Welcome to the latest market update, which details what has happened in January 2020.

As the United Kingdom finally left the EU on 31 January 2020, there is now a transition period until the end of the year, while the UK and EU negotiate additional arrangements.  The current rules on trade, travel, and business for the UK and EU will continue to apply during the transition period.

Globally, all attention has been on China where the coronavirus has now spread to 27 countries and territories worldwide, with 17,488 confirmed cases and 362 deaths.

The FTSE 100 ended January at 7,286.01 which was 3.4% lower than December’s closing figure.

In the US, the Dow Jones 30 was 1.0% lower ending January at 28,251.47.

In terms of currency, £ Sterling ended January at 1.32 US Dollars.  This was 0.5% lower than the figure at the end of December.

Against the Euro, £ Sterling ended January at 1.18 Euros, which was 0.5% higher than the December closing figure.

Inflation, as measured by the Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH), was 1.4% in December 2019 (this is December’s data which is reported in January).  This was 0.1% lower than the previous month.  The 12-month rate for the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rate which excludes owner occupied housing costs and council tax was 1.3% in December, down from 1.5% in November.

The Bank of England maintained interest rates at 0.75% in January.  The last change was an increase in August 2018.  This means long-suffering deposit savers are likely to continue to lose money in real terms when you consider the rate of savings interest compared to the rate of inflation.

With external influences remaining uncertain, it is likely to remain a volatile period for investors.  So, it is increasingly important to invest in a well diversified investment proposition.