Weekly Client Update – 8th September 2023

Markets Overview

FTSE 100: London stocks were little changed in early trade on Friday as investors continued to mull the prospect of further interest rate hikes from the Federal Reserve. The FTSE 100 is slightly down on the week at 7,415.

European markets: European markets are trading down as of the most recent prices. The French CAC 40 down 0.51% to 7,162 and the German DAX down 0.66% to 15,616.

US markets: As Apple shares retreats, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite Index are down, 0.32% and 0.89%, respectively, whilst the Dow Jones is up 0.17%.

Asian markets: The Shanghai Composite is lower by 0.18% while the Hang Seng is even. The Nikkei 225 is not trading. Asian markets are lower today as Chinese and Hong Kong shares fall. The Shanghai Composite is off 0.18% while the Hang Seng is down 0.00%.

Emerging markets: MSCI Emerging Markets Index ended the week generally lower.

China, the world’s second-largest economy, faced worsening sentiment as data revealed declining exports for the fourth consecutive month in August, alongside a drop in imports. On a brighter note, economists are expecting Asia-Pacific to be the fastest growing region of the world economy, with a spotlight on India, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam.

Expansion of the Pension Plus scheme

The Minister for Social Security, Deputy Elaine Millar is announcing changes to enhance the Pension Plus scheme. This scheme supports lower income pensioners with dental, optical and chiropody costs. From 1 September 2023, two changes have been made to the scheme.

Firstly, the eligibility to the scheme has been expanded to include pensioners who have household assets of up to £64,000, up from £30,000. This does not include the value of the pensioner’s home. The scheme will now be available to pensioners who:

● Are receiving a Jersey Old Age Pension or have ‘entitled’ status
● Do not pay tax (and their partner does not pay tax, if applicable)
● Have no more than £64,000 in household assets (excluding the value of the family home)
● Secondly, the value of benefits available under the scheme has also increased.

The scheme now supports the following health costs:


● Every two years, up to £55 towards an eye test
● Every two years, up to £165 towards new prescription glasses, lenses or contact lenses


● Every year, up to £55 towards a dental check-up
● Every two years, up to £950 towards dental treatments or dentures (if dentures are needed this can be taken as £1,900 over a four-year period)


● Every year, up to £165 towards the cost of chiropody treatment from a registered chiropodist

Havre des Pas Festival

With one more week remaining until the Havre des Pas Seaside Festival, organisers are confident that this year’s event will surpass all previous ones.

There will be plenty of activities to take part in, food/beverage stalls to enjoy, as well as live performances to attend, and with reduced ticket prices, it promises to be an exciting weekend.

Condor Ferries cause chaos

Families who planned to travel to UK universities via sea and road in preparation for the upcoming academic year are facing disruptions due to ferry cancellations.

Condor Ferries has apologised for the inconvenience caused by these cancellations, citing issues with a chartered vessel intended to substitute for ferries scheduled for maintenance.

A new Liberation sailing to Guernsey and Jersey will operate on Tuesday 12 September and a Poole-Guernsey-Poole service has also been scheduled on Thursday 14 September, in response to increased demand.

Meningitis jab for Jersey students

Jersey students preparing for university are being encouraged to ensure they have received their meningitis vaccine before departing.

Typically, this vaccine is offered to students in year nine of school, but a catch-up clinic is available for those who missed it.

This clinic is open to Islanders up to the age of 25, including those not yet of university age who missed the vaccine. The clinic will take place at Jersey Hospital from 17:30 to 19:30 on Wednesday.

Director of Public Health, Professor Peter Bradley, emphasised the importance of getting the vaccine before heading off to university, as the risk of contracting meningitis increases in new social environments.

Jersey Opera House contractor appointed

A preferred contractor has been appointed for the first stage of the refurbishment of Jersey Opera House – Ashbe Construction will spend the next ten weeks conducting enabling works, including fixture removal and a comprehensive assessment for the main refurbishment phase.

During the initial phase of the Jersey Opera House refurbishment, potential issues with the historic building might emerge, warns Economic Development Minister Kirsten Morel.

He anticipates the need for extra time and resources to address any such problems during the enabling works currently undertaken by Ashbe Construction.

The £11.5 million project is on track for completion by the end of next year, aiming to enhance accessibility, fire safety, dome preservation, and various facilities within the Grade 2-listed venue.

Floating Earth on display

Islanders might have been wondering about what appeared to be a space capsule near Les Platons on the north coast. Turns out, it is an art installation by Rachel Ara.

However, the spotlight will shift to the Queen’s Valley reservoir next Thursday, when Luke Jerram’s Floating Earth takes centre stage, focusing on the future of our planet in a project developed with Jersey Water’s support.

The 10 metre globe, featuring hi-resolution printed imagery from NASA and internal lighting, appears deceptively simple but conceals eight tons of mooring gear beneath the water’s surface, enabling it to withstand winds of up to 40mph.

Tom Dingle, the Director of ArtHouse Jersey, expressed that including Floating Earth in the ‘No Place Like Home’ exhibition at the Capital House Gallery until October 15 was a significant achievement. It brings attention to the fragility of our home planet, and he described it as an awe-inspiring art experience for Jersey’s community.