Private Investor's Diary Portfolio 

Judge a company by its dividend

John Rosier

Judge a company by its dividend

After a poor October, November brought some respite. A slight softening of the rhetoric from Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell was grasped by markets. Equities rallied strongly in the closing days of the month on hopes that interest rate increases would be more muted than previously anticipated. Optimism that the US and China would come to an accord on trade at the G20 summit in Argentina also buoyed sentiment. Far Eastern markets rallied the most, with Hong Kong, India, Japan and China up 6.1 per cent, 5.1 per cent, 2.0 per cent and 1.9 per cent, respectively. US equities also moved into positive territory, with the S&P 500 up 1.8 per cent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq up 0.3 per cent. European markets, however, struggled, with the Dax down 1.7 per cent and the CAC down 1.8 per cent. Brexit uncertainty aside, the UK fared no worse than other European markets. The FTSE All-Share (total return) Index fell 1.6 per cent. Outside the FTSE 100 the story was rather different, with the FTSE 250 off 2.3 per cent and Aim All-Share, where liquidity seems to have dried up, off 4.7 per cent. The Aim All-Share is perilously close to entering a bear market, nearly 20 per cent off its high achieved only a few months ago.

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