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Today's business and finance round up 16th June 2021

🐨Landmark trade deal down under

16th June 2021

Good morning Another day and another piece of tech history is being auctioned as an NFT aka a digital token. This time round it’s world wide web founder Sir Tim Berners-Lee selling the source code used to create the modern internet. It’s likely to fetch serious $$$ and is seen as a curve ball move given Sir Tim has always refused to patent or monetise his invention.

Today's stories

  • Landmark trade deal down under

  • $6bn British start up gets investment from LinkedIn

Yesterday's market moves

FTSE 100 +0.4%  7,172 FTSE 250 -0.5% 22,632

UK markets were mixed as investors wait for the Federal Reserve meeting later today for further clues about interest rates. In terms of the domestic scene, data showed that UK unemployment fell from 4.8% to 4.7% in the three months to April. The UK jobs market continues to strengthen as the easing of lockdown leads to an increase in hiring.

TRADELandmark trade deal down under

What’s going on?The UK government has signed a free trade deal with Australia, this will allow goods between the two countries to move without tariffs aka import taxes. Why is this important?It’s the first trade deal post Brexit that has been built from scratch i.e., hasn’t been just a copy and paste of a previous EU agreement.It will mean that British products like cars, Scotch whisky and biscuits will be cheaper to sell into Australia, boosting UK industries that employ 3.5 million people across the country.

However not everyone is pleased, there’s been backlash from a number of groups:

  • The National Farmer Union are worried that opening up trade with Australia will lead to an influx of cheap goods like beef that will put UK farmers out of business.

  • Pro-union groups say that the deal will disproportionately affect Scottish farmers. This could in turn lead to more support for Scottish independence if those farmers feel let down.

  • Environmentalists fear that the government’s eagerness to do trade deals will lead to a compromise in food standards and animal welfare. Australian cattle is banned in the EU as their farmers are allowed to use hormones to make cattle grow bigger.

TakeawayIn the grand schemes of things a deal with Australia would only increase the UK economy by 0.02%.However the government is hoping that the agreement will be a gateway into the fast-growing Indo-Pacific region and will boost the UK’s bid to join CPTPP, one of the largest free trade areas in the world, covering £9 trillion of GDP and 11 Pacific nations from Australia to Mexico.

TECH$6bn British start up gets investment from LinkedIn

We all know that Zoom and Microsoft Teams have been the among the top beneficiaries of remote working during the pandemic. What you may not know is that a two year old British start up called Hopin can also join the list of video conferencing winners. Hopin’s software lets conference hosts mimic the experience of physical events, with tools for virtual talks and networking. It recently announced that LinkedIn has now invested an undisclosed amount.Since February 2020, Hopin has raised more than $565 million and is valued at $5.7 billion.Founded in London in 2019, the business was in the right place at the right time when Covid hit. As in person events around the world were cancelled, companies scrambled to replace them with virtual experiences using Hopin’s platform. LinkedIn believe that even when offices fully reopen, virtual events will be here to stay. Hopin’s growth in two years is pretty impressive - at the start of 2020 it had just six employees, today it has 550 in over 30 countries. More than 95,000 organizations now use its software, and millions of people attend virtual events every month.

Stat of the day

In 2000 Europe had 41 of the world's biggest countries, now it has just 15

Other stories to keep you in the loop

  • Premier League clubs report record loss of almost £1 billion

  • Boohoo sales surge as going-out clothes replace athleisure

  • PwC to hire 100,000 new staff in next five years

  • Bosses more keen than staff to return to the office, says study

  • JPMorgan has stockpiled $500 billion in cash that it will look to invest as inflation picks up

  • Kopparberg and other brands suspend advertising on GB News channel

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