TODAY’S FAYRE – Wednesday 19thApril 2017
“The shining line of motors,
The swaying motor-bus,
The prancing dancing horses
Are passing by for us.
The sunlight on the steeple,
The toys we stop to see,
The smiling passing people
Are all for you and me.
“I love you and I love you!”–
“And oh, I love you, too!”–
“All of the flower girl’s lilies
Were only grown for you!”
Fifth Avenue and April
And love and lack of care–
The world is mad with music
Too beautiful to bear.”
Sara Teasdale – poet – 1884 – 1933
Considering the parlous sate Leicester City found themselves in two months ago, the recovery of their form under Craig Shakespeare has been nothing short of miraculous. The Foxes may consider themselves a tad unlucky to lose the replay and the quarter final tie 1-2.
There is little point in mentioning trivial matters such as football and the arts when the only subject on anyone’s mind at present is the snap General Election called by PM May yesterday, in response to subversive tactics adopted by all the opposition parties and some of her own MPS preventing the Government from doing its job properly – that is to say delivering BREXIT unfettered, clean and clearly, without being sabotaged at every nuance and act of legislation. Those determined to block the government’s programme for leaving the EU have been given their wish. It is now up to these parties to persuade the voters in the UK of the errors of their ways and have BREXIT turned over in the ballot box. I don’t think they will, as there are no real leaders waiting in the wings ready or respected enough to govern. So if Mrs May wins this election for the Conservatives clearly and by a decent margin, maybe she can get on with the job in hand. My concern is a 7-week campaign is too long – too much time has been accorded to slip up on political banana skins waiting in spurious places. I fear her majority will not be as great as the polls suggest.
Markets on the whole welcomed the news with an opportunity of clearing up doubt, uncertainty and a few anomalies, with slight concern expressed about a seven week campaign. Sterling enjoyed gyrations mainly on the upside with our beloved Pound preening itself like a peacock at $128.20. There is a price to pay for Sterling firming by over 2%. It would inevitably hit the value of FTSE 100 stocks with so many of them related to Dollar income and profits – hence the FTSE fell by 2.45% to 7150, with miners, oil, banks and tobacco suffering the most. Nil-desperandum! This morning at 10.00am the FTSE 100 just eased by 10 points to 7140, but had erased losses by 11.00am. However the FTSE 250 was in a very positive frame of mind – up by 1%, nudging record levels.
Not only do US equity markets have to deal with the prospect of Trump failing to get his legislation through Congress, but they also had to deal with a few disappointing results from the 1st quarter earnings season. The fact that Goldman Sachs missed quite badly was a shock considering how well JP Morgan, Citibank and Bank of America have done. Their efforts on fixed interest trading from their high standards, was lamentable – up only 1% in terms of revenue. Goldman shares fell by 4.72%. Traders were almost as unhappy about Johnson & Johnson’s efforts – with shares dropping by 3.1%. Markets in New York closed as follows – DOW -055%, S&P -029% and NASDAQ -0.12%. Asia responded negatively to U.K. Election shock waves, dipping sentiment on the Street of Dreams and a strong ¥en half way through the session – ASX -0.61%, Shanghai -1.06%, Hang Seng -0.71%, Nikkei-0.01%.
Len McCluskey, head of Unite – well his timing was priceless threatening industrial action for 7000 BMW workers over pension rights. You have to wonder if this guy is ‘brain-dead!’ – Industrial rights? Of course, but talk don’t threaten at this time? Don’t moan about jobs and then attempt to throw the baby out with the bath water!
I’m glad that Chancellor Hammond has agreed to dispose of RBS even at a loss. Hopefully he will do it as a ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bank. The toxic assets always have a price and splitting the bank will help give NatWest, Ulster, Coutts and RBS north of the border the fillip they deserve to crack on with life. RBS share price was up 1.82% at 228p on news of the proposal. However it is still a million miles away from 503p breakeven price – the cost to the taxpayer was £45 billion. This morning AB Foods pleased their acolytes with results – up 3.5%, but Chris Bailey, CEO of Burberry struggled before he hands over to Mario Gobbetti of Celine in July – Burberry shares down 5.75%.
UK companies posting results this week – Wednesday – AB Foods, Segro, Burberry, Henderson, Bunzl, Fenner, RELX, Greggs, Rentokil Initial, Rio Tinto, Thursday – Hvivo, Debenhams, Unilever, Acacia Mining, Sky, Senior, Go-Ahead, Moneysupermarket, Evraz, Man Group, Essentra, Friday – Reckitt Benckiser
US companies posting results this week –Tuesday – Bank of America Merrill, Abbotts Labs, Goldman Sachs, Charles Schwab, Harley-Davidson, Yahoo!, Wednesday – Blackrock, American Express, Abbotts Labs, eBay, Thursday – Philip Morris, PPG, Bank of New York, Mellon, DR Horton, Travelers, Visa, Mattel, Friday – GE
Economic data out this week – Wednesday – Beige Book, Thursday – Phili-Fed Manufacturing Index, Friday – UK Retail Sales
Market Commentator – Panmure Gordon & Co
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