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Weekend Roundup

Returns of selected markets over the last week and since 1st January. This week is sorted by the last week. Sorted by the last year can be found at the end of this post.

However much we would like them to, things rarely go in straight lines – whether it is changes in inflation or recoveries in stock markets. That has been the experience over the last few months. Having handsomely beat expectations in November, inflation in December ticked up a little to 4.0 per cent against expectations of a drop to 3.8 per cent. The trend, however, is down, helped by falling gas prices (another big drop in the energy price cap is likely from 1st April) and moderating wage increases.  


The upshot is that the mid-cap index has given back nearly half of December’s gains in the UK. It’s the same story with 10-year gilts, which has given back some of those gains after a tremendous rally in December. The yield has risen to 3.9 per cent, having been 3.4 per cent on 31st December. (see chart)


Hopefully, the worst of the setback has been done, and yesterday, yet another UK company was taken over at a substantial premium – Wincanton has accepted a cash bid at 450p, a 50 per cent premium to Thursday’s closing price. My time will come!


Commodities have had a poor start to 2024 due to the disappointing Chinese economy.


In the meantime, the US has recommenced normal service after a similar early January setback, with the S&P 500 closing at an all-time high last night. (See chart).


JIC Portfolio

The JIC Portfolio was down 2.1% last week v -2.0 per cent for the FTSE All Share. YTD, JIC is down 5.0 per cent v -3.5 per cent for the All-Share.

For the five years to 12th January, JIC is up 50.4 per cent. Over the same period, the FTSE All-Share TR Index was up 27.5 per cent.


The AIM All-Share is down 3.6 per cent this year, the FTSE 250 is down 4.1 per cent, and the FTSE Small Cap (Ex Investment Co) is down 3.3 per cent.


JIC Funds' Portfolio

The Funds’ Portfolio was down 1.9 per cent last week. The FTSE All-World (GBP, TR) Index was up 0.5 per cent. (Strong US markets and weak sterling)

YTD, the Funds’ Portfolio is down 4.1 per cent v +0.2 per cent for the All-World.


Big Movers over the last week


Positives: The best was Shoe Zone +4.2 per cent.


Negatives: Glencore -8.0 per cent, Sylvania Platinum -7.3 per cent, Niox -6.1 per cent and Global X Copper Miners ETF -5.4 per cent.


New Three-Month/One Year Highs last week

Fundsmith (12-month high), JP Morgan American (12-month high), Nippon Active Value (12-month high), Premier Foods (12-month high), Polar Capital Global Healthcare, and Shoe Zone.


New Three-Month Lows

BlackRock World Mining Trust (12-month low), BlackRock Energy & Resources Income (12-month low), Niox, Glencore and Serica Energy.


Last week’s trades, news, and ex-dividends


In the Funds’ Portfolio, I reduced BlackRock Energy & Resources Income to 5.0 per cent and added a 4.5 per cent position in JP Morgan American.   

I sold RS Group in the JIC Portfolio and replaced it with Jet2.

Niox trading update saw turnover a smidgen short of expectations but margins up and cash higher than forecast. Harbour Energy’s update was disappointing because its guidance for 2024 and 2025 production was below expectations.

No dividend payments or ex-dividends.


Upcoming Events and ex-dividends

A busier week ahead with a trading update from Premier Foods (Tuesday) and PayPoint (Wednesday). On Thursday, IG Group publishes its interim results.

No ex-dividends or payments.


Cash Holdings

0.0 per cent in the JIC Portfolio and 0.0 per cent in the Funds' Portfolio.

31.1 per cent of the JIC Portfolio comprises six commodity holdings – down from 32.1 per cent last weekend.


Seeing a buy recommendation for Hargreaves Lansdown in this week’s Investors Chronicle was good.


Have a great weekend.



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