Morning Spread

Morning Spread

Thursday 17th March 2016
IndexLevelChg (%)
UK Market6171.47-0.07
Dow Indust Avg17325.76+0.43
S&P 5002027.22+0.56
Nasdaq Composite4763.97+0.75
Nikkei 22516936.38-0.22
Hang Seng20503.81+1.21
IndexLevelChg (%)
Nymex 1m39.32+2.24
Gold Spot1266.78+0.34
GBP/USD1.4302-1.30
GBP/EUR1.2642-0.74
EUR/USD1.1313+2.01
USD/JPY111.34+2.12

European stocks were mixed this morning as a strengthening in the euro offset a rally in commodity producers. The ESTX 50 (-0.13%), CAC 40 (-0.07%) and the Dax (-0.42%) all posted losses in early trading, while the UK markets (+0.26%) were up. The Bank of England will probably keep its key rate at a record low when it announces its decision today, according to economist estimates. Anglo American Plc, Glencore Plc and BHP Billiton all rallied more than +6%. InterContinental Hotels Group Plc lost -2.2% after Morgan Stanley cut its rating on the shares. Lufthansa fell -5.6% after reining in its profit expectations. Immofinanz slumped -9% after reporting a loss.

US stocks rose after the US Federal Reserve left interest rates untouched and signalled fewer rate hikes in the coming months. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.43%), S&P 500 (+0.56%) and the Nasdaq Composite (+0.75%) all advanced. The Fed indicated moderate US economic growth and strong job gains would allow it to tighten policy this year with fresh projections showing policymakers expected two quarter point hikes by the year’s end, half the number seen in December. But the US central bank noted the United States continues to face risks from an uncertain global economy. Peabody Energy Corp fell -4.5% after the company said in a regulatory filing it may have to seek bankruptcy protection. LinkedIn fell -4.9% and Gap fell -1.4% after Morgan Stanley downgraded both stocks. FedEx jumped +5.3% after markets closed on strong full year earnings forecast in its fiscal third quarter financial results.

Asian stocks gained as risk appetite revived after the Federal Reserve reduced the number of interest rate hikes expected this year. The S&P/ASX 200 (+0.96%) and the Hang Seng (+1.21%) both advanced, while the Nikkei 225 (-0.22%) was negative. Origin Energy Ltd and Santos Ltd both rose at least +3% after US oil climbed +5.8% as some OPEC members agreed to meet with other producers in April for talks on capping production with US crude stockpiles increased less than anticipated. Toshiba plunged -8% on news it’s being probed over allegations that it hid $1.3 billion in losses at its nuclear power operations. Keikyu Corp fell -2.8% after revising down its full year operating profit forecast.