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.
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.