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31.08.2012 07:30

Stocks: Thursday’s review



Asian stocks fell, with the regional benchmark index wiping out its gains for the month, as reports on Japanese retail sales and South Korean business confidence add to signs of an economic slowdown and investors doubt the Federal Reserve will announce further stimulus.

Nikkei 225 8,983.78 -86.03 -0.95%

S&P/ASX 200 4,315.7 -40.74 -0.94%

Shanghai Composite 2,050.31 -2.92 -0.14%

Samsung Electronics Co., the world’s biggest mobile-phone maker by sales, slipped 1.2 percent in Seoul.

Atlas Iron Ltd. sank 5.5 percent, leading Australian iron-ore producers lower after the metal’s price in China declined to the lowest level in almost three years.

China Cosco Holdings Co. slid 4.1 percent in Hong Kong after the nation’s largest listed shipping company posted a wider first-half loss.


European stocks fell for a third day as data from Japan to Germany added to evidence that global growth is slowing while speculation cooled that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke will announce more stimulus.

Daimler AG (DAI) and Fiat SpA (F) led a selloff in carmakers as Morgan Stanley said earnings in Europe are at risk. WPP (WPP) Plc dropped 1.9 percent after the world’s largest advertising company cut its sales-growth forecast. Carrefour (CA) SA and Vivendi (VIV) SA climbed after earnings topped analyst estimates.

The benchmark Stoxx Europe 600 Index (SXXP) fell 0.7 percent to 265.28, extending this week’s decline to 1 percent.

Reports today showed retail sales in Japan fell 0.9 percent in July from a year earlier, more than economists forecast, while confidence among manufacturers in South Korea stayed near the lowest level since the global financial crisis. Data out of Australia showed home-building approvals tumbled by the most in almost a decade.

In Europe, German unemployment increased for a fifth straight month in August while economic confidence in the euro area fell more than economists forecast to a three-year low.

National benchmark indexes retreated in every western European market today, except Iceland.

FTSE 100 5,719.45 -24.08 -0.42% CAC 40 3,379.11 -34.78 -1.02% DAX 6,895.49 -115.08 -1.64%

Daimler led a gauge of carmakers down 4.4 percent for the biggest decline among 19 industry groups in the Stoxx 600. The German maker of luxury vehicles fell 5.7 percent to 39 euros, Italy’s Fiat dropped 2.5 percent to 4.32 euros and Renault SA (RNO) slid 4 percent to 36.56 euros in Paris trading.

WPP slid 1.9 percent to 815.5 pence after the advertising company reduced its full-year revenue-growth forecast as clients cut spending amid the European debt crisis. Sales excluding the impact of acquisitions and currency fluctuations will grow “close to 3.5 percent” this year versus an earlier forecast for 4 percent, the company said.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP) and Rio Tinto Group fell 3.2 percent to 1,844 pence and 2.1 percent to 2,716 pence respectively as iron ore sank to the lowest in almost three years in China.

Xstrata Plc (XTA) slid 2.4 percent to 901.7 pence and Glencore International Plc (GLEN) dropped 3 percent to 357.50 pence as Qatar Holding LLC, which has a 12 percent stake in Xstrata, said it will not support a merger between the two companies.

Hays Plc (HAS) tumbled 9.7 percent to 69.25 pence after the recruiter reported a 7 percent decline in full-year net fees, or payments from clients less the payroll costs of workers, for the U.K. and Ireland.

Pernod-Ricard SA (RI) declined 2.1 percent to 85.98 euros after France’s largest distiller reported a 9 percent gain in so- called organic operating profit in the year to June 30, missing the median analyst estimate for a 9.6 percent increase.

Barclays Plc fell 1.7 percent to 183.2 pence after naming Antony Jenkins as its chief executive officer.

Carrefour rallied 7.7 percent to 16.96 euros after the world’s second-largest retailer reported first-half profit that beat analysts’ estimates. Recurring operating income declined to 769 million euros ($965 million) from 838 million euros.

Vivendi gained 3.2 percent to 15.60 euros after Europe’s biggest media and telecommunications company reported second- quarter net income, adjusted for one-time gains and costs, of 706 million euros. That also beat analyst estimates of 652 million-euros. The company also raised its full-year forecast for the Activision Blizzard Inc. video-game unit.

ING Groep NV (INGA) rallied 2.8 percent to 5.92 euros after Bank of Nova Scotia agreed to buy the Dutch company’s Canadian unit for C$3.13 billion ($3.16 billion). Canada’s third-largest lender will spend C$1.9 billion after deducting excess capital at ING Direct in the cash deal.

Eiffage SA (FGR) surged 7.4 percent to 24.43 euros after France’s third-largest builder reported an 11 percent gain in first half operating income to 499 million euros as profitability at its APRR toll-road operation climbed.

Gemalto NV (GTO) advanced 5.4 percent to 62.66 euros after the inventor of the smart chip used in bank and phone cards said it will reach its 2013 profit target a year early. Earnings from operations rose 56 percent to 115 million euros, beating the average analyst estimate of 101.3 million euros.

Major stock indexes retreated from session lows, but still closed out a significant reduction amid growing concerns about the deterioration of the economic situation in Europe and the U.S..

Today's data showed an increase in the number of unemployed in Germany at a faster rate than expected.

The data from the U.S. also did not meet expectations: worse than expected data released on personal income and applications for unemployment benefits.

The focus of market participants is an economic symposium in Jackson Hole, which begins today. Especially market participants expect the performances at this annual event, Ben Bernanke, the Fed chairman, he will deliver on Friday, August 31.

Participants' expectations of what the Fed says the head diverge. In the market there is no certainty that they will obtain new signals about dopmer stimulate the economy, in particular on QE3. Ahead of us are waiting for the U.S. presidential election, which is unlikely to be taken any further action by the Fed, especially QE.

In the composition of the index DOW all components other than shares Merck & Co. Inc. (MRK, +0,23%), trading in the red. More than others in the share price fell Caterpillar Inc. (CAT, -1,77%) and Intel Corporation (INTC, -1,50%).

Branches in the context of all major sectors of the index S & P traded in the red. More than the others fell technology sector (-1.1%) and basic materials sector (-1.1%).

At the close:

Dow 13,000.78 -106.70 -0.81%

Nasdaq 3,048.71 -32.48 -1.05%

S & P 500 1,399.52 -10.97 -0.78%

Market Focus

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  • Earnings Season in U.S.: Major Reports of the Week
  • U.S. commercial crude oil inventories decreased by 4.7 million barrels from the previous week
  • Australian unemployment rate stable at 5.6% in June
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