Europe set to follow US and Asia lower
01:00, June 12 2013
· By Sales Trading
It’s one of those universal truths that we all experience at some point in the course of our daily lives; sometimes we don’t always get what we want, and investors found that out yesterday when the Bank of Japan decided, quite reasonably in light of recent positive economic data, it didn’t need to take any further monetary stimulus steps at its latest policy meeting, despite some recent volatility in bond and equity markets.
The Japanese authorities probably felt that its current program of the purchase of 7.5trn yen of long term Japanese government bonds a month, was enough for the time being given that it only started in April.
This failure to pander to markets, given how addicted they have become to the easy money of central bank stimulus over recent months; the reaction wasn’t entirely unpredictable, with global markets falling heavily across the board.
Last nights losses in the US will therefore ensure that European markets once again open lower today for the third day in succession, as investors fret about the possibility that the comfort blanket of fairly easy money that they have become used to for so long may not be as freely available, which means that market and stock valuations may well have to stand much more on their own two feet and their fundamentals to justify some of the rather lofty valuations.
If this uncertainty is to become the new trading environment then we can expect to see plenty of volatility either side of the bull/bear tug of war as both sides seek to assert authority.
With only a flat reading expected for European industrial production data for April to worry about today the main focus in Europe will once again be on the fun and games at the German Constitutional Court which is set to conclude today after the two sides of the argument from Asmussen and Weidmann were heard yesterday about the limits, legality or otherwise of the controversial, and as yet untested OMT program. It would be a major surprise if any decision was not deferred until after the September elections in Germany.
On the economic data front the main focus will be on the UK and the latest unemployment data for April and May. The ILO unemployment rate for April is expected to remain unchanged at 7.8%, while the May claimant count is set to fall by 5k.
While there would appear to be some optimism about a slowly recovering economy the squeeze on consumer incomes looks set to continue with average earnings in April set to fall further from a rise of 0.4% in March to 0.2%.
With inflation still well above 2% this is certainly not going to be welcome news, however if oil prices continue to remain weak then we could see prices come down a bit quicker than even the Bank of England is estimating.
The big news yesterday in the equity market was the move of Ocado Group who were up 4% on rumours of a potential tie up with Marks and Spencer, this means the stock is up 275% on the year now after having previously announced this year they were in discussions with Morrisons about a partnership. It doesn’t seem so long ago that Ocado was the most shorted stock in the index after its floatation as hedge fund managers bet on its expected downfall.
Keeping on the retail theme, we expect to get a trading announcement from Sainsbury today with shareholders hoping for news that they have managed to steal more of rival Tesco’s market share after they unveiled a 1% fall in like-for-like sales for its first quarter. Sainsbury reported like-for-like sales up 3.6% for their fourth quarter with traders hoping this positive momentum will be continued with positive numbers today.
Castings is very much an old style manufacturing company on which Britain built its previously strong economy but has been badly hurt by the market conditions of the past few years. Their most recent interim management statement indicated the likelihood of a small miss on analyst expectations and more importantly a negative tone regarding demand for the rest of the year.
Lastly we see Hyder Consulting report their earnings this morning with a note released from brokers Panmure Gordon stating they rate the stock as a ‘BUY’ being released last week meaning investors will be hoping for the best. The analysts suggest a price target of 488 which provides an 18% upside to last night’s close of 419.
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