Morning Spread

Morning Spread

Thursday 10th March 2016
IndexLevelChg (%)
UK Market6131.42-0.24
Dow Indust Avg17000.36+0.21
S&P 5001989.26+0.51
Nasdaq Composite4674.38+0.55
Nikkei 22516852.35+1.26
Hang Seng19984.42-0.06
IndexLevelChg (%)
Nymex 1m37.91-0.99
Gold Spot1249.39-0.30
GBP/USD1.4193+0.22
GBP/EUR1.2947+0.37
EUR/USD1.0962-0.60
USD/JPY113.40-0.27

European shares were steady this morning, helped by gains in insurers, while expectations of more stimulus measures from the European Central Bank also supported equities. The ESTX 50 (+0.18%) and the CAC 40 (+0.02%) both gained, while the Dax (-0.19%) and the UK markets (-0.12%) both decreased. The ECB is expected to unveil its second stimulus cocktail in three months later today, spurred by fears that low energy costs are feeding into wages and prices, potentially perpetuating ultra low inflation. Aviva rose +5% after posting higher profits and dividends. K + S fell -4.9% after it warned of a significant drop in operating profit this year. Ashtead Group Plc fell -3.5% after Deutsche Bank AG recommended selling shares of the company.  

US stocks rose in low volume, led by the direction of the price of oil and energy sector shares. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.21%), S&P 500 (+0.51%) and the Nasdaq Composite (+0.55%) all increased. Crude oil and US equity prices have been linked for much of 2016 to a degree that has surprised many investors. Yesterday’s market action extended that trend, with WTI crude rising nearly +5% and the S&P 500 energy sector up +1.5%. Chevron jumped +4.6% and gave the biggest boost to the energy sector. Chipotle Mexican Grill lost -3.4% after temporarily shutting a Massachusetts restaurant after four employees fell sick. Regeneron Pharmaceuticals dropped -5.1% and was the biggest decliner in the Nasdaq.

Asian stocks edged higher, encouraged by a rally in crude oil prices and expectations that the European Central Bank will ease policy later in the day, emulating policymakers elsewhere seeking to bolster their struggling economies. The Nikkei 225 (+1.26%) rose, while the Hang Seng (-0.06%) and S&P/ASX 200 (-0.14%) both declined. NCSoft Corp jumped +10% in Seoul as the company’s new mobile game app became popular in China. Golden Agri-Resources Ltd rallied +6.6% in Singapore, pacing gains among oil producers as the raw material climbed to a two week high. Kansai Electric Power Co tumbled -15% in Tokyo, the most since 1987, after a Japanese court issued an injunction preventing the company from operating two of its nuclear reactors due to safety concerns.