Good morning!

Let's see what the RNS has in store today.

A few announcements worth commenting on:

Graham


Market comment

I thought I'd take a step back for a moment and point out that the FTSE-100 is up by over 700 points this year - what a result! Up by 10.7% so far in 2019, or 12% including dividends.

During this period, GBP has actually appreciated against the US Dollar and the Euro.

So the gains have been spectactular and not caused by currency depreciation.

Also worth noting that retail fund flows have been weak/negative in the first couple of months of the year. This suggests to me that the buyers have been big, institutional money. Retail investors will follow later.

As for the rationale behind all of this bullishness, markets seem to be pricing in a long delay to you-know-what. Since big money loves certainty, I think they are taking the view that nothing is going to happen for the foreseeable future, and maybe never. As far as they are concerned, then, it's "safe" to pile in to UK equities again and return the FTSE to its pre-referendum trajectory.

Please note that this is just speculation on my part! - but I have seen broker notes expressing a lot of confidence that there will be a long delay and/or a second referendum. So I think this is what institutional money currently expects. They have been wrong before, of course!

There's also the small matter of interest rate expectations collapsing, bond yields tightening again, and other major equity markets rallying hard, too. The S&P 500 Index has gone up almost in a straight line over the past three months. According to Stocko, it's now on a (median) trailing P/E ratio of 21x and a forecast P/E ratio of 17.5.

As usual, the US markets carry a significant premium to the FTSE, whose forecast P/E ratio is just 14x.

Life has been tougher in…

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