Weekly Digest – 3 February 2020

Unknown unknowns: the coronavirus
by Michael Clough

When we talk about risks to our investment outlook, we always warn of the threat of ‘unknown unknowns’, events that come seemingly out of nowhere that can’t be predicted or planned for. All we know is at some point they will arise. As all readers will be aware, two have already arisen in the early stages of 2020, firstly with the tragic incident in Iran when a civilian plane was shot down and secondly with the outbreak of the new coronavirus in China. Understandably, we have received numerous queries from clients, notably on the latter, and this Global Matters Weekly seeks to clarify our current stance on recent events.

Market Snapshot

  • The UK departed from the European Union on Friday, after more than 47 years of membership
  • Global markets continued to fall as the coronavirus concerns dominated sentiment
  • Brent crude fell 4.2% ending the week at $58.2 a barrel
  • Gold rose 1.1% ending the week at $1589.2 an ounce