Good morning. How’s this for luck. On Friday a Canadian teenager became the country's youngest lottery winner taking home a jackpot C$48m (£29.7m) with the first ticket she ever bought.
FTSE hits record high
On Friday the UK’s blue-chip share index closed at an all-time high, for the first time since May 2018. The FTSE 100 climbed 1.0% to 7,901.8 driven by the pound slumping after the US dollar strengthened on stronger-than-expected jobs data. The index has a large contingent of global businesses who earn dollars, so a weaker pound makes their profits more valuable. The FTSE 100 has joined other stock markets making a strong start to 2023 with a nearly 6% gain. The index has been criticised for its lack of fast-growing tech companies – although that helped it avoid losses last year, when big tech valuations dropped.
US jobs market surprises
New data released on Friday showed that hiring unexpectedly surged and unemployment fell to a multi-decade low in the US jobs market, defying recession forecasts. The world’s largest economy added 517,000 jobs in January, the fastest pace since last July, and much higher than the 185,000 predicted. Most of the growth came in leisure and hospitality, government and healthcare. The unemployment rate also fell to 3.4%, the lowest rate since 1969.
The surprisingly strong jobs report came just days after the US central bank raised rates for the eighth time in the past year as part of its ongoing efforts to combat historic inflation. The strength of the labour market raises concerns that more interest rate hiking may be needed to push inflation back to the 2% target.
Big tech ‘A’ team disappoints
At the end of last week Apple, Amazon and Alphabet all released earnings reports for the final quarter of 2022, each with its own specific points of concern. Apple reported its first year-on-year decline in quarterly revenues since 2019, due to weakening consumer demands and a festive season where China’s Covid lockdowns hampered production in iPhone factories. Amazon also raised concerns over weaker consumer spending, while its usually reliable cloud computing division saw growth slow as clients cut back. Alphabet saw ad revenue drop for just the second time since going public in 2004 as companies continue to reel back marketing budgets in an uncertain economy.
Adani’s $100bn wipeout
In less than two weeks the value of the Adani Group, a conglomerate with interests across energy, transport and infrastructure, has lost $112bn, a drop of 50%. It’s meant the net worth of founder Indian billionaire Gautam Adani has also taken a beating – he’s lost his place in the world’s top 10 richest people, and is no longer Asia or India’s richest person. Analysts have called the downfall “so spectacular that it defies just about every historical comparison.”
The debacle started when Hindenburg Research released a damning report last month that accused the Adani Group of stock manipulation and accounting fraud which the company has vehemently denied. The situation could spell trouble for India’s economy as Adani has close ties to the country’s ruling party. If its freefall continues, panic could set in across financial markets as foreign investors pull out.
Fast moving cars: Ferrari is predicting another record-breaking year amid “persistently high demand” for its sports cars despite a global cost-of-living crisis.
Legal woes: The number of sacked Twitter staff launching legal action against the company "goes up daily", according to a lawyer representing some of them.
Energy outrage: Courts waved through applications by energy firms to forcibly install prepayment meters in people's homes, according to internal advice from a top magistrate leaked to the BBC.
Arm twisting: The City watchdog is considering easing rules in an attempt to win the £34bn listing of Cambridge-based technology firm Arm Holdings, it has been reported.
In the clear: Elon Musk did not deceive his investors when he tweeted in 2018 that he had the funding to take Tesla private, a jury has found.
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Number Of The Day
How much a 30 second ad will cost in this Sunday’s Super Bowl, the equivalent slot cost $42,000 at the first event in 1967.