Good morning, and welcome to our renewed coverage of the global economy, financial markets, the eurozone, and business.
Arcadia is on the verge of becoming the biggest corporate casualty of the Coronavirus crisis in Britain. Sir Philip Green’s retail group is expected to apply to management sooner today, after it failed to agree on a bailout deal to keep the company afloat.
The move would put at risk the 13,000 employees of Arcadia’s 500 stores, at the Topshop chains, Burton and Dorothy Perkins, and possibly the end of Green’s career as a retail mogul.
Covid-19 was a heavy blow to Arcadia. After failing to seize the online shipping opportunity, it was already struggling to match faster-growing and smarter competitors like Asos and Boohoo.com.
The pandemic, which has forced its stores to close twice this year, has exacerbated his plight.
Obviously, this is a sad day, we tried to save it a year ago when £ 200m was set aside for work and the pension fund, but it’s impossible to act now.
“You don’t know when to open its doors, you don’t know what stock you’re going to buy.”
Current and former Arcadia employees are now facing uncertainty – with a black hole of up to £ 350m in the pension fund. Add in the outstanding bills to the suppliers, and the collapse of Arcadia could cause massive damage to the wider UK retail sector.
Markets are cutting the record month
The ordeal of Arcadia is the height of an especially dramatic November. There has been a lot of bad news this month, with Covid-19 deaths approaching 1.5 million, and cases rising at a record rate in America.
In Europe, the second set of lockdowns threaten to push the Eurozone and the UK towards it Double recessions.
But November also brought encouraging news – encouraging results from vaccine trials, and the possibility that President-elect Biden will attempt to tackle the pandemic while also pushing through a new stimulus package.
For these reasons, this month was an amazingly successful month in terms of stock prices.
The MSCI All Country Stock Index is up more than 13% this month, hitting an all-time high, and is on track for its best month since its inception in 1990.
United kingdom FTSE 100 Index It was also an excellent month, as it underperformed for most of the year. With one day left, the proportion increased by more than 14% through November, close to the record month – January 1989, when it jumped 14.4%.
Pepperstone’s Chris Weston says November has been “an exciting month for stocks and a weak month for the US dollar and gold”.
why? Because investors expect to return to normal life in 2021 with the introduction of vaccines, and – crucially – as central banks continue to provide unprecedented support (through record low interest rates, quantitative easing, and cheap credit).
European markets are expected to decline again this morning.
schedule of work
- 9.30 am GMT: UK mortgage approvals numbers for October
- 1pm GMT: German inflation figures for November
- 2.30pm GMT: Sylvana Tenryu, a policymaker at the Bank of England, speaks at the Resolution Foundation event
- 3 PM GMT: US pending home sales numbers for October
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