Latest: Coronavirus impact on investment markets

Date Published: 25/02/2020 11:48

Our MD Jillian Thomas takes a look at the latest impact of the coronavirus outbreak on the investment markets. 

The latest news on COVID-19 coronavirus virus meant that the investment markets around the world reacted negative to the news yesterday.

Secondary outbreaks of the coronavirus in Italy, South Korea and Iran were causing particular concern, with Coronavirus appearing to spread easily, with most people having relatively mild symptoms. With fatalities around 2% of the cases diagnosed.  

At this point it is difficult to ascertain the accurate position of the virus and whilst the disease itself is worrying, for the investment markets we need to look at the economic impacts as result of the measures taken to halt the spread of the virus.  

Closure of factories in China and quarantining of large numbers of people is likely to cause a slowing of economic growth.  The degree of impact will depend on the spread and endurance of this health emergency and it is far to early to understand its true impact. 

Investment portfolios will not be immune from the fall in the equity markets at this time,  but will continue to monitor developments closely and be ready to act if appropriate.

On a separate note, but as important for the UK economy is the impact of the flooding on farming and future crops.   In the central belt of the UK, where the flooding is at it’s most impactful, farming consultants we work with, are saying that on average only 25% of usual levels of crops have been sown. Much of the crop’s farmers have been able to get into the ground are rotting.  Now this isn’t countrywide, areas of the South West have benefitted from the mild winter, but we can expect the cost of fruit and vegetables to increase, because of the lack of supply, when the spring crops would usually be hitting the shops.

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