Markets have provided the foundation for a second day of gains today ahead of this evenings Fed release, with European indices
pushing higher on a morning very light on data. A strong US close contributes to the move after Ford and Pfizer posted strong numbers, with the former calling it one of their best years ever, but further gains for emerging currencies have also lent a helping hand.
Turkey has been rather forced into hiking interest rates to stem the exodus that was crippling its currency, and while that is having the desired effect in the short term, the risk remains that the domino effect that is unravelling from increasing US yields will have an adverse impact in the long run, with Turkey just one of many.
The unprecedented scale of the Fed’s program has boosted equities worldwide, but as they start to tighten the belt further, they are effectively starving other central Governments of control over their own monetary policy, which leaves the tool box looking rather bare given the job at hand.
Mulberry stock was hammered following a shock profit warning prompted by heavy Christmas discounting and weaker Korean demand. They join Mothercare and Debenhams as the major casualties of a Christmas that Debenhams CEO Michael Sharp called a “sea of red”, and are further evidence of a rather binary quarter for retail, sink or swim with very little middle ground. Total retail sales for Mulberry were down 7% YoY for the 8 weeks to January 25th.
Carphone Warehouse saw its stock very well bid on the open after announcing a deal with Samsung to operate 60 stand-alone stores across Europe, with a potential to expand further depending on initial success. Carphone stock is already up nearly 25% in the last 4 months, aided by bumper sales of 4G superfast products.
Miners Anglo American and Antofagasta both headed firmly in the right direction with both buoyed by stronger than expected output figures. Despite well documented issues with South African strikes, Anglo’s platinum production has recovered well in Q4, up 25% to 416,000 oz, while copper output also increased. In the same space, Antofagasta advanced on record copper output of 182,900 tonnes for Q4 and will continue a focus on lowering costs and squeezing production from current projects in 2014.
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