D-PIMS Weekly Market Update - Week of 23rd to 29th November 2020
Today’s Monday Update:
Over the course of last week, most headlines were related to the Coronavirus or Brexit:
• Britain will seek to start administering a COVID-19 vaccine before Christmas, with the bulk of the rollout at the start of the new year and life getting back to normal after Easter, health minister Matt Hancock said on Monday. “We hope to be able to start vaccinating next month,” Hancock told BBC TV, after AstraZeneca announced its vaccine could be up to 90% effective. “The bulk of the vaccine rollout programme will be in January, February and March, and we hope that sometime after Easter things will be able to start to get back to normal.”
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson set out new measures on Monday to replace a COVID-19 lockdown in England from 2nd December, reinforcing a previous regional approach to try to reopen businesses in areas where infection rates are lower. Trying to ease concerns among sceptics within his party, he said the measures would run until the end of March when vaccines and wider testing might offer a way out of the crisis.
After weeks of waiting, President Donald Trump’s administration on Monday cleared the way for President-elect Joe Biden to transition to the White House, giving him access to briefings and funding even as Trump vowed to continue fighting the election results.
• On Tuesday, the Government announced that England will introduce a new system on Dec. 15 allowing passengers arriving from high-risk countries to take a COVID-19 test after five days of quarantine, and to be released from any further self-isolation if they test negative. People travelling to England by plane, ferry or train from 15th December and wishing to take advantage of the scheme will have to book a test with a private provider from a government-approved list. They will have to pay for their test. Those who decide not to take a test will still be required to self-isolate for 14 days.
The four nations of the United Kingdom have agreed to relax COVID-19 restrictions for Christmas to allow up to three households to meet at home for five days. Three households will be able to form a “Christmas bubble”, allowing them to meet up at home, places of worship and in outdoor public places, but not at indoor hospitality or entertainment venues from 23rd December until 27th December under the plans.
• On Wednesday, the Chancellor Rishi Sunak, announced a one-year spending plan to Parliament along with new forecasts for the country’s coronavirus-hit economy. There was more money for Health, infrastructure and emergency costs, fuelled by record levels of borrowing. Less was to be spent on overseas aid.
• European Union Chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier told a closed-door meeting for national diplomats in the bloc on Friday that he was not able to say yet whether a new UK trade deal would be ready in time, a source told Reuters. He was no longer in quarantine, so would travel, to London later on Friday to continue negotiations on a Brexit trade deal.
• Britain on Friday asked its medicine regulator (MHRA) to assess Oxford University and AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate for temporary supply, a step towards beginning a roll-out before the end of the year. AstraZeneca expects 4 million doses to be available in Britain by the end of next month, and health minister Matt Hancock is targeting the roll-out to begin before Christmas. MHRA as also been asked to approve the Pfizer/BioNTech candidate after it was shown to be 95% effective.
• Over the week, the main Global Stockmarkets where mostly up, over continued good news on the vaccine front and progress on President-Elect Joe Biden’s bid to occupy the Whitehouse. The investment D-PIMS Portfolios were up over the week, especially the higher risk Portfolios. They were helped by their diversification.
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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.