TODAY’S FAYRE – Wednesday, 2nd September 2015

 

“If you can keep your head when all about you

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

But make allowance for their doubting too: I

f you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,

Or being hated don’t give way to hating,

And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;

If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim,

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster

And treat those two impostors just the same:.

 

If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken

Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,

And stoop and build’em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings

And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,

And lose, and start again at your beginnings,

And never breathe a word about your loss:

 

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

To serve your turn long after they are gone,

And so hold on when there is nothing in you

Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,

Or walk with Kings – nor lose the common touch,

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,

If all men count with you, but none too much:

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,

And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!”

 

Rudyard Kipling – author & poet – 1865-1936

 

It strikes me as a very sensible and sympathetic initiative taken by London Mayor, Boris Johnson, to eventually prevent HGV’s from turning left to protect cyclists for being the victims of fatal accidents. I am all for it. However I feel that there should be a quid-pro-quo on this issue. Far too many cyclist behave disreputably and think they own London’s roads! They don’t. Road were built for cars and buses and to accommodate cyclists. Cyclists have a moral obligation to obey the basic ‘highway code’ and frankly too many abuse their privilege. They should be brought to book when they transgress. Perhaps it would be sensible to have a registration plate – part of £100 license annual fee and £50 for children from 10-16 years of age. Then it might make it slightly easier rather than impossible to charge them, when they behave badly.

 

With the electoral commission persuading the Government to change the wording of the EU referendum, it looks to me as if it might encourage the PM and his negotiating Cabinet members to accept watered down terms and conditions, for the UK to remain in the EU. Where are the heavyweights from the ‘No!’ campaign? We need to see the whites of their eyes to ensure a proper debate, rather than just being ‘rail-roaded’ to remain in by the powerful ‘Yes!’ lobby. It is very sad that the decision to ‘stay or go’ will be centred towards immigration issues, rather than federalism, sovereignty, trade and excessive bureaucracy. Ironically it could well be immigration, if the UK is forced to take an excessive quota of migrants, that forces “This Sceptred Isle” to turn its back on the EU!

 

£870 million was spent by Football League clubs during the football transfer window. Thanks Fulham FC. I think you spent £5 million!

 

As I said in my rather stroppy missive yesterday, the end to the volatility in global markets will not transpire until a definitive decision is made by the FED on an interest rate hike and a similar decision on the devaluation plans for the Yuan. Markets hate prevarication and uncertainty and they are certainly getting it in spades. It is interesting to note that only 30% of economists think the FED will act at the FED’S 16th/17th September meeting. Goldman Sachs came out this morning with their view – no change until 2016! Lady Chairman of the FED – please speak or for ever hold your peace! I know that the US’S economy is your responsibility, but the rest of the world waits in awe and trepidation. It is proving very painful!

 

A modest fall by the Shanghai Composite’s recent standards – 1.8% yesterday, threatened to trigger a ‘sell-off’ in Europe. Coupled with deafening silence from the authorities due to lack of state support and a rather eerie ominous rumour that challenging journalists could be rounded up and that Man Group’s chairman in China had been taken in to custody for questioning, a ‘sell-off’ was guaranteed and investors were not disappointed. The FTSE fell like a stone – by 3%, with the DAX easing by 2.38% and the CAC by 2.40%. Mining -6%, oil, banking and drugs all down by an average of 3-4% dis the damage. Commodities were soft, oil fell back from its recent rally (Nymex $44.27 & Brent $48.65) and sentiment was garbage!

 

Over to the Street of Dreams! It had experienced its worst month (August) in 3 years. The DOW down 2.84%, the S&P down 2.96% and the NASDAQ down 2.94% all felt the wheels of pain across their backs in no uncertain terms. The treatment meted out by investors was brutal. Exxon Mobil and Conoco Phillips lost 2.8%. From the banking sector JP Morgan and BOA were hammered, both losing 4%. Apple and Microsoft each caught a cold – down 3.9%. Freeport McMoRan was handed the ‘yellow jersey’ as the top faller – down 8%! Amazon, Netflix, Facebook and Google – all recent market darlings also did not escape unscathed – all down an average of 2.4%.

 

The mood on Wall Street was further dampened by Factory order output being at its lowest since May 2013. The IMF’S Christine Lagarde’s comments did not really help improve the mood as she expressed concern about the economic robustness of emerging countries as well as mature economies, or should I say lack of it, as Brazil officially fell in to recession last month.

 

Asia experienced a rocky start but as lunch approached in China losses were impaired with the Shanghai Composite moving just short of being in positive territory – -0.07% and the Hang Seng still below the Plimsoll line at -0.22%. The ASX closed down 0.04% and as we head to the close in Japan the NIKKEI was up 1.09% for reasons best known to itself – probably a bear-squeeze rally after yesterday’s debacle and a slightly weaker Yen. European markets are expected to open modestly up on yesterday’s carnage but markets are nervous. In New York the US futures suggest a 1% rally but it is many hours before the clanger goes in the NYSE!

 

Much enjoyed the little cameo story of Whirlpool of the US gazumping Middleby in buying Aga for £129 million. Another wonderful UK brand heads west!

 

UK companies posting results – Wednesday – ASHTEAD, DIPLOMA (TS), Thursday – GO-AHEAD, THE COOP, Friday – EMIS, EASYJET (TS).

US companies posting interim results – Thursday – JOY GLOBAL, CIENA


Economic data – Tuesday – EU UNEMPLOYMENT, UK PMI MANUFACTURING, Wednesday – UK PMI Construction, Thursday – ECB MEETING, UK PMI SERVICES, Friday – US NON-FARM PAYROLLS (EST: 223k) & EMPLOYMENT DATA (5.2%).

 

David Buik – market commentator

 

Panmure Gordon & Co

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