Morning Spread

Morning Spread

Thursday 25th February 2016
IndexLevelChg (%)
UK Market5970.37+1.76
Dow Indust Avg16484.99+0.32
S&P 5001929.80+0.44
Nasdaq Composite4542.61+0.87
Nikkei 22516140.34+1.41
Hang Seng18888.75-1.58
IndexLevelChg (%)
Nymex 1m31.76-1.21
Gold Spot1239.16+0.85
GBP/USD1.3914+0.09
GBP/EUR1.2633+0.01
EUR/USD1.1014-0.09
USD/JPY112.09-0.62

European shares rose this morning as solid corporate results lifted stock markets. The ESTX 50 (+1.39%), UK markets (+1.82%), CAC 40 (+1.67%) and the Dax (+0.99%) all posted gains in early trading. Lloyds surged +9.1% after announcing a special dividend payment and higher profits, while shares in Seadrill advanced +6.7% as investors welcomed a refinancing plan. AXA gained +2.2% after posting higher profits, and gains in top banking and insurance stocks added most points to European stock markets. Zodiac Aerospace slumped -20% after announcing a profit warning. Lloyds Banking Group Plc jumped +9.3% after raising its dividend and giving a special payment.

US stocks closed higher after an increase in oil prices helped reduce investors’ fears about banks vulnerability to energy companies struggling to pay debts. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.32%), S&P 500 (+0.44%) and the Nasdaq Composite (+0.87%) all increased. Crude prices near 2003 lows have hurt the earnings of US energy companies, exacerbated fears of a slowing global economy and created turbulence on Wall Street that has left the S&P 500 almost 6% weaker than the start of the year. Facebook rose +1.34% and Apple added +1.49%. Concerns about slowing iPhone sales had pushed Apple’s stock down 19% in the past three months. Target Corp climbed +3.99% after its quarterly sales showed the company’s turnaround efforts were gaining traction.

Asian shares were mixed as crude oil prices seesawed and Chinese shares suffered, rekindling anxiety about the impact of high market volatility on the global economy on the eve of a G20 meeting in Shanghai. The Nikkei  225 (+1.41%) and the S&P/ASX 200 (+0.13%) both gained, while the Hang Seng (-1.50%) retreated. Sharp Corp plunged -14.4% after initially jumping after its board decided to accept a takeover offer from Hon Hai Precision Industry Co, in what would be the largest acquisition by a foreign company in Japan’s insular technology sector. China Shipbuilding Industry Co and Avic Aircraft Co led declines industrial shares, plunging by the daily limit of -10%. Agile Property Holdings Ltd dropped -7.2% in Hong Kong after saying it expects 2015 profit to drop 70% on lower selling prices and foreign exchange losses from yuan depreciation.