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Robotics and automation is not a new concept and is undoubtedly here to stay. With the backdrop of a global pandemic though, automation’s positive potential is increasingly seen as an industrial panacea. As an example, more heavily automated sectors, like manufacturing, appear to be experiencing less disruption than services and construction, which are more dependent on labour.
The FTSE 100 is called to open 43 points lower 6175. Stock futures dropped in Europe and the U.S. along with most Asian shares, and the yen and Treasuries climbed, ahead of President Donald Trump’s planned press conference to announce fresh steps on China. The dollar retreated. China’s offshore yuan continued to stabilize after matching a record low earlier this week, and Shanghai stocks were little changed. U.S. contracts and Japanese equities saw modest drops. Oil dipped. Deteriorating Sino-American ties, stoked by antagonism over the cause of the coronavirus and now China’s imposition of a national-security law on Hong Kong, have cast a cloud over a global stock rally spurred by reopening economies.
By nature, I like to think that I am an optimist. I expect some close family and friends might disagree, especially based on my obsession with canned Heinz baked beans and sausages in the run up to lockdown. However, I happily agreed to sit down and write an ‘inspirational’ piece on how the future might now look, beyond a lecture on the merits or pitfalls of working from home or the not particularly original insight that social distancing presents challenges to businesses like pubs.
Europe continues to ease the lockdown, with few regrets so far. As Germany’s central bank declares that the ‘recovery is under way’, join Richard Carter and Sebastian Scott for the rundown on the recovery and what the coming week holds for investors