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Light at the end of the tunnel

Even though the coronavirus is still in full flow in Europe some of its weight is beginning to lift off the markets as the light at the end of the tunnel is getting closer. Details of how the UK may go about reopening businesses and shops have already been leaked over the weekend and more details are likely to be thrashed out when Boris Johnson and opposition leader Sir Keir Starmer meet this week to discuss how to end the lockdown.

The FTSE rallied nearly 1.5% on opening, echoing similar moves on other European bourses. Some of the bounces in London, such as Glencore’s  5.8% jump and Anglo American’s 4.6% rally had to do with a temporary easing of concerns over US-China relations. The threat of new trade tariffs and a frosting up of Sino-US relations hit the mining sector particularly badly earlier this week because of China’s role as the world’s largest metals buyer.

Rising trade tensions also channelled some of the investment flows back into gold, one of the safe havens of choice for the moment. With all of the central banks’ easing and financing programmes, currencies are bound to weaken over the coming months, leaving gold as one of the most stable currencies out there at present.

Russian COVID numbers jump over the last three days

The number of new cases in Russia has risen by 10,000 for each of the last three days, nudging the country up the list of European countries with the most infections. The country is already in a lockdown and has closed its borders but a prolonged and heavy coronavirus exposure could affect some of its exports such as specialty metals supplied to car manufacturers and specialty tool makers.

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