If there are two more fearsome leaders on the universe, known for their bellicose rhetoric than President Trump and Kim Jong Un, I have yet to have access to them. Both have ruffled the feathers of the western World in recent days, which has resulted in investors understandably taking some risk off the table. At the time of writing the FTSE 100 is down 112 points (41 points from companies going ex-div), with the DAX easier by 1% and the CAC by 0.8%. The Dow has surrendered 136 points. These readings have been made at 3.45pm. There was a further flight to quality with Treasury yields easing by a pip or two and Gold rallying to $1285 an ounce (+$7).
It was the dividend stocks that look a little tired with HSBC -2.5% and Lloyds about 2% light and Rio easier by 3%. Unilever gave up 1.2% on a downgrade. Glencore was easier by 3% with results suggesting they ‘missed’ by a tad, though the outlook was positive going forward. Greggs the bakers and purveyor of exquisite sausage rolls was up 5% courtesy on support from Behrenberg.
Here is a summary of the performance of those companies that reported today – Page Group -1%, Card Factory +0.5%, DFS -6.5%, Cineworld +2.5%, Amex Foster Wheeler +3.5% and the Prudential -0.2%. Equities look a little heavy of heart and may continue to drift unless there is a verbal cessation of hostilities in SE Asia.