Austyn James News

13 Dec

FTSE 100 Index reaches new high in November

UK interest rates rose for the first time since 2007 during November. Despite this, investors appear to be confident that any further increases will be very gradual, and the FTSE 100 Index reached a new high during the month. Although UK share prices generally fell over November as a whole, medium-sized companies fared slightly better… Read more »

22 Nov

Budget Snapshot November 2017

The Budget statement was delivered today at 12.30pm by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond. This is the first of what will now become an annual budget held in the Autumn. From 2018 there will be a ‘Spring Statement’ but all major fiscal announcements will only be made in November. The Budget is a… Read more »

16 Oct

Brexit concerns hamper confidence

Unlike many other major equity markets, the FTSE 100 Index ended September in negative territory. Ongoing disquiet over Brexit dampened investor sentiment; moreover, confidence was further thrown off balance by concerns over an escalating battle of words between North Korea and the US. Over September as a whole, the FTSE 100 Index fell by 0.8%…. Read more »

10 Aug

Inflation remains a conundrum

Global equity markets generally advanced during July, underpinned by further evidence of economic strength. Inflation, however, remained at the forefront of investors’ consciousness over the month. European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi played down speculation that the central bank intends to begin winding down its programme of economic stimulus measures soon, warning that underlying… Read more »

20 Jul

Government brings forward increase in state pension age

The Government has decided to bring forward the increase in the state pension age to 68 by seven years. Adopting the recommendations of the Cridland review into state pension increases, the Government has confirmed that the state pension age will rise from 67 to 68 from 2037. Speaking in the House of Commons today, Work… Read more »

07 Jun

Politics drive sentiment in May

The General Election commanded plenty of attention during May as investors became increasingly unsettled by uncertainties over the possible outcome of the vote. The FTSE 100 Index reached new highs in May and breached 7,500 points for the first time. Over the month, the FTSE 100 Index climbed by 4.4%, while the FTSE 250 Index… Read more »

20 Apr

2017/18 limits for ISAs

Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) are tax-efficient savings vehicles that allow you to save and invest without having to pay income tax or capital gains tax. They can be a good way for people to start saving or to add to their existing portfolio of savings and investments. The ISA allowance for the 2017/18 tax year… Read more »

04 Apr

Brexit: conscious uncoupling

Prime Minister Theresa May made history on 29 March as she began the official Brexit process by triggering Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty in a letter to European Council President Donald Tusk. The UK and the EU have two years to negotiate withdrawal terms, which will encompass issues such as the rights of EU… Read more »

21 Mar

From CPI to CPIH

Consumer price inflation measures the rate at which the price of certain goods and services rise or fall. Until 21 March 2017, the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) was the UK’s headline measure of inflation; from that date, however, it changed to CPIH, which includes housing costs. CPIH is not designed to capture house-price rises; instead,… Read more »

21 Mar

Government U-turn on NICs

One week after unveiling a controversial increase in National Insurance Contributions (NICs) for the self-employed at the Spring Budget, the Government performed an unexpected U-turn. In a letter to the Chairman of the Treasury Select Committee, Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond announced that planned increases to Class 4 NICs would not take place during… Read more »