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D-PIMS Weekly Market Update - Week of 28th September to 4th October 2020

Today’s Monday Update:

Over the course of last week, there were the usual headlines were related to the economy or Coronavirus, but also some others:

• On Monday, it was reported that UK government is planning to enforce a total social lockdown across a majority of northern Britain and potentially London, to combat a second wave of COVID-19, the Times reported late on Sunday. Under the new lockdown measures being considered, all pubs, restaurants and bars would be ordered to shut for two weeks initially.

The Bank of England and the European Union’s securities watchdog said on Monday they have agreed on the information-sharing arrangements needed for the bloc’s banks to continue using clearing houses in London from January to June 2022.

SoftBank’s robotics arm said on Monday it will bring a food service robot developed by California-based Bear Robotics to Japan as restaurants grapple with labour shortages and seek to ensure social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. The robot named Servi, which has layers of trays and is equipped with 3D cameras and Lidar sensors for navigation, will launch in January.

London’s FTSE 100 rose on Monday as data showing solid industrial profits in China boosted commodity-linked stocks and Asia-focussed lender HSBC surged after its top shareholder raised its stake. Profits at China’s industrial firms grew for the fourth straight month in August, buoyed in part by a rebound in commodities prices and equipment manufacturing.

• Britain’s economy has performed a bit more strongly than the Bank of England thought as recently as last month, but there are signs that the recovery will not be as strong going forward, BoE Governor Andrew Bailey said on Tuesday. Economic activity was probably about 7-10% weaker than before the coronavirus pandemic in the July-September period, Bailey said in a speech online to Queen’s University Belfast.

• The U.N. nuclear watchdog has inspected the second of two suspected former secret atomic sites in Iran, as agreed with Tehran last month in a deal that ended a standoff over access, the agency said on Wednesday.

Contracts to buy U.S. previously owned homes surged to a record high in August, suggesting housing market activity was gathering speed amid record-low mortgage rates.
The National Association of Realtors said on Wednesday its Pending Home Sales Index, based on contracts signed, jumped 8.8% to an all-time high of 132.8 last month. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast pending home contracts, which become sales after a month or two, rising 3.4% in August.

U.S. private employers stepped up hiring in September, but diminishing government financial assistance and a resurgence in new COVID-19 cases in some parts of the country could slow the labour market’s recovery from the pandemic.

• On Thursday, Lebanon and Israel agreed to a framework for U.S. mediated talks aimed at ending a long-running dispute along the border between the two nations, that have fought several conflicts.

• U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday that he and his wife Melania had tested positive for COVID-19 and were going into quarantine, upending the race for the White House. On Thursday night the president predicted that the end of the pandemic was in sight. Shortly thereafter, news broke that Hope Hicks, a top adviser and trusted aide, had tested positive for the virus. Hicks travelled with the president on Air Force One on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Britain and the EU ended the latest negotiating round on Friday, with both sides reporting progress in some areas but continuing gaps in some of the thorniest issues such as level playing-field competition guarantees and fisheries. Boris Johnson’s Downing Street office spokesman announced that he would speak to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Saturday, to take stock of the trade and future relationship negotiations and to discuss next steps.

Madrid and nine satellite towns will come under new lockdown restrictions by decree within hours, a regional government source said on Friday, as the Spanish capital faces the worst COVID-19 infection rate from Europe’s second wave. The measure is a huge blow to residents of the Spanish capital after already enduring one of Europe’s toughest lockdowns earlier in the year, though this time people will not be prohibited from leaving their homes.

• Over the week, the main Global Stockmarkets where mainly up, although much less so after taking the Pound’s appreciation into account. The news of Donald Trump’s infection did take the shine off the Markets at the end of the week. The investment D-PIMS Portfolios were well up over the week, particularly the higher risk Portfolio. The Portfolios we helped by their diverse and Tech exposure.


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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.