Despite all the doom and gloom bestowed upon investors this year, there has been aChristmas miracle for patient individuals holding large UK stocks.
The FTSE 100 last night managed to claw back all its year-to-date losses and now it’s managed to nudge ahead again, meaning the blue-chip index is now in positive territory.
Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said: “While that is encouraging, it’s important to note we’ve been here multiple times already in 2022, only for stocks to ease back again.
“The fate of the market is currently in the hands of popular dividend paying stocks Shell, Lloyds, BP and Unilever, with these names holding fort on Wednesday. A rise in the value of Brent Crude oil certainly helped the commodity producers, yet there remains aheadwind in the form of weak factory data from China.
“The purchasing managers’ index is an important indicator of economic activity as it reflects the confidence of senior industry representatives. China’s economic activity has been hit by its zero-Covid policy and so if the country is to achieve a pick-up in GDP growth figures, then it needs to relax the rules to drive a recovery.
“Also important to global markets will be new US job figures and the latest speech from Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell, both due later today. November’s ADP labour figures are expected to show a slowdown, with 200,000 jobs created versus 261,000 in October. Powell is likely to comment on the state of the jobs market as well as the economy when he talks at the Brookings Institution. The central bank head is eager to combat inflation by pushing up interest rates, but at the same avoid prompting a recession by causing consumers and businesses to radically scale back spending