December was a difficult month for company shares globally which meant that 2018 saw falls for nearly all the leading global equity markets:
|December 2018||Full Year 2018|
|FTSE 100 (UK)||-3.6%||-12.5%|
|Dow Jones 30 (US)||-8.7%||-5.6%|
|S&P 500 (US)||-9.2%||-6.2%|
|Euro Stoxx 50 (Europe)||-5.4%||-14.3%|
|Nikkei 225 (Japan)||-10.5%||-12.1%|
Most of our cautious portfolios have been sheltered from much of these falls and some are showing a fractional increase in performance over 2018.
In terms of currency, £ Sterling ended December at 1.28 US Dollars. This was more or less flat against the closing figure at the end of November. Against the Euro, £ Sterling ended December at 1.11 Euros, which was 1.3% lower than the November closing figure.
Inflation, as measured by the Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH), was 2.2% in November 2018 (this is November’s data which is reported in December). This was the same as the previous two months. The 12-month rate for the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rate which excludes owner occupied housing costs and council tax was 2.3% in November 2018, which was down from the 2.4% in October 2018.