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D-PIMS Weekly Market Update - Week of 6th to 13th February 2022

Today’s Monday update:

Over the course of last week, market moving headlines were mostly political, Covid-19 and economically related:

• Australia said on Monday it will reopen its borders to vaccinated travellers this month, ending two years of misery for the tourism sector, reviving migration and injecting billions of dollars into the world’s No. 13 economy. The reopening, which takes effect on 21st February, represents the first time since March 2020 that people can travel to Australia from anywhere in the world, as long as they are vaccinated.

• The Office for National Statistics said on Wednesday, that England's COVID-19 prevalence was 1 in 19 people in the week ending 5th February, slightly higher than the 1 in 20 recorded the previous week.

People in England with COVID-19, will from late February, no longer be legally required to self-isolate to stem the spread of COVID-19, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday, proposing to speed up existing plans to live with the virus. He has said he wishes to go further as part of the shift towards learning to live with COVID, and England is set to become the first major economy to replace legal requirements for people to self-isolate with guidance.

• Britain called on Thursday, for Europe to hold firm over Ukraine's right to join NATO, as Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited the alliance headquarters to rally allies and sent his foreign secretary to Moscow with a warning not to invade. Russia has more than 100,000 troops at the Ukrainian border, and the United States, Britain, the EU and NATO fear it may be planning an invasion. Moscow denies this, but says it could take unspecified "military-technical" action unless demands are met, including barring Ukraine from ever joining the Western military alliance.

The number of people in Britain going to shops and restaurants rose in the last week and spending on credit and debit cards increased too, data showed on Thursday, adding to signs of a recovery in economic activity after a hit from the Omicron COVID-19 wave. Retail footfall in the week to 5th February, rose to 83% of its level in the same week of 2019, up 3% from the week before and the fourth weekly increase in a row, the Office for National Statistics said. Online restaurant bookings via OpenTable in the week to 7th February were 112% of their level in the same week of 2020, up 6 percentage points on a week earlier.

• Russia is now massing yet more troops near Ukraine and an invasion could come at any time, perhaps before the end of this month's Winter Olympics, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Friday. Commercial satellite images published by a private U.S. company showed new Russian military deployments at several locations near Ukraine. In his starkest warning yet to Americans in Ukraine to get out now, President Joe Biden said he would not send troops to rescue U.S. citizens in the event of a Russian assault.

UK GDP rose 7.5% over the course of 2021, defying the year’s three-month opening lockdown and emerging variants to record the highest rate of growth since 1940. Despite a variety of restrictions across the home nations, GDP only dropped slightly in December, down 0.2% for the month, less than the consensus 0.5% expectations.

European Commission Vice-President Maros Sefcovic and British Foreign Minister Liz Truss said on Friday that their officials would continue "intensive" discussions over Northern Ireland in the coming days after their third in-person meeting. "They agreed on the need for progress in their talks in the interest of people in Northern Ireland, to stay in close touch and that officials will continue intensive discussions in the coming days", the two said in a joint statement.

• Over the week, the main Global Stockmarkets were mixed, with some up and some down, especially the U.S. Inflation fears particularly weighed on Bond prices, but Stockmarkets continued to be nervous about Russia/Ukraine tensions. Over the week, the Medium to High Risk and above D-PIMS Portfolios were up, due to overall positive returns from equity allocations. The Medium Risk Portfolio was flat and Low to Medium was down, due to falling Bond prices. The Portfolios were helped by their diversity.

The value of investments and the income from them can fall as well as rise and you may not get back the original amount you invested.

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.