TODAY’S FAYRE – Monday 10th October 2016
“See what delights in sylvan scenes appear!
Descending Gods have found Elysium here.
In woods bright Venus with Adonis stray’d,
And chaste Diana haunts the forest shade.
Come lovely nymph, and bless the silent hours,
When swains from shearing seek their nightly bow’rs;
When weary reapers quit the sultry field,
And crown’d with corn, their thanks to Ceres yield.
This harmless grove no lurking viper hides,
But in my breast the serpent Love abides.
Here bees from blossoms sip the rosy dew,
But your Alexis knows no sweets but you.
Oh deign to visit our forsaken seats,
The mossy fountains, and the green retreats!
Where-e’er you walk, cool gales shall fan the glade,
Trees, where you sit, shall crowd into a shade,
Where-e’er you tread, the blushing flow’rs shall rise,
And all things flourish where you turn your eyes.
Oh! How I long with you to pass my days,
Invoke the muses, and resound your praise;
Your praise the birds shall chant in ev’ry grove,
And winds shall waft it to the pow’rs above.
But wou’d you sing, and rival Orpheus’ strain,
The wond’ring forests soon shou’d dance again,
The moving mountains hear the pow’rful call,
And headlong streams hang list’ning in their fall!
But see, the shepherds shun the noon-day heat,
The lowing herds to murm’ring brooks retreat,
To closer shades the panting flocks remove,
Ye Gods! And is there no relief for Love?
But soon the sun with milder rays descends
To the cool ocean, where his journey ends;
On me Love’s fiercer flames for ever prey,
By night he scorches, as he burns by day.”
Alexander Pope – poet – 1688-1744
“One Night in Miami” – the most recent production at the Donmar is the best play I have seen in many a moon, with high quality acting and singing! The world would come to know him as Muhammad Ali, but on 25 February 1964, a 22-year old Cassius Clay celebrated his world heavyweight title not by hitting the town, but in a hotel room with his three closest friends: activist Malcolm X, singer Sam Cooke and American football star Jim Brown. To the outside world, they were American icons. But in that hotel room, here were four men who understood each other and their moment in history in a way that no one else could. With the Civil Rights movement stirring outside, and the melody of ‘A Change is Gonna Come’ hanging in the air, these men would emerge from that room ready to define a new world. Arinze Kene, who plays the singer Sam Cooke is worthy of special mention – an absolutely scintillating performance in every department!
I paid a visit with the family to see the works of American modern art/still/life/abstract painter, Georgia O’Keefe, who lived to be 98, at the Tate Modern. The ladies enjoyed. If I trawled over her work for a hundred years, I would have zero empathy with her work. Glad I went so that I ticked the box. I know she is a legend and I wish all her acolytes good fortune. However it’s not for me!
With the latest news surrounding the GOP’S Presidential candidate Donald Trump’s thoughts and derogatory comments he made about certain members of the fairer sex, admittedly eleven years ago, they are surely ‘a bridge too far’ for many voters, who in normal circumstances, would be solidly Republican, come hell or high water. However but for the fact that Hillary Rodham-Clinton is associated with the establishment and Wall Street, which both have an increasing number of detractors, she would now be out of site in the polls – ‘home & hosed under a wet sail’. However so many appear not to trust her and she is also perceived to carry so much baggage.
The world will not feel too safe a place with either Clinton or Trump as ‘Commander in Chief’, particularly as China and Russian are growing in strength and power by the day. If only Clinton would be as pleased to negotiate a trade deal with the UK ahead of the EU, as Trump had intimated he was eager to do; that would be a mild consolation.
Sunday Telegraph tells us that ‘EU slams the door on UK Companies!’ – So be it. The UK must redouble its efforts to negotiate trade deals elsewhere until Michel Barnier and his team stop behaving like petulant school children. Barnier never did like the UK which he expressed so freely when responsible for EU financial regulation. The EU must remember that the UK will be paying its dues until it leaves. It is entitled to be consulted.
Last week’s market turmoil was dominated by the harrowing journey of Sterling which was the recipient of a serious larruping on Thursday in Asia, when a so called ‘flash crash’ took place in the Far East, when the global foreign exchange market, when it comes to sterling, probably has less liquidity than in other parts of the day. Algorithm trading has no respect for market practice. So briefly it was taken down to as low at $1.17 to the Pound, virtually without any support along the way, before regaining poise at the end of the week to $1.24 and a little change. I suspect it’s is not all over ‘till the fat lady sings and maybe she has not got to her feet yet.
Sterling’s fall on the week from $1.28 to $1.24 was blamed on the ‘flash crash’ and on the market’s interpretation that the May government for choice would adopt the ‘hard’ Brexit route. This was of course repudiated by Chancellor Hammond, which goes to show that the UK has yet to present a coherent joined-up policy on BREXIT. As we all know markets have an abhorrence for uncertainty. We must also not forget that the UK has a massive current account/trade balance deficit. Weak Sterling until we get our trade act together may not be beneficial with food inflation likely to hit 4-5% by next summer. Also the fact that the Bank of England cut rates precipitously in what many people considered was a pre-emptive act of support for the economy, but also one of panic. With EU negotiators currently behaving with the minimum of cooperation with a view of saving its battle scarred bureaucratic state. The diplomatic temperature will rise, which will benefit no one. We all have to eat and trade and if the former ‘Ag & Fish bureaucrat’ Barnier with his Dutch colleague Mr Verhofstadt feel the need to behave like petulant schoolboys – so be it! This saga has some way to run!
Meanwhile equity market retained some poise – some rather more than others. The S&P 500 closed the week down 0.92% thanks in the main to Presidential election issues with neither Trump nor Clinton proving to be the dish of the day. Also Friday’s non-farm payroll data was marginally disappointing with only 155k jobs being created in September with the unemployment rate creeping up from 4.9% to 5%. The likelihood of a rate hike until December is remote. 65% thing a 25 basis point hike will be implemented by the FED at their December meeting. European bourses were concerned about the EU’s brittle state and its long-term future, with the UK on its way out of the door. A weak Pound gave the FTSE 100 the impetus to add 2% last week, as 70%+ of its revenues/profits are derived from Dollars. Oil, mining, pharmas, tobacco and banks performed with aplomb. Utilities were warned by the PM about protectionism and they fell. Tesco posted a stellar set of numbers in terms of improvement on Wednesday and EasyJet disappointed its acolytes on Thursday, thanks to currency gyrations. Bond yield rallied nervously and oil pushed through the $50 a barrel threshold.
There were interesting nuggets of business news. Twitter failed to agree terms with Google re an alliance and its stock fell by 20%. Warren Buffett sold his stake in Mars to Wrigley – the chewing gum titan. Misys looks to be regurgitating itself from private equity. This software giant was formed in 1979 and was successful under Kevin Lomax until delisted in 2102, when it was sold to US Private equity – Vista Equity Partners for £1.3 billion. Vista now intends to IPO the company raising over £500m which could value this company at £5.5m. Chancellor Hammond served notice that the final £9 billion worth of shares in Lloyds Banking Group would be sold to the market, though not to retail investors as was suggested by George Osborne. Snap Chat may look for a $25 billion listing in 2017. Finally we understand that William Hill may be involved in a £5 billion merger with Amaya.
UK companies posting results this week – Monday- Waterman Group, Tuesday – PageGroup (TS), Ted Baker (TS), Wednesday – Marston’s, Vertu Motors, AnimalCare, Domino Pizzas (TS), Countrywide Properties (TS), Thursday – Game Digital, WH Smith, SKY (TS), Unilever (TS), Bookers, Hargreaves Lansdown (TS), Rank Group, Friday – Provident Financial, Ashmore, Man Group
US Companies posting interim results this week – Tuesday – Alcoa, Wednesday – CSX, Thursday – Delta Airlines. Friday – JP Morgan Chase, Del Frisco Restaurants.
Economic data this week – Tuesday – BRC Sales, US PPI, Germany’s ZEW, Wednesday – FOMC Minutes, Thursday – MPC, Friday – UK Construction output, BOE credit survey
Market Commentator – Panmure Gordon & co
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Panmure Gordon & Co
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D +44 (0)20 7886 2775
Panmure Gordon & Co
One New Change | London | EC4M 9AF | United Kingdom