European stock markets closed lower on Tuesday after fresh comments from U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and fears over the omicron covid variation weighed on investor sentiment. The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed 0.9% lower, with travel and leisure stocks leading the losses, down 2.8%, while most sectors and major bourses slid into negative territory. European investors were also rattled by inflation fears on Tuesday. Eurozone inflation rose to a record 4.9% year-on-year in November.
Eurozone inflation rose to a record 4.9% year-on-year in November, above consensus forecasts, with high energy prices contributing to the increase.
U.S. stocks fell on Tuesday, reversing Monday’s rally on Wall Street, as investors reassessed risks surrounding the new Covid variant, Omicron. Major indexes fell to their lows after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the central bank will discuss accelerating the reduction of bond purchases at its December meeting. In an appearance before a Senate committee, the Fed chief that he believes the reduction in monthly bond purchases can be done more quickly than the $15 billion-a-month schedule announced earlier this month.
Major markets in the Asia-Pacific region rebounded today after losses the previous day triggered by renewed uncertainty over the omicron covid variant. The S&P/ASX 200 in Australia bucked the trend, falling 0.48%. The Australian economy contracted 1.9% in the September quarter, official data showed this morning. This was above market forecasts of 2.7%, Reuters reports. A private survey released today showed that Chinese factory activity contracted in November.
Elon Musk tells SpaceX employees that spacecraft engine crisis is a ‘bankruptcy risk’
Elon Musk is upset about the lack of progress SpaceX has made in developing the Raptor engines that power its Starship rocket. The day after Thanksgiving, he described the ominous situation in a company-wide email, a copy of which was obtained by CNBC. “The Raptor production crisis is much worse than it seemed a few weeks ago,” Musk wrote. “We are in serious danger of going bankrupt if we can not make a Starship flight at least every two weeks for the next year,” Musk later added. Starship is the massive next-generation rocket SpaceX is developing to carry cargo and people to the moon and Mars. The company is testing prototypes at a facility in South Texas and has already conducted several short test flights. However, to get into orbit, the prototype rockets will need up to 39 Raptor engines each.
Facebook’s head of cryptocurrencies leaves the company
David Marcus, the head of cryptocurrency efforts at Facebook parent company Meta, announced Tuesday that he will be leaving the company at the end of the year. Marcus’ departure comes after the company unsuccessfully tried to launch a cryptocurrency that would allow people to send money online to anyone in the world through Facebook products. Marcus joined Meta, the company formerly known as Facebook, in August 2014 after spending two years as president of PayPal. Marcus’ first role at Facebook was as vice president in charge of the company’s Messenger service. He left the Messenger division to start Facebook’s financial projects division in May 2018.