D-PIMS Weekly Market Update - Week of 21st to 27th June 2021
Today’s Monday Update:
Over the course of the last week, headlines were mostly Coronavirus and economic related:
• Cryptocurrencies tumbled on Monday as China's crackdown on bitcoin mining expanded to the province of Sichuan, where authorities ordered cryptocurrency mining projects closed, in the major mining centre. The move in Sichuan - where miners mostly use hydropower to run the specially designed computer equipment used in verifying bitcoin transactions - suggests the crackdown is more broadly based.
The UK Treasury is considering a trio of potential pension tax cuts in order to balance the books after the Covid-19 pandemic. According to a report in The Telegraph, officials at the Treasury have drawn up three possible cuts to pension taxation to help it ease the ballooning government debt.
• Britain is working on easing travel restrictions for the fully vaccinated, to allow people to enjoy a summer holiday on Europe's beaches but the plans are not finalised yet, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Tuesday. "The whole point of the vaccine programme is to be able to remove restrictions, and for people to be able to be kept safe by the vaccine, rather than by these rules," Hancock told LBC. "So we are working on a plan for double vaccinated people, using tests, to have that testing regime in place, instead of having to have the quarantine, in some circumstances," he said.
U.S. companies pay less income tax than their overseas competitors and would likely continue to do so under a tax hike proposed by President Joe Biden, according to a Reuters analysis of filings by hundreds of U.S. and international firms. 52 of the largest U.S. based multinational firms, paid an average effective tax rate of 16% in 2020 compared to an average rate of 24% paid by 200 foreign companies that the U.S. firms named as their competitors in filings. If Biden’s proposed tax rates were applied to the U.S. firms’ 2020 earnings, the companies would have paid effective rates averaging about 21%, the Reuters analysis found.
• Joe Biden announced on Thursday that “we have a deal”, signaling a bipartisan agreement on a $953bn infrastructure plan that would achieve his top legislative priority and validate his efforts to reach across the political aisle. The president said not everyone got what they wanted and that other White House priorities would be done separately in a congressional budget process known as reconciliation. Biden has sought $1.7tn in his American Jobs Plan, part of nearly $4tn in broad infrastructure spending on roads, rail, bridges and broadband internet, but also including the so-called care economy, of child care centres, hospitals and elder care.
• The virus that causes COVID-19 could have started spreading in China as early as October 2019, two months before the first case was identified in the central city of Wuhan, a new study showed on Friday. Researchers from the University of Kent used methods from conservation science to estimate that SARS-CoV-2 first appeared from early October to mid-November 2019, according to a paper published in the PLOS Pathogens journal.
• Over the week, the main Global Stockmarkets were up, led by the US and China. The investment D-PIMS Portfolios were all into positive territory for the week. The Portfolios were helped by their diverse allocations and also there US and China holdings.
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