At the start of the week, markets were focused on the Fed’s first meeting since it raised rates in December last year. But, it was the surprise news that Japan has moved to negative interest rates that really gave investors a lift on Friday.
Along the way it was helped by a strong move by Anglo American, which announced a significant job reduction plan which saw its shares jump as much as 15%.
Souring the mood, somewhat, however, were the poor numbers from Royal Bank of Scotland and, miner Antofagasta out on Wednesday and Thursday’s news that UK GDP grew only 0.5% in the fourth quarter of the year, which meant that the annualised increase of 1.9% was the lowest in three years. There was also the news that Aberdeen Asset Management’s chairman has left the firm following continued outflows.
Oil too remains top of mind, with Iran coming out with a rebuttal to suggested OPEC output cuts. Indeed, as Joshua Mahony, Market Analyst at IG pointed out on Friday: “Friday saw the FTSE finally break through 6024, following two unsuccessful attempts earlier this week. However, these gains are proving short-lived… The feeling is that markets are treading on thin ice in this recent rally, knowing that at any moment crude prices can crash lower, taking the FTSE with it.”
That did not, however, stop readers flocking to Alex Sebastian’s piece titled: An oil price recovery could be in sight, which was based on a fairly upbeat take on the future outlook for oil prices by Nikko Asset Management.
But, while big macro themes continue to dominate markets, the story that did best on Portfolio-Adviser.com was a look at Tilney Bestinvest’s Top of the Dogs list.
Continuing the downbeat mood, readers also responded positively to Tjibbe Hoekstra’s piece that asked whether or not the current market wave is actually about to hit the rocks. But, within the UK, the big news of the week was the appointment of PRA chief Andrew Bailey to the post of head of the Financial Conduct Authority.
Other stories we liked
Karin Wasteson’s profile of Rowan Dartington got people clicking, as Tim Cockerill and John Betteridge looked at how the firm ensures it continually prepares for change.
The latest PA Podcast came out this week as well. Geoff Candy pinned down Dan Kemp, Morningstar’s CIO for EMEA for a discussion on everything from the recent commodities capitulation to the challenges posed in the current market by cautious clients, while Gary Shepherd’s thoughtful piece on the need for Bailey’s reign at the FCA to look beyond the easy wins is worth a read, especially in light of the recent turmoil seen at the regulator.
People and products
Tilney for Intemediaries launched a range of smart beta-focused multi-asset funds, while Hargreaves Lansdown launched a multi-manager fund.