FTSE ends 6-day losing streak but Wall St. sinks further
Wednesday, 7 August: The FTSE endured a volatile session on Wednesday, having endured an early slide which quickly turned into a modest climb of around 0.6%. This was slowly eroded away until a late resurgence to leave the index 0.33% higher, ending a 6-day loss streak. Trade fears still illuminate trade, which have seen government bond yields tumble and safe havens continue to dominate, gold being 2.4% higher as we write with silver 3.7% higher.
The FTSE did have a raft of earnings updates to digest on top of the macro-drama. Glencore was one of the early fallers after missing half year expectations. The miner has aid they will stop producing at their Mutanda mine by the year end. Shares ended 0.89% lower, far better than intra-day lows.
Standard Life spent much of the day in the bottom three after first half profit fell 41% due to lower revenues, shares declined 7.5% today. Spirax-Sarco wasn’t far off either, having declined 6.4% on the day despite a rise in first-half profit and strong organic sales growth. They have backed full year guidance on top of this.
Out of the FTSE 100 reporting companies, it was Phoenix Holdings that faired better, with shares closing 2.74% higher after an operating profit leap in the opening half of the year. Operating profit jumped 50% and they have advised cash generation will be at the top end of guidance for the year.
The top two on the FTSE 250 were Ultra Electronics (+11.4%) and hill & Smith (+7.8%) following respective updates. The former saw a huge profit leap of 90% in the first-half, as they benefitted from strong markets and order-book development. Hill & Smith, who supply construction products was helped by strong performance in the UK & US to lift profit 16% in the first-half. Seemingly benefitting from niche market positions in otherwise a turbulent market sector.
As we leave for the day, Wall St. shares are enduring considerable losses, the Dow currently 1.3% lower shortly after the open as Trump continues to criticise the Fed. Not doing anything to alleviate the pressure on him, the strength of the US economy and global trade fears.