TODAY’S FAYRE – Wednesday, 7th September 2016

 

“I need not go
Through sleet and snow
To where I know
She waits for me;
She will wait me there
Till I find it fair,
And have time to spare
From company.

When I’ve overgot
The world somewhat,
When things cost not
Such stress and strain,
Is soon enough
By cypress sough
To tell my Love
I am come again.

And if some day,
When none cries nay,
I still delay
To seek her side,
(Though ample measure
Of fitting leisure
Await my pleasure)
She will not chide.

What–not upbraid me
That I delayed me,
Nor ask what stayed me
So long? Ah, no! –
New cares may claim me,
New loves inflame me,
She will not blame me,
But suffer it so.”

 

Thomas Hardy – author & poet – 1840 –1928

 

I started to watch England v Slovakia on Sunday afternoon. Within half an hour I was convinced that I was watching a re-run of Roy Hodgson’s desperate Euro2015 side.  OMG, it was very poor stuff; so I quickly turned over to enjoy some escapism.  I rather like the cut of Sam Allardyce’s jib!  But the dear fellow has never won anything! He’s good at keeping an average team in the Premiership or bringing a team up out of the championship.  However few would describe him as a visionary force!  He’s no Pep Guardiola, or Jose Mourinho or Jurgen Klopp! That is for sure! I suspect there will be some long, dark desperate days watching the ‘three lions’ qualify for the World Cup, which England will do. But a force to be reckoned with?  I doubt it.  I must admit it there is a touch of the ‘Deja-Vous’ about England’s new and popular manager, who has never hit the dizzy heights in terms of achievement – 75 years ago the other was told – ‘Play it again Sam’ in the film, ‘Casablanca’ – and he sang…. ‘You must remember this….!’

 

With just two months to go before the Presidential Election who would have believed that CNN’S poll would see Donald Trump top Hillary Rodham-Clinton 45% to 43% in their new survey, with Libertarian Gary Johnson standing at 7% among likely voters in this poll and the Green Party’s Jill Stein at just 2%. Is the traditional world of national politics being turned on its head in the US, not dissimilar to what happened here in the UK in June?

 

“The time has come the Walrus said, to talk on many things ….” It looks as though after 40 years at the helm Bernie Ecclestone’s reign as head honcho of Formula 1 is about to end in a £6 billion deal. Attendances have started to decline in recent years though not here at Silverstone and the F1 circus is probably in need of a face lift.   F1 is about to be sold to Liberty Media, run by that 75-year-old hard head from the world of media, John Malone. In Malone’s portfolio he already owns The Discovery and Eurosport channels, Virgin Media and the Atlanta Braves, plus an 18% stake in News Corporation. Bernie Ecclestone is 86 years of age and is still as sharp as a needle.  He has been FI for decades and breathtakingly successful.  Though he may still keep a presidential position, the party is all but over for this pocket battleship. Even a $100 million brush with the German tax authorities – the amount he paid in settlement of a bribery allegation failed to dampen his enthusiasm for life. If I have half his marbles at 86, I will be thrilled! The only comment I would make is:- ‘Surely it is wrong that wealth can settle ‘wrong-doing?’

 

Wall Street took its time to get its head around the issues of the day as investors, analysts and economists returned to the Street of Dreams.  They would undoubtedly have been underwhelmed by the ISM Non-manufacturing data posted yesterday, which would have just slightly taken the wind out of FED Janet Yellen’s sails, as she and her committee aspire to start jacking rates up – hopefully in December. They also have to grapple with the idea that it no longer looks as though ‘Sister Hillary’ is a slam-dunk’ to become the first Lady and 46th President of the USA. To add further fuel to their fire, corporate earnings do not look quite as ebullient as many would have hoped after two quarters of decreasing profitability. Nonetheless the three main indices kept their poise with the DOW adding 0.25%, the S&P 500 0.30% and the NASDAQ a healthy 0.50%. It was rather a listless post-holiday session. Chevron and Intel were two stocks which made steady progress.

 

Yesterday in Old Blighty the FTSE 100 lost 58 points to 6862.  The banks, based on a report from Deutsche Bank that FX exposure could cause problems, lost measurable ground with HSBC (-2%) and Standard Chartered suffering the most.  Banks really are a forlorn sector. Also if I may say so, their observations were a touch of “the pot calling the kettle black!” It was good to see Redrow +9% and Berkeley +4% make a reassuring recovery after the BREXIT debacle in July. Ashmore’s efforts failed to pass muster with the shares falling 11%.

 

Sports Direct took a tiny step towards offering better working conditions to their staff (less zero hour contracts) to the exclusion of those who work in their warehouses. The crunch meeting with shareholders is TODAY and expect Chairman Helliwell and CEO Ashley to come under the cosh over employment strategy and poor corporate governance. Personally I don’t think Sports Direct will be able to rebuild its brand and as a business, it was a good one – whilst it is under public scrutiny.  Ashley who already owns 60% of the company may feel that the best way forward would be to take the company back into private ownership.  Just the thought of it would put the cat amongst the pigeons. Steve Rowe, CEO of M&S, was also under fire from MPs.  Having made over 500 people redundant, M&S is giving its lowest paid employees a 14.7% rise to £8.50 an hour– above the minimum wage. BUT the quid pro quo is a cut in premium working hours.

 

Asian markets were mixed today.  The ASX closed up 0.15% and the NIKKEI, thanks to a strong Yen was easier by 0.49%.  At lunch the Shanghai Composite was up 0.29% with the Hang Seng near enough flat -0.07%.  The FTSE 100 is expected to open +25 points.  Results from Hargreaves Lansdown and Barratt Development will be of particular interest as will data from Halifax on housing and UK industrial production due at 9.30am.

 

UK companies posting results this week – Wednesday – Hargreaves Lansdown, McBride, Barratt Development, Ashtead, Thursday – Fenner, Dixons Carphone (TS), Monitise

 

US companies posting interim results this week – Wednesday – Hewlett=Packard, Thursday – Donaldson’s, Barnes & Noble

 

Economic data this week – UK Industrial Production, Halifax House Price Index, UK NIESR GDP estimate, Thursday – US Initial Jobless Claims, ECB Press Conference, Friday – RICS House prices, UK Trade Balances

 

David Buik
Market Commentator – Panmure Gordon & Co
+44 (0)20 7886 2775
Mobile – 0044 7788 144 877

Panmure Gordon & Co

One New Change | London | EC4M 9AF | United Kingdom

 

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