It is 4.05pm. I know that Chinese exports produced a ‘blow-out’ number but the fundamental brittleness of the China’s economy is far from resolved. Yes, please don’t give me that the oil crisis is over and that Doha will deliver the knight in shining armour. Much of the increase I venture to suggest has been delivered. Yes commodities are in an excitable frame of mind. Yes, JPM Morgan Chase set the bar rather high with figures better than expected, though far from stellar – shares up 2.5%. However does this activity warrant Barclays rallying by 6% on the day and the other UK banks by an average of 5%? Perhaps there has been a realisation that this sector has been hysterically over-sold. Anyway I am in a rather shell-shocked manner as I put pen to paper. The FTSE 100 is up 1.6% – 10o points at 6340. Mining stocks are up an average of 6%. Oil stocks have been steady rather than spectacular. The Street of Dreams’ DOW is up 100 points. Don’t tell me all the bank results will be perfect!
Those companies that have posted results have performed as follows. Tesco’s shares were down 7%. Investors are concerned that these results may be superficially good, but Aldi and Lidl wait in the wings with their howitzers ready for action. Well done to Dave Lewis getting the debt down by 40% to £50.1 billion but no one is fooled. There are clouds of concern circling. US McCormick left Premier Foods at the altar – high and dry – PF’s share price fell by 30% initially but recovered a little poise towards the end of the session – down 25%. Mr Kipling’s mob should have accepted the bid whilst it was on the table. Halfords produced stellar numbers – up 10% and Robert Walters’s effort was hardly shabby – up 4%. WH Smith posted solid but dull numbers – down 2% and one of the smaller miners did OK – up 3.5%.
We will attempt to go through the minefield of IPO regulation.