Live News: Macau casino shares rise on hopes of easing zero-Covid policy

Residents queue for Covid-19 tests in Beijing's Chaoyang District on Sunday

Residents line up for Covid-19 tests in Beijing’s Chaoyang District on Sunday © Wu Hao/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

After a period of turmoil, change and grief in China, Deputy Prime Minister and Covid-19 czar Sun Chunlan said the fight against the virus had entered a “new phase”. The potential unlocking, albeit gradually, of Beijing’s zero-Covid policy is likely to be in the headlines, as will the inflationary pressures that follow. State institutions and enterprises will continue to face the delicate task of showing respect for the late President Jiang Zemin without offending the incumbent Xi Jinping.

Now that electricity has been restored to some parts of Ukraine, the fight to increase ammunition production in the west is in focus. Industrial capacity and the interrupted global supply chain will be high on the agenda for the defense ministers at the annual European Intervention Initiative in Oslo and the annual European Defense Agency conference in Brussels. This week, Russian President Vladimir Putin may also respond to his American counterpart Joe Biden, who said he was open to talking about ending the conflict.

Nationwide’s falling house price index continues to dampen the Christmas spirit in the UK. Will Wednesday’s Halifax house price index numbers tell the same story? News of record high food inflation has certainly got us ready for the upcoming retail sales figures from the British Retail Consortium in November, which are likely to play a big part in the annual general meeting discussions of the Associated British Foods.

It will be a week of sports all over the world. The men’s World Cup in Qatar reaches the quarter-finals. The Pakistan-England Test cricket series takes place and the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating finals starts in Italy on Thursday.

The Nobel Prizes are awarded at a ceremony in Oslo on Saturday.

Economic data

Highlights this week include November Halifax house prices and PMI for the UK, Russia and the EU. Also look out for EU retail sales, Germany’s factory orders and industrial production, third quarter EU gross domestic product and BRC sales, plus trade balance figures from the US.


An employee restocks a Lululemon store in London. The retailer reports results on Monday © Bloomberg

Results are slim this week, but Costco Wholesale is expected to rise on robust demand for fresh food, groceries and fuel, despite decades of high inflation. Lululemon Athletica reports on Thursday and Carl Zeiss Meditec on Friday.

In UK news, we’re likely to hear more about Mulberry’s claim that luxury shoppers are shunning London for Europe since the decision to end VAT-free shopping in the UK. CEO Thierry Andretta said: “We are losing 45-50 percent of our potential business [at the Bond Street store] due to the end of duty free [shopping].”

Read the entire weekly calendar here.

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