Investors have paused for thought in the wake of the markets incredibly strong run with Asian shares falling back slightly overnight, snapping an 11 day rally indicating that some feel that now is an appropriate time for some profit taking. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed 6.4 percent this year through yesterday. Shares on the Asia-Pacific gauge traded at 13.4 times estimated earnings, compared with 15.2 times for the S&P 500 and 14.2 for Stoxx Europe 600 Index.
With the Federal Reserve meeting next week to discuss potential reductions to monthly bond purchases, and with developments in Syria moving along at a snail’s pace, it is understandable that investors are tempted to hold fire for the next week or so. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said any deal to surrender the nation’s chemical arsenal must be a “two-way street” in which the administration of President Barack Obama drops its military threats and stops arming Syrian rebels.
The price of gold is heading for its worst weekly loss in more than 2 months as we approach next week’s vitally important Federal Reserve meeting. With the majority of economists surveyed of the belief that the Fed will indeed decide to trim its monthly bond purchases, investors are losing faith in the metal as a store of value. Gold tumbled 21 percent this year, set for the first annual drop in 13 years.
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors has called on the Bank to limit annual house price inflation to 5 percent to prevent another property bubble. Such a policy, it says, could be implemented by imposing caps on loan-to-value ratios, loan-to-income ratios, or ceilings on the amount banks are permitted to lend. The request comes months before the government begins to offer mortgage guarantees to riskier homebuyers under its controversial “Help to Buy” scheme.