Morning Spread

Morning Spread

Monday 13th April 2015
IndexLevelChg (%)
UK Market7070-0.28
Dow Indust Avg18057.65+0.55
S&P 5002102.06+0.52
Nasdaq Composite4995.978+0.43
Nikkei 22519905.46-0.01
Hang Seng28016.34+2.73
IndexLevelChg (%)
Nymex 1m52.74+2.13
Gold Spot1201.45-0.51
GBP/USD1.4594-0.25
GBP/EUR1.3822-0.15
EUR/USD1.0558-0.43
USD/JPY120.72-0.41

US equity markets continued higher in Friday trading with most indices up 0.50%. The main corporate feature was General Electric which was up more than 10% on restructuring news. The conglomerate announced plans to exit the majority of its finance business, launch a major share buyback programme and focus on its traditional engineering activities. It will be a busy week for results in the next few days with Intel, JP Morgan and Johnson & Johnson all reporting quarterly figures. Investor complacency levels are certainly rising, with the VIX index plumbing near all time lows.

Asia equities were mixed. with the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong closing at its highest level since 2007. Equity inflows from China have continued to surge, with brokers such as First Shanghai up 18% and China Merchants Bank up 25%. In Australia, resource stocks were still under downward pressure with Iluka down nearly 7% and Mineral Resources down 11%. Trading in Japan was quiet with profit taking in evidence, although very positive operating profit figures from Nippon Electric Glass saw the shares gain 18%. Fallers included Tokyo Gas down 3.5% and MS&AD Insurance fell 3%.

Europe is also mixed in early week trading as markets consolidate at their high levels, the Euro remains at a 12-year low. Nokia is up 3% as investors warm to the Maps division disposal and ST Micro is up 1.2% on the favourable sector backdrop. Swedish Match is down just over 2%, as the US FDA ruled against easier health warnings on the company’s Snus products. In the UK, the Mining sector is weaker as Chinese economic data disappoints and Citigroup publish a downbeat note. Antofagasta is down 1.28%, BHP Billiton is 2% lower and Anglo American is down 1.5%. On the upside, HSBC is up 1.42% as the broker, Morgan Stanley, raise their valuation on the bank.