10th May 2021
Good morning It was a busy weekend in politics with the results of Thursday’s bumper elections announced, in short big winners = Tories and SNP, losers = Labour.
Friday's market moves
FTSE 100 +0.8% 7,130 FTSE 250 +1.3% 22,775
The main headline on Friday was that the number of new jobs added in the US in April was well below expectations. It showed the jobs market is still running well below pre-pandemic levels.You may think that the market would react negatively to this but actually they liked the fact that this means the US central bank will not ease up on its economic support package. As a result markets finished the week strong - the FTSE 100 was up 0.8% to its highest since February 2020, while the FTSE 250 rose 1.3% to its highest ever.
Commodity prices are going up
Watch out McDonalds and Burger King – Wendy’s is coming to the UK
Commodity prices are soaring
What’s going on
The price of metals, food and energy aka commodities have soared in recent weeks as economies bounce back from the pandemic helped by massive government spending.
Copper reached a record high on Friday and is up 30% this year already. The world food price index, that measures ingredients such as wheat, corn and soy (the 3 staples of the global diet), is at its highest level in 7 years.
Why is this important
Commodities are the building blocks of every growing economy, from steel used for construction to the bread we buy in the supermarket there’s really no part of society they are not involved with.
There are fears that all this could lead to rising inflation. In the US, food giants including Coca-Cola and Procter & Gamble recently said rising commodity costs means they will have to raise prices.
Why have they gone up
As economies reopen and vaccination programmes continue, activities such as manufacturing, travel and building are starting to pick up. All of this means demand for raw materials have gone up. Supply side issues like poor harvests in South America have also meant higher prices.
Rising prices are often seen as something to be avoided as it reduces the purchasing power of cash. However in moderation inflation can be a sign of economic recovery and growing investor confidence.
Wendy’s is coming to the UK
US burger giant Wendy’s is coming back to the UK next month with a branch in Reading. The chain had first launched in the 1980s but pulled out in 2001 due to high costs. This time round Wendy’s plans to open up to 400 restaurants, creating 12,000 jobs with their eyes firmly set on taking market share from McDonalds and Burger King.
This side of the pond Wendy’s is probably most known for the “ginger girl in pigtails logo” and it’s A+ Twitter account where it regularly
The company has 6,800 US restaurants and recently became America's second largest burger chain dethroning Burger King. This success has been credited to its commitment to using locally sourced produce and freshly made burgers using meat that isn't frozen.
The UK burger scene has changed a lot since the last time Wendy’s was here, consumers are seriously spoilt for choice. The option is no longer limited to just McDonalds and Burger King but now there are premium chains like Honest Burger and Byron with a number of recent US entrants like Five Guys and Shake Shack.
It’s no surprise then that the market is huge (over £3bn) but time will tell if Wendy’s can do better second time round in this competitive environment.
Covid-19 Vaccine Update
In the past 24 hours 169k UK adults have had their first dose and 439k have had the second dose.
This means 67.2% of UK adults have had at least one dose of a vaccine, 33.5% of adults have had two doses.
Other stories to keep you in the loop
Meal kit provider, Gousto could be preparing to become a public company
Twitter adds tip jar to pay people for good tweetin’
Strong demand for Bitcoin drives strong growth in digital payments giant Square
Stat of the day
40% footballers go bankrupt within 5 years of retiring