Wednesday, 30 March: European equity markets bounced back into the green in early morning trade; the main euro indices were up c. 1%, as the FTSE 100 traded 1.30% higher shortly after the open. European markets marched further into the green as the day progressed, as the FTSE 100 closed +1.59% , with the CAC 40 +1.78% and the DAX 30 +1.60%.
Premier Foods was one of the major talking points this morning as shares were boosted 8.5% on takeover hopes. US Spice and flavourings group McCormick & Co. offered 65 pence per share in its bid offer. This offer came after the maker of Mr Kipling cakes and Bisto gravy had already rejected two prior offers from McCormick. Premier Foods have announced a meeting with McCormick to discuss value drivers, declaring they feel 65p also undervalues the business – encouraging a higher offer from the US group.
Fed Chair Yellen commented further upon the state of central bank policy at the Economic Club of New York yesterday. Yellen communicated that the FOMC will act with caution in the interim, given the low level of the federal funds rate, as the ability of the institution to react to economic shocks is asymmetric. She commented on recent reads of the US economy as being inconsistent, paired with an uncertain inflation outlook as major factors that would not prompt a rate rise in April, along with the mainstay concerns of the global economy – China, and volatile oil prices.
Brent crude recovered some of the losses over the Easter break, eventually breaking $40/bbl in mid-day trade. This upwards price pressure was prompted as the dollar fell 0.4% against a basket of currencies on the doveish rhetoric from Janet Yellen yesterday.