Weekly Newsletters

19 March 2021 | William Buckhurst

That Was The Week That Was

MACRO

  • A continuation of the war of words between the EU and UK amid growing frustration in Brussels that they are not getting their expected supply of Astra Zeneca vaccines
  • In the US, bond yields continue to rise despite another dovish statement from the Federal Reserve
  • The Bank of Japan meanwhile tweaked its yield-curve control policy to allow marginally higher rates

STATISTIC OF THE WEEK

The Motion Picture Association (MPA) said this week that video streaming subscriptions had passed the one billion mark, growing 26% last year to 1.1bn worldwide. Netflix recently surpassed 200m subscribers while Disney+, which is only a year old, reached more than 100m. Meanwhile cinema revenues fell by more than $30bn to $12bn and China passed the US as the world’s top box-office market.

COMPANY NEWS

  • National Grid announced it would be acquiring the UK’s largest local electricity network, Western Power Distribution, while selling its majority stake in its UK gas network
  • Fevertree shares were weak as it showed continued revenue growth in the US but weaker pricing
  • Nike revealed a headline miss on revenues driven by store closures and supply chain issues in the US, but very confident they will get it all back in next quarter

 FUNDS

After much speculation, Baillie Gifford, the Edinburgh based global growth investor, finally confirmed that James Anderson will step back from managing Britain’s most successful investment trust, Scottish Mortgage next year.

SMALL-CAP NEWS

With some of the euphoria in the hydrogen sector at the beginning of this year having subsided, there were signs of green shoots with ITM Power announcing its first deal in Japan by selling a 1.4 MW electrolyser to Sumitomo Corp. More impressively, Ceres Power announced an equity raise of £181m whilst also signing a memorandum of understanding for the joint development (under its collaboration with Doosan) of a megawatt class solid oxide fuel cell system for eco-friendly marine propulsion and power generation with Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering, a division of the world's largest shipbuilding company Hyundai Heavy Industries.

THIS WEEK IN HISTORY

1933: March 15th: the highest single day percentage rise in stock market history as the Dow Jones rises 15% in the depths of the Great Depression

2008: Bear Stearns is bought out by JP Morgan at a fraction of its market value two days earlier

 RE-OPENING TIMES

In the UK, Barclaycard data this month showed that consumer spending fell 13.8% in February as lockdown continued but there were some bright spots: grocery up 21% and takeaways and fast-food up 30%. Perhaps more striking was that during lockdown we have spent an average of £771.34 each on dispensable items. Barclaycard which tracks around half of the nations spending patterns reported some unusual individual items including an inflatable pub, a Slush Puppie machine and a piece of the moon.

MARKET DATA

% returns

1 Week

1 Month

1 Year

5 Years

UK Equities (% return GBP)

0.36

3.07

32.78

29.39

World Equities (% return GBP)

-0.45

0.55

40.50

94.57

10 Year US Treasury Yield (%)

1.73

1.29

1.12

1.88

GBP / USD (fx rate)

1.39

1.40

1.15

1.45

 as at 19th March 2021. Source: Financial Express

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