Live Updates: AstraZeneca buys US biotech CinCor in $1.8 deal

Amid the economic gloom and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, there are signs of a return to normalcy.

The Golden Globe Awards returned to its home in Los Angeles this week after boycotts over a lack of diversity led to the cancellation of the event last year. Looking ahead, world leaders, business leaders and economic thinkers will begin arriving in the Swiss resort of Davos this Sunday for next week’s World Economic Forum.

The next seven days also see the starting shot for the official start of the fourth-quarter earnings season, starting with Wall Street banks and UK retailers. This will of course remind us that we are far from normal for the global economy – more details below.

For the UK, normality currently means widespread industrial action. Ambulance workers and driving instructors continue to walk out this week as strike ballots for teaching unions in England and Wales conclude.

Normality was restored, at least in the US Congress, with the vote to appoint Kevin McCarthy as Speaker of the House of Representatives. Attention can now turn to the economic challenges this year will bring – more on the data releases coming this week below.

A rocket containing a payload of small satellites sits under the wing of ‘Cosmic Girl’, a converted Boeing 747, at Cornwall Spaceport in Newquay © Tim Hepher/Reuters

Can things get better? Yes, if you are in Cornwall. Monday promises to be a historic day for the UK county – at least according to Virgin Orbit – with the first launch of a space satellite from mainland Britain.

It could perhaps better be described as a bit of classic British eccentricity, as the nine satellites will be launched into orbit using a rocket launched from a converted Boeing 747 due to take off from Newquay Airport on Monday evening. It certainly shows a degree of creativity and should at least lift British spirits.

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Who likes rising interest rates? Banks, that’s who. That will become clear this week when several of Wall Street’s biggest lenders report fourth-quarter numbers on Friday.

These companies cashed in on Fed tightening by raising interest rates on loans more than they did on deposits. Analysts estimate that JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup and Wells Fargo will report combined net interest income for the final three months of 2022 of nearly $60 billion, up 30% year over year, according to consensus data. collected by Bloomberg. The concern is that this earnings party cannot continue and that net interest margins have peaked.

Live Updates: AstraZeneca buys US biotech CinCor in .8 deal

The flip side of the rate hike is the high inflation issue, which brings me to the other topic on the corporate calendar this week, retailers. Increased checkout prices may seem like a good thing for retailers. Not when inflation hits double digits, it doesn’t.

We’ll find out just how bad it has been over the Christmas period – or indeed whether stocking up to watch the World Cup has led to any sort of stuffing – with a host of trading updates from British high street and online brands this week.

Consumer spending, of course, may be better than expected, as Next showed last week. Games Workshop, which reports first-half numbers on Tuesday, is creating a lot of excitement (and not just among Dungeons and Dragons-obsessed teenagers) about growth opportunities due to the surge in role-playing games during the pandemic. Investors’ (as well as teenagers’) expectations were further raised by the fantasy game maker’s recent TV and film deal with Amazon.

Economic data

A shopper carries a Zara bag on Regent Street in London

A shopper carries a Zara bag on Regent Street in London. The British Retail Consortium updated its monthly high street sales survey on Tuesday © Hollie Adams/Bloomberg

Expect a range of CPI and other inflation data in the coming days from the US, China, Japan, Australia, Brazil and Mexico.

The British Retail Consortium updated its monthly UK high street sales survey on Tuesday, while on Friday the Office for National Statistics released the latest monthly estimate of gross domestic product, giving an idea of ​​where the country stands in terms of the recession.

Monetary policy comes this week from the Bank of Korea, which is expected to raise its key interest rate by another 25 basis points to 3.50 percent on Friday.

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