At the end of every year the great and the good of financial markets give their forecasts of where the FTSE 100 and other major indices will be in 12 months’ time. It’s a fruitless exercise because no-one can consistently forecast how much markets are going to gain or lose. As the legendary...
As investors we’re used to looking at the price of indices like the FTSE 100 fairly regularly but it probably never occurs to most of us how the index is constructed or how its value is calculated. Like most indices, its value is calculated by taking the free float London adjusted market value of...
Sterling is considered to be the ultimate barometer for Brexit and the currency movement is currently telling us that the market has become more optimistic about how the UK/EU split process will play out. The pound has increased by 4.7% against the US dollar, and by 4.1% against the euro, between...
Figures last week from Germany’s Federal Statistical Office showed that gross domestic product ( GDP ) grew by just 1.5% in 2018, the slowest rate for five years. That meant that GDP was barely positive in the fourth quarter, up by an estimated 0.1%. If the fourth quarter had been negative like the...
A new report from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), a regulator, reveals its current concerns about the financial markets and therefore areas which it might look to clamp down on in the future. In particular, the FCA notes the steady growth in retail investor activity and the challenges that...
A 2 January warning from Apple that sales and earnings for the three months to December were hurt by weak Chinese demand sent a shockwave through world markets, so does this mean we should be worried about China? According to chief executive Tim Cook, Apple was wrong-footed by ‘the magnitude of the...
Shares in retailers sold-off heavily on 17 December as online fashion retailer ASOS ( ASC:AIM ) issued a shock profit warning, cutting its annual sales growth and margin forecasts amid a fall in consumer confidence and a flurry of margin-crimping discounts. Sector sentiment had already been rocked...
An important development has occurred in the insurance sector which could have a major impact on the sector in the medium term. Aviva ( AV. ) has announced that it will launch a new subscription-based insurance product called AvivaPlus with several novel features. First the customer will be able to...
The final quarter of 2018 was shaping up to be a bruising period for investors as stocks drifted in September and then capitulated in October amid a host of economic and geopolitical concerns. A truce on the trade war between the US and China seems to have been a catalyst for an easing of these...
Black Friday is a term typically associated with the retail sector, but it could have summed up the mood of boardrooms in oil and gas firms across the globe on 23 November when oil hit its lowest level in 12 months after a significant intraday crash in prices. Even after crawling back just above $...
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