December proved a difficult month for global equities with many of them suffering large falls, which meant that 2018 saw falls for nearly all the leading global equity markets.
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.
The Bank of England maintained interest rates at 0.75% in December following the increase in August. With inflation remaining unchanged, this means long-suffering deposit savers continue to lose money in real terms when you consider the rate of savings interest compared to the rate of inflation.
With external influences remaining uncertain, it is reasonable to assume that we may well be entering a volatile period for investors and as usual it remains increasingly important to invest in a well diversified investment proposition.