Morning Message

Friday Update

Friday 7th April 2017

European stocks fell this morning as major benchmarks tracked a global pull back in risky assets. The ESTX 50 (-0.41%), UK markets (-0.05%), Dax (-0.51%) and the CAC 40 (-0.34%) all posted losses in early trading. Investors awaited manufacturing data from the UK and non-farm payrolls from the US later in the session. Billerudkorsnas dropped -5.1% after it warned on its first quarter operating profit. Ocado was down -6.5% after UBS cut its rating on the stock to “sell” from “buy”. Standard Life gained +2.8% and Aberdeen Asset Management rose +2.7% after RBC upgraded the merging fund managers. They were also the top European gainers. Randgold Resources jumped +2.1% after the price of gold rallied to a five month high as investors rushed to safe havens.

US stocks closed slightly higher but finished well off session highs as investors were nervous about upcoming talks between China’s President Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.07%), S&P 500 (+0.19%) and the Nasdaq Composite (+0.25%) all increased. Investors are anxious for news on China-US trade relations and discussions on reining in North Korea’s arms program. The S&P Energy index rose +0.8% as oil prices rose to near one month highs. Comcast Corp was the S&P’s biggest boost with a +2.1% gain after it announced a wireless service. CarMax Inc shares rose +2.4% after beating earnings and sales estimates for the fourth quarter.

Asian stocks had a choppy session after oil prices surged more than 2% and the Nikkei fell to a four month low earlier in the session after the US fired dozens of cruise missiles at a Syrian airfield. The Nikkei 225 (+0.36%) and the S&P/ASX 200 (+0.11%) both gained, while the Hang Seng (-0.03%) was flat. A US military official said that 59 tomahawks had been fired from US navy destroyers, which hit an airfield near Homs. The missiles hit aircraft and infrastructure including the runway. Samsung shares closed -0.57% after the company released its first quarter guidance. The company said operating profits are expected to rise by nearly 50% on year.

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