View more on these topics

Investment update

It was a mixed week for the major financial markets. Most closed the week lower after a number of difficult sessions saw attention switch from the successes in Iraq to the state of the global economy. By close of play on Friday, the benchmark FTSE World index had fallen by 0.5 per cent. However, European markets bucked the downward trend, with the FTSE Eurotop 300 index edging up by 0.5 per cent.

In the US, the Dow surged ahead by more than 200 points early on Monday but most of these gains were given back later that day on concerns raised by the previous week&#39s poor economic data. There was some buying on Friday on the back of unexpected positive retail sales figures but the gains generated and more, were lost as investors took the opportunity to bank profits. Volumes were generally thin throughout the week as institutional investors remained on the sidelines awaiting first-quarter results. Over the five days, the Dow, S&P 500 & Nasdaq 100 lost 0.9, 1.2 & 2.3 per cent respectively.

European markets continued on their winning ways, supported predominantly by strong performance from the insurers and the banks. Swiss Life&#39s shares rose sharply on Tuesday after an encouraging statement on prospects for the year ahead. Bullish broker notes helped Credit Suisse and UBS. Germany&#39s Munich Re also benefited from an upgrade from Goldman Sachs at the end of the week. German pharmaceutical and chemical group Bayer chipped in as shares rose after an out-of-court settlement. The Dax closed 3 per cent higher.

In the UK, Wednesday&#39s Budget provided some modest support for the housebuilding sector as stamp duty was left unchanged. But the Chancellor&#39s downgrading of UK growth forecasts served as a reminder of the weakening economy. The FTSE index declined by 0.2 per cent while the smaller-capitalised indices which have lagged in recent weeks made up some ground, with the FTSE 250 & FTSE Smallcap gaining 2.3 and 2 per cent.

Heavy selling by pension funds and concerns about global demand rounded off four consecutive days of declines to send Japanese blue chips lower and the Nikkei 225 to fresh 20-year lows.


Keydata unlocks income

Keydata Investment Services has established a fourth issue of the extra income plan, a guaranteed equity bond linked to the FTSE 100 index during a five-year term. The bond initially offers investors a choice between two options. Option one provides a further choice of 8 per cent income a year, 1.93 per cent income a […]

Barrage of protests at lifetime limit

The Inland Revenue&#39s proposal for a £1.4m lifetime fund limit linked to prices has come under fire from across the pension industry as its tax simplification consultation closes. Norwich Union says it is nonsense to base the lifetime limit on the value of the fund at retirement rather than on contributions as this will penalise […]

What are the long term aims?

Is it the first step to reducing volatility in UK economic cycles, a waste of taxpayers&#39 money on an academic exercise to prove something we already know or a project set up to give Gordon Brown another reason not to join the euro? These are just some of the reason that IFAs and the mortgage […]

Platinum shines in all conditions

Platinum Capital Management has established the Platinum allweather fund which aims to make a profit for investors by exploringprice differences between the stocks and options within the samecompanies. As the name suggests, this hedge fund has the ability to perform wellregardless of stockmarket conditions. It has a target return ofbetween 10 per cent and 14 […]


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