Markets finished last week in an ebullient mode overall which saw MSCI ACWI rising +2.1% in Sterling terms. This was aided in particular by a strong rise in Chinese Equities which jumped +3.9% for the week as investors became more cheerful about a swift economic recovery from the Coronavirus pandemic. Investment grade Fixed Income was flat, while High Yield Bonds returned +0.3% and Global Investment Grade Credit continued to outperform Sterling IG Credit. The Pound Sterling also strengthened against the Euro and the Dollar.
Saturday, the 4th July was not only Independence Day in the United States but also the day on which the inhabitants of the UK began to regain at least some of their liberty as the economy began to reopen. Attention now turns to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, and his economic statement in Parliament on Wednesday. He is expected to outline the Government’s programme for restarting the economy following the lockdown. Among the measures that are allegedly being discussed is the offering of a payment of £1,000 to companies for every trainee provided with a work experience placement. There is also the possible offering of a £500 voucher to all citizens to spend in designated parts of the economy that have been particularly badly hit, as well as a proposal to raise the threshold at which homebuyers start paying stamp duty to £500,000.
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