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Today's markets: England pay the penalty, business confidence rising despite Covid resurgence concerns

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Today's markets: England pay the penalty, business confidence rising despite Covid resurgence concerns


  • Damp start to the week in London mirrored in equity markets
  • Confirmation expected today of 19 July reopening in England
  • Business confidence is rising

England pay the penalty

Sore heads across England this morning after late night drama brought the Euro 2020 football championship to a heart breaking conclusion for Gareth Southgate’s young side who lost on penalties to Italy. 

Away from the football, Boris Johnson is expected to today confirm the lifting of virtually all Covid restrictions in England from next Monday, 19 July. There are concerns in some quarters however that infection rates are soaring with some scientists and politicians calling for some restrictions to remain in place, least of all wearing of masks in indoor settings and on public transport - over to you Mr Johnson. 

Meanwhile the virulent Delta variant of Covid appears to be getting established across many European countries, probably not helped by legions of football fans moving around Europe over the past month. Ahead of the summer holiday season there are concerns that Delta could derail the nascent European economic recovery. 

Further afield, the previously impregnable Australia is struggling to contain an outbreak of the Delta variant in its largest city, Sydney while Japan is gearing up for an Olympics with very few fans. 

But UK businesses are increasingly confident

A survey by Accenture and IHS Markit of 1,400 UK businesses showed two thirds expecting an increasing in business activity in the year ahead with only 9 per cent predicting a fall in activity. With this inflationary pressures are also expected to build with more than two thirds of businesses expecting staff costs to rise in the coming months. This confidence was echoed in a survey by accountancy firm BDO which showed business confidence at its highest level since 2005 in the UK. 


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