I can hear Cedric Hardwicke’s portraying King Edward in Laurence Olivier’s 1955 film of Richard 111 talking on his death bed before he popped his clogs- “Now have I done a good day’s work!” Well that’s how journeymen such as me feel about today’s machinations in UK equity trading. At 3.30pm the FTSE 100 is up 35 points at 6705. It feels alright, if not spectacular. Volumes have been OK but it’s going to be Brio this Christmas rather than Hornby Double ‘O.’
There were a slew of earnings out today – most of them decent – easyJet, having been down 2% after a terrific run on the rails in the last 3 months from 1200p to 1530p, only down 0.5%, Balfour Beatty +5%, British Land +1.5% and Pru +1%. Enterprise Inns, -2.1% and Smiths Industries -0.5% slightly disappointed their acolytes. Burberry +3% and Tullow +3.5% tussled for the yellow jersey. Astra Zeneca having been in the doldrums suddenly got behind a wet sail, thanks to Wall Street was 1.7% heading towards the close. The Street of Dreams was off to a solid start with the DOW up a parsimonious 25 points and the S&P by 0.3% – another record.
Manchester United posted some average numbers which were made to look better by good player trading – profit of £8.9 million this past year against a profit of £300k the previous year. Revenues, however, are falling with no European involvement in sight. What these shares are doing up at $16.69 up 2.4% today, the Good Lord only knows! Oh yes! I know the Glazers and his cronies own 94% of the stock and Man Utd is a public quoted company – oh really!