So the MPC meeting was uneventful to the effect that there was no change in base rates – 0.5%, which has been the case since 9th March 2009. Mark Carney felt that growth was reasonable and that inflation data gave evidence that 2% might be attained by the end of the year. The BOE also felt that the threat of BREXIT would only have a modestly negative affect on growth.
Before market results were posted by Bank of America and Wells Fargo. Both were near enough in line in terms of EPS – BOA 20 cents as against 21 cents and Wells 97 cents against est; of 97 cents. Bank of America shares were flat and Wells Fargo was down 1% in pre-opening trade.
In London trading conditions have resembled a dentistry and with tooth ache very prevalent. It’s been like pulling teeth. At 1.50pm the FTSE 100 was up a parsimonious 10 points at 6373. Banks, after a tremendous run on the rails, were near enough unchanged. Mining was mixed with BHP easing by 3%. Oils were also variable with BP down 1% ahead of the controversial vote on remuneration, particularly Bob Dudley’s. There may be case for directors’ pay being clipped but no case for Bob Dudley who has done a Herculean job as CEO. The dissenters should recognise that fact. There was rumour that the board were going to link pay to oil prices. Drugs were up an average of 1%.
It was retail that grabbed the headlines this morning and apart from Debenhams – up 4%, they made unattractive reading – Mothercare down 18%, Burberry down 6% and Poundland down 3%. Unilever was flat on the day and Hays, the employment agency, surprised many with a sterling effort – up 7%. On the Street of Dreams the DOW futures were up 30 points. The S&P 500 index is only 2.4% below last May’s record level – astonishing and today’s banking results were far from dire.