Whilst Covid-19 is still very much around and we are experiencing “Lockdown – the Sequel”, recent vaccine breakthroughs are the good news we have all been hoping for.  There seems to be some sort of end in sight and this was very evident with the surge in the stock market last week. The biggest risers were those shares that have been hardest hit (airlines, entertainment, travel and hospitality), and we saw a bit of a dip in those shares that have fared well over the past few months (mainly technology shares), but overall it was largely positive.

The plan from the Government that we have seen is to offer the vaccine to those most vulnerable first (the over 80s and those with health issues), together with front-line NHS staff and care workers. Next in line will be the over 75s and this will gradually trickle down, with the final category being the over 50s. Whilst this is great news, we are not out of the woods yet and the virus is still very much among us, so we must remain vigilant and stay safe. We hope that the lockdowns we are seeing in the UK will have the desired effect of slowing the “R” rate of the virus and we can return to some sort of normality before Christmas.

We hope this development enables the global economy to be fully re-opened over the course of 2021. This will enable businesses and consumers to get on with daily life, and economic activity should bounce back quite sharply. Clearly, stock markets have already started to price this in but we believe there is a lot more to come. This is still a lot of negative sentiment around, and a lot of cash is sitting on the sidelines. As investors become more comfortable that the worst is behind us, this money will be moved into assets such as equities. A couple of major headwinds have been overcome in recent weeks, the US election and the discovery of a vaccine. We expect positive news on other vaccines in development before Christmas and even a Brexit deal remains within reach.

We have returned to only having essential staff in the office, with everyone else working from home. This is working well and hopefully you are seeing the usual level of good service from us.

As always, if there is anything that we can do to help you in these tough times, please do not hesitate to ask, and please stay safe.