After a somewhat slower opening than was generally looked for, the past week's stock markets conformed to their recent character—namely, firmness in nearly all departments with a persistent upward movement in certain industrial specialities, such as Motor shares, in spite of the actual volume of business being comparatively small. Although we are now passed what is generally regarded as the " peak " of the holiday season, the continued absence of private investment interest has been indicated this week by the scarcity of business after the rush of early dealings, which suggests that there is no supply of orders to follow those contained in the morning's post. Given a continuance of the better weather, these conditions may continue for another fortnight.
Meanwhile, in the absence of fresh developments in the international situation, the markets are displaying an air of expectancy on greater consideration of internal
affairs. It is felt that Government expenditure in a number of directions, principally defence, road-making and agriculture, has yet to produce its full effect, and, moreover, that activity from this source will be cumulative, circulating over a widening field of industry and employment.
The undertone of the Home sections of the Stock Exchange has been very firm during the past week, although there have been few outstanding price changes. Among leading industrials, Triplex continued their recent rise, while Courtaulds showed improvement on talk of a revision of the tariffs. Motor shares were again in demand on reports of good business, and Leylands, Standards, and A.E.C. strengthened. Blakey's Boot Protectors were marked down 101d. to 17s. 6d. on Tuesday on the announcement that the past year's dividend is to be repeated at 15 per cent. Tobaccos improved, principally Imperials, Carreras, and B.A.T. Cement issues rose further under the lead of Associated. Among paint shares, Clover Paint Ordinary rose sharply to around 12s. 6d. Iron and Steel shares were irregular. The Shipping group remained generally firm, Clan Lines being the feature. Metal Industries have been a bright spot up to around 49s. on an acute shortage of shares.
In other markets, gilt-edged stocks were strong during the early part of the week; Home Rails were quiet, but firm; Oils were distinguished by activity in the Eagle issues, which went ahead strongly; Rubbers were firmer where changed, while leading Tea shares continued to improve.
West African Shares
Up to a fortnight ago it may have seemed that I was devoting more space than circumstances justified to the subject of West African gold shares. But the course of this section over the past account has proved my discussions particularly timely, since it has staged a marked revival, and most shares have moved in favour of
holders. Outstanding features of activity have been Amalgamated Banket Areas, G.C. Selection Trust, and Marlu.
This market has shown signs of accumulating strength ever since the beginning of the year, and this movement has now been expedited by renewed speculative attention to gold shares, and by the favourable developments on the leading West African properties. Conditions indicate a contir uance of activity. The technical positio of the market is sound, since there is n " weak bull " account, and a general scat city of shares. It is also encouraging thz dealers report a growth of small investmer business, which has so long been abser from this section.
Concerning the best choice of shares, still favour the 5s. shares of Gold Coe' Selection Trust, now around 27s. Th finance company is shortly to float off on of its properties as a subsidiary, an shareholders will no doubt receive a interest on bonus terms. Ariston 2s. fe shares have hung back in the recent ac vance, and are consequently looking aura( tive at around 9s. 6d. in view of the fadi I detailed in a recent note on this con pany.
Elsewhere in the mining markets, Kaffit were rather irregular, and Westrel,iar neglected with a dull spot in Commonwealt Mining. Rhokanas were firm amon Rhodesian Coppers. Tin shares tended,,t improve on the rise in the price of th metal.
High-yielding Brick Share
It is surprising that recent demand fc the best brick and cement shares in recce nition of the continuance of the buildin activity has excluded the 2s. 10 per cen Participating Preference variety of th Maidenhead Brick and Tile Compare These appear but moderately-valued at th present quotation of around 4s. to yiel 7-1 per cent.
This concern owns eight brick and til works in the southern counties, and cor trots a ninth. The fact that all works ar situated inland gives this company an ac vantage over coastal competitors, who ar more vulnerable to foreign competitior The trading profit for the past financit year to September 30 last was only £3,69 less than the record figure of £34,890 fc 1934, and this slight reduction was es plained by difficult weather conditions fo brick-making, and that one of the work was partly closed for extension purpose, The year's Preference dividend was repeate at 15 per cent. The Chairman spok encouragingly of the future at the las general meeting. He particularly remarke that as the company specialised in high class bricks it stood to benefit increasingl from the erection of public buildings, sue as schools, halls, public-houses, etc. Th usual interim dividend of 5 per cent. wa recently declared on the Preference share:
Points of Progress
Three weeks ago I discussed the Ordinar 55. shares of Burnell and Co., metal worker of Liverpool, then around 16s. lid. The have since risen to around 17s. 6d., an appear high enough for the moment.
Last week's remarks relating to Mansfiel, 2s. Ordinary shares have been prove, opportune by the subsequent course of th shares, which have been well bought thi week up to around 6s. 3d. I hear that a interim dividend may be forthcoming o these in the near future. The general mar kct opinion is that they should pay to loco' away over the next three months.
Readers who bought Press Caps Ordin ary 5s. shares on my recommendation due weeks ago, might be wise to sell then to-day at around 9s. 9d.