Market Overview – 05/10/2020

How much of a shock was it to learn that President Trump had coronavirus? Given his frequent disregard for social distancing (a factor no doubt behind UK premier Boris Johnson and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro also contracting the disease), perhaps not at all. Stock markets fell on the news, but not sharply. A potentially incapacitated president does not prevent the wheels of government turning and would also render the delaying of the forthcoming election as extremely unlikely. Joe Biden is still ahead in national polls and in key states, but a lot can happen in a month. Perhaps Donald Trump’s “wake up call” will hasten agreement on a new relief bill. Markets would like that.

Elsewhere the pound has perked up a little as the Prime Minister and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen talked at the weekend and agreed to step Brexit negotiations up a notch. While the gap between the two sides remains wide, there is still hope that an accommodation will be reached at the eleventh hour. Interestingly, Mr. Johnson was interviewed by Andrew Marr on the BBC on Sunday and said that he did not want a no-deal Brexit but “we can more than live with it.” The brinkmanship continues.

Finally, Cineworld has decided to close all of its cinemas in the UK and US due to the delayed (again) release of 007’s latest adventure “No Time to Die.” Without a pipeline of regular content it is difficult for cinemas to justify staying open. Another very real impact of the pandemic.