TODAY’S FAYRE – Thursday, 13th July 2017
“Can I find True-Love a gift
In this dark hour to restore her,
When body’s vessel breaks adrift,
When hope and beauty fade before her?
But in this plight I cannot think
Of song or music, that would grieve her,
Or toys or meat or snow-cooled drink;
Not this way can her sadness leave her.
She lies and frets in childish fever,
All I can do is but to cry
‘Sleep, sleep, True-Love and lullaby!’
Lullaby, and sleep again.
Two bright eyes through the window stare,
A nose is flattened on the pane
And infant fingers fumble there.
‘Not yet, not yet, you lovely thing,
But count and come nine weeks from now,
When winter’s tail has lost the sting,
When buds come striking through the bough,
Then here’s True-Love will show you how
Her name she won, will hush your cry
With ‘Sleep, my baby! Lullaby!’
Robert Graves– poet, author & playwright – 1895-1985
To see tennis icons like Messrs Murray and Djokovic knocked out of Wimbledon through nagging injuries sadly does not do justice to the greatest grand slam tennis tournament on the planet, though take nothing away from the likes of Querry and Berdych, whose form has been inspired! In the circumstances I think it would be great if Roger Federer, to me sport’s greatest and most perfect gentleman (I’m no particular tennis fan) were to win his 8th championship.
I really would like to know what official role Messrs Corbyn and Sturgeon play in the BREXIT negotiations. Apart from looking and behaving like the quintessential Frenchman, born on the right side of the sheets, Michel Barnier’s arrogance and disdain of this country goes before him. If my assessment is incorrect then the EU’S chief negotiator has a peculiar way of expressing diplomacy. The EU/UK has got off to a depressingly negative start to negotiations. Frankly Barnier is just stirring the pot of political uncertainty with great deftness and duplicity. Unless there is a change of heart we are heading for no deal – a disaster!
Though my personal choice to be Chairman of the Treasury Select Committee would have been Jacob Rees-Mogg or Richard Bacon, no one can be unhappy about Nicky Morgan, the former Treasury and Education Minister being elected. Her industrious nature coupled with commercial experience as a City lawyer with Travis Smith on M&A activity makes her well qualified to do a decent job in challenging circumstances, despite being an obsessive ‘remainer.’
I loved the way Mayor Khan set down his stall inviting the British Grand Prix to come to London after Silverstone. Perhaps he would like to deal with the acute housing issues of London where in his first year only 17k were built against 21k the year before inhaling the razzamatazz of F1. This is lamentable and after promising 50k house, the Mayor should be deeply ashamed.
With such down in the mouth political sentiment prevailing here in Old Blighty who would ever have believed that yesterday the FTSE 100 had its best day for four months in adding 87 points to 7416 with oil stocks on a roll thanks to perkier oil prices, a lower Pound and the best UK employment data seen since 1975. Just 1.49 million are unemployed – down to 4.5% – with the only blot being derisory wage inflation coming in at an anaemic 1.8%. The afternoon session was bolstered by a rather dovish presentation on the outlook for US interest rates by FED chairman Janet Yellen on the first day of her Humphrey Hawkins 2-day testimony to Congress, though it appears that QE will be tapered before too long. Burberry under new leadership – Marco Gobetti – posted better than expected sales particularly in China – shares up 2.5% and in the past year they are up 32%. Carillion’s shares fell another 29% yesterday – a total of 70% in the past 3 days. JD Wetherspoon’s shares took a breather despite decent sales (-1.3%). This news gave CEO Tim Martin the opportunity of delivering the Government and regulatory bodies a rollicking for their negative approach to BREXIT. The ‘yellow jersey’ went to Premier Oil whose shares popped 30% on news of a Mexican Oil find.
On the Street of Dreams shares reacted in a similar manner to London, with the DOW flirting yet again with record levels. Stocks held their gains after the Fed’s latest Beige Book report showed that the US economy grew at a “slight to moderate” pace over the last several weeks across all regions. The rate-sensitive S&P 500 real estate index was among the strongest in the benchmark index, posting a 1.3% gain. Technology shares also rose sharply, with the tech index also up 1.3%. PayPal gained 3.3%, Nvidia rose 4.3% and Activision Blizzard added 5.2%. An index of airline stocks was up 2.3% after the No. 1 US airline, American Airlines Group Inc (AAL.O), reported quarterly results that beat expectations and its shares rose 4.2%. The market waits with trepidation on Wells Fargo, Citibank and JP Morgan who post interim results tomorrow. Here is how US Markets closed yesterday & YTD – DOW; 21,532 +0.57% +8.954% S&P: 2,443 +0.73% +9.131% NASDAQ 5,778 +1.21% +18.82%. Asian markets were buoyed by Yellen’s testimony and headed to the close as follows – NIKKEI 20,102 +0.02% +5.196% HANG SENG: 26,318 +1.04% +19.669% CHINA: 3,682 +0.66% +11.302% ASX: 5,740 +1.18% +1.246%
This morning ASOS posted decent sales but the shares had travelled and arrived – down 1.5%. Dart’s shares were throttled – down 7.9%. Astra Zeneca saw punters take 4% off its shares as news filtered through that CEO Soriot was on his bike to Teva. Sport’s Direct Mike Ashley has been to the well again and bought 25% of Game technology. At the time of writing the FTSE is up 4 points at 7420 with very thin volumes of trade. In closing hats off to Lloyds Banking Group for finding a sensible formula for its 20 million customers on temporary overdrafts not attracting a fee and for an overall charge for agreed overdrafts. RBS’S $5.5 billion fine for the miss-selling of mortgages in the US Federal Housing Finance Agency is sadly not the last of its misdemeanours. The DOJ still has its say to come and that may cost between $5billion and $8 billion. Overall the banking sector has paid the FHFA in excel of $30 billion in fines for miss-selling mortgages backed securities.
US companies posting results this week – Thursday – Delta Airlines, Friday – Citibank, Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase
Economic data posted this week –Thursday – Yellen 2-day Humphrey Hawkins lecture, US PPI, US initial jobless Claims, Friday – US Retail Sales, US Industrial Production
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