Monthly Archives: May 2013

Small-cap week, June 1

Volex was among the small-cap gainers this week, even after the power cable maker parted company with its chief executive and suffered a near-90 per cent drop in annual pre-tax profit. Ray Walsh was exiting “to draw a line under our past performance”, chairman Mike McTighe said. The change of management followed profit warnings last year after Volex suffered quality…

Bond investors wake up to QE withdrawal

©Summit Explosive scenario: central banks are still expected to act as bomb disposal squad when needed, but fears are growing What is the difference between 1.6 per cent and 2.2 per cent? Either: not much, or a potentially explosive shift in the way global investors view the world that presages turbulent market conditions ahead. Yields on US government debt, which…

JKX bans investors from vote to oust CEO

JKX Oil & Gas has banned two shareholders that control nearly 40 per cent of the company from voting in a motion they have brought before its annual meeting to jettison Paul Davies, chief executive. Eclairs Group, which is controlled by Igor Kolomoisky, the Ukrainian billionaire, and holds a stake of more than 27 per cent in the Ukraine-focused oil…

Wonga sets sights on small businesses

Errol Damelin, founder and CEO of Wonga.com outside its Regents Park Headquarters in London Sporting a T-shirt and blazer, Errol Damelin wears the costume of a technologist rather than the pin stripes of a financier – but he would prefer to be regarded as an innovator. As the founder of Wonga.com, the online lender that has come to dominate the…

Iron ore suffers sharp fall on China fear

Iron ore prices suffered their sharpest fall in more than a year this week as steel traders and mills rushed to dump their stocks amid fears over the outlook for Chinese demand. The price of iron ore is crucial to the global economy, as it is used to make steel and so feeds through ultimately into the price of everyday…

Halfords pulls ahead on turnround hopes

Turnround hopes meant Halfords was outperforming a falling London market on Friday. The retailer took on 6.1 per cent to 329p after UBS upgraded from “sell” to “buy” with a 375p target. There was limited risk to earnings as 2014 guidance has been “kitchen sinked” and management was “finally undertaking some of the investment required to succeed as a specialist…

Markets whipsaw on Fed uncertainty

©Bloomberg The worst month for US Treasuries in two years ended on Friday with whipsaw trading in the bond and stock markets, reflecting investor uncertainty about when the Federal Reserve will curtail its stimulus policies. The New York morning was marked by a continuation of the Treasury market selling that has pushed yields higher – and prices lower – in…

Luxury goods sector comes under pressure

European stocks had a volatile week and month, and investors rode it out by taking profits from cyclical sectors which had performed well in the first four months of the year as global growth had looked like it was returning. This week saw the luxury goods sector under pressure after a strong start to the year. Equity strategists remained in…

Banks deliver first S&P 500 May rise since 2009

A late sell off on Friday afternoon could not offset strong performances from the big US banks, as the S&P 500 index marked its first gain in May since 2009 as part of a seven-month share market rally. The benchmark index retreated from the all-time highs of the previous week but ended the month up 2.1 per cent. The financial…

EM currencies suffer heavy losses

Emerging market currencies suffered heavy losses and the dollar index rose as investors bet that improving data on the US economy would encourage the Federal Reserve to reduce its monetary stimulus that has boosted investment into riskier assets. The South African rand, Mexican peso and Hungarian forint were some of the hardest hit currencies against the dollar after a volatile…