Wednesday, 22nd August: Both the US dollar and Wall Street equities traded lower over the course of the afternoon as US politics dominated headlines once more. Michael Cohen, the ex-lawyer of US President Donald Trump has pleaded guilty to violating finance laws during Trump’s Presidential campaign in 2016. Without actually mentioning Trump by name, Cohen has admitted to making payments to two women “at the direction of an unidentified candidate for political office”, while the rumours of Russia’s alleged collusion in the 2016 election campaign are bubbling at the surface once more. If Trump’s day wasn’t bad enough, his ex-campaign chief Paul Manafort has been found guilty on eight charges of tax and bank fraud. A further 10 counts have been declared as a mistrial. Major US indices traded lower as the afternoon wore on, while the green-back pared back against major currencies. GBP/USD is currently flat @ $1.2904, retreating from earlier gains. The commonly known safe haven assets of the Japanese yen and Gold (+0.50%) benefitted as uncertainty tainted markets.
Sometimes it can’t be helped but to book a flight with Ryanair. We don’t want to do it, but the Irish airline’s dominance of flight space across Europe just can’t be avoided. However, a mass disruption of cancellation and delays this summer hasn’t been easy to stomach although and an eventual (we don’t want to say “delayed” again do we?) cheque may have taken the edge off slightly. That’s if the cheques had been signed…. Out of the 20,000 refunds Ryanair have issued, an unlucky 190 recipients were sent duff cheques, although a Ryanair spokesman claims these have been re-issued and more importantly, signed. Shares are down 2.59% today, down c.12% year-to-date as they continue to deal with unpopular headlines.
After an initial pare back at the open, London investors shrugged off much of the global uncertainty weighing on sentiment this summer. Gains were reigned in to +0.19% at the close with Ocado once more taking a podium place on the index, up 1.90%. The S&P 500 reversed earlier losses to tread above water as European indices ended the day, further adding 0.13% as we write to break new record highs. The index is in its longest bull rally in US history (a 20% gain off market lows), dating back to March 2009.