View more on these topics

Investment analysis

The continued violence in the Middle East and concerns about the financial health of some global heavyweights continued to unnerve investors and drove down stock indices last week. The representative FTSE World index ended the five days 1.4 per cent lower.

In the US, General Electric kicked off the earnings&#39 season with a disappointing report. IBM&#39s profit warning weighed heavy on the technology sector and inquiries into the accounting practices of IBM, Xerox and Merrill Lynch hit sentiment.

In Europe, economic news continued to point towards a recovery, with German unemployment falling for the first time since December 2000. But investors focused on corporate concerns and, after IBM&#39s announcement, Germany&#39s Software AG followed suit and cut revenue forecasts.

Concerns in the German banking sector continued on debt exposure fears after the collapse of media group Kirch. Against this backdrop, it was no surprise to see the FTSE Eurotop 300, Germany&#39s Dax and France&#39s CAC40 off 1.4 per cent, 1.3 per cent and 1 per cent respectively.

In the UK, the FTSE 100 ended the week down by 1.4 per cent below the critical 5,200 support level. The blue-chip index was dragged down partly by Vodafone, which over the week lost nearly 16 per cent on revenue growth concerns, and mm02, which shed 21.7 per cent. Small companies fared better, with the Hoare Govett Sm Co and FTSE Fledgling indices both gaining 0.4 per cent.

In Japan, the markets were hit by the release of the government&#39s report on bank bad debt. The fall led by the banks and broking houses left the Nikkei 225 below the 11,000 level for the first time since March 1.

In South-east Asia, Hong Kong&#39s Hang Seng index slipped back by 1.1 per cent and in Indonesia, the composite index continued its strong performance, closing at a two-year high following strong foreign and local institutional demand and debt rescheduling talks.

Recommended

Money Marketing on-line &#45 first for IFA Budget coverage

Money Marketing on-line will as usual be the first to bring you focused coverage on the implications of today&#39s Budget announcement. Our on-line coverage will start before the Chancellor sits down with news updates on the key Budget points for IFAs. This coverage will continue through the evening as our team of seven reporters investigates […]

Yorkshire unveils new loan range

Yorkshire Building Society is launching a range of flexible mortgages including fixed, discount and tracker products.Its new flexible tracker mortgage has a rate of 3.95 per cent – 0.05 per cent below the Bank of England rate – for two years. It is available up to a loan to value ration of 95 per cent. […]

Waiting for Sandler: Paul Smee, Aifa

As far as the IFA sector goes, the sub-title of this budget is “Waiting for Sandler”. Nothing structural here. Remember the Savings Gap? The Chancellor didn&#39t. Future of Isas? Not this year. Very,very delicately the Government confirms its intention to allow limited period annuities and to introduce more flexibility. But they are not unveiling much […]

R&SA slices 20% from term rates

Royal & Sun Alliance UK Life is cutting level term insurance rates by up to 20 per cent.The new rates apply to family, business and keyperson cover under its Lifewise plan. It hopes the rate cuts will consolidate its top-five position in the market and particularly benefit those with highnet-worth sums assured.A male non-smoker aged […]

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up

Comments

    Leave a comment