FTSE 100 Live 16 January: FTSE 100 index near record as inflation pressures ease

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Ashmore lifts assets under management, IQE shares slide

Expectations of a better year for emerging markets were backed up today when specialist fund manager Ashmore revealed an improved quarterly performance.

The FTSE 250-listed company saw 2% growth in assets under management to $57.2 billion (£46.9 billion) for the final three months of 2022, the first time it has reported a quarter-on-quarter rise since summer 2021.

Mark Coombs, the billionaire founder of the business and chief executive, expects investor risk appetite to improve over the next 12 months as 2022 headwinds recede.

He added: “China re-opening its economy will stimulate activity more broadly, and a number of emerging countries are starting to see deflation as a consequence of effective monetary policy action over the past two years.”

The positive assets under management result in the quarter was driven by investment returns that more than offset net outflows of $2.6 billion (£2.1 billion).

Ashmore’s shares have jumped 45% in the past three months, but fell back 2% or 5.2p to 266.4p today as UBS said the figures were slightly short of City expectations.

Elsewhere, Prudential shares continue to benefit from China’s reopening after it added 17p to 1310p. London’s top flight also edged closer to a new record by improving 7.18 points to 7851.25 and the FTSE 250 index added 60.53 points to 20,013.37.

Shares in second-tier science and engineering firm Qinetiq were 0.8p higher at 342.6p as it announced an £80 million contract to provide the Ministry of Defense with expertise, training and support to accelerate mission data analysis.

The strong start to the year for Capita shares continued after the outsourcing firm secured a six-month extension to a contract with the Department for Work and Pensions. The FTSE All-Share stock lifted 0.2p to 27.5p, having already risen by 8% this year.

On AIM, shares in semiconductor wafers supplier IQE lost a fifth of their value after the Cardiff-based company warned that industry-wide destocking may impact demand during the first half of the year.

IQE’s shares unwound recent strong gains to fall back 12p to 47.9p, despite the company sticking by the longer-term growth targets it set out in November. The shares had been as high as 170p in 2017 following exposure to the iPhone boom.

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