Apart from yesterday and today, the FTSE 100 has been creeping up a few points every day for the preceding week. Investors have been buying on yield! Yesterday and today we have seen profit takers, as there is a feeling in some quarters that the FTSE 100 looks rich enough in terms of value. With no really positive news out there, apart from satisfactory employment data, which was of little consequence, getting the ‘buying boots on’ seemed a pointless exercise. At 2.55pm the FTSE 100 had fallen 37 points to 6856 with the DAX falling 1.5% and the CAC 0.8%. New York looks as though it will shed about 0.5% at the opening.


Though Brent Crude is flirting with $50 a barrel ($49.40), B’S performance today has been underwhelming – down 0.9% and Shell ‘B’ easier by 0.3%. Laird and Hochschild, the latter after a decent rally, are both down 6% today. Generalising small cap companies are holding up well.


BT is the stand out stock today, with punters not wanting to be ‘short’ unless there is some substance to the idle gossip over the telecom titan being a takeover target, which is currently doing the rounds – +2%. Drugs are flat (GSK) and Astra is down a parsimonious 0.5%. Tesco -1% and M&S -0.5% – two obvious bear stocks seem to be suffering from post-prandial neurosis. Mining stocks were on the back foot – Glencore down 4% and Rio down 2%. Some of the banks are still not on good terms with themselves – Standard Chartered -3% after a terrific recent run on the rails. Barclays is down 1.5%. Markets are likely to drift aimlessly until fond farewells have been paid to the Costa Del Crime of Chelsea by the Sea alias Burnham Market with punters and management returning to their desks in earnest.


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