It looks like volatility is the name of the game in the markets this week, with stocks and commodities experiencing wild swings as investors focus on the latest updates on Covid and inflation.
Stocks and oil collapsed as the bosses of BioNTech and Moderna clashed over whether existing vaccines will be able to deal with the new strain of the virus.
But they ended the day lower after Fed Chairman Jerome Powell fueled speculation the central bank could raise interest rates and start cutting stimulus sooner than expected.
However, traders seem to reassess the situation this morning. West Texas Intermediate is up 2.6%, while Brent is up 2.9%.
5 things to start your day
1) London becomes one of the most expensive cities Higher prices for household items, personal care, recreation and transportation raise the cost of living
2) HMRC to crack down on umbrella companies Umbrella companies act as a middleman, dealing with payroll issues for over 600,000 workers
3) Wise co-founder asked to hire tax advisers The CEO of billionaire Kristo Kaarmann was fined by the tax authorities for late payment
4) Elon Musk warns rocket issues could bankrupt SpaceX The company must fix the engine problem plaguing the Starship spacecraft by next year or face hardship to stay solvent
5) The Week editor considers newspaper buybacks as shares hit new high Future briefly overshadows ITV’s market valuation after pre-tax profits more than doubled
What happened during the night
Asian stocks were mixed on Wednesday amid nervous trading amid concerns over the latest variant of the coronavirus.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 benchmark was up 0.8 pc in morning trading, after spinning earlier in the session.
South Korea’s Kospi jumped 1.1%, while Australia’s S & P / ASX 200 fell 0.4%. The Hong Kong Hang Seng gained 1.3 pc, while the Shanghai Composite was little changed, falling less than 0.1 pc.
- Business : Secure Residential Income (Annual results); Liontrust Asset Management, Redde Northgate (Interim workers)
- Economy: FTSE redesign (UK), BRC store price index (UK), House prices nationwide (UK), Manufacturing PMI (UK, EU, US, China)