TODAY’S FAYRE – Thursday, 29th September 2016
“If but some vengeful god would call to me
From up the sky, and laugh: “Thou suffering thing,
Know that thy sorrow is my ecstasy,
That thy love’s loss is my hate’s profiting!”
Then would I bear it, clench myself, and die,
Steeled by the sense of ire unmerited;
Half-eased in that a Powerfuller than I
Had willed and meted me the tears I shed.
But not so. How arrives it joy lies slain,
And why unblooms the best hope ever sown?—
Crass Casualty obstructs the sun and rain,
And dicing Time for gladness casts a moan.
These purblind Doomsters had as readily strown
Blisses about my pilgrimage as pain.
Thomas Hardy – poet & author – 1840-1928
The Labour party faithful looked as if they were having a ball listening to the Gospel according to St Jeremy! Every pearl of wisdom and philosophical gem that dripped from his lips had a silver lining. Valhalla was to be revisited! The only problem was that he never told the delegates the cost of his pipe dreams. I suggest the outcome would be penury and eternal financial damnation.
I was not that surprised that Congress blew President Obama’s veto with added exhortations away in terms of allowing 9/11 victims being granted permission to sue Saudi Arabia – 15 out of 19 terrorists were of Saudi origin. It was the size of the majority – The Senate 97-1 and the House of Representatives 348-77. That is of landslide proportions. One of the most disturbing issues of the Obama administration is the fact that he has allowed the US to become more isolationist in terms of foreign policy and international defence, than I can ever remember, despite the fact that China and Russia are growing in stature and power by the day. I suspect Clinton or Trump will be no different.
The Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders reported record turnover for 2015. Though the UK’s automotive sector has “gone from strength to strength”, the SMMT said that “the leave vote” may cause problems for the car industry. Turnover rose 7.3% in the last year to £71.6bn while jobs and vehicle production also rose. The industry now faces new challenges. Uncertainty, economic instability and an undoubted impact in terms of cost, could influence and ease of business,
The number employed in the motor industry sector rose by 17,000 to 814,000 and there was a 5% rise in vehicle production to 1.7 million in 2015, the SMMT said, and car manufacturing output is already up more than 10% so far this year.
This week equity markets have been dominated by the vagaries of Deutsche Bank and the uncertainty over its future. However this morning a perceived positive outcome to this week’s OPEC meeting has grabbed the yellow jersey from the ailing German banking titan.
Yesterday there seems to be the basis of an agreement amongst OPEC members that production would be plugged at 32.5 million barrels a day, with Iran possibly in agreement. Call me a cynic but I will believe it when I see it on 30th November when the deal is expected to be ratified, assuming that Russia, Nigeria and Libya don’t rock the boat. Anyway the net result was that crude oil rallied by 5% to $48+ a barrel and equity geeks inhaled the fumes of yet another reason to participate in a relief rally. On the Street of Dreams the three main Indices added value as follows – DOW +0.61%, S&P 500 +0.53%, NASDAQ +0.24%. Clearly energy stocks enjoyed some renaissance. There was also news from the front that Blackberry would cease to manufacture handsets. The likes of Apple and Samsung produce over 50 million a year whereas Blackberry had dropped to less than 2 million. Blackberry (aka Research in Motion as it was known) seems to be following in a similar path to Nokia, which until 10 years ago was hand-set market leader. Nokia gave up the unequal struggle and was bought by Microsoft back in 2014 for $7.17 billion.
Asian equities jumped on the band wagon this morning with impetus coming from the upbeat OPEC meeting – the NIKKEI closed up 1.4% and the ASX up 15. In the case of Shanghai and the Hang Seng; they were not quite so ebullient but closed 0.45 and 0.5% to the good respectively.
Yesterday in Europe conditions were hardly effervescent but the FTSE 100 closed up 41 points at 6849. Sainsbury’s numbers did not really pass muster – down 3.9%. ICAP was 3.6% easier. UK Mail was 43% higher as Deutsche Post closes in as a predator. RMG reacted adversely losing 3.3%. This morning the FTSE 100 joined in all the fun of the fair adding 75 points to 6925 at 11.30am. Mining was up 4%, oil stocks by an average of 5% and Utilities were also buoyant +3%. Merlin Entertainment’s figures were good but the outlook was cautious. RPC Group added 1.52% after a stellar set of numbers. This plastic manufacturing titan’s progress in its trading statement looked ahead of schedule. Pim Vervaat, the CEO looks absolutely on top of his game. This company is very well run and managed. If I was a betting man I think RPC will have FTSE 100 status by the end of 2017!
Final tit-bit of this morning – Viacom and CBS to merge – a rumour not to be ruled out!
UK companies posting results this week – Thursday – Euromoney, Vernalis, Merlin Entertainment, Imperial Brands, DMGT, WS Atkins. Friday – Trinity Mirror (TS)
Economic data this week – Thursday – UK Consumer Confidence, US GDP and US goods trade balance, Friday – US Chicago PMI
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