US inflation gauge highest since 1992; European markets hit record; France in recession – as it happened | Business

“A relatively quiet period for corporate and economic announcements represents a good opportunity to take stock of 2021 so far.

“It has been five months of investors fluctuating between optimism over the recovery, concern over the state of the Covid-19 pandemic and fears the economy will overheat resulting in rampant inflation.

“A key feature has been a recovery in UK assets which, even before Covid struck, had been largely underperforming their main global counterparts since the Brexit vote in 2016.

“The drivers for the renewed interest in UK stocks have been the successful vaccine rollout and accompanying reopening of the economy, and some encouraging noises from the corporate world as firms have updated on their first quarter trading.

“The pound is at its highest level in three years against the dollar at $1.42, while the FTSE 250 and FTSE Small Cap indices, which have more of a domestic focus, have…

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