First off, I hope you’re as healthy as can be and adjusting to the ‘stay at home’ lockdown. It’s been another eventful week in the world of finances as we continue to battle coronavirus. To keep you in the loop with this rapidly changing situation, we’re sharing our next weekly update, which includes the good, the bad and the more light-hearted news.
We are certainly not calling the bottom of the market yet, but we are pleased to see some market recovery. At the time of writing this, the FTSE has climbed over 16% this week.
Volatility is still very much the theme, but this slight recovery, even if it’s only short-lived, is welcome over the long-term.
A big round of applause
To all the doctors, nurses, carers, GPs, pharmacists, volunteers and other NHS staff working tirelessly to help people affected by the coronavirus outbreak, thank you! You’re doing a fantastic job. We all took part in the Clap for Carers campaign last night.
What we need to see to achieve market stabilisation
1. Infection rates contained, leading to eased travel restrictions
Progress so far:
– Nationwide shutdowns in Europe
– China/S.Korea confirming that their infection rate is stabilising and not re-accelerating
– Italy’s stringent lockdown measures appear to be stabilising infection rates in the North of the country
Further progress required:
– European & US infections to peak
– China/S.Korea infections rate to remain low as activity normalises
2. Government-backed fiscal aid of a sufficient size and nature, with clear guidance
Progress so far:
– ‘Whatever it takes’ in Europe
– Largest ever US fiscal package
– Employment subsidies
3. Central bank backstop – Sort liquidity issues, backstop government bond markets & help ease credit market tensions
Progress so far:
– It is clear that central banks in Europe, UK and US etc. are all prepared to do whatever it takes to support each region and economy
Over the last few days, the social distancing measures put in place have remodelled Britain’s way of life. The changes we are faced with will significantly impact economic activity and will likely cause a big fall in consumer spending, which drives a significantly large part of gross domestic product (GDP).
If you look at US forecasts, economists have suggested there will be a big decline in Q2 which is shown in the graph, as the peak of the virus is yet to come.
However, if the measures put in place are effective and it all goes to plan, Q3 and Q4, which are the ones that matter, will strengthen.
Coronavirus update from Calculis
Following Boris Johnson’s announcement earlier this week, all Calculis staff will now be working remotely, other than a daily visit to the office to collect and distribute post.
To contact Calculis, please email email@example.com or individual advisers/team members. You can also leave a message by calling 01794 525500. Messages will be checked daily.
We will keep you updated as and when the situation changes. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding at this time.
It’s not all doom and gloom…
Here are some other stories which show a different side to these unprecedented times.
There’s some hope from Wuhan
China says it will allow transportation to resume for the city of Wuhan on April 8, effectively lifting a mass quarantine over the city where the coronavirus first emerged. The planned easing of restrictions comes as the Chinese province of Hubei reported that new infections dropped to zero on March 19.
We’ll all become DYI experts
The prospect of being stuck in the house for weeks has led to a rise in DIY and gardening sales as householders use this opportunity to make some home improvements. Kingfisher, which owns B&Q and Screwfix, reported a 37.7% jump in like-for-like sales last week, having seen growth of 8.6 per cent the week before.
(If you’re doing lockdown DIY, please be careful)
Care home plays real-life Hungry Hippos game
A care home in Wales provided its elderly residents in isolation with some light-hearted relief when it hosted a real-life game of Hungry Hippos.
A helping hand
The independent brewer BrewDog has begun making hand sanitiser at its distillery in Aberdeenshire. The firm said it would be giving away the “punk sanitiser” for free to those that need it.
Tens of thousands tune in to Marwell Zoo animal webcam
Since the lockdown, Marwell Zoo has seen a huge surge in people tuning in to view its live animal webcams. Families have enjoyed live access to the zoo’s flamingos, penguins, giraffes and black and white ruffed lemurs without leaving the house.