E Worldwide Upbeat

Happy Friday. It looks like markets worldwide are upbeat, with rises in Japan and India, although both Hong Kong and Taiwan markets are down because Hong Kong accused the island state of “gross interference” in its domestic affairs, and closed the Taiwan representative office in Hong Kong, presumably at the behest of its new masters in Beijing. And Taiwan faces a new round of covid-19. 

European markets also were up, notably Germany and France, while London slid because of inflation fears offsetting news of higher retail volumes, which sounds familiar to US stock-watchers. Our lead index, the DJIA, continues to rise, up 11% at the opening today, but still cheap at an average of 20x earnings, according to Al Root writing in Barron's Daily. Nasdaq is up only 5% but is seriously more expensive, at 32x earnings, and fell about 1% at the opening. Here are some of the reasons why:.

The US crackdown on cryptocurrencies continues with the Fed today indicating that an official crypto-currency is going to be created for the USA, subject to taxes, but also with a more secure payments process and bank backers. The talk from the Fed along with proposals to tax cryptocurrency trades worth over $10,000 (a low barrier) took down the greenback despite the Fed's hints that a taper tantrum is coming.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

A minimum tax on global US company earnings of about 15% is on the cards, but it is better than the earlier tax leve of 21%. This will require global cooperation. US taxes are irrational, based either on where a firm has its headquarters, or where its earnings are generated, meaning there is a huge loophole allowing major companies to use low tax havens rather than either. And another bunch of experts delivered inflation warnings, notably BofA-Merrill. Mark Mobius, the former emerging markets guru of the Templeton Funds, is due to give his insights next Tuesday. (Mark, who was at MIT doing graduate work was in one of my undergraduate courses at Harvard, with Barrington Moore. Because I have watched his work for decades I did not include Sir John Templeton in my list this weak of great investors, because I think Templeton is given credit for work done by his employees. He was smart to include Japan and less developed countries in his portfolios but he depended on hired hands to find the stocks.)

Winners

*The best performing non-US share is Swiss Cie Financière Richemont. Every time I check the time I look at a Cartier product, but I still failed to tip it as a buy. Today's Financial Times warns that its outlook is tarnished by dependence on a few brand lines and refusal to consider a tie-up with Kering.

*Oatley soared 34% on its $10 bn IPO but since I have never tasted the stuff I did not buy into it. otly.

*Once again our top portfoli rerformer is Antofagasta, the Chilean copper and gold miner, listed in London for more than a century. I upped my position in ANFGF after the Chilean election produced a left-wing winner, not a bit like Salvador Allende, who was a genuine Marxist aiming to keep the left in power with constitutional changes. I remember those days when I worked for Senate Foreign Relations Committee Republican Clifford Case, (R-NJ), on the CIA intervention on behalf of the Colonels.

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