Coronavirus latest: Hong Kong steps up enforcement of curbs as jabs reach 3m

The UK opposition Labour Party on Monday accused prime minister Boris Johnson of “complacency” regarding the Delta variant first identified in India and border policies. Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth, said that ministers had failed to heed warnings and had left UK borders as secure “as a sieve”. 

US consumer inflation forecast for the year ahead rose to its highest level in at least eight years, dampening a rosier view of the labour market and spending. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York said on Monday that households were more optimistic about income potential and their prospects of finding a job.

Mark Steward, director of enforcement at the UK Financial Conduct Authority, gave evidence to parliament about soaring levels of economic crime during the pandemic. He said the FCA issued more than 1,200 warnings about scam investments in 2020, a 100 per cent increase on the previous year.

India’s wholesale inflation rate in May surged to a record of 12.9 per cent from a year earlier, raising concerns about price pressures in an economy still vulnerable after a fierce wave of Covid-19. The jump was driven primarily by a 38 per cent increase in fuel costs. Wholesale inflation was 10.5 per cent in April.

Market data flashes on outdoor screens at the Morgan Stanley headquarters in New York © Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

Morgan Stanley chief executive James Gorman sent a tough message to New York employees, arguing that if they are comfortable dining out, they should feel safe in the bank’s headquarters. “If you can go into a restaurant in New York City, you can come into the office and we want you in the office,” he said.

Chris Whitty, England’s chief medical officer, said on Monday that while overall hospital admissions across England were low, in some parts of the country numbers were starting to rise. “What we are seeing is a rapid rise — particularly marked where it was first started in the north-west of the country,” he said. 

Both the BioNTech/Pfizer and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines are more than 90 per cent effective in preventing hospital admissions from the Delta variant, Public Health England confirmed on Monday. The Pfizer vaccine was 96 per cent effective in preventing hospitalisation, while the AstraZeneca shot was 92 per cent effective.

Specialist UK recruiter SThree’s robust second-quarter has helped drive its six-month performance to “significant growth” even compared with 2019. All regions and sectors strengthened in the second three months of the year, up 22 per cent year on year, pushing net fees up by a tenth in the first half from 2020. 

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