TODAY’S FAYRE – Wednesday, 26th August 2015
“Unluckily for a death Waiting with phoenix under
The pyre yet to be lighted of my sins and days,
And for the woman in shades Saint carved and sensual among the scudding
Dead and gone, dedicate forever to myself
Though the brawl of the kiss has not occurred
On the clay cold mouth, on the fire
Branded forehead, that could bind
Her constant, nor the winds of love broken wide
To the wind the choir and cloister
Of the wintry nunnery of the order of lust
Beneath my life, that sighs for the seducer’s coming
In the sun strokes of summer,
Loving on this sea banged guilt
My holy lucky body
Under the cloud against love is caught and held and kissed
In the mill of the midst
Of the descending day, the dark our folly,
Cut to the still star in the order of the quick
But blessed by such heroic hosts in your every
Inch and glance that the wound Is certain god, and the ceremony of souls
Is celebrated there, and communion between suns.
Never shall my self-chant
About the saint in shades while the endless breviary
Turns of your prayed flesh, nor shall I shoo the bird below me:
The death biding two lie lonely.”
Dylan Thomas – poet – 1914-1953
For those ‘telly’ addicts that have not honed in on the brilliant French thriller ‘Witnesses’ on Channel 4, please do so. It is quite amazing. It finishes this week. It has everything – a great plot, love, intrigue, uncertainty, violence, sadism and excitement! The acting is outstanding and the filming in such a quiet unassuming town such as Le Treport in Normandy is exquisite. Great drama!
It was a stuttering start to yesterday’s market machination after Monday’s financial carnage. Then around lunchtime China’s PBOC announced a rate cut of 25 basis points – the fifth rate cut in nine months in a fresh initiative to shore up slowing economic growth as well as attempting to dispel fears the yuan might fall further in value. The benchmark rate for a one-year loan will be cut by 0.25 percentage points to 4.6 percent and the one-year rate for deposits will fall by a similar margin to 1.75 percent. The initial response by global equity markets was spontaneous, especially Europe’s bourses, which were struggling to get off the canvas and dust themselves down, ready to do battle again. The FTSE closed up 3.09%, the DAX by a whopping 4.97% and the CAC by 4.14%.
In London the mining stocks, banks, oils and drugs, those which had suffered the most from the recent fall-out, girded up their loins, regardless there being no thoughts of increased demands for minerals and despite Nymex crude remaining below the $40 threshold at $39.25 a barrel. By the time New York had digested the news, dealers and economists decided it was not enough and it was also too little too late. The move by the Chinese authorities attracted considerable adverse criticism not only from the market but also from political heavyweights such as the Japanese Finance Minister, Aso-San, who was not backward in coming forward in implying that last week’s devaluation of the Yuan was ‘ham-fisted’ and unprofessional. Market observers were also expressing real concern about the robustness of China’s banking sector and the potential threat of a major credit crisis. This issue is more acute than China’s growth contraction. The Yen surged by the largest amount since 2008, initially to Y116.18 before settling yesterday to Y119.31.
Yesterday the DOW initially rose 400 points, but at the close it was down 200 points – 1.29%, with the S&P 500 easier by 1.35% and the NASDAQ by a modest 0.44%. A 600 point turnaround in a day is a very grown up move by any standards. After the 2-day 7% rout on Wall Street, stocks have surrendered over $2 trillion in value during the last week, including yesterday’s reverses. The recent pull-back is the worst since 2008.
After Monday’s 1000 initial fall in the DOW, Apple’s share price fell by 10% – about $80 billion – which caused Tim Cook the CEO to call up CNBC and point out that sales to China were encouraging. Not sure that kind of price sensitive information should have been imparted, but it certainly had the desired effect with Apple closing in positive territory.
This morning, the ASX started off in the doldrums – down over 0.5% but when it closed it was up 0.60%, with the Shanghai Composite adding 2.60% by lunch and the Hang Seng 0.40% – a much better attitude two hours before. The NIKKEI galloped away adding 3.21% by the close. It was interesting to note that as a result of the meltdown in Shanghai, the world’s richest man, Wang Jianlin is purported to have lost $3.6 billion on his stock in Dalian Wanda Commercial Properties which has lost 17% in value!
This morning Sir Martin Sorrell, the CEO of WPP posted results for disputably the largest PR/advertising agency in the world for the first half year with like for like sales up by 2.3% and revenues up by 6.8% to £5.8 billion. One slightly disturbing aspect from these results was the fact that sales in Africa, Middle East and Asia were only up 1.1%! It looks as though Zurich will be buying RSA for £5.6 billion. Well done to Stephen Hester – at last a decent payday – denied relatively speaking at RBS! Paddy Power & Betfair will be pooling their resources with Betfair owning 48% and Paddy Power 52%. And so the fight goes on! We shall know more about how markets settle down when normal working service is resumed next week.
UK companies posting results – Wednesday – STAGECOACH, WPP, HSS HIRE, CARILLION, PADDY POWER, ARP ENERGY,, JOHN LAING, CRH, ALDERMORE GROUP Thursday – AMEC, STV GROUP, EVRAZ, PLAYTECH, Friday – RESTAURANT GROUP, 888 HOLDINGS, BWIN PARTY, COMPUTACENTER, MARSHALLS, CHESNARA KENMARE, SOCO INTERNATIONAL.
US companies posting interim results – Wednesday – CHICO’S FAS, BROWN-FORMAN, ABERCROMBIE & FITCH, WILLIAMS SONOMA, Thursday – FRED’S, DOLLAR GENERAL, AEROPOSTALE, SMITH & WESSON, Friday – BIG LOTS.
Economic data – Tuesday – US CONSUMER CONFIDENCE, US NEW HOME SALES, UK BBA MORTGAGE APPLICATIONS, Thursday – US GDP & JOBLESS CLAIMS
David Buik – market commentator
Panmure Gordon & Co