Monthly Archives: July 2015

MARKET UPDATE – GOOD EARNINGS FROM THE HEAVY MOB UNDERPINS POSITIVE SENTIMENT

At the time of writing the sun is high on the yardarm; wickets are tumbling at Edgbaston; no one really believes that Chairman Yellen is going to be given the opportunity of putting rates any more than just in a perfunctory or symbolic manner. The quality of earnings, which hit the wires in a tsunami manner, was on the whole more than satisfactory. The FTSE 100 was up 35 points at 6670 at 4.00pm. The big cap stocks led the charge with Shell up all but 5%, dragging BG up 4% and BP up by 1%. Investors did not share the same level of enthusiasm for Centrica – down 3%, on news that 4000 people most of them in the UK would lose their employment.

 

Astra Zeneca posted good results and an encouraging pipeline for new drugs – +3%. Smith & Nephew also responded positively – up 1.5%. Thos Cook, despite discouraging news on Tunisia and Greece which could cost the travel agent £25million, were flat at the time of writing Diageo underwhelmed its acolytes (-1.5%), as did BT (-1%). Investors need convincing that BT is going to make a real success of its sortie in to sport. RBS was up 4% early door, but fell be down 2.5% when the street realised that this beleaguered banks was years away from coming out of the House of Bondage. Even CEO Ross McEwan felt that impairment provisions could be there for years to come. As for Merlin Entertainment, it saw its share price just drift below the Plimsoll line by 0.7% to 414.20p. There was no really upbeat news on Alton Towers.

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TODAY’S FAYRE

 

TODAY’S FAYRE – Thursday 30th July 2015

 

“You did not come,

And marching Time drew on, and wore me numb.

Yet less for loss of your dear presence there

Than that I thus found lacking in your make

That high compassion which can overbear

Reluctance for pure lovingkindness’ sake

Grieved I, when, as the hope-hour stroked its sum,

You did not come. You love not me,

And love alone can lend you loyalty; -I know and knew it.

But, unto the store Of human deeds divine in all but name,

Was it not worth a little hour or more

To add yet this: Once you, a woman, came

To soothe a time-torn man; even though it be

You love not me.”

 

Thomas Hardy – author & poet – 1840 –1928

  

Who would have believed that England would be just 3 runs short of eclipsing Australia’s paltry total of 136 runs at the end of the first day’s play at Edgbaston? Give Jimmy Anderson the right pitch conditions and he can still deliver in spades – 6 for 47! With weather conditions likely to be more clement today, let’s hope England’s fragile batting line up can capitalise on a fantastic opportunity!

 

How sad it was to hear of the death of the voice of racing – Sir Peter O’Sullevan at the age of 97! – A sporting icon and a true gentleman who loved having a tilt at the ring.  When commentating, if the money was down and his selection was likely to be involved in the business end of the race, his voice always rose an octave or two! Loved his two great horses – ‘Be Friendly’ who won the King’s Stand at Royal Ascot and the Prix de L’Abbaye in 1967 and ‘Attivo’, which won the Triumph Hurdle in 1974 having won the Chester Cup and Northumberland Plate in 1970. In terms of work undertaken for racing charities, his quest for these great causes was relentless!

 

I am thoroughly enjoying the box-set ‘The Good Wife’ – yes, I know! I am years behind the curve – nonetheless for those who have not yet taken it in – terrific escapism about a fallen politician and the unlikely revival of his forlorn wife’s legal career – starring Julianna Margulies (ex ER), Josh Charles (‘Big’ in Sex in the City) and Christine Baranski!

 

European equities have enjoyed two very respectable days trading, despite some warning shots across the bows to Greece from the IMF’s Mme Lagarde to get their act together, as well as some more wide ranging comments on the damage caused by falling commodity prices on emerging markets and global growth in general. Though FED chairman loaded her ‘Smith & Wesson’ at last night’s FOMC comments to the press, she was still only firing blanks but warned us that real bullets could go in the chamber in the autumn, if the Labour market were to remain robust and wage inflation were to select another gear, but she was far from specific. 

 

The Street of Dreams was not spooked by these comments. It strikes me as the same old guff and rhetoric keeps coming out month after month, but one is left with the impression that she might just feel the US economy is not guaranteed to select another gear. The Street of Dreams cracked with the DOW adding 0.69%, the S&P 500 0.73% and the NASDAQ 0.44%.  The quality of earnings was acceptable and punters will be hoping that they are fed with a decent GDP 2nd quarter number today enabling them to keep the faith! After hours Facebook posted a 39% increase in revenues mainly due to mobile advertising.  However there was evidence of currency headwinds, which could affect growth resulting in profits falling by 9%.  The shares were down 3.3% after hours. 1.5 billion People have registered with Facebook and over 840 million use the facility on a daily basis.

 

In London yesterday the FTSE added 75 points to 6566. It was a grand day for drugs with GSK leading the charge up 3.5%.  Barclays were also popular up nearly 2%, with investors enjoying John McFarlane’s uncompromising approach. There was ‘trouble in River City’ for Compass Group – down 5.3% on news of crippling restructuring costs. Life in Asia was relatively uneventful with the Shanghai Composite closing down 2.9%, with the Hang Seng easier by 0.49% and the NIKKEI ploughing its own happy independent furrow – up 1.08%. Samsung disappointed this morning with disappointing sales of the Galaxy 6 resulting in shares dropping 1.6%.

As can be seen from the list below there has been a slew of earnings this morning.  Once the analysts have been all over them, their appraisal will bring more to the party than I ever could. Let me lock into Shell (+2.8%) and Centrica, because of the human angle of these stories – shedding 6,500 jobs and Centrica a net 4,000 – mainly in the UK. With oil at circa $50 a barrel, the cost of exploration and capital expenditure is punitive.  Both companies have vented their spleen on their employees. Centrica’s new CEO Ian Conn from BP has certainly entered the fray in an uncompromising frame of mind. BT’s shares were down 2.5%.  They have experienced a tremendous rally in recent years – up from 78p in 2010 to 461p today, thanks to innovative leadership from Lord Ian Livingstone and more recently from Gavin Patterson. BT needs to prove to shareholders that it has not spent too much on sport, taking on Sky in its back yard! BAE Systems (unch) and Rolls Royce (+0.7%) have had a pretty torrid time of it in recent months so it was good to see that both order books are beginning to look very healthy. Lloyds Banking Group ahead of tomorrow’s results announced the sale of Irish debt of £827 million.

 

Now to RBS!  Initially the market loved their news – shares up 4%.  However after closer scrutiny, it is still work in progress – up only 1.7%. There was a loss of £153m for the six months to the end of June, which is disappointing in comparison to a £1.43bn profit a year ago. However restructuring costs almost tripled to £1.5bn. RBS set aside £1.3bn for lawsuits and customer recompense. A further £459m was earmarked mainly for litigation costs in the second quarter. Most of those are likely to arise from sales of mortgage-backed securities in the US, said the bank.

 

There were two pleasing elements from these numbers – Tier One Capital coming in at 12.3% and the fact that lending to SMES and consumers lending is rising. Personally I don’t think RBS is fit for purpose to be sold back to the public for at least two years. Lord Howard Davies is expected to become chairman of RBS at the end of the summer, allowing Sir Philip Hampton to become chairman of GSK.

 

UK companies posting results this week – Thursday – ASTRA ZENECA, BAE SYSTEMS, DIAGEO, BT GROUP, REXAM, SMITH & NEPHEW, INTERCONTINENTAL HOTEL GROUP, CENTRICA, THOS COOK, RBS, MERLIN ENTERTAINMENT, WEIR GROUP, MERLIN, ROLLS ROYCE, ROYAL DUTCH SHELL, Friday – BG GROUP, IAG, B&M, LLOYDS BANKING GROUP.

 

US Companies posting interim results this week – Thursday – STARWOOD HOTELS, TIME WARNER CABLE, PITNEY-BOWES, PROCTOR & GAMBLE, LIKEDIN, AMGEN, Friday – CHEVRON, EXXON MOBIL

 

Economic data – Thursday – US 2nd quarter GDP Friday – Consumer Confidence

 

 David Buik – market commentator

 

 Panmure Gordon & Co

Today’s Fayre

 

TODAY’S FAYRE – Wednesday 29th July 2015

 

“Between us now and here –     

Two thrown together 

Who are not wont to wear     

Life’s flushest feather – 

Who see the scenes slide past, 

The daytimes dimming fast, 

Let there be truth at last,     

Even if despair. 

 

So thoroughly and long     

Have you now known me, 

So real in faith and strong     

Have I now shown me, 

That nothing needs disguise 

Further in any wise, 

Or asks or justifies     

A guarded tongue. 

 

Face unto face, then, say,     

Eyes mine own meeting, 

Is your heart far away,     

Or with mine beating? 

When false things are brought low, 

And swift things have grown slow, 

Feigning like froth shall go,     

Faith be for aye.”

 

Thomas Hardy – author & poet – 1840 –1928

 

So England and Australia set down their stall at Edgbaston today for match three in this Ashes series. The series is excitingly and currently poised at 1-1, with Australia probably in the ascendancy. This will be very much a toss to win and bat first. If Bell, playing at home can show some real form to be supported by several of our front-line batsmen, England could stand tall. As promised Mark Wood is rested and this track may well suit Steve Finn’s extra height! All to play for!

 

So distressed to hear of the death of Clive Rice, the South African cricketer aged 66, from a brain tumour. He rejuvenated Nottinghamshire CCC – sadly never to play test cricket because of apartheid in his motherland.

 

There was a better feel about equity markets yesterday, though there was no thunderous or particularly thought provoking news to rattle any specific cages. Shanghai seemed to be sailing in slightly calmer waters. This morning the Composite was just below the Plimsoll line as I write – down 0.21% as we head to the lunch break. On the Street of Dreams ahead of this evenings FOMC comment, investors took advantage of a strong rally right across the spectrum. The DOW closed 1.09% to the good, the S&P 500 was up 1.24% and the NASDAQ by a healthy 0.98%. It was a particularly good day for the drug sector with both Pfizer and Merck beating earning expectations, which saw their respective stocks add circa 1%. These operations were usurped by Gilead, which posted blow-out numbers triggering a 3% rise in its share price. After hours Twitter disappointed with unsatisfactory revenues from advertising. Creator and temporary CEO Jack Dorsey has his work cut out rectifying such an indifferent perception. Shares are up 5% on the year, but dropped 11% after hours. Facebook steps up to the plate today and Mark Zuckerberg is expected to post a far more robust set of numbers. Facebook’s stock has added 20% so far this year.

 

This evening the market waits with trepidation for comments from Janet Yellen or at least nuances as there is no general meeting, as to when the FED plans to start putting rates up. The general consensus of opinion is September. However with negligible inflation, an OK labour market, average consumer confidence and economic turmoil around the world, does M/S Yellen have enough ammunition to bite the bullet? I have my doubts!

 

Yesterday was a decent day for equities in London with the FTSE 100 adding 50 points to 6555, with much of the zestful enthusiasm down to merger mania. There were four deals that captured the imagination, all of which seemed to receive market support. Zurich Financial Services’ £5.5 billion bid for RSA (+18.4%), the beleaguered insurer, which has in the past year come under the stewardship of Stephen Hester, was not at all surprising. The idea had been flagged up for some time, though Panmure’s Barrie Cornes believes Axa and a few US insurers could well still be interested. If a deal goes through, maybe Stephen Hester will be given the opportunity to deal with unfinished business in the banking sector? – Barclays?

                 

GKN’s bid for Holland’s Fokker made great sense -+7% and Melrose (+9.6%) disposal of its Elster water, gas and electricity metering business for a very healthy £3.3 billion to Honeywell was gleefully recognised. Finally Hikma’s acquisition of Roxane Labs was seen as very synergistic and its stock rose by 10.5%. Many of these M&A deals may be quite heavily leveraged, thus triggering a rise in corporate bond yields – maybe additional fuel to Carney’s fire? We shall see.

 

There was a good speech a couple of days ago from BOE’S Andy Haldane – if a bit of a history lesson – 0n the implications for company law, remuneration clawback and dividend/buyback taxation, which could be profound. He feels that shareholders are too well looked after rather than employees. He has a great point but will anyone listen and implement?

 

This morning Barclays posted an 11% rise in pre-tax profits to £3.11 billion for the first half of the year. Double digit returns were achieved in investment banking. Retail banking was flat. The Tier One Capital was excellent – increased to 11.1%. A further provision of £800 million was being made for litigation and probes. The dividend of 2p was retained. Barclays will pursue a policy of reducing non-core businesses as it will with its long term redundancy plans, which could cost 30k jobs. The appointment of a CEO is still in abeyance – Many believe that John McFarlane relishes the prospect of laying the foundations of Barclay’ long term policy before anointing a successor to Antony Jenkins. The candidate with the best investment banking credentials is likely to get the nod!

 

Sky posted great numbers with revenues for the year up 5% at £11.28 billion. The profit was up 18% at £1.4 billion. 937k new customers were identified – up 45% on last year, with 4.6 million new paid-for subscription products. The dividend was increased by 3%.

 

UK companies posting results this week – Wednesday – BARCLAYS, MAN GROUP, GLAXO SMITHKLINE, TULLOW, SKY, M&B, 3iii GROUP, TATE & LYLE, ANTOFAGASTA, Thursday – ASTRA ZENECA, BAE SYSTEMS, BT GROUP, REXAM, SMITH & NEPHEW, INTERCONTINENTAL HOTEL GROUP, CENTRICA, THOS COOK, RBS, MERLIN ENTERTAINMENT, WEIR GROUP, MERLIN, ROLLS ROYCE, ROYAL DUTCH SHELL, Friday – BG GROUP, IAG, B&M, LLOYDS BANKING GROUP.

 

US Companies posting interim results this week –  Wednesday – FACEBOOK, HOSPIRA, CARLYLE GROUP, NORTHROP GRUMMAN, ALTRIA, GOODYEAR, WYNN RESORTS, WHOLE FOODS, REVLON – Thursday – STARWOOD HOTELS, TIME WARNER CABLE, PITNEY-BOWES, PROCTOR & GAMBLE, LIKEDIN, AMGEN, Friday – CHEVRON, EXXON MOBIL

 

Economic data – Wednesday – FOMC Meeting, Consumer Credit, Thursday – US 2nd quarter GDP Friday – Consumer Confidence

 

 

David Buik – market commentator

 

 

Panmure Gordon & Co

MARKET UPDATE – after initial frenetic activity – “All quiet on the Western Front!”

At 2.45pm the FTSE 100 was up 35 points. After the initial early morning ‘jockeying for position’ had petered out, the market seemed as quiet as the grave.  The FTSE has been up 35 for 3 hours.  Wall Street has opened with a reasonable amount of poise, though without the sort of vigour that would suggest sentiment had dramatically improved resulting in stocks sailing in to calmer waters. There have been three deals today – Zurich Financial Services having a nibble at RSA at about 500p, Melrose selling assets to Honeywell and GKN acquiring Fokker – all of which could include the respective pension liabilities venturing to suggest that the aggressive issuance of bonds means that corporate bond yields are on the rise. Melrose was up 9.5%, RSA up by 14.5% and GKN 7.5% to the good. The placing of GKN’s shares was made at 305p.  Investors seemed to give the seal of approval to this level M&A activity. Informa was also up 7% with not only good figures but a decent outlook.

 

Of the slew of other companies posting numbers, BP made a soft start thanks to superficially disappointing numbers, but at the time of writing its shares are up 1.5%. ITV rose like a grilse early on – up 3.4% before settling up 1.7%. Though viewing figures are lower, advertising revenues were up 5% and the outlook surrounding the Rugby World Cup was encouraging. Next was up 2.2% on the back of stellar Directory sales. Segro was 2% to the good.  Merlin Entertainment recouped much of yesterday’s 4.28% loss – +3%. Royal Mail Group took a blow below the belt, losing 3% as a result of negative regulatory comment. Royal Dutch Shell was flat ahead of Thursday’s numbers and Barclays was 1p in advance of tomorrow’s results.

 

2nd quarter GDP came in, in line with expectation at +0.7%, up from the 1st quarter reading of +0.4%. The ONS said much of this improvement was due to the service sector and despite a disappointing drop in manufacturing -0.3%. Many believe that the quality of the data was sufficiently positive to support a Carney initiated suggested rate rise in early 2016.

TODAY’S FAYRE

 

TODAY’S FAYRE – Tuesday 28th July 2015

 

Woman much missed, how you call to me, call to me,

Saying that now you are not as you were

When you had changed from the one who was all to me,

But as at first, when our day was fair.

 

Can it be you that I hear? Let me view you, then,

Standing as when I drew near to the town

Where you would wait for me: yes, as I knew you then,

Even to the original air-blue gown!

 

Or is it only the breeze in its listlessness

Travelling across the wet mead to me here,

You being ever dissolved to wan wistlessness,

Heard no more again far or near?

 

   Thus I; faltering forward,

   Leaves around me falling,

Wind oozing thin through the thorn from norward,

And the woman calling.”

 

Thomas Hardy – author & poet – 1940 –1928

 

There was an article in yesterday’s FT suggesting that an early EU referendum could be the death-nail to Cameron’s premiership. It is not often that I would say to such an august publication – nonsense! – But on this occasion I have no hesitation in doing so. However the way the Government is setting about the task of having a referendum is cause for concern.

 

Firstly the FT, respectfully, is incapable of being objective over EU membership. It is non-negotiable that the UK remains in the EU, come hell or high water!  Leaving the FT aside for a moment, we need to bring this weeping carbuncle of an issue to a head sooner rather than later.  Uncertainty will damage trade globally and prevents major contingency plans being formulated. So the sooner the matter is brought to a head whilst Labour is in disarray, the better.

 

I do not buy the idea that there is insufficient time to negotiate with Frau Merkel & Co.  Despite white smoke rising from the Elysee Palace that George Osborne had made great progress with the French authorities, many like me get the impression that Messrs Cameron and Osborne are being hoodwinked by their peers in Brussels that all will be well.  Consequently they seem hell-bent in attempting to rail-road a deal through as quickly as possible. The ‘No!’ campaign or ‘need to discuss fully’ brigade must rally their troops with indecent haste.  I hear from ‘Business for Britain’ that the matter is well in hand.

 

The fall-out from the Shanghai Composite’s nose dive of 8.48% on other markets yesterday was pretty comprehensive, though in fairness the ‘bear status’ of Brent crude and cheap commodity prices certainly added some momentum to global stock market retreats. The DAX and CAC fell 2.5% and the FTSE by 1.1%, thanks to oils, banks and mining stocks. The Street of Dreams was also in poor shape due to the negative sentiment and there were few results to really analyse and put meat on the market’s bone – DOW down 0.73%, S&P 500 -0.58% and the NASDAQ -0.96%.  Profit takers were in the ring for Apple, taking the price down by 1.4%. The Teva/Allergan $40.5 billion deal looks good at the expense of Mylan, but watch Abbvie, Pfizer and others flex their muscles in the months to come. This sector has some momentum behind it. Let’s see if the FOMC brings further fear to equities with threats of interest rate increases or has the market already been placated? This morning the Shanghai Composite closed down 1.68% and the NIKKEI closed just below the Plimsoll line – down 0.1%

 

In London yesterday Merlin Entertainment’s Nick Varney admitted that the terrible accident at Alton Towers in May had affected earnings.  Despite remedial action, fear of these rides prevailed.  The market took the stock down by 4.28%. Panmure’s analysts Karl Burns likes the Ladbroke/Coral Gala deal – £2.3 billion, but thinks it may take a year to consummate.  It appears to be a good deal for Ladbrokes (52% of the joint venture).  Coral’s is the fastest growing on-line bookmaker.  There is no doubt that the regulator will need to be placated and it may well be that 20% of their retail estate will need to be sold. There could be as much as £65 million synergistic savings in the years to come. It looks as though Tesco’s senior management remuneration packages could upset a few people. CEO Dave Lewis could receive share incentives valued at £3.4 million and Alan Stewart £1.8 million.  A pool of £24.8 million could be spread amongst the 11 senior directors, despite shares having fallen 18% in the past year. However I would point out that Tesco’s shares, after the over-zealous profit statement, fell from 269p to 164p – down 39% – so work in progress by NEW management, which requires acknowledgement.

 

 

There was a slew of earnings this morning. The following pleased – NEXT, INFORMA, ITV, VIRGIN MONEY and DRAX. ITV’s shares were up 3%. External revenues were up 11% and though viewing figures were down, advertising revenues were up 5% on well viewed programmes.  The World Cup will be a decent little ‘Arfur Daley!’ BP posted a loss of $6.26 billion for the last quarter which included a settlement payment of $7.48 billion to the US authorities for the Deepwater Horizon tragedy.  The operating profit was $1.3 billion – 20% below expectation, 64% down Y/O/Y and 50% Q/O/Q. Oil prices have halved in the past year and are 20% down in recent months. However it should be stressed that CEO Bob Dudley has done a brilliant job for BP not only in the US but also by maintaining good relationship with Putin and the Kremlin over its joint venture with Rosneft, which will pay dividends if there is ever a bit of political détente. GKN announce the acquisition of assets from Fokker. Melrose disposed of assets to Honeywell of the US for circa $3 billion – shares up 7%. Royal Mail incurred the wrath and indignation of the regulator over charges, which it disputes – shares were down 3.3%.

 

This morning UK GDP should be confirmed at 0.7% for the 2nd quarter with the service sector leading the charge. We await news of the Troika’s visit to Greece to sign off on the bail-out.  Frankly I take any accord with Greece with a pinch of salt!

 

UK companies posting results this week – Wednesday – BARCLAYS, MAN GROUP, GLAXO SMITHKLINE, TULLOW, SKY, M&B, 3iii GROUP, TATE & LYLE, ANTOFAGASTA, Thursday – ASTRA ZENECA, BAE SYSTEMS, BT GROUP, REXAM, SMITH & NEPHEW, INTERCONTINENTAL HOTEL GROUP, CENTRICA, THOS COOK, RBS, MERLIN ENTERTAINMENT, WEIR GROUP, MERLIN, ROLLS ROYCE, ROYAL DUTCH SHELL, Friday – BG GROUP, IAG, B&M, LLOYDS BANKING GROUP.

 

US Companies posting interim results this week –  Tuesday – FORD, DR HORTON, PFIZER, REYNOLDS AMERICAN, JETBLUE, Wednesday – HOSPIRA, CARLYLE GROUP, NORTHROP GRUMMAN, ALTRIA, GOODYEAR, WYNN RESORTS, WHOLE FOODS, REVLON – Thursday – STARWOOD HOTELS, TIME WARNER CABLE, PITNEY-BOWES, PROCTOR & GAMBLE, LIKEDIN, AMGEN, Friday – CHEVRON, EXXON MOBIL

 

Economic data – Tuesday – UK 2nd quarter GDP, Wednesday – Consumer Credit, Friday – Consumer Confidence

 

 

David Buik – market commentator

 

Panmure Gordon & Co

TODAY’S FAYRE – SHANGHAI, MARKET, M&A

 

THIS MORNING’S FAYRE – Monday 27th July 2015

 

“When I am an old woman I shall wear purple

With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.

And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves

And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.

I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired

And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells

And run my stick along the public railings

And make up for the sobriety of my youth.

I shall go out in my slippers in the rain

And pick flowers in other people’s gardens And learn to spit.

 

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat

And eat three pounds of sausages at a go

Or only bread and pickle for a week

And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.

 

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry

And pay our rent and not swear in the street

And set a good example for the children.

We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?

So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised

When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.”

 

Jenny Joseph – poet – 1932 –

 

I have never heard of Italo Montemezzi’s ‘L’Armore Dei Tre Re’, which was composed and written in 1907. Clearly opera Holland Park’s Martin Lloyd-Evans is more than familiar with it. He directed with passion, panache and high drama.  The music is spectacular.  The singing was rather Wagnerian with a wide display of base and baritone voices intermingled with the odd very good tenor and soprano. The opera is about love triangles and conflicts between private love and public duty, which are played out through just four principals, with the minor characters and chorus providing only occasional, albeit important, support. For me, like Wagner, the very lyrical music does not quite gel with the singing, though all the performances are of the highest quality.  Glad I saw it, but I doubt I will go again.

 

What can one say about Chris Froome winning the TdeF for the second time in three years – amazing achievement! People that know more than me on this sport say that this year’s course was tailor-made for Sky’s leading rider and next year, were he to compete, it may be a totally different proposition.

 

John Gosden and Anthony Oppenheimer were right not to run ‘Golden Horn’ on soft ground in the King George V1 & Queen Elizabeth Diamond stakes at Ascot on Saturday. Opportunities will present themselves in the Juddemonte at York and The Champion Stakes at Ascot and f the ground does not come up soft at Longchamps in the Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe on the first Sunday in October!

 

After a lack-lustre session on the Street of Dreams last Friday, concern over growth in China, the quality of its data and falling oil and commodity prices plus valuations, all hung over Asian equity bourses like large black threatening cumuli nimbus clouds. The NIKKEI closed down 0.95% today, with Hang Seng investors watching blood run down Stanley Street as it dropped 3% by the close. However it was the Shanghai Composite that really rattled investors’ cage, falling by 8.48% during today’s session. It just goes to prove that international investors are too savvy to believe in ‘rigged’ centrally controlled markets particularly if you limit selling or trading specific stocks. Though the Shanghai has surrendered at 37% in the last five weeks – the biggest for 8 years, it is still up by about 113% in the past year. It’s a brave man that calls the end of the ‘shake-out!’

 

European markets opened with little appetite for risk this morning. After an hour the FTSE 100 was down 30 points, but at the time of writing it is up 5 points at 6585. Reckitt Benckiser after encouraging results posted today, with net revenues up 5% and operating profits up 10% saw its shares rally by 2%. Reckitt’s shares have been very solid for years – up 21% in the last year. Mining stocks experienced a dead cat bounce this morning – up between 1 and 2%, with Randgold up 3% at 10.30am. Gold has fallen 9.5% in three months and 40% since its high four years ago. Drug and banking stocks remained moribund ahead of earnings being posted throughout the week.

 

With BP posting numbers on Tuesday, Total on Wednesday and Royal Dutch Shell on Thursday it will be interesting to hear what contingency plans they have made to combat the 60% fall in oil in the last year and the 20% drop in the last few weeks. We are led to believe that major oil moguls will have put the brakes on most exploration and development projects totaling $200 billion. Apart from those mentioned, Statoil, Chevron and Woodside Petroleum will also be included, affecting potentially 46 big oil and gas projects. In the past year BP has lost 23% in value with Royal Dutch Shell eclipsing that number – down 32%. As for the banks, ahead of their results, RBS’S progress has been flat over the past year, Lloyds Banking Group is up 13% over the same period and Barclays by 28% – 10% rally since John McFarlane showed Antony Jenkins the front door. This morning UBS’s Sergio Ermotti’s posted a 53% increase in profits for the last quarter with fund management going gang busters. UBS’s shares were easier by 1.29%, though they are up by 50% since January this year.

 

Early this morning, we heard news that Israel’s Teva was close to concluding a $40 billion acquisition of US’s Allergan’s generic drug business, including Botox. It was not that long ago that Allergan attempted to buy Mylan. This deal may prove more synergistic.   There will be more deals of this nature as pipe-lines continue to dry up and margins become eroded. The drug sector could be a classic M&A hunting ground as could media and telecoms.

UK companies posting results this week – Tuesday – PACE, DRAX, BP, GLENCORE, ITV, INFORMA, SEGRO, WILLIS, NEXT (TS), MONDI (TS), Wednesday – BARCLAYS, MAN GROUP, GLAXO SMITHKLINE, TULLOW, SKY, M&B, 3iii GROUP, TATE & LYLE, ANTOFAGASTA, Thursday – ASTRA ZENECA, BAE SYSTEMS, BT GROUP, REXAM, SMITH & NEPHEW, INTERCONTINENTAL HOTEL GROUP, CENTRICA, THOS COOK, RBS, MERLIN ENTERTAINMENT, WEIR GROUP, MERLIN, ROLLS ROYCE, ROYAL DUTCH SHELL, Friday – BG GROUP, IAG, B&M, LLOYDS BANKING GROUP.

 

US Companies posting interim results this week –  Tuesday – FORD, DR HORTON, PFIZER, REYNOLDS AMERICAN, JETBLUE, Wednesday – HOSPIRA, CARLYLE GROUP, NORTHROP GRUMMAN, ALTRIA, GOODYEAR, WYNN RESORTS, WHOLE FOODS, REVLON – Thursday – STARWOOD HOTELS, TIME WARNER CABLE, PITNEY-BOWES, PROCTOR & GAMBLE, LIKEDIN, AMGEN, Friday – CHEVRON, EXXON MOBIL

 

Economic data – Tuesday – UK 2nd quarter GDP, Wednesday – Consumer Credit, Friday – Consumer Confidence

 

 

David Buik – market commentator

 

Panmure Gordon & Co

TODAY’S FAYRE

TODAY’S FAYRE – Sunday, 26th July 2015

 

When fishes flew and forests walked 

And figs grew upon thorn, 

Some moment when the moon was blood 

Then surely I was born; 

With monstrous head and sickening cry 

And ears like errant wings, 

The devil’s walking parody 

On all four-footed things. 

 

The tattered outlaw of the earth, 

Of ancient crooked will; 

Starve, scourge, deride me: I am dumb, 

I keep my secret still. 

Fools! For I also had my hour; 

One far fierce hour and sweet: 

There was a shout about my ears, 

And palms before my feet.”

 

George K Chesterton – poet – 1874-1936

 

Robert Sean Leonard is not an actor that immediately rolls off the tongue as a leading Thespian of the British theatre. You will recall him if you are a devotee of ‘House’ the series dominated for so many years by Hugh Laurie, where RSL played the part of ‘Wilson’, House’s long-suffering medical colleague. Anyway I have to tell you that Leonard’s portrayal of ‘Atticus Finch’ a lawyer from the ‘Deep South’, who defended Tom Johnston, a black labourer, on trial for a rape, in Harper Lee’s ‘ To Kill a Mocking Bird’ is totally brilliant!

 

This Timothy Sheader production at the Barbican is quite one of the best plays I have seen in many a day. RSL appeared in the lead role in Regents Park in recent years, but I missed it much to my chagrin. His performance is individualistic, though RSL plays it in a similar under-cooked manner that Gregory Peck did in the ’62 film directed by Robert Mulligan. I am not a devotee of child actors, but the three that played Finch’s children and their friend were sensational. This very moving drama must not be missed!

 

The start of last week saw the Greek financial crisis come to its natural temporary conclusion with Tsipras brow-beating the Greek Parliament to accept the EU/IMF’s draconian terms for its third bail-out. Technically there could be issues when the Troikas visits Athens this coming week, but they are unlikely to be insurmountable. Markets were rather more concerned with growth in China, the threat of higher rates from ‘Tweedledum & Tweedledee’ better known as Yellen and Carney, the collapse of commodity prices, a 4% fall in Brent crude oil and a mixed reception for the start of the 2nd quarter earnings season in the US.

 

Reuters reported that of the of US companies that have so far reported earnings, 74% have beaten earnings estimates, but just 52% have exceeded revenue estimates. In Europe out of 58 companies from Stoxx 600 only 45% had beaten profits forecast against an average of 48% in recent years. A fall in Chinese demand, a strong dollar and little inflation have contributed to commodity prices falling off the cliff. The FTSE 350 has been every adversely affected with the likes of Anglo American, Lonmin, Glencore, Antofagasta and Vedanta Resources being clobbered vituperatively.

 

A rally of expectation tied to earnings disappeared as blue-chip companies disappointed causing the Dow Jones to fall the most since January. Stocks worldwide tumbled 2.1 percent, with the MSCI All-Country World Index posting its worst week of the year. The Dow fell 517.92 points, or 2.9%, to 17,568.53. The S&P 500 Index slid 2.2 percent and the NASDAQ fell 2.3%, the biggest declines for both gauges since March. The FTSE eased by 2.88%, European stocks by 2.77% and the NIKKEI by 0.52%. The Shanghai Composite rallied early in the week but Friday’s Chinese PMI reading suggested momentum had been temporarily derailed.

 

Mature equity markets have been underpinned for 6 years with quantitative easing. Also interest rates have not moved for the same period of time and with inflation almost non-existent, profit margins have been eroding and narrowing. Mega mergers have helped deliver profits as have substantial buybacks. P/E ratios for the S&P and FTSE and for that matter the NIKKEI are beginning to look quite rich – FTSE 100 16.3 x, S+P 500 17.8x, Eurostoxx 600 16.9x and Nikkei 19.5x.

 

UK Public Finances – Numbers released on Tuesday looked somewhat disappointing, with a £9.4bn deficit in June (our Chief Economist, Simon French had been expecting £8bn). Evidently central government spending is continuing to grow despite all efforts to constrain it. As for UK Interest Rates, minutes from the Bank of England show that whilst all 9 voted to hold interest rates at 0.5%, ‘a number’ saw an increased risk of UK inflation rising above the 2% target rate in the medium term. Without concerns over Greece, the decision to keep rates the same apparently would have been less clean cut. UK Retail posted figures confirming a 4% increase yesterday, a miss on market expectations of 5%. Following the UK employment data, this is another point that suggests a possible softening in UK data at the end of Q2. Still, the 3 month average picture for growth in the UK does remain strong (+0.7% MoM), which should be endorsed on Tuesday, when 2nd quarter GDP should increase from +0.4% in the 1st quarter to +0.7%; much of the improvement coming from the service sector.

 

This coming week is a massive one for earnings in the UK. It will be dominated by oil companies, miners, banks and defence operations. In the case of BP and Royal Dutch Shell profits are expected to fall as follows – BP down 55% on the 2nd quarter last year and 38% on the last quarter. As for Shell down 69% on 2nd quarter in 2014 and 42% on the last quarter. Centrica’s Ian Conn may have a problem justifying a 50% increase in British Gas Profits against a 5% cut in prices implemented last February, when he posts numbers on Thursday. As for the banks, Barclays posts numbers on Wednesday and Chairman John McFarlane will talk about massive cuts and redundancies; building up the investment bank and dispensing with operations in Italy and Portugal. On Thursday Ross McEwan should post some improvement on RBS’s bottom line, further disposal of assets and plans to see the taxpayer’s 79%. Lloyds on Friday will have done well and there should be news about the disposal of the taxpayers’ final 14.98%. Numbers from Rolls Royce and BAE Systems on Thursday may not make pretty reading with profits falling between 5-10%.

 

Last week saw considerable activity within the gaming sector. Ladbrokes and Coral Gala confirmed their merger in a £2.3 billion deal, with Jim Mullen as CEO and Andy Hornby, the former HBOS CEO installed as COO. CVC in conjunction with Cerberus of the US, may spoil 888 Holding party to buy Bwin for £890m. We may also not have heard the last of William Hill’s aspirations to buy 888 Holdings.

UK companies posting results this week –  Monday – RECKITT BENCKISER, FEVERTREE DRINKS, Tuesday – PACE, DRAX, BP, GLENCORE, ITV, INFORMA, SEGRO, WILLIS, NEXT (TS), MONDI (TS), Wednesday – BARCLAYS, MAN GROUP, GLAXO SMITHKLINE, TULLOW, SKY, M&B, 3iii GROUP, TATE & LYLE, ANTOFAGASTA, Thursday – ASTRA ZENECA, BAE SYSTEMS, BT GROUP, REXAM, SMITH & NEPHEW, INTERCONTINENTAL HOTEL GROUP, CENTRICA, THOS COOK, RBS, MERLIN ENTERTAINMENT, WEIR GROUP, MERLIN, ROLLS ROYCE, ROYAL DUTCH SHELL, Friday – BG GROUP, IAG, B&M, LLOYDS BANKING GROUP.

 

US Companies posting interim results this week –  Tuesday – FORD, DR HORTON, PFIZER, REYNOLDS AMERICAN, JETBLUE, Wednesday – HOSPIRA, CARLYLE GROUP, NORTHROP GRUMMAN, ALTRIA, GOODYEAR, WYNN RESORTS, WHOLE FOODS, REVLON – Thursday – STARWOOD HOTELS, TIME WARNER CABLE, PITNEY-BOWES, PROCTOR & GAMBLE, LIKEDIN, AMGEN, Friday – CHEVRON, EXXON MOBIL

 

Economic data – Tuesday – UK 2nd quarter GDP, Wednesday – Consumer Credit, Friday – Consumer Confidence

 

 

David Buik – market commentator

 

Panmure Gordon & Co

 

 

SAYONARA TO THE ‘PINK’N’ TO THE RISING SUN!

I was definitely out of short trousers and I was starting to make my way in the City when Pearson, whose largest shareholder at that time was the Cowdray family, had amassed the most eclectic and exciting portfolio imaginable – Chateau Latour, Lazard Brothers, Penguin Books, Royal Doulton China, Alton Towers (sold to Merlin in 1998) and of course the FT!  It was a share that I followed closely more out of interest rather than performance.


Then under the very influential stewardship of Dame Marjorie Scardino, the emphasis of the business turned towards education, much of it education publishing in the U.S. However Dame Marge always swore blind that the FT, when Rupert Murdoch was sniffing around the possibility of making a bid that it would be sold over her dead body! Her successor John Fallon has kept up the charade with similar dismissive retorts.


Anyway there is going to be a change of leadership at the top, with John Fallon due to leave as CEO of Pearson; so the FT’S for sale sign has gone up on Southwark Bridge and it did not take long for a satisfactory bid to be forthcoming. The government and regulators were always going to have a major say or bring influence to bear on any deal. Pre Leveson & Jeremy Hunt, the natural predator would have been the Murdoch Empire. The consolidation of the WSJ and the FT would have made sense. Today hell would have a better chance of freezing over than ‘News International’ landing the spoils. The Barclay Brothers owned Telegraph is probably happy as it is and the Guardian Media would not care to lose its political bias nor could it probably afford it. Johnston Press & Trinity Mirror have problems and commitments enough of their own. There were apparently abortive conversation with Axel Springer of Germany.  However I doubt that anyone would have been prepared to match Nikkei’s rich valuation of the FT – 35x earnings against an average of 12x for most media companies – $1.3 billion of £844m million. The price only included 50% of The Economist.

As I understand it, the FT only has a modest circulation in the UK on a daily basis of 100k, though 350k globally on Saturday. However it has a massive commitment to global digital media with over 750k online subscribers. In the face of massive competition from mobile and social media Pearson felt that the FT’S future would have greater synergy linked to an international media mogul looking to expand its international news base. The NIKKEI met that criteria, though initially it appeared to be a strange bedfellow. The NIKKEI are clearly very enthusiastic to become more of an international brand, having paid a handsome premium. The excellence of the FT’S investigative journalism is unchallenged. However news comes more quickly from other wires, sources and blogs. So an innovative union makes great sense. I hope the NIKKEI is up for the challenge!

TODAY’S FAYRE

 

TODAY’S FAYRE – Thursday 23rd July 2015

 

OFTEN and often it came back again

To mind, the day I passed the horizon ridge

To a new country, the path I had to find

By half-gaps that were stiles once in the hedge,

The pack of scarlet clouds running across

The harvest evening that seemed endless then

And after, and the inn where all were kind,

All were strangers. I did not know my loss

Till one day twelve months later suddenly

I leaned upon my spade and saw it all,

Though far beyond the sky-line.

It became Almost a habit through the year for me

To lean and see it and think to do the same Again for two days and a night.

Recall Was vain: no more could the restless brook

Ever turn back and climb the waterfall

To the lake that rests and stirs not in its nook,

As in the hollow of the collar-bone

Under the mountain’s head of rush and stone.”

 

Edward Thomas – poet & soldier – 1878-1917

 

So Jonny Bairstow is in for fellow Yorkshireman Gary Ballance. There’s no way Adam Lyth should have kept his place and despite Ian Bell being a brilliant servant for England over the past decade, he is very lucky to have been retained in the team to bat at No;3. I feel very sorry for James Taylor. I also think Australia would be well advised to let Chris Rogers to sit out the Edgbaston Test next week, allowing him plenty of time to recover from the blow to the head and the dizzy spells that followed.

 

So, despite the wrath and indignation from a raft of the plebiscite, it looks as though PM Tsipras is likely to bulldoze further required austerity to keep Greece afloat for another few months courtesy of the ECB and IMF. It’s still a disgraceful economic charade, not worthy of any respected pillar of democracy. Well, come to think of it, the EU is no democracy. However these events, for the time being, qualify as inside page news, enabling investors to consider other equally pressing issues.

 

Tuesday night saw US markets given heavy blows in the solar plexus by Apple, Microsoft and to a lesser degree Intel and IBM, which took the wind out of investors’ sails for 48 hours. These are of course tech companies, whose respective share prices may have got ahead of themselves.

 

However it is interesting to observe that of the 20% of S&P companies which have so far reported results, 73% of them are ahead of expectations as regards earnings. Why? Firstly with interest rates remaining dormant for 6 years and inflation virtually non-existent, margins start to erode. Hence we have seen an enormous number of share buybacks from many large corporations (20% of S&P 500 companies have had buy-backs), allowing shareholder value to be delivered. IBM’s earnings have increased by 22% in recent times as a result of buy-backs and Apple’s by 10%. Also we have seen many large ticket mergers of companies that may have synergies, but probably become more successful as a result of cost cutting exercises. The same is happening in the UK in terms of EPS for large cap companies, as pointed out by my colleague Simon French in a recent note, though there appears to be plenty of scope for SMES. P/E ratios for the S&P and FTSE and for that matter the NIKKEI look quite rich – FTSE 100 16.3 x, S+P 500 17.8x, Eurostoxx 600 16.9x and Nikkei 19.5x

 

Yesterday as a result of tech turmoil the DOW eased by 0.38%, the S&P 500 by 0.24% and the NASDAQ by 0.70% (Apple down 4.2% and Microsoft -3.7%). Coca-Cola posted numbers in line with expectation – net revenue declined 3% and organic revenue grew 4%. Reported EPS was $0.71 and comparable EPS was $0.63 with global volume growth of 2%. Boeing’s revenue increased 11 percent for the last quarter to $24.5 billion reflecting record commercial deliveries and in the case of American Express this bank also beat expectations. Here in Old Blighty the FTSE 100 had a horrible day with mining stocks taking a frightful beating, with Anglo-American and Glencore both losing over 5% in value. BHP Billiton saw strong iron ore sales though forward guidance was disappointing – FTSE down 101 points at 6667. ARM Holdings, on the back of Apple was a big loser – shares down 5%. Astra’s treatment for eye cancer has failed to pass muster yet. Sage Group under Steve Kelly posted better revenues. easyJet took the yellow jersey for the session with shares up 4.9% on better passenger numbers. The SMMT posted the best UL car sale figures since 2008. 143k cars were sold in June up 5.4% and 793k in the last year – +0.3% up on 2014.

 

This morning Roche and Syngenta posted OK numbers and Tidjane Thiam, Credit Suisse’s recently appointed CEO posted Brady Dougan’s good works for this Swiss bank with profits for the last quarter beating expectations with CHF1.1 billion against estimates of CHF780 million. Tier One capital at 10% seemed a tad low. Fresh capital in terms of a rights issue of CHF5 billion may be required at a later date.  It also seems likely that Asia will be the main platform for expansion. In early skirmishes CS’S shares were up 3%.

 

There were a slew of earnings this morning in London. Reed Elsevier, SAB Miller, Kingfisher and Unilever all very much satisfied their acolytes.  The same could not be said for DMGT, whose shares were down 7% after expectations for the year will come in at the lower level of expectation. Aberdeen Asset Management is having temporary issues with their commitment to Far East markets and shares were down 2.5%. The market approved of Britvic’s acquisition of a Brazilian soft drink supplier for $193 million; so shares were only down 0.5%. Ashtead suffered again today as a result of issues with United Rentals of the US dropping by 5% yesterday.

 

UK companies posting results this week – Thursday – DMGT, UNILEVER, DE LA RUE, PREMIER FOODS, BRITVIC, SAB MILLER, KINGFISHER, ABERDEEN ASSET MANAGEMENT, HALMA, Friday – ANGLO-AMERICAN, AG BARR, LONMIN, VODAFONE, CLOSE BROTHERS

US Companies posting interim results this week –  Thursday – GENERAL MOTORS, RAYTHEON, BOSTON SCIENTIFIC, BRISTOL MYERS SQUIBB, MCDONALD’S, PULTE, KKR, COMCAST, AT&T, BJ RESTAURANTS, CHUBB, AMAZON, VISA, STARBUCKS, Friday – ABBVIE, BIOGEN.

 

 

Economic data – Thursday – UK Retail Sales

 

David Buik – market commentator

 

Panmure Gordon & Co 

 

David Buik – market commentator

 

Panmure Gordon & Co​

TODAY’S FAYRE

TODAY’S FAYRE – Wednesday, 22nd July 2015

 

 

 

War was return of earth to ugly earth,

War was foundering of sublimities,

Extinction of each happy art and faith

By which the world has still kept head in air,

Protesting logic or protesting love,

Until the unendurable moment struck – The inward scream, the duty to run mad.

 

And we recall the merry ways of guns –

Nibbling the walls of factory and church

Like a child, piecrust; felling groves of trees

Like a child, dandelions with a switch.

Machine-guns rattle toy-like from a hill,

Down in a row the brave tin-soldiers fall:

A sight to be recalled in elder days

When learnedly the future we devote

To yet more boastful visions of despair.

 

Robert Graves – poet – 1895-1985

 

As we entered the foyer of the Old Vic last night to see their production of ‘High Society’, my wife made the most salient of comments – ‘Attempting to replicate this most iconic of musicals, which starred Grace Kelly, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and Louis Armstrong, could end up being a regrettable occupational hazard!’ How right she was! Though this production was well staged with enthusiastic dancing, it was cheesy with an embarrassingly poor script. I must dust down the original film and soundtrack to remind myself how wonderful the 1956 original was!

 

 

 

Are the cracks in earnings starting to appear, endorsing an underlying feeling that growth may not be there to the degree that many of the pundits thought? Tech results on the Street of Dreams after hours, following in the wake of marginally disappointing efforts from Intel and IBM, ventures to suggest it is a possibility. Expectations for Apple’s results were at fever-pitch. Superficially they were very good and beat expectations, but the outlook for revenues in the 4th quarter did not pass muster with the market’s butchers, whose knives were at the ready! Profits for the quarter were up 38%. The sale of iPhones were up 35%. Apple sold 47.5m iPhones, Mac sales were up 9%, iPads sales were down 18%. A profit for the quarter came in at $10.7 billion on revenues of $49.6 billion. After hours investors were merciless about the future and took the share price at the knee-caps, taking it down 6.8% wiping $50 billion off the value of the stock – the greatest pullback seen since 21st January 2013 when $59 billion was wiped off. Has the market become too reliant on Apple? The iWatch did not seem to have made much of an impression. Unfortunately NASDAQ/DOW geeks were in the mood to mood to meet out rough treatment on Microsoft, which posted its biggest ever net loss of $3.2 billion – much of it down to writing down the acquisition of Nokia by $7.5 billion. The shares were taken down by 4%. Against that background Yahoo! lost 1.6% thanks to a moderate showing, again after hours, and despite its holding in Alibaba. IBM had been struggling since the day before from poor sales and eased by another 5.9%. So all in all it was a ‘Bad Day at Black Rock’ for the technology industry! So perhaps Goldman’s prognosis that US stocks may have run their race for the time being and that EU stocks are the way forward may be sound advice.

 

 

Wall Street had enjoyed a fairly lack lustre session prior to all this news with the DOW easing by 1% and the S&P by 0.43% and the NASDAQ hovering nervously below the Plimsoll line – down 0.21%. Asia took little comfort from New York’s performance and most of the bourses lowered their flags exacerbated by Apple’s/Microsoft’s results – ASX closed down 1%. The Nikkei was easier by 1.19% towards the close, with the Shanghai Composite down 0.95% and the Hang Seng down by 1% heading to lunch. It was interesting to note that the resignation of Tanaka-san and 7 other executives from Toshiba for over stating profits for 6 years to the tune of circa £780 million saw the share price ease by only 1.6%. Olympus’s antics from 4 years ago when Michael Woodford turned whistle blower cost the company plenty!

 

 

ARM Holdings posted a 32% increase in profits this morning from revenues totalling £228 million – £94.7 million with a 25% increase in dividend. However will CEO Simon Segars’s outfit be affected by the Apple syndrome since it gleans so much revenue from that company? Falling sales of personal computers is a worry. easyJet’s numbers were marginally better than expected. Revenues per seat were down by 2.8% but passenger numbers were up 6.2%. Revenues for the quarter were down 1% at £1.23 billion, but that number was encouraging.

 

 

Though tax revenues in the UK have been quite buoyant recently spending is starting to get out of hand. So the £12 billion cuts announced in the Budget may now be nearer £20 billion. So those government departments not ring fenced may be forced to make cuts of up to 40%. That will test the resolve of many – very painful, but necessary to keep the cost of UK ‘borrowing’ down.

 

UK companies posting results this week –  Wednesday – FENNER, JOHNSON MATTHEY, MARSTON’S, PAYPOINT, SAGE, LAND SECURITIES, SHIRE PHARMACEUTICALS, EASYJET, ARM HOLDINGS, Thursday – DMGT, UNILEVER, DE LA RUE, PREMIER FOODS, BRITVIC, SAB MILLER, KINGFISHER, ABERDEEN ASSET MANAGEMENT, HALMA, Friday – ANGLO-AMERICAN, AG BARR, LONMIN, VOADFONE, CLOSE BROTHERS

US Companies posting interim results this week – Wednesday – WHIRLPOOL, COCA-COLA, BOEING, ABBOTT LABS, XILINX, AMERICAN EXPRESS, Thursday – GENERAL MOTORS, RAYTHEON, BOSTON SCIENTIFIC, BRISTOL MYERS SQUIBB, MCDONALD’S, PULTE, KKR, COMCAST, AT&T, BJ RESTAURANTS, CHUBB, AMAZON, VISA, STARBUCKS, Friday – ABBVIE, BIOGEN.

 

 

Economic data – Monday – UK bank lending, UK Public Sector Finances, Wednesday – BOE Minutes, Thursday – UK Retail Sales

 

David Buik – market commentator

 

Panmure Gordon & Co