Markets turned up last week and the climb may continue.
Britain’s economy unexpectedly slowed to a crawl in July as the Delta variant of COVID-19 spread rapidly after lockdown restrictions were eased and as a ‘pingdemic’ kept many workers at home self-isolating. Economic output rose just 0.1% in July, the Office for National Statistics said on Friday, the smallest monthly increase since January when Britain went into a new national lockdown.
Oil rose towards $73 a barrel on Friday, supported by growing signs of supply tightness in the United States as a result of Hurricane Ida and as U.S.-China trade hopes gave riskier assets a boost. About three-quarters of the U.S. Gulf’s offshore oil production, or about 1.4 million barrels per day, has remained halted since late August.
The Bank of England will raise borrowing costs by the end of 2022, earlier than previously thought, and there is a chance it comes even sooner as a solid economic recovery from the pandemic and high inflation may tip its hand, a Reuters poll found. Like central banks across the world, the BoE slashed borrowing costs at the height of the coronavirus pandemic and also restarted its quantitative easing program. But as daily deaths from COVID-19 have fallen thanks to extensive vaccination, much of life in Britain has returned to normal.
Canada added 90,200 jobs in August, slightly below expectations, while the unemployment rate dropped to 7.1%, its lowest point since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, Statistics Canada data showed on Friday. Analysts surveyed by Reuters had expected a gain of 100,000 jobs and for the unemployment rate to fall to 7.3%. With the August gain, employment is now less than 1% below pre-pandemic levels. Hours worked, however, remain 2.6% below February 2020 levels.
European stocks inched higher on Friday, lifted by technology and luxury shares, while investors weighed risks from tighter monetary policies after the European Central Bank signaled a slowdown of its pandemic-era bond purchases. The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.2%, but was still on course to end the week 0.7% lower amid persisting worries of a slowing global economic recovery.
||Facebook Inc. unveiled its long-awaited smart glasses in partnership with Ray-Ban, entering a nascent wearables market with a focus on capturing photos rather than augmented reality.|
|The iPhone maker also intends to significantly increase its output of new TV shows and movies to at least one a week in 2022, more than double its pace this year, according to The Information, which cited another person familiar with the matter.|
|Amazon has introduced two new lines of smart TVs designed in-house. Instead of partnering with manufacturers like it and rival Roku have for years, it’s taking more control of the product. Direct control over the television line gives Amazon the ability to set its own price and provide deeper integration with its other products and services.|