Morning Spread

Morning Spread

Friday 22nd May 2015
IndexLevelChg (%)
UK Market7040.06+0.38
Dow Indust Avg18285.74unch
S&P 5002130.82+0.23
Nasdaq Composite5090.79+0.38
Nikkei 22520264.41+0.30
Hang Seng27988.03+1.69
IndexLevelChg (%)
Nymex 1m60.45-0.44
Gold Spot1212.86+0.54
GBP/USD1.5661-0.08
GBP/EUR1.4037+0.30
EUR/USD1.1158+0.23
USD/JPY120.79+0.23

US equities were positive in Thursday trading, with the S&P 500 Index closing at an all-time high. After recent weakness there was a bounce in the crude oil price which boosted the Energy sector. Conoco was up 1.25%, Nabors rose 2.79%, Transocean gained 4.3% and Halliburton was 2.64% higher. Generally the equity market is pretty trendless at the moment with little drama to shake investors either way. It could be a quiet summer. The retailer, Best Buy, released positive results boosted by iPhone and television sales. The stock gained 3.9%. In the Technology sector, Salesforce also reported decent numbers and the stock rose 4%. Other gainers included Apple up 1%, Qualcomm up 1.17% and Hewlett-Packard up 2.29%.

Asian markets were also positive in overnight trading, with Shenzhen stocks closing at the highest level since 1992. In Japan, the Bank of Japan has decided to put further stimulus on hold for the time being as economic growth has picked up. GDP in the first three months of this year has grown at an annualised rate of 2.4% with resilient levels of private consumption. In the Energy sector, Inpex Corp gained 2.4% and Marubeni was up 1.5%. In Hong Kong, there was weakness in Lenovo as the company reported the slowest profit growth in 5 years and weak PC demand, the shares fell nearly 4%.

Europe is quiet in early trading, although the UK market is positive. European Banks are experiencing some weakness with UBS down 2.15%, Deutsche Bank down 2.48% and Societe Generale down 1.05%. In the UK, Vodafone is leading the FTSE 100 rise with a gain of nearly 4%. The broker, Goldman Sachs, suggests that the company could become more active in disposals of non-core assets. Severn Trent is down just over 1% on final results which were broadly in line but contained few surprises. The luxury products company Richemont is down 1.8% after reporting a poor April in terms of sales. Currency volatility created uncertain buying patterns and this impacted markets such as Hong Kong. Kering is also down 2.58%.