Saturday, 2 May 2009

Markets this week

Swine flu became a global obsession, it was announced that the US economy was still shrinking faster than 6% a year (meaning it is currently about 3.3% below its peak) and as ever there was much bad news all around.

None of it appears to have surprised the markets, however. Here's the current levels and their change on a week earlier.

FTSE: 4243.22 (up 87.23, or 2.1%)
DOW: 8212.41 (up 136.12 or 1.7%)
£: $1.4911 (up 2.39¢ or 1.6%)
£: €1.1239 (up 1.56¢ or 1.4%)
Oil: $52.42 (up 76¢ or 1.5%)
Oil: £35.36 (down 6p or 0.2%)
Oil: €39.51 (up 49¢ or 1.3%)
Gold: $884.5 (down $23 or 2.5%)
Gold: £593.19 (down £25.34 or 4.1%)
Gold: €666.68 (down €18.83 or 2.7%)

Interestingly, the movement in the DOW and the £/$ exchange rate have been remarkably similar of late. If the DOW were measured in £ terms, it would lie 11.3% below it's 03/01/2009 peak, compared to 11.4% last week, 11.5% the week before and 11.2% three weeks ago. This is a highly unusual correlation, but implies that any optimism about the US economy either weakens the dollar or strengthens the pound. It also means that in any common currency, the FTSE has outperformed the DOW recently. Graph below, of both indices, quoted in £, rebased so that their recent peak is set at 100.

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