Who was it who said “It’s a funny old game?” – ah yes! – “The Saint & Greavsie” and how right they were – not just football; the stock market also qualifies. Equities are currently driven by three issues, a weak dollar, volatile oil prices and consequently a ‘dead-cat-bounce’ for mining stocks. That was the only game in town today. The Dollar, as a result of limited scope for a rate rise, has been sagging in recent sessions, giving credence to an 8% pop in oil in the last 48 hours. This has lifted commodity prices and closed out a few ‘short-sellers’ in mining stocks – the mining sector is up an average of 10% today with Anglo-American looking to grab the ‘Yellow Jersey’ today – up 20%. Oil stocks are up an average of 5% with Royal Dutch Shell producing better than expected numbers though the profit for the year was down 80% with 10k redundancies – up 6% on the day.
Of those companies that posted numbers today, Compass performed with aplomb adding 4.5% on a good trading statement. Astra posted a warning on the sale of Crestor – down 6.6%. Rolls Royce is up 1.5% in the hope that CEO Warren East will crack on with changes and respond to the Iran Airbus order. Vodafone numbers just did not capture investors’ imagination. C’mon Signor Colao, become a one-stop-media-shop! You’ve got buckets of cash – don’t be shy – shares down 1%. At 3.30pm the FTSE was up 70 points at 6900 – what a roller-coaster ride – up 80 to up only 45; then up by 110 then down to up 48 half an hour ago to where it is now. The Street of Dreams is up 85 points 0.5%. Eyes down for a full house – Non-Farm payrolls 1.30pm looking for +190k