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4 months ago

Stocks Climb as 'Brexit' Outlook Steers Markets - Wall Street Journal

By Akane Otani and Updated June 21, 2016 5:38 p.m. ET

U.S. stocks rose Tuesday in relatively quiet trading as investors refrained from making big moves ahead of the U.K.s vote on whether to leave the European Union.

Markets have moved in tandem with polls around Britains referendum, which have triggered steep movements in equities, bonds and currencies around the world. In the past week, stock markets have fallen sharply when polls tilted toward an exit vote, and rebounded just as quickly when they veered toward remain.

Portfolio managers said many investors, having already positioned themselves, are waiting on the results of Thursdays vote before making any significant moves.

Investors arent willing to commit to anything ahead of the referendum, said Remi Olu-Pitan, multiasset fund manager at Schroders.

Stocks were little changed earlier in the session after Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen delivered her semiannual testimony to the Senate Banking Committee. While Ms. Yellen struck a slightly cautious note, investors said her remarks were largely in line with what they had expected.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 24.86 points, or 0.1%, to 17829.73, rising for a second consecutive day. The S&P 500 climbed 5.65, or 0.3%, to 2088.90, and the Nasdaq Composite Index gained 6.55, or 0.1%, to 4843.76.

Energy stocks in the S&P 500 rallied 1.1% Tuesday to end the day as the best-performing sector of the index even as U.S. crude-oil futures prices dropped 1.1% to $48.85 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Relatively light activity on the trading floors is another sign that until theres a decision on the vote, were being held hostage by Brexit, said Kenny Polcari, director of equities at ONeil Strategies, as the vote on Britains exit from the EU is called. Tuesdays gains were made on the 10th lowest-volume day of the year.

Recent polls have been mixed, but betting markets have increasingly pointed to a victory for remain, lifting stocks in Europe. The Stoxx Europe 600 added 0.7%, its third consecutive day of gains. Londons FTSE 100 rose 0.4%.

Gold for June delivery fell 1.5% to $1,270.50 an ounce. The metal is being used as a hedge against Brexit risks, and its decline reflects investors being more optimistic that the remain camp will win, said Ms. Olu-Pitan of Schroders.

The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note rose to 1.699%, from 1.670% Monday. Prices decline as yields rise.

The dollar gained 0.8% against the yen to 104.75 after Japans finance minister on Tuesday said the government wouldnt intervene in the currency markets easily.

Shares in Asia mostly rose Tuesday, with Japans Nikkei Stock Average gaining 1.3%, the Hang Seng adding 0.8% and Australias S&P/ASX 200 rising 0.3%. The Shanghai Composite Index sank 0.4%.

Write to Akane Otani at and Riva Gold at

7 months ago

Lifeline for flood-risk homeowners: New scheme to stem rising costs of insurance -

Many have seen their premiums soar or been refused cover altogether, as the UKs increasingly stormy weather cost insurers more than 1.4billion for the last winter alone. One in six homes in England, around five million in total, may now be at risk of flood, according to the Environmental Agency.

The average claim during the winter floods was for 22,339 per home, rising to 36,483 for those in Cumbria, Lancashire and Yorkshire who were affected by severe floods in December, according to figures. Households that have claimed for flood damage typically see their premiums rise by more than 200 per cent, adding 372 a year to the cost of cover, while some face excesses on future claims of up to 20,000.

A new Government-backed scheme called Flood Re, which launched on Monday, should ensure those most at risk can still shop around for affordable cover. Around 350,000 of the worst-hit homes could see their premiums drop by more than a third, with excesses also falling to more reasonable levels under the scheme, a world-first, organised by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs and the Association of British Insurers (ABI).

Flood Re is not a home insurer itself and does not set insurance premiums. Instead, the scheme is making a pool of money available to insurers to cover the extra cost of covering afflicted properties. A string of insurers have already signed up to the scheme, including Admiral, Aviva, Churchill, Direct Line, Halifax, Legal & General, HSBC, LV, Lloyds, More Than, Nationwide, NatWest, Sainsburys Bank and RBS.

However, it may take some time for the savings to filter through to homeowners in the shape of falling premiums and excesses. James Dalton, director of general insurance policy at the ABI, says: More providers will join over time, bringing even more choice for people with homes at risk of flooding.

Dalton said flood-affected homeowners should wait until their policy comes up for renewal rather than rush to use the service now. You may find an even greater choice of cover in a few months time.

However, Dan Plant, editor-in-chief at MoneySupermarket, says households who pay high premiums or who face massive policy excesses should run an online quotation today. If you can make substantial premiums savings on your existing policy it may be worth cancelling and taking out a new one but watch out for a cancellation fee.

If you have made a claim on your old policy then no premiums will be returned, but switching could still save money, Plant says. Insurer Aviva is offering quotes under Flood Re for new customers and will offer renewal quotes from May 5. It will also remove additional flood excesses from the policies of existing customers at renewal.

Simon McCulloch, director of insurance at CompareTheMarket. com, says homeowners in at-risk areas should start to see cheaper premiums and excesses when they search for cover. Many will see their premiums fall significantly, especially from late April as insurers get their systems updated.

He says customers should continue to compare prices as before: The search on our site remains seamless and people will not know which insurers are taking advantage of Flood Re or not.

The downside of Flood Re is that every homeowner will foot the bill for bailing out flood-prone households. This scheme will be funded by a charge of 10.50 a year on everybodys premiums, with the rest coming from a levy on insurers.

Ian Hughes, chief executive at Consumer Intelligence, says this will push up the cost of cover further following Chancellor George Osbornes recent moves to hike insurance premium tax (IPT). Average home insurance costs have been increasing for the past three months because of the IPT rise from 6 per cent to 9.5 per cent in November. It will rise again in October, adding a further 0.5 per cent to the cost of every policy.

If unsure whether you are paying a flood risk premium you should speak to your current insurer or broker. Find out more at

11 months ago

Effectively Make Use Of Your Money

It is essential that every individual knows how to properly manage his or her personal finances. If a person does not know the right way to manage their money, it is very easy for them to fall into debt and potentially lose everything. This article contains a number of personal finance tips to help people manage their money.

Exercise caution when you estimate what sort of mortgage payments you can afford. A mortgage is a very long-term financial proposition. Meeting your payment obligations will rely on how much money you will earn over a number of years. Keep in mind the possibility that your income may stay constant or even fall in the future, when you consider mortgage payments. <

11 months ago

The Personal Finance Information You've Been Looking For

One of the most difficult things for most adults is finding a way to effectively manage their finances and make sure that they can make all their ends meet. Unless you're earning a couple hundred thousand dollars a year, you've probably been in a situation where money is tight. The tips bellow will give you ways to manage your finances so that you're never again in a situation like that.

Buying certain items in bulk can save you money over time. Items that you know you will always need, such as toilet paper or toothpaste can be bought in bulk quantities at a reduced prices to save money.

If one has a specific purpose for which they are going to use their dog, they should also