Week 12 was another choppy session for global markets as Trump continues to dish out more trade war inducing styled tariffs. That said, a pattern has emerged of late which resembles more of a fluffy blonde haired 2 year old having a premeditated tantrum and getting some sweets in return to quieten down. Export tariff’s were slapped on Canada, Mexico, EU and Britain but all appear to have been removed or suspended now certain conversations have occurred behind the scenes or sweets handed out. The markets better shape up if they are to seek any kind of stability in 2018 as this kind of Trumpism is not going to go away.
Commodities are at last showing some signs of interest and the golden one in particular. It’s been a long time coming and a few years since Gold has had a serious bull run. But all looks like aligning in favour of the go-to safety metal. TheShareHub picked out Hummingbird Resources as a great early gold producer for 2018. The company is just days away from full production status and is well positioned to benefit from Gold’s recent rise and any future rises with a low AISC. Another commodity player but mainly exploration, is SOLG. I’m not surprised that the share price has drifted a little as the market awaits the updated MRE. But it is surprising to see how far it has drifted. Dropping from 32p down to 20p lows is overdone and even in the ‘wait on news’ gear position, the stock should be trading in the mid 20’s minimum.
Looking back over the first quarter we’ve had a number of hefty news headlines thrown at the market from Nuking North Korea to putting Putin in his box. Trump’s HR department has been busy and where Brexit is concerned, much talk of progress yet most are still scratching their heads over what has actually been agreed in the last 20 months. But every now and again, we have an event that just drops the jaw to the floor. Last year it was Dieselgate. It astonishes me why VW and co are still trading after that kind of deception. In the USA, litigation cases are akin to taking out mobile phone contracts. Easy to do and no brainers in many situations. It’s no surprise to see VW paying out billions to the US consumer. So what’s happening in the UK? Not a lot by the looks of things, apart from VW service costs rising. Shouldn’t VW be offering the UK people some large discounts on cars as a ‘sorry’? Perhaps they know that saying sorry does not repair the damage done to the brand or the country of main manufacture being Germany. Once a place well known for making amazing engineered cars is now a country that ‘cheats’. And that leads me to probably the most upsetting thing I have come across in the last decade or so. Ball tampering in cricket has being going on for years and years. There is nothing new there. Of course there are levels of tampering from scratching to scuffing up with other means etc etc I won’t bore you with the details. Cricket in general has had to deal with a plethora of issues as the sport expands many countries some of which are far from being whiter than white. Corruption like the Pakistan cricket spot-fixing scandal is just one example. But never before have I seen a major bellwether ‘cheat’ and not only cheat but do it in a premeditated manner. Australia and Australian’s have for generations prided themselves on being down to earth and honourable. Cricket had carried the honorable gentlemen’s tag for centuries with greats like Trueman to Bradman leading by example. Players that played for their country with a passion and commitment. Players that would never put themselves before their sport. Today, we seem swamped by individuals that think they are the ‘show’… the all important reason why people pay the ticket prices. Twitter and facebook accounts are kept more up-to-date than their sporting skills. More content sporting a new hairstyle than a new shot or technique. Cricket Australia was ‘world’ cricket to some extent. It was the Federer of Tennis. What follows this awful tainting of a once great sport has to be measurable and assuring. Cricket Australia must act with force and repair the damage done. It doesn’t just take a few indiviuals to ruin a sport. It takes an entire team, staff and culture. The rot or poor mentality should have been sniffed out by top management long ago and discouraged. The fact that it wasn’t suggests that any cull needs to begin from the top down. A one match ban and suspension is far from being balanced. The very complacency shown in such a weak penalty perhaps reveals more about Cricket Australia’s mentality than the ball tampering itself. The yellow and gold of Australia will not shine again for a very long long time. They owe it to ‘cricket’ to put it right.
Week 12 status below:
TheShareHub top ten picks continues to outperform the newspaper top picking guru’s. The good news is that there is plenty left in the tank for TheShareHub picks with many stocks merely treading water or roughly at Jan 2018 levels. Considering the strength of PoO and PoG it is a surprise to see many commodity focused stocks trading in a lacklustre way. ISA season kicks off next week which is often a key driver for many as investors sell stock a month before to book losses or gains and then return to the market post April 6th. With the Trump tantrum rhetoric set to continue, it would not surprise many to see sanctions slapped on Iran – or certainly some bluster headlines around it. With a tightening oil market, that could present some sharp spikes higher as Iran’s crude exports currently accounts for around 3 million boepd. If even half of that amount was to be wiped out – the oil market would struggle to meet demand. Over the years, investment has dropped and oil production in OPEC and non opec countries is falling. OPEC’s biggest problem ahead could be in boosting production fast enough to meet the demand rather than worrying about eroding gluts. Certainly one to keep an eye on over the next couple of months as Trump’s June revisit to the old Obama Iranian sanction deal edges ever closer.