalment of Edison’s bull-bear game. If it’s a boost that you’re after, there’s a way that you can still order a Guinness, despite the pub alcohol bans. And if perspective is what you really need for the weekend, try reading the bible with every word placed in alphabetical order.