It must be 50 years ago that I watched the film – “The Longest Day” Frank Sinatra repeatedly sang that well known very seasonal song with a very unseasonal message – ‘It’s going to be a cold, cold Christmas without you! That ditty keeps ringing through my head! I keep humming it and that is how market sentiment feels to me today.
At the start we expected a very modest ‘pick-up’ – say 14 points, though incentive to start trading was virtually moribund. Once the world knew that Anglo-American was unlikely to pay any dividend for 2015/2016, the mining sector was put to the sword for the day. Anglo American at one point saw its share price down by 12% but it settled down 10.6% at 3.30pm. In the last year Anglo’ share price has fallen 74%. Needless to say it dragged down Rio by 7% and BHP by 6%. Oils were down 2% across the board this morning but this sector has recovered some poise and is now flat during this session. Rolls Royce is down 4.3% after a downgrade. Even retail wasn’t up to much today, though Sainsbury remained above the Plimsoll line – up 0.8%. Tesco was down 0.7%, Next by 0.8% and M&S by 1.9%. Banks were easier by circa 1%. Tobaccos are often the saviours of a session that has gone into reverse – not on this occasion – IMPS down 0.9% and BATS down 1%.
The best performing stock in the FTSE 100 has been HARGREAVES LANSDOWN – up 49.5% and the best performing FTSE 250 stock is BETFAIR – up 152%. At 3.45pm the FTSE 100 was down 78 points at 6146