In the UK, this morning was deathly quiet with interest rate announcements from the ECB and BOE unchanged and the chancellors statement offering little excitement for the markets. The FTSE
instead took its first notable move from the US, with Jobless and GDP data putting further pressure on the FED to begin turning the taps the other way.
For anyone bored of this story, It looks like you might have to endure it a little longer, as today’s sharp sell off on another good set of 1:30pm GDP and Jobless numbers is firm evidence the market obsession with exact timing of any taper is still holding firm.
With little left on the data calendar from this afternoon, investors will have to chew over possible FED reaction until the next clue comes along….cue Non-Farm Payrolls.
In Europe, Merck moved higher in Germany after announcing an agreement to buy AZ Electronic Materials SA for approximately £1.6 billion. The offer translates to a 403.5p price for each share, and AZ Electronic stock has jumped over 50% to 399p, trading just under the proposed price. The acquisition allows Merck to venture into new product ranges and open up new high growth markets to beef up revenues.
Although November passenger numbers were up at Easyjet, the stock slipped back on the open after monthly load factor figures dropped, a measure of what percentage of seats flown are actually taken up by passengers. Headline passenger numbers include promotional seats and those given to staff for business travel.
Profit at luxury designer Mulberry fell 28% in H1, with the firm still searching for its place in the world of fashion. Mulberry looks to be targeting a move towards the high end luxury consumer, but the admission that it has still not found a creative Director after a 6 month void left by Emma Hill will make any plans to move the goalposts even harder. It certainly feels like the company has lost a little direction in the last few months, with the stock lacking any real direction.
An upgrade from Citgroup was enough to push Darty stock over 6% higher, with its rating lifted from sell to neutral and a price target move from 60p up to 90p.
The Bitcoin revolution has taken a knock following the decision from China to ban financial institutions from “handling” the cyber currency, as well as comments from former fed Chairman Alan Greenspan claiming it is a bubble waiting to burst. Bitcoin sank nearly 30% to drop back well through the $1000 mark, putting the first major dent in an unstoppable 8900% rally this year. The question will be whether this marks the start of an attempt by Governments to alienate the currency or to somehow regulate it to give some form of legitimacy.
In the US, Apple looks set to open higher according to pre-markets, after it penned a deal with China mobile to offer the Iphone to wealth of prospective buyers , 759 million of them to be exact. It’s thought the deal could open the door for as many as 1.5 million unit sales a month or a 17% increase in annual sales…..strong stuff.
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