D-PIMS Weekly Market Update - Week of 12th to 18th April 2021
Today’s Monday Update:
Over the course of the last week, headlines were mostly economic or Coronavirus related:
• People queued up outside retailers across England on Monday, to release their pent-up shopping fever and some grabbed a midnight pint or even an early haircut as England’s shops, pubs, gyms and hairdressers reopened after more than three months of lockdown.
• Data out on Tuesday, showed Britain’s economy grew by 0.4% in February from January as companies prepared for the lifting of a third coronavirus lockdown, according to official data which also showed a partial recovery in post-Brexit trade with the European Union. The data also showed that the fall in gross domestic product in January was not as severe as previously estimated, down by 2.2% compared with the initial reading of a 2.9% drop.
• A UK study into using different COVID-19 vaccines in two-dose inoculations, is being expanded to include shots made by Moderna and Novavax, researchers said on Wednesday. The trial, known as the Com-Cov study, was first launched in February to look at whether giving a first dose of one type of COVID-19 shot, and a second dose of another, elicits an immune response that is as good as using two doses of the same vaccine. Matthew Snape, the Oxford University professor leading the trial, said “if we can show that these mixed schedules generate an immune response that is as good as the standard schedules, and without a significant increase in the vaccine reactions, this will potentially allow more people to complete their COVID-19 immunisation course more rapidly,” Snape said. “This would also create resilience within the system, in the event of a shortfall in availability of any of the vaccines.”
• On Thursday, corporate executives and investors said they want world leaders at the upcoming climate summit, to embrace a unified and market-based approach to slashing their carbon emissions. The United States is hoping to reclaim its leadership in combating climate change when it hosts the April 22-23 Leaders Summit on Climate. Key to that effort will be pledging to cut U.S. emissions by at least half by 2030, as well as securing agreements from allies to do the same.
Figures out on Thursday from the Office for National Statistics, showed that diners rushed back to restaurants on Monday, the first day that they had been open in England for outdoor service since the lockdown. Restaurant reservations on 12 April were 79% of their level on the same day in 2019, before the pandemic.
U.S. retail sales rebounded sharply in March as Americans received additional pandemic relief checks from the government, and increased vaccinations allowed broader economic re-engagement, cementing expectations for robust growth in the first quarter. Retail sales increased 9.8% last month, the Commerce Department said on Thursday. U.S. economic growth is expected to top 7.0% this year, which would be the fastest since 1984. It would follow a 3.5% contraction last year, the worst performance in 74 years.
The United States on Thursday, imposed a broad array of sanctions on Russia to punish it for alleged interference in U.S. elections, cyber-hacking, bullying Ukraine and other “malign” acts. The measures blacklisted Russian companies, expelled Russian diplomats and placed limits on the Russian sovereign debt market, in steps sure to anger Moscow.
• Talks between Britain and the European Union on post-Brexit trade to Northern Ireland have seen some positive momentum but difficult issues remain, UK negotiator David Frost told his EU counterpart. Frost said that the intensive discussions between the Co-Chairs of the Specialised Committee on the Protocol on Ireland / Northern Ireland in recent weeks, had begun to clarify the outstanding issues, and some positive momentum had been established,” the government said in a statement on Friday.
• Over the week, the main Global Stockmarkets were mainly up, especially in Europe and the UK and also in the U.S. The investment D-PIMS Portfolios had another very positive week, especially the higher risk Portfolios. They were helped by their diverse exposure and UK allocations.
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The comments made above represent our interpretation of events and market views and are in no way a guarantee of future investment performance.