D-PIMS Weekly Market Update - Week of 30th November to 6th December 2020
Today’s Monday Update:
Over the course of last week, most headlines were related to the Coronavirus or Brexit:
• COVID-19 infections fell by 30% during England’s month-long national lockdown and the virus was in retreat, a large-scale study of more than 100,000 volunteers showed on Monday.
The reproductive number of the virus was estimated at 0.88, reinforcing data released the previous Friday which showed infection numbers were shrinking by between 0% and 2% every day.
Environment Secretary George Eustice said on Monday, “Britain and the European Union are running out of time to clinch a Brexit trade deal, but if good progress is made this week then the talks could be extended”. He also said “I really do think we are now in to the final week or 10 days, of course if great progress were made this week and you’re nearly there, it’s always possible to extend those negotiations”.
• British tycoon Philip Green’s Arcadia fashion group collapsed into administration on Tuesday, putting over 13,000 jobs at risk and becoming the country’s biggest corporate casualty of the COVID-19 pandemic so far. It said no redundancies were being immediately announced. This news was followed by the announcement that Debenhams was to start a liquidation process that will see its stores close and the potential loss of 12,000 jobs.
British house prices rose by the most in nearly six years in November, mortgage lender Nationwide said on Tuesday, as a boom in the housing market accelerates while the broader economy struggles with coronavirus. In annual terms, prices rose by 6.5%, Nationwide said.
• Britain on Wednesday became the first western country to approve a COVID-19 vaccine, jumping ahead of the United States and Europe after its regulator cleared a shot developed by Pfizer for emergency use in record time. “The government has today accepted the recommendation from the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to approve Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for use,” the government said. The U.S. drugmaker said Britain’s emergency use authorisation marks a historic moment in the fight against COVID-19.
• Good progress is being made by Britain and the European Union in Brexit trade negotiations, but Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government will not sign up to a deal that is not in Britain’s interest, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said on Thursday. “We always expect negotiations to go up to the wire, it’s a very typical situation when you’re having a negotiation with the European Union,” Williamson told Sky. Ireland’s Foreign Minister Simon Coveney on Thursday, said he believed there was a good chance that Britain and the European Union would secure a trade deal within days.
Dr Anthony Fauci, the top US infectious disease expert, apologised for remarks that seemed to criticise the UK's vaccine approval process. "I have a great deal of confidence in what the UK does both scientifically and from a regulator standpoint," Dr Fauci told the BBC on Thursday.
• Britain hopes that millions of doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine will be delivered by the end of the year, but the total will depend on how quickly it can be manufactured, Britain’s business minister Alok Sharma said on Friday. Sharma said he was confident the first batch of 800,000 doses would be in place to begin roll-out in the next week, but would not give an exact figure on how much Britain would get before the end of the month.
• Over the week, the main Global Stockmarkets where mainly up, apart from the Far East. All the investment D-PIMS Portfolios were up over the week, especially the higher risk Portfolios. They were helped by their domestic UK allocations.
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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.