Morning Spread

Morning Spread

Friday 18th March 2016
IndexLevelChg (%)
UK Market6231.04+0.48
Dow Indust Avg17481.49+0.90
S&P 5002040.59+0.66
Nasdaq Composite4774.98+0.23
Nikkei 22516724.81-1.25
Hang Seng20671.63+0.82
IndexLevelChg (%)
Nymex 1m40.81+1.52
Gold Spot1253.89-0.32
GBP/USD1.4452+0.15
GBP/EUR1.2815+0.20
EUR/USD1.1278-0.36
USD/JPY111.43-0.06

European stocks gained this morning although banks extended their declines. The ESTX 50 (+0.24%), UK markets (+0.14%), CAC 40 (+0.29%) and the Dax (+0.13%) all posted gains in early trading. Banco Poplare and Banca Popolare di Milano were both down more than -4% after the ECB set conditions to approve their planned merger and asked for a multi- year industrial plan within a month. Nordea Bank fell -7% as the stock went ex-dividend and Societe General cut its price target, keeping its “sell” rating. Generali fell -2.2% after reporting profit that rose less than expected because of writedowns on its equity holdings.

US stocks gained, pushing the Dow Jones into positive territory for the year, as commodity prices rose on the back of a weaker US dollar to boost shares in the energy and materials sectors. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.90%), S&P 500 (+0.66%) and the Nasdaq Composite (+0.23%) all advanced. US crude settled up 4.5% at $40.20 a barrel on optimism that major producers will strike an output freeze deal next month amid rising crude exports and petrol demand in the United States. General Electric rose +2.6% and gave the biggest boost to the S&P 500. FedEx rose +11.8% after forecasting better than expected full year earnings. Endo International dropped -12.5% after forecasting first quarter results below estimates.

Asian stocks rose as investors turned more positive on riskier assets after the Federal Reserve’s cautious stance on further interest rate increases. The Hang Seng (+0.82%) and the S&P/ASX 200 (+0.29%) both increased, while the Nikkei 225 (-1.25%) decreased. Juki Corp jumped +9.5% after announcing it will buy back shares. CKD Corp added +4.1% after Iwai Cosmo Securities Co raised its rating on the company to “outperform”. Toyota Motor Corp fell -2.3% after the dollar continued to tumble against the yen, weighing on the earnings outlook for Japanese exporters. Tencent Holdings Ltd jumped +3.7% to its highest level since June after the company posted a better than expected 45% jump in quarterly sales.