News & Insight Weekly Newsletters

24 July 2020 | William Buckhurst

That Was The Week That Was


  • In the UK, the Link report for dividends showed Q2 dividends down sharply. It is the lowest quarterly dividend figure since 2010 and a 57% drop compared to the second quarter last year
  • A story in the FT suggested that the threat of a big jump in taxation for the large technology companies is receding
  • US / China relations take another turn for the worse as the Chinese consulate in Houston is ordered to close over concerns about economic espionage


The so called “wear and tear trade” continues as the latest figures reveal a surge in home improvements which in turn has fuelled a recovery in UK retail sales.  They jumped by nearly 14% in June, compared to the month before, according to the Office for National Statistics


A busy week during quarterly earnings season:

  • Microsoft delivered strong top and bottom line beats, but a slight slowing in growth by the cloud division resulted in the shares selling off towards the end of the week
  • RELX continued to show organic growth in all areas apart from their events division (c. 16% of sales) which has been disrupted by lockdown
  • Unilever produced very strong quarterly numbers and the corresponding rise in its share price has turned it into the largest company in the FTSE 100
  • Coca Cola showed how important the “away from home” market is to them and how hard it has been hit by the closure of bars, restaurants and other entertainment venues
  • AT&T showed good cash flows and debt management and solid underlying performance. HBO Max is showing decent traction
  • Melrose reported a 27% fall in revenues in the first half of the year and indicated that it would only be at breakeven for the year as a whole, compared with the £889 million of pre-tax profits it made last year


Three university professors are now millionaires as shares in their company Synairgen skyrocketed by 3,000% overnight. It came after a 'major breakthrough' in a trial of their new coronavirus drug.


1956: stock markets tumble on news that Egypt's President Gamal Abdel Nasser has nationalized the Suez Canal  

2018: shares of Facebook fall 18%, wiping $119bn off the company’s market cap. It would be the largest single day decline in a company’s market cap in history, despite the best efforts of some companies to claim this dubious honour in March of this year


Royal Mail reported a 38% year-on-year rise in parcel deliveries for the three months to the end of June. A recent survey carried out by the Royal Mail found that just over a third of people said that receiving a parcel had become the highlight of their day.


% returns

1 Week

1 Month

1 Year

5 Years

UK Equities (% return GBP)





World Equities (% return GBP)





10 Year US Treasury Yield (%)





GBP/USD (fx rate)





As at 24th July 2020. Source: Financial Express

Download the PDF here


This publication has been produced by Vermeer Investment Management Limited (VIM) trading as Vermeer Partners. It is provided for information purposes only. VIM makes no express or implied warranties and expressly disclaims all warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose or use with respect to any data included in this publication. VIM will not treat unauthorised recipients of this publication as its clients. Prices shown are indicative and VIM is not offering to buy or sell or soliciting offers to buy or sell any financial instrument. Without limiting any of the foregoing and to the extent permitted by law, in no event shall VIM, nor any of its officers, directors, partners, or employees, have any liability for (a) any special, punitive, indirect, or consequential damages; or (b) any lost profits, lost revenue, loss of anticipated savings or loss of opportunity or other financial loss, even if notified of the possibility of such damages, arising from any use of this publication or its contents. Other than disclosures relating to VIM, the information contained in this publication has been obtained from sources that VIM believes to be reliable, but VIM does not represent or warrant that it is accurate or complete. VIM is not responsible for, and makes no warranties whatsoever as to, the content of any third-party website referred to herein or accessed via a hyperlink in this publication and such information is not incorporated by reference. The views in this publication are those of the author(s) and are subject to change. VIM has no obligation to update its opinions or the information in this publication. This publication does not constitute personal investment advice or take into account the individual financial circumstances or objectives of the client who receives it. Any securities discussed herein may not be suitable for all investors. VIM recommends that investors independently evaluate each issuer, security or instrument discussed herein and consult any independent advisors they believe necessary. The value of and income from any investment may fluctuate from day to day as a result of changes in relevant economic markets (including changes in market liquidity). The information herein is not intended to predict actual results, which may differ substantially from those reflected. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results. This material has been issued and approved for distribution in the UK and European Economic Area by VIM.

©2019 Vermeer Investment Management Limited. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or redistributed in any manner without the prior written permission of VIM. VIM is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN: 710280) and is incorporated in England and Wales (company number: 09081916).

Key Points

• Our weekly market report

Our weekly market report

Back to News & Insights