D-PIMS Weekly Market Update - Week of 9th to 15th November 2020
Today’s Monday Update:
Over the course of last week, most headlines were related to the Coronavirus or Brexit:
• On Monday, Pfizer announced that its experimental COVID-19 vaccine is more than 90% effective, based on initial trial results. Pfizer and German partner BioNTech, also said they had found no serious safety concerns yet. Public health officials and investors welcomed the first successful interim data from a large-scale clinical test as a watershed moment, that could help turn the tide of the pandemic if the full trial results pan out. However, mass roll-outs, which needs regulatory approval, will not happen this year and several vaccines are seen as necessary to meet massive global needs.
Peter Horby, professor of emerging infectious diseases at the University of Oxford said, “This news made me smile from ear to ear. It is a relief to see such positive results on this vaccine and bodes well for COVID-19 vaccines in general. Top U.S. infectious diseases expert Dr Anthony Fauci told CNN, “There are still many questions, such as how effective the vaccine is by ethnicity or age and how long immunity may last, but the bottom line is, as a vaccine it’s more than 90% effective, which is extraordinary”.
• People in Britain will be able to decide whether they want to have the coronavirus vaccine or not, health minister Matt Hancock said on Tuesday, adding that children will not need to be vaccinated. “We’re not proposing to make this compulsory, not least because I think the vast majority people are going to want to have it,” Hancock told BBC TV on Tuesday.
• Almost two-thirds of people in Britain say they would get vaccinated for COVID-19, but young people are far more likely to refuse a jab than older people, according to an opinion poll published on Wednesday.
Britain and the European Union are likely to miss their mid-November deadline to clinch a post-Brexit trade, because talks in London to break a deadlock are expected to run through the end of the week, sources on both sides told Reuters on Wednesday. Ambassadors of the 27 EU member states in Brussels will not be updated on the talks at a regular meeting on Wednesday and the issue is now pencilled in for their meeting on 18th November, a senior diplomat of the bloc said.
Britain will be ready to immunise people against COVID-19 as fast as pharmaceutical companies can deliver supplies of a vaccine once it has been approved, deputy chief medical officer Jonathan Van-Tam said on Wednesday. “We will not use anything until the MHRA (drugs regulator) has made its adjudication on safety and effectiveness,” he said. “Do I think we will then move at pace to keep up with the volumes that are supplied to us? Yes I absolutely do.”
• Britain hopes for a Brexit trade deal in coming days, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said on Thursday. “We hope that in the days ahead, admittedly time is short, but in the days ahead both sides will be able to reach agreement and the EU will show some further flexibility in those respects if it can,” Jenrick told BBC radio.
• Britain’s transport minister said there would be no delays to the country receiving the COVID-19 vaccine from abroad even if the UK does not agree a trade deal with the European Union by the start of 2021. “Yes I can rule that out,” Transport Minister Grant Shapps said on Friday, when asked if the vaccine could be delayed due to customs checks or other difficulties, once the UK’s transition period with the EU ends on 1st January 2021.
British employers are advertising the most jobs since early March, though sectors such as hospitality and leisure remain hard-hit by the COVID pandemic, recruiters said on Friday. The Recruitment and Employment Confederation, a trade body, said 1.36 million jobs were being actively advertised in the first week of November, with the strongest recovery in construction, logistics and food processing.
The estimated reproduction “R” number of COVID-19 in Britain has fallen to 1.0-1.2 and might be below 1 in some parts of the country, the Government Office for Science said on Friday, a sign that the spread of the disease is slowing. That means that every 10 people infected with COVID-19 will, on average, pass it on to 10 to 12 more people. The estimated R number the previous week was 1.1-1.3.
• Over the week, the main Global Stockmarkets where mostly up, buoyed by the prospects for an effective Covid-19 vaccine. All the investment D-PIMS Portfolios were up over the week, especially the higher risk Portfolios. They were helped by their diversification.
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The comments made above represent our interpretation of events and market views and are in no way a guarantee of future investment performance.