U.S. and France flex muscles in South China Sea, raising Beijing's ire – MarketWatch

Two U.S. carrier groups are conducting exercises in the waters disputed by China, raising Beijing’s ire just as France announced one of its attack submarines had sailed through the zone.
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The outlook: The continuing exercises are the first under the new U.S. administration, and the U.S. Navy was eager to tweet a picture of a phone call between President Joe Biden and Rear Admiral Jim Kirk aboard the Nimitz. The simultaneous French action seems to chime with Biden’s preference for working with allies when dealing with China.
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Some European households indicating reduced spending on products and services than before the pandemic because of lockdown experiences, had "permanently altered their preferences, the ECB said.

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