Anthony Bolton, Britain's most high-profile investment manager, believes the UK stock market has now hit rock-bottom, and has begun betting on a recovery with his own money, reports The Independent.
Mr Bolton, widely accepted to be the most consistently successful British fund manager of the past 20 years, said yesterday that he believed share prices in the UK would now begin rising again, albeit slowly and with continued volatility.
"For the first time in a couple of years, I've begun to feel optimistic: the markets of the past two to three days have all the signs of a low," Mr Bolton said. "In the last weeks, we have looked into the abyss and stepped back."
Mr Bolton made his name running the Fidelity Special Situations fund, earning an average annual return of more than 20% during his 27-year tenure – significantly ahead of any other rival.
Though he stepped down from active fund management in 2006, Mr Bolton remains a senior strategist at Fidelity Investments, Britain's biggest investment manager, and his views are very widely followed.
THE CLOSELY WATCHED MANUFACTURING Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI), which combines orders and output levels in British factories, fell for the fifth successive month in September to the lowest level since the survey began in 1992, reports The Telegraph.
The index fell from 45.3 in August to 41 in September, increasing pressure on the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) to cut interest rates next week.
Manufacturers were hit particularly hard by a sharp decline in domestic demand, as families reined in spending, forcing suppliers to cancel or postpone orders at unprecedented levels.
Demand for consumer good was worst hit, as customers proved less willing to part with their money.
Despite sharp falls in the value of the pound, effectively making British products cheaper for buyers overseas, export business fell at the fastest rate for seven years as a measure of the impact of the slowdown in the global economy.
THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION IS INVESTIGATING whether Ireland's decision to guarantee €400bn of deposits, bonds and debts at its six biggest banks is a breach of EU law, reports The Independent.
Neelie Kroes, the EU's Competition Commissioner, said yesterday that she was “in close contact with Irish authorities” after British banks complained about the Irish policy.
A spokesman for Gordon Brown, who is facing increasing pressure to offer a similar pledge to UK lenders, said he backed the inquiry, adding: "Where there is a policy of one of the member states that impacts on single market rules, it is to be looked at by the EC."
The EC, which also unveiled new rules on capital adequacy for European banks, is asking members whether a EU-wide policy on deposit protection should be adopted, with the French Prime Minister hinting yesterday that he was considering following the Irish example.
UBS, EUROPE’S BIGGEST CASUALTY OF THE financial crisis, today said it would make a “small” profit in the third quarter - its first for more than a year, reports The Guardian.
The Swiss bank has suffered multi-billion pound losses, written down $43bn (£24bn) and raised $27.4bn in fresh capital to repair its equity base. But UBS said it had now "substantially reduced its US commercial and residential mortgage-related positions, mainly through disposals."
It said 2009 would be an "overall" profitable year despite the extremely volatile market conditions.
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