Possibly. Donald Trump’s opinion poll ratings slid below 40% last week, the first time since 2017 pushing the Democrats into the lead. This weakness makes Trump even more unpredictable than normal and he was quick to look for scapegoats, notably the Democrats and China. Despite Trump’s attack, China continued to keep their end of the bargain by confirming plans to increase purchases of US agricultural products. US weekly jobless claims added further woes to Trump’s growing list, coming in at a disappointing 1.48 million.
It was a more positive picture in Europe, whose indicated PMI (a measure of a country/region’s economic strength) for June shows that activity has accelerated. In France and Germany, data was markedly better than expected at 47.5, up from 31.9 in May and beating expectations of 42.4. At a country level, France led the way, posting 51.3, pushing the country in to expansionary territory, up from 32.1 in May and beating expectations of 46.3. While this is good news, we treat these figures with caution and note that the jump in June was due to restaurants reopening and mobility restrictions being lifted.
Fears of a second coronavirus wave in autumn hit risk appetite last week as new cases increased sharply in the US, Brazil and India. However, there was reassuring news from China, whose new lockdown measures appear to have stopped the spread of the virus in Beijing. Over the weekend, reports of a spike in Leicester may see the UK take a similar approach to China, locking down the city to keep the spread under control.
Despite investor concerns, central banks remain accommodative and economic indicators show signs of improvement, although the Democrat lead in the US election polls could spook markets.
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The content of this document is for information only. It is advisable that you discuss your personal financial circumstances with a financial adviser before undertaking any investments.
All the data contained in the communication is believed to be reliable but may be inaccurate or incomplete. Unless otherwise specified all information is produced as of 29 June 2020.
Jon Doyle is Founder and Financial Planner at Juniper Wealth Management. Advising clients since 2008 he has guided clients through good time, bad times and the ugly. With a clear vision on how advice should be delivered and strong opinions on how we should be investing money in order to live the life we want to live free from money worry.