Market Update (3rd August 2020)

Last week a new partial lockdown was imposed on parts of northern England and as many as four million people in Greater Manchester, Lancashire and parts of West Yorkshire are now unable to meet people from different households indoors.

The Prime Minister also announced a pausing of lockdown easing. Bowling lanes, casinos and ice rinks will not open as planned, while certain high contact beauty treatments will remain against the rules. Wedding receptions of 30 people are again on hold until the next review on 15th August.

Market Update (27th July 2020)

Face coverings must now be worn in shops in England, with the rule applying to enclosed public spaces such as supermarkets, takeaways and transport hubs. Police can issue £100 fines to people who do not comply, but many forces and business have already said that they will not try to enforce the new measures.

Market Update (20th July 2020)

Last week saw further Government announcements and guidance changes aimed at getting more of us back to work, and specifically to our place of work.

From 1st August, employers will have more discretion over whether or not they reopen their premises. Public transport guidance will be updated to reflect this as the usage of trains and buses remains much lower than normal; the chart below shows the movements of UK people compared to levels in January:

Market Update (13th July 2020)

The UK’s lockdown unwinding is set to continue this week with artists and musicians now able to perform live outside, while outdoor pools will also be opened.

As of Monday 13th, beauticians, spas, tattooists and tanning salons can reopened. Finally, for those that have indulged over the lockdown period, gyms, indoor pools and leisure centres will open on 25th July. All of these of course will come with caveats on social distancing.

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.