D-PIMS Weekly Market Update - Week of 26th October to 1st November 2020
Today’s Monday Update:
Over the course of last week, most headlines were related to the Brexit or Coronavirus:
• On Monday the COVID-19 vaccine being developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca Plc was reported to produce a robust immune response in elderly people similar to younger people. he Financial Times said on Monday, citing early results. This is positive, because the immune system weakens with age and older people are those most at risk of dying from the virus.
British Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Monday that a vaccine to tackle COVID-19 was “not there yet” but the government was getting ready to roll out it, with a central expectation for the first half of 2021.
• The European Union and Britain are engaging intensively to clinch a deal on their future relationship, before a transition period ends on 31st December, the European Commission said on Tuesday. “Both sides are engaging intensively to reach a deal,” a Commission spokesman told a regular press briefing, without commenting on the ongoing negotiations.
Less than half of Britain’s people trust in news organisations as a source for COVID-19 information, the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism said. The level of trust has fallen throughout the pandemic and about 8 million people in Britain are now at risk of being less informed, uninformed or misinformed about the disease just as the government grapples with a second wave, the Institute said in a report.
• Up to 10% of England’s population could be tested for COVID-19 every week, after NHS Test and Trace asked local health chiefs to deploy 30-minute saliva kits in an acceleration of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s controversial “Operation Moonshot” mass screening plan, The Guardian newspaper reported on Wednesday.
The European Union will allow non-members such as Britain and the United States to take part in future joint EU defence projects, but only on an exceptional basis, three EU diplomats said on Wednesday. The decision resolves a long saga over whether Britain, which has left the bloc, could take part in a new EU defence pact, known as Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO), which aims to help the EU fund, develop and deploy armed forces together. It will not amount to an EU military.
• The reproduction “R” number of the COVID-19 epidemic in Britain fell slightly for the second week in a row, government scientists said on Friday, adding the estimated growth rate had slowed too. The “R” number was 1.1-1.3, down from 1.2-1.4, the UK’s Government Office for Science said. That means on average every 10 people infected will infect between 11 and 13 other people.
Despite the “R Rate” reducing, it showed that the virus was still growing exponentially and this prompted the Government to announce a new country wide “lockdown” on Saturday. It is due to start on Thursday 5th November and last until 2nd December 2020.
• Over the week, the main Global Stockmarkets where well down, due to pre US election jitters and renewed lockdowns in Germany and France. Inevitably all the investment D-PIMS Portfolios were down 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.