6 June 2019

@stu7tay

6 June 2019

Good morning,

The red carpet has been rolled up, the Trump Baby deflated and packed away, and Prince Phillip now owns the coolest of jackets to wear when walking the corgis around the royal estate. As Air Force One jetted off into the London sky yesterday, the curtain came down on a three-day presidential spectacle of pomp, politics and pageantry.
 
It also brought about the end of the most fleeting of pauses on a domestic news cycle that seems to consist almost exclusively of Brexit, the Conservative leadership race and what participants in the latter think about the former. But it now must be time for that high-profile job interview to focus on other things. For example, the future of our cities and the future role they play in society and the broader economy.
 
The Financial Times publishes a special series on this issue today. Casting their net widely, the paper’s team has compiled examples of where radical thinking is redesigning urban areas to meet the challenges of the modern world. From the need to treat knife crime as a disease that requires a cure to the potential creation of floating cities powered by tidal energy as a means to confront climate change, the series highlights how global cities are pioneering policies to tackle some of the most fundamental issues of our time.
 
The FT contends that city mayors are well versed in applying common sense over ideology to get things done, and the ambition of some is growing to the extent that Pete Buttigieg and Bill de Blasio in the US are considering running for president, while Yuriko Koike, the governor of Tokyo, is one of the few female politicians being discussed as the next PM of Japan.
 
I encourage you to read the full series, though the future of our cities is clearly just one of many matters worthy of discussion over the coming weeks. Given most of us won’t get a say in who will be our next Prime Minister, I think the least we deserve is a break from the posturing of would-be Tory leaders and more thoughtful debate grounded in realism.

NEWS

Theresa May, Donald Trump and Emmanuel Macron will join D-Day veterans for a second day of events to mark the 75th anniversary of the Normandy invasion. Earlier this morning a lone piper played to mark the exact minute the first British troops landed on the beaches in 1944. The PM and French president will also attend an inauguration ceremony for a memorial to honour the British troops who died in the Battle of Normandy.
 
The International Monetary Fund has warned that $455 billion could be wiped from the global economy next year if the trade war between the US and China escalates. Christine Lagarde, managing director of the IMF, cautioned that a worsening of the dispute would cause “self-inflicted wounds”, reducing investment, productivity and growth as estimations suggest that proposed and existing tariffs on American and Chinese goods would reduce global gross domestic product by 0.5 per cent in 2020, a loss larger than the size of South Africa’s economy. (£)
 
Heathrow Airport has announced plans to introduce 3D security equipment that means passengers will be allowed to carry liquids and laptops through security inside hand luggage. The equipment, expected to be rolled out in the next three years, is also expected to reduce queue lengths and the amount of plastic used as passengers will not have to place 100ml containers in a separate bag to be scanned.

BUSINESS & ECONOMY

Ford is expected to announce the closure of its engine plant in Bridgend, South Wales, after the company called union leaders to a meeting at its headquarters in Essex. Falling demand for two engines has been blamed for the decision, where it is expected 1,700 jobs will go along with thousands more in its supply chain. It’s the latest setback for UK manufacturing after the threatened closure of the British Steel plant in Scunthorpe. (£)
 
A report by the Resolution Foundation has found that rising rents in the UK is causing young people to be less likely to move to UK cities, where average salaries are higher. The report finds that despite the increase in wages that are available, the financial incentives are lower.
 
Plans to create the third-largest car-marker have been scrapped after Fiat withdrew its proposal for a €33bn merger with France’s Renault. The decision comes after the French government – Renault’s largest shareholder – intervened to request a delay in the process. Fiat said in a statement that it “remains firmly convinced of the compelling, transformational rationale”

MARKETS

What happened yesterday?

The FTSE 100 had a steady day yesterday as it edged up 0.082% to end the day’s trading at 7,220.22, with investors mulling over the latest figures from the UK services sector, as well as comments from Fed chairman Jerome Powell.
 
With rises of 3.52% and 2.80% respectively, Sage and Micro Focus were the big winners after US peer Salesforce.com posted better-than-expected first-quarter results. Housebuilders Barratt Developments and Taylor Wimpey both closed higher too.
 
Hargreaves Lansdown had less of a good time as they spent a second day under pressure after getting caught up in the fallout from the suspension Neil Woodford's flagship Equity Income Fund. Lloyds, Barclays and RBS were also among the day’s fallers.
 
The more UK-focused FTSE 250 was also up slightly, gaining 0.34% to close at 19,072.17. Provident Financial led the gains on the day, while there was also a strong performance from Babcock International, with its shares up 2.5%.
 
On the currency markets, sterling was down 0.06% against the dollar at $1.2688 but up 0.19% against the euro at €1.1303.

Finals
Auto Trader Group
CMC Markets
First Property Group
Mitie Group
Stenprop Limited
 
AGMs
Aurora Investment Trust
Coro Energy
Creo Medical Group
Hochschild Mining
Honeycomb Investment Trust
Invesco Perpetual UK Smaller Companies Inv Trust
IQ-AI Limited
P2P Global Investments
RHI Magnesita N.V. (DI)
Safestay
Scisys Group
Telit Communications
TP Group
Xpediator

UK Economic Announcements
(08:30) Halifax House Price Index
 
Int. Economic Announcements
(07:00) Factory Orders (GER)
(10:00) Gross Domestic Product (EU)
(12:45) ECB Interest Rate (EU)
(13:30) Balance of Trade (US)
(13:30) Continuing Claims (US)
(13:30) Initial Jobless Claims (US)

COLUMNS OF NOTE

In The Times, Gerard Baker sets out number of reasons why he believes a Trump-Johnson partnership is an ideal fit for the current political turbulence. Baker argues that the two politicians are better equipped than their critics to navigate the new fault lines that will drive politics for the next generation. (£)
 
Janan Ganesh also evaluates the “special relationship”, writing in the Financial Times that the UK and USA continue to have divergent interests on what he says is the largest question of this century: how to work with China. Ganesh says that Brexit has intensified the UK’s affinity for a commercial partnership with China, while the US get more mistrustful of their economic superpower peer. Ganesh warns that the differing view on Huawei is just one example of a fractured relationship on this issue that will only amplify in the years to come. (£)

DID YOU KNOW?

Haiti and Liechtenstein developed identical national flags independently of each other. No one realised until the two countries competed against each other in the 1936 Summer Olympics under the same flag.

PARLIAMENTARY HIGHLIGHTS

TODAY

House of Commons

Oral Questions
International Trade (including Topical Questions)
International Development (including Topical Questions)
 
Business Statement: Business Questions to the Leader of the House – Mel Stride
 
Backbench Business
General Debate on the Response to the Grenfell Tower Fire - Emma Dent Coad
Debate on a Motion on Mortgage Prisoners and Vulture Funds - Charlie Elphicke, Martin Whitfield
 
House of Lords
Oral Questions 
Promoting gender equality in the composition of the House of Lords - Baroness Deech
How much UK aid has been given to Pakistan in the last ten years; and the extent to which this was used to support persecuted minorities in that country - Lord Alton of Liverpool
Plans to review the childcare system - Baroness Armstrong of Hill Top
Recent events in Sudan - Baroness Cox
 
Debate
Government’s plans to support victims of domestic violence and abuse - Baroness Newlove
Latest employment figures and the steps being taken by the Government to increase employment rates - Lord Leigh of Hurley
 
Short Debate: Treatment of people with learning disabilities and complex needs in in-patient units; and what plans the government have to provide adequate, alternative community support - Baroness Thornton
 
Scottish Parliament
General Questions
 
First Minister's Questions
 
Portfolio Questions: Rural Economy
 
Stage 3 Proceedings: Fuel Poverty (Target, Definition and Strategy) (Scotland) Bill

TOMORROW

House of Commons
No business scheduled

House of Lords
No business scheduled

Scottish Parliament
No business scheduled