Morning Spread

Morning Spread

Friday 4th December 2015
IndexLevelChg (%)
UK Market6267.09-0.13
Dow Indust Avg17477.67-1.42
S&P 5002049.62-1.44
Nasdaq Composite5037.53-1.67
Nikkei 22519504.48-2.18
Hang Seng22235.89-0.81
IndexLevelChg (%)
Nymex 1m41.25+0.41
Gold Spot1060.58-0.15
GBP/USD1.5116+0.10
GBP/EUR1.3891-0.28
EUR/USD1.0882-0.18
USD/JPY122.81-0.04

European equities fell sharply on Thursday as investors reacted to the latest policy actions from the European Central Bank (ECB). There was a 0.1% reduction in the official deposit rate to -0.3% and a six month extension to the QE programme. This should be supportive but investors wanted more and hence the sharp equity market declines. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 3.1%, with Germany faring worse down 3.6% whilst in France, stocks such as Danone declined 5%. This morning has seen a mild recovery with AXA up 3.7% on positive results, the insurer has indicated dividends will be raised and solvency is strong. In the UK, Berkeley Group is one of the biggest risers with the house builder up 6%. Demand remains strong and with cash generation high, dividends can be materially boosted.

US equities also declined, although positive retail sales data boosted stocks such as Wal-Mart up 1.18%, Target Corp up 1.75% and Abercrombie & Fitch up just over 1%. Some of the major fallers included Amgen down 3.65%, Oracle down 2.3%, Goldman Sachs fell nearly 2.7% and Alcoa lost 3.85%. The Federal Reserve also reiterated its favoured stance of raising interest rates as soon as possible. Oil actually rallied ahead of a key OPEC meeting today, the move saw Transocean up 1.5% and Nabors up 1.3%. The largest US supermarket chain, Kroger, was up nearly 5% as the company beat profit expectations boosted by new store openings.

In Asia the MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 1.1% with consumer and healthcare stocks leading the falls. Japan was weak as the Yen strengthened against the US $ with the shipping sector in focus as Nomura downgraded the outlook. Mitsui OSK Lines dropped 3.7%, Kawasaki Kisen fell nearly 3% and Hanjin Shipping declined 1.6%. Chinese stocks which had been positive earlier in the week fell nearly 2% with property developers such as Poly Real Estate down 3% and Gemdale Corp down 4.5%. In Australia, Financials were notably weak with Magellan Financial down 8.8% and Henderson Group lost 3.9%.