Thursday’s mood – In search for stimulus

Published on 06-08-2020 13:45:37

The lockdown has brought lethargy. Brits are being much slower to get back to the office than the French and the Bank of England says the nation faces some ’very hard yards’.

So we’re in need of a boost and the Bank agrees. But, while it is forecasting Britain’s biggest economic contraction for a century, it’s holding back from giving any more stimulus for now.

Unemployment is set to double and there’s a record rise in people seeking temporary jobs. Neither is the market aided by the glut of companies trying to get the pain out of the way.

Glencore is scrapping its dividend, while ITV’s profits have been almost wiped out by a slump in advertising and Edison director Neil Shah is warning that production challenges won’t allow the company to restart household hits such as Love Island and Dancing on Ice.

Aviva’s new boss may take the insurer out of mainland Europe. Fund-raising Hammerson is going one stage further and selling out of European shopping centres.

On the continent, German manufacturing is recovering but Siemens, Adidas and Munich Re are suffering. In America, Kodak’s brief resurgence now risks being derailed by a SEC probe.

What can raise our spirits? Two days after scaling $2,000 an ounce, gold is forecast to hit $3,000. Blackstone thinks there’s still glitter to be mined in our family history, paying $4.7bn to become Ancestry’s latest private equity owner.

Our webinar earlier this week found that there’s a real opportunity for change in investment trusts that would give the sector a stimulus.

And, as Trump seeks to replace the Berlin Wall with a Great Firewall, TikTok has chosen Ireland for its European investment.

But it’s also possible to have too much of a good thing, with Goldman Sachs warning that markets could be really upended by COVID-19 vaccine approvals. At least there’s little chance of too much stimulus today – unless, you’re Ross Kemp, of course.

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