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Market Bulletin

WeekWatch 09/03/2020

COVID-19 continued its global spread last week, as policymakers and health officials began to spell out some highly disruptive plans; meanwhile, infection numbers continued to rise, and are now approaching 110,000 cases. As a result, investors sought out the safety of government bonds; the 10-year

WeekWatch 02/03/2020

These are costly times, in human terms first and foremost, but also in economic terms. As the new coronavirus continued to spread last week, eleven towns in northern Italy were placed in quarantine, ten of them in Lombardy, a region that accounts for 22% of

WeekWatch 24/02/2020

‘Ignorance is bliss’, goes the old Japanese proverb – or, translated literally, ‘not knowing is Buddha’. In this age of statistical overload, such ignorance is hard to come by, and didn’t Tokyo know it last week. The Japanese government came under pressure for its quarantining of

WeekWatch 17/02/2020

Tired of the roses, the ‘romantic menus’ and the pushy violinists? Blame Geoffrey Chaucer and Margery Brews. In 1382, Chaucer became the first to link the saint's day with romantic love in his Parlement of Foules. In 1477, Margery Brews, a Norfolk woman, sent the earliest

WeekWatch 10/02/2020

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you

WeekWatch 03/02/2020

Will auld acquaintance be forgot? Last week, the Withdrawal Agreement was voted into law in the European Parliament, followed by hugs and promises of return from some UK MEPs, and flag-waving and whoops of jubilation from others. The session closed with a rendition of 'Auld Lang

WeekWatch 27/01/2020

Chinese New Year is, in many ways, linked with movement. The 12 animals used as zodiac symbols for each year are said to have been involved in a race to reach the Jade Emperor's Heavenly Gate; while the three billion people returning home to celebrate

WeekWatch 20/01/2020

In the extended psychodrama that is US–China relations in the Trump era, should last week be seen as a denouement? The two countries signed a ‘phase one’ trade deal that appeared to send the trajectory of trade negotiations on a new and more collaborative course; the

WeekWatch 13/01/2020

It is 104 years this month since Mark Sykes, a UK diplomat, and François Georges-Picot, his French counterpart, agreed on how to divide the old Ottoman provinces in the Middle East (excluding the Arabian Peninsula) between their respective countries. The Sykes–Picot line was drawn across the

WeekWatch 06/01/2020

. Back in 2008, Ford took apart a Ford Focus and had several of its parts strung as musical instruments, among them a 'clutch guitar' and 'window harp'. In the ensuing TV advert, a 15-strong orchestra played a piece together. "Beautifully arranged", proclaimed the advert's sign-off. At

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