Cause for concern
Today's news headlines:
‘Coronavirus variant gaining ground in England, data shows’. The Indian variant is beginning to make its way through communities in England. The number of areas the virus was present climbed from 12 to 23 at the start of last week. Although this is a worry, case numbers appear to be rising fastest in the younger age group who are less vaccinated than their older counterparts. Early signs are suggesting the vaccines are effective against the variant, with the genetic make-up being similar to the original strain. This is somewhat encouraging news, with over 35’s being invited to have their jabs this week and soon moving on to lower age brackets. (Financial Times)
‘UK government split over Australia trade deal’. The UK are close to finalising their first free trade deal with Australia, which will be a standalone deal and not a rollover of terms from the EU. The zero-tariff proposals on imports such as lamb and beef have been met with anguish by Scottish and Welsh farmers who fear they will be undercut by cheaper produce from overseas. The trade deal could help the UK find a way into the trans-Pacific trade partnership. as Australia are currently deadlocked in talks with China. The UK signing the deal could be a good show of support for Australia, which could help smooth over conversations with China. (Financial Times)
Today's events, rates, and data
Further news of the Indian variant sent markets lower yesterday with the FTSE 100 finishing the day down 0.15%, while the FTSE 250 softened 0.55%. Cable has crept higher with the $1.42 handle in sight. EUR/USD has also gained this morning closing in on $1.22.
Japan Preliminary GDP q/q: -1.3% vs 2.8% previously
UK Unemployment Rate: 4.8% vs 4.9% last month
Eurozone flash GDP q/q: 10:00am
Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey Speaks: 3:00pm
Swiss National Bank Chairman Thomas Jordan Speaks: 4:00pm
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