Monday, June 4: Last week investment markets, especially European, were largely driven by political events and related trade tensions. Worries over Italy slowly eased throughout the week after pushing major bourses to heavy losses on Monday and Tuesday at the same time the ongoing saga between the US and China rumbled on. The Trump administration then decided to hand tariffs to their allies across Europe, Canada and Mexico just for good measure. So even with a strong US jobs report on Friday US cantered trade tensions continue to rumble on in the background for investors.
At the open today markets generally surged higher, first of all across Asian bourses as the Nikkei climbed 1.4% and the Hang Seng closed 1.7% higher. The FTSE opened 0.75% higher and despite sliding from the intraday highs, modestly ended the day +0.51% at 7741.3. As we write Wall Street has followed suit as the Dow currently sits 0.7% higher, with the S&P also higher by 0.3%.
Making the headlines today was CYBG (owner of Clydesdale Bank & Yorkshire bank) improved its offer for Virgin Money Holdings. They have increased the ratio of its all share offer by 7% (on top of the £1.6bn offer), as the two banks seek consolidation to deal with the competitive low margin environment.
It was a relatively quiet day in company specific news, one of the main stories involved packaging group DS Smith, whom list on the FTSE 100. Shares headed to the top of the index in the morning session after it announced another acquisition, this time for Spain’s Europac, with the deal valued at $2.2bn. Shares in the firm eventually closed 3% higher on the day. Easyjet managed to finish top of the FTSE after Numis boosted their estimate for full year revenue per seat growth following Easyjet’s bullish outlook.