View more on these topics

Investment analysis

Another tough and volatile five days for global markets left most indices lower last week. The exceptions were the recently hard hit UK market, which was boosted by regulatory rule changes in the life insurance industry, and Japan, which was supported by the exporters. However, by the end of the week, the FTSE World index had lost 2.3 per cent.

Despite some positive economic data at the start and end of the week, US markets ended lower. On Monday, the Institute of Supply Management&#39s manufacturing index came in above 50 for the third consecutive month, confirming that the industrial sector was expanding and on Friday there was better than expected news on employment with non-farm payrolls increasing more than expected and the monthly unemployment rate falling from 6 per cent to 5.7 per cent. But shares slipped back as investors focused on geopolitical issues and corporate news. US Secretary of State Colin Powell&#39s address to the UN on the case for military action against Iraq did little to inspire investors. Over the week, the Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 had lost 2.4 per cent, 3 per cent and 2.6 per cent respectively.

European equities sealed their fifth straight winning day on Monday but downward pressure across a spectrum of sectors made it difficult to sustain the forward momentum. Swedish telecom group Ericsson came under pressure after its ninth consecutive quarterly loss. French group Alcatel added to gloom in the sector, forecasting a 25-30 per cent drop in sales for the first quarter. Falls in telecoms hit semiconductors, with Infineon, STMicroelectronics and Dutch group ASML suffering. The pharmaceuticals sector was put under pressure midweek following results. French group Aventis fell after it cut its profit and sales guidance and falling revenues pushed Irish drugs group Elan lower. By the end of the week, the FTSE Eurotop 300, Dax & CAC40 had fallen by 2.9 per cent, 6.5 per cent and 4.8 per cent respectively. The European Central Bank left eurozone rates on hold.

In Japan, the Nikkei bucked the downward trend, gaining 1.3 per cent. Hong Kong&#39s Hang Seng index ended 1.2 per cent lower.

Recommended

Smee in call for test runs of FSA&#39s key facts regime

The FSA should test its proposed disclosure document in a series of pilot schemes to ensure that consumers will take to it before forcing the industry to embark on the costly exercise of implementing it, says Aifa director general Paul Smee.Speaking at Money Mark-eting&#39s Top 100 Summit in Croydon last week, Smee said he did […]

A lost cause?

For this week&#39s article, I will continue to look at some of the less well known aspects of single-premium bond taxation. My last article considered the situation where a client has gains under a bond and also chargeable gains liable to capital gains tax.However, in the current difficult investment conditions, many clients may find it […]

Raising the mark on standards

This year will be an important one for the Raising Standards quality mark scheme.Just two years after its creation, we have achieved critical mass, with more than 50 per cent of the market accredited or preparing for accreditation.Standard Life, Halifax Life and Clerical Medical are in the dry-run phase – the first step towards securing […]

Nick Bamford

I a cynical world, Nick Bamford, the new chairman at Sofa, is a rarity. It seems the Informed Choice managing director is universally liked. It is easy to see why because Bamford is a thoroughly nice man.If it were not for Sandhurst giving the 17-year-old “long-haired son of a milkman” the brush-off for “not having […]

Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition

Paul Fidell, Head of Business Development (Investments), writes about one of the primary challenges for those involved in estate planning. He looks at dealing with investment uncertainty in these low growth, low inflation but still volatile investment conditions. Protection of capital, to leave something for beneficiaries, is a fundamental objective of many people’s plans for […]

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