Coronavirus Update

29th January 2021

Weekly Round Up

Global equity markets have experienced more volatility this week, as a handful of stocks generated an unusual amount of attention. US-based retailer GameStop Inc saw their share price rise from $40 to a peak of $468 in a matter of days. The frenzy resulted in the highest US trading volumes in history, with more than 24bn shares traded in the US on Wednesday. Changes to investment approaches including day trading is becoming mainstream, led by the internet and social media. The influence this is having on financial markets will likely lead to further regulation of the social media space.
 
In Europe, markets continue to display unease. The FTSE 100 is down over -3% on the week. Investors continue to show concern about the economic damage and the longevity of the pandemic. Vaccine shortages are fueling some tensions between the UK and EU, further adding to uncertainties.

Risers 

Scapa Group Plc, is the biggest riser in the FTSE 100 this week. The manufacturer of bonding products and adhesive components in the healthcare markets has seen their share price rise 22%. This follows news of a takeover offer from US materials group Schweitzer-Mauduit International Inc, with a recommended cash offer of 210p per share.

Fallers

Prudential Plc is the biggest faller this week. The 15% fall comes after they announced on Thursday plans to separate its US business, Jackson Financial, through a demerger whilst outlining the potential for an equity raise of up to $3bn, to increase its financial flexibility.