UK, eurozone factories bounce back; US-China tensions rise over TikTok – business live


  • UK factory output at three-year high, Eurozone output highest since April 2018 – PMI surveys
  • Gold hits new record high of $1,984.66 an ounce
  • HSBC steps up 35,000 job cuts amid Covid-19 profit plunge
  • TikTok reportedly relocating to London as Microsoft confirms acquisition plans

2.15pm BST

Job losses at Britain’s theatres have increased from 3,000 to 5,000 in a month, according to the entertainment union Bectu. In early July, employers had notified the union of close to 3,000 redundancies and layoffs. This has now increased to 5,000.

The job losses include redundancies of permanent staff and layoffs of casual workers and zero hours contract staff.

The clock is still ticking to save the future of the theatre industry and these figures demonstrate the scale of the crisis it is facing. In July we warned that a storm would turn into a tsunami without further assistance. Despite, details of the arts recovery package being announced we are still nowhere closer to the money being distributed.

The tsunami we predicted is about to reach our shores as the timeline for action from the government has been too slow and there has been no flexibility for the industry and its access to the furlough scheme. Major industry businesses are releasing their lowest paid staff from the furlough scheme and that trend is only set to continue up the ladder of the workforce.

1.52pm BST

On the commodity markets, oil is heading lower amid fears about the economic impact of rising Covid-19 cases around the world, coupled with worries over oversupply, as the oil cartel Opec and its allies (known as Opec+) are getting ready to unwind recent production cuts.

Brent crude, the global benchmark, fell as low as $42.89 a barrel and is now flat at $43.56 a barrel, while US crude dropped to a low of $39.58 a barrel and is now at $40.22.

Concerns appear to be developing that a rise in Opec+ production will coincide with uneven recovery in oil demand due to localised setbacks following secondary waves of Covid outbreaks.

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