D-PIMS Weekly Market Update - Week of 24th to 30th August 2020
Over the course of last week, most news was focused on either the economy or the Coronavirus:
• Britain said on Monday it would start a consultation process on a potential new law which would force big companies to clean up their supply chains by fining them if they used products grown on illegally deforested land. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is due to host the United Nations’ climate summit in November 2021, has promised to “build back greener” from the coronavirus pandemic.
• Trial data for the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca’s possible coronavirus vaccine could be given to regulators this year, but corners cannot be cut to speed up approval for emergency use, a scientist leading the trials said on Tuesday.
AstraZeneca has also begun testing an antibody-based cocktail for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19, adding to recent signs of progress on possible medical solutions to the disease.
Trump administration officials are satisfied that China is implementing the Phase 1 trade deal with the United States, following a high-level call to review progress, White House Economic Adviser Larry Kudlow said on Tuesday. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer is “fine” with China’s implementation so far and China is buying more farm commodities, which will aid U.S. job growth, Kudlow said on Fox News Channel.
• The University of Cambridge said on Wednesday, that it is aiming to start clinical trials of its possible coronavirus vaccine in the autumn after it received £1.9 million in funding from the British government. Although it is operating at a later timetable than some other vaccine candidates, the DIOS-CoVax2 shot would not need to be stored at cold temperatures and could be delivered without needles, possibly making the widespread distribution of the vaccine easier.
• The UK Government announced on Thursday, that it will pay low-income residents to self-isolate if they have confirmed or suspected coronavirus, as the government steps up measures to keep the virus under control. The new policy comes after opposition politicians called on the government to introduce the payments amid concerns that some people who cannot not afford to take time off work were avoiding complying with the health advice.
The U.S. Federal Reserve on Thursday rolled out a sweeping rewrite of its approach to its dual role of achieving maximum employment and stable prices, putting new weight on bolstering the U.S. jobs market and less on worries about too-high inflation. Fed chair Jerome Powell said that after an 18-month review, the central bank would now allow inflation to climb "moderately above 2% over time" and target an average of 2%.
• The transport minister Grant Shapps, said on Friday that the UK government will urge people to return to offices and other workplaces where it is safe to do so, to help the economy recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. According to data from the Centre for Cities, only 17% of workers in British cities had returned to their workplaces by early August, underscoring the challenge facing the Government in steering the country away from its coronavirus shutdown
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Japan’s longest-serving premier, announced his resignation because of poor health on Friday, ending his premiership at the helm of the world’s third-biggest economy in which he sought to revive growth and bolster its defences.
Sterling rose above $1.33 for the first time in 2020 and touched an eight-month high as the dollar fell across the board in the aftermath of the speech by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.
• Over the week, the main Global Stockmarket indices were a little mixed, with some well up but some down and the strength of the Pound reduced returns from overseas Markets. The investment D-PIMS Portfolios were generally up, especially the higher risk Portfolios. They were helped by their diverse exposure.
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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.