Weekly Client Update – Friday, 12th March

In the week that Jersey marked the anniversary of its first Coronavirus case, the Chief Minister, John Le Fondre, announced, ‘The end is in sight, although he said ‘we have to proceed with caution in order to stay on track to return to normal life by the summer’.

Today the Government announced that as Mother’s day falls on Sunday the household mixing relaxation will become effective a day earlier than originally planned. This will allow for indoor gatherings of up to 10 people, not including children up to 5 years of age, to start from Sunday (mother’s day) which should come as welcome relief for islanders who wish to spend time together with their families.  Gyms and Swimming pools will reopen and the restriction on singing and the playing of woodwind and brass instruments indoors will be permitted from Monday as part of Stage 4 of the Government’s reconnection programme. Also from today, residents of care homes can resume outdoor trips etc under strict supervision for the first time in many months.

The Government has now followed the UK and provided a clear ‘roadmap’ of the dates when further relaxation of the restrictions will take place.

Stage 5 will commence on 12 April where pubs that have no food service will be allowed to reopen and alcohol only table service can resume. Outdoor gatherings will be raised to 20 people, close contact indoor & outdoor sport can resume, outdoor sports spectators will be increased to 40 people and the partial return to work will be allowed.

Stage 6 will be effective from 10 May when indoor and household gatherings will be increased to 20 people, Saunas and Jacuzzis will reopen, wedding celebrations and funeral wakes will increase to 40 people, physical distancing will be discontinued and replaced by guidance and working from home will also be lifted.

And finally Stage 7 will become effective from 14 June when nightclubs, worship, theatres, auditoriums and cinemas will all fully reopen. Live music and larger events will also be permitted subject to risk assessment.

Jersey’s vaccine programme continues at pace with over 40,000 islanders having now received their first vaccination. The programme will now focus on administering second injections before returning to offer first injections for the 18 to 49 year old category.

In Jersey there are currently 8 covid cases with one person in Hospital whilst in Guernsey there is only one known active case with no new cases reported in the last 12 days.

Latest News

The big news this week was that the much anticipated US fiscal stimulus package passed through The House of Representatives yesterday 

This $1.9 trillion stimulus bill propelled the DJ30 464 points (+1.46%) to all a new all-time high. The SPX500 gained 0.6% and the NASDAQ100 closed just below the red. Despite considerable fears that this would have a considerable inflationary effect on the economy both in the US and its ripples being seen global so far this appears not to have happened as the US consumer price index rose by a less than anticipated 0.1% Markets in Europe including UK were boosted by the US stimulus. The UK100 market was up this week 19 points higher, the GER30 rose 40 points, and the FRA40 climbed 16 points.  We now await further news on the UK stimulus package as last week’s budget news continues to concern some investors.

In a slightly bold move the aviation manufacturing sector received a boost this week with shares in Boeing rising 6.4% after it reported that new orders were finally outpacing cancellations for the first time in more than a year. Additionally, there were reports on Wednesday that Boeing was close to closing a deal with low-cost carrier Southwest for dozens of its 737 Max.

Anglo American and British Airways parent IAG all saw an upward movement in their value however the market was held back somewhat with HSBC, housebuilder Persimmon, and AstraZeneca, which falling by 4.7%, 3.8%, and 2.5% respectively. 

Asian markets were mixed with the JPN225 rising this morning, but both the China50 and HKG50 indices were in the red at time of writing.

Jerseys foray into the manufacturing of medicinal cannabis is being mirrored across the world as Tobacco giants start to invest in this area. Medical cannabis firm Organigram yesterday finished nearly 40% higher, following news that British American Tobacco has bought a 20% stake in the company. 

Another barometer of a recovering global economy was shown once again as the oil price rose to $65 a barrel, up $1 in the past 24 hours.

It would appear despite crowdless football matches the top brands in English football remain unaffected, with Manchester United’s co-chairman set to make about £71.5m by selling off a portion of his shares in the Old Trafford club. Avram Glazer’s move will see the Glazer family’s combined ownership of United decrease from 78% to 75% if the full, available amount of his five million class A shares are snapped up.

In a statement, the Premier League club confirmed that they will not receive any proceeds from the sale. Class A shares hold a tenth of the voting power of class B shares, which are almost all owned by the Glazer family who acquired the club in 2005.

And Finally If you are looking forward to summer it’s just got longer according to researchers

Summer  in the Northern Hemisphere could last as long as six months by 2100, according to a new study exploring the effects of global warming on our seasons.

Researchers predict that if nothing is done to help counteract greenhouse gas emissions, summers could reach half a year in length by the end of this century. They found that summers grew from 78 days to 95 days, while other seasons shrunk – with winters reducing from 76 days to 73, autumn from 87 days to 82 and spring from 124 days to 115.

The authors wrote “Even if the current warming rate does not accelerate, changes in seasons will still be exacerbated in the future. “Under the business-as-usual scenario, summer is projected to last nearly half a year, but winter less than two months by 2100.”