· Risk on again as stocks extend rally
· GME sinks 60 per cent as shine comes off the ‘memestocks’ trade
· Italian banks rally as country taps Mario Draghi for PM
So, while the EU drags its feet, points blame, raises threats of vaccine export controls and criticises the Oxford University vaccine for being ineffective and suggests the British were taking risks with rushing approvals, the UK is quietly getting on with it. 10m vaccinated and counting. And new research suggests the AstraZeneca vaccine is not only very effective but also slows the spread of the virus. The impact on transmission matters a lot to making things normal quicker as it means you don’t need to vaccinate as many.
Super Mario to the rescue: Former European Central Bank Governor Mario Draghi has been asked to form a government of national unity in Italy. He’s a highly skilled operator, a consummate politician and we know he’ll do ‘whatever it takes’ to steer Italy out of its worst economic and health crisis since the war. As far as technocrats go, you won’t find a better one. Italian banks like the idea of Draghi as PM – shares rose 6 per cent in the major names. His expertise in this area is clearly a positive. Italian 10-year bond yields sank 7 bps to 0.585. The FTSE MIB rallied 2 per cent as banks rose and investors discounted the political risk. I think many of us who watched every ECB presser for the last decade will think Italy has secured a top operator. If you need a technocrat, you won’t do better.