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D-PIMS Weekly Market Update - Week of 20th to 26th January 2020

Today’s Monday Update:

A fairly quiet week from a Market/Economic viewpoint, but a few events:

• On Tuesday the House of Lords refused to vote through the Governments Brexit Withdrawal Bill and instead attempted to add amendments. Last year this event would have caused a mass of scary headlines, but not now, given the new dynamic in Parliament. It would go back to the House of Commons and given the Government’s large majority, these will probably be removed and the Bill voted through.

• Wednesday saw the World Economic Forum in Davos - Switzerland pass without a great deal of drama (apart from a spat between Trump and Greta Thunberg) but also not much agreement.

The Brexit Withdrawal Bill came back to the commons after the Government removed all the Lord’s amendments and it was voted through unchanged! The Lord’s conceded defeat and agreed not to oppose. After the Bill receives Royal Assent, the final phase will be a consent vote in the EU Parliament, due to take place on 29th January. Assuming it passes the vote, Britain will officially leave the EU on 31st January and move into the ‘Transition Period’ until the end of 2020.

• On Thursday the Withdrawal Bill was indeed given Royal Assent and therefore become law, as the ‘European Union Withdrawal Agreement Act’.

• The week was dominated by headlines about the Coronavirus originating from China and starting to spread around the world. This is something that has the potential to cause economic/market disruption, through travel restrictions and business interruption. It does depend on whether China is successful in minimizing its spread through the ‘containment’ measures they are taking. However, it is very uncertain how widespread this will become.

• The potential threats posed by the Coronavirus did drag on Global Stockmarkets, which were down over the week. Unsurprisingly the most effected were Chinese and Far Eastern Markets which were heavily down. The domestic side of the UK Market fared relatively well and this, along with our current low Far Eastern exposure helped the D-PIMS Portfolios to be mainly only slightly down, especially the lower risk Portfolios.

The value of investments and the income from them can fall as well as rise and you may not get back the original amount you invested.

Past Performance is no guarantee of, or guide to future returns.

The comments made above represent our interpretation of events and market views and are in no way a guarantee of future investment performance.