TODAY’S FAYRE – Wednesday, 11th May 2016
“He loved her and she loved him
His kisses sucked out her whole past and future or tried to
He had no other appetite
She bit him she gnawed him she sucked
She wanted him complete inside her
Safe and sure forever and ever
Their little cries fluttered into the curtains
Her eyes wanted nothing to get away
Her looks nailed down his hands his wrists his elbows
He gripped her hard so that life Should not drag her from that moment
He wanted all future to cease
He wanted to topple with his arms round her
Off that moment’s brink and into nothing
Or everlasting or whatever there was
Her embrace was an immense press
To print him into her bones
His smiles were the garrets of a fairy palace
Where the real world would never come
Her smiles were spider bites
So he would lie still till she felt hungry
His words were occupying armies
Her laughs were an assassin’s attempts
His looks were bullets daggers of revenge
Her glances were ghosts in the corner with horrible secrets
His whispers were whips and jackboots
Her kisses were lawyers steadily writing
His caresses were the last hooks of a castaway
Her love-trick were the grinding of locks
And their deep cries crawled over the floors
Like an animal dragging a great trap.”
Ted Hughes – poet laureate– 1837-1909
The attack on BBC’S Laura Kuennsberg for her alleged political bias and misogynistic behaviour, featured in The Guardian yesterday, was utterly deplorable! Laura may be many things but she comes across as apolitical, criticising Jeremy Corbyn for his inept leadership or David Cameron or George Osborne for some of their ‘U-turns’, as she sees fit in a balanced way. Could these playground bullies and their petitions please back off and let her get on with her job?
There was some quite unpleasant invective between Ian Duncan-Smith MP and a very Teutonic German politician – whose name escapes me and I cannot be bothered to look it up; such was the sneering tone of his comments – on what PM Cameron might or might not have said about Germany’s undue influence on UK immigration policy. The temperature of the debate rises every day. I don’t care very much when politicians call each other liars! Not good news!
I thought the UK Treasury’s economic forecast for 2030 in the event of BREXIT was at best fanciful, but yesterday’s NIESR’S doom and gloom forecast, suggesting GDP down by between 1.5% and 7.8% with wages down by 2.2% and 7% was verging on ‘Walter Mitty’ territory. In passing the guesstimates resemble a ‘coach & four’ such are the widths of these quotes!
JONATHAN HELLIWELL, Panmure’s senior media analyst comments on BBC CHARTER RENEWAL
“Various press reports suggest that the UK government also plans to publish its White Paper on BBC Charter renewal on May 12th. Overall we expect a pretty ITV-friendly set of initiatives, revolving around maintaining the BBC’s core licence fee funding, but focusing its remit more tightly towards ‘distinctive’ programming not provided by the commercial sector, avoiding head-to-head scheduling of similar shows to commercial TV, and on discovering new TV talent rather than paying up for established talent. We expect regulation of the BBC to be stepped up, with an increased role for Ofcom and a move to a unitary management board including some government appointees. Press reports suggest that Culture Secretary John Whittingdale is keen to appoint Archie Norman, outgoing ITV chairman, as chairman of this new board. Clearly this direction of travel, if it passes through the political process into the BBC’s new operating charter, could be very helpful for ITV’s SOV in 2017 and beyond.”
Yesterday’s global equity journey was strangely optimistic when much of the economic data has been a little light in recent times. As the threat of an increase in the FED rate dissipates, investors girded up their loins buoyed by higher oil, better quality earnings and a feeling that perhaps markets had been oversold. The DOW, yesterday, ended the session 1.26% to the good as did the NASDAQ and the S&P 500 was only a pip behind +1.25%. It wasn’t so much a euphoric session; it was just a question of sentiment improving. The two stocks that captured the imagination were Allergan and Walt Disney. The Botox titan, having failed to tie the knot with Pfizer, posted some stellar numbers, having seen its share price fall 23% in recent months. But it was the $10 billion share buy-back that floated investors’ boat. The shares rose 5.8% by the time the bell tolled. Despite tow blockbuster movies in Star Wars and Zootopia, Walt Disney failed to meet analysts’ expectations with revenues of $12.9 billion when $13.2 billion was expected, though profits were up 11%. The market was underwhelmed and Disney’s shares fell by 6%.
Initially the FTSE performed rather enigmatically, but decided to ride on the coattails of the Street of Dreams and finished the session up 41 points at 6156 with mining, banks and Capita outperforming their peers. The UK’s trade gap widened to its worst level in the last quarter since the banking crisis of 2008. It was particularly virulent with the EU, which has benefitted hugely from its relationship with the UK rather than the other way round.
Though Chinese inflation figures appeared to be fairly benign yesterday and even though China’s service sector still looks remarkably robust, the Shanghai Composite (+0.15%) and the Hang Seng (-0.8%) made no progress to speak of. On higher oil and commodity prices the ASX closed up0.5% and the NIKKEI proved to be suffering from inertia, again closing flat! As I write at 9.00am the FTSE is down 15 points at 6140, with few of the company results warranting headline treatment. UK manufacturing output and Industrial production data is due out at 9.30am.
UK companies posting results – Wednesday – EXPERIAN, COMPASS, PREMIER OIL, BARRATT DEVELOPMENT, WILLIAM HILL, NATIONAL EXPRESS, VERTU MOTORS, Thursday – VESUVIOUS, ITV, HIKMA, TALK-TALK, OLD MUTUAL, Friday – MANCHESTER UNITED, COCA COLA HBC
US companies posting interim results – Wednesday – MACY’S, JACK-IN-THE-BOX, Friday – JC PENNEY
Economic Data – Wednesday – UK MANUFACTURING OUTPUT & INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, Thursday – MPC & BOE INFLATION REPORT, Friday – UK CONSTRUCTION
Market Commentator – Panmure Gordon & Co
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