Coronavirus, China economy, currencies in focus

Stocks in Asia were set to decline at the open on Monday as fears resurface over the coronavirus pandemic.

Futures pointed to a lower open for stocks in Japan. The Nikkei futures contract in Chicago was at 22,060 while its counterpart in Osaka was at 22,190. That compared against the Nikkei 225’s last close at 22,305.48.

Meanwhile, shares in Australia were also set to dip. The SPI futures contract was at 5,834, as compared to the S&P/ASX 200’s last close at 5,847.80.

Developments surrounding the coronavirus pandemic will likely continue to be watched by investors on Monday.

A district in the Chinese capital of Beijing was in a “wartime emergency” after a cluster of infections was found centered around a wholesale market, according to Reuters. Stateside, Texas and North Carolina also reported a record number of virus-related hospitalizations on Saturday.

“News over the weekend have done little to ease concerns

Read More

Wealthy pay less tax than official headline rates, study finds

Wealthy Britons pay much less tax on earnings than official headline rates due to discrepancies in the system, amounting to £20bn in lost revenue to the exchequer.

The findings are part of the first detailed analysis of HM Revenue & Customs’ records that looked at the tax rates paid by individuals who received more than £100,000 a year in taxable income, including capital gains.

The study by academics at Warwick university and the London School of Economics used anonymised data from 40m self-assessment returns, which found a big mismatch between the statutory headline tax rates and the reality of what wealthier people paid.

A substantial minority of the UK’s richest individuals — mainly investors and business owners — were found to have paid tax at extremely low rates. Often this was much lower than others with similar remuneration, and lower even than people on modest incomes.

“If most rich people

Read More

UK manufacturers call for business rates break to aid recovery

Manufacturers have called for a coronavirus business rates holiday similar to one granted to shops, bars and hotels, after activity in the sector plunged to the lowest point in at least 30 years during lockdown. 

With many factories still closed and people staying at home, manufacturing output has slumped to its worst performance on record during the second quarter of the year, according to a survey by the employers group Make UK.

Export and domestic orders sank to levels comparable with the depths of the financial crisis, it found, while only 12 in every 100 companies quizzed were operating at full capacity. 

“The data shows the terrible state of manufacturing,” said Stephen Phipson, head of Make UK. “Orders in the aerospace industry have fallen off a cliff and the carmakers are really struggling. People are rapidly cancelling orders and it’s causing huge problems across the supply chain.”

The poll of

Read More

More than 1m locked out of UK coronavirus support schemes

More than 1m people have been locked out of the main government coronavirus support schemes, according to a report published on Monday by the influential Treasury select committee.

Mel Stride, the committee’s chair, said the government needed to act urgently “to help those who have fallen through the cracks” if it was to fulfil its promise of “doing whatever it takes” to protect people and businesses from the impact of the pandemic.

The plight of those people who do not qualify for support will be further accentuated by the extension of the government job retention scheme to October, and of a separate scheme to support the self-employed to August.

“As we move into an extended period of support, not only will these gaps persist but the effect on differing households will grow wider,” the committee warned.

The economic challenge facing the government was laid bare by the
20.4 per cent

Read More