Weekly Client update – 28th July 2023

Market Overview

In the United States, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gone up by 0.47%, the S&P 500 has increased by 0.02%, but the Nasdaq Composite has dropped by 2.05%. In Europe, the Stoxx Europe 600 has risen by 0.22%. In Asia, the Nikkei 225 in Japan has gone up by 0.12%, the Hang Seng in Hong Kong has increased by 0.15%, and the Shanghai Composite in China has decreased by 0.22%.

The U.S. dollar has strengthened by 0.10% against the euro and 0.12% against the Japanese yen. The euro has weakened by 0.10% against the U.S. dollar and 0.12% against the Japanese yen. The Japanese yen has also declined by 0.10% against the U.S. dollar and 0.12% against the euro.

The price of oil has gone up by 0.20% and is now at $108.00 per barrel. The price of gold has decreased by 0.32% and is now at $1,964.50 per ounce.

Overall, the global markets today are mixed. The U.S. stock markets are slightly up, while European and Asian markets are mostly stable. The U.S. dollar has strengthened against the euro and yen, while the price of gold has declined.

The ongoing war in Ukraine is creating uncertainty in the global economy, which is affecting investor confidence. Rising inflation in many countries is putting pressure on businesses and consumers as prices increase. The Federal Reserve’s decision to raise interest rates to combat inflation is also impacting the stock markets.

Keep in mind that global markets can be volatile and can change rapidly. It’s always a good idea to seek advice from a financial advisor before making any investment decisions.


Fed raises interest rates to 22-year high as it continues to fight inflation

The US federal reserve raised interest rates to a 22-year high on Wednesday as it continued its fight against rising inflation. The decision to increase rates by a quarter-percentage point to a range of 5.25% to 5.5% comes after the Fed paused its rate -rising cycle last month. US inflation has now declined for 12 straight months and is currently running at an annual rate of 3% down from over 9% in June last year. The Fed has raised rates in an attempt to cool the economy and bring prices down. The US economy has remained robust despite the 11 rate rises the Fed has now implemented – its most aggressive rate-rising cycle in 40 years. New employment has slowed but remains strong and the unemployment rate is still close to a record low.

Fed chair Jerome Powell said the central bank was closely monitoring the economic data ahead of its next meeting in September. “It is certainly possible that we would raise funds again at the September meeting if the data warranted,” he said. “And I would also say it’s possible that we would choose to hold steady at that meeting. We’re going to be making careful assessments, as I said, meeting by meeting. ”Some Fed officials have expressed fears that recent falls in the pace of price rises may be temporary. This month Fed governor Christopher Waller said the last inflation report “warmed my heart, but … I’ve got to make policy with my head. And I can’t do that on one data point.” The rate rises have sent mortgage rates and car loan prices soaring. The average long-term US mortgage rate climbed to just under 7% this week, the highest level since November.


Jersey Airport security rules on liquids and laptops relaxed as new equipment goes live

Islanders can now leave their electronics in their hand luggage as they pass through Jersey Airport following the installation of new security equipment. The equipment, which allows liquids up to two litres in hand luggage and no longer requires passengers to remove electronic devices from their bags, went live at Jersey Airport this morning. However, passengers intending to travel through other airports to reach their destination will need to check the requirements at those airports, as not all airports have yet installed the new equipment. The new security equipment in Jersey Airport is part of a £3 million project to enhance air passengers’ experience by improving customer facilities and upgrading security technology.

Work to install new cabin baggage screening equipment began earlier this year to meet the deadline for introducing the new systems. Since then, two new machines have been installed and staff training has been rolled out. The maximum volume of any individual container being carried airside has increased to two litres. There is no upper limit on the number of containers. Electronic devices can now also be scanned while remaining in passengers’ hand luggage. Head of Security, Maria Le Tiec, said: ‘We are pleased to have installed two of the three X-ray machines in time for the airport’s peak summer period. ‘Work will continue to install the remaining X-ray machine, which should go live mid-August. Full body scanners are scheduled for introduction by October 2023. ‘We will be erecting signage to guide passengers through the new layout and will issue further updates as the work progresses.’ Most airports across the UK and Channel Islands will also install screening technology which will allow passengers to leave electrical items such as tablets, laptops and liquids in their cabin baggage.

However departing passengers faced delays yesterday as one of the new scanners had to be repaired on its second day in service. It suffered technical problems, causing some departing passengers to have to queue for up to an hour. Some flights were consequently delayed. A Ports of Jersey spokesperson apologised to passengers, and said: ‘Specialist engineers from the company that installed the machines completed the repairs by the end of the day. ‘A queue did build up in the morning and there were some delays to flights to allow passengers to clear security. ‘We will retain the previous technology as contingency to provide resilience while the new system beds in and passengers will be advised which X-ray machine to use, depending on what they are carrying in their hand luggage.’


Successful’ ID card travel policy for French day-trippers to be reviewed

A scheme allowing French day-trippers to visit the Island using ID cards as an alternative to passports will be reviewed next month, with Jersey’s government likely to seek an extension beyond September. Around 50% of passengers are expected to arrive from France using national ID cards by the end of the summer, according to ferry firms Condor and Manche Iles Express. The scheme – introduced after a collapse in the French day-trip market following Brexit changes which meant European visitors had to have a passport to travel, even though many do not possess one to Jersey – is currently operating on a trial basis agreed with the UK authorities which includes the requirement for it to be formally reviewed. Home Affairs Minister Helen Miles said: ‘It was clearly something that was wanted and has had an impact on the market.’

Explaining the logistics of the initiative, Deputy Miles told the latest Children, Education and Home Affairs Scrutiny Panel hearing that passengers were being checked in in France by the ferry companies and only those with passports, or French ID cards for day-trippers, were allowed to board. They are again checked on arrival in Jersey by a customs officer and the ferry companies then had an obligation to notify the authorities in Jersey if a passenger did not check in for the return journey later that day. The minister said that this had happened only once and, while it was being investigated, the passenger concerned had arrived late at the harbour for the sailing. ‘We haven’t lost anybody. Everybody who has come in has gone out, so that shows that the system has worked very well so far,’ she said.

The minister also said that she had received a request to extend the scheme which, it had been agreed with the UK, would be evaluated as part of the time-limited trial. ‘If it has been so successful, there’s probably no reason not to continue into the winter months, particularly with Condor because they are a year-round service, but it would be continuing on exactly the same terms, so only French ID cards and only for the day at this point,’ she said. Commenting following the Scrutiny hearing, Deputy Miles said the government was committed to ‘improving relations with our nearest neighbours in France’.‘I am delighted that our pilot scheme allowing French nationals to travel to the Island with their ID cards has so far operated with great success,’ she added.


Condor joins cross-Channel ferry operators in signing pay and welfare agreement

Condor Ferries has signed up to new charters, safeguarding pay and conditions for staff working on boats in the English Channel. Chief executive John Napton joined representatives from rival operators Stena Line, DFDS and Brittany Ferries to sign a series of bilateral agreements, which complement new legislation mandating minimum wages for sailors on ferries operating cross-Channel routes.In the UK, the Seafarers Wages Act was made law in March 2023 and in France, the equivalent law passed the final stage of the legislative process last week. The French bill amends the law to protect Brittany Ferries from ‘unfair’ competition, while fighting against what has been termed ‘social dumping’: the practice of hiring staff from abroad for worse pay and conditions.

Mr Napton said: ‘We are fully supportive of the Seafarers’ Charters and I was delighted to be in Paris to sign these historic agreements. ’However, French ferry company, Manche Iles Express, has confirmed that it has refused to sign the charters, having raised concerns earlier this year that the new law would have a profound impact on the ability to recruit staff as a result of tax implications. Manche Iles has confirmed it would continue to seek an amendment to the legal position, and that they had been met with understanding from politicians but, as yet, no action. The ferry company added that it feared being ‘eaten’ if the law remained unchanged.


Jersey on track to ban importation and registration of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030

The government remains on course to ban the importation and registration of petrol and diesel cars that are new to the Island by 2030, according to the Assistant Environment Minister. Giving an update on the Island’s Carbon Neutral Roadmap – which sets out how Jersey will reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050 – Deputy Hilary Jeune said that work to enact the legislation started in May, with a first draft expected by the end of next year. The proposal mirrors one made by the UK government. The vast majority of new cars arriving in Jersey come from the UK. Earlier this year, the European Parliament voted to approve a law that effectively bans the sale of new petrol, diesel and hybrid cars and light commercial vehicles from 2035.

However, concerns have been raised that there will not be enough electric charging points by 2030, based on current installation rates. With this in mind, the government plans to launch an electric-vehicle purchase and charger incentive scheme later this summer, and it has set up a working group with Jersey Electricity to speed up the roll-out of charging points. Deputy Jeune said: ‘After a year in the role, it felt like the right time to update Islanders on our progress. I’m really proud of the work we’ve done already to bring the many policies of the Carbon Neutral Roadmap to life. We’ve made a positive start to tackling transport and heating emissions. The task ahead of us remains huge and the whole Island will need to work together to meet our incredibly ambitious emissions reduction targets.‘I’d like to thank those who have supported the current initiatives and at the same time encourage more Islanders and businesses to find out what they can do to reduce their emissions from transport and heating.’ Initiatives are currently being paid for from a £23 million ringfenced fund, which is budgeted to last until the end of 2025. A longer-term funding plan is now being drawn up, which will be included in future Government Plans.


Water taxi service launched to ‘connect Channel Islands

A new water taxi service has launched to transport people between the Channel Islands. Founded by Max Boleat (25) earlier this year, Water Taxi CI has announced it is now running services from Jersey to Sark, Herm, Alderney and the coast of France. The vessel, named ‘Sea Quest’, is operated in partnership with another Island firm, Poseidon Marine. It has a service speed of around 25 knots, dependent on the weather, which means that most destinations can be reached in under an hour. Mr Boleat said that he had launched the business ‘on demand, while we get the service up and running’. ‘It is designed to better connect the Channel Islands. While you have the Manche Iles ferry between Jersey and Sark, that’s not all year round,’ he said. Mr Boleat continued: ‘We are fully licensed and regulated to carry up to 12 passengers and two crew during day time and favourable weather, or eight passengers and two crew for emergency runs at night.’He added that he ‘would love to operate on a per seat basis’ in future, but would only be accepting private (whole boat) bookings for the rest of the 2023 season. ‘Our aim is to build scheduled trips into our timetable as we progress and develop,’ he said.


Hopes for a warmer August as July is wetter and cooler than average

With just a few days of the month to go, Jersey Met has confirmed that July is set to be wetter and cooler than average, in contrast to the searing temperatures and drought experienced 12 months ago. Conditions in recent weeks have left Islanders bemoaning the disappearance of summer, with Jersey lying well north of the dividing line that has seen much of southern Europe baking in temperatures above 40°C, which has also resulted in devastating wildfires tearing across Rhodes, Corfu, Sicily and Algeria. Jersey Met has offered a ‘tentative glimmer’ of hope for warmer weather to re-appear during the second week of August, but until then the forecast remains ‘subdued’. Senior meteorologist Matt Winter said that average temperatures for the month were likely to be around 0.5°C below the 30-year average, while the average July rainfall figure of 45.3mm had already been exceeded by around 5mm, with further rain likely before the end of the month.

He said: ‘It does look a little bit better going into the weekend – we’re set for some quite breezy conditions, and some showers on Saturday morning, but both Saturday and Sunday afternoons should see some improvement, although the temperatures will still be quite subdued – maximums of 20°C or 21°C, which is a couple of degrees below the average.’ Mr Winter said that the final figures for July were ‘within the realms of normal’, but probably felt more extreme after the record-breaking figures from this time last year.July 2022 was the Island’s driest on record, with just 0.7mm of rain, which fell on one day midway through the month, and was also the third-hottest ever, with records dating back to 1894.Looking forward to August, Mr Winter said the picture was mixed. ‘The general trend for the next ten to 14 days is for the weather to stay on the unsettled side, with temperatures cooler than average,’ he said.‘There’s a slight glimmer of hope as we get to the second week of August, when we could see the low pressure move away and temperatures rise to where they should be at this time of year, but that’s not set in stone,’ he said.


Advisa Charity Golf Day Raises over £35,000 for Macmillan Jersey

The figures are in and this year’s Advisa Wealth Charity Golf day in support of Macmillan Jersey raised a record £35,264. The annual event, which was held at La Moye Golf Club on Friday,14 July, attracted 26 teams (104 players) who competed for the coveted prizes. The team event was won by the FCM with a total of 92 points. The charity lunch was preceded by speeches from Macmillan Jersey CEO, Steph Gibaut and Director of Governance Scott Le Fleur. The lunch was followed by prizegiving and a charity raffle and Auction. Trevor Griggs, Director of Advisa Wealth, said this event is the flagship of our ‘Supporting the Community’ programme and we are thrilled to beat last year’s figure and raise much needed funds for Macmillan Jersey.

Macmillan Chief Executive, Steph Gibaut said “Regrettably, statistics show that one out of every two individuals will receive the devastating news ‘you have cancer.’ As a result, it is vital to maintain the continuity of our services. The fact that we have received over £35,000 from this event is truly remarkable, and we cannot express our gratitude enough,” she stated. “I extend my heartfelt appreciation to the Advisa Wealth team for hosting this event and to all the participants who generously contributed to such an incredible sum of money for our charity.” ‘The funds raised will be used to continue providing Emotional, Practical and Wellbeing services to anyone in Jersey affected by cancer.’