10th June 2021
Good morning How much was the last stamp you bought? Whatever you paid will pale in comparison to the 1856 One-Cent Magenta - the world’s most expensive stamp. It was sold at auction yesterday for $8.3 million. Perhaps not one to stick on a postcard.
US relaxes international travel restrictions …but not for the UK
Yesterday's market moves
FTSE 100 -0.2% 7,081 FTSE 250 -0.6% 22,759
Markets flew in a holding pattern around their all-time highs ahead of inflation data tomorrow that could increase pressure on the Federal Reserve to reduce crisis-era support for the American economy.
What’s going on?Tensions are rising between the UK and EU over the post Brexit trade agreement. This means there’s a possibility that British made chilled meats like mince and sausages will not be able to be sold in Northern Ireland. Why is this important?The issue is the Brexit deal (remember the one described by Boris Johnson as “oven ready”?) signed in 2019 by the government which kept Northern Ireland in the single market while the rest of the UK left.To avoid doing checks on goods entering the EU along the Northern Island / Republic of Ireland border, the deal said they would be done between Great Britain and Northern Ireland instead.Delays were agreed on some of the more disruptive checks on supermarket lorries and chilled meat products.The delay on checks for supermarket lorries was supposed to end in March but the UK decided to extend it without agreement from the EU.That really annoyed the EU.The delay on checks for chilled meats is due to end this month.The UK say the EU is being too strict about implementing the deal.The EU says they’re trying to be helpful, but if Boris Johnson doesn’t like the deal he shouldn’t have signed it.There seems to be a stalemate but it's likely this will be a topic of discussion at the G7 summit this weekend.
TakeawayBrexit is the gift that keeps giving, Boris Johnson’s so called “oven ready” deal is looking more half-baked and the meat wars could be a sign of things to come. Writing in the Daily Telegraph, the European Commission vice president Maros Sefcovic said the EU would “not be shy” in taking action in the latest chapter of Brexit.
TRAVELUS relaxes international travel restrictions…but not for the UK
The US State Department has eased its pandemic-related travel warnings for nearly 60 countries, including France, Germany, Canada, Mexico and South Korea. Unfortunately the UK did not make the cut.The changes are due to an update in the agency’s methodology to assess travel risk.It said the new conditions for a Level 4 "avoid all travel" recommendation has changed to 500 cases per 100,000 from 100 COVID-19 cases per 100,000.The US bars nearly all non-US citizens who have been to the UK in the past 14 days. Unsurprisingly this has been especially detrimental to airlines during the pandemic. British Airways’ New York JFK to London Heathrow is the world’s most lucrative airline route, it generates over $1 billion in revenues annually for the airline. This one route — flown about 15 times daily pre-pandemic— accounts for 6% of British Airways’ total revenues.So when might travel between the UK and US resume for British nationals? That’s still unknown but the airline industry has renewed calls to do so this week in time for President Biden’s attendance at the G7 summit in Cornwall this weekend.Nonetheless the market took the relaxation of US rules as a positive. Airlines led the travel and leisure sector higher - EasyJet closed up 2.0% and IAG, the owner of British Airways, rose 3.3%.
Stat of the day
Last year UK adults spent nearly four hours per day online
Other stories to keep you in the loop
How US billionaires pay very little tax (link)
Zara owner Inditex sees global sales top pre-pandemic levels (link)
UK pushes for City of London exemption from G7 tax plan (link)
More than half of UK played games to cope with lockdown (link)
Property market sees 'biggest sales logjam in a decade' (link)