In our private lives, the first few months of 2021 were much the same as 2020 – unfortunately. Britain, and indeed the world, suffered more COVID cases, more fatalities and, once again, tighter restrictions. For investors, though, it was a different story. Despite a global economy frozen in motion and the deepest recession ever recorded, stock markets did very well last year, with some major indices climbing to new highs.
It has been another week of markets feeling on edge, without going anywhere. Markets seem to have caught a bit of worry about the passage of growth, oddly just as the wider populace gets more confident and the recent headwind of rising bond yields abated.
Stock markets around the world have had another choppy week, but this time there was more up than down across the board and bonds yields stopped their upwards trend – at least for a while. The general upward trend notwithstanding, there was a lot of rotation and counter rotation between different market segments...
Rishi Sunak’s second Budget Statement was a hotly anticipated affair. After setting out the roadmap to navigate the COVID crisis, the Chancellor was able to mark down the route out of economic crisis. The pandemic has left a black hole in Britain’s public finances and, while vaccines and gently easing restrictions will help get things back on track, there is no doubt that the UK economy still needs a big helping hand from the Treasury.
It would be some understatement to say that Rishi Sunak had an interesting start to life as Chancellor of the Exchequer. Less than a month into the job, Sunak delivered his first Budget as the UK economy was closing it shutters and a black hole in public finances was expanding. One year on, his second Budget looks to be just as eventful.