Sterling jumps as UK Inflation exceeds 2% target

23 March 2017

Consumer Price Index figures have beaten the consensus 2% forecast for February, revealing inflation running at 2.3% year-on-year. This compares to January's rate of 1.8% and represents the first time since 2013 that it has exceeded The Bank of England's 2% target. Sterling has seen strong gains against major currencies such as the US Dollar and Japanese Yen in the immediate wake of the news, gaining 0.85% against the US Dollar and helping to send the US Dollar Index - a measure against a basket of its peers – below 100 for the first time since February. This appreciation will contribute to a muted day in the FTSE 100 as foreign earners see their profits contract, with the index down 0.22% at the time of writing. UK government debt is also seeing a strong rise in yields today (which move inversely to price) as investors move away from the assets that are the most likely to be eroded by inflation.

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Federal Reserve raise the US interest rate but advocate caution

23 March 2017

The US Federal Reserve chair, Janet Yellen, yesterday evening announced the first US interest rate rise of 2017. The rise saw the US base rate move up from 0.5% to 0.75%-1%. This signals the first of what is widely expected to be 3 rate hikes in 2017. She did however temper any jubilance in markets by releasing a very cautious message extoling the virtues of vigilance and positive data in today’s uncertain world. It was this cautious tone that caught a predominantly jubilant market off guard. None the less, with the Federal Reserve definitely picking up the pace of increases, markets believe this to be indicative of the world’s largest economy being firmly on the path to economic recovery. Markets have reacted positively to the news with the S&P 500 rallying 0.8% off the back of the news but the dollar failed to strengthen given Yellen’s overly cautious tone. Markets will be looking towards the next set of employment figures out in April as the lead indicator for where the FED goes from here

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Hammond scraps week old National Insurance rise.

23 March 2017

Chancellor Phillip Hammond, today, announced his intention to scrap the proposed increase in National Insurance tax on the self-employed introduced a week prior in the spring budget. Despite the loss of £500m a year the amendment has been seen as a politically fuelled U-turn to stem the backlash from the party back benchers on breaking a Conservative 2015 election promise not to raise the tax burden on the self-employed.

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Green light in the commons for Article 50

23 March 2017

Yesterday Prime minister May defeated parliamentary opposition to the issuing of Article 50. The defeat enables her to start exit negotiations in Brussels at the end of the month as anticipated.The amended bill passed through the House of Lords a second time, unimpeded. Nicola Sturgeon, leader of the Scottish National Party took the opportunity to demand a second referendum on Scottish independence before the two year exit negotiations conclude. Commentators widely expect May to comply with this but only after the UK has concluded EU negotiations ensuring she is not fighting on two fronts. In an otherwise flat market, UK stocks are up modestly on the news, while Sterling has seen significant weakness as markets again turn to the pound to express their negativity. This ongoing depression in the pound continues to contribute to portfolios overseas investments.

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Strong US jobs data signals March rate hike

14 March 2017

US Non-farm Payroll figures for February surprised markets with the addition of 235K new jobs.

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Are you a non-resident residing in the EU with property in the UK?

22 April 2015

There are changes in capital gains when it comes to owning property in the UK for those not residing in the United Kingdom. You need to be aware as the changes are taking place on 6th April 2015.

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French Social Taxes – Ruled Unmerited

22 April 2015

Capital gains on unfurnished French property owned by those not classed as a French resident have been ruled unjust by the European Court of Justice. This means that those owning such property are no longer going to be expected to pay ‘social charges’ on income from unfurnished rental or capital gains.

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Taxation – The Changes in Portugal

22 April 2015

On the 31st December 2014 the laws governing taxes in Portugal changed having been revised on 17th December.

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