I have to admit that I am rather happy to be sitting in my seat pontificating about markets rather than trying to trade them. On the back of very downbeat Chinese markets – Shanghai Composite down 6.4% and a lack lustre session in Tokyo, which saw the NIKKEI close down circa 2%, the FTSE opened up down about 80 points. Traders all felt rather out of sorts in early skirmishes with oil, mining and banks bearing the brunt of the savagery.

However, come noon, a few intrepid punters decided that, pro-tem, mining stocks had been over trashed, and they waded in to the ring, not to ‘back the truck up’ as in yesteryear, but to put their toe in the water. In months gone by a daily punt could have been 1 million shares – now its 100k if you are lucky. Hence the incredible level of volatility in mining shares. Anglo-American were the subject of not only scrutiny but also action. In short order the shares rallied 12% and have settled up 10% at 3.30pm. Miners have rallied by an average of 5.5%. Oils having been sharply in reverse cracked on particularly BP – +1.75% – sector up 1%. Banks were up 2% with Lloyds showing the way – +3%. At 3.50pm the FTSE 100 was 30 points to the good at 5910, in part hanging on to the Street of Dreams’ coattails – DOW +1.5%.


Of those companies that reported figures or trading statements today, esyJet’s set back in the autumn down to terrorism in part found investors unforgiving – down 5%. Marston’s pleased their acolytes – +5.25%. Crest Nicholson also put on a good showing – +5.5%. PZ Cussons were clattered – down 9%. Shares in Card Factory having been 2% to the good are now flat as I scribe. Dixons Carphone travelled and arrived – down 2%. Tesco ‘cocked a snook’ at allegations of holding back suppliers payments – +2%. FEVER-TREE was the stock that rattled my cage today. It has a market capital of £750 million with revenues of £35 million – shares up 3%! – seems a rich valuation? Prefer Schweppes myself!


Alibaba is not expected to ‘float its shareholder’ boat’ due to intense competition from within China. Concern over tonight’s Apple results seems to have abated a tad – shares are up 1%. Johnson Control are to pay $16.5 billion for Tyco, domiciled in Ireland. That will upset President Obama, but business is business – tax or no tax!!. The FED’S Janet Yellen is expected to rescind any thoughts of further rate hikes in the FOMC minutes due tonight.


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