Morning Spread

Morning Spread

Friday 20th February 2015
IndexLevelChg (%)
UK Market6891.11+0.03
Dow Indust Avg17985.77-0.24
S&P 5002097.45-0.11
Nasdaq Composite4924.70+0.37
Nikkei 22518332.30+0.37
Hang Seng24832.08+0.19
IndexLevelChg (%)
Nymex 1m50.98-0.35
Gold Spot1202.01-0.39
GBP/USD1.5364+0.45
GBP/EUR1.3576+0.06
EUR/USD1.1317-0.50
USD/JPY118.67+0.22

European stocks were little changed as euro-area finance ministers prepared to meet in Brussels to seek agreement on Greece’s bailout funding. The ESTX 50 (-0.30%), CAC 40 (-0.29%) and the Dax (-0.18%) all posted small losses in early trading, while the UK markets (+0.04%) were flat. Euro-area finance ministers hold emergency talks with Greek officials today amid growing pressure to find a compromise on maintaining funding to the indebted country. German leaders regard a proposal submitted by Greece to fellow euro-region governments as a basis for negotiations and don’t necessarily see a need for a fresh submission. Premier Oil Plc advanced +3.3% as oil trimmed its first weekly decline in a month. Danone fell -1.8% after setting a lower sales forecast for 2015 than last year’s amid deflationary pressure in Europe and weakening currencies in emerging markets.

 

US stocks were mixed as energy shares declined and a disappointing outlook from Wal-Mart. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (-0.24%) and the S&P 500 (-0.11%) both declined, while the Nasdaq Composite (+0.37%) increased. Priceline Group rallied +8.5% on its quarterly results and was the S&P 500’s largest daily percentage gainer. Wal-Mart Stores Inc dropped -3.2% after the company cut its sales outlook, citing the stronger dollar. Exxon Mobil dropped -1.7% as oil prices retreated following another big weekly build in US crude inventories. The decline in energy prices has eroded the profits of oil companies, and many have cut 2015 spending plans. But S&P 500 fourth quarter earnings overall have been better than expected, which has helped sentiment. American Express were down -1.7% after a federal judge ruled it violated US antitrust law by prohibiting merchants from steering consumers to use lower cost credits cards.

 

Asian stocks rose as market sentiment got a boost from upbeat US data, but banking shares fell after investors booked profits from recent gains. The Nikkei 225 (+0.37%) increased, while the S&P/ASX 200 (-0.38%) retreated. The Hang Seng was closed for holiday. Japan Display Inc jumped +5.4% on a report the company is considering building a plan in Japan at Apple Inc’s request. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc dropped -0.6%. Sumco Corp (+5.3%), Tokyo Electron (+5.19%) and Alps Electric Co Ltd (+5.09%) posted the biggest gains in the Nikkei 225. While the biggest drags on the index were Toho Zinc Co Ltd (-2.85%), Takashimaya Co (-2.52%) and Aeon Co Ltd (-2.44%).