TODAY’S FAYRE – Sunday, 17th July 2016
“Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this sun of York;
And all the clouds that lour’d upon our house
In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.
Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths;
Our bruised arms hung up for monuments;
Our stern alarums changed to merry meetings,
Our dreadful marches to delightful measures.
Grim-visaged war hath smooth’d his wrinkled front;
And now, instead of mounting barded steeds
To fright the souls of fearful adversaries,
He capers nimbly in a lady’s chamber
To the lascivious pleasing of a lute.
But I, that am not shaped for sportive tricks,
Nor made to court an amorous looking-glass;
I, that am rudely stamp’d, and want love’s majesty
To strut before a wanton ambling nymph;
I, that am curtail’d of this fair proportion,
Cheated of feature by dissembling nature,
Deformed, unfinish’d, sent before my time
Into this breathing world, scarce half made up,
And that so lamely and unfashionable
That dogs bark at me as I halt by them;
Why, I, in this weak piping time of peace,
Have no delight to pass away the time,
Unless to spy my shadow in the sun
And descant on mine own deformity:
And therefore, since I cannot prove a lover,
To entertain these fair well-spoken days,
I am determined to prove a villain
And hate the idle pleasures of these days.
Plots have I laid, inductions dangerous,
By drunken prophecies, libels and dreams,
To set my brother Clarence and the king
In deadly hate the one against the other:
And if King Edward be as true and just
As I am subtle, false and treacherous,
This day should Clarence closely be mew’d up,
About a prophecy, which says that ‘G’
Of Edward’s heirs the murderer shall be.
Dive, thoughts, down to my soul: here
William Shakespeare – poet & playwright – 1564-1616
What a day for Sunday sport – The final round of the Open Golf at Troon, which looks to be between Mickelson and Stenson. Though Stenson has a one shot lead, you wonder, with 5 big trophies already in his bag, the big American may not be the man for the day. Then to Lord’s where the test match looks to be slightly in favour of Pakistan, unless England can take 2 wickets early on cheaply. 300 to win a game at Lord’s in the final innings will take some getting with Yasir’s chops already drooling at the prospect of the wicket taking measurable spin!
The fact that the S&P 500, and the FTSE both added 1%, with European bourses gaining on average 3% last week, despite the appalling terrorist slaughter of 84 people including 10 children on the Promenade in Nice at the hands of someone from the gutter of inhumanity plus a coup in Turkey, which cost 250 lives and serious ramifications in the future, is quite astonishing – in fact mind-blowing! One could talk about resilience, but that is surely an over-simplification. I suspect, if the truth be told, the world’s central banks have far more of a vice-like-grip on quantitative easing on a global basis than perhaps many of us realise. To show how nonchalant we all are the heading in the FT on page 20 puts the matter into perspective – “US AND EUROPEAN SHARES END ON QUIETER NOTE AFTER UPBEAT WEEK!”
Blimey! A decade ago news of that magnitude would have sent investors scuttling to the hills for cover! In all fairness the start to the US earning season has looked more promising than perhaps many feared with better than expected results from JP Morgan Chase and on Friday results from Wells Fargo (-2.5%) and Citibank (-0.75%), which were in line with expectation, rather a glittering set of numbers. Though the banking sector in the US is in a better place than its European peers the sector, as an investor, it still does not make investors tingle at its prospects! The US economy seems to be ending the second quarter on a high note, but there are still many doubters out there who think over a year BREXIT could and maybe will spoil the party. It is astonishing to think that the DOW and the S&P 500 last week crashed through last year’s all-time records in May! However in all fairness with interest rates where they are, alternative asset classes continue to look unattractive, Oil rallied a tad to $47 and change (+1.9%) and gold drifted 3.3% on the week to $1330 an ounce.
I had failed to notice that the NIKKEI had rallied by a monumental 9.2% last week in the hope that the Abe government would provide packages to help growth and inflation – Could these hopes again be false ones? How many times have we been promised by Japan that it would put its economic house in order and has consummately refused to do so? As a country it is already hopelessly over borrowed yet its government seems reluctant to introduce any real infrastructure projects. China’s GDP came in slightly better than expected – 6.7% when 6.6% was the estimation. One can never be too sure that with the Chinese authorities that there may always be some economy with the truth. Anyway this news provided some much needed stability.
The biggest news for us here in “Dear Old Blighty” was PM May’s Cabinet appointments, which was very much a re-enactment of the ‘night of the long knives!” The net results is that George Osborne has been booted in to the long grass of temporary ignominy. He is young with plenty of fire in his belly; so to write him off may be folly! BREXITERS have picked up very influential appointments – Boris Johnson, David Davis and Dr Liam Fox are the leading “movers & shakers.” Let’s hope they have what it takes to implement a smooth and seamless transition from the EU vice-like bureaucratic grip on single market legislation to a FREE MARKET, which the whole world would benefit from. It is a task of gargantuan proportions and will require the services of a few thousand trade negotiators, which the UK does not have – so they must be shipped in ‘tout de suite! Philip Hammond looks like an excellent appointment as Chancellor, a position many believe he has coveted for some time.
I think the Chancellor also has the stomach to take on France and Germany who feel they can take financial services business away from London, such as clearing. They may well be temporarily successful. However London is the place to be. Everyone in financial services accepts that fact and you do not surrender 70 years of infrastructure without a hell of a scrap. As for the FTSE 100 it is now 5% above where it closed on 22nd June, though 6% down in terms of Dollar value (£ is 12% lower against the Dollar) and the FTSE 250 is only 3% below where it was on the same day. The FTSE 250 is a far better barometer of UK economic activity than FTSE 100. House builders such as Persimmon, Taylor Wimpey and Barratt made substantial gains as the May government started to restore some stability. All Dollar earning related stocks kept their poise. For the MPC to leave rates unchanged since 9th March 2009 at 0.5% last Thursday was sensible. The MPC will have more data to ruminate over by 4th August – the date of the next inflation Report – and there is little point in leaving too few bullets in the gun’s chamber!
Finally I cannot avoid having another pop at those banking CEOS who want to take their troops from London to Paris or Frankfurt. For your guide, Gents, Italy’s banking sector is in crisis with PM Renzi fighting like a mad dog with the EU for help with a E46 billion bailout to help service E350billion of bad debts! Oh and by the way that is not the only banking sector under duress in the EU. I think you will find the overall banking sector needs an injection of fresh capital to the tune of E300billion. Why would it be more attractive to work in that environment? In closing it is still taking far too long for the REMAIN bad losers to accept the will of the people – media and companies alike. The country needs to make this work – so let’s get on with it!
UK companies posting numbers – Monday – Conviviality, Rio Tinto, British Land, Microgen, Ensor, Tuesday – Dairy Crest, BHP Billiton, Royal Mail Group, IG Group, SSP Group, Wednesday – Fresnillio, Anglo-American, Severn Trent, TalkTalk, Johnson Matthey, Electrocomponents, Thursday – Unilever, Babcock International, Tate & Lyle, AO World, Howden Joinery, Halma, Euromoney, SAB Miller, EasyJet, Premier Foods, Friday – Beazley, Vodafone, Acacia Mining
US companies posting interim results this week – Bank of America Merrill, Rambus, EMC, Netflix, Yahoo!, Tuesday – UnitedHealth, Microsoft, Lockheed Martin, Johnson & Johnson, Philip Morris, Goldman Sachs, Wednesday – Morgan Stanley, Halliburton, Northern Trust, Fidelity, Mattel, eBay, Intel, General Motors, Thursday, Pulte, DR Horton, Bank of New York Mellon, Blackstone, Biogen, Starbucks, Schlumberger, Visa, AT&T, Friday – American Airlines, Whirlpool, Honeywell
Economic data – Monday – Rightmove housing data, US – NAHB Housing, Tuesday – UK inflation data, US Housing starts, Wednesday – UK Employment data, Thursday – UK Retail sales, Friday – CBI Industrial orders
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