Rolling coverage of the latest economic and financial news, as sterling weakens and tech stocks rout worries markets
- Introduction: Sterling has fallen to $1.293 this morning, lowest since late July
- No-deal worries are rising
- Markets nervous after tech stock slump last night
- Tesla has lost a third of its value in a week
- Travel and hospitality stocks hit by vaccine pause
Given the dollar’s recent volatility, it’s worth comparing the pound against the euro to get a better measure of sterling’s strength.
And it’s not a particularly cheery picture. The pound is still bobbing below the €1.1 point this morning, down 0.2% today, at a six-week low.
Sterling weakness may be a precursor to the position-clearing euro correction that the market badly needs.
If Brexit goes badly for the UK, then it goes badly for Europe, albeit less so. If Covid is causing renewed restrictions in the UK that’s because all of Europe has seen the virus return. If the fiscal hit from the pandemic is worryingly huge, then that’s true in Europe as well.
The Covid-19 crisis has forced budget airline Ryanair warn that this winter’s travel market will be a “write-off”.
Ryanair has cut its target for passenger numbers this year by another 10 million, to 50 million, this morning – and predicted a price war to encourage passengers to fly.
Ryanair’s previous forecast in July was that it would carry 60 million passengers in the year to the end of March 2021. That was a 20 million reduction on May’s forecast of 80 million, with rising coronavirus case numbers and changing travel restrictions wreaking havoc on customer confidence.
“We are guiding now for about 50 million passengers for the full year to the end of March,” said Michael O’Leary, the chief executive, in an interview with Reuters. “I think the winter of 2020 will essentially be a write-off.”