Posts tagged 'FTSE'

Argentina, going ex-Frontier?

The FTSE index people at the LSE on Tuesday published their annual review of country classifications. There were no actual movements between the categories — Developed, Advanced Emerging, Secondary Emerging and Frontier — although two countries have joined the FTSE watch list:

Ukraine has been thrown off the list completely and is no longer being considered as a possible Frontier entrant. Too many problems with regulatory oversight and capital controls, it seems. Read more

In which the FTSE puts the crisis behind it

The FTSE 100 has closed at 6755, cruising past its 2007 pre-crisis peak to its highest level since 2000:

Rally monkey and suitable pessimism after the jump. Read more

From bubbles to wobbles

Western markets were all a-jitter on Thursday. Obviously we can blame the Fed. Bickering between central bankers just doesn’t look good, whether they are American, British or continental Europeans.

An immediate question is raised: are we witnessing the end of ‘fast and loose’ policy? The quick answer is probably ‘not yet,’ although yes, it will end, and maybe sooner than some had come to assume. This presents a fresh challenge for policy markets, as noted by Lloyds’ Charles Diebel: Read more

Happy 20th birthday, Footsie 250

Mid-caps have more than quadrupled, in nominal terms, since FTSE introduced this barometer in 1992. Click to enlarge…

And the top FTSE 250 constituent is…

Travis Perkins, of course! Read more

The Accrington Stanley* of the investment world

Poor Argentina.

Once it was a ‘Developed’ economy, for investment purposes. Then it stepped down to become ‘Advanced Emerging’ (unintuitively), before becoming plain ‘Secondary Emerging.’  Next came relegation to ‘Frontier’ (‘wild’, rather than ‘new’). And now this… Read more

Global stocks extend losing streak

Global stocks are down for the 10th session in a row as buyers retreat in exasperation at the lingering eurozone fiscal trauma, concerned it is having a damaging impact on worldwide growth, according to the FT’s Global Market Overview. The FTSE All-World index is off 0.5 per cent, taking its slide to 9 per cent since its miserable run started. The FTSE Eurofirst 300 is lower by 0.4 per cent – its worst level since the start of October – and S&P 500 futures suggest Wall Street will shed 0.6 per cent at the opening bell. Trading is thin. With Wall Street following Thursday’s Thanksgiving break with only a half-day on Friday, some traders are using this as an excuse for sitting on the sidelines.

Glencore and big squeeze

Buying shares in a company ahead of an index re-weighting is rarely a good idea but that hasn’t stopped brokers pushing Glencore ahead of November 24th – the day the lock-up agreement with cornerstone investors expires.

Citigroup has even created a timeline. Read more

A golden opportunity for the FTSE

On Tuesday we asked what rules should govern entry to the FTSE UK indices.

We launched our consultation in response to a similar survey from the FTSE Group, which sought market feedback on the free float rules for its various indices. This followed investor outcry over oligarch-owned Russian companies (Evraz, Polyus Gold and Polymetal) seeking to list on the main market while keeping control out of public hands. Read more

If we ran the FTSE 100…

The story so far.

Last week,  FTSE Group launched a consultation on the free float rules for its various indices. That followed an outcry from investors concerned about the wave of overseas companies seeking to list on the main market while keeping control out of public hands. Read more

Markets cautious ahead of Greek vote and US data

The job prospects of millions of Americans and one Greek politician were dominating investors’ thinking at the end of another volatile week, the FT reports. Trading was positive but wary ahead of the US non-farm payrolls report and the latest parliamentary manoeuvring in Athens, where prime minister George Papandreou’s government faced a confidence vote. The FTSE All-World equity index was up 0.8 per cent, industrial commodity prices were mostly firmer and yields on core sovereign debt, such as Treasuries and Bunds, were inching higher by a couple of basis points as players’ risk aversion wanes. S&P 500 futures suggested Wall Street would open fractionally lower after a two-day surge, while the FTSE Eurofirst 300 started the session with a gain of 0.5 per cent. Gold was down 0.3 per cent at $1,758 an ounce, retreating a tad from six week highs. Currencies were relatively calm, with the euro just 4 pips lower at $1.3806.

Last days of FTSE bargains

Hurry! Companies wishing to join the FTSE 100 with a free float of less than 25 per cent have got until next Wednesday to send in their application gain a premium listing.

Applicants should send their requests to the following address: Read more

Europe stable after recent sell-off

Trading volatility remains the best bet for investors, as market sentiment continued to vacillate between fears over eurozone debt contagion and hopes for corporate profits should central bank largesse support US growth, the FT reports. The FTSE All-World equity index was up 0.2 per cent, halting a two-day slide of 6 per cent, with the mood becoming just a tad more optimistic as bulls punted that the recent pullback was overdone. Improved risk appetite saw copper advance 2.8 per cent to $3.60 a pound, US Treasury yields rise 6 basis points to 2.05 per cent and the dollar index dip 0.5 per cent. The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was eking out a gain of 0.1 per cent, well off its initial highs, as the banking sub-index recovers 2.1 per cent. But the FTSE Asia Pacific index was lower by 0.5 per cent, held back by a 2.2 per cent fall for Tokyo’s Nikkei 225. Investors in Japanese stocks were wary of the yen’s strength and were concerned about being caught “long” in a febrile market when Tokyo was closed for a public holiday on Thursday. Shanghai better illustrated the regional mood, up 1.4 per cent as retail investors welcomed the vice finance minister saying the country’s economy was on the right track.

FTSE anomalies: who’s your grandaddy?

ENRC, Essar Energy, Ferrexpo and Fresnillo. What do these four companies have in common?

Hmm…they are all commodity players. Yes, what else? Read more

FTSE asks the free float question

What is the minimum amount of a company’s shares that should be freely floated if that company is incorporated in the UK and wants to join the FTSE’s UK indices?

A simple question, but a contentious one. Read more

Bunds surge as eurozone woes return to haunt investors

Renewed worries about the eurozone debt crisis and, to a lesser extent, another pulse of fretting about global growth, were encouraging traders to pare back racier bets following October’s strong rally, the FT reports. The FTSE All-World equity index was down 1.7 per cent, commodity prices were slipping, while “risk off” was flavouring currencies as the dollar index added 0.8 per cent. S&P 500 futures pointed to Wall Street losing another 1.5 per cent after Monday’s 2.5 per cent slump. The FTSE Eurofirst 300 tracked a poor session out of Asia by delivering a fall of 2.7 per cent as the banking sub-index sheds 5 per cent on revived sovereign debt exposure fears. The sour mood derives from the return of the market’s recent bêtes noires. Carrying greater heft was the eurozone. Risk assets had added to gains last week as investors greeted with relief news that the European Union had agreed a deal in Brussels designed to contain the bloc’s fiscal difficulties, shoring up the banking system and arranging the terms for a second Greek bail-out. Many investors now think that deal has been thrown into question after Greece’s prime minister George Papandreou pledged on Monday to hold a referendum on the package presented to Athens. A “no” vote could throw the process back into the air and possibly lead to a messy Greek default, argue the pessimists. The least it does is deliver many weeks of uncertainty.

Dollar jumps after Bank of Japan sells yen

Intervention to suppress the yen threw some investors’ bullish strategies off kilter and was encouraging profit-taking after a stellar month for risk assets, the FT reports. Trader caution also possibly reflected a desire to lock in gains ahead of a busy week of potential policy and data headline risk, including US and EU central bank meetings, the G20 summit and Friday’s US non-farm payrolls numbers. The FTSE All-World equity index was down 1 per cent, commodity prices were slipping and Treasury yields were nudging lower as funds moved into “core” fixed income. The FTSE Eurofirst 300 opened down 0.8 per cent and US equity futures suggested Wall Street would start the day with a 0.8 per cent loss, after closing on Friday at a near 3-month high, up 8.6 per cent so far this month. The main catalyst for Monday’s mild risk aversion was the Bank of Japan’s intervention to weaken the yen to support the country’s exporters. The Japanese unit had earlier hit a post-war record high versus the US dollar of Y75.35 but was now 4 per cent weaker at Y78.78. At one point it touched Y79.51.

Hopes for eurozone deal boost stocks

The euro was at the vanguard of a tentative “risk asset” rally as investors had one of their more optimistic days with regard to the the eurozone fiscal crisis, the FT reports. The FTSE All-World equity index was gaining 0.6 per cent, commodity prices were mostly higher, along with benchmark Treasury and Bund yields, up a couple of basis points each. Gold was down 0.5 per cent at $1,650 an ounce, while the dollar index, which traditionally sports an inverse correlation to risk appetite, was down 0.4 per cent. The single currency was up 0.5 per cent to $1.3801 with traders betting that this weekend’s European Union summit would deliver a comprehensive package to tackle fears of sovereign debt contagion within the bloc, and possibly beyond. If realised, such action could salve one of the market’s major irritants and reduce fears that an already weak global economy would be further damaged by a collapse in confidence as the European financial system quakes. The challenges facing the eurozone will be seen in Greece as the country suffers a 48-hour anti-austerity strike. But joy was not unconfined. Investors were having to deal with another decidedly mixed batch of US earnings reports after Intel provided better than expected results, but Apple delivered a rare disappointment.

Risk rally loses steam

The ebullience of recent sessions was subsiding as traders took stock ahead of further developments on the eurozone fiscal crisis and the start of the US third-quarter earnings season, the FT reported. The FTSE All-World equity index was up 0.4 per cent, supported by a 2 per cent jump in Tokyo, which was playing catch-up after Monday’s holiday, during which time global risk assets enjoyed one of their strongest days for some while. The FTSE Eurofirst was down fractionally and S&P 500 futures pointed to Wall Street dipping just 0.1 per cent at the open. The US benchmark jumped 3.4 per cent on Monday, taking its gains since last Tuesday’s intraday low to 11.2 per cent. The rally came partly as a result of dwindling concerns over the health of the world’s biggest economy, after better-than-expected US jobs numbers on Friday finished topped off several examples of forecast-beating macroeconomic data. But the main impetus behind the surge is, arguably, raised hopes that the European authorities will manage to create a grand plan for the bloc that by recapitalising the region’s banks, may allow for a managed Greek default and thus contain sovereign debt contagion and restore confidence in the euro project.

Stocks stable ahead of crucial US jobs data

Global risk assets continued to be buoyed by hopes the eurozone was getting on top of the bloc’s sovereign debt crisis and that central banks remained committed to providing targeted largesse in order to support the financial system and bolster growth. The FTSE All-World equity index was up for the third day in a row, gaining 0.7 per cent, commodities were firmer and “core” bond prices were mildly mixed. The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was up 0.4 per cent, and S&P 500 futures were pointing to a flat open for Wall Street. But, as is so often the case on the first Friday of the month, trading was cautious ahead of the eagerly-anticipated US official jobs data for September, due at 1330 BST. Investors need the numbers to support the recently formed thesis that the world’s second biggest economy is not in danger of succumbing to a double dip recession. That nascent optimism on the US, combined with a building sense that the European Union’s moves to recapitalise the region’s banks should help contain the fallout from any potential Greek default, has helped stock markets and other growth-focused assets rally strongly over the past few days.

Shares buoyed by US data and eurozone hopes

Risk appetite was building as investors reckoned they could see evidence the European Union was getting to grips with the region’s debt crisis and as fears eased that the US was slipping back into recession, the FT reports. The FTSE All-World stock index was up 1.4 per cent, commodities were firmer, with copper up 4.2 per cent to $3.23 a pound, while currencies were favouring a “risk on” tack, the euro up 0.3 per cent at $1.3389 and the dollar index off 0.3 per cent. Financial stocks and miners, which have been bearing the brunt of the recent sell-off, were seeing buyers, helping push the FTSE Eurofirst 300 higher by 1.6 per cent. Benchmark yields of “haven” sovereigns, such as Bunds and Treasuries, were nudging higher by a couple of basis points, though they remained near historic lows. S&P 500 futures suggested Wall Street would start the day with a gain of just 0.3 per cent, but it could be excused after the vigorous bounce of the past few sessions.

European stocks rally on hopes for bank support

European bourses were enjoying an upbeat session as investors welcomed news that European Union finance ministers were examining ways of co-ordinating recapitalisations of the region’s beleaguered banks, the FT reports. The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was up 1.8 per cent, with the banking sub-index bouncing 2.7 per cent. Stocks were getting a lift from Wall Street’s strong rally into the close on Tuesday, helping the FTSE All-World advance 0.6 per cent. In addition, the improved sentiment, and better recent US data, is providing support to industrial commodities, with copper up 1 per cent to $3.13 a pound and Brent crude adding 1.6 per cent to $101.36 a barrel. In contrast, gold was down 1.2 per cent to $1,627 an ounce. It would be trite to say, however, that the mood was one of universal calm optimism. Pockets of stress clearly remained. Months of extreme volatility on worrying over the eurozone sovereign debt crisis and concerns about the global economic outlook have rendered confidence a delicate commodity.

Mood improves as eurozone tensions ease

Global stocks recorded their fourth straight day of gains as traders bet that policymakers’ attempts to address the eurozone fiscal crisis would succeed in reducing stresses in the financial system, the FT reports. The FTSE All-World was up 0.7 per cent, taking its gain since Monday’s close to 4.2 per cent, commodities were firmer and core bond yields nudged higher as risk aversion fades. Currencies were not fulsome in embracing the “risk on” scenario, however, as the dollar index, which is usually correlated to wariness, added 0.2 per cent and the euro dipped 0.2 per cent to $1.3849. The FTSE Eurofirst 300 opened higher by 1 per cent while S&P 500 futures suggested Wall Street would start the session with a gain of 0.2 per cent, a two-week high. Markets have been roiled since the start of August – the All-World at one point fell by more than 20 per cent from its cyclical high – partly on worries that an intensifying eurozone sovereign debt crisis could cause another banking panic, again dislocating the global economy just three years after the collapse of Lehman Brothers.

Euro slides as debt fears resurface

Hopes that China might be considering buying Italian debt provided only brief respite from risk asset selling and emphasised how sensitive traders are to developments in the eurozone fiscal crisis, the FT reports. An initially positive tone inherited from the Asian session evaporated, with traders once again paring positions in growth-focused products. S&P 500 futures pointed to New York falling 1 per cent and the FTSE All World was down 0.3 per cent. The FTSE Eurofirst 300 had opened with a gain of more than 1 per cent as investors priced in Wall Street’s late rally on Monday and initially welcomed a report by the Financial Times that Beijing was in discussion with the Italian government regarding the purchase of Rome’s bonds. The Italian Treasury confirmed that a meeting took place. Traders liked the idea that one of the world’s biggest sovereign wealth funds stands ready to invest in fiscally-struggling European nations. It is seen as providing an antidote for contagion and takes the weight off Germany’s position as putative backstop. In fact, investors like it so much that it has been a regular feature of the debt crisis, able to pop up intermittently to ease the market’s stresses.

US jobs package fails to lift spirits

Equity markets ended another volatile week with sentiment somewhat soured by worries over politicians’ and monetary guardians’ strategy for dealing with a weak global economy and the eurozone fiscal crisis, the FT reports. The FTSE All-World equity index was down 0.6 per cent following a 0.7 per cent drop for the Asia-Pacific region and as the FTSE Eurofirst 300 declined of 0.7 per cent. S&P 500 futures suggested Wall Street would open flat. Such caution and indecision could be seen across asset classes where mixed signals were being sent on the market’s attitude to risk. So, while the perceived haven of gold was higher, another bolt-hole, US Treasuries were slightly weaker, with benchmark yields up 2 basis points to 2.0 per cent. In commodities, copper was down 0.7 per cent to $4.10 a pound, but Brent crude was up 0.3 per cent to $114.94 a barrel. Currencies were little changed, though the risk aversion in equity markets was seeping into forex with the Aussie dollar paring gains, the US dollar index up 0.1 per cent and the euro down 0.1 per cent to $1.3864 after Thursday’s 1.5 per cent slide.

Markets stable in cautious trading

Markets were cautiously positive, with traders apparently reluctant to chase the previous session’s rally with the same vigour ahead of a slew of headline risks, the FT’s markets overview reports. The FTSE All-World equity index was up just 0.03 per cent as Europe opened with a 0.2 per cent loss and after the Asia-Pacific region added 0.1 per cent. The commodity, forex and sovereign debt sectors were exhibiting greater wariness. Traditional havens such as the US 10-year note werestronger, nudging the yield down 2 basis points to 2.02 per cent, while the dollar index was up 0.2 per cent and the euro was down 0.1 per cent to $1.4077. Niggling concerns about global demand saw copper dip 0.2 per cent to $4.11 an pound, leaving Brent crude down 33 cents at $115.47. Meanwhile the gold bugs were “bargain” hunting, the precious metal rebounding 1.5 per cent after Wednesday’s 3 per cent dive. S&P 500 futures pointed to Wall Street’s benchmark index giving back 3 points of Wednesday’s 33-point, or 2.9 per cent, surge. The rally had come as investors felt the slump at the start of September – the S&P 500 fell 4.4 per cent in three sessions – had been overdone. Some slightly better macroeconomic data and an easing of tensions in the eurozone after the German constitutional court allowed Berlin to participate in the bloc’s various bail-outs, added juice to the bounce.

Risk assets snap September slump

Equities were rallying on Wednesday, cracking September’s slump, as some investors bet that fears about global growth and the eurozone fiscal mess were overdone, the FT reports. There was green across the screen from Asia to Europe as the mood switched to “risk on” after several sour sessions. “Havens” such as US Treasuries, the dollar and gold were falling back, while US stock futures suggested Wall Street’s S&P 500 would open with a gain of 0.9 per cent. The FTSE All-World index was up 1.2 per cent, boosted by a 2.2 per cent advance for Europe in early skirmishing and following a 2.3 per cent rebound in the Asia-Pacific region. The global benchmark has halted a four-session slide that saw it lose nearly 6 per cent in the first four trading days of the month. The main causes of those falls will be all too familiar to traders: concerns about a weakening global economy and the fallout from the budgetary stress in Europe. Weak US jobs numbers on Friday helped spark fresh concerns about the former. But a better than expected US service sector report on Tuesday and Wednesday’s firmer than forecast Australian GDP data have somewhat ameliorated the anxiety in that regard.

SNB intervention rocks euro markets

The Swiss National Bank’s decision to set a SFr1.20 floor versus the euro sparked a flurry of strategic adjustments by investors and added to the volatility that has been so roiling markets of late, the FT reports. The FTSE All-World equity index was up just 0.01 per cent, but the minuscule change belies the churning currents tossing traders this way and that as the SNB’s move joins eurozone fiscal woes and US growth concerns in vying for the market’s attention. S&P 500 futures pointed to a 1.4 per cent fall for Wall Street when it plays catch up after Monday’s labour day vacation. The future contract’s out of hours vacillations have tracked the helter-skelter mood. First up was Asia, where the FTSE Asia-Pacific index was down 1.3 per cent after the region reacted to the sharp declines seen in Europe on Monday. These came as fears grew about the health of the continent’s financial system should budget wranglings in Italy and Greece not be resolved satisfactorily and the sovereign debt crisis subsequently intensified. European bourses looked like adding to those losses according to pre-market gauges. Benchmark Bund yields hit a record low of 1.86 per cent, the euro was soft and Italian 10-year yields hit 5.60 per cent, registering the 12th consecutive day of gains.

US growth and eurozone woes hit stocks

Investors were paring positions in growth-focused assets as worries about the US economy and the eurozone debt crisis continued to hit sentiment, the FT reports. The FTSE All-World equity index was down 1.3 per cent, following a rotten session in Asia and a rough start for Europe. There was broad softness in commodities, where copper was off 1 per cent to $4.07 a pound and Brent crude was lower by 1.3 per cent to $110.85 a barrel. Gold was little changed at $1,884 an ounce. Wall Street was closed on Monday for the labour day vacation, but in electronic trading the S&P 500 futures contract was down 0.8 per cent. The action at the start of the week is primarily focused on two themes: the hangover from an extremely disappointing US jobs report on Friday and nervousness ahead of a week of eurozone fiscal and political wrangling. The former was one of the main reasons why the S&P 500 finished the previous session down 2.5 per cent as investors fretted that the world’s biggest economy was at risk of dipping back into recession.

Traders cautious ahead of Bernanke speech

Trading was thin, as if Christmas had come four months early, reports the FT. Which was apt, given global investors were enthralled by what largesse a benevolent white-bearded gentleman may dispense from his isolated idyll. The FTSE All-World equity index was up 0.1 per cent, supported in a mixed session by Asia shrugging off Wall Street’s overnight slip to advance 0.3 per cent, and helped by US futures gaining 0.2 per cent in electronic trading. The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was again weak, however, adding 0.7 per cent to Thursday’s sudden and mostly unexplained slump (see below). Conversely, currencies were displaying a generally mild “risk on” mood, with the dollar index off 0.3 per cent and the euro higher by 0.4 per cent to $1.4424. Commodities summed up the lack of any clear narrative, with Brent crude up 0.1 per cent at $110.75 a barrel and copper down 0.1 per cent to $4.07 a pound. Gold had stabilised and was up 0.6 per cent to $1,780 an ounce.