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I The Stock Exchange andI…

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The Stock Exchange and the Political Crisis. The Stock Exchange is approaching the end of the year in a satisfactory condition, and though forecasts of good times in Janu- ary are perennial and are often not ful- filled, one hears at the present plenty of prognostications that the advent of the New Year will bring with it a notable improve- ment in the volume of Throgmorton-street business. At present, while the temper of the house is good, there is admittedly not much in the way of fresh dealings, the public, since the failure of the political conference ntinated clearly that a General Election was inevitable, having done very little either in investment or speculative channels. The feeling of unrest generated by the election, however, is already dying away, and at the fortnightly carryover ar- ranged this week there was noticeable such a restriction of commitments on all hands that markets are obviously in a healthy con- dition and ready to respond to all favour- able influences, which may develope. The rebound, which Las taken place in Consols, from the lowest levels reached early in the month, is typical of the improvement in Stock Exchange sentiment generally. The premier security is the best part of a point over the bottom and even a small fraction in advance of the make-up "I price at the last monthly settlement. This recovery has been due to some special causes, such as buying by the Government broker and pur- chases on French account, but it has never- theless had an appreciable effect in con- firming the Stock Exchange in its more con- fident temper. As regards general factors, markets have nothing to grumble at. The monetary situation grows more and more favourable. Call money is down in the neighbourhood of 2 per cent, and at the settlement this week the banks were lend- ing money to the brokers for a fortnight at 4I to 4| per cent., or fully £ per cent, under the rate charged at the end of No- vember settlement. Contangoes were con- sequently lighter all round, a fact of which prospective bulls may be counted upon to take due rote. The healthy technical condition of markets and the decline in money rates has encouraged insiders to put values forward fairly substantially all round in the wake of Consols, and they have ex- perienced little difficulty in taking this course, the stale bull element having been quite eliminated. Another considera- tion calculated to favourably impress mar- kets has been the change for the better in the labour situation. At last the great ship- building lockout has been terminated by a ballot on which 13,715 voted for acceptance of the masters' revised terms, and only 1,290 against. The lockout had been dragg- ing on for over three months, and the settle- ment of the dispute is oound to react in a stimulating fashion upon industry generally.

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