Market Update (29th June 2020)

We start the week with more positive news surrounding the decline of COVID-19 cases as the UK recorded 901 new cases and 36 associated deaths on Sunday 28th June, with both trends continuing downwards. The seven-day moving average for fatalities currently sits at 131, down from a peak of 943 in the middle of April.

Market Update (22nd June 2020)

The UK recorded 1,221 new cases of COVID-19 and 43 associated deaths on Sunday 21st June, as both trends continue downward.

This coming week, the Government is mooted to relax social distancing rules in a boost to the hospitality industry, with the 2-meter rule set to be reduced, possibly with caveats related to the wearing of face coverings, using clear plastic screens and sitting back-to-back.

Market Update (15th June 2020)

This week marks a real start in lockdown easing with the opening of non-essential businesses from today, which hopefully brings us a step closer to returning to normality.

Over the past week, both equity and fixed income markets were choppier, as some of the excess from the recent equity market rally was burned off and fears arose of ‘second waves’ in the US and parts of China.

Market Update (8th June 2020)

We are starting the week with encouraging news as the UK reported 1,326 new COVID-19 cases and 77 deaths on 7th June, the lowest since mid-March.

Alongside this, general activity continues to rise, as the first chart plotting city centre footfall below shows, whilst the second chart showing ‘TV hours watched’ continues to fall from its peak as Netflix libraries are exhausted:

Market Update (1st June 2020)

We have seen several important Government updates over the last week. The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak confirmed that the coronavirus furlough scheme will finish at the end of October and provided further information on how it will be tapered to that point.

From August, employers must pay National Insurance and pension contributions, then 10% of pay from September, rising to 20% in October. At the moment, some 8.4 million workers are covered by the furlough scheme, with claims for subsidies rising to £15 billion.

Market Update (18th May 2020)

We had some good news last week as the UK economy slowly began to restart, following last weekend’s change in the Government’s messaging.

People living in England were encouraged to return to work if they could, allowed to meet a friend in a park and became able to travel relatively freely. Nando’s restaurants began to reopen for deliveries only in England, providing relief to casual diners! In Wales, parks were reopened.

Market Update (11th May 2020)

As I am sure you are aware, the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson announced the first change to the UK’s lockdown rules yesterday (10th May), with full guidance due to be released today.

The good news is that virus data continues to improve in the UK and indeed generally across Europe. Domestically, per the first chart below the trend of COVID fatalities continues downward despite the new inclusion of care homes, whilst hospital patient numbers are also declining, per the second chart:

Market Update (4th May 2020)

This week should bring more clarity to the Government’s plans surrounding lockdown. Further good news comes from the latest government statistics which show that the daily death toll in the UK fell this past week, despite now also accounting for deaths outside of hospitals.

315 deaths were sadly reported in the UK yesterday (Sunday 3rd May) down from 621 confirmed the day before. The trend is definitively downwards, as shown in the chart below that uses a 7-day moving average: