Five things investors learned this week

30th August 2013

1) The UK property price renaissance is all a bit, too little, too late for some as the number of estate agents going bust has soared in the past year. Elsewhere BlackRock’s chief global strategist Bob Koesterich warned investors to keep an eye on the US housing market which may be flagging with implications for consumer confidence.

2) Vodafone saw its shares hit a twelve year high and investors may be in for a windfall, as the firm revealed it was in talks to sell its 45 per cent stake in Verizon Wireless. The sums are eye-watering but as analysts point out Vodafone could be losing a very lucrative future revenue stream.

3) House prices in the UK continue to rise at a ‘fairly brisk pace’ up 0.6 per cent in August and 3.5 per cent on the year with 45 per cent of those being first time buyers according to Nationwide. The building society said government schemes are making credit cheaper and more mortgages available. Ashcourt Rowan said a mismatch between policies to kick start the mortgage market, and less effective measures to encourage house building risked a creating another housing bubble.

4) It seems the world’s emerging markets are weighing on the minds of many a fund manager. Renowned investor Crispin Odey has split emerging markets into the good (those with strong current account balances)…and the bad (not so strong current account balances) as Investment Week reports. But what is also interesting is that the same specialist website has also dug out Odey and M&G’s attitude to shares in Aberdeen – an emerging market specialist fund manager. After a difficult summer, M&G is backing Aberdeen by holding the shares, but Odey is shorting the stock in the belief that it has further to fall.

5) Although British participation is much less likely, Soc Gen has suggested that air strikes on Syria could push oil prices to $125 a barrel and $150 if military action disrupts oil supplies as the BBC reported. The oil price at time of writing was around $115 for Brent Crude. Consultancy Capital Economics has urged that at $150 a barrel, a percentage point could be knocked off the rate of global growth.

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