MIDDAY UPDATE ON UK EQUITIES

It’s been like pulling teeth during this session! – Duller than dish water! – deader than the proverbial witch’s nipple! The FTSE 100 has dropped a whole 6 points at 7296 by 12.20pm. However there were some good export numbers for cars from the SMMT – up 7% last month though domestic sales were flat. US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is slowly coming to hand, by making the odd sound and grunt, suggesting he might be interested in the economy.  However he feels that the US economy may not select a measurable gear until early 2018.

 

Barclays rose initially by 3% but then it dawned on investors that the bank had yet to settle with the DOJ on litigious issues and it had also cut its dividend, which was not a great surprise, but nonetheless annoying. BAE Systems posted decent numbers but as I write they are off their best level – Up 1.5%. Glencore opened lower but having had a decent butcher’s hook investors felt there was more left in the tank, despite having risen 184% in the last year. Centrica’s effort did not pass muster.  It lost customers and the dividend was light. Relex was up 0.5% after decent numbers but investors will be far more interested in what CEO Rakesh Kapoor takes out of the ring for remuneration.  The guess is about $15 million. Finally RSA posted an upbeat effort.  The shares rose 3%, but the FD collapsed at the meeting bringing it to an abrupt close.  However he made a good recovery, I am told.  The DOW is set to open relatively flat.

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