MARKET UPDATE – A CALM SERENITY ABOUT EQUITIES…FOR THE MOMENT

I am not exactly preening myself like a peacock nor am I purring like a Cheshire cat, but I am at peace with the world with the FTSE up 65 points at 6334 at 3.00pm today, after uncomfortable levels of volatility. The DOW is currently up 48 points, having got over its mare (Walmart -8% yesterday) and there are few 3rd quarter earnings today to upset the apple cart. Results from Goldman and Citi are unlikely to rattle investors’ cage in a negative fashion! These are tough trading conditions with headless chickens are probably more at home than traders and analysts. Markets have had huge painful daily swings. So far that is not the case today. I suppose next week when the 3rd quarter US earnings floodgates open coupled with a slew of Chinese economic data to include GDP, industrial production and retail sales to digest, we shall have to be ‘down by our beds’, ready for action!

 

Mining was somnolent – +0.5% with Glencore spoiling the party – down 1%. Drugs, apart from a technicality with Hikma were up 1%. Banks grabbed a parsimonious 0.5% with Barclays up just 1p – Gracious me, I hope these politicians ‘put a sock in it’ over Mr Staley! Media was popular – +1.5% with WPP jockeying for the yellow jersey in that sector +2%. Tobaccos were also buoyant – +2% with many punters looking for M&A rumours.

 

Of those companies positing results today, Burberry was initially down 12% after dire sales especially in Asia, but had recovered a little poise and is only down 8% at the time of writing. WH Smith’s 8% increase in sales caught the market’s imagination – +5%. Unilever’s efforts were really solid – +3.5%. Man Group has attracted fresh funds and the market thinks this fund manager is vogue at the moment – +4.5%. Booker was down 1.5% after a decent run on the rails in recent times. Virgin Money was up over 3%, but profit takers waded in to the ring – now up only 0.3%. Panmure were thrilled at the response to the £13 million placing of Fusionex International. It was oversubscribed and coupled with a decent update, the shares experienced a measurable lift off – +10%.

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