Tuesday, 8 March: Miners weighed heavily on the FTSE 100 in late afternoon trade, after an undistinguished start to the trading session today. This was prompted by weak Chinese export data (-25% yoy in $ terms) and volatile commodity prices. A perfect example was seen yesterday as iron ore surged 18% intraday, a record for the commodity. Both Glencore (-18%) and Anglo American (-15%) suffered the heaviest losses, as circuit breakers were activated twice and once respectively per stock, temporarily suspending trade. Both companies are levered to commodities, particularly copper.
Burberry was up 6.2% in quite unusual terms, on the back of bid reports from a mysterious investor. A routine shareholder disclosure filed last month showed an undisclosed investor had briefly accrued a stake of more than 5% in Burberry, a FT report late yesterday prompted the leap in share price today. Burberry has asked HSBC Holdings to name the investor, but the bank has not responded as yet. Under UK rules, once an investor’s stake has crossed 5%, the target company can mandate disclosure of the stake’s owner.
Mark Carney risked adding more fuel to the EU referendum fire, as the Bank of England governor claimed the EU has reinforced the “dynamism of the UK economy” in a pre-hearing letter to the Treasury Committee. In a scenario where the governor would be damned if he was pro-EU and damned if he wasn’t, he managed to negotiate the tightrope between the two camps reasonably well, but of course he wasn’t without his detractors – notably Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg. Nevertheless, the EU debate rages with a multitude of opinions, but very little fact.
At the close European indices were down with the FTSE 100 -0.92%, with the CAC 40 -0.86%, and the DAX 30 -0.88%.