Investors see best first-quarter returns in 14 years
It’s been a positive start to the year for global equities. The FTSE 100 Index closed the first three months of 2012 ahead by around 3.5%, erasing almost two-thirds of the losses suffered in 2011, while similar advances were seen in France, Germany, Japan and the United States.
US stocks gave investors their best first-quarter returns since 1998, while the Nikkei 225 Index had its strongest quarter in 24 years, rising more than 19% in local terms.
Also in this week's bulletin...
- Keith Wade, chief economist at Schroder Investment Management, explains the key differences between the optimism now compared to that of 12 months ago.
- The Spanish government announced details of "the most austere budget in Spanish democratic history", which will cut €27 billion in spending as part of its program to reduce deficits, as the troubled European nation seeks to avoid a Greece-style default.
- For many years, Japan has been considered a stay-away area for investors. However, with a debt-free banking sector, lean companies, a massive post-disaster spending programme and a sharp change in culture at the Bank of Japan, evidence is stacking up that it may well be an area of interest for the right investor.
View this week's Market Bulletin, which contains thoughts and opinions of St. James’s Place and our range of investment managers on the key issues affecting investors.
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