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Key catalysts for markets before the end of 2020
There is plenty for investors to think about as we approach the end of a tumultuous year. For UK stocks the most significant remains Brexit and the prospects for a deal.
As we write talks were going to the wire. However, an important point to remember is that even if a deal is secured it will be quite a limited one and it will still mean extra checks and regulation on goods flowing from the EU to the UK and vice-versa. This raises the prospect of disruption when the transition period ends in January.
Whether this might have an impact on the roll-out of vaccines – key to a reopening of the economy – could become a more pressing story with 90-year-old Margaret Keenan in Coventry becoming the first person in the world to receive the Pfizer vaccine.
The other big politics meets economics story is the bi-partisan stimulus package in the US with suggestions an agreement could come soon. This would likely provide stocks with a further catalyst although some kind of support has arguably already been priced in by the market as US equities soared to new record highs as a weak jobs report (4 Dec) was seen as increasing the pressure to get a stimulus deal signed off.