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Weekly News Summary for June 19-25, 2020

Friday, June 19, 2020: UK Retail Sales Register Sharp Rebound in May

Retail sales in the UK picked up more sharply than anticipated in May, but the news was overshadowed by other data showing a sharp growth in government debt because of the coronavirus pandemic.

UK retail sales surged 12% last month, beating expectations, although the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said in a separate statement that the national debt went beyond 100% of GDP for the first time since 1963, due to the substantial borrowing made by the government to pay for crisis easing measures.

Monday, June 22, 2020: Apple’s Mac Computers to Use In-house Chips

Apple Inc. chief executive Tim Cook announced on Monday the company’s plans to start jettisoning Intel Corp.’s technology from its Mac computers this year in favor of integrated chips designed by its own team of engineers.

The decision, which signals the end of its 15-year alliance with Intel, was made in a bid to further strengthen the tech giant’s control over its products, customers, and software developers.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020: Europe PMIs Reinforce Hopes of Economic Recovery

Europe’s economy continued to recover in June after the region suffered a sharp decline in output due to the lockdown measures employed in March and April.

Flash purchasing manager’s index (PMI) data for the euro zone showed on Tuesday that the region rebounded to 47.5 in June from May’s 31.9, reflecting a huge increase in output expectations and business confidence, while the indexes of France and the UK were up above the 50-point mark.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020: Gold Posts 8-year High on New COVID-19 Fears

Gold prices soared to an 8-year high on Wednesday, as the new wave of fears over COVID-19 prompted investors to further bet on the safe-haven asset.

Gold futures for delivery on the Comex exchange rose 0.7% to $1,794.80, having reached an overnight high of $1,796.10 per ounce, with the precious metal’s rally occurring at a time when other havens like the US Treasury bonds have been quite range-bound.

Thursday, June 25, 2020: Huawei Allegedly Linked to Chinese Military

Washington has claimed that major Chinese companies, including telecoms equipment group Huawei Technologies and video surveillance manufacturer Hikivision, are owned or backed by the Chinese military, creating the foundations for new US financial sanctions.

China Mobile, Communications Group, China Telecommunications Corp., and aircraft maker Aviation Industry Corp. of China were also included in the Department of Defense’s (DoD) list of 20 Chinese firms that operate in the US and have been linked to the Chinese military.

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