A steep fall in the number of house loans approved in November does not seem to have hurt investors' outlook with the FTSE hitting a 30-month high yesterday.
The Scotsman says the trigger for yesterday’s market gains was falling oil prices and a strong outlook for the US economy despite the tidal wave that has hit Asia.
Insurers in particular did better than some expected because the areas hit by the weekend’s tidal wave were relatively underinsured, limiting any potential payouts and/or losses insurance comanies may face. The latest disaster comes on top of one of the worst hurricane seasons in the US, which is expected to hit insurers’ and reinsurers’ bottom lines this financial year.
The theme is continued by The Times, which notes just $5bn of the estimated £13bn rebuilding cost caused by the tidal wave is covered by insurance.
This means a sum about equivalent to the cost of the storm that hit the UK in 1987.
ON MORTGAGES, The Times says the number of loan approved in November was the lowest since January 2001.
The value of such loans last month was £5.6bn, as against more than £10bn in March this year, the paper reports the British Banker’s Associations’ figures stating.
Both the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors and the Council of Mortgage Lenders have noted the housing market is tailing off - the former stating its figures suggest the poorest market in 12 years, The Times adds.
A KEY PENSIONS battle is going to the House of Lords after the Fire Brigades Union was given right to appeal on a matter involving pensions of so-called “on call” staff.
These are part-time fire-fighters with jobs elswhere, which the union wants to be included in the final salary scheme operated by employers on behalf of full-time fire-fighters across the country.
The FBU argues the estimated 15,000 on-call members are being discriminated against according to the Part-time Workers Regulations 2000 rules, although the appeal to the Lords comes after losses in some 15 lead cases, The Daily Telegraph notes.IFAonline
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