More depressed than most

Published on 24-06-2020 01:15:00

There’s a decoupling of popular and business moods today.

While Asia ended more up than down, Western markets are in the middle of a reality check. UK newspaper headlines of ’Cheers, Boris’, ‘Get the beers in’ and ‘Summer’s back on’ jarred against the end-of-lockdown mood of investors.

Persimmon’s new non-housebuilder boss may be in line for a bonanza, but traders are concerned that Boris’s gamble on British restraint seems oversized – the medical establishment’s fears of a second wave are certainly increasing.

Jitters abound with hedging now being seen as dangerous, stimulus addiction becoming a real condition and economists warning of big changes to come. Dishy Rishi’s popularity might be at risk if he misses a key Brexit deadline for the City.

Elsewhere, India’s experience shows that it’s difficult to re-open hotels and Hong Kong’s leader Carrie Lam is being kept in the dark by Beijing.

And with its missing €1.9bn leading to an arrest, Wirecard looks set to join the pantheon of milestone corporate scandals alongside Guinness, Barings and Enron. This makes the plight of offshore drillers seem less bad (but still not good).

But there is some gravy. BlackRock is warming up to European assets and people are munching on cake while guzzling down wine. You know what would go well with those baked goods? A tea business – and Unilever is selling.

Volkswagen is exploring an acquisition, while SoftBank has assets for sale. Not your bag? How about a flutter on African start-ups? Meanwhile, Trump’s threats to decouple the US from China sound more hollow and Kim Jong Un seems calmer.

So, how to marry these divergent moods? Science comes to the rescue again! Seamlessly splicing artificial neurons with biological ones is now a real thing. And if that doesn’t achieve mood reunification, a company from Brighton is building quantum computers the size of football stadium. Perhaps that might help?

Until tomorrow.

The Stream Team

Share this with friends and colleagues