22 FEBRUARY 1930, Page 36

Finance—Public and Private

Why Markets are Dull

I DOUBT if .any more striking example of the present dullness of markets and the pessimism which is felt at the moment with regard to the general outlook could be given than the extreme dullness of English railway securities notwithstanding the satisfactory dividends recently announced, and also notwithstanding the fact that present prices of stocks are " full of dividend," so that on some of the best Ordinary stocks yields to the investor, up to 9 per cent. and over are obtainable. Nor is this the only feature in the stock markets at the present time which seems to be somewhat out of harmony with recent developments. Scarcely a depart- ment of the House' has escaped depression during the last week or so, and notwithstanding the lower Bank Rate, British Funds and gilt-edged securities themselves have shown a sagging tendency, and the same is true of the speculative markets. And yet there had been a rather general idea that when the Hatry settlement was out of the way much would have been done to prepare the markets for more favourable conditions. To what, then, must we attribute the present depressed condition, of maikets or what basis may we seek for the hope that this depression is no more than a passing phase ?