Courtiers Wealth Management
Courtiers Wealth Management

News & Insights

January 2024 – Market Update 


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Investors enjoyed the traditional ‘Santa rally’ in December as global markets reacted positively to comments from Chair of the Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell, who suggested that further interest rate hikes were unlikely.

Jeremy Powell also hinted that the Federal Reserve may begin cutting rates as early as mid-2024. Markets jumped at the news as they began to price in several rate cuts for 2024, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average index, one of the oldest equity indices in the US, reached a record high as it surpassed 37,000 for the first time ever.

UK markets also saw positive returns during the month, as the Bank of England kept the base rate flat at 5.25%. There were further signs of encouragement as the latest UK inflation data from the ONS showed the Consumer Prices Index dropping further than expected to 3.9%, its lowest level for over two years. The FTSE 250 index, which tracks medium-sized companies in the UK, gained over 8% in December, while the FTSE Small Cap index, which tracks smaller companies, had its best month since November 2020. Bonds and gilts also performed well as yields tumbled during the month. The yield on ten year gilts fell from 4.18% to 3.54% in December – a decline of 0.64%, the largest monthly drop since December 2008.

Full round-up of December market performance

In the UK, the FTSE 100 index rose 3.85% while medium and smaller companies, measured by the FTSE 250 ex IT index and the FTSE Small Cap ex IT index respectively, surged 9.43% and 8.84%. In the US, the S&P 500 USD index gained 4.54% while in Europe the Eurostoxx 50 EUR index climbed 3.22%. Japanese stocks measured by the Topix JPY index slipped 0.23%.

Emerging markets returns were mostly positive, with the MSCI Emerging Markets index rising 3.18% in local currency terms. Latin American equities, measured by the MSCI Latin America local currency index, picked up 6.57% while Indian stocks measured by the Nifty 50 INR index amassed 7.94%. However Chinese stocks measured by the MSCI China CNY index declined 2.47%.

In the fixed income market, UK government bonds, measured by the FTSE Gilts All Stocks index, gathered 5.41% with long dated (over 15 years to maturity) gilts fetching 9.82%. Sterling denominated corporate bonds, measured by the Markit iBoxx Sterling Corporates index, returned 4.65%. In the high yield market, the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Sterling High Yield index grew 2.82%.

In the commodities market, the S&P GSCI USD index, which consists of a basket of commodities including oil, metals and agricultural items, dropped 3.31%. Brent crude oil futures let slip 5.67% during the month. Returns were mixed in the precious metals markets as the S&P GSCI Gold and Silver indices returned 1.14% and -5.73% in USD respectively, while there were positive returns in the agricultural markets as corn and wheat futures delivered 2.06% and 10.13% in USD respectively.

In the currency markets, it was a mixed month for the pound as it appreciated 0.85% versus the US dollar but conceded 0.51% versus the euro and 4.02% against the yen.

Important information

Issued by Courtiers Asset Management Limited, CAM0423883. Courtiers Asset Management Limited is Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority – Register No: 616322. Address: 18 Hart Street, Henley on Thames, Oxfordshire RG9 2AU. Tel: 01491 578368.

Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future returns. The value of investments, and the income from them, can go down as well as up and is not guaranteed and you may not get back the amount originally invested. Any forecast, projection or target where provided is indicate only and is not guaranteed in any way. Certain types of funds might carry a greater investment risk than other investment funds. Further details of the risks are associated with investing in Courtiers funds can be found in the Key Investor Information Document or Prospectus, copies of which are available on request or at


This communication is for information purposes only and should not be relied upon in making an investment decision. The views expressed by individuals and the business are based on market conditions at the date of issue and are subject to change without notice. The mention of any stocks or shares should not be taken as recommendation to deal and does not take into account the individual investor’s investment objective or risk profile. Where an investment or security is denominated in a different currency to the investor’s currency of reference, changes in rates of exchange may have an adverse effect on the value, price or income of or from that investment to the investor. Any third party sites, or pages which are linked to the document, have not been reviewed by us and therefore we accept no responsibility for the authors or content of external link or pages. If you are interested in any of Courtiers Asset Management Limited’s range of funds, or require any financial advice, please speak to a financial adviser.

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