Markets continue to oscillate I the defined ranges and we are getting slightly tired of commenting about it!
Clients took the opportunity to sell the FTSE above 5350 (again) and look to be buying most of it back at around 5305 the support level. With the US off today, on Thanksgiving, the Session will be curtailed at around 16.30 but in truth we are not exactly expecting much in the line of fireworks before then.
Mitchel & Butlers have reported weaker numbers but, given that their revenue comes from the Restaurant and Pub sector, the fact that they have still had a reasonably successful year must be considered a definite boost for the sector (and for the management team).
Daily Mail also still reported substantial profits (although down by 23pc) even though we seem to have been deluged by dire warnings over advertising spend for much of the year.
Both Stocks are up this morning even though the FTSE is off some 60 points in early action.
For some reason there is a ‘bear in the air’ in early morning trading and with the absence of the US markets for a few days there may be a thought that ‘today’s the day’ to put a spoke in the wheels just when the US traders can do little about it! There are myriad examples of biggish moves on US bank holidays, they generally come to nothing a few days later but are good fun while they are going on.
There is no economic data due today in the UK so fear, greed and boredom will probably be the driving forces for much of the session. Tomorrow sees the Lloyds stock go ex-rights so there might be a bit of a flurry towards the close as buyers and sellers try to position themselves for the morrow.
The currency markets finally broke out of their trading ranges for the Yen and Euro with the Dollar finally breaking below 87.12 vs the Yen and above 1.5060 vs the Euro (triggering sharp moves almost immediately). Both levels remain breached this morning with the Euro having hit 1.5140 last night and the Yen reaching as low as 86.30 as well. BUT… this morning there seems to be a bit of a battle going on with the Euro falling back to 1.5060 and then bouncing to the current level of 1.5080 and the Yen likewise retracing all the way back up to 87.05 before failing and slipping back to 86.90. If the Pairs get back above the marks which failed last night there might be something of a covering action so traders should beware taking the break out too aggressively.
In the midst of this the poor old pound failed rather pathetically to follow the Euro bloc higher and the Cable rate is now still well within the trading range of recent times at 1.6525. Versus the Euro and Yen though the cross is beginning to look miserable once again with the Euro pair slipping below 1.10 and the Yen under 1.44. The charts give a worrying indication that Sterling/yen cross may drop back to the 1.40 level again and possibly finally challenge the 1.05 price versus the Euro.
As the dollar weakened Gold rather neatly covered the range to our high target mark, $1194 mentioned in yesterday’s and last weeks comment, before slipping slightly in morning trade today. We are currently quoting 1185.0-1185.5 and while it would be a brave man who actually went short at these levels we have finally seen our clients flatten out of their longs in the late trading session last night. Our clients have been long for much of the move from the break above $1000 (as they have been for most of the huge rally of the last few years). Occasionally there is a pause for breath and this may be one of them. As mentioned in the previous comment we have had eleven up days in a row culminating in the surge of 27 bucks yesterday. While it is difficult to be negative in the face of such committed buying across the globe this does not mean that we can see the moves as being permanently one directional.
Gold is trading almost pip for pip versus the dollar index (mainly the Euro and Yen component) as dealers try to gauge the pressure release assets of the Dollar/Yuan currency fixing.
And now for a bit of conspiracy. The BOE supplied 62 billion in liquidity to the Royal bank of Scotland and the Bank of Scotland while refraining from doing the same (for a much lesser amount) to Northern Rock and Bradford and Bingley based somewhere in the hinterlands up north in England. The liquidity provision was approved by Gordon Brown (MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, Scotland) and Alistair Darling (MP for Edinburgh South West, Scotland). One assumes that the same provision was denied to the English banks by the same people. The huge bank losses in the UK have almost been totally confined to the two Scottish units. Lloyds would have escaped unscathed if it had not been ‘forced’ into a marriage with HBOS and Barclays and HSBC have largely survived without too much trouble.
While the City of London has taken the brunt of the popular anger most of the disaster (as far as the UK is concerned) was engineered rather further north.