TODAY’S FAYRE – Wednesday, 7th December 2016


“Half a league, half a league, 
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
‘Forward, the Light Brigade!
Charge for the guns!’ he said:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

‘Forward, the Light Brigade!’
Was there a man dismay’d?
Not tho’ the soldier knew
Someone had blunder’d:
Their’s not to make reply,
Their’s not to reason why,
Their’s but to do and die:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
Volley’d and thunder’d;
Storm’d at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
Rode the six hundred.

Flash’d all their sabres bare,
Flash’d as they turn’d in air
Sabring the gunners there,
Charging an army, while
All the world wonder’d:
Plunged in the battery-smoke
Right thro’ the line they broke;
Cossack and Russian

 Reel’d from the sabre-stroke 
Shatter’d and sunder’d.

Then they rode back, but not
Not the six hundred.
Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
Volley’d and thunder’d;

Storm’d at with shot and shell,
While horse and hero fell,

 They that had fought so well 
Came thro’ the jaws of Death,
Back from the mouth of Hell,
All that was left of them,
Left of six hundred.

When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
All the world wonder’d.
Honour the charge they made!
Honour the Light Brigade,
Noble six hundred!


Alfred Lord Tennyson – poet laureate – 1809-1892


The EU has set its two top Rottweilers – the “Ag & Fish” bureaucrat Michel Barnier and his Belgian heavyweight politician Guy Verhofstadt to work, in the hope that they will undermine the UK’s confidence in future negotiations.  Its brilliant PR, as Barnier has never liked the British.  He has always been truculent and obtuse towards the UK, which was much in evidence when he headed up financial regulation in Brussels.  Frankly it was a brilliant appointment by the EU and it looks as though it had Juncker’s dabs are all over it.


We must not be phased by these bullying and dictatorial tactics, in telling us the negotiations must be done and dusted by October 2018.  However we must at all times attempt to humour M Barnier and common courtesy must always be transparently displayed when dealing with these uncompromising bureaucrats. Talk of Cherry-picking is just nonsense.  The UK just wants sensible trade deals that are mutually agreeable to both parties.  We must not rise to the bait. The EU is not in a good place at present and with the French election due up in the spring, its outlook does not look a particularly attractive prospect. It takes two to tango and in many arenas we have very strong hands to play. It’s called negotiation; so our politicians, diplomats and bureaucrats need to keep their cool.


Yesterday Sky’s Niall Patterson interviewed some joker economist – Nina Schik. She made me laugh in telling viewers that EU politicians were very busy and only had a limited amount of time to give to BREXIT negotiations. Don’t you love her style?


Prime Minister May has taken the initiative to see off a possible Commons defeat by accepting a Labour motion requiring the government to set down its stall on Brexit plans to MPs. However, the PM also doubled-down on her Brexit timetable. While she has reluctantly accepted the Labour motion, the government has tabled an amendment which further calls on MPs to support the government’s plan to begin proceedings by the end of March 2017.



There was a great piece in CityAm yesterday, stressing how important earnings were from the City of London to the Treasury’s coffers – the amount of tax revenue has increased from £53.4 billion in 2010 to £71.4m this year, up 7.4% on last year.  Hence one can understand the urgency attached by all financial institutions to bending Chancellor Hammond’s and BREXIT Minister David Davis’s ear. They want them to adopt a placatory thus safeguarding passporting rights, which will give access to customers in the EU.


Yesterday the FTSE added 33 points to 6779, though the FTSE 250 fell a smidgen below the Plimsoll line. There was a modest rally post the Italian Referendum debacle. Despite the Monti Dei Paschi’s capital issues, which suggests there may have to be a government bailout, the banking sector enjoyed a good day in the UK with RBS, fresh from its successful rights issue negotiations rallied by 5.7%.  Barclays also sat up and took in some nourishment.  The Street of Dreams added the real estate and telecom sectors joined the Trump rally, taking the DOW to a new record +0.35%, with the S&P 500 up 0.34% and the NASDAQ up a rather perky 0.55%. Asian stocks hung on to New York’s coattails thanks to the improving sentiment and at the time of writing the ASX was up 0.84%, with the Shanghai Composite looking rather moribund at +0.10%.  The hang Seng was 0.35% to the good and the NIKKEI was looking to close +0.45% with SoftBank up 3.6% on the day. 



Shock waves hit Threadneedle Street and Canary Wharf over news that spread betting operations were told to tighten up by the FCA on the regulation of those who traded CFDS. This business, where gains are tax free have attracted over 500k customers – however over 80% of punters lose money. It is easy to spread bet and with apps and the internet, volumes in volatile conditions can be gargantuan. The two main protagonist initially saw 37% wiped off their value – IG Group, the prince amongst the bookmakers and CMC Markets, which came to the market just over a year ago.  Initially £1.3 billion was wiped off the value of the spread betting companies. The action taken by FCA, in the wake of the financial debacle in 2009, is understandable. The authorities want to limit the number of spivs and vagabonds from over playing their zealousness to trade unnecessarily often and thus lose too much money.   However I think there was an over-reaction yesterday.  Certainly at the close IG was down 21% and CMC by 29%. My one major concern is that if there is further or excessive over-regulation liquidity will disappear and markets will become dangerously volatile.


This is not the first time spread betters have been involved in turmoil.  In 1987 at the time of the stock market crash Stuart Wheeler’s IG was severely damaged as punters could not pay their debts.  The same happened to Johnny Spark’s City Index.  Thanks to their portfolio of very rich friends and contacts they were quickly back on their feet. At the turn of the century the business mushroomed with Cantor Index, Financial Spreads owned by Sporting Index, Spreadex and ETX Capital became quite prominent.  The financial crisis took its toll on this function quite badly with heavy losses being incurred.


UK Companies posting results this week – Wednesday – DS Smith, Kromek, Carillion, Stagecoach, Thursday – Mulberry, Sports Direct, Ocado, Capita, Friday – Photo-Me, John Laing


US Companies posting interim results this week –Wednesday – H&R Block, Thursday – Ciena, Dell Technologies,


Economic data this week – Wednesday – UK industrial production & manufacturing output, NIESR UK GDP, Thursday – UK Trade Balance, ECB Press Conference, Friday – RICS Housing Data, UK Consumer Inflation & Construction Output


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


David Buik]]6

Market Commentator


D +44 (0)20 7886 2775

Panmure Gordon & Co 
One New Change | London | EC4M 9AF | United Kingdom


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