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Wide hope of rally in markets

Fund managers and IFAs widely expect the stockmarket to stage a comeback in the near future – although the bears fear it could plummet by another 20 per cent before it bottoms out.

Despite the FTSE 100 plunging below the psychologically important 4,000 barrier this week, fund firms say there are signs the market could be close to a rally which they hope will turn around investor sentiment.

Fidelity says accountancy scandals remain limited to the US and points out that share-selling volumes are fast approaching those seen during previous market capitulations, after which there have historically been sharp rises.

Artemis says the crisis has been overblown and believes it will only take a small boost to transform sentiment.

But IFA Hargreaves Lansdown is more pessimistic, saying it sees the market falling much further. Head of research Mark Dampier says: “The market could easily slide another 20 per cent but, if you have cash, then make sure you can access it quickly. The bear market will come to an end.”

Fidelity portfolio strategist Frederic de Merode says: “We are fairly close to the bottom in the UK although in volume terms we have not reached past levels. But after a major sell-out, the markets always tend to pick up.”

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What employers should expect over the next five years

A major feature of our articles is looking into the Jelf Employee Benefits crystal ball to predict changes and trends that may influence the short and medium term shape of UK employee benefits.  By flagging such changes early we aim to provide our followers with the tools to make sensible and informed decisions on their benefits offerings.

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