Live news updates: Asia Pacific shares rose after Wall Street posted a 7-week losing streak
This week many of us will have an early holiday season as a big increase in anniversaries means an increase in public rest days around the world.
If you’re reading this in the United States, you’re already immersed in the long Memorial Day weekend with tomorrow’s commemoration of those who gave their lives in military service.
In other years, the last Monday in May will be a holiday in the United Kingdom, associated with Christian Pentecost, or Whitson as the Church of England calls it. But this year, the holiday has been moved to Thursday and Britons have been given an extra public holiday on Friday to commemorate Queen Elizabeth’s 70th anniversary as head of state – perhaps by heading to the cinema.
On Thursday, Italians will commemorate the founding of their modern nation with fireworks and parades on National Republic Day.
Then there is the Dragon Boat Festival, the traditional Chinese holiday that takes place on the fifth day of the fifth month of the Chinese calendar – this year it will be Friday. However, due to the pandemic, many actual dragon boat races scheduled to take place around the world will be canceled or subject to restrictions.
Whatever you feel about these public holidays, they have extra poignant sentiments this year given the controversy over opening hours. The greater flexibility needed to get things done during pandemic lockdowns has led many to question how strict it is to work nine to five days a week, about whether we need to better mix home and work or commute to work four days a week – as WANdisco has done Already.
It’s a fairly full week of economic data with inflation and unemployment data for Eurozone countries, on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively, as well as the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book on US economic conditions on Wednesday, and US unemployment data on Friday.
So-called dollar stores in the US tend to trade flexibly during economic downturns, and that’s likely to be the message from retailer B&M this week.
Analysts expect sales and profits for the year to the end of March to be below last year’s record levels as shopping habits return to normal and costs rise. But, as my colleague Jonathan Eli notes, the company’s size and direct sourcing operation in Asia will help it keep prices below those of traditional competitors as income comes under pressure.
This is likely to be the final set of full-year results for CEO Simon Arora, who along with his brother Bobby has acquired B&M from a small chain of shops in northwest England into an ownership of nearly 700 stores in the UK and a spot in the FTSE. 100. He surprised the market in April by announcing plans to retire.
Read the full calendar for next week here