TODAY’S FAYRE – Tuesday, 3rd May 2016
“Forth from Calais, at dawn of night, when sunset summer on autumn shone,
Fared the steamer alert and loud through seas whence only the sun was gone:
Soft and sweet as the sky they smiled, and bade man welcome: a dim sweet hour
Gleamed and whispered in wind and sea, and heaven was fair as a field in flower,
Stars fulfilled the desire of the darkling world as with music: the star-bright air
Made the face of the sea, if aught may make the face of the sea, more fair.
Whence came change? Was the sweet night weary of rest? What anguish awoke in the dark?
Sudden, sublime, the strong storm spake: we heard the thunders as hounds that bark.
Lovelier if aught may be lovelier than stars, we saw the lightnings exalt the sky,
Living and lustrous and rapturous as love that is born but to quicken and lighten and die.
Heaven’s own heart at its highest of delight found utterance in music and semblance in fire:
Thunder on thunder exulted, rejoicing to live and to satiate the night’s desire.”
Algernon Charles Swinburne – poet – 1837-1909
Yesterday just before lunch I switched on the TV to hear a gut-wrenching interview of the Notts and England batsman, James Taylor, by Sky Sports’ Ian Ward. Taylor, aged 26, was struck down by a very serious heart condition in the early spring and was within an ace of dying but for the incredible treatment he received from the NHS as well as being down to the fact that he was fitter than a butcher’s dog! Despite being diminutive, during last winter, against all the odds he fought his way to the pinnacle of his career as an international batsman and a top-quality short-leg fielder in Abu Dhabi and South Africa.
His zest for playing the game he loved and was obsessed with has been cruelly taken away from him. He will never play any form of competitive sport for the rest of his life. The interview, beautifully conducted by Ian Ward, was all about his recollections of his heart attack and how he is bravely coping with the necessary changes to his life style. He deserves huge credit for his stoicism. If you get a chance to see it, I strongly recommend it as a story of incredible bravery and fortitude.
Hats off to Leicester City – a team of journeymen with two outstanding strikers Mehmet and Vardy and a superb keeper in Kasper Schmeichel and let’s not forget the genie in the bottle, their manager – ‘Tinkerman Claudio Ranieri! What a superb achievement unlikely to ever be achieved by a collection of players with such modest CVs! It’s all about the TEAM!
Though London was shut yesterday for the May Day Bank Holiday, the rest of Europe cracked on with some degree of success with the DAX adding 0.84% and the CAC a rather more parsimonious 0.31%. Sentiment was better and the Street of Dreams almost started to purr in the late spring sunshine in beautiful downtown Manhattan. Despite a fall ISM Factory Activity data, a weaker Dollar plus well held convictions that 2nd quarter earnings would be better, with export driven stocks leading the charge. The DOW ended the session +0.66%, the S&P 500 +0.78% and the NASDAQ posted its first gain in 7 sessions – +0.88%. While first-quarter earnings from S&P 500 companies have mostly beaten analysts’ expectations, they are still estimated down 5.7% from a year ago, according to ThomsonReuters data. Baker Hughes and Halliburton called off their merger talks and Apollo rose like a grilse by 12.4% as investors improved their offer for the education titan. Though she seems to have contributed precious little to Yahoo!’s welfare in the past 3 years, rumour has it that she will receive $55 million, when the internet provider is sold. Many believe that it will fall in to the hands of Verizon.
Tokyo was closed today for a public holiday after a terrible day on Friday – down 3.1%. Asia posted a mixed session with the Hang Seng easier by 1% at lunchtime with the Shanghai Composite headed in the opposite direction – +1.4% at noodle time, despite relatively soft manufacturing data! The ASX closed +0.7%. The RBA dropped rates by 0.25% to 1.75%. Considering Australia has a potential resident property bubble on its hands, it was a brace move. ANZ posted very average results with profits down 24%. Clearly there has been some exposure to the mining sector and lower interest rates may not improve immediate profit opportunities.
It has been a very mixed day for banks with UBS posting a 64% drop in quarterly profits. The emphasis on investment banking has been curtailed. However wealth management has proved to be a very volatile arena and it’s contribution has been marginally disappointing. The shares are down 3.75% at 8.30am. HSBC, on the other hand, 1st quarter earnings were better than expected though profits were down by 14% to $6.1 billion. Tier One capital came in at 11.9% and the 30,000 redundancy programme due to be completed by the end of 2017 seems to be on track. The Brazil operation was sold and it appears that Hong Kong as a centre performed better than expected. We have yet to be told who replaces Douglas Flint as chairman in 2017 or Stuart Gulliver’s replacement as CEO. Shares were initially up 2.5% and at the time of writing (9.00am) were down 0.41%.
In passing a senior executive at Barclays has alleged money laundering and mis-selling failures at the bank’s French operations, casting a shadow over the British group’s plan to sell its French operations to a private equity group.
Aberdeen Asset Management saw its funds under management fall by £40 billion in the last quarter to £292 million. Aberdeen tends to major in the Far East where conditions have been very volatile. The shares were down 4%. Just Eat posted stellar order growth for the last quarter up 57%. Like for like orders increased by 41% to 31.5 million orders, about q0% ahead of expectation. Shares were up 8%. It was interesting to note that shares in Ladbrokes and Wm Hill were virtually unaffected by Leicester City’s Premiership win. Their satchels and those of Paddy Power/Betfair must have been bulging from money taken from Man City, Man Utd, Chelsea, Arsenal and Spurs.
After the wonderfully explicit article by Sunday Times’ Oliver Shah on Sir Philip Green’s corporate finance escapades in recent times, including his intemperate language, we much look forward to his evidence and that of Lady Tina to the two Parliamentary Select Committees. I just cannot wait.
UK companies posting results – Wednesday – J SAINSBURY, ROYAL DUTCH SHELL, RANDGOLD, VIRGIN MONEY (TS), GLENCORE (TS), PADDY POWER BETFAIR (TS), DIRECT LINE, IMPERIAL BRANDS, IMMUOHARMA, Thursday – SAGE, BT GROUP, RSA, INMARSAT, SMITH & NEPHEW, IMI, PROVIDENT FINANCIAL, Wm MORRISON (TS), Friday – , INTERCONTINENTAL HOTEL GROUP, NUMIS, WILLIS TOWER
US companies posting interim results – Tuesday – STARWOOD HOTELS, PITNEY BOWES, SPRINT, FORD MOTOR (dales), PFIZER, ARCHER DANIELS MIDLAND, VALERO, DYNERGY, Wednesday – TIME WARNER, TASER, ZYNGA, Thursday – KRAFT HEINZ, FRED’S, KELLOGG, EASTMAN KODAK, Friday – WEYERHAEUSER, ALLERGAN
Economic Data – Monday – Tuesday – UK PMI CONSTRUCTION, Wednesday – UK PMI SERVICES, ADP INDEX, Thursday – US INITIAL JOBLESS CLAIMS, Friday – US NON-FARM PAYROLLS (EST 210k)
Market Commentator – Panmure Gordon & Co
D +44 (0)20 7886 2775
Mobile – 0044 7788 144 877
Panmure Gordon & Co
One New Change | London | EC4M 9AF | United Kingdom