Catastrophe in Lebanon

Today’s news headlines:

‘Toll mounts after Beirut rocked by massive explosion’. Beirut, the Lebanese capital, was devastated by a huge explosion in its port area which has left 78 dead and thousands more injured. The Lebanese Prime Minister has asked for international help and declared Wednesday as a national day of mourning following the disaster. Reports have been confirmed by legal documents that the cause of the blast seems to be 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate that was impounded in the port in late 2013. President Trump weighed in, suggesting that the explosion was not an accident and that a bomb was responsible for the explosion. (Financial Times)

‘Business urges rethink on Sunak’s job support measures’. Companies have urged ministers to rethink current measures to avoid mass unemployment, warning that they would not use schemes set out by the government to protect jobs. Only 43% of companies would be seeking Sunak’s £1,000 ‘bonus’ for each furloughed worker companies bring back, while far fewer stated that they intend to use other proposed schemes. The survey findings come as more major companies announce job cuts, with tens of thousands set to be made redundant. (Financial Times)

Today's events, rates, and data 

  • Gold advanced beyond the $2,000 mark, and the US Dollar slipped as the latest coronavirus recovery package found little progress in Congress. Sterling, the Aussie Dollar, and Kiwi Dollar all climbed back towed pre-Covid highs as real yields in the US hit record lows.  

Today's events

Chinese Caixin Services PMI: 54.1 vs 58.4 previously
Eurozone Final Services PMI: 9.00am
UK Final Services PMI: 9.30am
US ADP Non-Farm Employment Change: 1.15pm
US ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI: 3.00pm

Interbank rates:

GBP/USD: 1.3090
GBP/EUR: 1.1080
EUR/USD: 1.1815
USD/CAD: 1.3279