Lexington were delighted to see that U.K. stock markets finished the week – and the quarter – on a positive note!
The U.S. Federal Reserve’s accommodative monetary policy and strong profit growth helped provide the lift needed to propel the FTSE 100 to a 5-year high. The U.S. Dow Jones Industrials Index also finished the week above its previous record close. For the quarter, the FTSE 100 was up about 9 percent, the FTSE Small-Cap index was up about 11.3 percent, and the FTSE AIM index was up about 3.4 percent.
Despite the strong performance overall, Lexington noted that markets were somewhat choppy during the week. Concerns about Cyprus and the Eurozone debt crisis overshadowed markets early on. The latest episodes in the crisis – the Cyprus bank bailout and Italy’s failure to form a government – helped nudge rates lower last week.
Fears about Eurozone debt issues generally have had a positive effect on gold prices, too, helping the precious metal reach a record high price in September 2011. That has not been the case this year. Gold finished the quarter down by more than 5 percent.