Morning Spread

Morning Spread

Wednesday 18th March 2015
IndexLevelChg (%)
UK Market6861.83+0.35
Dow Indust Avg17849.08-0.71
S&P 5002074.28-0.33
Nasdaq Composite4937.44+0.16
Nikkei 22519544.48+0.55
Hang Seng24120.08+0.91
IndexLevelChg (%)
Nymex 1m42.29-2.69
Gold Spot1147.27-0.20
GBP/USD1.4750+0.03
GBP/EUR1.3912-0.09
EUR/USD1.0602+0.07
USD/JPY121.26+0.12

European stocks were mixed ahead of today’s UK budget and ahead of Federal Reserve policy decision. The ESTX 50 (-0.12%), CAC 40 (-0.08%) and the Dax (-0.13%) all posted losses in early trading, while the UK markets (+0.35%) were positive. SBM Offshore NV jumped +7.9% after agreeing to cooperate with Brazilian authorities investigating companies for corrupt contracts with state run Petroleo Brasileiro SA. Standard Chartered Plc gained +5.8% after Barclays Plc upgraded the shares to “overweight”, saying a new CEO marks a turning point for the company. Inditex SA gained +2.4% after reporting annual profit that met estimates, while sales rose 13% at the start of the quarter.  

 

US stocks fell as nervousness increased ahead of a Federal Reserve statement. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (-0.71%) and the S&P 500 (-0.33%) both decreased, while the Nasdaq Composite (+0.16%) increased. Investors were anxious as the Federal Open Market Committee kicked off a two day policy meeting, to be followed by a statement from Janet Yellen later on today. While higher rates would be a sign of strength in the US economy, some investors question whether the economy is strong enough to handle increased borrowing costs. Losses were limited by a rise in tech shares. Apple was up +1.7% and Facebook gained +1.7%. After the bell, shares of Oracle rose +3.4% following results. Johnson & Johnson was the biggest drag on the S&P 500 with a -1.2% decline. American Airlines jumped +6.9% after an announcement that it would join the S&P 500.

 

Asian stocks rose as markets waited for the Federal Reserve’s policy statement for clues to when US interest rates will rise. The Nikkei 225 (+0.55%) and the Hang Seng (+0.91%) both advanced, while the S&P/ASX 200 (0.00%) was flat. Nintendo Co jumped +21% in a closing auction in Tokyo after the company said it will team up with DeNA Co to develop games for mobile devices. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co advanced +3% as the Taiex Index increased the most in two months Fortescue Metals Group Ltd tumbled -5.3% in Sydney after it pulled plans to refinance some of its debt with a $2.5 billion bond, citing volatile US credit markets and a failure to achieve the terms it wanted. Inpex Corp dropped -2.9% as crude fell for a seventh day.