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D-PIMS Weekly Market Update - Week of 7th to 13th December 2020

Today’s weekly update:

Over the course of last week, most headlines were related to the Brexit or Coronavirus:

• Britain could remove clauses in legislation that would breach its Brexit withdrawal deal with the European Union and would review provisions in another bill if talks on the Withdrawal Agreement progress, the government said on Monday.

• Britain began the mass-vaccination of its population against COVID-19 on Tuesday, becoming the first Western nation to do so in a global endeavour that poses one of the biggest logistical challenges in peacetime history. On a day dubbed “V-Day”, health workers started inoculating people with a shot developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, with the country being a test case for the world, as it contends with distributing a compound that must be stored at -70C (-94F).

Britain said on Tuesday it would pull clauses in a draft law that breach the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement after it clinched a deal with the European Union over implementing of the treaty. The deal - which is separate to trade talks - will ensure that the Withdrawal Agreement is fully operational as of 1st January, European Commission Vice-President Maros Sefcovic said.

• British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the European Union’s chief executive gave themselves until Sunday to seal a new trade pact, after failing to overcome persistent rifts over a “frank” and “lively” dinner of turbot on Wednesday.

• Britain said it was re-emerging as a major trade force, as it signed a free trade deal with island nation Singapore on Thursday, its latest agreement globally as it prepares to end its transition out of the European Union on 31st December.

The European Union’s executive on Thursday laid out contingency plans for a ‘no-deal’ Brexit at the end of the year to limit disruption to air traffic, and road and rail travel, after the latest talks between British and EU leaders failed to break an impasse.

The European Central Bank announced more stimulus measures on Thursday, including the increase and expansion of its debt purchase scheme, to help the region’s economy cope with the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

• Sanofi and Britain’s GlaxoSmithKline said on Friday that they will test their potential COVID-19 vaccine further, after clinical trials showed an insufficient immune response in older people, delaying its potential launch until the end of next year. The news comes as a disappointment for one of a crop of vaccines under development that rely on more conventional proven designs than the Pfizer vaccine.

• European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told the 27 national EU leaders meeting in Brussels on Friday, a no-deal split in trading ties with Britain at the end of the year was now more likely than not.

The Bank of England took steps on Friday to keep banks lending through 2021 as Britain copes with the COVID-19 pandemic, saying it was ready to deal with any market disruption from a big change in the UK’s trading relationship with the European Union.

Britain said on Friday, that it would cut the self-isolation period for COVID-19 to 10 days from 14, in a change which will apply to both those presumed to have been in contact someone with the virus within the country, and those arriving from abroad. The shorter self-isolation period will begin from Dec. 14 and apply in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, a government statement said. It already applied in Wales.

Five key genes are linked with the most severe form of COVID-19, scientists said on Friday, in research that also pointed to several existing drugs that could be repurposed to treat people who risk getting critically ill with the pandemic disease. “Our results immediately highlight which drugs should be at the top of the list for clinical testing,” said Kenneth Baillie, an academic consultant in critical care medicine at Edinburgh University who co-led the research.

• On Sunday the EU and Britain agreed to carry on negotiations beyond the latest deadline, in a sign that some progress was being made.

• Over the week, the main Global Stockmarkets where mostly down, over some negative vaccine news and Brexit negotiations continuing to be fraught and highly uncertain. However due to the Pound falling significantly, returns from overseas Markets were up. The investment D-PIMS Portfolios were up over the week, especially the higher risk Portfolios. They were helped by their diversification.

 


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.

 

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