TODAY’S FAYRE – Thursday 13th March 2014
“I loved you first: but afterwards your love
Outsoaring mine, sang such a loftier song
As drowned the friendly cooings of my dove.
Which owes the other most? my love was long,
And yours one moment seemed to wax more strong;
I loved and guessed at you, you construed me
And loved me for what might or might not be –
Nay, weights and measures do us both a wrong.
For verily love knows not ‘mine’ or ‘thine;’
With separate ‘I’ and ‘thou’ free love has done,
For one is both and both are one in love:
Rich love knows nought of ‘thine that is not mine;’
Both have the strength and both the length thereof,
Both of us, of the love which makes us one.”
Christina Rossetti – poet –1830-1894
Having drawn a blank in the first two days of the festival AP McCoy may not be in the best frame of mind as he arrives at Cheltenham this morning to ride amongst others ‘At Fisher’s Cross’ in the World Hurdle, with the ground probably now going against him. Having been touched off by a short head in the Champion by ‘Jezki’ and in the Coral by ‘Wishing’ he will be looking to set the record straight. On whom it is hard to say, but a winner like ‘AP’ will not accept not being on the scoreboard at this Festival. Could ‘At Fishers Cross’ redress the balance against all the odds or will his jumping find him out?
The clouds of uncertainty have yet to break – Russia and the West continue to hurl diplomatic insults at each other with monotonous regularity. The robustness of China’s economy is in doubt (let’s hope that 9.5% increase in industrial production for February is confirmed), the jury is still out over the effect of tapering QE and is Europe’s economy really on the way back to rude health or will the ‘Putin spat’ prick the balloon of recovery. The US – Well the US is its own master and loves playing the isolationist. So yesterday the Street of Dreams put in another non-performance with the DOW and the S&P closing near enough flat with the NASDAQ up 0.37%. House builders such as Pulte and Toll Brothers had ‘sell’ recommendations. Newmont and Barrick Gold were in demand thanks to gold increasing to $1373 an ounce. Otherwise the session was relatively rudderless. The market eagerly awaits the King Digital Entertainment’s IPO in New York, valued at $7.6 billion with 22.2 million shares likely to be issued at $24 each, making the likes of Riccardo Zacconi and others very rich men on the back of the much loved and used ‘Candy Crush Saga’ games.
As the sun gets higher over the yardarm, frustration rears its ugly head. Let’s hope the party will not be spoiled. Though the FTSE 100 closed down 64 points at 6620, there was still plenty of appetite for IPOS. Poundland was a huge success closing up 23% on the day. ‘Pets at Home’ did not fare quite so well in raising its required £280 million. Shares were down 5% on the day. I wonder if enough of this company’s forward plans are known by the investing public at large. Then of course as others wait in the wings such as Boohoo, B&M and House of Fraser, investors rightly concern themselves with indigestion and overkill.
However if Obama and his band of merry men stopped ‘huffing & puffing’ at Putin and really looked for a sensible diplomatic settlement, which would inevitably improve sentiment, who knows? We could be off to the races and I don’t mean Cheltenham! Yesterday Prudential posted stellar global profits up 17%, though annuity sales in the UK fell 15%, resulting in the shares hitting an all-time record at 1387p. G4S posted worse than expected numbers, shaking the trees, allowing all the bad apples in regard to government payments over tagging and strange contracts to total £300 odd million which amounted to a loss of £170 million – down 5%. I doubt the outlook could be worse but this company still remains a very large security company with great contacts. SIM’s coup of appointing Steve Vaughan as CEO of Phoenix IT has helped the market’s perception of the company enormously resulting in the company raising £8.6 million. As Panmure’s George O’Connor put it – “This company is still not for widows and orphans!” It’s a step in the right direction
Asia, having experienced a string of down days decided to enjoy a bear squeeze rally in places, in the hope that China’s economic data would improve, but it was short lived in Tokyo. That Abe-San – he has a great line of patter on Japan’s recovery! You know – I’m not sure he’s not treading on very thin ice! The ASX was up 0.46%, the Hang Seng was easier by 0.67% just after lunch, the Shanghai Composite was up 1.24% with the NIKKEI closing down a smidgen by 0.10%.
This morning the FSE was rudderless having promised a reasonable start. However results from Wm Morrison, the ailing supermarket, did not help matters. Morrison saw profits down by 13% to £785m. Turnover was down 2% and like-for-like sales were easier by 2.8%. Until Morrison deals with its convenience store shortage and gets in to the 21st century with on-line sales, it is hard to see life improving in Bradford. SIG, Trinity Mirror and Salamander Energy also posted results today.
These are David Buik personal views
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