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a personal view from Erithacus
14th December 2003
Despite finishing the week on a reasonably optimistic note, UK stockmarkets had fallen heavily mid-week and the FTSE100 index finished 19.4 points lower than the previous Friday’s close.
In a week which saw such optimism on the American stock markets that the Dow Jones index closed above 10,000 on two consecutive days, Thursday and Friday, and in which the FTSE100 index on Tuesday again pushed briefly past 4,400, some analysts expressed surprise at the mid-week falls. Others, however, said they were looking at a sudden move out of equities by a significant number of medium-term investors who would probably be looking to build careful positions in the New Year, but leaving the market for the moment to those with short-term interests.
If correct, this promises a rough ride for investors and traders during the
remaining trading days this year, with prices plunging and rising even more
violently than they have done in recent months. The only hope of a rapid
return to stability would, in that case, be that the end of week rises in the
U.S. markets will encourage UK investors to return for fear of missing the
So the rest of this week's News Comment became delayed until today, Sunday, and now that the news has not only been confirmed but also repeated ad nauseam on every news channel from every angle every journalist could think of, it seems somewhat superfluous to rehash it again here.
By next week, no doubt, the story may have developed into something worth taking apart or considering from a more personal point of view.
There is a poem by Percy Bysshe Shelly called Ozymandias which I feel is somehow rather appropriate:
I met a traveler from an antique land
14th December 2003
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