Market Numbers & News 28th March 2014

S e w e l l B r y d e n G u n n

Market Numbers & News 28th March 2014
The FTSE 100 closed at 6615.58 -58.41 points -0.89% on previous weeks close 6557.17
+203.84 points +3.18% against a year ago at 6411.74
“In House”, we regard the FTSE 100 index as being somewhat volatile so that direct comparison with more balanced or cautiously constructed portfolios will not always give an appropriate result although reviewing the index is useful as a general guide to market activity in the larger capitalised market.
Sectors which performed well over the last week include:
Oil & Gas (Oil & Gas Producers, Oil Equipment Servicestion), which closed at
8585.58 +2.08% on the week
Basic Materials (Chemicals, Forestry & Paper, Mining and Industrial Metals & Mining), which closed at 5398.74 +2.32% on the week
Consumer Goods (Automobiles & Parts, Beverages, Food Producers, Household Goods and Home Cons, Leisure Goods, Personal Goods and Tobacco), which closed at
15351.56 +3.24% on the week
Utilities (Electricity, Gas Water & Multiutilities) plateaud, closing at 8539.75  -0.53% on the week following the announcement of the start of an investigation into the UK energy industry and the “big six” energy companies.
Brent Crude closed at 108.07 (last week 106.92)
Bank of England Base (Repo) Rate at 0.50% (since 05/03/2009)
One Pound GBP buys 1.6638USD (lw 1.6628 USD) and 1.2098EUROS (lw 1.1941 EUROS)
MARKET COMMENT:      Insurance companies whose share values were already reeling from the announcement in Chancellor Osborne’s Budget that pensioners would no longer have to buy an annuity with their pension funds at retirement, found their share values under more pressure as hundreds of millions were wiped of the sector’s market value following another announcement, this time by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), that it intends to scrutinise customer service levels, information transparency and appropriateness of investments as part of a wide-ranging probe into some 30 million policies. The stock market “sell-off” (now recovered somewhat) happened amid concerns of a far-reaching investigation into contracts written over 20 years ago.
Generally the financial adviser community has welcomed the news – the insurance industry was by contrast furious about the way the announcement had been made (some six hours after the stock market opened the FCA finally clarified the scope of the probe)
It does appear that finally some of the key issues of concern (allegedly!) over the years are getting a proper airing as part of this particular “reckoning”…

Photo Credit: SBG PhotoStock

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