As for Mme Le Pen; according to those who know about these things, she will be destroyed at the polls in 2 weeks. France is an extremely conservative country with a small ‘c’ and its dislike of change knows no bounds. The Front Nationale’s ticket is unabashedly an immigration and anti-EU ticket. I don’t think she will win, but whilst France fails to get a grip on immigration and security issues, Le Pen will grow in popularity and stature. Anyone who thinks that Macron is a serious reformer, desperate for change delude themselves. It will be ‘play it again-Sam!’ He will have massive problems getting any legislative programme through with so many different parties. He is just very easy on the eye with a modern ‘Ryan Gosling’ appeal! Macron himself will feel a bit of a Blair ‘third way’ ticket and I suspect the majority that seem to want change will see very little. A bullet dodged – but only for a while!
The Euro has rallied – up 1.5% against the Pound, but Sterling has done OK against the Greenback. But as for equities; well we expected a relief rally, but what has happened today is off the scale and almost beyond comprehension. I think I might attempt a degree in ‘non-ferrous welding’, such is my understanding of equity behaviour.
So the world and his wife expects ‘come-to-bed-eyes’ Macron to know ’em dead on 8th June and we know that growth in the EU has picked up. However for the DAX only 30 stocks – to be up 3% at 2.45pm is beyond comprehension as is the 40 stocks in the CAC which has posted a gain of 3.9%, having been up 4.5% at one time.
The FTSE 100 has held its own adding 125 points to 7241, with banks, oils, mining and drugs blazing the trail. Despite Sterling looking a tad better against the Dollar, Greenback related stocks have not yielded. Banks are up significantly with Barclays grabbing the ‘yellow jersey’ – up 5%, with the others up an average of about 3% ahead of results at the end of this week and early next week. BP is 1.5% to the good with RD Shell outshining its cousin – up 2%. Both are off their best levels. Astra shone through the drug gloom – +1.9% with GSK and Shire better by an average of 1%. The only dampener was the utility sector, thanks to the Government’s incomprehensible policy on pegging energy prices – Centrica down 5% and SSE -3.5%. National Grid and DRAX were both slightly above the Plimsoll line – both +0.5%.
The DOW opened the session 1% to the good and what pleased me above all else was the fact that the FTSE 250 broke the intra-day record nudging 19581. It is now at 19575. This index is a real barometer of UK economic activity and endorses the brilliant news on manufacturing and exports, posted by the CBI today, some of this good news is down to a weak Pound So all you ‘Doubting Thomases! – Hope springs eternal.