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.
Morning Spread 8th March 2017 European shares traded flat this morning, the modest moves masking significant results driven games by several companies on a bust day for European earnings.
Morning Spread 2nd November 2016 Asian stocks followed global equities lower despite gauges of manufacturing in China topping estimates and the Bank of Japan maintained its record stimulus program.
Morning Spread 1st November 2016 Asian stocks were mixed as declines in oil prices dragged energy shares lower and investor anxiety grew over next week’s US presidential election.
Morning Spread 28th October 2016 Asian stocks fell as oil explorers pushed down Hong Kong gauges, while investors digested earnings from several companies.
Morning Spread 27th October 2016 US stocks were mixed following the release of earnings from several companies.
Morning Spread 24th October 2016 US stocks were little changed as a record day for Microsoft and earnings from McDonald’s helped offset a fall in energy and healthcare shares.
Morning Spread 19th October 2016 Asian shares rose as a barrage of Chinese data confirmed the economy had stabilised on the back of government spending and a hot housing market, even if worries about debt continue to mount.
Morning Spread 10th October 2016 Asian stocks were mixed following the second US presidential debate between Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump.
Morning Spread 5th October 2016 Most Asian stocks outside Japan slid on concern central banks will reduce stimulus, while the Nikkei climbed after the yen weakened.
Morning Spread 27th September 2016 Asian stocks advanced with investors viewing Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton as having gotten the upper hand in the first US presidential debate.