European bears continue eating into last week’s gains

The soft Chinese inflation figures edge its government closer to providing a fresh round of stimulus, while the hunt to fill the top job at Barclays appears to have gone full circle. 

Traders outside the London Stock Exchange
Source: Bloomberg

Considering the previous day had seen the UK return to negative inflation for only the second time since the 60’s, it was hardly surprising that China’s overnight inflation figures disappointed. As oil prices continue to sag this is arguably a return to bad news being good, as it will no doubt give the Chinese government a prod in the ribs that fresh stimulus is required.

Precious metal miner Fresnillo has updated the markets with improved production figures, partially offsetting the crumbling gold and silver prices. Regardless of how optimistic resource and production data might be, the threat of increased interest rate rises highlighting the lack of income that precious metals afford  continues to hang over the company like a black cloud.

The Barclays top job is set to be finally filled in the coming days. The board appear to have gone full circle in targeting ex-JP Morgan investment banker, Jes Staley – an appointment that goes some way to highlighting just how wide the gulf in opinion of ex-CEO Jenkins and the board had become.

JP Morgan Chase’s figures were suitably disappointing, in that the company has announced it will be targeting a fresh $500 million of cost cutting. Considering it has already reduced the head count by 10,000 this year, the worry will be that it is no longer just the fat that is being cut.

Twitter too has taken drastic action with last night’s announcement that it will be reducing staffing by 8%. Considering this was a company that just two years ago embarked upon an IPO whose fund raising was built upon company expansion and development, this announcement makes for particularly depressing reading. We are expecting the Dow Jones to open broadly flat from Tuesday’s close at 16,967.  

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