Pick of the early market news

London Stock Exchange shotAFP/Getty

Another bump up for the FTSE-100. It finished Wednesday 46 points up at 5,441.8. Asian markets were also given some encouragement, following further comments from European Commission boss Jose Manuel Barroso after calling for tighter regulation of EU bank debt. The Nikkei 225 was up almost 1% while Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 1.9%. Expect more volatility. A slew of US third quarter company results are on their way...
A good example of current market volatility is investment player Ashmore Group. Its stock price fell sharply yesterday following poor September performance across its major funds. Assets under management for the last quarter shrank 10.5% to $58.9bn; net inflows were $0.2bn overall.

"Market volatility," says Ashmore, "resulting from the challenging and uncertain macroeconomic backdrop, particularly in the United States and Europe, resulted in adverse investment performance across the themes with the equities and local currency benchmarks experiencing the greatest falls."

However, Ashmore is also advising clients that the current volatility is a buying opportunity. "We are actively informing current and potential clients that this is exactly the time to be adding steadily to emerging markets, where advantage can be taken of short- term market nervousness to capture long- term fundamental value."

Another financial operator, Hargreaves Lansdown, has released quarterly figures. First quarter operating revenues amounted to £57.2m - 27% higher than in the same window a year ago.

The value of assets held within the Vantage service, the Group's direct‐to‐private investor platform, slipped 10% from £23.1 billion at 30 June 2011 to £20.9 billion at 30 September 2011. "This can be attributed to £0.66 billion net new business inflows and a £2.83 billion negative impact of stock market movements during the period," says the company.

July and August combined saw net new business significantly up on last year. "September saw a fall year on year as market volatility and uncertainty over the macro-economic environment appeared to make investors less inclined to act."

Finally, betting operator Ladbrokes has revealed a 2% lift in UK retail net revenue with group operating profits falling 2.7% lower year on year to £49.7m.

"We have seen good growth in Sportsbook sign ups and actives," says chief exec Richard Glynn, "particularly following the start of our renewed marketing in August. We have significantly increased our Bet in Play football offer and broadened our range of Casino games, with further expansion in these areas to come."

The company commences live testing of its new online Sportsbook shortly, which will launch in Q1 next year. "In Mobile we will launch up to 40 new casino style slots over the next few months and in October will offer live streaming of 100% of UK horse racing."

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