TODAY’S FAYRE – Wednesday, 30th March 2016
“The damned ship lurched and slithered. Quiet and quick
My cold gorge rose; the long sea rolled; I knew
I must think hard of something, or be sick;
And could think hard of only one thing — YOU!
You, you alone could hold my fancy ever!
And with you memories come, sharp pain, and dole.
Now there’s a choice — heartache or tortured liver!
A sea-sick body, or a you-sick soul!
Do I forget you? Retchings twist and tie me,
Old meat, good meals, brown gobbets, up I throw.
Do I remember? Acrid return and slimy,
The sobs and slobber of a last years woe.
And still the sick ship rolls. ‘Tis hard, I tell ye,
To choose ‘twixt love and nausea, heart and belly.”
Rupert Brooke – soldier & poet – 1887 – 1915
Though England played well with guts and a smidgen of flair to beat Germany over the weekend, with the media starting to hype the team up with superlatives that weren’t quite warranted, there was a reality check at Wembley last night! Holland, who have not enjoyed the greatest success since the Brazil World Cup, beat England 1-2 in a dull affair. Mr Hodgson, there is much work to be done, for England to really perform at Euro 2016!
Now for England’s T-20 semi-final against New Zealand in Delhi – 2.30pm GMT today! Have Eoin Morgan’s side approved sufficiently to make a real fist of beating the ‘Kiwis?’ Is England’s batting too brittle? Will Rashid and Moeen get hammered? All will be revealed – Good luck!
Yesterday there was a prevailing feeling that markets behaved irrationally in Europe. They seemed rudderless, with investors just going through the motions on the back of Easter blues. There was a marginally adverse reaction by FTSE traders once it became clear that the BOE’s FPC was tightening Tier One capital ratios by 0.5% to try and keep the lid on rampant bank lending and ‘buy-to-let’ mortgages. It is becoming increasingly costly for banks to do business in the UK and conditions are unlikely to improve. Suffice to say that our banks’ tier one capital requirements are mainly and already in excess of the expressed criteria. However that negative sentiment soon petered out. Also there was an attempt by the media to put words in to the mouth of the BOE to the effect that the Central Bank was warning against the dangers of BREXIT and was in support of ‘remaining in’. This was not the case. The Bank just reiterated its concern that prolonged uncertainty, post a BREXIT vote, could damage financial stability. The FTSE finished the session just below the Plimsoll line – down 0.58 of a point at 6105. Stocks had bobbed around like corks in a bath to very little effect with the oil and banking sector suffering more than most. Sports Direct, despite its woes stepped up its efforts to buy the mail order operation Findel. BAE Systems won a second contract this week with the Swedish army. Premier Foods have all to play for as it decides its destiny either with McCormick at a higher price or beds down modestly with Nissin as a minor partner. The saddest news of the day is that Tata wants out of steel manufacturing in the UK, putting thousands of jobs at risk. The decline of steel in the UK has been evident for decades. However one cannot help feeling that the EU in all its glory has been useless protecting the UK’s interest.
Conversely across the Atlantic, there was a modest degree of post prandial neurosis on the Street of Dreams until Janet Yellen had delivered her speech in New York. It was covered from head to toe in dovish comments and messages. She appeared to be more concerned about the downside risks, particularly those affecting other parts of the globe. Though the employment data looks robust (of course awaiting confirmation from NFP on Friday), she expressed a little disappointment about US manufacturing and exports as well as to alluding to the fact that Consumer Spending was only modest. So those hawkish economist expecting a couple of hikes in rates in 2016, don’t hold your breath, though it could still happen. At the close the DOW had added 0.56% taking this index to a high point so far this year. The S&P 500 was 0.88% to the good. Lennar the house builder posted good numbers – +3%. On talk of flirtatious behaviour by Microsoft towards Yahoo! – the latter’s shares also rose 3%. The NASDAQ gained 1.67% with measurable contributions from Apple – +2.3% and Alphabet +1.5%.
This morning in Asia, equity markets responded positively to the Yellen’s dovish tones apart from the NIKKEI, which was down at the time of writing by 0.75% due to a stronger Yen. The ASX was up 0.12%, with the Shanghai Composite up 1.56% and the Hang Seng by 1.31%. This morning we saw the first major IPO from China this year – a $1.7 billion effort from Zoomlion. The FTSE is expected to open up 50 points at 6155.
UK companies posting results – Wednesday – CARNIVAL PLC, Thursday – BOOKER, Thursday – HILTON FOODS, WIRELESS GROUP, JAMES HALSTEAD, CHESNARA, CMC MARKETS, and TUI TRAVEL
US companies posting interim results – Wednesday MICRON TECHNOLOGY
Economic Data – Wednesday – US ADP INDEX, Thursday – UK CURRENT ACCOUNT & FINAL GDP for 2015, Friday – UK PMI MANUFACTURING & CONSTRUCTION, US NON FARM PAYROLLS & EMPLOYMENT DATA.
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