Global Matters Weekly – 5 October 2020

The Perfect Storm
by Alex Harvey, CFA

If readers cast their minds back to February this year, they will remember the horror that unfolded on the high seas with dozens of cruise ships being forced to stay at sea as the first wave of Coronavirus took hold. The poster child for the industry was the ‘Diamond Princess’, a Gem-class cruise ship with a capacity of nearly 2700 passengers and 1100 crew, which eventually anchored at Yokohama port in Japan where passengers had to remain on board and self-isolate for several weeks. The world watched on thinking perhaps this would be contained to Asian shores but of course this was wrong as we now know. Global equities would continue to make gains for almost three weeks after the cruise liner had docked before freefalling, only to reach a bottom just over a month after that. Far from plain sailing.

Market Snapshot

  • A relatively strong week for global markets which returned 1.6%
  • President Trump and the First Lady test positive for coronavirus
  • Brent crude fell -6.3% ending the week at $39.3 a barrel
  • Gold rose 2.1% to end the week at $1899.8 an ounce