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&#39Equity recovery will be tentative&#39

Recovery in the equity markets will be tentative in 2004, with fiscal tightening after the 2004 US presidential election bringing even more difficult times, say senior investment specialists.

India, China, Japan and other Far Eastern opportunities are the only bright spots in world markets, a panel of fund managers and investment experts told IFAs at last week&#39s Money Marketing Live in London.

None of the panel members felt positive about the outlook for equity markets generally, with fears of terrorism and political complications in the Middle East and Iraq cited as among the reasons economies have not performed as well as expected this year.

Foreign & Colonial Management head of investment trusts Jeremy Tigue said the growth of the middle class in China and India would strengthen these economies and leave them less dependent on exports.

Newton Private Investment Management director Harry Morgan predicted returns on bonds had peaked and said the first cracks in the bond market were already appearing.

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