All four of our portfolios recorded some sort of increase. The 2013 selections led the way with a gain of more than 3% and the 2012 portfolio hit the 50% appreciation level for the first time in more than a month.
But trading conditions remained edgy as stock markets awaited the next developments in the Syrian crisis and the possible compromise over chemical weapons, amid the general concerns over the fragile state of the global economic recovery. In the circumstances, some of the best performances were by companies that earn much of their profits in the UK, with B&Q retailer Kingfisher hitting a new peak at 408p despite a downgrade by brokers at Morgan Stanley, who have set a target price of just 300p for the shares. Housebuilder Galliford Try also put in a strong performance ahead of annual results due on Tuesday, when followers expect to hear of a good dividend to accompany news of profits of around the £74 million mark. Scottish cloud computing specialist Iomart was another domestic company to see its shares climb to record levels, while bakery chain Greggs continued to claw back some of the ground lost after its recent disappointing figures.
Barclays perked up more than 4% when speculators moved to take up positions in the shares that began trading on Friday without the right to subscribe to the company's issue of "cheap" shares. The loss of these rights will have hit the share price on Friday and we have suspended our own stop/loss target on the shares until next week.