European markets have cooled somewhat after yesterday’s rampant afternoon session, posting slight losses after Euro CPI inflation failed to excite after hitting estimates. Bulls won’t be too worried after yesterday’s session saw markets surge across the board, taking the DAX
to new all-time highs and bringing the FTSE within sight of its 1999 peak of 6950. At the current rate you’re not going to get big odds on it hitting that landmark by the end of the month.
Many investors had tipped January to be a month of potential consolidation, for equity bulls to count their 2013 winnings ahead of a reallocation for the New Year. However it looks like 2014 has done nothing to change sentiment for now, with markets still jumping on any opportunity to open the throttle as yesterday’s move confirmed.
Given yesterday’s move was in part provoked from strong earnings data from the U.S, traders will again look to the U.S open to pivot the day’s session, with Goldman’s and Citigroup set to release pre-market.
Experian gave a double dosage to the market this morning after reporting Q3 results and a re-shuffle to their management. Total revenues were up 7% and received a boost from their decision Analytics division, with revenues up 16% after strong sales of fraud prevention products. In the boardroom, CEO Don Robert will take up the Chairman’s post and leave his won the finance director Brian Cassin. Outgoing chairman John Peace, who is also the Chairman of Standard Chartered, has come under increasing pressure to focus on the later role. The stock moved higher on the release.
A move away from “risky” Asian and emerging markets has seen net outflows of £4.4bln at Aberdeen Asset management in Q1, with £3.3bln out of equities funds. The results come as the firm looks to tie up their acquisition of Scottish Widows, the value of which came under pressure from investors late last year, and this morning’s sell off now puts them down over 10% for the month.
Associated British foods disappointed the market after posting revenues in line with last year despite another stellar performance from Primark, who relentlessly lap up market share with European sales up 14% in the 16 weeks to Jan 4th.
Lamprell and Halfords were the two best performers in the UK, with Lamprell up over 10% after a statements tipping full year performance to come in ahead of expectations. Halfords stock also peddled in the right direction, up 6% after a mild Christmas boosted demand for its bikes and helped beat sales forecasts for Q3. The £100m 3 year turnaround plan is clearly having the desired effect for investors, with a 40% hike in the share price adding over £300m in market cap over the last year.
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