Global markets lifted by Biden’s £953bn infrastructure plan – business live

Good morning, and welcome to our rolling coverage of the world economy, the financial markets, the eurozone and business.

Joe Biden’s announcement of a bipartisan agreement on a $953bn infrastructure plan – billed as the largest investment in public transit in American history – has boosted stock markets in the US and Asia. On Wall Street, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq closed at new record highs of 4,266 and 14,369 respectively.

In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei rose 0.66% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng climbed 1.4% and the Australian stock market added 0.5%.

President Biden

We’ve struck a deal. A group of senators – five Democrats and five Republicans – has come together and forged an infrastructure agreement that will create millions of American jobs.

June 24, 2021

Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK, says:

Last night’s gains [on Wall Street] were helped by the bipartisan agreement of a $579bn infrastructure bill, much less than the Democrats would have liked, but still a fairly decent addition to all of the other stimulus packages seen in the past six months. The new spending would include money for roads, bridges, rail and public transit, all areas that have been sorely neglected over the years. While the agreement is welcome it still faces a high bar in passing into law given the Democrats narrow majorities on Capitol Hill.

As a consequence of last night’s strong US finish, markets here in Europe look set to open higher, with travel stocks likely to be in focus after the government added Malta, Madeira and the Balearics to the green list, as well as indicating that it would look at dropping quarantine rules for fully vaccinated UK residents returning home from amber list countries later in the summer.

UK ministers have eased travel restrictions for a number of tourist hotspots, adding Malta to the “green list” of countries requiring no quarantine for returning travellers, as well as a handful of Caribbean nations.

UK car production continues to increase, but the recovery is held back by global supply shortages, for example of semiconductors, warned the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. Some 54,962 vehicles left the factory gates in May, up 934% on Covid-wrought May 2020 when production dwindled to 5,314, but still down 52.6% on May 2019.

So far this year UK factories have turned out 429,826 cars, up 105,063 on 2020, but overall output remains down by 22.9% on the same five-month period in 2019.

In Germany, consumer confidence has improved more than expected, following a strong business optimism reading yesterday.

The GfK institute said its consumer sentiment index, based on a survey of 2,000 Germans, rose to -0.3 points, the highest level since August and up from -6.9 the previous month.

Consumers were far more optimistic about their own personal income situation as well as the overall economic prospects. Shoppers’ expectations for the economy hit a 10-year high, reaching 58.4 points. However, Germans’ willingness to make purchases rose only slightly.

The Agenda

  • 9am BST: Italy business and consumer confidence for June
  • 11am BST: France Unemployment benefit claims for May
  • 12pm BST: Bank of England Quarterly Bulletin
  • 1.30pm BST: PCE price index
  • 3pm BST: Michigan Consumer Sentiment final for June


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