Weekly Client Update – 11th August 2023

Markets Overview

US markets: The US stock market ended the week mixed, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite Index closing slightly higher, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed lower. The gains were driven by positive earnings reports from some major companies, such as Apple and Microsoft. However, concerns about rising inflation and interest rates weighed on the market.

European markets: European stock markets ended the week lower, with the pan-European STOXX Europe 600 Index down more than 2%. The losses were driven by concerns about the global economic outlook, as well as some disappointing earnings reports from European companies.

Asian markets: Asian stock markets ended the week mixed, with the Nikkei 225 Index in Japan closing higher, while the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong closed lower. The gains in Japan were driven by a weaker yen, which boosted the value of Japanese exports. However, concerns about the Chinese economy weighed on the market in Hong Kong.

Emerging markets: Emerging market stock markets ended the week lower, with the MSCI Emerging Markets Index down more than 1%. The losses were driven by concerns about the global economic outlook, as well as rising interest rates in the United States.

Overall, the global markets were volatile this week, with investors weighing the positive news on earnings against the negative news on inflation and interest rates. It remains to be seen whether the markets will be able to sustain their gains in the coming weeks, or if they will succumb to the negative sentiment that has been building in recent months.

Recession in US would be a ‘welcome reset’

A Recession in America could bring some ‘short-term pain to markets but is likely to ease inflationary pressures in the West and create opportunities for investors’. This was the message delivered to Jersey investment managers by Wall Street analyst Tony Dwyer, during a recent visit to the Island. Saying that key indicators relating to inflation, credit, economic activity and earnings were pointing to a recession in the US ‘by the end of this year’, Mr Dwyer said that such an event would not necessarily be ‘a bad thing for markets’. ‘A recession in the US will provide a welcome reset for markets and could ease inflationary pressures being felt across the western world,’ he said. ‘We believe the Federal Reserve is approaching the tail end of what has been one of the fastest scales of interest-rate hikes on record. Credit is going to remain tight and that is causing weak economic activity, but heightened fears of a recession in the US are also fuelling expectations of lower inflation to come and therefore rate cuts by the beginning of 2024.’

He added that most countries in Europe were experiencing a slowdown in their economies as central banks tightened rates, and lenders had become more cautious. Markets have been turbulent since the end of the Covid pandemic, with supply chains struggling to meet demand and the Russia invasion of Ukraine all affecting global trade and confidence. Mr Dwyer said that there could be worse news to come from America and that any bad news ‘needs to be bad so that markets can fully reset, and therefore recover from a more solid base’. ‘The US market has never bottomed before a recession, and the recession hasn’t arrived yet,’ he said. ‘At the moment there are good short-term low-risk options for respectable returns, but investors should be ready for the longer-term opportunities that are likely to occur in the next few months, once the markets have fully adjusted. ’Mr Dwyer added that a recession in the US, and particularly a slowdown in consumer spending on goods, could have ramifications for other nations, including the UK and Channel Islands but may not prove negative for the global economy, especially if it relieved pressure on creaking supply chains, one of the major contributors to the current cost-of-living crisis.

This is the day Beatlemania hit Jersey six decades ago

Today, not Yesterday, marks 60 years since the Beatles finished their sell-out tour of the Channel Islands with a concert at Springfield ballroom. And Jersey-based tribute band ‘The Beantles’ will at this weekend’s Battle of Flowers be remembering when John, Paul, George and Ringo brought ‘Beatlemania’ to Jersey in August 1963. The Fab Four, who were then on the precipice of superstardom, had not long returned from their first tour of the United States when they landed at Jersey Airport on 6 August. After concerts in Jersey on 6 and 7 August, they took a short trip to play in Guernsey, before returning for two more on 9 and 10 August. The band received £1,000 for the four Jersey concerts, which were organised by local promoter Les de la Mare earlier in March. Tickets for the show cost between 17/6d (87p, worth around £22 today) and 10 shillings (50p – now worth £12). While Kensington Place is now in the news for another reason – as a government-owned site soon to house new hospital facilities – it was then the site of the Revere Hotel, where the Liverpudlian quartet stayed.

This weekend, four local musicians – Oliver Rybarczuk, Dan MacFarlane, Jordan Rondel and Tom Rolls – will come together to perform as ‘The Beantles’ .Battle of Flowers chair Russell Labey said: ‘They may be impersonating the Fab Four but their sound is incredibly authentic and we wanted to commemorate a real coup for Jersey to attract the Beatles to Springfield Stadium just as they hit superstardom. ’Mr Rybarczuk, the ‘John Lennon’ of the group, said: ‘We all grew up listening to the Beatles’ music. ‘Being a musician, the Beatles’ songwriting, and their impact on music, is very important. They were a historically pivotal band. ‘For our performance, because it’s the 60th anniversary, we’ll incorporate a lot of material they had from that era, like She Loves You, Love Me Do. But we’ll also play some later material too.’ He added that he believed it would be ‘beneficial’ for Jersey to once against have venues – such as Springfield and Fort Regent – to host famous acts. The tribute band will perform at the Battle of Flowers today from 5pm to 7pm and 8.15pm to 9pm, and from 9pm to 10.30pm on Saturday.

Positive reception from hotels and guests after ‘Jersey & Guernsey’ TV show

Hotels have received positive comments and feedback from guests following the airing of a documentary series on the Channel Islands this summer, a leading travel company has said. Channel Islands Direct also saw a 40% increase in new bookings in June and an 11% increase in July, according to Premier Holidays commercial director Mark Godfrey. All six episodes of the show ‘Jersey & Guernsey’, which was narrated by Alan Titchmarsh and featured locals preparing for summer, are now available to view on Channel 5. Among the Islanders featured in the documentary were eighth generation Jersey farmer Phil Le Maistre, makers of La Robeline Cider Richard and Sarah Matlock, ceramicist Claire Haithwaite, as well as the Sprouts Farm Club team and Jersey Tea Company.

Mr Godfrey said there had been ‘positive feedback from all hotels on the impact of the show, comments and feedback from guests’. He continued: ‘The programme focusing on local people in a variety of industries really shone a positive light on Jersey and all it has to offer, including stunning scenery and warm welcoming locals proud of their heritage.’ There was also an instant spike in demand for brochures, the volume of requests initially doubled, and an increase in demand for island-hopping. A spokesperson from Visit Jersey also said the show was driving new audiences to their site – Jersey.com – with 79% of visitors viewing the website following the opening episode being first-time users. A total of 1.1 million viewers tuned in to watch the first episode of the UK-produced show.

Can Jersey beat popular holiday destinations to be named Europe’s most desirable island?

There have been depressingly few picture-perfect days in recent weeks…Nevertheless, Jersey has been selected for a shortlist of Europe’s most desirable islands. Wanderlust Magazine, one of the UK’s largest and longest-running travel publications, has put the Island up against 22 other jurisdictions to contest the honour. It is the 22nd time that the annual awards, which highlight readers’ favourite destinations, have been held. And this year Jersey is the only Channel Island in the category. Last year, Ireland won, with Jersey placing tenth.The Island now faces stiff competition from the likes of Gran Canaria, Mallorca and Crete.Islanders and visitors can cast their votes until Wednesday 18 October by completing an online form at: wanderlustmagazine.typeform.com/to/cH26XO02.While voting, readers can also enter a competition to win trips to destinations including Vietnam or Uzbekistan.

Is Rue Ivy Forster on the way for St Helier?

Islanders could soon be strolling down ‘Rue Ivy Forster’, after a proposal to rename Halkett Street in celebration of Jersey’s first female politician was given the green light by the St Helier Roads Committee. Trailblazing town Deputy Ivy Forster was elected to the States in 1948 and served until 1954. The Roads Committee approved the change of name on Wednesday 9 August, which will be subject to a Parish Assembly vote. Their decision coincides with plans to refurbish Halkett Street precinct and changes to the section between Beresford Street and Hilgrove Street, which has been earmarked for improvements since 2014.The project, which had already been approved in principal by the committee, includes plans for new paving, street furniture and a decorative archway. Budgeting challenges and various developments in the area have led to delays, but the parish is now seeking to push forward with the proposals with the goal of completing work by March next year.

Town centre and events manager Connor Burgher explained that the parish had been contacting businesses in the area about the designs and name change. ‘The support was fairly good – certainly for the scheme,’ he said, although he noted the volume of replies from businesses was ‘not high’.‘[However] I’m fairly confident in the fact that Jersey is a small place and shopkeepers, business owners, generally do tend to talk to each other – especially if they have something like this to talk about,’ he added. Ivy Forster was the sister of Louisa Gould, a woman deported to her death at Ravensbrück concentration camp after she was found to have harboured an escaped Russian slave worker. In late May 1944, Mrs Forster was arrested by the Nazis for harbouring Russian prisoners of war after an Island resident had informed on her sister’s activities. She escaped deportation because a doctor pretended she had tuberculosis, so that she was allowed to serve her sentence in St Helier’s Newgate Street prison. After the Occupation, she was elected as a St Helier Deputy, becoming the first woman to serve in the States Assembly. She served as Deputy until she lost her seat in the 1954 election. She died in 1997, aged 90.

‘This is a vibrant event that sums up the Island’ – Lieutenant-Governor ‘blown away’ by Battle of Flowers preparations

As the Island prepares for the first Battle of Flowers since Vice-Admiral Jeremy Kyd took up his role as Lieutenant-Governor, the King’s representative in Jersey has declared himself ‘blown away’ by the efforts of those who are preparing for the annual spectacular. Having visited several Battle sheds recently, Vice-Admiral Kyd said that the behind-the-scenes insights had been ‘a real eye-opener’. The Lieutenant-Governor’s tour started with an inspection of parish preparations at Grouville and St Clement, the latter being the longest-standing exhibiting team, which is this year getting ready for its 63rd appearance .He then travelled to Battle headquarters in St Lawrence where he was able to appreciate the efforts of a number of exhibitors including Bidan Family and Friends, Friends of Galaad, and Adrian and Friends. And it wasn’t just a question of looking at the exhibits, with Vice-Admiral Kyd climbing into the cockpit of the Optimists Club’s space-themed float and taking the controls. Speaking after those visitors, the Lieutenant-Governor, who took up his role in October, said: ‘I’m absolutely blown away, genuinely. I had no idea.

This is my first year in Jersey and going around all the sheds tonight, seeing the commitment, the passion, the dedication of people from four years old up to those in their late-80s, has been a real eye-opener.‘ People have done it for half a century. It’s extraordinary and, for me, it sums up Jersey. ‘We need, as a community in Jersey, to support the battle. It is about what makes Jersey, Jersey. It’s vibrant and positive when so many things in life now are dull and boring. I think it’s fantastic. ’The Battle has been revamped for 2023, kicking off with the Grand Day Parade on Friday, followed by the Moonlight Parade the next evening. A strong musical theme will include four local musicians coming together as ‘The Beantles’ to mark the 60th anniversary of The Beatles’ tour to the Channel Islands, while Flagz Mas, regulars at London’s Notting Hill Carnival, will provide Caribbean vibes for both parades.The Moonlight Parade will conclude with a light display from 100 drones flying above St Aubin’s Bay.

Islanders warned to expect travel delays on Friday and Saturday due to Battle of Flowers

Islanders travelling this weekend have been reminded to factor in the Battle of Flowers, as road closures are likely to cause delays. Ports of Jersey has warned drivers that they should set off for the Airport and Harbour earlier than normal. Victoria Avenue, Tyneville Lane, Paris Lane, Farleys Lane, Spur Road and Rue du Galet will be closed on Friday from 11.30am to 10pm, while closures will be in place from 5pm on Saturday until 2am on Sunday. Traffic delays are expected between the Esplanade and Route de la Haule. Traffic is also likely to be delayed in the mornings on those dates, as floats are escorted to and from the arena.

Volunteer/Fundraiser of the Year Nominated by: Steph Gibaut

Trevor Griggs ’should be recognised not only for the incredible work he does to support Macmillan Jersey but also for the difference he is making to our local community’

Advisa director Trevor Griggs has been nominated for Volunteer/ Fundraiser of the Year in the Pride of Jersey awards for his ‘incredible’ support of cancer charity Macmillan Jersey. Mr Griggs organises charity golf days each year which raise upwards of £30,000, totalling just under £100,000. He is a director at Advisa Wealth and has encouraged his team to raise funds and awareness for Macmillan Jersey by participating in their annual ‘greatest coffee morning’ and the yearly Rowathon.  Nominator and Macmillan Jersey chief executive Steph Gibaut said: ‘Trevor also supports the charity by being a spokesperson and spreading awareness of the services we provide at Macmillan Jersey.‘With great charisma, Trevor has also donated his time to compère at other Macmillan Jersey events. ‘We truly couldn’t provide the services we do without the support of individuals like Trevor and Advisa and we are extremely grateful for all their support over the years. Trevor is also set to cycle 550km between Bologna and Rome in Italy next month along with 40 other local cyclists, who are hoping to collectively raise £200,000 for Macmillan Jersey.

In the video below, hear from both Steph and Trevor regarding the recent Golf Day sposored by Advisa, in aid of Macmillan Jersey: