Stocks: Thursday's review
Most of Asian stock markets closed Tuesday in red zone. The markets started the day significantly lower amid worries the US may don’t reach consensus by 2 August.
Only Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index managed to closed higher amid a rise of shares of real-estate companies.
The markets appeared under pressure by ongoing debate of Republicans and Democrats and weak US statistics.Technology firms were some of the worst U.S. performers, with those losses spreading to Asia on Thursday. In Tokyo, Elpida Memory Inc. plunged by 4.8%, and chip-equipment maker Advantest Corp. dropped by 6.9% after posting a fall in quarterly profit and delivering a downbeat outlook.
LG Electronics Inc. ended the day 2.7% lower, and Hynix Semiconductor Inc. went down 1.1% in South Korea.
Sony Corp., which fell 1.1%, reported after the close that it swung to a first-quarter net loss.
Panasonic Corp. managed to buck the market downtrend, rising 0.5% amid reports that the firm would sell Sanyo Electric Co. home-appliance units to China’s Haier Electronics Group Co. The Haier fell by 1.6% in Hong Kong.
European stock exchanges ended Tuesday mixed. The markets have been falling during the day amid uncertainty on US debt ceiling, but received a strong support of a bundle of positive US corporate reports. The markets was also still under pressure by yesterday’s downgraded of Greek credit rating to 'CC' from 'CCC' with negative outlook by rating agency S&P.
The Stoxx Europe 600 index was boosted after weekly jobless claims fell to a three-month low.
Results were a key focus for Europe in the early going, with deep losses for several stocks after poorly received company updates: shares of Vallourec SA sank 16.8%, shares of telecom equipment provider Alcatel-Lucent fell by 15.3%.
Mining stocks pressured London, with Lonmin PLC falling 2.8%, while Vedanta Resources PLC dropping 1.7%.
In London, support came “from an unlikely place as the banking sector benefits from some short-term bargain hunting”: shares of heavyweight Lloyds rallied 4.1%, while Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC rose 3.6%.
Weighing on the market, shares of BP PLC fell 0.3%. They’ve lost around 2.5% this week after the oil major’s second-quarter results posted on Tuesday showed profit missed estimates.
Shares of telecommunications provider BT Group PLC also rose, up 3.8%. First-quarter results showed a higher net profit, with the group saying it’s confident of meeting its full-year forecast as well.
Sector heavyweight Xstrata PLC also traded down, off 1.3%. The company announced it will buy privately held First Coal Corp. of Canada for $153 million.
U.S. stock indexes also closed mixed. The markets were supported by strong data on labor market, but plunged on a stalemate on raising the US debt ceiling.
After hours the US House is scheduled to vote on Boehner debt bill. Even if the measure passes, it is expected to die in the Senate, and President Obama has threatened to veto it.
Richmond Fed Lacker about US economy also didn’t support the markets. The Fed president said about his forecasts that GDP growth would hit 4% the next 2 years, while the inflation would rise to average close to 2% over the coming year.
Economy: Today’s data on jobless claims showed better than expected growth (398K vs. est. 425K and prev. 418K), but couldn’t supported the futures substantial.
The other report showed that the National Association of Realtors' index for pending home sales increased 2.4% on a monthly basis, beating economists' expectations for a decline.
Investors are also looking ahead to Friday's second-quarter GDP report.
Negative finansial results also provided such companies as IMAX Corporation (IMAX) (-17%), Whiting Petroleum Corp. (WLL) (-9%), Oshkosh Corporation (OSK) (-13%).
Beating reported were published by coffee producer Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. (GMCR) (+16%), manufacturer of colorful plastic shoes CROCS Inc. (CROX) (+16%), data center services provider Equinix Inc. (EQIX) (+9%), Spirit Airlines, Inc. (SAVE) (+5%).