Market Update – 06 Oct 2020

President Trump returned to the White House from the hospital on Monday, saying that he had recovered from the coronavirus and that people should not be afraid of a disease that has killed more than 209,000 Americans.

Trump’s comments a few hours before leaving Walter Reed Medical Centre, again downplaying the coronavirus, came despite evidence that White House decisions to flout public health guidelines and engage in practices viewed as reckless have had dire consequences in the West Wing.

More than a dozen White House officials have tested positive for the coronavirus in recent days, a steadily increasing total that grew again Monday.  How the return of an infected president to such a setting could be managed safely was one of several questions left unanswered Monday as Trump’s medical team briefed reporters about his condition.

“We’ve worked with our infectious-disease experts to make some recommendations for how to keep everything safe down at the White House,” Trump’s doctor Sean Conley said after describing the president’s condition as improving, though he said Trump was “not out of the woods yet.”

The transformation of the White House into a vector of a deadly pathogen has done little to change the approach of an administration that has been determined to downplay the coronavirus for months. Trump used his personal experience with the disease — which twice knocked his oxygen levels down significantly and required him to be hospitalized and injected with several drugs — to again play down its severity.

“Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life,” Trump tweeted Monday afternoon,  “We have developed, under the Trump Administration, some really great drugs & knowledge. I feel better than I did 20 years ago!”

The only thing that seems to be missing now is his cape!

Trump is trailing Biden in national and key state polls although these have been regarded as Fake News and Fake Polls, but there is heavy speculation in the US that it’s his health issues that are Fake and seen as a desperate attempt to galvanise the country behind his campaign.

In other news

Scotland is bracing itself for another lockdown of sorts.  Throughout the pandemic the First Minister has consistently put health before the economy so a short circuit breaker,  as it’s being described will come as no surprise,  neither will the fact that the October school holidays are fast approaching and the circuit breaker will likely coincide with these, we are expecting more news later today.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will outline plans for Britain to “build back greener” from the coronavirus pandemic by committing funds to boost Britain’s offshore wind energy capacity.  The £160 million investment into ports and factories is part of a drive to quadruple Britain’s offshore wind capacity to 40 gigawatts (GW) by 2030. That is equivalent to around half of Britain’s electricity capacity today from all sources.  Johnson will say Britain must seize upon a “green industrial revolution” that has the potential to create hundreds of thousands of jobs. “We need to give people the chance to train for the new jobs that are being created every day – in new technologies and new ways of doing things.

This announcement is certainly necessary as Economists are saying unemployment is likely to rise sharply once a programme to subsidise workers furloughed because of the pandemic closes at the end of this month, and the economy looks on course for its biggest annual decline since the 1920s.

It’s the return of  Trump however that is having the most impact on the markets, with the the FTSE-100 initially rising on the back of the news that his Covid-19 illness continued to improve, this followed US markets movements last night.   In addition political leaders appeared to edge closer to a multi-billion dollar coronavirus stimulus package.

The mood had already improved as it emerged that US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had spent an hour discussing the much-delayed coronavirus stimulus package that has been held up in negotiations between Republicans and Democrats.

After two months of delay, they are said to be holding another meeting on the issue today. CMC Markets analyst David Madden suggested that a deal may be more likely now that Trump is flagging in the polls.

London traders are watching the construction sector Purchasing Managers Index for clues about the direction of the UK’s building jobs – a major driver of jobs and the economy. Economists are predicting a dip on the August figure but the sector should still be in growth mode.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak yesterday made clear he would be supporting people and businesses although it is less than clear how much assistance he can offer given pressure on him from Conservative backbenchers to stop spending money.

His schemes aimed at replacing the furlough scheme have not gone down well in the business community and their shortcomings were highlighted yesterday by Cineworld’s announcement of thousands of UK job losses with no prospect of help beyond unemployment benefits.

Heavy falls in Cineworld stock yesterday were a boon to the army of short-sellers predicting its demise and long investors will be hoping for something of a recovery. However, until the markets get a feel for the restructuring almost inevitable at the group, gains will be limited.

Oil companies will also be closely watched after oil bounced back from Friday’s Trump-induced rise.

In Europe the European Central Bank head Christine Lagarde is due to speak this morning, with her Federal Reserve opposite number Jay Powell taking to the stage this afternoon. Expect pledges are of continued easy monetary policy.

Things remain quiet in Asia as the Chinese await, like the rest of us, the US Election.

As we wait to discover the next stage of restriction’s I’m sure we are all a little apprehensive and possibly frustrated.  At times like these it’s important to remember that  ‘You can’t change what has already happened, so don’t waste your time thinking about it.  Move on, let go and get over it.  Tomorrow is after all, another day!

Stay Safe

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