Morning Spread

Morning Spread

Tuesday 24th February 2015
IndexLevelChg (%)
UK Market6916.89+0.07
Dow Indust Avg18116.84-0.13
S&P 5002109.66-0.03
Nasdaq Composite4960.97+0.10
Nikkei 22518603.48+0.74
Hang Seng24750.07-0.35
IndexLevelChg (%)
Nymex 1m48.96-0.99
Gold Spot1195.39-0.52
GBP/USD1.5436+0.12
GBP/EUR1.3651+0.09
EUR/USD1.1307-0.22
USD/JPY119.51-0.52

European shares retreated as investors awaited testimony by Janet Yellen and Greece’s creditors scrutinise a set of its economic measures. The ESTX 50 (-0.22%), UK markets (-0.02%), CAC 40 (-0.34%) and the Dax (-0.26%) all posted losses in early trading. Finmeccanica SpA gained +4.3% after Hitachi Ltd agreed to buy the company for about €809 million. Credit Agricole SA declined -1.3% after saying its CFO is leaving. Drax Group Plc lost -3.6% after forecasting capital investment of about £150 million this year. Telefonica Deutschland rose more than +7% after revealing expectations of more than €250 million in savings for 2015.

 

US stocks declined as lower oil prices dragged down energy shares. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (-0.13%) and the S&P 500 (-0.03%) all declined, while the Nasdaq Composite (+0.10%) increased. Oil prices fell, with WTI crude off -2.7% at $49.45 a barrel on oversupply concerns and a stronger dollar. Insurers gained after the government proposed to make only a small cut in payments to Medicare plans, a reversal from the much larger cuts in recent years. Humana were up +5.4%, while United Health Group Inc gained +3.4%. Boeing fell -2.3%, the biggest drag on the Dow, after Goldman Sachs cut its rating to “sell” from “neutral”. Canada’s Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc agreed to acquire Salix Pharmaceuticals Ltd in an all cash deal valued at about $10.1 billion. US listed shares of Valeant gained +14.7% while Salix slipped -1.3%.

 

Asian shares were higher as the Nikkei rose to another 15 year peak. The Nikkei 225 (+0.74%) and the S&P/ASX 200 (+0.32%) both increased, while the Hang Seng (-0.35%) decreased. BHP Billiton Ltd climbed +2.9% in Sydney after reporting earnings that beat analyst expectations and increasing its dividend. Taiwan Semiconductor rallied +1.7% to a record in Taipei. HSBC fell -3.5% after reporting fourth quarter profit that was lower than analyst estimates as costs and conduct provisions rose. China Oilfield Services Ltd lost -3% and Air China Ltd jumped +4.9% after crude oil retreated. Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd lost -2.7% after a senior Macau official said the city wants to study restrictions on mainland Chinese tourists to ease overcrowding.