Monthly Archives: February 2017

TODAY’S FAYRE

  TODAY’S FAYRE – Thursday, 16th February 2017

 

“The grey sea and the long black land;

And the yellow half-moon large and low;

And the startled little waves that leap

In fiery ringlets from their sleep,

As I gain the cove with pushing prow,

And quench its speed i’ the slushy sand.

 

Then a mile of warm sea-scented beach;

Three fields to cross till a farm appears;

A tap at the pane, the quick sharp scratch

And blue spurt of a lighted match,

And a voice less loud, thro’ its joys and fears,

Than the two hearts beating each to each!”

 

Robert Browning – poet – 1812-1889

 

I am sure many of you watched the BBC’S controversial production of the Shannon Matthews abduction in Dewsbury, which took place eight years ago, screened recently on television – ‘Moorside’. Though a deeply depressing subject, with huge social connotation problems, the quality of the acting was off the Richter scale – Sian Brooke, Sheridan Smith and Gemma Whelan put in mind-blowing performances of brilliance.

 

The Toshiba scandal resulting in the resignation of Chairman Shigenori Shiga has greater connotations than was superficially envisaged.  Losing a pot of money – circa a Y712.5bn (£5.01bn) write-down due to impairment charges, which would wipe out shareholder equity and drag the company to a full-year loss, is one thing, but to put nuclear power deals in Cumbria in doubt is another.  There has been a delay in posting their results, which are reputed to show a Y390bn net loss for the year ending March 31, compared with a Y460bn loss a year earlier.

 

In 2015, Toshiba twice delayed earnings announcements after it struggled to manage the fallout of a previous accounting anomaly. Toshiba has previously said it will withdraw from its nuclear plant constructions overseas, including at least a partial exit from its British venture. The firm owns a 60 per cent stake in NuGeneration, or NuGen, a British firm planning to build three nuclear reactors at the Moorside plant in Cumbria.

NuGen acknowledges that Toshiba’s review into the future of its nuclear power business outside Japan is complete and that it remains committed to developing NuGen’s Moorside Project. We shall see!

You have to smile with affection and respect at Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway. On Tuesday Berkshire Hathaway’s share price hit $250,000 each up from $195k 15 months ago – up 30% and up 117% from 5 years ago when a share cost $117,000! Warren Buffett will be 87 in August and seems as smart and spry as ever. Since Trump became President, despite Buffett’s concern about President Trump’s credentials, he is alleged to have added another £12 billion of assets to his BH’S portfolio. Above all else Buffett is a pragmatist and appears to like the cut of the Presidents plans for business. Assets at BH total $552 billion and the share capital is worth $413 billion. Berkshire Hathaway employs 331k people globally and head office is in Omaha, Nebraska, the home of the great investor and philanthropist.

 

It would appear that equity markets seem totally immune to Trump vagaries and controversy. They have hung their hat on infrastructure spending, severe cuts in regulation and tax cuts – corporate from 35% to 15% in a two year span. That makes a very fizzy cocktail for fund manager, which should be good for business. There was little in the way of great corporate news apart from the fact that Verizon may pay a smidgen less for Yahoo! than was previously agreed. New York closed as follows with a YTD update –DOW: 20,611 +0.52% +4.3%, S&P: 2,349 +0.50% +4.93%, NASDAQ: 5,302 +0.59% +9.02%

 

Asian Markets performed as follows with YTD update. Conditions were sepulchral – NIKKEI 19,347 -0.47% +1.22%, HANG SENG 24,097 +0.44% +9.48%, CHINA 3,430 +0.28% +3.55%, ASX 5,816 +0.12% +2.68%. Yesterday the FTSE added 33 points to 7302 with banks leading the charge. The FTSE now has a valuation of over £400 billion and the FTSE 250 is at an all time record. Did somebody swear and say BREXIT? This morning the FTSE is down 22 points at 8.30am but Ex-Div players such as BP, Shell. Astra and Imps have taken a 29 point toll this morning. Cobham announced another profits warning and its shares fell by 18% to 110p. They stood at 240p a year ago.

UK companies posting interim results this week –  Thursday – DRAX, Coca-Cola HB, Shire Pharmaceuticals, Friday – Millennium Copthorne, Kingspan, Segro, Essentra

 

US companies posting interim results –Thursday – MGM Resorts, Wendy’s Dean Foods

 

Economic data posted this week – Thursday – Phili-Fed Index, Initial Claims, Friday – UK PSBR, UK Retail sales M/O/M

 

 

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

TODAY’S FAYRE

TODAY’S FAYRE – Tuesday, 14th February 2017

 

There is pleasure in the wet, wet clay

When the artist’s hand is  potting it.

There is pleasure in the wet, wet lay —

When the poet’s pad is blotting it.

There is pleasure in the shine of your picture on the line

At the Royal Acade-my;

But the pleasure felt in these is as chalk to Cheddar cheese

When it comes to a well-made Lie–

 

To a quite unwreckable Lie,

To a most impeccable Lie!

To  a water-right,  fire-proof,  angle-iron,  sunk-hinge,  time-lock,

steel-faced Lie!

Not a private handsome Lie,

But a pair-and-brougham Lie,

Not a little-place-at-Tooting, but a country-house-with-shooting

And a ring-fence-deer-park Lie.

 

Rudyard Kipling – poet – 1865-1936

 

I must have been daft to think that Ken Loach would behave himself when receiving the BAFTA for best British film – ‘I Daniel’ – which I am told he deserved. However he had to come out with all that bitter ‘left wing’ vitriol he has been associated with since making ‘Cathy Come Home!’ and ‘Kes’ – totally uncalled for! It was an unnecessary and a pathetic gesture for an octogenarian, when most people had come to the Royal Albert Hall to pay homage to great artists and technicians in the film world. One only had to see the film to know that there was a social message in it and why not! But that was surely enough.  Film buffs do not need a lecture from Loach, whom I am told is absolutely loaded. We just wanted to enjoy this glittering occasion.  What is even more galling is the fact that he used public funds to make many of his films.  This is hypocrisy personified! Mr Loach is entitled to air his political beliefs – love them or hate them – but there is a time and a place! The BAFTA awards ceremony is not one of them!

 

Emma Stone is a vivacious breath of spring air and her performance in ‘La La Land’ was delightful. But best actress?  You jest. She just exuded a really lovely ‘feel-good-factor’; acting?  Never! In my opinion Emily Blunt – the star of ‘The Girl on a Train’ was far more deserving of this coveted award. 

 

Like many others I was incandescent with rage at Speaker Bercow’s castigation of President Trump and the fact that, as far as he was concerned, he’d be unwelcome to give an address from the Palace of Westminster – bang out of order!  However ‘off the cuff’ remarks about how he voted in the EU Referendum and why to students at Reading University, is I think, no reason to call for his resignation. Strip out the arrogance and his insatiable appetite to play to the gallery like some ‘Diva’ or Prima Donna, I think he’s a very good ‘Speaker!’

 

Tax reform promises, part of the Trump election manifesto which actually may end up being at odds with the EU in terms of trade, buoyed US equity markets to new record levels and for the first time the market capital value of the S&P 500 breached through the $20 trillion level. The main US indices finished as follows with YTD data as well – DOW: 20,412 +0.7% +3.29%, S&P: 2,328 +0.52% +3.9%, NASDAQ: 5,256 +0.58% +8.08%.  The US Treasury market remained somnolent, with yield reflecting two increases this year. Oil still bounces around uncomfortable between $52 and $56 a barrel. From a corporate perspective there was little to get one’s teeth into, though interesting to note that the telecoms took a modest dive based on competition issues thrown up by Verizon. There were falls varying between Verizon -0.9% and T-Mobile -3%.

 

 

Here in Old Blighty the FTSE 100 was up 0.3% at 7278 with miners very much in the vanguard; the sector gaining by an average of 3%. However mid-cap and small cap companies hit record levels. AB Foods had a little run on the rails – up 1.6% on news that sales at Primark had been quite buoyant. Today Rolls Royce posted an expected ‘kitchen sink’ set of numbers with an eye-watering £4.4 billion loss for the year; the operating profit was down 49% at £813 million. Rolls Royce shares are down 42% in the last 3 years but are up 20% in the last year. Warren East is proving to be a very strong CEO, having previously done a stunning job at ARM Holdings, which last year was sold for £24 billion to SoftBank of Japan. From an investors’ perspective I think we would like to have known more about the £671 million fine for bribery and corruption but perhaps the SFO have not finished their deliberations. In hindsight I suspect Sir John Rose’s 12 year tenure at CEO was too long, resulting in John Rishden collecting a ‘hospital pass’, before handing over to Warren East – shares down 0.25% at 8.30am. in the last 3 years Rolls Royce shares have fallen 42%, but are up 20% in the last year.   Tui posted adequate numbers – shares +2%.

 

Asian markets performed as follows today and on a YTD basis – DOW: 20,412 +0.7% +3.29%, S&P: 2,328 +0.52% +3.9%, NASDAQ: 5,256 +0.58% +8.08%. Toshiba’s chairman stood down today as its shares plunged 20% as a result of a request to delay its multi-billion loss. Maybe the UK’s nuclear power initiative is in danger? We shall see.

 

 

Finally today, the vagaries of the Cooperative Bank; It looks as though post the disastrous acquisition of Britannia Building Society which created a £1.5 billion black hole in its balance sheet, the abortive attempt to buy 631 branches from Lloyds Banking Group and the doubtful qualities of Rev Flowers as chairman, this bank seems unlikely to meet the Bank of England’s capital requirements. This has resulted in the bank being put up for sale. The two main Hedge Funds, which own most of the 80% – Aurelius Capital Management and Silver Point Capital -, will not want to take a loss.  There are few if any natural buyers who will want to buy the whole shooting match.  The ethical tag will have some appeal to a few. Strip out Virgin Money and Clydesdale – the latter being a possibility if its quest to buy Williams & Glyn fails – and the cupboard look quite bare. BREXIT may restrict the number of predators – European banks may be reluctant to get involved.  The Spivs, vagabonds, asset stripper and challenger banks will be there to cherry-pick. I doubt the main shareholders will countenance the idea.  One Savings and maybe Aldermore could be to the fore.  I doubt private equity will have much of an appetite to get in to the fray. Depositors and those with loans are safe, but jobs, whatever happens, will go.

 

Inflation data will be posted at 9.30am this morning – estimate +1.9%

 

UK companies posting interim results this week –  Tuesday – Acacia Mining, Rolls Royce, Tui Travel, Wednesday – Qinetiq, NEX, Thursday – DRAX, Coca-Cola HB, Shire Pharmaceuticals, Friday – Millennium Copthorne, Kingspan, Segro, Essentra

 

US companies posting interim results – Tuesday – Molson Coors, Dr Pepper Snapples, AIG, Wednesday – PepsiCo, Marriott, Kraft Heinz, AMAT, Groupon, Thursday – MGM Resorts, Wendy’s Dean Foods

 

Economic data posted this week – Tuesday – BRC Retail Sales Monitor, UL CPI & RPI, Germany’s ZEW, Wednesday – UK Employment data, UK Average Earnings, US Retail Sales, US Empire State Index, US CPI, Thursday – Phili-Fed Index, Initial Claims, Friday – UK PSBR, UK Retail sales M/O/M

 

 

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

TODAY’S FAYRE

 

TODAY’S FAYRE – Sunday, 12th February 2017

 

“When I was but thirteen or so

I went into a golden land,

Chimborazo, Cotopaxi

Took me by the hand.

 

My father died, my brother too,

They passed like fleeting dreams,

I stood where Popocatapetl

In the sunlight gleams.

 

I dimly heard the master’s voice

And boys far-off at play,

Chimborazo, Cotopaxi

Had stolen me away.

 

I walked in a great golden dream

To and fro from school–

Shining Popocatapetl

The dusty streets did rule.

 

I walked home with a gold dark boy,

And never a word I’d say,

Chimborazo, Cotopaxi

Had taken my speech away:

 

I gazed entranced upon his face

Fairer than any flower–

O shining Popocatapetl

It was thy magic hour:

 

The houses, people, traffic seemed

Thin fading dreams by day,

Chimborazo, Cotopaxi

They had stolen my soul away!”

 
WJ Turner – poet – 1889-1946

 

What a fantastic game of ruby at the Millennium Stadium last night!  I have to say that Eddie Jones is the most inspirational team coach and leader imaginable – tough, resolute, uncompromising, funny and greatly respected. He ticks all the boxes.

Regardless of the possibility of Francois Fillon or Emmanuel Macron having any skeletons in their respective cupboard, the French press just won’t countenance the possibility of Marine Le Pen becoming the next President of France. It seems extraordinary that the polls and research done are comfortable that either Fillon or probably Macron will see her off. I am far from an expert on French politics but it must be possible that Fillon, having admitted paying his family for political services rendered, will damage his chances and more likely Macron’s chances, if he refuses to gracefully leave the hustings. Also, like it or not, France has a very severe immigration crisis, unlike the UK, which my comparison is not acute. Macron is fiercely EU supportive and as the days roll by, Le Pen may not only be prepared to ditch the Euro, but she may also take France out of the EU.  That may be an attractive proposition to many voters.

 

I knew that Charlotte Hogg, aged 46, was persuaded by Governor Mark Carney to come to the Bank of England in July 2103 from Santander to totally reorganise and upgrade its daily workings and its operations.

 

I knew M/S Hogg is a top drawer intellect with degrees at Oxford and Harvard plus a brilliant business CV with experience as an economist at McKinsey and Morgan Stanley.  However I was unaware of her Central banking credentials that have made her a very warm order to succeed Mark Carney as Governor in June 2019. Her appointment as Deputy Governor of the Bank of England, responsible for markets and banking, succeeding Minouche Shafik, was richly endorsed by Chancellor Philip Hammond. She will also be on the MPC and Financial Stability Committee.

 

She certainly has the right political conformation, being the daughter of Douglas Hogg, QC, 3rd Viscount Hailsham, the former Tory MP and minister and Dame Sarah Hogg and granddaughter of Quentin Hogg QC, 2nd Lord Hailsham and whose maternal grandfather was John, Lord Boyd-Carpenter. She has clearly made a very great impression in her four years at the BOE. Many thought that the excellent Andrew Bailey, who is MD of the FCA or the Bank’s highly regarded Chief Economist Andy Haldane, were the likely probable front runners to succeed Mr Carney, but this may not look to be the case anymore.

 

There was more jingoistic rhetoric from EU luminaries. Dr Andreas Dombret of the Bundesbank insisted that ‘BREXIT’ could result in London losing its status as the financial “gateway to Europe. He further said that any deal struck between the UK and the European Union following Brexit would be “miles away from access to the single market”. I hope he’s not under any illusion that Germany might pick the business up.  If so he is wrong. It will go to New York of the Far East.

 

The first three days last week stock market activity seemed rather turgid, with investors becoming frustrated, thus giving the impression that they had ‘a monkey on their back’, despite the fact that the DOW and NASDAQ rather surreptitiously reached record levels.  President Trump, despite his twitter account booming, seemed to be making little progress in the areas he wanted to and the cumuli nimbus clouds of political uncertainty seemed to gather over Brussels Strasbourg, Amsterdam and Paris. The Wilders juggernaut is definitely on a roll and those contemptuous of Le Pen’s chances in April/May are becoming more nervous by the day, as they move uncomfortable from one cheek of their backsides to the other. This is clearly illustrated in France by the fact that French bond yields have increased and seem to be decoupling from Bunds.

 

So after a quiet start to the week, the S&P ended +0.75%, thanks to suggestions made on Thursday evening that Trump would shortly announce radical tax cuts.  The FTSE 100 cracked on and ended the week 0.98% to the good.  European bourses added a smidgen less – 0.85% and Japan’s Nikkei, thanks to a softer Yen, gathered in ‘ye rosebuds whilst ye may!’ – _2.44%.  It is interesting to note that the FED is still sending signals that are not that obtuse than rates may go up next month by 0.25% and that another hike is highly likely in 2017. This did not deter equity geeks.  China’s economy also seems quite robust with imports in January up 16.7% and exports by 7.9%. Gold was up $5 on the week to $1234 an ounce, Copper bounced by 4% and crude oil by 2.2%.

 

In London last week commodity stocks took their lead from Rio Tinto which reported a profit of $4.6 billion against a loss of $866 million last year.  The shares rallied by over 5% and are up over 90% since this time last year. Reckitt Benckiser raised a few eyebrows when bidding $18 billion for baby milk titan Mead Johnson. Shares dipped 3%. There are likely to be protestations from shareholders over remuneration and bonuses. Rakesh Kapoor, the CEO, who earned £23 million last year may well incur the wrath and indication for his and his colleagues’ emoluments. Mr Kapoor could earn another £15 million if shareholders’ earnings are boosted by 10% – ridiculous for a manager!  Reckitt posts numbers on Monday.

 

Sir John Rose former CEO of Rolls Royce has been interviewed under caution over the bribery scandal that has dogged this very special British brand for the last 4 years. Several other directors and managers have also been interviewed. Rolls Royce paid a fine of £621 million to the regulators to bring the curtain down on this unsavoury affair. Current CEO Warren East seems to have thrown all the skeletons out of the cupboard and hopefully has this Derby based operation back on the bridle. On Tuesday, Rolls Royce may declare a £4 billion – some of it due to a 17% drop in the value of the Pound against the Dollar and the £671m fine for bribery in countries like Indonesia and Brazil.  

Across the pond markets stayed ahead of the game. Twitter’s results were very disappointing only growing its users by 4% to 319 million with inadequate advertising revenue to sustain the business model, resulting in a loss of £133 million resulting in the share price tumbling by 12.6% on Thursday night. I suspect that Jack Dorsey’s company will eventually be taken over. In the next two weeks we should get a handle on retail results, which is a reliable barometer to measure the robustness of the US economy.

 

When RBS comes to post its results on 24th February, these are likely to be another horror story with a 9th annual loss in a row – £5 billion, which includes copious fines and PPI payments. CEO Ross McEwan has already implemented £2 billion annual savings. However this is not enough.  Therefore another 15,000 jobs are likely to be lost with a view to cutting costs by another £1 billion a year, according to the Sunday Times. Despite a £12 billion rights issue in 2008 and a £46 billion taxpayer bail-out, the likelihood of RBS paying the taxpayer back in the next 10 years is remote.

 

UK companies posting interim results this week – Monday – Reckitt Benckiser, Fidessa, Tuesday – Acacia Mining, Rolls Royce, Wednesday – Qinetiq, NEX, Thursday – DRAX, Coca-Cola HB, Shire Pharmaceuticals, Friday – Millennium Copthorne, Kingspan, Segro, Essentra

 

US companies posting interim results – Tuesday – Molson Coors, Dr Pepper Snapples, AIG, Wednesday – PepsiCo, Marriott, Kraft Heinz, AMAT, Groupon, Thursday – MGM Resorts, Wendy’s Dean Foods

 

Economic data posted this week – Tuesday – BRC Retail Sales Monitor, UL CPI & RPI, Germany’s ZEW, Wednesday – UK Employment data, UK Average Earnings, US Retail Sales, US Empire State Index, US CPI, Thursday – Phili-Fed Index, Initial Claims, Friday – UK PSBR, UK Retail sales M/O/M

 

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

  TODAY’S FAYRE – Thursday, 9th February 2017

 

“The first blossom was the best blossom 

For the child who never had seen an orchard; 

For the youth whom whiskey had led astray 

The morning after was the first day. 

 

The first apple was the best apple 

For Adam before he heard the sentence; 

When the flaming sword endorsed the Fall 

The trees were his to plant for all. 

 

The first ocean was the best ocean 

For the child from streets of doubt and litter; 

For the youth for whom the skies unfurled 

His first love was his first world. 

 

But the first verdict seemed the worst verdict 

When Adam and Eve were expelled from Eden, 

Yet when the bitter gates clanged to 

The sky beyond was just as blue. 

 

For the next ocean is the first ocean 

And the last ocean is the first ocean 

And, however often the sun may rise, 

A new thing dawns upon our eyes. 

 

For the last blossom is the first blossom 

And the first blossom is the last blossom 

And when from Eden we take our way 

The morning after is the first day.”

 

Louis MacNeice – poet– 1907-1963

 

Despite the unwarranted attack on the BBC for its dramatisation of the disappearance of Shannon Matthews aged 8 at the time, for three weeks in Dewsbury eight years ago, orchestrated by her mother and partner for financial gain, I enjoyed the wonderful acting. It was particularly pleasing to watch Sheridan Smith’s portrayal of Julie Busby, a friend of the Matthews family. It was great to see her back firing off six cylinders. She is a fabulous Thespian.

 

I had to laugh at the ‘huffing & puffing’ of the IMF, threatening Greece that if it did not get its financial act together, no more money or financial assistance would be forthcoming – oh really?

 

Everyone, in hindsight, probably accepts that Greece should have gone solo five years ago this February, but Merkel and her troops were having none of it. Had the EU said ‘Sayonara’ to Greece the Drachma would have been devalued by 40%, enabling Greece’s economy to recover and prosper, whilst attracting international companies to the Piraeus. Ah well, many of us dreamed!

Today the last thing the EU wants to see is any more cracks in their political unity ahead of elections in Holland and France. So, as sure as night follows day, the EU will step up to the plate with any shortfall that Greece requires to meet the financial criteria.

 

Sajid Javid’s Housing ‘white paper’ was given a luke-warm reception, which perhaps is a little unfair. Housing has been a massive problem since the WW2 and few administrations have taken the problems it poses seriously. Margaret Thatcher, under Sir Keith Joseph’s guidance, did what she could by enabling council houses to be bought cheaply. However not only is house building drowning in bureaucracy and red tape, with land sales difficult to complete, but also there is a much more pressing concern and that is the UK’s expanding population, which many believe could expand by 19% in the next 25 years to circa 75 million. Minister Javid’s plans will help alleviate this acute problem, but it won’t be anything like enough. However, house-building stocks rallied by between 2.5% and 3.2% yesterday. Many will recall that ‘Project Fear’ trashed the sector after 24th June and since then, Persimmon has rallied by 50%, Taylor Wimpey by 40% and Redrow by 70%. So it may take time for this sector to push on measurably.

 

It was another horribly frustrating session yesterday. To get orders executed was like pulling teeth. With so much political uncertainty prevailing either side of the Pond, with controversial waves being created by President Trump and the electorates of Holland and France promising to throw up a grandstand finish to their elections in March and April, it was hardly surprising that inertia set in. The FTSE 100 gained 2 points on the day – the barometer in a very narrow range being decided on the Dollar/Sterling exchange rate. Rio’s figures were good. An increased dividend made sure that progress was made, allowing this stock to record a 90% gain in the last year. It was good to see Sir Andrew Witty, the retiring CEO post his last set of results with his head held high, before handing over next month to Emma Walmesley. Group sales were up 6% at £27.9 billion. New products sales doubled to £4.5 billion with the exciting prospect of Advair, an asthma drug, being accepted by the FDA in the US. Shares are up 13% since a year ago – better than some peers. Today there were another slew of earnings, but few of them really captured the imagination apart from Thos Cook’s update. The winter bookings have reached 82% capacity. However summer bookings remain at 31% – above last year effort but concern that real progress has yet to be made.

 

The Street of Dreams put in another very neutral effort. Oil triggered a rally on some energy stocks. Banks were weak and markets closed as follows with YTD performance as stated – DOW: 20054 -0.18% +1.66%, S&P: 2,294 +0.07% +2.49%, NASDAQ: 5,196 +0.21% +6.85%. Time Warner posted results. Revenues increased 4% to $29.3 billion and adjusted operating income grew 10% to $7.6 billion with record results in each of their divisions. Intel, the world’s largest chipmaker announced a $7 billion investment in factories in Arizona, potentially creating 10,000 jobs.

 

The FT threw up a very interesting piece of data. Investors have had a big bet on $10 billion on junk bonds since December. Bulls have been undeterred by risk warnings, in the hope that Trump’s legislative initiatives will deliver a stronger economy.

 

UK companies posting interim results this week – Thursday – Smith & Nephew, Ashmore, Henderson, Thos Cook, Pennon, Grainger, Enterprise Inns, Manchester United, Dairy Crest, Enterprise Inns, DFS, Friday – Electrocomponents, Aon, Greene King

 

US companies posting interim results – Thursday – BGC Partners, Kellogg, Twitter, KKR, Viacom, Yum Brands!, Coca-Cola, Zynga

 

Economic data posted this week – Thursday – US initial Jobless Claims, US FOMC, Friday – RICS Housing data, UK Manufacturing, UK industrial Production, UK Goods Trade Balance

 

 

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

 

 

MARKET UPDATE

The UK stock market has been a currency play today.  Sterling has taken some stick – down from $1.2483 to $1.2323.  Why?  We think that very powerful signals from FED board members indicating a 25 basis point rise in the FED rate is more of a likelihood than a possibility – hence the Dollar is attracting shed loads of support.

The FTSE 100 opened flat this morning.  Market conditions have been somnolent, but Dollar related stocks have pushed on in places, led by Astra, GSK, Diageo, Unilever and Reckitt Benckiser.  Some mining stocks have done well ahead of Rio results due tomorrow.  BP’s results were a little light of expectation and the shares opened up down 2% but have lost more ground – down 3.37% at 3.24pm. The FTSE 100 is up 52 points at 7225. The Dow, as I write is up 80 points.  

TODAY’S FAYRE

  TODAY’S FAYRE – Tuesday, 7th February 2017

“The first sorrow of autumn

Is the slow goodbye

Of the garden who stands so long in the evening-

A brown poppy head, The stalk of a lily,

And still cannot go.

 

The second sorrow

Is the empty feet

Of a pheasant who hangs from a hook with his brothers.

The woodland of gold Is folded in feathers With its head in a bag.

 

And the third sorrow

Is the slow goodbye

Of the sun who has gathered the birds and who gathers

The minutes of evening,

The golden and holy Ground of the picture.

 

The fourth sorrow

Is the pond gone black

Ruined and sunken the city of water-

The beetle’s palace,

The catacombs Of the dragonfly.

 

And the fifth sorrow

Is the slow goodbye

Of the woodland that quietly breaks up its camp.

One day it’s gone.

It has only left litter- Firewood, tentpoles.

 

And the sixth sorrow

Is the fox’s sorrow

The joy of the huntsman, the joy of the hounds,

The hooves that pound

Till earth closes her ear To the fox’s prayer.

 

And the seventh sorrow

Is the slow goodbye

Of the face with its wrinkles that looks through the window

As the year packs up

Like a tatty fairground

That came for the children.” 

 

Ted Hughes – poet laureate– 1930-1998

  It was quite a mixed first weekend for 6 Nations rugby. Scotland were magnificent. They have flattered to deceive for so long; so it was especially gratifying to see all the hard work under Vern Cotter and Gregor Townsend deserving of their just rewards. Through thick and thin, as patron of Scottish Rugby, The Princess Royal hasn’t missed a home game at Murrayfield for years. What a trooper she is and a wonderful ambassador for the Royal Family!

 

The more I see of the English coach Eddie Jones, the more I like him!  What a leader! What a talisman. Though England won ugly against France one always felt that England had been adequately drilled to find that little bit at the business end of the match – but what an awful game!

 

Perhaps David Beckham had been unfairly treated in having his email hacked.  However he did not come out of this tawdry affair as the paragon of virtue. Surely he must know that when you have that high profile as a celebrity, nothing is safe or hallowed and you have no friends. So to have indicated your disappointment at not receiving a gong was naive in the extreme. Discretion is always the better part of valour! It will be interesting to see if he loses any sponsors such as J Sainsbury.

 

It looks as though the French General Election in April may see an unexpected resident at the Elysee Palace in the form of Marine Le Pen. The election campaign has been thrown in to confusion by Francois Fillon admitting he has paid members of his family and refusing to withdraw as a candidate. Emanuel Macron – the ex-banker with the matinee idol good looks is giving a very good account of himself. However it looks as though the country will be split in to disarray, with Mme Le Pen possibly coming in her spring coat, threatening to be spring-healed to take the election by storm! It might be folly to rule that possibility out, despite no press support and no money for her campaign from the banking fraternity. “Hell hath no fury like a woman’s scorn!” Certainly the European bond markets are feeling the strain as the spread between French bonds and the Bund widens. Normally these two countries’ bond prices are joined at the hip, due to their perceived overall strength within the EU community. The EU is not going to be without its EU electoral travails this year. A degree of turmoil is likely to prevail. Many expect the Euro to also in the weeks to come under pressure – today €/$1.0689. European equities have started to look rather unappetising as uncertainty gathers momentum.

 

So, not surprisingly there was a slight flight to quality yesterday, with gold being the main beneficiary – $1235 an ounce – whilst so much political uncertainty prevails either side of the Atlantic. In London the FTSE 100 closed down 16 points at 7172. It was a lack lustre performance with little to capture the imagination apart from Randgold Resources upbeat numbers taking the share price up by 4%. House builders surrendered a bit of ground, but all in all it was a waste of space. On the Street of Dreams it was another nebulous session with the banking sector giving some of Friday’s gains back. Hasbro, the toy maker, posted good results with sales up 11% with great sales of Disney Princess and Frozen – shares rallied by 14%! All in all it was a sepulchral session with the DOW -0.09%, S&P -0.21% and NASDAQ -0.06%.

 

Retail sales slipped in January as shoppers turn cautious about spending, industry figures show. Like-for-like sales were down 0.6% on the same month last year, the first decline since August, according to data from the British Retail Consortium. The BRC said that looking across the last three months; retailers saw the slowest growth over the key festive period since 2009. That was driven by slowing sales growth in the non-food sector. The report pointed to the squeeze facing retailers after the slump in the pound.

 

This morning BP posted slightly disappointing numbers.  It is as well to remember that a loss of $6.5 billion was posted last year so many will take a profit of $115 million this year.  EPS at 2.1p was light against expectations of 2.9p. Investment in the last period was down to $300 million; with a declining level of exploration spend.   The dividend was 10p. With Deep Water Horizon litigation of $40 billion now all but behind BP, perhaps CEO Bob Dudley and his team can look for better times. Shares are up 35% in the last year, though 2.8% has been shed this morning. I still attach great credence and importance to Dudley’s relationship with Rosneft (20% stake) and the access to the Kremlin that goes with it!

 

In Asia markets were slightly below the Plimsoll line thanks in the main to a stronger Yen – $/Y111.80. The FTSE at 8.52am is up 32 points at 7200 after a very quiet start with defensive stocks doing well – GSK, Astra, Reckitt, Unilever etc.

 

UK companies posting interim results this week – Tuesday – BP, First Group, Bellway, GW Pharma, Wednesday – Rio Tinto, Tullow Oil, Dunelm, Redrow, Hargreaves Lansdown, Glaxo Smithkline, Severn Trent, Thursday – Smith & Nephew, Ashmore, Henderson, Thos Cook, Pennon, Grainger, Enterprise Inns, Manchester United, Dairy Crest, Enterprise Inns, DFS, Friday – Electrocomponents, Aon, Greene King

 

 

US companies posting interim results – Tuesday – Archer Daniels Midland, Omnicom, Walt Disney, Wednesday – Time Warner, Allergan, Goodyear, Brinks, Thursday – BGC Partners, Kellogg, Twitter, KKR, Viacom, Yum Brands!, Coca-Cola, Zynga

 

 

Economic data posted this week – Tuesday – Halifax House Prices, US Trade Balance, Wednesday – US Federal Budget Balance, NIESR UK GDP estimate, Thursday – US initial Jobless Claims, US FOMC, Friday – RICS Housing data, UK Manufacturing, UK industrial Production, UK Goods Trade Balance

 

 

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

DERRY STREET STAKES

 

“THE DERRY STREET STAKES”

Terms – for mares, colts and geldings close to the age of 40 years of age – Distance 2 miles 6 furlongs – suggest entries must have the ability to get four miles in a bog – To stay is a prerequisite. Entries with ‘black type’ with ‘EUROPHILE’ breeding suggest they are more likely to land the spoils as Editor of the EVENING STANDARD. These Stakes are sponsored by EVGENY LEBEDEV.

 

With Sarah Sands off to the challenging paddocks at New Broadcasting House, to be stabled in Box “BBC RADIO 4 – TODAY PROGRAMME” the following Fleet Street luminaries may have had their hat thrown in to the ring, been entered up or may have been approached by the powers that be, who will make this prestigious appointment.

 

“Runners & Riders” with suggested odds, were I to be an acknowledged and respected turf accountant. There is certainly some quality about the entries.  There is a strong word for Emma Tucker, who runs on merit and does not need the fillies/mares’ allowance, has been installed as a warm order at 2/1.  Fraser Nelson not far behind at 3/1.  Could there be a return of the prodigal son in the form of Geordie Greig – the quintessential Old Etonian, who I am told has EU membership in his blood – 6/1.

 

FRASER NELSON – having been a handicapper cutting his political teeth at News of the World, what a superb editor of the Spectator – brilliant broadcaster. Going to the top– a question of when; goes on any ground – 3/1

 

ALLISTER HEATH – Deputy editor of Daily Telegraph – formerly editor of CityAM – views possibly too right wing and a perceived BRXITEER – talented, This trip may be a bridge too far – 15/2

 

SARAH VINE – very talented journalist with forthright and very outspoken views.  Not sure to stay and it would be a bold move from running in handicaps to performing in group company – 14/1

 

GEORDIE GREIG – very able politician. He knows the ropes at the Standard, ticks the ‘REMAIN’ box, but this extended trip might catch him out, when needing to show some toe at the business end of the race! – 6/1

 

EMMA TUCKER – sitting in the dead man’s shoes of Times Editor John Witherow. Very talented, funny amusing and very good company. Versatile performer – runs on any ground. Sure to get the trip – She will take some beating – 2/1

 

DYLAN JONES – The Editor of GQ magazine comes highly recommended. Certainly has plenty of ‘black type against his name, but a Group One stayers’ race might just catch him out.  Has every right to come under orders – 12/1

 

IAN KATZ – has recently been jumping over obstacles at BBC – Could return to the flat without difficulty – smart performer – will not be inconvenienced by change– sure to get the trip – 10/1

TODAY’S FAYRE

 

TODAY’S FAYRE – Sunday, 5th February 2017

 

I imagine this midnight moment’s forest:
Something else is alive
Beside the clock’s loneliness
And this blank page where my fingers move.

Through the window I see no star:
Something more near

Though deeper within darkness
Is entering the loneliness:

Cold, delicately as the dark snow,
A fox’s nose touches twig, leaf;
Two eyes serve a movement, that now
And again now, and now, and now

Sets neat prints into the snow
Between trees, and warily a lame
Shadow lags by stump and in hollow
Of a body that is bold to come

Across clearings, an eye,

A widening deepening greenness,
Brilliantly, concentratedly,
Coming about its own business

Till, with a sudden sharp hot stink of fox

It enters the dark hole of the head.

The window is starless still; the clock ticks,

The page is printed.”

 

Ted Hughes – poet laureate– 1930-1998

 

There may be an excess of gratuitous violence in Mel Gibson’s production of ‘Hacksaw Ridge.’ Notwithstanding that fact, it is one hell of a war film. The American born British Actor, Andrew Garfield puts in a breath-taking and brilliant performance as Desmond Doff. If he does not win the ‘Oscar’ as best actor on 26th February 2017, he will only have been ‘short-headed.’ I know everyone has gone weak at the knees over Ryan Gosling in ‘La La Land’, but acting? – Never – But a great piano player, though!

 

Having seen the ‘good and the great’ from the EU gathering in Valetta, Malta to hear PM May report back on her visit to meet Donald J Trump, their body language tells you that we were never really welcome. Since the days when the UK’S application was dismissed with contempt by Charles de Gaulle, the UK has always given the impression of being a reluctant member, apart from the Blair days, when he seemed consumed and mesmerised by power. Also I am not sure I shall ever forgive Gordon Brown for signing the Treaty of Lisbon in such a reckless manner.

 

Let’s hope Mrs May’s ability to deal with President Trump, can persuade him not to keep slagging off Germany.  It might just help the UK’S cause when dealing with sensitive trade negotiations.  However there are only two ‘certs’ in life – rent day and death! It also appears from comments made in the media that the EU is happy to communicate with President Trump through Twitter! I hope the comment was frivolous, but such is that arrogance of some politicians.

 

For the S&P 500 to end last week +0.09%, the FTSE +0.05% and European bourses to have eased by 0.72%, you would be forgiven for thinking that the week’s stock exchange business was of no consequence and that it had been a week of political and economic somnolence! – Au contraire!  It was full of action, sound and fury! I suppose stocks markets are sufficiently resilient to take the ‘whips and scorns of time’ on the chin and just roll with the punches!  In passing the NIKKEI closed down 2.82% – much of the loss due to a very strong Yen. Gold rose a little to $1218 an ounce and Brent crude was up 0.5% to $56.80 a barrel.

 

It seems remarkable that markets had to continue to deal with a very erratic President Trump (incredibly now more popular in the US than 2 weeks ago), the findings of the FOMC meeting, the results of UK inflation report and MPC and at the end of the week the content of US Non-Farm payroll and employment numbers and in conclusion the closing vibes that emanated from EU members meeting in Malta. It was noteworthy that equities just shrugged off a number of these edicts, prognoses and imponderables.   

 

To start with the States of Washington and Minnesota managed to obtain a ruling against President Trump’s immigration ban on grounds that it was unconstitutional. Then there was the Iran nuclear test, which necessitated further sanctions demanded by Defence Secretary Mattis.

 

Then finally on US issues there was the question of deregulation and bureaucracy, which Trump is reputed to want to cut by as much as 70% in places. Financial services is at the top of the tree with Trump hoping to have much of the Dodd/Frank bill repealed allowing the reintroduction of softer regulation on investment banking.  Personally, I think Congress will give the government a really hard time with this amendment. Bank shares rallied to the cause yesterday, taking the DOW back up through the 20k threshold.

 

Friday’s US Non-Farm payroll number was robust enough superficially. 227k jobs were created in January though the unemployment rate rose a pip to 4.8% and wage inflation was fairly benign.  However it is generally thought that if the US economy remains on track two rate increases in 2017 is on the cards.

 

Here in Old Blighty it was the quarterly Bank of England Inflation Report and the MPC meeting that captured most imaginations.  There wasn’t much in the way of ‘Mea Culpa’ or contrition from Mark Carney for hopelessly underestimating the robustness of the UK economy post the BREXIT vote. Suffice to say the BOE upgraded the GDP forecast for the economy for the second time from 0.8% for 2017 to 1.8% and then on Thursday to 2%.  Inflation is expected to reach 2.75% by first quarter of 2018.  There was no change in bank rate – lest at 0.25%.  I thought there was a case for taking it back to its pre-23rd June level of 0.5%. The Bank unsurprisingly warned of a possible crackdown on Consumer Credit.

 

UK interim and final results posted last week were adequate rather than spectacular. Britvic and Ocado pleased their acolytes.  Efforts from Vodafone and Astra Zeneca were tolerable and though Shell’s headline numbers looked a little short, the balance sheet looks in good shape, which should enable the dividend to be maintained for 2017, post the acquisition of BG Group. Reckitt Benckiser expressed an interest to buy Mead Johnson for $16 billion. This baby food titan seems to have been in conversation with other predators which included Johnson & Johnson. Mead Johnson has been very reliant on China for sales and Wal-Mart.  

 

Much the same could be said of the US, with Facebook posting numbers which included $26 of revenue with a profit of $10 billion from 1.23 billion subscribers. The shares were near enough unchanged on the week and 29% up in the year. Over the week banks were the best performing sector in the US adding 2.3%, with Morgan Stanley and Goldman vying for the yellow jersey adding 5% and 4% respectively. Trump’s immigration plans gave airlines a good slapping either side of the pond, though the sector recovered some poise towards the end of the week. Visa was in good form on decent numbers adding 5% in value. Snapchat’s eagerly awaited $3 billion IPO valuing this aspiring operation at $25 billion has attracted much comment –many feeling it may be grossly overvalued.

 

What great news to hear that Bank of America Merrill are looking for new premises in London. That might help to alleviate the idea that London will suffer badly from the BREXIT fall out. News on the high street that Top Shop and parts of Arcadia had a poor Christmas may just make the former ‘King of Gowns and Blouses’ have a rethink over his moral responsibilities over the BHS pension black hole, reputedly having increased to £571 million.

 

UK companies posting interim results this week – Monday – Randgold Resources, Tuesday – BP, First Group, Bellway, GW Pharma, Wednesday – Rio Tinto, Tullow Oil, Dunelm, Redrow, Hargreaves Lansdown, Glaxo Smithkline, Severn Trent, Thursday – Smith & Nephew, Ashmore, Henderson, Thos Cook, Pennon, Grainger, Enterprise Inns, Manchester United, Dairy Crest, Enterprise Inns, DFS, Friday – Electrocomponents, Aon, Greene King

 

US companies posting interim results – Monday – L-Brands, Tyson Food, Loew’s, GAP, Tuesday – Archer Daniels Midland, Omnicom, Walt Disney, Wednesday – Time Warner, Allergan, Goodyear, Brinks, Thursday – BGC Partners, Kellogg, Twitter, KKR, Viacom, Yum Brands!, Coca-Cola, Zynga

 

Economic data posted this week – Tuesday – Halifax House Prices, US Trade Balance, Wednesday – US Federal Budget Balance, NIESR UK GDP estimate, Thursday – US initial Jobless Claims, US FOMC, Friday – RICS Housing data, UK Manufacturing, UK industrial Production, UK Goods Trade Balance

 

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

MARKET UPDATE

It is 12.14pm and the Inflation Report/MPC meeting is under a wet sail. Rates were unsurprisingly left unchanged. Growth targets for GDP were increased, but by more than most people thought – GDP for 2017 was doubled to 2%, 2018 to 1.6% and 2019 to 1.7%. Inflation is expected to hit 2.75% by early 2018 and will drift a smidgen to 2.6% by 2019. There was not the slightest sign of ‘mea culpa’ or contrition from the BOE for either hysterically negative forecasts or for unnecessarily putting rates down to 0.25%.

 

The FTSE 100 blipped up a tad from its slumber. Admittedly it was forecasted to open just below the Plimsoll line early this morning. Now it is up 30 points at 7137. Miners are strong. Banks were OK. There was a ‘love affair’ going on with Reckitt Benckiser – up 3.1%.

 

Of those companies that reported Shell is +1.5%, Astra Zeneca -1.5%, Vodafone -0.5% and Johnson Matthey the same. It never ceases to amaze me how many people out there grumbling at the fact that GDP is stronger than was forecasted. As ‘remainers’ many are desperate for the UK to fail in its quest for success and superficially seem very happy at the thought of the UK having its nose rubbed in the poop! Sad!

TODAY’S FAYRE

  TODAY’S FAYRE – Thursday, 2nd February 2017

 

I work all day, and get half-drunk at night.

Waking at four to soundless dark, I stare.

In time the curtain-edges will grow light.

Till then I see what’s really always there:

Unresting death, a whole day nearer now,

Making all thought impossible but how

And where and when I shall myself die.

Arid interrogation: yet the dread

Of dying, and being dead, Flashes afresh to hold and horrify.

 

The mind blanks at the glare.

Not in remorse —The good not done, the love not given, time

Torn off unused—nor wretchedly because

An only life can take so long to climb

Clear of its wrong beginnings, and may never;

But at the total emptiness for ever,

The sure extinction that we travel to

And shall be lost in always.

Not to be here, Not to be anywhere,

And soon; nothing more terrible, nothing more true.

 

This is a special way of being afraid No trick dispels.

Religion used to try,

That vast moth-eaten musical brocade

Created to pretend we never die,

And specious stuff that says

No rational being

Can fear a thing it will not feel, not seeing

That this is what we fear—no sight, no sound,

No touch or taste or smell, nothing to think with,

 

Nothing to love or link with,

The anaesthetic from which none come round.

And so it stays just on the edge of vision,

A small unfocused blur, a standing chill

That slows each impulse down to indecision.

Most things may never happen: this one will,

And realisation of it rages out

In furnace-fear when we are caught without People or drink.

 

Courage is no good: It means not scaring others.

Being brave Lets no one off the grave.

Death is no different whined at than withstood.

Slowly light strengthens, and the room takes shape.

It stands plain as a wardrobe, what we know,

Have always known, know that we can’t escape,

Yet can’t accept. One side will have to go.

Meanwhile telephones crouch, getting ready to ring

In locked-up offices, and all the uncaring

Intricate rented world begins to rouse.

The sky is white as clay, with no sun.

 

Work has to be done. Postmen like doctors go from house to house.”

 

 Philip Larkin – poet – 1922-1985

 

Veni Vidi vici – PM certainly negotiated the first hurdle in the Commons – verily pinged it in a spring-healed manner, but now the road to Valhalla (BREXIT) looks very challenging, with the ground looking as if it will get heavier and heavier. She will need to get four miles in a bog to get to the finishing line unscathed.  I just hope for her sakes that her colleagues rise to the occasion and don’t end up looking like handicappers trying to run in Grade One races. Certainly David Davis looks like an improving sort, who may run very well, encouraged by seeing the ‘persuader’ out of the corner of his eye!

 

How ironic that the voting day should coincide with Sir Ivan Rogers giving evidence to the BREXIT Select committee. He may well be the intellectual egg-head to end all egg-heads. I know he has a duty of care to tell us that the negotiations will be fraught with danger and are so complicated and difficult for the average ‘John Doe’ to comprehend. However his presentation is so lugubrious and dispiriting, you wonder in his case, if life is worth living. Maybe a long holiday will bring Sir Ivan back on to the bridle enabling him to embrace the joys of spring. Meanwhile welcome Sir Tim Barrow!

 

RIP Sir Ken Morrison – the salt of the Yorkshire and Bradford earth and a brilliant retailer. When he agreed to pay £3 billion for Safeway in 2004, the regulator took 10 months to approve it and that delay all but ruined the business. However the hiring of Marc Bolland from Heineken quickly put this supermarket back on track.

 

Most people expected some sort of ‘dead-cat-bounce’ in London yesterday, the market having felt a little oversold.  By lunchtime the FTSE 100 was up in excess of fifty points with mining and the oil sector on good terms with itself. Anyway with an eye on New York, which did not appear to have much stomach for the fight, the FTSE 100 shed all but 8 points to close at 7118! TalkTalk’s Dame Dido Harding threw in the towel after 7 years at the helm earning an average salary of about £3 million a year. She hands over to her number 2 Tristia Harrison, the wife of Deputy CEO of Dixon Carphone and Sir Charles Dunstone becomes chairman. It all seems rather cosy and charmingly incestuous! Shares bounced by 7%. I was never quite sure whether the Baroness quite recovered from TalkTalk’s hacking scandal. A profits warning sent Wizz Air 9.3% lower.

In New York it was much ado about nothing with investors purring over Apple’s improved performance which saw the market quickly ramping up their shares by 5.5%. Also Facebook posted encouraging numbers – +2.23%. The rest seemed to be on FOMC watch. Chairman Yellen announced no change in rates and she further stated that “Measures of consumer and business sentiment have improved of late,” The language was new, and in the arcane process of discerning where the thinking resides among central bankers, it was significant. I think we can still expect two rate hikes in 2017. The session in New York ended as follows – DOW: 19,890 +0.14% +0.65% (Y/O/Y), S&P: 2,279 +0.03% +1.82% (Y/O/Y, NASDAQ: 5,152 +0.70% +5.94% (Y/O/Y).

 

In Asia China remains closed for New Year. Other markets were mixed with a strong Yen adversely affecting the NIKKEI – NIKKEI: 18,914 -1.22% -1.05% (Y/O/Y), HANG SENG: 23,168 -0.61% +5.3% (Y/O/Y), CHINA: 3,387 CLOSED +2.35% (Y/O/Y), ASX: 5,645 -0.14% -0.36% (Y/O/Y).

 

SIMON FRENCH, Panmure’s Chief Economists comments on today’s MPC/INFLATION REPORT –

The MPC vote is highly likely to be unanimous for no change to bank rate and the QE program.  There is a slight chance that Kristin Forbes could vote for a 25bp hike but with such uncertainty over A50 and Trump reflation then think highly unlikely as little upside from surprising markets.

 

The combination of GBP weakness and (energy and food) commodity inflation will mean that inflation expectations will be upgraded – to around 3% by year end – and highly likely that the MPC will provide some indication – probably in the press conference – of how tolerant they will be on inflation above this level. 

Today the risks are to the upside for GBP which could move higher still on short covering if it’s a hawkish report. In this respect it is an inverse of the GDP report last week where good news (0.6% GDP) was never going to drive GBP/ UK small mid cap higher. This time a dovish report won’t be taken badly but giving the market “the eyes” on 25bps over the next 12 months will be bullish for currency and domestic equities.” 

 

The Bank of England is expected to upgrade GDP for 2017 from 1.4% to 1.7%.  There were another slew of earnings today. Suffice to say that greater minds than mine are there to analyse. I would just comment on Royal Dutch Shell. Though headline numbers were slightly disappointing – profits down 8%, the balance sheet is in good nick and it appears that BG has been bedded down and the asset disposal programme of $30 billion is underway. The most important matter is that it looks as though the dividend will be maintained in 2017 – shares up 1.5%. As for Vodafone, until it gets involved in media, many believe this company’s share price is going nowhere.  Mobile competition is fierce and margins are being eroded – shares down 0.5%. At 9.00am the FTSE was up 9 points at 7127.

 

UK companies posting interim results this week – Thursday – Astra Zeneca, Royal Dutch Shell, Vodafone, Compass, Aberdeen Asset Management, Johnson Matthey,  Friday – Beazley

 

 US companies posting interim results – Thursday – Fred’s, Amgen, Philip Morris, Merck, Cigna, CME, Ralph Lauren, Motorola, Friday – Hershey, Weyerhaueser 

Economic data posted this week – Thursday – UK PMI Construction, BOE Inflation Report & MPC, Friday – UK PMI Non-manufacturing, US PMI Services

 

 

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