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Investment analysis

It was a mixed week for global markets, with most falling on continuing concern about corporate debt levels and accounting practices. The representative FTSE World index finished 1.7 per cent lower, although both the Dow and Nikkei 225 gained ground.

In the US, the markets were inconsistent throughout the week. On Thursday, the technology-heavy Nasdaq closed at its lowest level since late October while the Dow briefly edged past the 10,000 level. Earlier in the week, accounting jitters re-emerged, with IBM falling sharply after it was found that a $300m gain had not been reported. Cisco Systems also caught Enronitis with questions about its deal-making structures and shares in software firm Computer Associates came under pressure after it was accused of overstating profits.

On Wednesday, the FTSE Eurotop 300 fell back to its lowest level since the start of November. Shedding 3.1 per cent, the representative index was put under pressure by a profit warning from Italian insurer Generali and the high debt levels carried by the European telecoms sector.

On a more upbeat note, Italian consumer confidence reached its highest level in 12 years this month. However, French consumer spending, which was expected to show no change, fell by 0.4 per cent in January.

In the UK, the fallout from Energis&#39s latest woes, which revived fears about the problems facing telecoms stocks, profit warnings from Go Ahead group and Cable & Wireless and continued worries about stretched balance sheets bore down heavily on the market&#39s increased fragility. The broad-based FTSE Allshare lost 2.5 per cent. Worst-hit after its fifth straight decline was the Techmark 100 which lost 6.8 per cent.

Renewed speculation that the government may announce measures to combat deflation and an influx of domestic pension money propelled the Japanese market forward at the end of the week, with the Nikkei 225 gaining 3.1 per cent.


Thrown into relief

In recent weeks, I have been looking at the deeper tax implications of commission rebates, cashbacks and discounts.As those of you who have been following this analysis will have discovered, the basic rules are not that difficult and are largely common sense. Ordinary retail customers are not usually assessable on any benefit they receive as […]

Cazenove is aiming for IFAs with new cash deal

Cazenove Fund Management is to target the IFA market by introducing a new share class on its Oeics paying both initial and trail commission.The new share class has been added to each of its Oeic sub-funds paying initial commission of 3 per cent and renewal of 0.5 per cent.All funds will have an initial charge […]

Protection from the cold

ALIGN=”JUSTIFY”>Luxury may describe a lead crystal flute of the finest champagne, a Rolex watch or simply a long soak in a hot bath. But, where there is no job to go to, homeowners may face the prospect of having no roof over their heads, let alone a bath to relax in, if they cannot meet […]

Close Brothers Investment – West End Films

Tuesday, February 26, 2002Type: Enterprise investment schemeAim: Growth by investing in the financing of televisionprogrammesMinimum investment: Lump sum £2,000Opening/closing date: February 18, 2002/April 4, 2002 for 2001/2002tax year, May 27, 2002 for 2002/2003 tax yearCharges: Initial 5.95%, annual 1.9%Commission: Initial 2.5%Tel: 0800 9177107


White paper — Dubai International Insights

Jelf Employee Benefits discusses the legislative changes in Dubai, available medical facilities and policy considerations for employers with expatriate workforces in the country. This edition will be of particular interest to global human resource directors, compensation and benefits specialists and mobility managers who have employee populations in Dubai, or are considering operating there in the near future.


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