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25.02.2013 08:28

Stocks: Friday’s review

Asian stocks erased losses as Japanese and Australian shares rebounded amid speculation yesterday’s decline on the regional benchmark index was excessive.

Nikkei 225 11,385.94 +76.81 +0.68%

Hang Seng 22,790.63 -116.04 -0.51%

S&P/ASX 200 5,018.15 +38.05 +0.76%

Shanghai Composite 2,314.16 -11.79 -0.51%

Commonwealth Bank of Australia, the nation’s largest lender, rose 1.1 percent after the central bank governor said interest-rate cuts should be given time to do their work.

Tosoh Corp. jumped 4.3 percent in Tokyo on a report the chemical maker developed materials that prevent lithium ion batteries from catching fire.

Belle International Holdings Ltd. declined 5.5 percent in Hong Kong as analysts from Nomura Holdings Inc. and CCB International Securities Ltd. downgraded the shoe retailer.

European shares rose for the first week in four as better-than-expected company earnings and measures of German confidence outweighed concern that the U.S. Federal Reserve will scale back its asset-purchase program.

In Germany, investor confidence increased to the highest level in almost three years in February. The index of investor and analyst expectations climbed to 48.2 from 31.5 in January, the ZEW Center for European Economic Research said this week. That exceeded the median estimate of economists in a survey calling for an increase to 35.

Separately, the Ifo institute’s business climate index for Europe’s biggest economy, based on a survey of 7,000 executives, climbed to 107.4 in February from a revised 104.3 in January. The median of 38 forecasts in a survey had called for an increase to 104.9. The latest reading was the highest since April.

Still, the euro-area economy will shrink for a second year in 2013, driving unemployment higher as governments, consumers and companies curb spending, the European Commission said.

National benchmark indexes climbed in 10 of the 18 western European markets. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 increased 0.1 percent and France’s CAC 40 added 1.3 percent. Germany’s DAX gained 0.9 percent.

Lafarge advanced 7.7 percent. The world’s biggest cement maker said it’ll meet most of a cost-cutting goal one year early after fourth-quarter earnings beat analysts’ estimates on rising sales in Asia and Latin America. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization rose to 856 million euros from 798 million euros a year earlier, the Paris-based company said. Analysts had expected 821.6 million euros.

Natixis rallied 18 percent. The investment-bank unit of France’s second-largest lender by branches said it will make a payment to shareholders after selling back stakes in its parent’s banking networks. The distribution amounts to 65 cents a share, and comes on top of a proposed dividend of 10 cents a share for 2012.

Royal KPN NV plunged 13 percent for the second-worst performance on the Stoxx 600 this week. America Movil SAB, the mobile-phone carrier controlled by billionaire Carlos Slim, will take part in a 3 billion-euro KPN share sale, while declining to participate in a 1 billion-euro sale of so-called hybrid instruments.

RSA Insurance Group Plc tumbled 11 percent after announcing a dividend cut. The U.K.’s biggest non-life insurer by market value lowered its payout by 33 percent as its 2012 underwriting profit was eroded by claims related to wet weather in the U.K. and earthquakes in Italy.

Major U.S. stock indexes spent trading in positive territory, reducing the weekly losses.

Indexes rebounded after two days of losses, receiving support from the Fed's Bullard comments, after a speech that expectations of imminent tightening of monetary policy the Fed decreased.

Bullard said that if the market situation improves, the Fed can reduce the volume of purchases, but abruptly stop shopping should not be, because it does not benefit the economy.

Positively to the dynamics of futures also reflected strong quarterly report Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), whose shares soared 12.3%.

Supported the growth indices and statistics of the European index of consumer confidence from Germany Gfk. According to the data, the index in February reached 107.4 points, which is the maximum level since May last year. Expected to rise to a level of the index 104.9 points against 104.2 points in January values.

Limited the growth indices published by the European Commission forecasts eurozone GDP, according to which it is expected to decline by 0.3% in 2013 (previous forecast was at +0.1%).

Also worth noting is the information from the European Central Bank (ECB) that the amount of the regular repayment of loans granted by commercial banks as part of LTRO, will be significantly lower than the previous (1.74 billion euros compared to the previous 3.79 billion euros).

Most of the components of the index DOW finished trading in the red (25 of 30). More than others in the share price fell Unitedhealth Group, Inc. (UNH, -1.39%). Leader by a wide margin were already mentioned shares Hewlett-Packard Company (HPQ, +12.28%). Earnings forecast for the world's largest PC maker Hewlett-Packard, excluding certain items in the second fiscal quarter ending in April in the range of 80 to 82 cents per share was better than expected by analysts on average, 77 cents per share.

All sectors of the S & P showed a positive trend. More than the others climbed the financial sector (+1.2%).

Quotations U.S. insurance company American International Group (AIG) rose 3.14% after it reported a exceeded the average market forecast of quarterly results. Thus, the operating profit of the company was at $ 290 million, or 20 cents a share, while analysts on average were expecting a loss of 8 cents per share.

The world's biggest producer of analog microchips Texas Instruments gained weight 5.23% due to increase its quarterly dividend by 33% to 21 cents per share to 28 cents per share and plans to expand the program to repurchase shares at $ 5 billion

Meanwhile, a U.S. manufacturer of adhesive paper and painting equipment Nordson eased 7.27% on expectations of profit in the second quarter in the range of 78 to 87 cents a share, compared with projected at average 93 cents per share.

The market capitalization of American youth clothing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch has decreased by 4.46% after it recorded a 11% rise in sales to $ 1.47 billion in the fourth quarter, which, however, fell short of analysts' average forecast of $ 1 , 49 billion

At the close:

S & P 500 1,515.6 +13.18 +0.88%

NASDAQ 3,161.82 +30.33 +0.97%

Dow 14,000.57 +119.95 +0.86%

25.02.2013 08:47

Forex: Friday’s review

Market Focus

  • The Bank of Japan decided by a 7-2 majority vote to hold the interest rate at -0.10%
  • 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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