Weekly Client Update – Friday 17th September

Here is the latest news and updates from local and international events, market trends and analysis from our senior management team.

Local update

The Government’s temporary solution for France’s ‘Pass Sanitaire’ has been given an extension as work to establish a permanent solution is progressing. Islanders travelling to France who are fully vaccinated can contact the helpline for a QR code certificate which will then be used to prove their vaccination status. Islanders will receive via email, a PDF certificate containing a QR codes for each dose of a COVID-19 vaccine that they have received in Jersey, the most recent of which will be highlighted.

Permanent digital COVID Status Certification is due to be launched towards the end of October and will mean Islanders can declare their vaccination status through means of an app. All Islanders who have been vaccinated will continue to receive a paper COVID-19 status certificate after they have received a full vaccination course, which will be accepted in the UK and for international travel.

Minister for External Relations, Senator Ian Gorst, said: “Our teams are working hard to deliver a suitable and effective COVID-19 vaccine certification system that can be used in the UK and France. We have adjusted the delivery timeline to ensure our implementation is aligned with the UK’s digital solution, which will see the UK enter the EU Covid Status Certification Scheme. This will allow for Jersey’s QR codes to work across EU countries.  “We hope that the temporary digital solution will continue to allow Islanders to have the freedom to travel in France. Islanders should retain their paper COVID-19 Status Certificates for use in the UK and international travel.”

Islanders who would like a QR code for travel to France can contact the helpline on 0800 735 5566.

Over 150,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have now been administered to Islanders as of Wednesday 8 September.  The latest vaccination statistics show that 87% of over 18s have had at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 84% of the same group are fully vaccinated. Additionally, 45% of 16- and 17-year-olds have received at least one dose.

Key statistics as of 12 September 2021: 97% of those over 50 years have received two doses of the vaccine, 89% of those over 30 years have received two doses of the vaccine, 67% of those aged 18-29 have received at least one vaccine dose. Head of the Vaccination Programme, Becky Sherrington, said: “This is an incredible milestone that we have reached. I am extremely proud of the vaccination team for all their efforts, and I would like to thank Islanders for their commitment to protecting themselves and other Islanders against COVID-19.

In Jersey there are currently 275 positive Covid Cases with no one in hospital.

Meanwhile in the Uk Ministers are today expecting to announce radical changes as part of a long awaited review of the travel restrictions. Under a major shake up it is widely expected that the double jabbed will no longer be required to take costly PCR tests when they return from abroad, Instead they will only need a cheaper ‘lateral flow test’ The ‘pre -departure’ tests that travellers are forced to take before flying home are also likely to be scrapped.

Mixed markets

The FTSE 100 is up 8 points or 0.1% at 7035 earlier today, but has since fallen into the red, with the index down 6 points at 7021.

European markets are mixed. The DAX is higher by 0.06%, while the CAC 40 is leading the FTSE 100 lower. They are down 0.43% and 0.07% respectively.

The Dow Jones, S&P 500 and Nasdaq are all seen dropping around 0.2% at the opening bell, following what was an uneventful session overnight, where only the tech-led Nasdaq finished in the green. 

Asian markets finished mixed as of the most recent closing prices. The Shanghai Composite gained 1.14%, while the Nikkei 225 led the Hang Seng lower. They fell 2.07% and 0.27% respectively.

AUKUS alliance to benefit the UK

The new strategic defence alliance between Australia, the UK and the US – known as AUKUS is good news for British defence contractors.

It appears that investors have taken note of what Boris Johnson has said about the positive effect the pact would have on the UK. The Prime Minister reportedly said that it would create “hundreds of highly skilled jobs across the United Kingdom…we will have a new opportunity to reinforce Britain’s place at the leading edge of science and technology, strengthening our national expertise.”

Shares of Rolls-Royce, the aerospace and defence supplier, were up by 4.5% at one point yesterday, making it the biggest single gainer in the FTSE 100. While shares of BAE Systems, Britain’s premier defence contractor, were also up by 1%.

UK inflation jumps record high

UK inflation made its biggest jump on record in August as food and drink prices have been rising. The consumer prices index measure of annual inflation rose to 3.2% in August, up from 2% in July, to hit the highest rate since March 2012, as per The Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The increase surpassed City economists’ forecasts for a reading of 2.9%. The 1.2% point increase between July and August was the largest since records began in January 1997 – the year Gordon Brown handed the Bank of England independence in order to manage inflation.

Co-op warns of price rises

The Co-op has warned that due to the shortage of 90,000 to 100,000 lorry drivers for all industries across the UK, as well as supply chain problems, prices are likely to rise well into next year for shoppers.

Reporting a 38% dive in pretax profits to £44m in the six months to 3 July, when sales slid by 3.4% to £5.6bn, the mutual pointed to significant cost rises and sales and profit erosion related to product availability issues and the ongoing effects of Covid.

Steve Murrells, the chief executive of the Co-operative Group, said that shoppers would be able to get everything they needed for Christmas and their weekly shop. However, “there won’t be the same level of choice as there has been in the past”.