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Markets shocker, Patisserie pummelled, consumer concerns & more

It’s been a week of shockers on the equity markets as a sharp sell off took hold due to growing fears over inflation and global growth while rising bond yields in the US have prompted some serious rotation in portfolios. And one of the biggest shocks of the week was handed out to shareholders of Patisserie Valerie as its shares were abruptly suspended from trading due to concerns over accounting irregularities and the company rapidly reported that the accounting hole may be big enough to swallow the business completely. Read Phil Oakley's excellent analysis of the situation, asking whether anyone could have seen this coming.

Concerns over the health of the consumer were reflected in the form of some fairly dire updates from all corners of the sector this week. Fast-fashion retailer Quiz issued a profit warning, housebuilder Telford Homes warned of slower sales, Ted Baker’s outlook statement was gloomy and sofa retailer DFS saw its full year profits almost halve. Even at the top end of the scale, posh furnishings specialist Walker Greenbank said it was struggling.

For those worrying about whether we have finally seen the top of the market and are in for a sustained correction, Mark Robinson’s Taking Stock column asks whether the narrowed equity risk premium he has identified is a true lead indicator.

Meanwhile if you want to distract yourself from the doom and gloom on the markets by getting lost in booze and Brexit, listen to our special podcast interview with JD Wetherspoon boss Tim Martin which was published earlier this week.

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