Bonds

Mark Dampier: Britain's small-cap funds punched well above their

It's been a good year for stock markets. In particular, European and Japanese markets have made large gains. There is a lesson here for all investors: despite a poor economic backdrop, stock markets can perform well. This is often because much of the bad news is priced in and markets are focusing on improved corporate prospects. Similarly, it shows the most uncomfortable investment decisions often turn out to be correct.

Mark Dampier: They say the only way is down but some bonds are

Forecasters have called the top of the bond market on numerous occasions over the past two years, but gilts have resolutely not behaved in the way in which many bond fund managers expected. Today, 10-year gilts are yielding  1.9 per cent. Yields may have touched a low of 1.4 per cent last summer, but in reality they have settled in a tight trading range.

American billionaire George Soros buys stake in Manchester United

Crashing out of Europe can mean very different things to different people. Manchester United's early exit last year from the Champions League spelled a big hit to revenue and pride. George Soros, in contrast, made his name, and perhaps a billion pounds, when his Quantum fund bet that Britain would have to leave the European Exchange-Rate Mechanism in 1992. The octogenarian financier has now turned his attention to the Premier League giants. That could help lift investor sentiment about the recently floated Red Devils.

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Greece eyes bailout after debt deal

Greece has cleared a major hurdle in its race to avoid bankruptcy by persuading the vast majority of its private creditors to sign up to the biggest national debt writedown in history, paving the way for a second massive bailout.