US Markets and Japan’s Nikkei Put London Into Perspective

While Apple reportedly struggles to get the iPhone X off its feet and into the market, stumbling on obstacles it knew would come about, such as developing proper facial recognition and delivering on its aggressive production schedule, global stock markets are fluctuating on the back of several factors, from the disastrous hurricanes to bad European weather and Brexit talk. Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas are still ahead of us however.

Here Lee Wild, Head of Equity Strategy at Interactive Investor, provides an overview of the current global stock economy, as US markets and Japan’s Nikkei put London into perspective:

“The mood on many global stock markets might well be described as exuberant, but not irrational. Yes, it took less than six weeks for the Dow Jones to add the last 1,000 points to top 23,000, but latest US company quarterly earnings are beating expectations – look at IBM’s fightback overnight – and president Trump’s tax plans could still deliver a boost to the bottom line.

“Japan’s Nikkei has just hit a two-decade high, but exports there have risen for a tenth straight month amid demand for Japanese technology.

“That puts what’s happening in London into perspective. Investors are right to be concerned about a recent spate of high-profile profit warnings, and Brexit presents its own set of special circumstances, but many companies are delivering strong results and valuations are not excessive.

“Of course, the market will correct at some point. Chatter has picked up in recent weeks following profit warnings from blue-chips GKN, Mondi, ConvaTec and Merlin, but this bunch are not a fair indicator of the market as a whole.

“Unilever’s highly-rated shares have come off the boil as bad weather affected sales of its Magnum and Ben & Jerry’s ice creams in Europe during the third-quarter, while hurricanes in Florida and Texas held back the Americas. However, underlying sales in emerging markets still grew 6.3% and volumes were up. With just a few months of the financial year left, annual group underlying sales are still expected to grow 3-5% and profit margins improve.

“Don’t be surprised to see a pullback between now and Christmas in some markets which have raced ahead this year, but it’s unlikely to be the crash everyone is predicting. While inflation is currently outstripping wages growth, the UK unemployment rate is at its lowest since 1975 and any small rise in interest rates will not pull the rug from under this market.”