What a week. Rocket man turns into Trump’s best mate. Sainsburys to merge with Asda. TSB woes, Oil Bull Andurand warns of $300pb and finally… leading British Cabinet politician misleads and tells a lie. Take your pick but one of the above is not headline news nor a shock. Rocket man and Trump could easily feature in the next Austin Powers movie. Both share the shock and awe approach to pre-negotiations. Plenty of bluster and noise followed by a slow retreat (off camera). Progress is progress, just a shame these days that it’s done through ‘threatening behaviour’ rather than traditional diplomatic discussions. Supermarket mergers rarely happen with the view to delivering consumer savings. It’s all about store closures, margins and squeezing the farmers harder and harder. Competing with the Germans on food production/sales is tantamount to taking them on in a penalty shootout. Aldi and Lidl will not be concerned about UK mergers but Morrisons and Tesco might. These two should consider a nice weekend spa break together soon. TSB ‘Trustee Savings Bank’ (although other acronyms spring to mind) is perhaps the biggest worry of all. UK Banks today act like tortoises on roller skates. All the technology is out there and has been taken up by the rest of the world. But good old blighty seems stuck in the pin stripe and top hat days. More and more customers are finding online accounts breached or have become victims of fraudulent activity. The UK banking industry has to work harder to protect consumers money but it also has to deliver a seamless solution that does not prevent customers losing access to their ‘money’. You can of course do your bit and pick strong passwords. Look closely at all email links before clicking on them, and do not throw your personal details out in the bins for criminals to pick through or display them free on social media for all to read. Moving on, Oil at $300pb? Don’t be ridiculous! But as headlines go… in true Trumpism, it gets your attention. Which is precisely what is needed from a market perspective. TheShareHub has been highlighting the risks of watching US supplies too closely while not looking at the rest of the world. Lack of new fields/developments will bite hard especially if the US, Saudi’s and Russian’s cannot meet the increasing oil demand further down the line. The market has been complacent across commodities for too long. It is only recently that equities have begun to catch up with higher prices. As per last weeks update, many bellwethers are still 50% to 100% off 2010 prices (last bullish period). Certainly bodes well for TheShareHub top ten for 2018. Finally, a special mention must go to the true star of Austin Powers, that’s not Trump. It’s not Rocket man but it’s the one and only mini me…Verne Troyer. RIP.
Week 17 delivered some further gains for the newspaper picks which have staged a decent recovery from being 10% down a month or two ago. TheShareHub top ten picks took a breather and consolidated after strong gains. Stock picks such as CERP, HUM, SOLG and PMO have been slow to join the equities/commodity recovery. All should do well in the coming weeks/months. Heads up calls in MATD and PDL are mixed with the former consolidating nicely prior to the biggest exploration campaign on AIM. It should be very exciting times for MATD holders over the next 6 months+. It might not be too long before MATD breaks out into higher levels circa 16p to 21p range. PDL has struggled and needs to get the confiscated parcel of diamonds issue resolved before moving on with any pace. As with all stocks, read the risk caveats in the side bar.