TODAY’S FAYRE – Tuesday, 12th April 2016
“Goodness gracious, what a drama
About investments in Pan-ama
It’s common sense it seems to me
To invest quite legally
In a tax efficient way
As long as you make sure you pay
Gains and taxes that are due
To HMC & Revenue.
But the Lefties and the Press
Have chanced upon this dreadful mess
To accuse our dear Prime Minister
Of evasive actions sinister,
When in fact it’s quite apparent
That his dealings are transparent.
What’s needed is a playing field
So level that you cannot shield
The vast immoral pots of wealth
Garnered with deliberate stealth
By Despots, barons and pimps who gain
Their profits from subjugation, sex, cocaine
And other unsavoury dealings which
Are indulged in by the rich
In Principalities near and far
Which leave the legal door ajar
To dodgy fortunes that are made
In sunny climes- yet in the shade!
So –action please from Powers That Be
To deliver, to a great degree
Some fiscal equanimity.”
David Stogdale – poet – 1955-
Danny Willett – gained an unexpected green jacket as winner of the US Masters at Augusta, Georgia for Rotherham Golf Club’s favourite so – Right out of the blue! Many say Jordan Spieth handed it to him by taking seven shots at the 12th hole. However give ‘Danny Boy’ credit. He played four terrific rounds of inspired accurate golf and was a worthy winner, reminiscent of Sir Nick Faldo 20 years ago. He beat Greg Norman, who was 6 up at the start of the last round. Norman’s game may have fallen apart but Faldo played some great golf.
I also remember American Tom Weiskopf taking 13 in the first round at Augusta at the 12th hole in 1973 – one of the most embarrassing sights in golf of all time.
Suffice to say that the antics in the House of Commons yesterday left much to be desired, culminating with the Beast of Bolsover – alias Denis Skinner – the father of the House at the age of 83 – refusing to withdraw his unacceptable reference to the PM as ‘Dodgy Dave’ being forced to leave the Chamber by the ever increasingly pompous Speaker – John Bercow.
Yesterday initially saw the FTSE 100 ease by a parsimonious 4 points to 6200. Investors around the world are starting to get edgy about the quality of the US earnings season. Will they pass muster? Add these doubts to lower global growth targets submitted by the IMF and the OECD and couple them to other issues related to the perceived weakness of Italian and Portuguese banks and the resulting compendium of news is sufficiently bleak for investors to sit on their hands. …and they did!
Tesco’s shares bounced (+1.68% to 193.75p) on news that Dave Lewis had agreed to sell non-core businesses such as garden centres and coffee shops – Harris & Hoole. The news on the merger/acquisition of 02 by Three (Hutchinson) in a £10.3 billion deal, affecting 31 million customers, may have hit the buffers and the Competition Commission is concerned that the UK mobile market will have too few operators and thus insufficient competition. Hutchinson has offered concessions such as offloading 40% of the space to Virgin Media and Sky for £3 billion, but that may prove to be an insufficient carrot. German politicians seem unhappy that the merged Deutsche Boerse/LSE will have its head office in London and want that decision reversed in favour of Frankfurt. Investors and politicians in London conversely are very unhappy to see a 54% to 46% ownership in Germany’s favour, particularly as London is the main financial centre in the world.
The Street of Dreams started to reflect investors’ plight with a rather nebulous and nondescript session ahead of Alcoa’s results, which were posted after hours. They did not pass muster. The headline earnings per share was better than expected (7 cents) but sales were down due to falling aluminium prices. The shares fell 4.3% and notice was served on 1000 redundancies. The banking earning seasons starts in earnest tomorrow, with most of the major banks posting results, with Goldman Sachs stepping up to the plate a week today. There are three key factors to watch out for – Loans to energy companies and potential impairment charges. Secondly there may be a significant drop in earnings from capital markets and investment banking and finally persistent low interest rates will eat in to profit margins. Many believe that the profitability of this sector could fall by an average of 15%.
Wall Street eased modestly yesterday with the DOW losing 0.12%, the S&P was down 0.27% and the NASDAQ by 0.36%. In Asia a weaker Yen gave the NIKKEI a fillip with auto companies adding an average of 3%. Towards the close the NIKKEI was up 1.20%. The ASX closed up 0.75%, with the Shanghai Composite down by 0.71% as punters headed for the noodle bars. The Hang Seng was up a smidgen 0.21%. The FTSE 100 is expected to open up down 13 points at 6187.
UK companies posting results – Tuesday – ASOS, MICHAEL PAGE (TS), EKF DIAGNOSTICS, Wednesday – TESCO, WH SMITH, HALFORDS (TS), JUPITER FUND MANAGEMENT, WS ATKINS, FRESNILLIO, ROBERT WALTERS, MIDATECH, Thursday – BURBERRY, UNILEVER, DEBENHAMS, JD SPORTS, PZ CUSSONS, PERSIMMON (TS), HAYS (TS), POUNDLAND (TS), MOTHERCARE (TS), Friday – MAN GROUP
US companies posting interim results – Tuesday – CSX GROUP, Wednesday – JP MORGAN CHASE, Thursday – BANK OF AMERICA MERRILL LYNCH, WELLS FARGO, BLACKROCK, Friday – CITIGROUP
Economic Data – Tuesday – UK CPI, PPI RPI, Wednesday – BOE CREDIT, Thursday – UK MPC MEETING, Friday – UK CONSTRUCTION OUTPUT and TRADE BALANCE
Market Commentator – Panmure Gordon & Co
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