British retail drops and Delta variant cases rise.
In the US a hawkish shift from the Federal Reserve has woken up a slumbering dollar, sending the US currency to its highest level in months and stoking expectations that an unwind of bearish positions could fuel more gains. All after the central bank shifted its first projected rate increase into 2023 in the face of surging inflation.
British retail sales fell unexpectedly last month as a lifting of lockdown restrictions encouraged spending in restaurants rather than shops, according to official data. Retail sales fell 1.4% between April and May, the Office for National Statistics said.
Japan’s government pledged on Friday to keep its goal of achieving a primary budget surplus by fiscal 2025, with a caveat that the target will be reassessed this fiscal year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving room for a possible delay in fiscal reform. The first annual economic policy blueprint under Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga underscored the need to strike a delicate balance between spurring post-pandemic growth and curbing the industrial world’s heaviest public debt burden.
Britain has reported another steep rise in the weekly reported cases of the Delta coronavirus variant, Public Health England data showed on Friday after Prime Minister Boris Johnson decided to delay the final lifting of lockdown restrictions. PHE said there had been 33,630 new cases of the Delta variant first identified in India in the week of June 16, taking the number of confirmed cases to 75,953, a 79% increase on the previous total.
Oil prices fell for a second straight session on Friday as the US dollar soared on the prospect of interest rate hikes in the United States, but they were on track to finish the week little changed and only slightly off multi-year highs.
||Google could face its biggest regulatory threat, with EU antitrust regulators set to open a formal investigation into its lucrative digital advertising business before the end of the year, said people familiar with the matter.|
|Boeing Co prepared to stage a maiden flight of the largest member of its 737 MAX family on Friday, in a further step towards recovering from the safety grounding of a smaller model.|
|U.S. e-commerce group eBay and Norway’s Adevinta have secured final regulatory approval for a tie-up of their global classified ads businesses, the Norwegian firm said on Friday. Under a deal struck last year, Adevinta will acquire eBay’s Classifieds Group in return for $2.5 billion in cash and 540 million shares, valuing the transaction at around $13 billion at current stock market prices.|