Equity markets are achingly boring today, despite the DOW, S&P 500 and the NASDAQ flirting with new records (DOW currently up 58 points) – NASDAQ broke the 46-year-old record yesterday. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin is expected to post tax cut ideas for dissemination today or tomorrow, which are now virtually expected rather than hoped for. Let’s hope he does not disappoint the market place. Even though jets from US and South Korea have been on bombing exercises, equities have been calm and tranquil with no trader moving uncomfortably or nervously from one cheek of their backside to the other.


Towards the close the FTSE 100 is up 20 points at 7293. Oils are a little better with BP leading the charge – up 1.2%. Pharmas were disappointing with GSK down 1.9%, despite reasonable numbers at noon. Astra reports tomorrow. Banks have kept their poise with Lloyds, Barclays and RBS posting their findings tomorrow and Friday. Metro Bank fell short of expectation – down 1.5%. Boohoo did well but punters took the shares down initially by 8%. Fortunately they have rallied – down 2.57%. Standard Chartered Bank seems back on an even keel thanks to influence from Bill Winters. Four years ago the shares were at 1600p – now 758p – up 4%. The LSE posted great numbers – up 1.1%. Many like me expect to another predator to knock on the door – CME would be a good fit. GKN was down 1.67%, slightly missing expectations.


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