Morning Spread

Morning Spread

Monday 2nd March 2015
IndexLevelChg (%)
UK Market6967.63+0.30
Dow Indust Avg18132.70-0.45
S&P 5002104.50-0.30
Nasdaq Composite4963.53-0.49
Nikkei 22518826.88+0.15
Hang Seng24887.44+0.26
IndexLevelChg (%)
Nymex 1m49.10-1.31
Gold Spot1216.84+0.30
GBP/USD1.5416-0.14
GBP/EUR1.3745+0.27
EUR/USD1.1215+0.17
USD/JPY119.80-0.14

US equity markets traded lower on Friday in low volumes, as investors digested data that showed the economy slowed more sharply during the fourth quarter. The 2.2% GDP growth figure was lower than the 2.6% forecast. Technology stocks experienced the largest declines with Apple down 1.50%, Facebook lost nearly 1.80% and Amazon fell 1.20%. With crude oil stabilising around the $50 per barrel mark, the Energy sector was mixed. Transocean was up 2.15%, Nabors was up 2.55%, whilst Conoco lost nearly 1% and Chevron fell nearly 0.50%. Consumer confidence data came in with a strong number, with The Gap up 3.05%, Abercrombie & Fitch rose 3% and Coca Cola increased nearly 2%. Financials struggled with American Express down 2%, Bank of America down 1.43% and Goldman Sachs down 1.25%.

Asia stocks were generally positive with Hong Kong gaining 0.30% after suffering early losses. In China, the Central Bank cut interest rates for the second time in three months and Bank of China was up 0.7%, AIA rose 3.7% and BoCom rallied 0.9%. Property developers were also in positive mood with Evergrande up 2.1%, China Resources Land was up 1.2% and Shimao was up 0.9%. In Japan, telecoms giant, NTT, gained 2.6% on reports the company was acquiring a German data centre operator. The Yen weakened for the third day in a row, with Nintendo up 1.5% and Toyota was up 0.77%. In Australia, there were some large falls with Myer down 11% after the CEO/CFO both left and Metcash lost 7% on grocery price war fears. Caltex Australia rose nearly 4% after the stock was upgraded by several brokers.

Europe is mostly higher with the UK showing positive manufacturing momentum. The Purchasing Managers Index rose to a reading of 54.1 in January, the highest level in seven months. In the FTSE 100, Intertek rose 4.58%, Capita was up just over 2% and Smiths Group was up by a similar margin. The Energy sector is weaker with Tullow Oil down 2.27%, Weir Group is down 1.64% and Royal Dutch Shell is down just over 1%. Some other gainers in Europe include Yara International up nearly 1.7%, Metro is up 1.4% and KPN is 1.2% higher. Fallers include Total down 1% and Lafarge is nearly 2% lower. The main faller is Vivendi down 5.1%, the French media giant announced a disappointing level of cash return to shareholders and there was little top line growth.