TODAY’S FAYRE – Wednesday, 22nd June 2016
“Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers today;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.
Oh, gives us pleasure in the orchard white,
Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night;
And make us happy in the happy bees,
The swarm dilating round the perfect trees.
And make us happing in the darting bird
Tha suddenly above the bees is heard,
The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill,
And off a blossom in mid-air stands still.
For this is love and nothing else is love,
The which it is reversed for God above
To sanctify to what far ends He will,
But which it only needs that wee fulfil”
Robert Frost – poet – 1874-1963
With every egotistical luminary in the world desperate to add their two cents worth on the UK EU Referendum debate, I knew it would not be long before George Soros started to pontificate on the subject. Needless to say he is warning voters of the grave consequences if we did not take his advice. Sterling would tumble, as it did when his Quantum Fund helped themselves to a £1 billion at the UK’s expense at the time of the UK’S ERM debacle in 1992, by selling the Pound short for a protracted period ahead of expulsion/leaving. In passing, purely by default that was probably the best outcome that could have befallen the UK turning a bloody beating in to a long-term unqualified success. Lord Lamont might agree to that observation, though I doubt Sir John Major would.
Let me remind the octogenarian self-centred speculator that conditions are very different today than they were 24 years ago. In 1992 the UK’s economy was not in good shape. Interest rates were bobbing around between 10% and 15%. The domestic property bubble was bursting. Inflation was rampant. Sterling was on its knees and the UK’s exports had been sagging. Today the UK has probably the strongest economy in Europe. Interest rates are negligible on a global basis. We have plenty of stimulus via QE. However the robustness of the European banking sector is questionable and its bond market is dangerously bloated. If Mr Soros has had a pop at Sterling, I suspect he won’t make as much money as he did before. It will also be interesting to see what other currency he would buy or maybe he has chosen another asset class. I must confess that I would be inclined to mass my troops as a speculator in the direction of the Euro long-term, rather than Sterling. The Euro as a currency has potentially holes in it similar in size to a sieve!
Yesterday markets were relatively calm with many global indices adding a few points. Janet Yellen’s benign testimony to the Senate Banking Committee was as non-committal as usual on when rates might be increased. Maybe we will glean more when she addresses Congress today but I won’t be holding my breath. Again like others she seems obsessed with BREXIT and its ramifications. If I were her I would be more concerned about China, Africa and Asia than the UK. The UK accounts for about 2.5% of world trade!
In passing I am astonished at how chilled out markets are when polls suggest a very tight finish tomorrow. The bookies seem to be leading the way in pricing up a 73% likelihood of a ‘REMAIN’ victory – hence the devil may care attitude – SO FAR!
The FTSE is likely to see a 25 point rally in early skirmishes.
UK companies posting numbers – Wednesday – Debenhams, Thursday – DS Smith, James Latham, Tesco (TS), Friday – Polar Capital.
US companies posting interim results this week –Wednesday – Barnes & Noble, HB Fuller, Thursday – Sonic Corporation, Friday – Finish Line
Economic data – Wednesday – UK public sector borrowing, UK gfk Consumer confidence, US existing home sales, Thursday – US New Home Sales
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