TODAY’S FAYRE –Tuesday, 5th July 2016
“I think continually of those who were truly great.
Who, from the womb, remembered the soul’s history
Through corridors of light where the hours are suns,
Endless and singing. Whose lovely ambition
Was that their lips, still touched with fire,
Should tell of the Spirit, clothed from head to foot in song.
And who hoarded from the Spring branches
The desires falling across their bodies like blossoms.
What is precious is never to forget
The essential delight of the blood drawn from ageless springs
Breaking through rocks in worlds before our earth.
Never to deny its pleasure in the morning simple light
Nor its grave evening demand for love.
Never to allow gradually the traffic to smother
With noise and fog, the flowering of the Spirit.
Near the snow, near the sun, in the highest fields,
See how these names are feted by the waving grass
And by the streamers of white cloud
And whispers of wind in the listening sky.
The names of those who in their lives fought for life,
Who wore at their hearts the fire’s centre.
Born of the sun, they travelled a short while toward the sun
And left the vivid air signed with their honour.”
Sir Stephen Spender – poet & novelist – 1909-1995
This wonderful poem submitted by David Stogdale is symptomatic of the times we used to live – sadly it appears, not today!
I ticked another box today. I went to hear Andrea Leadsom present her credentials to become the next Conservative leader and our next Prime Minister. The room allocated in the Cinnamon Club in Great Smith Street was tiny – too small to accommodate 100+ people. It was like the Black Hole of Calcutta – jammed to the rafters with cameras crews, snappers, MPS, journalist and supporters! It must have been 100 degrees F in there. IDS, Peter Lilley, Sir Bill Cash, Steve Baker and Owen Paterson were amongst the better known parliamentarians who came to add support. Boris has subsequently and significantly endorsed her campaign. Lord Tim Bell had been summoned, presumably to advise on PR and presentation.
Penny Mordaunt MP made the introduction and M/S Leadsom produced an enthusiastic and interesting plan for government, which certainly had a resonance with the audience, who received it with gusto and enthusiasm. It was a very thought-provoking decent presentation. M/S Leadsom is no lover of fat-cat businessmen; she is very concerned about the low-paid (I think it is much more than rhetoric) and I think she has a plan about agreeing trade deals. This is of pre-requisite importance. She has spent much of the last 6 years involving her in EU bureaucratic nonsense; so she knows exactly how many beans make four. She is also determined to keep the United Kingdom intact.
Laura Kuenssberg, Faisal Islam, Robert Peston, George Parker (FT), Steve Hawkes (Sun) plus political luminaries from all the daily papers attended. They were all ready with their searching questions. I tell you what folks, she has great enthusiasm and if she can get her message across, she will give Mrs May a terrific run for her money.
I am confident that the SFO will be relatively pleased at the outcome of LIBOR rigging trial of 6 Barclays’ former employees, though the fact that the jury was unconvinced on allegations made against three of them will be a cause for concern. Though no one condones criminal behaviour, LIBOR is a very flaky tool. It is astonishing that a trade association (BBA) can have been given the authority as arbitrator of $500 trillion worth of loans, just by asking a few banks to proffer their ideas of the cost of money, particularly as there was no period money in liberal supply at the time of the banking crisis. LIBOR needs overhauling and I hope the BOE/FSA produce a better way of costing money – Maybe a combination of short term Treasury Bills, overnight interest rate swaps and LIBOR.
I doff my ‘titfer’ to Nigel Farage. Without his relentless quest for an EU Referendum, I think it unlikely one would ever have been called, despite the split in the Tory party. Nigel – Mission accomplished! Well done! With no power base in Parliament, you are ‘spot on’ to resign the leadership of UKIP. Go and get on with your life and may it continue to be colourful.
It was Independence Day in the US yesterday – The rest of us here in Europe toiled and not surprisingly the FTSE surrendered 55 points to 6522 thanks in the main to the performance of property shares and house builders. It has transpired that Standard Life had been forced to prevent retail investors from selling funds in property funds due to a threat of falling property prices triggered by the decision to leave the EU. The £2.9 billion Fund will need to sell holdings to raise funds. British Land shares fell 7.1% and Land Securities by 5.7% with Persimmon easing by6.8% and Taylor Wimpey by 6.3%. It was a good day for gold and some mining shares with Randgold and Fresnillo shining through the gloom. There continued to be little appetite for banks, with Barclays’ share price remaining below its low at the time of the banking crisis and RBS very close to it.
Talking of banking, it looks as though Italian Prime Minister Renzi has conveniently called the EU’s bluff by telling it that Italian banks urgently require €46 billion of fresh capital to support and service what may be as much as €350 billion of banking bad debts. This, of course, pre-supposes that Signor Renzi would like the EU to step up to the plate with a bail-out! With the UK on its bike in the next few years ‘hell may have a better chance of freezing over’ than that request being granted.
The FTSE opened up down 20 points with the FTSE 250 down 1.1%. There was a relatively positive statement from Persimmon despite its shares taking stick yesterday and in the past week. Imagination Technology disappointed down 8%! St Modwen was cautious about the future – down 1%. Meggitt and Balfour Beatty landed some modest government contracts but this news had limited effect on their respective share prices. At 10.30am the BOE will announce the content of its Financial Stability Report. Mark Carney is likely to focus on liquidity of banks and their capital ratios in lieu of the fall in their respective share prices. He is also expected to offer liquidity to fund managers if they come under duress during these times of political instability. Markets and our lives are in need of leadership, sadly missing at the moment with rather more inertia prevailing than is required. A bit of PMA is all that is needed to stop such negative sentiment. I was very pleased to catch George Osborne’s initiative on corporation tax, having just a couple of weeks ago threatened an austerity budget. After all, contrary to the opinion of some, we do not want a divorce from Europe – far from it – just a legal separation from the EU. The Pound has drifted again against the Greenback $1.3163.
In closing it is interesting to note that profits have fallen in the FTSE 350 by 50% in 2015 to £76.2 billion due to the dreadful performance of banking, mining and oil sectors dividends did rise by 10% over the same period.
UK companies posting numbers – Tuesday – Persimmon, Carillion, Imagination Technology, St Modwen Properties, Wednesday – Booker, Topps Tiles, Thursday – AB Foods, Bovis Homes, Marks & Spencer, Great Portland Estates, Sports Direct, Friday – Ilika PLC
US companies posting interim results this week – Wednesday – Walgreen, Thursday – Costco and PepsiCo
Economic data – Tuesday – UK PMI Services, Wednesday – German Factory Orders, Thursday – UK Industrial Production & Manufacturing output, Friday – UK Balance of Trade, US Non-Farm Payrolls & unemployment data
David Buik 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