Ocado Actions Scorched After Robot Fire Report
Shares of online supermarket company Ocado fell this morning after it revealed that a recent fire in its Hampshire warehouse was caused by a robot on fire.
After an investigation, Ocado concluded that an electrical fault in a battery charging unit caused the plastic cap on top of one of its bots to fall. The resulting conflagration caused serious damage to the warehouse, as 200 firefighters were scrambled to erase it.
Ocado is now acting – installing more sprinklers and heat sensors, and removing the wrong plastic caps from the robot.
Stockholders are concerned, however, that the incident could undermine Ocado's efforts to sell its technology to supermarkets around the world. Ocado shares fell more than 2% at the beginning of the trading session.
The IMF also realized that social unrest is also increasing in the Middle East – although we have not returned to the Arab Spring rage levels.
In several countries in the Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan and Pakistan (MENAP), social tensions are increasing in the context of slower growth and reform fatigue, threatening macroeconomic stability. Such tensions can also make much-needed reforms impossible, potentially overflowing with conflict and more regional uncertainty.
IMF warns of Iranian recession
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has published a new report in the Middle East and Central Asia, and does not make a cheerful reading for Tehran.
Iran's economy is expected to shrink 6 percent this year after a 4 percent contraction in 2018. This follows the recent US sanctions – but not factor in President Trump's decision to end a waiver by allowing certain countries to buy Iranian oil.
Jihad Azour, director of the IMF's Middle East and Central Asia department, warned that Iran's economy is suffering badly even before the United States tightens its oil embargo.
"Removing the waiver will further affect the recession.
A negative growth of 6% has an impact on poverty, social protection and also employment ".
The broader picture is that political uncertainty and volatile oil prices will affect growth throughout the region this year. The IMF predicts growth in 21 countries – from North Africa in the Persian Gulf to Afghanistan – will fall to 1.5% this year, down from 2%.
He warns that geopolitical tensions, the US-China trade war and the deceleration of the euro zone could have a negative impact on the Middle East markets.
Italy leads European markets
European stock markets began the new week cautiously, led by a leap in Italy.
Shares of Italian banks rose 1% after S & P affirmed Italy's BBB credit rating on Friday night.
Rome's government debt is also rebounding on the grounds that Italy is not being downgraded despite sliding into recession last year.
Recovery of Chinese industrial profits
China's factories have boosted confidence in markets today as they report a rebound in profits.
Profits in March jumped 13.9 percent from a year earlier to 589.52 billion yuan (67 billion pounds), the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said. That reverses 14% in the first two months of 2019 and may show that economic conditions are improving.
Introduction: Asian markets rise after US GDP boost
Good morning, and welcome to our continued coverage of the world economy, the financial markets, the eurozone and business.
There is an upbeat mood in the markets today, after Wall Street rose to another record Friday night.
Investors are following the example of Friday's stronger-than-expected US growth figures. News that US GDP grew at a rate of 3.2% a year led the S & P 500 to new heights at the end of last week, extending its strong run since the beginning of the year.
Asian investors took the stick and ran away with him this morning. China Benchmark CSI 300 the index rose 1.3%, that of Hong Kong Hang Seng gained 0.9% and South Korea Kospi 200 is almost 2%.
Fears that the world's largest economy was faltering declined, even much of US growth in the last quarter was due to inventories and a drop in imports (boosting net trade).
Perennial hopes for a breakthrough in the US-China trade war are also helping the markets – officials should resume negotiations tomorrow.
Konstantinos Anthis, head of research in ADSS, says traders are optimistic – maybe also optimistic….
For brokers, it seems that the important catalysts are pointing higher: the US sees strong domestic growth, low inflation keeps the Fed under control and could potentially cause a cut in the rate, so it looks like stocks have nowhere else to go – at least in the short term.
Truth be told, we think investors should take a more cautious approach, with US markets nearing record highs and 10-year yields dropping below 2.5%, suggesting a selloff may be coming. Either way, market participants do not seem to share our skepticism and stock futures in Europe and the US is pointing to a bell of positive openness.
Also coming today
Traders in Spain will be digesting last night's election results, which have seen the dominant socialist party get more seats … and solid gains for the far-right Vox party.
Bank of England President Mark Carney is giving the keynote address fintech conference in London today – let's watch out for the fireworks.
One of Donald Trump's regular mantras is that Inflation in the USA is too low. We will find out if it is right today, when the latest data on PCE basic inflation are released. Economists predict it will fall to 1.7 percent, 1.8 percent, which may boost the president's reaction to interest rate hikes.
- 9:10 am BST: BoE Governor Mark Carney Speaks at Innovate Finance Global Meeting
- 10:00 BST: euro area consumer and industrial confidence data
- 13h30 BST: US core inflation data