US president Donald Trump said he expected a coronavirus vaccine to be available for every American by April, a more optimistic forecast than many US government scientists. On Friday Mr Trump insisted that he often knows more about such issues than experts such as Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Sterling dropped and UK government bond prices pushed higher last week after traders spotted signs that the Bank of England might be seriously considering cutting interest rates below zero — a reaction that has taken the central bank itself by surprise. The BoE said it would “begin structured engagement” with regulators on how an unprecedented slide into sub-zero rates might work.
Large UK property funds are keeping trading suspensions in place because of fears that low cash buffers and regulatory uncertainty could trigger an investor run. All major commercial property funds suspended trading in March, trapping close to £22bn of investor money, after the coronavirus-induced halt in economic activity made it difficult to value real estate.
It is less than two months since Donald Trump travelled to Texas to declare that the US energy industry, laid low by this year’s oil price crash, was back on its feet. “We’re OK now,” the president said. But the latest bankruptcy numbers tell a different story. Another 16 upstream US oil and gas companies hit the wall in August, the same number as in July, according to law firm Haynes and Boone.
Rolls-Royce is in talks with sovereign wealth funds, including Singapore’s GIC, as part of a plan to raise about £2.5bn from investors next month, the Financial Times has learned. The UK aero-engine group is working with bankers at Goldman Sachs on the planned equity raise to repair a balance sheet badly damaged by the coronavirus pandemic.
Deloitte UK has been forced to drop plans to sell its restructuring practice after its global parent company vetoed the disposal on the grounds that it could have an adverse impact on the rest of the firm. The proposed sale was expected to bring in hundreds of millions of pounds that would have mitigated a drop-off in some consulting work during the pandemic.
Cathay Dragon, the short-haul subsidiary of Cathay Pacific Airways, announced on Sunday that its flights from Kuala Lumpur have been banned from landing in its Hong Kong hub until October 20 after five passengers who arrived on Friday tested positive for Covid-19. “All were connecting passengers travelling from India via an India Express flight,” Cathay Dragon said in a statement.
Spare bedrooms and living rooms could soon become part of vibrant trading floors as one of the world’s biggest investment banks considers providing staff with augmented reality headsets. UBS has experimented with Microsoft HoloLenses, which would allow London-based staff to recreate the experience of working in a packed trading floor without leaving their homes.