This information has been prepared by IG, a trading name of IG Markets Limited. In addition to the disclaimer below, the material on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such is considered to be a marketing communication. Although we are not specifically constrained from dealing ahead of our recommendations we do not seek to take advantage of them before they are provided to our clients. See full non-independent research disclaimer and quarterly summary.
As the year winds down, it makes sense to take a brief look at the FTSE 100, how the various sectors have fared, and what their valuations look like.
Top of the gainers was the IT sector, up almost 29% for the year, while at the bottom came utilities, left out in the dash for high growth and momentum stocks, with a 17% drop. Overall, only two sectors suffered a fall, with most seeing very healthy returns.
A momentum trader would look to follow these returns by allocating more to IT, industrials, materials and financials. In a bull market, the common rule is to buy the strongest performing assets. Meanwhile, investors may look to reduce their allocations to utilities and healthcare, although the yields on offer in utilities will diminish the losses, and will likely mean that many investors hold on to these, with the added consolation that the utility sector remains cheap on valuation grounds, relative to the others.
Looking at these current price to earnings (P/E) ratios, the IT and financial sectors remain quite expensive. While momentum may carry prices higher, they could be vulnerable to losses if results fail to meet expectations. Consumer staples, materials, real estate and consumer discretionary shares look more fairly valued.