The FTSE All-Share Index lost 3.6% in sterling terms during July. Job losses mounted as businesses continued to grapple with the fallout of Covid-19, with the retail, leisure and aviation sectors among the hardest hit. In a bid to encourage consumers to spend again, the government announced VAT cuts targeting the leisure sector and a scheme offering people discounts for eating out. Chancellor Rishi Sunak also unveiled incentives for employers to bring back their furloughed staff. With an eye on supporting the housing market, the chancellor raised the stamp duty threshold from £125,000 to £500,000, exempting many more house purchases from the tax. The UK economy grew by 1.8% in May, disappointing forecasts following April’s dramatic contraction. In terms of sectors, technology hardware & equipment (17.6%) outperformed while tobacco (-17.2%) lagged.