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…
Following on from last week’s opening of some non-essential businesses, it is likely that Boris Johnson will announce a relaxation of the 2-metre social distancing rule tomorrow. This should pave the way for a potential reopening of the hospitality sector from the 4th July. Whilst the recommencement of the Premier League has been met with mixed…
It has been 84 days since lockdown in the UK was announced in which we have seen a period of great change and an immediate shift to our lifestyles. We have seen just over a quarter of the UK‘s working population supported by the Government’s furlough scheme with its estimated cost currently sitting at £19.6bn. As non-essential businesses begin to re-open their doors today, we appear to be getting closer to a state of normality. Boris Johnson has suggested that the two-metre social distancing rule could be relaxed as the hospitality sector prepares to reopen from 4th July.
Tensions are running high. The balance between keeping economies locked down in order to protect the health services, and the desire to loosen lockdown measures in order to lessen the long-term impacts, is coming to a head.
since their nadir on the 23rd March 2020, Equity markets have paid little heed to the deteriorating economic fundamentals, with MSCI ACWI up +18.2% and the S&P 500 up +21% in GBP terms. In the riskier Fixed Income markets, we have also seen a strong rally in High Yield Bonds from their lows, although this is arguably not as over-extended as the Equity markets. As we celebrated Victory in Europe Day over the Bank Holiday weekend, it has begun to feel like a phoney war mentality has taken over the markets – one that may collide with reality in due course. While the rally demonstrates the necessity of maintaining market exposure through all stages of a cycle, we remain neutral on Equities at this point.
A week that has been punctuated by uncertainty and conjecture. As we get to the end of the second three-week lockdown period in the UK, headlines are full of rumour. No one knows what the effect of easing the restrictions will be, and as we have written previously, fear is one of the biggest dangers to the economy.
It has been 28 days since Boris Johnson delivered his address announcing that the UK will be placed in a state of lockdown. On Thursday, the Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, declared that the lockdown would be extended for at least another 3 weeks. It seems like we have settled into our social distancing routine. We have adapted to our working life and we have discovered new hobbies to replace our commutes.
We previously wrote, just two weeks ago, about the risk of economic forecasts during this period of uncertainty. The unreliability of data during the lockdowns will, in turn, make the forecasts equally unreliable. Although there is some consensus around how long economies will take to get back to pre-crisis levels, the range of forecasts for how much damage will be done is historically wide.
This week we have seen the US Federal Reserve offer unlimited quantitative policy, along with various other bells and whistles. This is to keep the wheels of monetary policy lubricated; to encourage lending to companies by banks, and in turn this may save some jobs. It may also help to stabilise the markets, which would give enough breathing space to allow fiscal policy to be rolled out.
In the UK, we are being urged to stay indoors and socially distance ourselves to prevent the spread of the virus further. As humans, we are experiencing significant structural reform as we adapt to our new working lifestyles and plan around the latest advice issued by the Government.