Market Watch – July 2023

Neil Birrell

Chief Investment Officer

For information purposes only. Any views and opinions expressed here are those of the author at the time of writing and can change; they may not represent the views of Premier Miton and should not be taken as statements of fact, nor should they be relied upon for making investment decisions.

Investing involves risk. The value of an investment can go down as well as up which means that you could get back less than you originally invested when you come to sell your investment. The value of your investment might not keep up with any rise in the cost of living.

Premier Miton is unable to provide investment, tax or financial planning advice. We recommend that you discuss any investment decisions with a financial adviser.

July – in brief

• The inflation rate in the UK is at its lowest for a year.
• The US economy remains strong, despite the economic challenges.
• Financial markets were volatile through the month as economic data remained the key driver.

Whisper it quietly; inflation might be beaten in the UK

In the middle of July, the announcement that inflation in the UK had fallen to the lowest level for 12 months gave reason for cheer. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) for June was 7.9% higher than the previous June, having been 8.7% in May and encouragingly it was lower than the expected figure of 8.2%. Further good news was that core CPI, which excludes energy and food, was lower than expected as well.

It is clearly too soon to call the battle against inflation a victory, but this news was encouraging. Furthermore, it is also too early to contemplate any fall in interest rates in the UK. In fact, they could stay relatively high for some time. The impact of all the increases we have had so far will not have had full effect, so it is difficult to predict the short-term outlook for inflation and economic growth. There remains a risk that inflation could spike again and, on the other hand, that the economy could slow sharply because of high interest rates. The Bank of England will see the spectre of inflation the more hazardous one.

Onwards and upwards

The US economy should not surprise us anymore with the resilience and strength that it displays. It has done so over and over again through history. Not only is it the largest economy in the world it is the most dynamic and entrepreneurial one. Inflation has been consistently falling and the economy has remained robust in the face of rising interest rates. As rates carried on up, economic growth in the second quarter of the year surprised on the upside, leading even the most pessimistic of forecasters wondering if the much-predicted recession later this year will actually come about.

It may be that the US central bank, the Federal Reserve (Fed), will pull off the unexpected by getting inflation under control whilst keeping growth, and particularly the labour market, strong. As ever, time will tell and as with the UK, we should not be complacent, but it is possible that the increase of 0.25% in interest rates from the Fed in July might mean they have reached their peak.

Interestingly, it is also possible, although perhaps less likely, that the 0.25% increase from the European Central Bank (ECB) during the month may be their final one in this cycle as well. The ECB will be keen to keep the economy reasonably strong, maybe even at the expense of slightly higher inflation.

Choppy waters

Financial markets have largely been driven by macroeconomic data for some time now, certainly since the advent of the COVID pandemic and arguably since the global financial crisis in 2008. By that I mean the prices of bonds, equities (company shares) and other asset classes have reacted to data on inflation, employment, economic growth, interest rates and similar factors, rather than, for example a company’s share price being mainly impacted by its profitability or business conditions, otherwise called “fundamentals”.

Markets in different asset classes have moved quickly and sizably, in other words they have been volatile as investors buy and sell in reaction to data and news flow. This takes place across large elements of the different asset classes. July proved to be a microcosm of that feature.

To give an example of that, the UK’s FTSE 250 Index is made up of the next largest 250 companies below the FTSE 100 Index (the largest 100). It contains a number of property companies and investment companies and is often considered to be reasonably reflective of the UK economy and stock market. The index started the month at 18417 and fell to 17916 (a fall of 2.7%) before rising to 18618 (a rise of 3.9%) the day before the UK inflation data was announced. The positive inflation data and resulting moderation in expectations for interest rate increases led to the FSTE 250 Index jumping to 19322 on the day (a big jump of 3.8%). It ended the month very slightly lower. The performance information presented on this page relates to the past. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future returns.

I could give many examples of big moves in a short space of time like that, in many stock markets and bond markets around the world over the recent past. It makes investment decision making tougher, but very importantly, means that focusing on the long term is crucial. It is easy to get whipsawed in the short term and that can be expensive.

It also shows that there are differences within asset classes, the FTSE 100 Index, which is much more international by nature, only rose by a little more than half as much as the FTSE 250 Index.

Remaining vigilant and active in investment decision making and portfolio positioning is important in volatile markets such as these.

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Risks

Investing involves risk. The value of an investment can go down as well as up which means that you could get back less than you originally invested when you come to sell your investment.

The value of your investment might not keep up with any rise in the cost of living.

Forecasts are not reliable indicators of future returns.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION:

Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information provided, we regret that we cannot accept responsibility for any omissions or errors.

Any views and opinions expressed here are those of the author at the time of writing and can change; they may not represent the views of Premier Miton and should not be taken as statements of fact, nor should they be relied upon for making investment decisions.

Reference to any investment should not be considered advice or an investment recommendation.

Source: FTSE International Limited (“FTSE”) © FTSE 2023. “FTSE®” is a trade mark of the London Stock Exchange Group companies and is used by FTSE under licence. All rights in the FTSE indices and / or FTSE ratings vest in FTSE and/or its licensors. Neither FTSE nor its licensors accept any liability for any errors or omissions in the FTSE indices and / or FTSE ratings or underlying data. No further distribution of FTSE Data is permitted without FTSE’s express written consent.

Premier Miton is unable to provide investment, tax or financial planning advice. We recommend that you discuss any investment decisions with a financial adviser.

Issued by Premier Portfolio Managers Limited which is registered in England no. 01235867, authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and a member of the ‘Premier Miton Investors’ marketing group and a subsidiary of Premier Miton Group plc (registered in England no. 06306664). Registered office: Eastgate Court, High Street, Guildford, Surrey GU1 3DE.

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The content of the pages of this website is for your general information and use only. It, and the products and services described within it, are subject to change without notice. We shall not be liable to you, or any third party, for any amendment, modification, suspension or discontinuance of any product or service described on our website. Neither we, nor any third parties, provide any warranty or guarantee as to the accuracy, timeliness, performance, completeness or appropriateness of the information and materials made available on this website.

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The information contained in this website is directed at persons who are resident in the United Kingdom and complies with appropriate UK legislation and regulations and is not directed at, nor intended for distribution to, or use by, persons in any jurisdiction in which the dissemination of such investment related information is not permitted.

The information or opinions contained herein should not be construed as an offer, or solicitation to deal in any investment or fund nor shall any such investment products or services be offered or sold to any person in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation, purchase or sale would be unlawful or in which the person making the offer solicitation is not qualified to do so or to anyone to whom it is unlawful to make such offer or solicitation.

Premier Miton Investors has expressed its own views and opinions on this website, and these may change and there is no obligation to update them. Nothing in this website should be construed as investment, tax, legal or other advice. The information contained herein is subject to change without notice.

Neither Premier Miton Investors nor any of its group companies or affiliates accepts any liability for any losses arising directly or indirectly from any information accessed from this website, to the fullest extent permitted by law.

By clicking accept you acknowledge that your use of this website is subject to our privacy policy, cookie policy and our general legal and compliance information available on our website.

THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: The investment products referred to on this website have not been and will not be registered under the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended. They may not be offered or sold in the United States of America, its territories and possessions, any State of the United States of America or the District of Columbia or offered, sold or transferred to US Persons (as defined below). The investment products referred to on this website have not been and will not be registered under the United States Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended. Premier Portfolio Managers Limited has not been and will not be registered under the United States Investment Advisers Act of 1940.

 “US Person” generally includes the following: (a) any natural person resident in the United States; (b) a partnership or corporation organised or incorporated under the laws of the United States; (c) any estate of which any executor, or administrator, is a US Person; (d) any trust of which any trustee is a US Person; (e) any agency or branch of a non-US entity located in the United States; (f) any non-discretionary account or similar account (other than an estate or trust) for the benefit or account of a US Person; (g) any discretionary account or similar account (other than an estate or trust) held by a dealer or other fiduciary organised, incorporated or (if an individual) resident in the United States; and (h) any partnership or corporation if: i. organised or incorporated under the laws of any non-US jurisdiction; ii. formed by a US Person principally for the purpose of investing in securities not registered under the 1933 Act. In addition, a Shareholder must qualify as a “Non-United States Person” as used in the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) Rule 4.7.

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Website terms of use: Please ensure you have read and accept the full 'website terms of use' before continuing.

Read the full 'website terms of use' >

This section of the website and the content it contains is for professional financial advisers only and should not be relied upon, or circulated to, retail clients. Retail clients should refer to the Individual Investor's site.

The content of the pages of this website is for your general information and use only. It, and the products and services described within it, are subject to change without notice. We shall not be liable to you, or any third party, for any amendment, modification, suspension or discontinuance of any product or service described on our website. Neither we, nor any third parties, provide any warranty or guarantee as to the accuracy, timeliness, performance, completeness or appropriateness of the information and materials made available on this website.

You acknowledge that such information may contain inaccuracies or errors and we expressly exclude liability for any such inaccuracies or errors to the fullest extent permitted by law. Your use of any information or materials is entirely at your own risk, for which we shall not be liable.

The information contained on this website does not constitute an offer or solicitation to sell shares in the funds or portfolio or to provide you with other products or services. Any application or investment must only be made on the basis of the relevant documentation of the investment, such as, for example, terms and conditions. The information on this website does not constitute any investment, tax, legal or other advice. Persons who do not have professional experience in matters relating to investments should always consult with an independent financial adviser before making an investment decision. Any opinion expressed on individual funds, services or products, represent the views of the individual at the time of preparation and should not be interpreted as a personal recommendation to buy or sell or otherwise trade all or any of the investments that may be referred to.

Website terms of use: Please ensure you have read and accept the full 'website terms of use' before continuing.

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The information in this site is solely for the purpose of acquiring information as, or for, an Institutional Investor (a corporate or other non-retail investment professional acting for their own account). This information must not be used or relied upon by anyone that may be considered a “retail investor” by the home regulator of the country from which this site is accessed.

The information contained in this website is directed at persons who are resident in the United Kingdom and complies with appropriate UK legislation and regulations and is not directed at, nor intended for distribution to, or use by, persons in any jurisdiction in which the dissemination of such investment related information is not permitted.

The information or opinions contained herein should not be construed as an offer, or solicitation to deal in any investment or fund nor shall any such investment products or services be offered or sold to any person in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation, purchase or sale would be unlawful or in which the person making the offer solicitation is not qualified to do so or to anyone to whom it is unlawful to make such offer or solicitation.

Premier Miton Investors has expressed its own views and opinions on this website, and these may change and there is no obligation to update them. Nothing in this website should be construed as investment, tax, legal or other advice. The information contained herein is subject to change without notice.

Neither Premier Miton Investors nor any of its group companies or affiliates accepts any liability for any losses arising directly or indirectly from any information accessed from this website, to the fullest extent permitted by law.

By clicking accept you acknowledge that your use of this website is subject to our privacy policy, cookie policy and our general legal and compliance information available on our website.

THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:The investment products referred to on this website have not been and will not be registered under the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended. They may not be offered or sold in the United States of America, its territories and possessions, any State of the United States of America or the District of Columbia or offered, sold or transferred to US Persons (as defined below). The investment products referred to on this website have not been and will not be registered under the United States Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended. Premier Portfolio Managers Limited has not been and will not be registered under the United States Investment Advisers Act of 1940.

“US Person” generally includes the following: (a) any natural person resident in the United States; (b) a partnership or corporation organised or incorporated under the laws of the United States; (c) any estate of which any executor, or administrator, is a US Person; (d) any trust of which any trustee is a US Person; (e) any agency or branch of a non-US entity located in the United States; (f) any non-discretionary account or similar account (other than an estate or trust) for the benefit or account of a US Person; (g) any discretionary account or similar account (other than an estate or trust) held by a dealer or other fiduciary organised, incorporated or (if an individual) resident in the United States; and (h) any partnership or corporation if: i. organised or incorporated under the laws of any non-US jurisdiction; ii. formed by a US Person principally for the purpose of investing in securities not registered under the 1933 Act. In addition, a Shareholder must qualify as a “Non-United States Person” as used in the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) Rule 4.7.

Investment products referred to on this website may not be sold or transferred to a US citizen, or an entity taxed as such or required to file a tax return as such under the United States federal income tax laws (a “US Tax Resident”).

The information in this site is solely for the purpose of acquiring information as, or for, an Institutional Investor (a corporate or other non-retail investment professional acting for their own account). This information must not be used or relied upon by anyone that may be considered a “retail investor” by the home regulator of the country from which this site is accessed.  

The information contained in this website is directed at persons who are resident in the United Kingdom and complies with appropriate UK legislation and regulations and is not directed at, nor intended for distribution to, or use by, persons in any jurisdiction in which the dissemination of such investment related information is not permitted.

The information or opinions contained herein should not be construed as an offer, or solicitation to deal in any investment or fund nor shall any such investment products or services be offered or sold to any person in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation, purchase or sale would be unlawful or in which the person making the offer solicitation is not qualified to do so or to anyone to whom it is unlawful to make such offer or solicitation.

Premier Miton Investors has expressed its own views and opinions on this website, and these may change and there is no obligation to update them. Nothing in this website should be construed as investment, tax, legal or other advice. The information contained herein is subject to change without notice.

Neither Premier Miton Investors nor any of its group companies or affiliates accepts any liability for any losses arising directly or indirectly from any information accessed from this website, to the fullest extent permitted by law.

By clicking accept you acknowledge that your use of this website is subject to our privacy policy, cookie policy and our general legal and compliance information available on our website.

THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: The investment products referred to on this website have not been and will not be registered under the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended. They may not be offered or sold in the United States of America, its territories and possessions, any State of the United States of America or the District of Columbia or offered, sold or transferred to US Persons (as defined below). The investment products referred to on this website have not been and will not be registered under the United States Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended. Premier Portfolio Managers Limited has not been and will not be registered under the United States Investment Advisers Act of 1940.

 “US Person” generally includes the following: (a) any natural person resident in the United States; (b) a partnership or corporation organised or incorporated under the laws of the United States; (c) any estate of which any executor, or administrator, is a US Person; (d) any trust of which any trustee is a US Person; (e) any agency or branch of a non-US entity located in the United States; (f) any non-discretionary account or similar account (other than an estate or trust) for the benefit or account of a US Person; (g) any discretionary account or similar account (other than an estate or trust) held by a dealer or other fiduciary organised, incorporated or (if an individual) resident in the United States; and (h) any partnership or corporation if: i. organised or incorporated under the laws of any non-US jurisdiction; ii. formed by a US Person principally for the purpose of investing in securities not registered under the 1933 Act. In addition, a Shareholder must qualify as a “Non-United States Person” as used in the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) Rule 4.7.

 Investment products referred to on this website may not be sold or transferred to a US citizen, or an entity taxed as such or required to file a tax return as such under the United States federal income tax laws (a “US Tax Resident”). If those investment products are held by a US Person, a US Tax Resident or a person who does not qualify as a “Non-United States Person” within the meaning of CFTC Rule 4.7, Premier Portfolio Managers Limited shall be entitled to redeem such Shareholder’s entire holdings.