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Bull call gets wary response

Fund managers have given a mixed reaction after fund guru Anthony Bolton called the start of the next bull market.

Fidelity International president of investments Anthony Bolton believes a bull market has already kicked off in equities and that financial shares are set to drive recent gains higher.

The former UK special situations manager says advances that began in March have triggered the new phase in the market, pointing to financials, consumer cyclical, technology and value stocks as areas he favours.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Bolton said: “All the things are in place for the bear market to have ended. When there is a strong consensus, a very negative one and cash positions are very high, as they are at the moment, I would like to bet against that.”

The FTSE 100 produced an 8.1 per cent rise last month.

Thames River co-head of multi-manager Gary Potter says: “It is not as clear as that, although we may have seen the bottom with FTSE falling to 3,460 on an intra-day pricing level in March. Stockmarkets are driven by earnings and they are unclear in the next 12-18 months, with headwinds like equity issuance and banking problems. I would expect to see fits and starts.”

Invesco Perpetual income guru Neil Woodford said in March he believes the economy is in “a prolonged adjustment” and does not expect it to pick up in the next three to four years.

Rathbone high-income fund manager Julian Chillingworth says: “I am not convinced this is not just a bounce from an oversold position. I would not be surprised if this is no more than just a bottoming of the market and for the UK I am not sure if it is even that. Here, the consumer is the key, so I would need to see more signs of a bottoming in the housing market.”


Off balance

The admission by Barclays that it incorrectly categorised the risk of one its biggest-selling funds will do little to calm the nerves of the public, most of whom probably now rate bankers below estate agents when it comes to those they trust least.

Lock-in could offer fair deal on age 75 rule

Suffolk Life says the Government should require people to lock in to a minimum level of annual income when they buy an annuity at 75 but be allowed to use their remaining pension pot as they choose.


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