Even the idea of a long tortuous election campaign failed to quell even a modicum of enthusiasm for share geeks today. I felt so sorry for Lord Michael Howard having to soak up a surfeit of arrogance from Ken Livingstone and Lord Ashdown, but I suppose that is just part of his day to day agenda! Even though Mr Miliband was immensely successful in upsetting my equilibrium first thing this morning with condescending twaddle over business and its relationship with the EU, hard-nosed market makers paid not a ‘jot’ of attention to his shallow platitudes and were happy to take the market up 56 points to 6908 at 10.20am this morning on the back of improved sentiment in New York thanks to Consumer spending rallying and the ‘follow through’ in Asia. Even Japan’s industrial production disappointing data failed to dull enthusiasm. Volumes were marginally better than derisory. What makes me feel so uncomfortable is the fact that so many people are away on holiday. Yes, I have heard of technology, social media and communications but business is trusting providence by extracting the ‘Michael’ vigorously!
Oils were strong with BP +1% and Royal Dutch Shell +1.25%. Drugs played more than spear-carrying roles – Astra +1.25%, GSK +1.75%, though Shire was flat in the wake of Friday’s frenetic activity. Banks were small ‘up’ though the interest was limited and will remain so until the stress test criteria posted at 10.30am has been digested. The mining sector was uninspiring – up an average of 0.5%.
It was the media sector that caught fire! – DMGT +1.25%, ITV +1.5%, Sky +0.2%, Pearson +2.25% and WPP +1.5%. Of those companies that reported results – COMPASS was up just 0.9%. Despite great results NUMIS and CENKOS ‘travelled and arrived’ and were only up 0.25%. The ‘yellow jersey’ went to QUINDELL – up 11.9% at 149.5p, having initially been up 30% at 180p on news of the sale of its service arm for £600k+.