City Watch: Brian Tora on the current resilience of UK markets

IT IS interesting, if a little confusing, to find that our own share market started this week in a buoyant mood, despite Wall Street having its worst week since the early summer.

True, there is the Presidential election taking place there shortly, with all the uncertainty that creates, but the fact that investors here have managed to shrug aside problems from elsewhere may be comforting, but is also a little worrying.

We did have some encouraging signs that house prices might be recovering at last, with the Rightmove index up a surprising 3.5% after last month’s fall, and the inflation figures due out today should show a further decline in the rate of increase in our cost of living. But worries remain in Europe, with a summit due to start this Thursday. Nobody is expecting too much from it, though.

Ernst & Young’s ITEM Club has also warned that our economy might contract more than is expected this year.

Amongst the major companies reporting third quarter profit figures this week is mining giant Rio Tinto. Mining stocks got off to a poor week in London, with fears that China’s slowdown will impinge on their future profitability.

But investors can at least take comfort from the steadier nature of trading in the London market – 25 years ago this week, trading was suspended in the wake of the hurricane that swept through southern England.

Disruption to transport meant that insufficient traders reached their desks to allow a proper market to develop. Unfortunately, we were closed while Wall Street plummeted, leading to a bloodbath on the following Monday. History, hopefully, won’t repeat itself.

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: : Brian Tora is an associate with investment managers JM Finn & Co.

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