ECONOMIC AND MARKET BACKGROUND
During the third quarter of 2020, children in large parts of the world went back to school, with many entering a classroom for the first time since early spring, when lockdowns started to be imposed on huge swathes of the global population. While the reopening of schools has meant a return to some semblance of normality for many pupils and their families, new rules related to social distancing, face coverings and hygiene have made this new school term unlike any other.
For much of the quarter, financial markets also appeared to have returned to business as usual, resuming the upward momentum with which they began the year before the onset of the pandemic. Global equities, as represented by the MSCI World index, chalked up their best August – traditionally a quieter month for trading – since 1986.1 September, however, began with a rout in technology stocks, whose share prices had soared well ahead of the rest of the market in the prior months, and market volatility remained elevated for the rest of the quarter, meaning that global equities forfeited a large proportion of the gains made earlier in the period.
Your capital may be at risk. The value of investments and the income from them can fall as well as rise and investors may not get back the original amount invested.
1 Why does Amazon dominate e-commerce?, Digital Commerce 360 (https://www.digitalcommerce360.com/2019/09/10/what-enables-amazon-to-dominateecommerce/), 10 September 2019
2 Our fulfillment centers, Amazon corporate website (https://www.aboutamazon.com/amazon-fulfillment/our-fulfillment-centers), accessed 19 August 2020
3 Amazon 2019 Annual Report
4 Just Capital (https://justcapital.com/companies/amazon-com-inc), accessed 19 August 2020
5 The Harris Poll – 2020 Corporate Reputation Rankings (https://theharrispoll.com/axios-harrispoll-100/), accessed 19 August 2020
6 Compensation and benefits, Amazon corporate website (https://www.aboutamazon.com/amazon-fulfillment/working-here/compensation-and-benefits), accessed 19 August 2020
7 Compensation and benefits, Amazon UK corporate website (https://www.aboutamazon.co.uk/amazon-fulfilment/compensation-and-benefits), accessed 19 August 2020
8 Upskilling 2025, Amazon corporate website (https://www.aboutamazon.com/working-at-amazon/upskilling-2025), accessed 19 August 2020
9 What Amazon does to wages, The Economist (https://www.economist.com/united-states/2018/01/20/what-amazon-does-to-wages), 20 January 2018
10 The High Public Cost of Low Wages, UC Berkeley Labor Center (https://laborcenter.berkeley.edu/the-high-public-cost-of-low-wages/), 13 April 2015
11 Amazon gets huge subsidies to provide good jobs—but it’s a top employer of SNAP recipients in at least five states, The Counter (http://thecounterorg.wpengine.com/amazon-snap-employees-five-states/), 19 April 2018
12 Unfulfilled promises: Amazon fulfillment centers do not generate broad-based employment growth, Economic Policy Institute (https://www.epi.org/publication/unfulfilled-promises-amazon-warehouses-do-not-generate-broad-based-employment-growth/), 1 February 2018
13 What’s wrong with Amazon?, US Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (https://www.rwdsu.info/new_report_what_s_wrong_with_amazon), 28 November 2018
14 The Amazon Prime Day strike shows how to take on Amazon – and win, The Guardian (https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jul/16/amazon-employeesin-minneapolis-are-fighting-for-better-conditions-and-its-working), 16 July 2019
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