It’s indicative of the directionless nature of the markets this week that we find ourselves just 30 points lower on the FTSE
this morning compared to the close last Friday. The FOMC meeting and more importantly the Fed members has dominated a week devoid of market changing economic data as, one by one, they have taken their place at the speakers mic for their moment in the sun.
They have had an uncanny knack for alternating between supporting Bernanke and the decision to delay the taper, and suggesting that if they had been given the floor things would have been done very differently. This trend for the week is set to continue as we have a raft of Fed members adding their tuppence to the already muddied waters of the tapering debate.
The most interesting is set to be the panel discussion in Norway, attended by Charles Evans who has emphasised the importance of unemployment data in policy decisions, a point played down by Mr Bernanke.
Forward guidance on an expected reduction in demand for new oil and gas wells in Brazil from Vallourec has caused the French steel-tube maker to open over 8% lower.
This coupled with a weaker Brazilian real, and the added concern of the failing shale gas drilling operation in the US means shareholders have very little from this morning update to be positive about.
The Danish Turbine makers Vestas Wind Systems (VWS)
have announced a huge joint venture with Mitsubishi
Heavy Industries today, sending share prices rocketing by nearly 12%.
The 2 year high of nearly 150
comes from the plans to develop offshore wind energy
by designing, building and selling these offshore wind power plants with Mitsubishi in 2014, who will have an equal stake in the JV. After 2 years of unprofitable business
and a series of board removals, this will come as welcome news to shareholders as investors become more bullish with the appointment of Former Ericsson exec Anders Runevad as CEO.
News that the Royal Mail will list on the London stock exchange next month has been met with mixed reactions as the postal workers are set to vote on whether to take industrial action over the decision while those in charge claim that the listing is needed to fund the modernisation of the service and to allow what is an almost 500 year old business to continue to compete in an ever more competitive and changing environment. Early indications in the city for valuations sit between £2.6bn and £3.3bn.
Here’s hoping that the leaking tap will be fixed over the weekend and a new week will bring an end to the constant dripping of comments from Fed members allowing the market to once again think for itself.
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