Market Commentary January 2019

Craig Hendry

Craig Hendry

Managing Director & Chartered Financial Planner

The FTSE finished the calendar month in positive territory, the first time since September last year.

A combination of the US Government shutdown coming to an end, the US Federal Reserve taking a more ‘patient’ approach to their planned interest rates rises and a rare Commons vote win for Theresa May’s Brexit Plan B saw the index rise by around 3.5%.

Top 5 FTSE 100 rising stock were:

  • Ocado PLC +22%
  • Persimmon PLC +20%
  • Taylor Wimpey PLC +19.5%
  • Ashtead Group PLC +15%
  • Barratt Developments PLC +15%

Top 5 FTSE 100 falling stock were:

  • Vodafone PLC -12%
  • Hargreaves Landsdown PLC -12%
  • AstraZeneca PLC – 8%
  • Hiscox PLC – 7.5%
  • Pearson Group PLC – 4.8%

Some might be aware of the recent concern over the economic prospects of China’s economy however, commenting at the World Economic Forum in Davos, the Vice President of China, Wang Qishan appeared to allay these fears by stating he believed China’s growth was to ‘continue and be stable’ throughout 2019.

In trade talks with the US, China promised to ‘substantially’ expand purchases of US goods. The markets took this as a sign of a potential trade war breakthrough as President Trump announced that he was to dispatch two of his top trade negotiators to China in mid-February for more talks.

Back to the UK and it was announced during the month that the rate of UK inflation fell to 2.1% from 2.3% the previous month. Anyone heading off to Europe might have noticed a few more Euros for their pound as the GBP v EUR rate strengthened.

The price of Brent Crude increased by double digits during January, but the retail price of fuel remained relatively stable at the forecourt. This wholesale price rise might feed through to the fuel pumps in the months ahead.

 31 January 20191 month6 months12 months
FTSE 1006,968.853.58%-10.06%-6.96%
Brent Crude (US$)60.8413.09%-18.06%-12.65%
Gold (US$ per oz)1,321.253.02%7.93%-2.04%



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