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D-PIMS Weekly Market Update - Week of 21st to 27th September 2020

Today’s Monday Update:

Over the course of last week, most headlines were related to the economy or Coronavirus:

• Britain could return to pre-lockdown normal by next summer if a vaccine succeeds and was rolled out in the early part of 2021, health minister Matt Hancock said on Monday, adding that the most vulnerable might be vaccinated at the end of this year.

EU financial services chief Valdis Dombrovskis said he has approved a proposal to allow clearing houses or central counterparties (CCPs) in Britain to continue serving EU customers for 18 months from January 2021.

• Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey said on Tuesday that escalating COVID-19 cases in Britain reinforced the downside risks in its latest forecasts for the economy.
He told a British Chambers of Commerce audience that there were “hard yards” to come and that the BoE would do everything it could to support the economy.

Public Health England is launching its biggest ever flu vaccination programme, with the aim of giving jabs to 30 million people. This year anyone over 50 in England can get one for free. Officials hope it'll reduce the burden on the NHS during the winter and minimise the number of people who could become infected with both flu and the coronavirus, with serious and sometimes deadly consequences.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson says that people in England should work from home if they can, and ordered all pubs, bars, restaurants and other hospitality sites to close at 10 p.m. from Thursday with only table service allowed, with new restrictions lasting probably six months.

• China’s foreign ministry said on Wednesday China has lodged stern representations to the U.S. House of Representatives after it passed legislation restricting imports of goods made using forced labour from Xinjiang region. Reports of forced labour were false rumours made by some in the United States and the West, foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a news briefing.

HSBC has paused its plan to return more staff to office working in Britain, in common with other financial firms after Prime Minister Boris Johnson had urged workers to stay home to combat the coronavirus. “We will pause any further consideration of ‘phase one’ teams returning to offices,” HSBC said to its staff in Britain in a memo seen by Reuters on Wednesday.

• Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced a new Job Support Scheme which will partially pay part-time workers' wages from November. Announced as part of the government’s 'Winter Economy Plan', the Job Support Scheme will see the government contributing towards the wages of employees who are working fewer than normal hours due to decreased demand.
The scheme will be only open to employees who work at least a third of their normal hours. The Job Support Scheme will replace furlough scheme and will run for six months. All small and medium sized businesses are eligible to apply. Larger businesses will have to show that their turnover has fallen in order to be eligible.

The UK could be the first country in the world to carry out Covid "challenge trials’’ where healthy volunteers are deliberately infected with coronavirus to test possible vaccines.
It is understood the studies - first reported by the Financial Times - would be conducted in London. The UK government said it was holding discussions about developing a vaccine through such "human challenge studies".

• The boss of one of the UK's most successful and resilient High Street chains has told the BBC on Friday, that hundreds of thousands of traditional retail jobs may not survive in the wake of the coronavirus crisis. Lord Wolfson, who runs clothing firm Next, said there was a clear threat to thousands of jobs, which are now "unviable" because the lockdown has triggered a permanent shift to online shopping.

• Over the week, the main Global Stockmarkets were well down, apart from Germany’s Dax. This was mainly due to fears that rising Coronavirus infection rates will negatively impact the economic recovery. The investment D-PIMS Portfolios were unsurprisingly down over the week with the higher risk Portfolios being the most affected. The Portfolios held up relatively well, being helped by their diverse exposure.

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.