US equity markets were in positive mood on Wednesday as slower retail sales data suggested that the Federal Reserve will keep the plentiful liquidity conditions in place for longer than expected. Healthcare stocks were in focus with Intermune climbing 14% after reports that the company had received a bid from Roche. This boosted Vertex Pharmaceuticals which rose nearly 4%. Health Care REIT gained just over 2% as it took over rival company, HealthLease Properties. Amongst the decliners, the department store, Macy’s, fell over 6% on a profit warning. The retailer highlighted falling margins driven by discounting to attract shoppers. King Digital also dropped on a profit warning, with the stock down 23%. The maker of the Candy Crush game pointed to slowing merchandise sales.
In Asia there was mixed trading with the Japanese equity markets making gains, however the Chinese markets suffered losses. There was disappointing credit data and fears are rising that the Government stimulus measures will prove to be inadequate. Jiangxi Copper lost 2%, as did Aluminium Corporation of China and Datong Coal fell 4%. On a positive note, SAIC Motors rose 4% after reporting strong sales data. In Hong Kong the casino stocks were in positive territory with SJM Holdings up 4.2% after profits beat expectations, Melco Crown also rose gaining 2.6%. The weaker Yen helped Japanese stocks, with Suzuki up 1.7%, Obayashi up 3% and Sony was up 1%.
Europe is moving lower in early trading after the release of weak economic data, both in France and Germany. In the second quarter France failed to grow at all and in Germany, GDP actually declined 0.2% from the first quarter. RWE is down 2.5% after Germany’s largest electricity company moved into losses on a weak pricing environment. ThyssenKrupp is up nearly 2% after the steelmaker reported a surge in profits, driven by a US recovery. Luxury brands group, LVMH, is down 1.25% after the stock was downgraded by Goldman Sachs. In the UK, the mining sector is weaker with Glencore down 1.45% and Rio Tinto is down 1.70%.
Morning Spread 8th March 2017 European shares traded flat this morning, the modest moves masking significant results driven games by several companies on a bust day for European earnings.
Morning Spread 2nd November 2016 Asian stocks followed global equities lower despite gauges of manufacturing in China topping estimates and the Bank of Japan maintained its record stimulus program.
Morning Spread 1st November 2016 Asian stocks were mixed as declines in oil prices dragged energy shares lower and investor anxiety grew over next week’s US presidential election.
Morning Spread 28th October 2016 Asian stocks fell as oil explorers pushed down Hong Kong gauges, while investors digested earnings from several companies.
Morning Spread 27th October 2016 US stocks were mixed following the release of earnings from several companies.
Morning Spread 24th October 2016 US stocks were little changed as a record day for Microsoft and earnings from McDonald’s helped offset a fall in energy and healthcare shares.
Morning Spread 19th October 2016 Asian shares rose as a barrage of Chinese data confirmed the economy had stabilised on the back of government spending and a hot housing market, even if worries about debt continue to mount.
Morning Spread 10th October 2016 Asian stocks were mixed following the second US presidential debate between Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump.
Morning Spread 5th October 2016 Most Asian stocks outside Japan slid on concern central banks will reduce stimulus, while the Nikkei climbed after the yen weakened.
Morning Spread 27th September 2016 Asian stocks advanced with investors viewing Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton as having gotten the upper hand in the first US presidential debate.