D-PIMS Weekly Market Update - Week of 29th March to 4th April 2021
Today’s Monday Update:
Over the course of the shortened last week due to the Easter holiday, headlines were mostly economic or Coronavirus related:
• England’s stay-at-home lockdown order ended on Monday, with people allowed to meet up outside in groups of six for the first time in nearly three months, though Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged caution due to rising coronavirus cases in Europe.
Shipping traffic through Egypt’s Suez Canal resumed on Monday, after a giant container ship which had been blocking the busy waterway for almost a week was re-floated, the canal authority said. The 400-metre long Ever Given had become jammed diagonally across a southern section of the canal in high winds, halting traffic on the shortest shipping route between Europe and Asia.
• The City of London financial centre, which has resembled a ghost town since the coronavirus swept the world last year, is likely to see most workers return to their offices after the pandemic, the City’s political leader said on Tuesday. Catherine McGuinness, policy chair at the City of London Corporation, told BBC radio she was confident that trade would return for the cafes, pubs, restaurants and other businesses that rely on the usually teeming crowds of office workers. But there would probably be changes to the way people work as a result of the pandemic. “What people are telling us is that they are expecting their central office base to remain at the core of their business with people coming in three or four days, working different hours, so we are expecting the bulk of the return,” McGuinness said.
• US President Joe Biden on Wednesday, called for a dramatic and more permanent shift in the direction of the U.S. economy with a roughly $2 trillion package to invest in traditional projects, like roads and bridges alongside tackling climate change and boosting human services like elder care. He also aims to make corporate America pay to fund the package, which is expected to grow to a combined $4 trillion once he rolls out the second part of his economic plan in April. The plan would increase the corporate tax rate to 28% from 21% and change the tax code to close loopholes that allow companies to move profits overseas, according to a senior administration official.
• A measure of U.S. manufacturing activity soared to its highest level in more than 37 years in March, driven by strong growth in new orders, the clearest sign yet that a much anticipated U.S. economic boom was probably underway. The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said on Thursday, its index of national factory activity jumped to a reading of 64.7 last month from 60.8 in February. That was the highest level since December 1983.
• Over the short week, the main Global Stockmarkets were mostly up. Markets were buoyed by the improving US economy and Bidens’ spending plans. The investment D-PIMS Portfolios were all up over the week, especially the higher risk Portfolios. They were helped by their diverse allocations and technology holdings.
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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.