Date Title
24 Oct 2016

Asset Allocator 24/10/16

It’s been another relatively restrained five days through to Friday 21st October on the global financial markets, with no big moves except a continuing decline in volatility as measured by the VIX.  In terms of equity markets, the UK’s benchmark index the FTSE 100 ended the week up slightly (+0.1%) at 7066, above the all-important 7000 level although the UK midcap index (the FTSE 250) and small cap index both finished the week marginally down. The US benchmark equity index, the S&P 500, finished the week also marginally ahead (up 0.38%) at 2141. Gold managed to hold its own last week and was up 1.27% to finish the week at $1266 an ounce although it is worth observing that overall the key technical indicators look bearish for the precious metal, especially if the US Federal Reserve does decide to increase interest rates in December. 

17 Oct 2016

Asset Allocator 17/10/16

Energy markets enjoyed another bumper five days through to Friday 14th October, with Brent prices finishing the week at $52.25. Many investors in the energy markets are now betting that OPEC will be able to make its output deal work, in cooperation with the Russians. The next key date to watch out for is the OPEC meeting on November 30th.  Crucially though this optimism seems fairly restrained with few expecting prices to rise much above $55 a barrel. Surging oil prices may also have helped the FTSE 100 move higher although the main tailwind helping the blue chip index is of course the big drop in the value of sterling – which is now down an astonishing 18% over the last 12 months. Only the decline in volatility levels as measured by the VIX is anywhere near as noticeable over the same time period! 

10 Oct 2016

Asset Allocator 10/10/16

Some really rather big and important moves to report this week. Most UK investors were probably focusing more on the surging FTSE 100 which romped ahead 2.1% (against a 0.67% loss for the S&P 500 in the US), pushing past 7000 – is 7500 the next target? This optimism was of course fuelled in part by a plunging pound which ended the week down 4.16% at $1.24 to the £. But there were some other notable moves over the five days to Friday 7th October, particularly another startling decline in the volatility index, the VIX, to just under 13 and a fall below $1300 for gold – the shiny stuff finished the week at $1251 an ounce and prospects look mighty bearish for the precious metal with a strong downwards technical bias. Is $1200 the next leg down for the precious metal?

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