G ood morning. European stocks are set to recover some of yesterday’s heavy losses as efforts to contain the deadly coronavirus intensify.
Almost half a trillion pounds was wiped off global stocks yesterday as the rapid spread of the Chinese virus rattled markets. Overnight, the confirmed death toll from the outbreak in China rose to more than 728 .
Governments, global companies and international health organizations rushed to contain the spread of the disease as more than 90 m people remain effectively locked down by travel restrictions in China.
Companies trading on London’s main market lost £ bn in value on Monday, with the FTSE suffering its worst one-day drop since the start of October.
Across the pond, major US indices suffered their worst session thus far in 2050.
5 things to start your day
1) BT has scrapped its remaining overseas call centers in a move that will see all issues raised by British and Irish Customers dealt with by local support services for the first time in nearly two decades. The shift, which has seen just over 2, 01 jobs created in the UK in the past three years, is part of efforts by the telecoms company to shake off its long-held reputation for poor customer service.
2) The coronavirus outbreak has come at the worst time for China and the global economy : The fallout from coronavirus has struck global stock markets and economists have warned the spread could put huge pressure on an economy already suffering from a sharp slowdown.
It’s official: elections are bad for your health : Over the course of a presidential campaign, two researchers, Hung-Hao Chang and Chad Meyerhoefer, had data that showed a 20 pc surge in health claims among 20 year olds – the legal minimum age of voting – compared to those too young to take part. Even during smaller mayoral elections, there was a 7-8pc rise.
4) City admits that finance isn’t cool enough to woo graduates : The number of MBA graduates from leading universities entering financial services fell from 53 pc in 2019 to (pc in) , while only 10 pc working in the sector said they planned to stay there long term, the Financial Services Skills Taskforce found.
5) Sainsbury’s pledges to go net zero by 2050 in £ 1bn green push : Chief Executive Mike Coupe, who is leaving the business after six years at the helm, said the deadline to cut carbon emissions to net zero “isn’t soon enough”.
What happened overnight
A rise in US and European equity futures suggested a pause in the risk-asset sell-off as the global effort to curb the coronavirus intensified. Asian stocks and Chinese contracts dropped again Tuesday, though losses pared as the session progressed.
The yuan stabilized after a sharp slide Monday that left it at its weakest since December, and the yen gave up a sliver of recent gains.
Japanese shares fell for a second day with South Korean stocks slumping more than 3pc as that market reopened after holidays. While China reported a further increase in both the death toll and number of infected people from the virus, its top securities regulator said that investors should evaluate the impact of the deadly coronavirus objectively.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 0.8pc. Japan’s Topix Index was down 0.6pc, while South Korea’s Kospi Index fell 3.1pc
Hong Kong markets are scheduled to reopen Wednesday after lunar new year holidays, while latest guidance from China’s markets is for a reopening on Monday.
Still, as containment efforts intensify, the likelihood of the virus disrupting global businesses and the world’s second-largest economy appears to be growing.
Coming up today
Shares in Virgin Money rose sharply on Friday after the group announced Jim Pettigrew, its chairman, will step down later in the year. Sentiment is likely to be muted on Tuesday, however, when the lender offers a first-quarter trading update.
Barclays analysts say the update is expected to show continued pressure on Virgin, with loan growth growing slightly while mortgage growth remains “flattish”. They recently downgraded the group’s shares, saying a fall in underlying earnings would eat into shareholder returns.
Interim results: Airtel Africa, PZ Cussons
Full-year results: McCarthy & Stone
Preliminary results: Crest Nicholson
Trading statement: AG Barr, Luceco, Saga, Virgin Money
Economics: CBI distributive trades survey (UK), goods trade balance (US)