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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

BetOnMarkets Afternoon Report

The FTSE is unchanged on the day, but is still managing to outperform US
markets today. This is largely due to playing catch up to Thursdays late
rally on US markets and Monday's stock market closure.

In the UK, banks are up nicely after Barclays announced it may open up
BGI to bidding. This in turn could draw out higher offers for iShares,
which pleased many shareholders who believed Barclays should have held
out for a higher offer from CVC or other bidders.

Early news of Goldman Sach's $1.8bn profit created some excitement in
early trading, but this sentiment h slipped firmly to reverse after an
analyst's conference call highlighted some curious accounting changes
behind the numbers. Goldman's changed their accounting period to January
from December for the first quarter, which removed the effect of their
AIG exposure on earnings. Removing December strips out lots of losses
and write offs and it is little wonder than Goldman's sank in early
trading as this analysis was discussed.

This has taken the sheen off early market sentiment, but overall it
markets are still feeling their way back after the long weekend and are
consequently largely unchanged on the day.