MARKET UPDATE at 11.50am

After the euphoria in equity markets over the last 72 hours, I am beginning to move uncomfortably from one cheek of my backside to the other, in trepidation of US traders returning from the Hamptons to negotiate the snow on the Street of Dreams as well as the challenging conditions of a potentially daft irrational market.


All things considered it wasn’t a bad session in Asia this morning, though the NIKKEI all but surrendered its 2% gain on the day towards the close. The Chinese bank lending impairment charges of $175 billion and the fact that Saudi/OPEC or whoever intends to keep oil production at current levels, which saw yesterday’s 4% gain totally eroded, took the wind out of most trading enthusiasts’ sails.


Having seen the FTSE 100 over 50 points to the good, some of the sectors quickly shot their bolt. For example, Anglo-American was initially up 6.5% early doors and is now down 7%, as I speak. That is a gargantuan move for a FTSE 100 company, even though it is unlikely to keep that status for long! BHP and Glencore eased by 1%. The froth came off the top of BP and Shell – still up 2.25% and 1.75% having been up 3% and 2.5% respectively.


Pendragon is down 0.5% having been up 1% at the opening. Merlin’s news about a new CFI was well received. Panmure’s Anna Barnfather continues to extoll the virtues of this operation. Dealers were underwhelmed by Vodafone’s Dutch operation climbing in to the sack with Liberty Global. Vodafone CEO Signor Collao needs to ‘get the lead out’ and make a bold move to push that share price on. The banks have eased by 2% and even more so in Europe, where yesterday’s gains were possibly too ambitious.


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