Financial Market Summary 29th June

It was certainly a mixed week for world stock markets last week with Monday’s opening slump almost being cancelled out by Thursday’s strong rally. The S&P 500 just managed to nudge into positive territory for the week, while the FTSE, CAC and DAX could only were firmly in the red.

US house prices fell by 6.8% in April and existing home sales fell by 3.0%. The US housing market at the epicentre of the credit crunch has stopped cliff diving but prices are still marching downwards. The pace of the global meltdown has slowed, but judging by last week’s US unemployment claims increase, any meaningful recovery will be long and drawn out.

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Financial Market Summary June 8th 2009

US equities enjoyed a positive week, thanks largely to the Monday’s opening gap higher than Friday’s close. There was a mixed reaction to Friday’s Non Farm Payroll numbers. Job losses came in at much less than anticipated causing short term volatility on equity futures and currency markets. Treasuries plunged and stocks surged at the open, but this initial move was short lived. Unconfirmed rumours speculated that the best NFP numbers in comparison to expectations since September were caused by a computer error. ISM manufacturing data contracted at its slowest pace for eight months. European markets had a mixed week, with the FTSE hampered by blue chip companies going ex dividend, amid growing uncertainty over the Labour leadership.

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Financial Market Summary June 1st 2009

Stock markets have had a relatively quiet few weeks, though the trend has remained biased the upside. It has been credit and currency markets that have seen most of the action of the last couple of weeks. The dollar is being punished, with the dollar index falling over 1.5% on Friday alone. This is partly down to concerns over the US budget deficit, and fears that the Fed is trying to monetise their rising debt mountain. Another explanation for the slump is a returning appetite for risk from global investors. During the height of the crisis, the dollar, and US treasury bonds were seen as a safe haven. Now with confidence easing back into the system, this flight to safety appears to be rapidly unwinding. Bonds were massacred last week, while the dollar fell heavily against a basket of currencies including Sterling and the Euro.

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Financial Market Summary 25th April 2009

Market friendly election results from India got equities off to a good start last week, and despite slipping into reverse gear midweek, global stock markets managed to close the week in the black.

Barclays was firmer on speculation that Blackrock and The Bank of NewYork Mellon may compete to acquire the BGI unit. Barclays seemed unaffected by reports that the creditors acting on behalf of Lehman Brothers are claiming foul play in the rushed purchase of the former US brokerage unit.

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BetOnMarkets Weekly Briefing Monday 4th May 2009

It was another good week for equity markets with the banks leading the charge. Barclays was the front runner, rising to over £2.90 at one point and gaining over 10% on Thursday alone. Barclays is benefiting from the so called ‘independence’ premium, and speculation over the potential gains to be made with the sale of its BGI unit. With today’s gains, Barclays has overtaken Britain’s only other remaining independent bank, in terms of returns over the last year. Barclays has lost 40.53%, while HSBC has lost 45.50% over the last 365 days. Interestingly, HSBC is the only major UK bank which hasn’t rallied by 55% or more in the last month. Santander’s results certainly helped sentiment in the sector across Europe.

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