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FTSE 350

Welcome to our annual FTSE350 review for 2017. Our team of sector specialist writers has examined each sector within the FTSE350, giving their verdict on what the main challenges are for each and the companies therein and detailing the latest IC Views for each company within the top 350 in the UK

Each sector below is divided up into sub-sectors, each of which contains a comprehensive review, just simply click the drop down box to see the links for each individual sector article.

Mining (2 sectors)

Almost every major commodity stock did very well in 2016. Expect divergence in the year ahead.

Industrial Metals & Mining

The rising tide of commodity prices which surprised many during 2016 lifted pretty much every major mining company with it, but we may not see the same uniform cross sector showing in 2017, so investors should be more picky.

Precious Metals & Mining

Gold and silver prices have had a weak start to 2017, but there are still reasons to believe precious metals will shine

Oil & Gas/Chemicals (3 sectors)

Wide ranging self-help measures and a concerted effort on a national level to support oil prices from the major oil producing nations saw recovery in many share prices in 2016, but are the oil and gas majors out of the woods yet?

Oil & Gas producers

Oil markets staged something of a recovery in the second half, but is it sustainable and will it give the majors time to repair themselves for the long term

Oil Equipment & Services

Prospects for the oil services companies in 2017 are very much reliant on geography - with US shale recovery to the fore

Chemicals

The sector will be in search of higher-margin business strands this year, and regulatory clarity on the post-Brexit landscape

Financial Services (3 sectors)

A recovery in the UK economy, and the strong stock market showing in 2016 boosted both banks and asset managers, but significant challenges remain under the surface, not least of all the prospect of economic uncertainty in the coming months and the threat of a Brexit damaging the City's dominance

Banks

Growing consumer debt, weak sterling and squeezed incomes could set back the sector's progress

Financial Services

This smorgasbord of a sector is dominated by the effects of market volatility, consolidation and inflation risk

Asset Managers

Emerging market specialists may suffer under Trump's presidency, while others may prosper

General Retailers & Food & Drug Retailers (3 sectors)

After another year of attrition, the major supermarkets look to be turning a corner, and the return of food price inflation is welcome too. On the high street consumer spending has been buoyant, but was that a last hurrah?

General Retailers

There's a plethora of companies to choose from here, which come with a range of risks

Food Retailers

There will be clear winners and losers in this sector, even if prices continue to rise

Clothing Retailers

This part of the retail market might have its own 'squeezed middle' in 2017

Food Producers & Household Goods (1 sector)

Uncertainty over emerging markets, dramatic currency moves and consumer concerns closer to home paint a mixed picture for this sector

Real Estate, Housebuilders & Construction (4 sectors)

Property companies took a hit following the EU referendum vote, but have staged something of a recovery since while the housebuilders plough on relentlessly, but can their form hold?

Real Estate

Development schemes are riskier than ever, but some real-estate companies are riding the storm well

Construction & Materials

The backlog of projects to update the UK's creaking infrastructure could be addressed soon

Home Construction

A chronic shortage of new homes is likely to keep housebuilders busy this year

REITS

New developments are being slowed as companies hang fire ahead of more solid news on Brexit

Travel & Leisure (6 sectors)

Consumer spending has been a boon, but geopoltical concerns and currency movements muddy the waters for some.

Beverages

With the sugar tax a step closer, companies will need to make sure their recipes meet the mark

Restaurants, Pubs & Bars

The chase is on for the 'premium' market, but not everyone can win the race

Tobacco

The sector has long been an equity income stalwart and it's likely to hold on to that position for a while yet

Gambling

Mounting regulation has already forced a wave of consolidation, and there could be more on the way

Airlines & Tourism

The sector is reshaping as businesses either bank away from the UK or keep within its airspace

Public Transportation

Train tickets might be inflation-proof, but trading is tough for UK bus businesses

Technology, Media & Telecoms (3 sectors)

Convergence coupled with changing methods of consuming and using media and technology add up to a sector in almost permanent flux

Telecoms & Broadcasting

As competition becomes more fierce and services more broad, we think the sector could see a number of takeover bids this year

Media

Continuing to embrace the digital age will be crucial for London's listed media groups in 2017

Software & Computer Services

Tighter finances could put the brakes on technology spending this year

Support Services (4 sectors)

Government outsourcing remains a benefit for this sector, but is not a gravy train for all, meanwhile those servicing the private sector should beware the cycle turning

Business Services

This disparate sector has been, as usual, blowing with the political winds

Outsourcers

The shadow of previous scandals and weakness in certain end markets means that doubts over the sector will persist in 2017

Industrial Transport

Overcapacity and intense competition have left industrial transporters with a bumpy path ahead of them

Payment Services

As e-commerce sales balloon, payment processing has carved out a space in the FTSE 350

Engineering, Industrials & Aerospace (3 sectors)

Global growth remains a concern although defence companies may benefit from rising geopolitical tensions and sterling weakness is benefiting others

Electronics

Improved competitiveness following sterling's devaluation has been a boon, but end markets remain challenging

Aerospace & Defence

Political change in the US and the growing influence of a very modern form of warfare will dominate strategic thinking

Engineering & Industrials

Macro uncertainties persist for the FTSE engineers, although capital budgets within the extractive industries may have troughed

Utilities (1 sector)

Energy prices, regulatory concerns and maintaining dividends mean utilities remain in the spotlight

Energy & Water

Utility companies are investing even more in renewable energy generation

Insurance (2 sectors)

Regulatory changes and political meddling are never far away for the insurers

Life Assurers

Interest rate increases and inflation could mean better returns from the sector in 2017

Non-Life Insurers

The only bright spot is motor insurance, but higher insurance premium tax will take off some of the shine

Healthcare & Pharmaceuticals (2 sectors)

Healthcare should be in a good place with ageing populations demanding more care, but potential political meddling and the challenge of maintaining pipelines of new products remain concerns

Pharmaceuticals & Biotechnology

Pharma looks in better shape given the outcome of the US election and the defensive nature of their high dollar earnings

Healthcare Equipment & Services

NHS budget pressure will continue to benefit the healthcare equipment and services sector this year

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