Coronavirus weekly round-up: Donald Trump gets Covid and the UK faces legal action over Brexit

After months of playing down Covid-19, Donald Trump and his wife, Melania, test positive for the virus, in a week when the global death toll passed one million. Early punditry suggests the president’s positive test works in favour of Joe Biden, who is already leading in the polls.

In the UK, MPs vote in favour of the internal market bill, which would override aspects of the Brexit withdrawal agreement, prompting the European Union to announce legal action over the breach of international law. Meanwhile, the ECB indicates its inflation target.

See below for a summary of the key events and click through the slides above to find out what investment managers think this means for portfolios.

Monday 28 September

-Donald Trump announces plans to distribute 150 million rapid coronavirus tests from Abbott Laborotaries

-The World Health Organization announces a deal to make 120 million coronavirus tests available to low and middle-income countries

-Bangladeshi prime minister Sheikh Hasina tells the Financial Times the country will pursue a green recovery in response to the coronavirus crisis

Tuesday 29 September

-The global coronavirus death toll passes one million

-UK MPs vote 340 to 256 in favour of the internal market bill, which the government has admitted breaks the Withdrawal Agreement that was central to Boris Johnson’s campaign during the 2019 election

-The first US presidential debate is widely described as chaotic with little substantial discussion of policy and Donald Trump reportedly interrupting Joe Biden a total of 73 times by CBS News’s count

-Boris Johnson apologises after getting confused about social distancing rules in the North East, falsely claiming the ‘rule of six’ applied to indoor settings whereas in reality people are required to remain within their household bubbles

-The UK reports 7,143 new coronavirus cases – its highest ever daily number

-The government’s migration advisory committee warns the end of freedom of movement when the Brexit transition period ends on 31 December could place more pressure on the care sector when it is already struggling with Covid-19

-Disney sheds 28,000 jobs at its theme parks with the original Disneyland in California still shut due to local health requirements and reduced attendance at its parks that have reopened

Wednesday 30 September

-The US Federal Reserve extends its ban on share buybacks and dividends for banks with more than $100bn in assets

-ECB president Christine Lagarde says the central bank’s 2% inflation target may be outdated

-Rolls Royce announces a £2bn rights issue – the largest from a non-financial UK institution since 2010

-UK house prices rose 5% compared with a year ago, according to Nationwide

-Moderna’s chief executive says the pharma company’s vaccine will not be ready before the US election and that it won’t seek approval any earlier than the end of November

-UK retail landlords collect just 12.7% of rent in the latest quarter

-TSB will close a third of its branches and cut 960 jobs as more customers bank online

Thursday 1 October

-Democrats pass a $2.2trn coronavirus stimulus package in Congress, though it looks set to be rejected by the Republican-led Senate

-SNP MP Margaret Ferrier is suspended from her party and faces calls to resign after travelling by train from London to Scotland after testing positive for Covid-19

-Sadiq Khan requests £5.7bn from the Treasury to keep TfL going for the next 18 months

-In a memo to staff, Pfizer’s chief executive slams the politicisation of the Covid-19 vaccine timeline in the US presidential debate. The Trump administration has been keen to rush through a vaccine before November’s election.

-Chief medical officer Chris Whitty warns the UK has a “long winter ahead of us” as cases in north England accelerate despite lockdown measures

-Turkey admits it is not including asymptomatic patients in its tally of coronavirus cases

Friday 2 October

-Donald and Melania Trump both test positive for Covid-19 upsetting US markets

-Amazon says nearly 20,000 of its frontline workers in the US have tested positive for Covid-19

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