Markets now appear to have gone into hyper drive with Apple’s results apparently catapulting the stock to it all time highs in after hours activity on the US exchanges. As an aside it has taken just about everything else along with it including the Dax, Nikkei, Oil, Gold and small green furry things from Alpha Centuri.
The reporting season is now underway but today sees a whole swathe of US numbers both prior to and after the trading session. Traders will have to decide whether things can get much better as we have surged quite some way on just a small sample of data. It must be pointed out that even in good reporting periods we do get a few flies in the ointment (Citigroup and BOA showed this last week) so caution will probably be the watchword for many for the rest of the week. As mentioned in yesterday’s comment quiet reporting days will generally move in the direction of the trend and the subsequent activity bore this out dramatically with virtually every asset class surging away after a quiet start.
Important data out today is the M4 money supply from the UK and this is one of the releases that is worrying this particular commentator. Even with the huge QE from the BOE the M4 number for the last 6 months has been pitiful, showing growth of around 1.5pc. The YOY number still shows growth of some 12pc but this is mainly due to the huge numbers towards the end of last year. Boring as it might be to mention it but we are unlikely to get much in the way of solid growth if the supply of money (in all its various guises) is stuck at around 2-3pc for the year.
While this would probably not impact the FTSE 100 much as the vast majority of its revenue is global it might have a serious effect on government finances in the shape of reducing tax revenues (as a percentage of total activity).
Over in the US we will also get the PPI numbers which are expected to show a small fall after the surprising 1.7pc hike last month. YOY numbers are at minus 4.3pc which is quite something considering the weakness of the dollar (versus everything apart from the pound). It has been helped over the last twelve months by the falling cost of energy but this is now going in the opposite direction and there will be fears that margins might get squeezed later this year.
Currency markets are showing Euro Strength once again and the Eur/Usd is now above the 1.4966 resistance after rallying very early this morning. There does not appear to be much of a follow through at the moment and traders have had quite a few ‘looks’ at pushing us back down again with the 1.4966 level having been traded four/five times since the move higher. Bulls will be encouraged by the fact that the resistance now seems to be acting as support but on the other hand Bears might also be slightly positive that there seems to be no further buying pressure coming through.
Overnight buying in the Yen has also surfaced and the euro and yen hegemony seems to be swinging slightly towards the Yen for the moment. The eur/yen cross has traded in a very tight range since March, basically stuck between 128 and 138, and this is a far cry from last year with its 169 high and 114 low! Prior to the weak yen ‘carry trade’ scenario of 2006/07 the cross had been reasonable stable between 130 and 140 and it appears that this range has now reinstated itself. The small move away from the dollar as a reserve currency has naturally benefitted both of these (to the detriment of course of their economies) and with rumours continuing of the desire for a new global ‘basket of currencies’ this may well continue. Nobody wants to be left holding greenbacks on the day that China and Russia declare a move. Fortunately for the global economy this is probably some 10 years away (at least) so pretty soon currency markets will probably find something else to worry about.
Oil continues to surge and the lack of any real resistance levels above 75 bucks has been bourne out over the last few sessions. The price has now reached 80 dollars with all the pressure continuing to the upside. Of course we cannot go up for ever but it is beginning to look like a one way bet at the moment. As mentioned many times in this comment there is not much resistance until we reach 85 to 90 dollars!