Mood – Turbulent times (3/10)

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China’s economy is paying the price for Xi Jinping’s ongoing zero tolerance approach to coronavirus, as economic activity contracted sharply in April following another wave of city and local lockdowns. This was felt this morning in European exchanges, with the Stoxx Europe 600 down following the longest string of weekly loses felt in the global equities market since 2008. In more encouraging news, depleted Russian forces have pulled back operations in the Donbas region of Ukraine, while closer to home, Ofgem has proposed that energy caps are reviewed quarterly given wholesale price volatility on the continent. Of worrying concern to Irish, EU and US diplomats, PM Boris Johnson is poised to take unilateral action on the question of the Northern Ireland protocol.


Things heat up further afield, with Asia’s richest man, Gautam Adani, making his largest acquisition to date, agreeing to acquire coal-to-port conglomerate the Adani Group for $10.5bn in cash from its Swiss parent company Holcim. Saudi Aramco will make shareholders of BP and Shell envious as it reports a net income of nearly $40bn in the first quarter, eclipsing Western rivals, who at home face the threat of recession, according to senior chairman of Goldman Sachs, Lloyd Blankfein. UK and Irish rivals EasyJet and Ryanair try to maintain a positive outlook, with the latter increasing its number of flights by 15% this summer in an expected passenger boom. As EasyJet continues to struggle with COVID-19-related staff shortages, forecast profits are likely to be modest.


Despite recent health concerns, the Queen’s spirits were raised at the ‘A Gallop Through History’ equestrian display at Windsor Castle on Sunday, kicking off celebrations for her Platinum Jubilee, while the Cannes Film Festival, starting tomorrow, celebrates its 75th anniversary.


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