Date Title
31 Aug 2016

Asset Allocator 31/08/16

Over the last week oil prices have weakened by 3.5% but over the one month to Wednesday August 31st, crude prices have actually increased by just under 9%. Gold prices have also weakened marginally and it looks as though we are heading back towards the $1300 barrier (though I have my doubts that the PM will fall much below that threshold). The other big gainer of August has been volatility as measured by the VIX which has increased by 10% to end the month at 13.12. But investor’s need to bear in mind that vol levels have been near to all-time lows, so that increase isn’t actually that meaningful. As for equity markets, the FTSE 100 advanced by less than 1% over August beating the S&P 500’s advance of just 0.12%. Intriguingly though the two smaller UK equity indices – the FTSE 250 and the FTSE Small Cap – both had a better August, pushing ahead by more than 2.5% in both cases in August. 

08 Aug 2016

Asset Allocator 08/08/16

Another relatively quiet week for markets. Oil recovered some of its poise, moving up 2.5% for Brent crude while gold pulled back 1.13% to $1335 an ounce. UK equities had another good week with the FTSE 100 up over 1% and the FTSE 250 up slightly more at 1.06%. US equities as measured by the S&P 500 tracked behind these British gains, increasing only 0.43%. For the FTSE 100 the psychological barrier of 7000 still looms while the S&P 500 at 2250 still looks a possibility.

01 Aug 2016

Asset Allocator 01/08/16

A short note this holiday week. Equity markets barely moved over the five days to Friday 29th July, with both the FTSE and S&P very marginally nudging lower over the week – though it is worth noting that the FTSE 250 ended the week up 1.76% and the FTSE Small Cap increased a whopping 2.18%. Gold prices stopped their recent decline pushing back towards the $1350 an ounce level but the biggest move of the week was in oil where Brent prices fell back by 5.4%. Many oil traders now have $40 a barrel as their next target, and with financial futures many times bigger than actual physical trades, all we need is for the bears to be in ascendant and we could see another push downwards. 

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