D-PIMS Weekly Market Update - Week of 24th to 30th May 2021
Today’s weekly Update:
Over the course of the last week headlines were mostly economic or Coronavirus related:
• On Monday, South Korea's Hyundai Motor Company revealed plans to ship a new series of fuel-cell trucks to Europe later this year, turning up the heat on rivals in a battle to test the viability of hydrogen-powered heavy goods transport. A new class of the Xcient Hyundai truck, equipped with more efficient fuel cells with longer life-span, is due to arrive in Europe in the fourth quarter, said Mark Freymueller, CEO of Hyundai Hydrogen Mobility.
• U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken began a Middle East visit in Israel on Tuesday, hoping to bolster its ceasefire with Gaza’s ruling Hamas militants. In tandem with Blinken's mission, Israeli authorities said they were allowing fuel, medicine and food earmarked for Gaza's private sector to enter the territory for the first time since 11 days of cross-border hostilities started on 10th May.
Britain's massive public borrowing began to head downwards last month for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, bolstered by a brightening economic outlook that pointed to a potentially faster improvement in public finances. Borrowing in the 2020/21 financial year was £300.3 billion or 14.3% of annual economic output, the highest share on this measure since the end of World War Two, but slightly below an initial estimate a month ago.
• Australia’s second most populous state of Victoria entered a one-week COVID-19 lockdown on Thursday, forcing its near seven million residents to remain home except for essential business, as authorities struggle to contain a highly-infectious outbreak. "We're dealing with a highly infectious strain of the virus, a variant of concern, which is running faster than we have ever recorded," Victoria state Acting Premier James Merlino told reporters in Melbourne. "Unless something drastic happens, this will become increasingly uncontrollable." Merlino said contact tracers have identified more than 10,000 primary and secondary contacts who would need to quarantine, test and self-isolate, adding "that number will continue to grow and change". Several infected contacts have visited crowded hot spots that included sports stadiums and one of the largest shopping centres in the country, raising concerns of a significant outbreak days ahead of the winter season.
• Britain's medicine regulator on Friday approved Johnson & Johnson's Janssen COVID-19 vaccine for use, with the government adding that it had cut its order for the vaccine by 10 million doses to 20 million. The shot is the fourth COVID-19 vaccine approved in Britain, and the government said it would be available for use later in 2021 without specifying when. "As Janssen is a single-dose vaccine, it will play an important role in the months to come as we redouble our efforts to encourage everyone to get their jabs and potentially begin a booster programme later this year," health minister Matt Hancock said.
• U.S. consumer prices surged in April, with a measure of underlying inflation blowing past the Federal Reserve’s 2% target. In the 12 months through April, the core PCE price index hit 3.1%, the most since July 1992, reflecting pent-up demand as the economy reopens. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the core PCE price index rising 0.6% in April and surging 2.9% year-on-year. The strong inflation readings reported by the Commerce Department on Friday will have no impact on monetary policy, to vaccinations. Fed Chair Jerome Powell has repeatedly stated that higher inflation will be transitory, with supply chains expected to adapt and become more efficient.
• Over the week, the main Global Stockmarkets were up, with the UK’s FTSE 100 lagging behind the rest and only barely being into positive territory. Far Eastern markets fared the best for a second week in a row. The investment D-PIMS Portfolios were all well up for the week, especially the higher risk portfolios. They were helped by their China and Technology allocations.
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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.