UK Falls Into Recession For The First Time Since 2009

It was no secret that when the UK’s GDP figures came out this morning they would confirm a recession – defined as two consecutive quarters of economic decline – the question was by how much. Although the figure came in slightly ahead of estimates, the 21.7% slump compared with April to June last year is the worst ever. This number also dwarfs many of its European counterparts, with Germany’s decline around half of the UK’s at -10.8% for the same period. This figure even topped Spain's figure of -18.5%, which adds another unwelcome label of largest economic decline to the UK’s title of worst confirmed Covid 19 death rate in Europe. The economy did bounce back 8.7% in June as lockdown eased and the country got back to work but it's a small bright spot in some fairly bleak figures and the road to recovery seems a fair way off. Market reaction to the news has been fairly muted as it was already priced in with the FTSE positive by 0.2% and Sterling flat against the dollar.

Moderna seals $1.5bn vaccine deal with the US government

The share price of pharmaceutical firm Moderna (MRNA), which was already up over 250% this year, jumped more than 10% in late trading on Tuesday after President Trump announced the US government will purchase 100 million doses of its experimental vaccine. Moderna stands to be paid $1.5bn for delivering the vaccine, and the US has the option to purchase up to 400 million extra doses. Currently the vaccine is in human trials, with 30,000 participants being studied to test the safety and effectiveness of the drug. Trump said that the US is investing in the top six vaccine candidates, and that regulators are “very close” to approval of a vaccine.

AirBnB also made headlines on Tuesday, after it was reported that the firm plans to go public this year despite the impact the pandemic has had on its business. According to The Wall Street Journal the firm plans to file IPO paperwork in the US later this month; the company was reportedly recently valued at $18bn, down from the $31bn it was pegged at before. In recent months, firms have returned to tapping the public markets for capital, with insurance startup Lemonade taking part in a multi-billion dollar IPO last month. 

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