TODAY’S FAYRE – Wednesday 17th September 2014

TODAY’S FAYRE – Wednesday, 17th September 2014

“Yes, yours, my love, is the right human face,
I in my mind had waited for this long,
Seeing the false and searching for the true,
Then found you as a traveller finds a place
Of welcome suddenly amid the wrong
Valleys and rocks and twisting roads. But you,
What shall I call you? A fountain in a waste,
A well of water in a country dry,
Or anything that’s honest and good, an eye
That makes the whole world bright. Your open heart,
Simple with giving, gives the primal deed,
The first good world, the blossom, the blowing seed,
The hearth, the steadfast land, the wandering sea.
Not beautiful or rare in every part.
But like yourself, as they were meant to be.”

Edwin Muir – novelist & poet – 1887-1959

Tennessee Williams’s steamy play, in every sense of the word – ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ – is ‘heavy duty’ by any standards. This play came to real prominence when Marlon Brando and Vivien Leigh were cast in Elia Kazan’s 1951 film. There have been many brilliant portrayals of ‘Blanche DuBois’ – none finer than Claire Bloom’s in 1974. Gillian Anderson also makes a real fist of this very difficult role as the drunken, deluded, insecure, aging ‘Southern Belle’, who lives in a state of perpetual panic about her fading beauty, who eventually turns mad, in the current Young Vic production. If you see it ‘live’ or in the Cinema you would be well advised to lighten up on your intake of any alcoholic beverages before the performance. The going is tough! You need to be able to get four miles I a bog!

Far be it from me to tell Martin Gilbert, the CEO of Aberdeen Asset Management anything about business or his beloved Scotland, but I must confess that his stance towards a ‘YES!’ vote outcome amazes me. He implied that everything in the garden will be rosy. I know as a business man he needs to be balanced in his views, but has he really considered the financial ramifications of Scottish Independence? In fairness Martin Gilbert did elude to the fact that contingency plans for a ‘YES!’ may be dangerously inadequate.

Of course feelings run high in a vote of this nature. However some of the personal behavior has been reprehensible and could leave lasting. Come Friday the idea of ‘let’s all shake hands, hug and be friends’ may be a wish too far! It could also make any negotiations very fractious and uncompromising!

It was real joy to be able to take one’s eyes off this awful but necessary wall-to-wall coverage of his bad tempered truculent Scottish independence campaign and just look at the markets and their performance against fundamental issues excluding the UK’s current parochial issues. Investors have time on their hands to make some contingency plans dependent on the outcome, suffice to say that Westminster probably hasn’t; consequently it’s leaders have more than bent over backwards to accommodate Scotland’s fiscal needs. The ‘dreaded Salmond’ has had a major result, whatever the outcome. The House of Commons is unlikely to be the same ‘mother of democracy’ ever again.

London enjoyed another rather nebulous session with the FTSE 100 ending the session down a rather nondescript 12 points at 6792, with Scottish based companies impairing some losses on the day in the hope that a ‘NO!’ vote would prevail. ASOS had a bad day losing 10% in value thanks to inadequate sales. UK inflation dipped in August by a pip to 1.5% thanks to no food or clothes inflation and a drop in the value of the Pound. The minutes of the MPC’s last meeting are posted this morning. The 7-2 vote from the previous meeting is likely to prevail, now that low inflation has taken the heat out of the MPC’s kitchen. The need to hike rates early may have receded by a month or two, though those ‘hawks’ McCafferty & Weale will not be lying down in their desperate quest for an increase. Property prices rose by 11.7% on annualized basis in July with London’s property going up by over 19% – average cost of a house in London £514,000. The measures the BOE has taken in regards to credit lending and trimming first time buying facilities should see prices flat-line in the months heading-up to Christmas, thus sticking a pin in any feared property bubble. Northern Ireland +4.5% & Humberside +5% made the slowest gains. It was interesting to note that European car sales rose for 12th month in succession – 11.9 million are reported to have been sold.

The Street of Dreams was on good terms with itself yesterday. Energy stocks on the back of higher oil prices and healthcare did well, as the DOW added 0.59% and the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ grabbed 0.75% in value. All eyes will be on the outcome of the 2-day FED meeting at 7.00pm BST tonight. Those looking for a more ‘hawkish’ tone from FED chairman Janet Yellen in terms of a precipitous rise in rates may be disappointed. I suspect with QE ending in October, M/S Yellen will be keen to see how the economy digests its withdrawal. Also there are still weaknesses in the economy. Industrial production for August was dispiriting and the quality of the Labour market remain suspect in places. Any hike before February would be a surprise.

This morning the Spanish retail titan Inditex, the owner of Zara beat expectations with its numbers posted this morning. However there was a 2.4% fall in profits for the first half of the year; BUT sales were up 10% at the start of the 3rd quarter. In London Smith Industries posted a 10% fall in profits for the year to £504 million – net £377.6 million with sales down 5%. There is a school of thought which says this company has too many arrows to its bows. It will be interesting to hear what CEO Philip Bowman has to say this morning. RESULTS FROM IG Group, CHEMRING, JD SPORTS and DMGT have also been posted.

The following companies post numbers or trading statements during the rest of his week. Thursday – KEIR GROUP, PETRA DIAMONDS, MERLIN ENTERTAINMENTS, JUST RETIREMENT, BOOKER GROUP, CARD FACTORY Friday – INVESTEC.

US – Wednesday – LENNAR, GENERAL MILLS, UNITED NATURAL FOODS, Thursday – RITE AID, CONAGRA, ORACLE RED HAT

These are David Buik personal views

Twitter – @truemagic68

David Buik

Market Commentator

D +44 (0)20 7886 2775
Panmure Gordon & Co
One New Change | London | EC4M 9AF | United Kingdom
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David Buik
Market Commentator

D +44 (0)20 7886 2775
Panmure Gordon & Co
One New Change | London | EC4M 9AF | United Kingdom
http://www.panmure.com

The information in this e-mail and any attachments is confidential and may be legally privileged. It is intended solely for the addressee(s). If you are not an intended recipient, please delete the message and any attachments and notify the sender of mis-delivery: any use or disclosure of the contents of either is unauthorised and may be unlawful.

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