Date Title
20 Feb 2017

Asset Allocator 20/02/17

Equity markets finished the five trading days through to Friday February 17th on strong form again. The FTSE 100 ended the week at 7299, just shy of 7300, an increase of just 0.5%. Intriguingly the more domestic focused mid cap FTSE 250 index was down very marginally on the week at 18707.  The benchmark blue chip US stockmarket index, the S&P 500 hit 2351, up a very strong 1.5%. Emerging markets stocks, as measured by the MSCI EM index, also joined in the fun, increasing just under 1% - so far this year this index is up 44% compared to a 22% increase for the S&P 500.  All this bullishness in equities couldn’t quite hide a small uptick in stockmarket volatility, as measured by the VIX index. This finished the week at 11.76 up 8% - although it’s also worth saying that this index is still trading well below medium and long term levels! Brent oil prices dropped 2% to finish at $55 a barrel while gold moved slightly higher to $1238 an ounce.

13 Feb 2017

Asset Allocator 13/02/17

Compared with recent weeks, financial markets were much more active in the five trading days through to Friday 10th February with most major indices surging upwards – only volatility as measured by the Vix registered a decline over the week. 

Overall equities saw the strongest gains with the FTSE 100 up nearly 1% at 7258 while the mid cap FTSE 250 index punched above its weight with a 1.65% gain to finish the week at 18715. A target of 20000 now seems eminently realistic for this more UK domestic focused index. 

The blue-chip benchmark US index, the S&P 500, also ended the week on a strong note, increasing 0.81% to close at 2361. Again, without wanting to sound a broken record player, a target of 2500 seems increasingly likely for this major US index. Looking at key technical measures such as the 20 and 200 day moving, both US and UK equities now seem to be in firmly bullish territory.

06 Feb 2017

Asset Allocator 06/02/17

Most major stockmarkets were in subdued form in the five trading days through to Friday 3rd February. Both the FTSE 100 and the S&P 500 were marginally ahead on the week (up 0.05% and 0.12% respectively) although there was evidence of much more life lower down the pecking order with the mid cap UK index, the FTSE 250 stormed ahead by 1.21% closely followed by the FTSE Small Cap index up 0.72%.  Most of the excitement seems to have been confined to the commodity markets where Brent oil prices moved up 2.67% followed by Gold prices up 2.35% - the latter pushed past $1200 an ounce. Volatility as measured by the Vix index also ticked up substantially by 12% to 11.93. 

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