View more on these topics

Investment analysis

It was a mixed week for equity markets with gains in the US and the major European indices ensuring a positive return of 0.7 per cent for the representative FTSE world index. Equities in the UK, Japan and Hong Kong finished lower.

October was the best month for US equities this year despite worsening economic data, the latest of which was the conference board&#39s index on consumer confidence which fell to a nine-year low. October&#39s decline was the fourth consecutive monthly fall in the index and the biggest drop since last year&#39s September 11 attack. Preliminary reports on third-quarter GDP also came in weaker than expected. US stocks weathered these two disappointments well last week. The Dow gained 0.9 per cent and the Nasdaq rose by 2.4 per cent. US unemployment edged up to 5.7 per cent in October from 5.6per cent, not as bad as expected, and the Institute for Supply Management&#39s index on manufacturing activity eased to 48.5 from 49.5, slightly lower than expectations.

UK markets were not as resilient to the weak US data. The FTSE 100 finished 1.3 per cent lower. The index was also hit when its leading constituent, BP, fell to its lowest level for more than four years after the company issued its third production downgrade in two months and weaker than expected third-quarter figures. The mood was more upbeat for mid caps, with a 0.5 per cent gain in the FTSE 250 index while small caps remained flat. October&#39s domestic consumer confidence index, while slipping remained relatively high.

Gains in France&#39s CAC40 and Germany&#39s Dax of 1.7 per cent and 2 per cent were unable to prevent the FTSE Eurotop 300 losing 0.4 per cent. Tech and telecom issues performed well. Alcatel, the French telecommunications equipment maker, performed strongly after evidence that it was sorting out its debts. Germany&#39s Ifo business sentiment indicator, although lower for the fifth consecutive month, was better than expected.

It was volatile week in Japan, which saw the Nikkei 225 shed 0.5 per cent.

Hong Kong&#39s Hang Seng ended the week 3.2% lower, hit by the poor US data and news that China Telecom had delayed its huge public offering.


Honesty is best policy

The split-capital investment trust industry is in crisis. The reputation of what was once a growing and successful sector has been battered by the behaviour of some of its leading firms which has led to the impoverishment of up to 50,000 investors.The familiar refrain that markets can go down as well as up does not […]

Lifequote adds Scot Am menu protection product

Scottish Amicable&#39s menu protection product is now available on the comparative quotes search engine run by Lifequote, an intermediary network offering advice on life and protection insurance.The network&#39s 900 members, including IFAs and general insurance and mortgage brokers, can access quotes through Lifequote&#39s website on Scot Am&#39s life,critical-illness cover, unemployment cover and mortgage payment benefit.Scot […]

Widows hails menu choice

Scottish Widows has welcomed the FSA&#39s move to ditch the defined payment system in favour of the menu proposal put forward by Aifa.Widows had opposed the DPS and its CP121 response, together with parent Lloyds TSB, was sharply critical.It was one of the product providers which worked on expanding the menu proposal put forward in […]

Not enough protection says Scottish Provident

More than 40 per cent of Britons would not have adequate cover or savings if the main wage earner in the family were to fall ill or lose their job according to research from Scottish Provident.The survey of UK families conducted by pollsters Mori on behalf of protection specialist Scottish Provident reveals 41 per cent […]

Trouble ahead - thumbnail

Pensions: trouble ahead?

The pace of change in the pension’s space has been little short of astonishing, and has left thousands of employers struggling to keep their pension policy compliant, and also on the right side of current best practice and governance. Many employers, and indeed many in the pensions industry itself, would like to see a period of no change during the next term of government. This would give all sides a chance to catch up and draw breath. 


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


    Leave a comment


    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