London’s performance yesterday seemed somewhat innocuous, however thanks to the oil sector and mining to a lesser degree bouncing out of the traps the FTSE added 20 points at 7021 in what seemed a rather lack-lustre performance. Travis Perkins’s numbers failed to pass muster. The outlook was murky resulting 30 outlets being closed and 600 redundancies. Life at Wickes looked rather rosier with 12 news shops being created. Shares were given a bit of a whipping – down 5.6%. Barratt Development could have done without the adverse publicity it received – with Alastair Baird being arrested on suspicion of misconduct. Laird, the UK tech provider for smartphones for Apple lost 48% of its value yesterday – a huge profits warning down from £75 million for the year to £50 million. Margins have been squeezed and exacerbated by foreign exchange issues.
New York was pre-occupied with the Presidential debate; so not surprisingly, with a rather sour and vituperative tone to the occasion expected, activity was muted; but the Street of Dreams stayed in positive territory – DOW & S&P +0.22% and the NASDAQ just above the Plimsoll line at +0.05%. eBay rather let the side down for NASDAQ with a poor outlook taking the shares down 8.9%. This was in complete contrast to Morgan Stanley’s stellar results (incidentally Goldman also made a monkey of the market’s expectations) – up a short 2% which I though was rather parsimonious of the market. The Presidential debate did not disappoint! It was embarrassingly awful. I so love the US. I feel for them sorrow and fear. Putin will have laughed!
Asia seemed happy enough having digested the news from Las Vegas. Activity was hardly ‘chipper’ apart from Tokyo – closed up 1.4% thanks to a weaker Yen. The ASX finished the session up 0.1% and the Hang Seng and Shanghai Composite towards the close were up 0.3% and unchanged respectively.
Inertia really has set in this morning with the FTSE down 10 points at 7010 at 9.50am. Volumes are derisory. The LSE posted decent numbers – shares up 1.5%. However it is all about the so-called merger with Deutsche Boerse. Everything seems to be tickety-boo here in London. Regulatory bodies in Brussels and Berlin have it all to do. We probably won’t have an answer before February. Senior and Keller posted profit warnings this morning and metaphorically both had the skin ripped from their faces by shareholders – shares down 25% and 18.6% respectively – ouch! Since Monday the two stock exchange debutantes have fared differently. Biffa – shares issued at 180p price (having lowered their sights from 200p) today 18p. In the case of Luceca shares were issued at 130p and are trading at 154p today.