Our share tips continued their late summer rally last week with most recommendations gaining on hopes that our European partners are preparing to give a hand to exporters through measures to boost their flagging economies.
There was further encouraging economic news from the United States, and big overseas earners such as catering giant Compass, safety equipment specialist Halma and Anglo-American jeweller Signet were among those to enjoy good gains.
Elsewhere, shares of packaging group DS Smith added 5% over the week after a long period of under-performance. Global advertising giant WPP was another to push ahead after chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell produced a robust trading statement despite complaining that the business had been ravaged by the effects of the strong pound earlier in the year.
Loading article content
The enthusiasm spilled over to one or two companies which earn most of their money at home, with Marks & Spencer recovering some lost ground on hopes that the poor weather could boost sales of their autumn clothing ranges. Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking also attracted support.
But there were disappointments. Scotland's Smart Metering was hit by further profit-taking ahead of results due on Tuesday, and engineers Ricardo and IMI continued to languish despite signs of a more encouraging outlook for their export markets.
Their performance held back our disappointing 2014 portfolio which was virtually unchanged over the week, although the others continued their recent rally.
The best showing came from our 2011 portfolio, which saw its overall valuation rise by another 2.3% to move back above the £11,000 mark. We believe there is a reasonable chance it will reach our double-your-money £12,000 target by the time it is liquidated at the end of the year.