12th July 2013
1) US markets hit all time highs this week as the Wall Street Journal reports here, as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Benanke assuaged concerns that the Fed would withdraw QE support any time soon. The Dow Jones Industrials index climbed to 15460.92 with the S&P 500 hitting 1,675.02. The Nasdaq remains some way away from its tech boom high. The next landmark perhaps? Mindful Money’s Shaun Richards highlighted a number of central bankers’ dilemmas earlier in the week.
2) Despite gloomy predictions about the public finances after the next election, the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne say that the deficit can be eradicated without tax rises as the Telegraph reports. A big promise for the Tory programme next time out and, perhaps, another battle line drawn.
3) Although we lack the details as yet, Royal Mail is to be privatised as business secretary Vince Cable announced this week to the ire of the postal workers’ union. The Economist considers the challenges in the context of past privatisations. Hard-nosed investors such as readers of Mindful Money will want to know if the price is right and other not unimportant details like what the dividend prospects are. The business outlook may not be too bad. Having moved into profit on the back of internet parcel deliveries, perhaps the business is moving with the times. It is to develop new online business post tracking software as very specialist website PostandParcel reports but small details of this start might add to an investment case.
4) Hargreaves Lansdown says that gold miners may finally look cheap on some measures. Its analysis of the World Datastream Gold Mining Index suggests that the stocks are trading below their net asset value for the first time since 1980 and yet other indicators suggest that there may be further to fall as Mindful Money reports.
5) While national newspapers reported that Invesco Perpetual star fund manager Neil Woodford was to buy an eye-watering ten per cent of Lloyds, the firm itself scotched the reports saying he had no interest in buying into UK High Street banks as trade website Fundweb reported on Friday lunchtime. Interesting rumour though.