View more on these topics

Investment brief

Most of the world&#39s equity markets paused for breath last week and although the latest economic data was generally positive, a distinct shortage of news on the corporate front resulted in many investors staying on the sidelines. By the end of the week, the FTSE World index had risen by 0.3 per cent, taking its gain since the start of the year to 23 per cent.

In the US, stocks ended lower in spite of data showing an improvement in consumer confidence and a bigger than expected rise in third-quarter gross domestic product, taking the number of positive quarterly readings to seven, the longest recovery since a nine-quarter run ended in 1997. However, by the end of the week, both the Dow Jones & S&P 500 were trading marginally lower while a late bout of profit-taking on Friday left the Nasdaq 2 per cent lower.

It was a rare week of outperformance for blue-chip stocks in the UK, with the FTSE 100 ending up by 0.5 per cent, its highest level in 15 months. Mid and small-cap stocks ended marginally lower, with the FTSE 250 falling by 0.9 per cent while the FTSE Small Cap index gave up 0.1 per cent. However, both the indices remain well ahead of the FTSE 100 since the start of the year.

In Europe, stocks ended marginally lower although still close to their best levels for the year, with Germany&#39s Dax index bucking the trend with a rise of 0.4 per cent taking its gain since the start of the year to over 31 per cent.

It was a poor week for the Japanese stockmarket, with the Nikkei 225 falling 4.3 per cent to a three-month low as investors continued to worry over the strength of the yen. Other Asian markets were also mostly lower although losses in the main were limited to less than 1 per cent.

Bond markets had a better week, recouping some recent losses. In the UK, the FTSE All Stocks index gained 0.7 per cent while in the US treasuries closed on a firm footing even though the continuing recovery in the global economy would appear to make a rise in US interest rates more likely. By the end of the week 10 year Treasuries were yielding 4.25 per cent while in the UK gilt yields of the same maturity fell to around the 5 per cent level.


Independent view

I have little doubt that the historic cottage industry of IFAs will have to change in order to survive. For too long we have enjoyed being in charge of our own businesses and we must look for new opportunities, either by grouping with other IFAs or by joining forces with bigger firms. The sum of […]

PMI sales up by 50% over past five years

Sales in the private medical insurance market have risen by around 50 per cent over the last five years, according to Mintel. Business has reached around £2.95bn so far this year from £1.97bn in 1998. The premium per person has gone up by around 35 per cent to £433 this year from £321 in 1998. […]

Out of context

•”It&#39s Jon here from Lansons, no Zurich.” – The strain of moving jobs is clearly too much for Jon Atkins. •”I think that&#39s Quake 2000.” – Disturbed by a mobile phone ringing, a Treasury official starts a round of name that ring tone at a select committee meeting. •”If Standard Life was a racehorse I&#39d […]

L&G speeds up Olta processing

Legal & General&#39s online term assurance has been added to Adviser Office 2, 1st Software&#39s back-office system which will let users place clients on risk within minutes. The move means IFAs can speed up processing of cases because client information can be held on 1st Software and be automatically pre-populated into L&G&#39s application. It opens […]

Time for a new approach to asset allocation

Trevor Greetham, RLAM’s head of multi asset, introduces the recentlylaunched RL GMAPs. Asset allocation has become an increasingly difficult challenge for investors and advisers in the years since the financial crisis. Sometimes violent price swings in stock and commodity markets coupled with the collapse in the rate of interest on bonds have made it harder […]


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