This week, we’re looking at the labour shortage. Workers are leaving their jobs at an astonishing rate, especially in the US – 4.3 million of them in August, that’s 2.9% of the workforce. Simon examines what’s behind the mass resignations, and what it all means for the economy.
Elsewhere, Matthew Partridge looks at investing in railways. They had a dismal pandemic as people stopped commuting yet, even though it may be unlikely that we’ll fall back into the same working patterns, it’s not all doom and gloom. Railways aren’t all about commuters – governments want more of us to take the train for long-distance journeys, and rail-freight – which accounts for much of rail companies’ revenues – has been largely unaffected by lockdowns. There are plenty of opportunities for investors, and Matthew picks some of the best in this week’s magazine. If you’re not already a subscriber, sign up here and get your first six issues free.
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Merryn is joined by Andrew Hunt in this week’s podcast. You may have seen his feature on fossil fuels in last week’s magazine. Andrew’s a “deep value” investor, finding companies in the unfashionable corners of the market where many institutional investors fear to tread. He’s got lots of ideas on what to buy – listen to the what he has to say here.
Here are the links for this week’s editions of Money Morning and other web articles you may have missed:
- Monday Money Morning: The Brics never lived up to their promise – but is now the time to buy?
- Tuesday Money Morning: Index tracker funds won't shield your wealth from inflation – here's why
- Merryn’s blog: Is how much money a manager invests in their own fund really that important?
- Wednesday Money Morning: If you want to get exposure to bitcoin, I have this great idea for you
- Thursday Money Morning: Will the government’s green plans hit the price of your home?
- Friday Money Morning: Green finance is set to be the most powerful financial repression tool yet
- Cryptocurrency roundup: Cryptocurrency roundup: bitcoin hits a new record high
Now for the charts of the week.
The charts that matter
Gold attempted to regain lost ground, but can’t manage to get above $1,800 an ounce.
The US dollar index (DXY – a measure of the strength of the dollar against a basket of the currencies of its major trading partners) fell further, though it bounced towards the end of the week.
The Chinese yuan (or renminbi) strengthened further against the dollar (when the red line is rising, the dollar is strengthening while the yuan is weakening).
The yield on the ten-year US government bond started climbing again after dipping last week.
(Ten-year US Treasury yield: three months)
The yield on the Japanese ten-year bond tailed off after earlier gains.
(Ten-year Japanese government bond yield: three months)
And the yield on the ten-year German Bund climbed tantalisingly close to positive territory, bubbling under at -0.09%.
Copper dropped – could the supply squeeze be fading?
The closely-related Aussie dollar mirrored copper’s movements.
Bitcoin investors were cheering as the cryptocurrency surpassed its previous highs to hit over $67,000.
US weekly initial jobless claims fell by 6,000 to 290,000. The four-week moving average fell by 15,250 to 319,750.
The oil price continued to head higher.
Amazon saw a strong rally.
Tesla continued its seemingly unstoppable rise, hitting $894.
Have a great weekend.
Ben studied modern languages at London University's Queen Mary College. After dabbling unhappily in local government finance for a while, he went to work for The Scotsman newspaper in Edinburgh. The launch of the paper's website, scotsman.com, in the early years of the dotcom craze, saw Ben move online to manage the Business and Motors channels before becoming deputy editor with responsibility for all aspects of online production for The Scotsman, Scotland on Sunday and the Edinburgh Evening News websites, along with the papers' Edinburgh Festivals website.
Ben joined MoneyWeek as website editor in 2008, just as the Great Financial Crisis was brewing. He has written extensively for the website and magazine, with a particular emphasis on alternative finance and fintech, including blockchain and bitcoin. As an early adopter of bitcoin, Ben bought when the price was under $200, but went on to spend it all on foolish fripperies.
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