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Friday Email: 11 December 2015

Every Friday morning our lead analyst Mark Riding sends out his weekly run-down and upcoming events in the investor calendar, like this one:

Another bad week for the market with the FTSE 100 falling below the 6100 level on the back of carnage in the commodities space with prices falling to new recent lows for oil, copper and iron ore. Anglo American was forced to cut its dividend, but BHP and Rio are still saying nothing. Rio keep on buying back their own shares. Opec keeps producing well above its quota and investment is plummeting in the resource space. At some point down the line there is going to be an almighty rebound, but it cannot come whilst inventories are at record levels and Opec continues to over produce to defend its market share with vigour.

Even with the obvious drag in the miners and oil stocks, the market is pretty poor generally. Next fell over 200p yesterday for a 500p fall on the week. Big beneficiaries of the oil price fall, such as Easyjet are only treading water, so the market is really struggling. Ashtead produced good numbers on Wednesday and had a big rise, but gave up nearly a quarter of the rise yesterday. Analysts were having to up their forecasts and some of the price targets were in the £15 a share region, but that seems a long way away in the current market.

The week ahead provides little in the way of company results as the festive season kicks in. We could do with some cheer in the markets, but even with a Santa rally, it looks as though the FTSE 100 will finish the year lower than it started. Those who prefer smaller caps have fared much better this year with the FTSE 250 showing a rise of over 8% on the year, which is pretty decent compared to the 'safety' of the large cap stocks.

Double digit dividend increases in the past week came from MicroFocus (10%), Alternative Networks (13%), PhotoMe International (10%) and Ashtead (33%).

This email was originally sent on Friday 11 December 2015

The Friday email is delivered to over 20,000 subscriber’s every week, and remains a widely read run-down of recent events and what investors can expect in the week ahead written by our chief analyst Mark Riding.

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