Morning Spread

Morning Spread

Friday 18th July 2014
IndexLevelChg (%)
UK Market6706.46-0.47
Dow Indust Avg16976.81-0.94
S&P 5001958.12-1.18
Nasdaq Composite4363.45-1.41
Nikkei 22515125.71-1.01
Hang Seng23454.79-0.28
IndexLevelChg (%)
Nymex 1m103.62+0.43
Gold Spot1309.28-0.76
GBP/USD1.711+0.03
GBP/EUR1.264+0.04
EUR/USD1.353+0.07
USD/JPY101.42-0.07

In the US equities were weak on Thursday with the S&P 500 falling the most in three months in reaction to the Malaysian Airlines crash in the Ukraine and commencement of Israeli ground operations in the Gaza Strip. Airline stocks were predictably weak with Delta and United Continental both losing 3.4% and American Airlines lost 4%. Signs of increasingly unpredictable trading conditions in the global Semiconductor industry saw Sandisk issue a profit warning and the stock dropped 14%. Yum Brands also issued a profit warning losing 7%, the problems centred on its Pizza Hut brand. Mattel also lost more than 6% after the toy company also issued a disappointing earnings number. Microsoft was one of the few gainers with the shares up 1% in the wake of announced cost cutting at the former Nokia division.

In Asia the weakness continued, although Australia managed to recover to a small gain, helped by the bounce in the Gold price. Stocks such as Resolute Mining climbed 2.4%, Evolution was up 2.5% and Newcrest Mining was up 3.25%. There was weakness in the iron ore sector however as China data highlighted a fall in imports, Mount Gibson fell 3.5% and Atlas Iron lost 2.5%. In Japan, exporters were weak with Mazda down 1.4%, Panasonic was down 1.2% and Sharp lost just over 2%. Yaskawa Electric released earnings numbers that beat expectations and the manufacturer of industrial robots gained 4.5%. In Hong Kong, China Overseas Land rose 1.5% on speculation that mainland cities will loosen property curbs.

Europe has also opened lower as the uncertainty continues on the Ukraine, although there are thoughts that the plane tragedy may bring the crisis to a head and pave the way for some diplomatic solution. The tobacco company, Swedish Match, released positive trading results today and the stock is up nearly 2.5%. Other gainers include Nokia up 2.3% and Ericsson up 8% on strong sales data, most notably to China, and to companies building out new 4G networks. In the UK, Pearson is nearly 2% lower, Kingfisher is down 1.7% and ARM Holdings is down 2%. Defensive stocks such as utilities are benefitting and Severn Trent is up 1%.