Good morning, it's Paul & Jack here with the SCVR for Thursday.

** Breaking News ** The Chancellor, Riski Sunak, has just announced in Parliament that the furlough scheme (recently extended from end Oct to end Nov, will now be extended to 31 March 2021. I haven't seen the small print yet, but will look out for that. Support for the self-employed has also been extended. The most important aspect of this, is that it should prevent some of the mass redundancies expected in sectors such as retailing, hospitality, travel, etc., and the knock-on impact that would have on the economy as a whole.

Although it does raise the question as to whether this means the Govt might be considering extending the lockdown of some sectors well into 2021 perhaps? At least this gives employers a chance to plan ahead with a bit of clarity. Begbies Traynor (LON:BEG) will be disappoint! Their tsunami or was it an avalanche or a hailstorm, I forget, of job losses & business failures has been pushed back by a few more months. I cannot see why the Govt would pull back on its support packages for businesses & staff. They're in too deep, hence continuing support seems logical. Especially when you can shake the magic money tree (QE) to finance it all - see below.

US Election - Markets generally have been quite settled, considering it's been election time in the USA. We're not sure yet, but it looks as if Joe Biden is highly likely to be the new President. Then of course how Congress looks will determine what he can actually do. I studied US politics as part of my degree, but have forgotten most of it! For our purposes here, all that matters is what impact it has on the markets, and so far anyway, markets seem happy - US and UK indices having now recovered the late-Oct pre-election dip. That stands to reason, as some traders might have moved into cash, and are now returning to the market once the election result looks (almost) settled.

QE - I saw on the news this morning that the Bank of England's magic money tree has created another £150bn in order to buy up more Gilts. As before, one arm of Government buying up the debt being issued by another. What a clever wheeze! It's working because all the…

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