There was cautious optimism in the air this morning as the dome of St Paul’s dominated the skyline through watery late autumn sunshine in Cheapside as I hit One New Change for another day’s skirmishing in global equity markets. Both IG and CMC markets insisted that European markets were still under a cautious wet sail as the FTSE 100 threatened to set down their stall 20 points to the good. In fact at 8.00am the FTSE was up only 10 points and between 8.00am and 1.00pm it spent time surrendering value. At about that time the FTSE settled down 53 points at 6742. At 3.15pm the time of writing London’s premier index is down 25 points at 6767. Banks, having had a terrific run on the rails in the past week on the back of US banks are about 0.5% down (HSBC, Lloyds & Barclays). Oils have been weak and the mining sector, after yesterday’s trashing, are still licking some wounds. Telecoms are also weak, with many investors still suffering from the raving ache at Vodafone’s Colao very uninspiring performance down (-0.5%). There has been reasonable evidence of rotation out of mining and oil into other high yielding stocks such as Diageo, Reed Elsevier and WPP.
Speedy Hire and Fenner – both companies have been really struggling until recently. However both spent the morning jostling for the ‘yellow’ jersey’ – +14.4% and 12.2% respective. On top of a decent trading update Prudential was up 0.8%. ICAP ahead of the disposure of its voice broking to Tullett posted disappointing numbers – down 8%. Rolls Royce situation has improved with shares up 35% in the last 4 months, but today’s update though encouraging did not set investor’s heart a fluttering – down 2%. Barratt Development travelled and arrived -2.6%, British Land was friendless in the ring – down 3%. Initially Aggreko flattered to deceive but fell away – down 2.74%. Overall conditions were tiresomely somnolent in comparison to yesterday.
In New York the DOW was 50 points easier. The Russell Index finished its 9 straight day rally. We wait Target’s results. One hopes that there will be some improvement from August’s very moderate effort. It is possible that Snapchat may head for an IPO in March 2017.