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Market Bulletin

Market Bulletin (21/03/2017)

Rate runes   Political commentators have their stock of regular metaphors, but few win as many column inches as the Ides of March, the date of Julius Caesar’s assassination. Last week the commentators could take extra delight in the Dutch election, starting shot of a widely-feared series

Market Bulletin (14/03/2017)

Capital concerns If anywhere can claim to be capitalism’s birthplace, it is probably the Netherlands. Karl Marx called it the “model capitalist nation of the seventeenth century”, the Amsterdam Stock Exchange became home to the first tradable shares in its founding year of 1602, and the

Market Bulletin (07/03/2017)

Following wind In many ways, Philip Hammond will have the wind at his heels as he announces his first Budget in Parliament this week. Stronger tax receipts and positive economic growth mean he can look forward to detailing a £29 billion windfall, according to Resolution Foundation

Market Bulletin (28/02/2017)

Coining happiness Happiness, according to Charles Dickens’ character Wilkins Micawber, is to be found in achieving a surplus. Or, as the fictional debtor himself put it: “Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen [pounds], nineteen [shillings] and six [pence], result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual

Market Bulletin (21/02/2017)

Upward momentum Inflation in the UK reached a 31-month high of 1.8% last week, on rising fuel prices and a sharp slowdown in the fall in food prices. Meanwhile, prices paid by UK manufacturers for imported raw materials and fuel rose 20% in January year-on-year. The

Market Bulletin (14/02/2017)

Drachma drama   In 1972 German television aired a sketch by Monty Python, in which the leading lights of Greek philosophy face off in a football match against a team of Germany’s leading thinkers. In the end, the Greeks win 1–0, even though the only goal

Market Bulletin (07/02/2017)

Mirror image   Once upon a time, investors in the developed world used to worry about economics and leave politics well alone. Last week offered another reminder that much has changed in recent months, as a raft of positive economic indicators across the developed world contrasted with

Market Bulletin (31/01/2017)

Mood music Figures for the fourth quarter published last week showed that the UK had the fastest-growing economy among G7 countries in 2016. Fourth-quarter growth was particularly pronounced in the services sector, which accounts for around four fifths of the UK economy – not bad for

Market Bulletin (24/01/2017)

Trading places   In 1793 Emperor Qianlong of China wrote a letter to George III to respond to the British king’s request to send a trade representative to China. After the usual pleasantries, the letter famously stated: “As your Ambassador can see for himself, we possess all

Market Bulletin (17/01/2017)

Retail therapy The old saw that England is “a nation of shopkeepers” looked apt last week, as a slew of retail earnings figures showed shoppers taking High Street sales to new levels in the fourth quarter.   Among the risers was Marks & Spencer, which reported a 2.3% annualised

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