As October drew to a close, investors focused on major central bank meetings with the Bank of England and Federal Reserve due to meet in early November.
In the UK, the FTSE 100 closed October on 7,321.72, a loss of 3.76%. At month end losses in some mining and energy stocks weighed, impacted by declines in commodity prices following weaker-than-expected factory activity data in China. The domestically-focused FTSE 250 closed down 6.54% on 17,083.05, while the FTSE AIM closed the month on 679.85, a loss of 6.38%. On the continent, the Euro Stoxx 50 ended October on 4,061.12, a loss of 2.72%.
At month end, Asian equities struggled as disappointing activity data from China reignited some concerns over the resilience of the world's second largest economy. In Japan the Nikkei 225 closed the month on 30,858.85, down 3.14%.
A raft of new data has highlighted resilience in the US economy. Comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell will be closely watched as an indicator of how long interest rates are likely to remain elevated. The Dow Jones Index closed the month down 1.36% on 33,052.87, while the NASDAQ closed the month down 2.78% on 12,851.24.
On the foreign exchanges, the euro closed the month at €1.14 against sterling. The US dollar closed at $1.21 against sterling and at $1.05 against the euro.
Safe haven demand as a result of the Middle Eastern conflict saw gold prices trading higher in the month. Gold closed October trading at around $1,996 a troy ounce, a monthly gain of around 6.76%. With traders wary of any new developments in the conflict and concerns over slowing fuel demand in China weighing, Brent crude closed the month trading at around $85, a loss over the month of 7.41%.
Movement since 29/09/23
Euro Stoxx 50