📦 NIPped in the bud

EU & UK reach agreement on Northern Ireland post-Brexit trade, Tesla's Germany plant hits 4,000 cars per week ahead of schedule, Twitter lays off 10% of current workforce

The Independent

Good morning. Today is Tuesday, February 28th.

Britain and the EU finally seem to have solved their long-lasting row over the Northern Ireland Protocol (now named the "Windsor framework"), potentially a big win for UK PM Rishi Sunak who negotiated a post-Brexit deal that the bloc has repeatedly opposed. Let's see how this "new chapter" will play out in the UK and EU's turbulent relationship.

  • Here is a jazzy playlist that will welcome you to the last day of February.

—Tanem and Can

Aposto Europe

Aposto Europe

The news, every weekday at 07:30 (CET), with a distinctly European perspective. Your briefing on markets, politics, business, tech and more — under 5 minutes


Economic sentiment in the eurozone edged down in February after rising for three consecutive months, according to a European Commission report released on Monday, as weakness in industry and services were partially offset by the increasing confidence in retail and among consumers. The economic sentiment indicator decreased by 0.1 points to 99.7 in February, well below a market forecast of 101.

  • By contrast: Eurozone consumer confidence strengthened for the fifth month in a row, rising by 1.7 points to a year high of minus 19.0 in February and matching a preliminary estimate.

Italian business morale remained steady in February, while consumer confidence rose, according to official figures released on Monday. ISTAT's composite business morale index, combining surveys of the manufacturing, retail, construction and services sectors, was unchanged at 109.1 thanks to the improved sentiment among retailers, while morale in the service and construction sectors dipped.



  • Meanwhile: Italian consumer confidence climbed to 104.0 from 100.9 in January, said ISTAT, mainly thanks to positive expectations for the general economic outlook and improving assessments of both the advisability of making purchases in the short term and the possibility of saving in the future.

New orders for key US-manufactured capital goods increased by 0.8% in January, the most in five months, reported the Commerce Department on Monday, while shipments of those so-called core goods rebounded, suggesting that business spending on equipment picked up at the start of Q1. On an annual basis, core capital goods orders increased by 5.3%.

US core capital goods

via Reuters

  • Why it matters: The results ended two straight monthly declines and joined solid consumer spending and robust labor market data in painting an upbeat picture of the economy. The string of strong data has raised the risk that the Federal Reserve could hike interest rates to a higher level than currently estimated.

British households are set to face higher energy bills from April even as the regulator Ofgem’s price cap, which represents how much a typical household would pay per year without any subsidy, will drop by 23% to £3,280 in Q2. However, the UK government’s plan to raise its energy price guarantee (EPG) —which limits bills— means consumers will pay more per unit of energy through July than ever before.

UK households

via Bloomberg

  • Zoom in: Industry and consumer groups have urged the government not to lift its subsidy level to £3,000, arguing that cheaper wholesale energy prices have eased the fiscal burden on the Treasury. Raising the EPG will save the government about £2.5 billion, according to consultancy Cornwall Insight.

Turkey's economic confidence index fell 0.3% month-on-month in February to 99.1 points, following massive earthquakes that devastated the country's southern region, official data showed on Monday. Meanwhile, the country's foreign trade deficit widened 38.4% year-on-year to $14.24 billion in January, with imports surging 20.7% and exports up 10.3%.


Tesla's plant in Brandenburg near Berlin is now producing 4,000 cars per week, the company said on Monday, quadrupling from May when CEO Elon Musk had compared investment in Tesla's new plants to "gigantic money furnaces" and three weeks ahead of a production schedule, reported Reuters. Shares of Tesla were up more than 5% at $207.24 on Monday.



  • Zoom in: At its new weekly output, Tesla's plant in Germany would have an annual output of over 200,000 vehicles. The maximum capacity planned for the Brandenburg plant is 500,000 cars a year, nearing 10,000 per week, the company has said.
  • Looking ahead… Tesla is due to update analysts on its strategy on Wednesday when the company has its investor day.

UniCredit is set to increase its overall bonus pool for 2022 by about 20%, reported Bloomberg, after a year in which the Italian lender beat profit expectations and increased shareholder returns. The Milan-based lender could also raise CEO Andrea Orcel’s total pay by 20-40%, the sources told Bloomberg, confirming a report from Il Sole 24 Ore on Saturday. UniCredit shares rose as much as 5% on Monday, ahead of the Stoxx Europe 600 banks index.

  • Meanwhile: The head of UniCredit’s remuneration committee resigned following unsubstantiated allegations of leaking from the board, just weeks ahead of the proposal of a new pay package for chief executive Andrea Orcel. Dame Jayne-Anne Gadhia —the former chief of UK lender Virgin Money who joined the board in 202 — chose to step down as a non-executive director following the investigation, reported the Financial Times.

US biotech giant Pfizer is in talks to acquire cancer drugmaker Seagen in a potential multi-billion dollar deal, the Wall Street Journal reported, the latest potential deal for a big drug company aimed at adding a promising class of targeted cancer therapies. Seagen has a market value of some $30 billion and would be expected to command a premium over that. The deal, if it happens, would also need to overcome the potential for a stringent antitrust review.


Britain and the EU reached an agreement on their post-Brexit trade dispute over the Northern Ireland Protocol, referring to the agreement as the start of a "new chapter" in their unstable relationship. UK PM Rishi Sunak and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen called it the "Windsor Framework", and it will allow goods to flow freely to Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK.

Von der Leyen and Sunak

via The Independent

  • The response: Members of the opposition criticized Sunak for celebrating the solution to a problem that only came about because of a deal made by a previous government he was second in command of. Labour MP Chris Bryant said, "they’re cleaning up their own mess."

UN Secretary-General António Guterres said Russia's invasion of Ukraine has triggered "the most massive violations of human rights" in today's world, in his speech at the Human Rights Council in Geneva. As the war entered into its second year, the UN Chief cited cases of sexual violence, enforced disappearances, arbitrary detention, and violations of POW rights, recorded by the UN human rights office.


via DC News

  • On an unrelated note: UN Chief Guterres also called on "climate-wrecking corporations" such as fossil-fuel producers, stressing urgency in implementing legal challenges against them before the top human rights body.

The death toll from Sunday's migrant boat crash off the southern coast of Italy rose to at least 62 people, with 81 survivors, authorities said. At least 14 children were among those who died in the vessel that took off from Turkey with 140 to 150 people on board.

Italy's Democratic Party elected Elly Schlein to lead the country's opposition, a 37-year-old Italian-American who previously worked on former US President Barack Obama's two presidential campaigns. Schlein, who also became the first woman to lead the party, took an immediate swipe at PM Giorgia Meloni for her far-right anti-immigration policies, putting blame on her for Sunday's shipwreck deaths that killed dozens of migrants.

Elly Schlein

via Corriere

Israeli medics said a Palestinian gunman opened fire and seriously wounded a 25-year-old Israeli man on a West Bank highway on Monday, a day after two Israelis were killed by a Palestinian gunman elsewhere in the occupied West Bank. Israel sent hundreds of more troops to the occupied area after the shootings and settlers rampaged through Palestinian towns, violently torching homes and vehicles.


Twitter laid off at least 200 more employees on Saturday night, amounting to around 10% of its workforce, in Elon Musk's latest round controversial of job cuts, the New York Times reported. Saturday's layoffs impacted product managers, data scientists and engineers who worked on machine learning and site reliability, the report said.

Twitter HQ

via the NYT

  • By the numbers: With the previous layoffs in November, Twitter has cut about 3,700 jobs. The company's latest headcount was about 2,300 active employees, according to Musk last month.

US chipmaker Broadcom is to face an EU antitrust warning regarding their proposed $61 billion bid for cloud computing company VMware, Reuters reported. European Commission opened the probe in December, arguing that the deal would allow Broadcom to restrict competition in the market, and is to issue the warning in the coming weeks.

NASA and SpaceX's astronaut launch to the International Space Station (ISS) was called off two minutes before the scheduled takeoff on Monday after an issue with the rocket's ground system was detected. SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket had a problem related to an ignition fluid that is used to ignite the rocket engines at liftoff.


via CNN


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Okuma listesine ekle


Aposto Europe

Aposto Europe

The news, every weekday at 07:30 (CET), with a distinctly European perspective. Your briefing on markets, politics, business, tech and more — under 5 minutes


Aposto Europe

The news, every weekday at 07:30 (CET), with a distinctly European perspective. Your briefing on markets, politics, business, tech and more — under 5 minutes



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