Week four of the ninth annual Investec Wealth & Investment/Business Telegraph School Share Race closed with the London Stock Market in bearish mood as reflected in the 3.3% fall in the FTSE 350 index over five days. Share prices in London saw extensive mark downs due to global debt.
The index has fallen 2.3% since the competition began, but half of the schools have outperformed this benchmark. Indeed, a quarter can now see a positive return.
Belfast High School lead by over £4,000 from second-placed Belfast Royal Academy, in a week when the latter's portfolio fell in value by over 5%. In fact, no portfolios rose over the week.
Malone College rose from 13th to third despite their portfolio falling slightly in value; Thornhill College, Londonderry, up from 23rd to eighth; Royal School, Dungannon, up seven to seventh.
The end of November lets teams change their portfolio for the first time. It will be interesting to see if they bank profits and perhaps reinvest in other sectors and if teams with cash balances decide to invest them in an effort to boost performance of portfolios.
The competition runs until mid-February with the top three schools winning gift vouchers.