Morning Spread

Morning Spread

Tuesday 10th December 2013
IndexLevelChg (%)
UK Market6568.22+0.14
Dow Indust Avg16025.53+0.03
S&P 5001808.37+0.18
Nasdaq Composite4068.75+0.15
Nikkei 22515611.31-0.25
Hang Seng23744.19-0.28
IndexLevelChg (%)
Nymex 1m97.77+0.44
Gold Spot1244.29+0.32
GBP/USD1.643+0.14
GBP/EUR1.1948+0.06
EUR/USD1.3751+0.21
USD/JPY103.14-0.11

US equities were relatively flat on Monday, consolidating the strong gains made on Friday. It is clear that the strong equity market this year has boosted household wealth and in the third quarter alone this was boosted by $1.92 trillion. There was corporate activity with Sysco agreeing to buy US Foods for $3.5 billion; this consolidates the food distribution sector in the biggest deal for eight years. There was some disappointment from McDonalds which reported sales growth of only 0.5%, this missed analyst estimates and the shares fell just over 1%. In the retailing sector there was some concern that the troubled retailer, Abercrombie & Fitch, had given its CEO a new contract. Many investors believe he should be replaced and the shares declined 2.20%. Other losers included Mondelez down 1.14%, Time Warner down 1.62% and Halliburton down 1.29%. On the gainers there was Toll Brothers up just over 2%, Deere rallied 2.20% and Dow Chemical gained nearly 4%.

In Asia markets were generally weaker, as Chinese industrial production rose less than estimated, although the headline figure was still an impressive 10% year on year increase. The world’s biggest telephone company, China Mobile, dropped just over 1% after the company was downgraded to an underweight by Barclays. In Australia, QBE Insurance extended the previous day’s fall with another decline of 9.8%. Qantas fell 3% and the stock closed at its lowest level since 1995 as the airline loses further market share to Virgin Australia. In Japan, Yahoo Japan rose another 5.5% after the company was listed as a key Buy by Goldman Sachs. Advantest was the biggest faller on the Nikkei, losing nearly 3%, as investors digested further the recent results from the Semiconductor instrument manufacturer.

Europe is relatively flat this morning with early signs that investors are focussing on squaring their positions ahead of the year end. In stocks news, Dutch oil terminal operator Royal Vopak saw shares dipped 4.8% after it announced that market circumstances meant it would be challenged for the company to exceed its record financial year of 2012. BHP Billiton signaled its intention to limit annual spending to $15 billion in the face of weaker commodity prices, a significant decrease from the $21.7 billion it spent in the last financial year on various projects. Shares were down nearly 1%. Elsewhere, British equipment rental company Ashtead saw shares climb 4% after it posted a 41 percent rise in pretax profit during the second-quarter end, with the firm now believing its full year profit will reach the upper end of current expectations. TUI Travel, the world’s biggest tour operator, said encouraging booking levels for next summer helped it to post a 13% rise in full-year profit and beat an already upgraded forecast. The British group posted underlying operating profit of £555 million ($909.45 million) for the year to the end of September. Shares were higher by 1%.