View more on these topics

Investment analysis

Strong economic data from the US helped stabilise global markets at the end of the week but it was not enough to prevent the benchmark FTSE World Index from ending the week 1.3 per cent lower.

Earlier in the week, concerns about the Iraqi situation and the health of corporate America weighed heavy on Wall Street , with the Dow falling below 8,000. However there was some positive corporate news, with Procter & Gamble, Merck, American Express and Walt Disney reporting stronger than expected earnings&#39 figures. Encouraging economic news also helped lift sentiment with the Chicago purchasing managers&#39 index of manufacturing activity coming in at 56 for January, topping an expected 53, from 51.7 in December. The Fed&#39s decision to leave rates on hold at 1.25 per cent on Wednesday was widely expected. Amid all this, the Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 lost 0.9 per cent, 0.7 per cent and 1.3 per cent respectively.

It was a mixed picture for European equities. The representative FTSE Eurotop 300 remained relatively flat but the two main euroland blue-chip bourses Germany&#39s Dax & France&#39s CAC40 posted positive returns of 1.1 per cent & 1.4 per cent respectively. France Telecom performed strongly after reporting sales growth in line with expectations and full-year earnings to beat current estimates. German utility group Eon also gained after an out-of-court agreement with objectors to its disputed takeover of Ruhrgas, the German gas importing company.

It ended a bleak month for London. The primary index continued to fall at the start of the week, registering its 11th fall in a row. The FTSE ended the week down by 1 per cent and the month down by 11 per cent. The index touched 3,480.8, its lowest closing level since October 1995 before firming up on Friday on the back of strong US economic data. UK small and mid cap stocks fared a lot worse, with the Hoare Govett Sm Co and FTSE 250 indices losing 4.3 per cent and 4.9 per cent.

However, a boost was given to the markets which responded on Monday this week after the FSA late on Friday relaxed the rules for governing how insurance companies calculate solvency margins.

Recommended

Insight Investment – Insight Investment Focus Plan

Wednesday, 5 February 2003 Type: Oeic mini or maxi Isa Aim: Income or growth by investing in a choice of six funds Minimum investment: Lump sum £3,000 Catmarked: No Investment choice: Income &#45 equity high income, monthly income, global bond funds. Growth &#45 UK discretionary, UK select opportunities, European discretionary funds Yield: Depends on fund […]

M2&#39s target

It is not in my nature to sell myself short. However, I need to clarify that M2 Financial will, in fact, not be looking to purchase “up to a 100 firms…” within the next 12 months as stated in Money Marketing (January 23). M2 is certainly ambitious but operating very much within the realms of […]

Angry CA attack on panel&#39s &#39ivory tower&#39 Brown

The Consumers&#39 Association has launched a blistering attack on Financial Services Consumer Panel chairman Colin Brown, branding him “an ivory tower academic” for claiming that a complicated depolarised world will not necessarily be detrimental to consumers. The spat follows Brown disagreeing with criticisms from the CA that the FSA&#39s draft rules for depolarisation outlined in […]

Talkback

The FSA has given the Falcon group a waiver for its PI cover. Will this open the floodgates for more firms? “Yes, I don&#39t see why not. I see no problem with firms self-insuring, provided that firms have sufficient capital adequacy.” John Crayden, Fleet Mortgage, Insurance & Finance services “No, I don&#39t think it is […]

The Rubik’s Cube: China’s policy trilemma

By Douglas Turnbull, Investment Director, Head of Chinese Equities China faces a ‘Rubik’s Cube’ policy trilemma, whereby it needs to sustain a minimum acceptable level of growth, deal with issues such as overcapacity and reform the financial system to make it a far more efficient allocator of capital. Given the contradictory nature of these objectives, […]

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up

Comments

    Leave a comment

    Close

    Why register with Money Marketing ?

    Providing trusted insight for professional advisers.  Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and advice.

    News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
    Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

    Money Marketing Events
    Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

    Research and insight
    Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

    Have your say
    Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

    Register now

    Having problems?

    Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

    Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm

    Email: customerservices@moneymarketing.com