As Michael Caine famously said in the iconic movie The Italian Job, “You’re only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!” Which seems to sum up 2020 well – it’s not what we wanted, not what we expected, and the ramifications keep rumbling on. Still, we are now into a new year, and surely 2021 cannot be as bad, unpredictable, …
We have had Brexit looming in the background, with its 11 month countdown, since we officially left the European Union on 31st January 2020. Will we see a deal brokered at the 11th hour? The most recent sticking point does seem to focus on EU fishing rights in UK waters, but this illustrates the difficulty in solving disagreements over fair competition rules and the UK demonstrating it has regained its sovereignty.
As the UK is set to phase out of its month-long lockdown, new tiers have been established which see much of the UK either remain or fall into tighter restrictions as we head into the festive period. Most of the North has been placed in tier three with London being in tier two.
Hot off the back of Biden’s election victory, Pfizer and BioNTech announced that phase III trials for a vaccine against COVID-19 were 90% effective and, unlike previous trials, there also appears to be no real secondary effects. No vaccine has gone from the drawing board to being proven highly effective in such a short period of time and Pfizer and BioNTech expect to have enough safety data by the third week of November to approach the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency approval.
It looks like it is finally over, as it would appear that the Democrats, with Joe Biden, have taken control of the US Presidency. The control of the Senate, however, is still in question, as it looks as though the Republicans may have retained control
The weekend saw Boris Johnson announce a four-week national lockdown to try and curb the number of hospital admissions and avoid the NHS becoming overwhelmed.
Markets had a little bit of a wobble last week, with the MSCI All Country World Index of global equities falling by -1.1% in Sterling terms. The best performing markets were in the Emerging Markets and Japan, which posted small positive gains. This was, however, offset by falls in the US and Continental Europe. Within Fixed Income, High Yield Bonds managed to rally despite the wider risk-off mood, while Global Treasuries and Investment Grade Bonds posted losses.
COVID-19 weighed on sentiment, with cases globally increasing throughout the week. In Europe, figures jumped by more than 625,000, which meant new restrictions were implemented in the UK, France, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands.
Much of the talk in recent days has been about a proposed three-tier lockdown system which should provide greater clarity and outline the risk level of various regions. The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, will also present his proposals for a regional job protection scheme to curb the economic impact of the virus. We have seen small businesses shut, then reopen their …
Last week was ultimately centred around the US Presidential Election. It started with an article on the lack of tax that President Donald Trump has paid and finished with the Commander-in-Chief of the US Armed Forces testing positive for COVID-19. In the middle of this we had our first televised debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden. While the debates …