Five things investors learned in the last week

27th August 2013

1)  The United Kingdom was even further away from that dreadful double dip than we thought. Growth has now been revised to 0.7% from 0.6% in the second quarter, boosted by higher output across construction, manufacturing and parts of services. Exports increased 3.6% with a regional view given here by the Belfast Telegraph. Mindful Money contributor Simon Ward suggests the recovery is more balanced than many commentators are suggesting.

2) When will it end? The Daily Mail suggests that Barclays, HSBC and RBS are among 13 European banks which could be fined billions by European regulators for seeking to exclude rivals from the credit default swap market between 2006 and 2009 by preventing them from setting up exchanges. This is among a host of other regulatory challenges facing the high street banks as John Lappin highlighted earlier this month. Investors must be asking when will it end, but maybe stock pickers can find value amid the reputational carnage. There are more than 13 banks in Europe of course and even troubled stocks can represent a recovery play.

3) Fund flows to frontier markets – i.e. less developed than emerging markets – have doubled since the start of the year to £3.1bn according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch as trade website Investment Week reports.

4) The Chinese National Bureau of Statistics says the country is on track to meet its growth target of 7.5% as the New York Times reports. This certainly has implication for the global economy as many analysts had feared a hard landing. Business Insider suggests that iron prices confirm this reasonably bullish scenario.

5) Markets are clearly concerned that an attack on Syria by the US, UK and other allies could push oil prices a lot higher. Brent crude is around $112 a barrel. It could mark the end of this phase of the gold market bear run as well as thisismoney reports.

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