TODAY’S FAYRE – Tuesday 28th February 2017
“O ‘Melia, my dear, this does everything crown!
Who could have supposed I should meet you in Town?
And whence such fair garments, such prosperi-ty?” —
“O didn’t you know I’d been ruined?” said she.
— “You left us in tatters, without shoes or socks,
Tired of digging potatoes, and spudding up docks;
And now you’ve gay bracelets and bright feathers three!” —
“Yes: that’s how we dress when we’re ruined,” said she.
— “At home in the barton you said thee’ and thou,’
And thik oon,’ and theäs oon,’ and t’other’; but now
Your talking quite fits ‘ee for high compa-ny!” —
“Some polish is gained with one’s ruin,” said she.
— “Your hands were like paws then, your face blue and bleak
But now I’m bewitched by your delicate cheek,
And your little gloves fit as on any la-dy!” —
“We never do work when we’re ruined,” said she.
— “You used to call home-life a hag-ridden dream,
And you’d sigh, and you’d sock; but at present you seem
To know not of megrims or melancho-ly!” —
“True. One’s pretty lively when ruined,” said she.
— “I wish I had feathers, a fine sweeping gown,
And a delicate face, and could strut about Town!” —
“My dear — a raw country girl, such as you be,
Cannot quite expect that. You ain’t ruined,” said she.”
Thomas Hardy – author & poet – 1840-1928
Ever since Sir John Major lost the 1997 election, I have felt he has grown in stature as a statesman and diplomat. He never received the recognition for the incredible work he did in Northern Ireland, with Tony Blair grabbing all the glory. He also held a very truculent Conservative government together very shrewdly with a wafer thin majority.
However Sir John’s track record was not perfect. The ERM/EU membership and the Euro was a disastrous episode. For all the wrong reason the UK removal from the ERM in 1992 has turned out brilliantly for the country.
Sir John clearly feels very passionate about membership of the EU but his choice of phrase describing BREXIT as “the tyranny of the majority” last November was injudicious as well as intemperate. He has lashed out again at the Government and in the same breath I believe he is wrong to say BREXITEERS have blundered & are over optimistic. He and most ‘Remainers’ are obsessively pessimistic!
I was very privileged to be at Wembley last Sunday to watch EFL Cup Final, which Manchester United undeservedly won 3-2. Southampton played much the better football and was unlucky to have a Gabbiadini goal ruled off side. It is irritating in the extreme that Wembley does not do replays of the goals and also that inadequate technology is used to meet the game’s modern day requirements. The player ruled off-side was not interfering with play!
A professional conflict of interest prevents me from commenting objectively and offering a real opinion on the LSE/Deutsche Boerse merger, which is threatening to abort, thanks to some regulatory insistence by the EC in Brussels for the LSE to sell its majority stake in MTS, the Italian bond platform. Everything else was apparently agreed. We are told that this impasse is probably a deal pooper! Suffice to say that Xavier Rolet has done a sterling job in the past 8 years, when the LSE was in a bit of a parlous state run rather listlessly by Dame Clara Furse.
In 2009 LSE’s share price stood at 1000p. It is now 3000p and change. Since the deal was presented in February last year LSE’s shares are up 19%. Since the threat of abortion, they only fell 3%. Both bourses are still very strong stand alone possibilities and both could merge with other counter parties – NASDAQ, ICE/NYSE and CME. If this merger is finally called off, my preference would be for a CME liaison with the LSE. It would offer greater scope to other international futures and derivative markets. The London Clearing House is likely to remain in situ here in London – hence Euronext’s share price falling 3.5% yesterday.
The de-monetisation drive may have slowed India’s economic growth to about 6% or lower during October-December from 7.3% in September quarter. While a Reuters poll of 30 economists forecast Q3 GDP growth at a 3-year low of 6.4%, some analysts fear a sharper slowdown to less than 6%.
Saudi Aramco is to invest $7 billion in Petronas’s Rapid oil refinery.
Was it Bing Crosby that sang “Now is the hour when we must say goodbye?” That is a possible song that global stock markets could sing to President Donald J trump if he does not deliver a really robust economic plan, when he speaks to Congress this evening. US markets are at record levels, having added 20% plus, in the hope and expectation that there will be a $1 billion infrastructure spending plan in the next 4 years plus tax cuts from a corporate perspective from 35% to 15% in the next 2 years.
President Trump does not need twitter to get his message across. Many fund managers don’t use twitter. They want a clear strategy plan, which will meet with congress’s approval and therefore drive growth. It is rumoured that defence spending will increase by 10% to $54 billion and that savings will be found and there will be cuts to overseas aid, the countryside and health to pay for this change in political and economic emphasis. Over to you Mr Trump – our lives in your hands!
US markets hit record levels yesterday if a little nervously with today’s achievement with YTD changes – DOW: 20,837+0.08% +5.44% S&P: 2,369 +0.10% +5.85%, NASDAQ: 5,347 +0.08% +9.95%. Asia today enjoyed a resoanble session set out below with & YTD change – NIKKEI 19,118 +0.06% +0.24%, HANG SENG 23,827 -0.43% +8.32%, CHINA 3,447 +0.03% +4.14%, ASX 5,712 -0.21% +0.82%
Yesterday the FTSE 100, after a strong showing ended the session up 7 points at 7260. The headlines were grabbed by car insurance issues – Direct Line down 7.1% and Admiral down 2.5%. This morning, despite the plethora of company results the FTSE 100 is sown 3 points at 7250. Moneysupermarket failed to deliver – down 6.3% and conversely Meggitt after issues, was up 10.7% on good results. St James’s Place shares fell 3.5% on news that the CEO David Bellamy was leaving after years of titanic service.
UK companies posting interim results this week – Tuesday – Meggitt, Laird, Interserve, Jardine, Lloyd Thompson, GKN, Direct Line, Provident Financial, St James’s Place, Taylor Wimpey, Moneysupermarket, Fresnillo, Go-Ahead, Babcock International, Wednesday – Elementis, ITV, Evraz, Carillion, Admiral, Man Group, Inchcape Thursday – Spirent Communications, Capita, Travis Perkins, Melrose, Vesuvius, RPS, Merlin Entertainment, Schroders, Johnson Matthey, Cobham, Friday – STV Group, London Stock Exchange, WPP
US companies posting numbers this week – Tuesday – Target, Autozone, Liberty Media, Taser, Ross Stores, Wednesday – Dollar Tree, Shake Shack, Thursday – Fred’s, Abercrombie & Fitch, Barnes & Noble, Costco
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