Morning Spread

Morning Spread

Tuesday 24th May 2016
IndexLevelChg (%)
UK Market6176.01+0.65
Dow Indust Avg17492.93-0.05
S&P 5002048.04-0.21
Nasdaq Composite4765.78-0.08
Nikkei 22516498.76-0.94
Hang Seng19830.43+0.11
IndexLevelChg (%)
Nymex 1m47.71-0.77
Gold Spot1243.85-0.42
GBP/USD1.4544-0.42
GBP/EUR1.3012+0.71
EUR/USD1.1177-0.30
USD/JPY109.55-0.17

European shares rose as a drop in the euro helped boost stocks as investors assessed the implications of a possible Federal Reserve interest rate increase as early as June. The ESTX 50 (+1.01%), CAC 40 (+1.04%), Dax (+0.74%) and the UK markets (+0.49%) all posted gains in early trading. Kingfisher Plc rose +1.9% after it reported better than expected quarterly sales at its businesses in the UK and France. SEB SA rallied +11% after agreeing to buy WMF for about €1.6 billion. Galenica AG dropped -6.4% after saying it will split into separate companies by the end of 2017. Evonik Industries AG slid -4.7% after a shareholder began selling a 4.2% stake in the company.

US stocks declined as a bounce in Apple failed to offset concerns that the US Federal Reserve could raise interest rates sooner than later. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (-0.05%), S&P 500 (-0.21%) and the Nasdaq Composite (-0.08%) all retreated. The timing of future Fed rate hikes in the face of a sluggish economy is a major focus among investors who have benefitted from historically low borrowing costs since the 2008 financial crisis. Apple rose +1.27% after Taiwan’s Economic Daily News reported that Apple asked suppliers to build more of its next generation iPhones than previously expected. Monsanto jumped +4.41% after receiving a $62 billion takeover offer from Bayer. Microsoft was down -1.4%.

Asian stocks fell as a stronger yen weighed on Japanese exporters and speculation the US is closer to raising interest rates. The S&P/ASX 200 (-0.44%) and the Nikkei 225 (-0.94%) both declined, while the Hang Seng (+0.11%) increased. Toyota Motor Corp slumped -1.4% and Hitachi Ltd declined -2.4%. With Japanese equities closely tied to swings in the yen, investors considered comments from Finance Minister Taro Aso, who said the government has no intention of further lowering the currency to boost competitiveness and absolutely no intention of devaluing the yen in a sustained manner. Toshiba Corp fell -3.5%. Inpex Corp sank -1.8%.