February started with the threat of a global stockmarket crash, which turned into little more than a market correction that we get from time to time. The month ended with the Beast from the East causing havoc to the UK’s travel and general infrastructure.
The FTSE 100 ended February at 7,231.91, which was 4.0% lower than the January closing figure of 7,533.55. While this is now 5.9% lower than the 2017 closing figure of 7,687.77, it must be remembered that this is sill 1.2% higher than the start of 2017 (7,142.83).
In the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average had its first losing month since March 2017, falling 4.3% to close February at 25,029.20. Given the very strong performance in January, this remains 0.9% higher than the 2018 opening level of 24,809.35.
In terms of £ Sterling, it ended February at 1.38 US Dollars. This was 3.1% lower than the closing figure at the end of January of 1.42 US Dollars.
Against the Euro, £ Sterling ended February at 1.13 Euros, which was 1.3% lower than the January closing figure of 1.14 Euros.
Inflation, as measured by the Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH), was 2.7% in January 2018 (this is January’s data which is reported in February). This was the same as the previous month. The 12-month rate for the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rate which excludes owner occupied housing costs and council tax was also unchanged at 3.0% in January 2018.
The increase in interest rates during November 2017 helped long-suffering deposit savers slightly. However, they continue to lose money in real terms when you consider the rate of savings interest compared to the rate of inflation.
Past performance is not a guide to future performance. The value of an investment and any income from it can fall as well as rise as a result of market and currency fluctuations. You may not get back the amount you originally invested.