Nous sommes arrivees!! I am now a big fan of French motorways – especially in August. I am also a fan of French diesel prices at about €1.10 per litre (80p). I have eaten more pig and duck than is probably good for me but neutralised its effects with suitable tinctures.


In July, the Consumer Prices Index rose to 0.1% from June’s 0%. RPI was unchanged at 1%. A shock drop in US manufacturing data has raised concerns that the Federal Reserve will delay any interest rate hike.


The data from the Empire State index, which measures manufacturing in the US, showed a fall of 14.9 for August from the positive 3.9 in July. The reading was the lowest since 2008-09. However, construction of new US homes grew in July at their fastest pace since the recession, figures released on Tuesday showed.


We recently agreed  that our view was more or less in favour of a September rise for US rates. However, we are now inclined to change our minds and push the first hike date slightly further down the road. The rationale for this was in the FOMC minutes that were released earlier this week. Whilst they did acknowledge that, although economic conditions “were approaching that point” where a rise in borrowing costs could be sustained, there were enough caveats to make us think that September could be too early.


Man in bear costume harasses grizzlies in Alaska, motive unclear (Reuters) – A man in a full-body bear costume approached a grizzly and her two cubs in front of shocked spectators by a river in Alaska, before a state Fish and Game worker scared away the animals to stop anyone being hurt, an official said. Now that is news.


Active is investing – passive is for those who don’t understand investing.” Quote from a comment to an article in Financial Adviser.


A $2 billion court settlement agreed by leading banks in New York has opened the flood gates to a global wave of civil actions over the industry’s manipulation of prices. Barclays, Goldman Sachs, HSBC and Royal Bank of Scotland were among the nine institutions which agreed to compensate small investors over losses. Just when you thought it was safe to go back into bank shares….


China stocks tumbled again in late trading on Thursday. Factory activity in the world’s second largest economy, shrank at its fastest pace in more than six years in August. The Caixin/Markit manufacturing PMI dropped to 47.1 from 47.8 in July. As domestic and export demand dwindles, Friday’s data is likely to compound worries that the Chinese economy is set for a continued slowdown. Today’s reading was the lowest since March 2009, and the sixth consecutive below the 50-point level. The government is still trying to say that GDP is growing at 7% but we know different don’t we? The Shanghai Composite is down 22% in the last three months.


The All Share is down nearly 7% over three months and other indices even more. It is interesting that our Balanced Equity Portfolio has protected clients much more effectively through the period as has the Moderate Risk Portfolio which is multi-asset. More statistics showing that we are beating the competition both on the upside and the downside and over short and long periods are readily available by contacting us. We will send up-to-date pdfs to you on the basis that they are for your professional use and not retail clients.

MC chart Aug 21

With the Greek problems now temporarily on one side, investors can concentrate on the real problems of slow, low growth over the next two to three years. We have been doing so for quite a while – hence our superior performance.


MC remote gag




Have a good weekend.


David Cowell


For and on behalf of Myddleton Croft Investment Managers

1 Woodside Mews

Clayton Wood Close


LS16 6QE

Tel:        0113 274 7700

Fax:       0113 274 7711

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