This week the pound started low against the euro as it was hovering around 1.09 – 1.10 GBP/EUR compared to where it was a few weeks back which was at around 1.13 GBP/EU as the Brexit negotiations continue to be its main driver.
A few weeks ago, a deal seemed to have been on a horizon, however significant differences still remain, it looks as though there is the need for further talks before anything materialises. As the Brexit transition period ends in a few weeks, time is definitely something that cannot be taken for granted. There are still 3 main sticking points that needs to be agreed, the level playing field which are rules to ensures fair competition, future deal enforcements and fishing rights.
On Sunday, Michel Barnier travelled back to Brussels to continue the negotiations with David Frost, Monday evening we saw Prime minister Boris Johnson speaking with the European Commissioner President Ursula Var Der Leyen to try and salvage any hopes of having a deal and Yesterday the UK has agreed to withdraw draft clauses and Brexit legislation that would have broken international law and also would’ve failed to carry out on its earlier agreement with the European Union. This move has been hailed as a positive sign by Britain and Ireland however any show of a trade deal still remains uncertain. Both side are looking to find a way to agree on a deal, however if either side aren’t willing to compromise then we could see a No Deal Brexit Edging closer.
With a few weeks remaining until the transition period ends, these could be a very volatile few weeks for sterling as neither side cannot afford a No Deal Brexit during a pandemic but both sides aren’t willing to compromise.
Yesterday marked a very significant day towards the fight against Coronavirus, the da was dubbed “V-day”. Margaret Keenan was the first person in the world to have received the Pfizer/Bio Ntech vaccine at the university hospital in Coventry, which is one of the 70 hospitals around the UK that will be distributing the vaccine. The first ones on the list are over 80s, frontline healthcare staff and care home staff as well as anyone who attends hospitals as an outpatient or being discharged. Anyone that receives the vaccine will also require a booster jab 21 days later.
As larger quantities arrive, more hubs will be set up. GP’s and primary care staff are put on standby to deliver vaccinations in the coming weeks followed by mass distributions in pharmacies, sporting venues and conference centres.
Health Secretary Matt Handcock said, “it was a tribute to scientific endeavour and human ingenuity and to the hard work of so many people. Today marks the start of the fight back against the common enemy.”
Despite the success of the first vaccination, there are still some people out there who are unsure of how the vaccine could affect them as well as conspiracy theories. This could delay the mass roll out of the vaccine due to others scepticism.
Yesterday was definitely a small step for mankind and a giant leap towards normality. However, the UK is not out of the woods yet, Britain still remains on a Covid tier system with most of North of England in tier 3 and most of south of England in tier 2.
Non the less, as we see the light at the end of the tunnel, we could see the economy rise back up on its feet, but this is definitely more like a marathon rather than a sprint.
America has reached the highest amount of death since the pandemic began, it is averaging around 2,200 deaths per day and 284,000 deaths since the start of the pandemic, the highest death toll in the world.
Yesterday the State of California has entered a strict lockdown for 33 million people as COVID cases increase. The new rules prohibit mixing of households as well as capping the retail shop capacity to 20%.
With these new restrictions in place, we could see a further increase of unemployment as well as more businesses shutting down resulting to a potential fall in dollar value.
The Trump administration says that it is ready to gear up for the biggest mass vaccination program following the success that the UK had with its vaccine roll out. They have ordered 100 million doses across 6 different vaccine manufacturers, guaranteeing 600 million doses with an option to buy an additional 500 million doses with Pfizer. Health secretary Alex Azar said that they will have enough vaccines for anyone who is looking to be vaccinated and their aim is to have it by the second quarter of next year.
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