LTP Trade Finance IndexĂ– - April 2003 performance

The LTP Trade Finance Index rose by 0.30% in April. This positive return continued the trend of the first three months of the year, with the Latin American region providing the most significant gains over the month.

The rise in the Index was driven by a reduction in overall credit margins leading to a capital gain in the basket of assets represented by the Index. However this was partially offset by a 0.08% rise in underlying interest rates. Notwithstanding this move upwards in underlying funding costs, 2003 has generally been characterized by stable LIBOR rates, and an examination of the futures curve for US Dollar LIBOR suggests that interest rates are currently expected to remain fairly stable for the remainder of the year.

Equity markets have rallied significantly from their lows over the last couple of months, and some commentators have been calling the end of the...

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