American Shares: Apple Stocks Rise After Introducing Dividend
The regular trading review of the main UK, US and European markets, plus a quick look at the commodities and forex markets.
For today's report see Financial Trading Review.
Financial Trading Review - 20 March 2012
UK Trading Review
UK markets closed lower yesterday, led by declines in banking and energy sector stocks, amid fears about demand from China and on broker downgrades.
National Grid lost 1.9%, after Bank of America Merrill Lynch cut the stock to “Neutral” from “Buy”, citing valuation concerns.
Cairn Energy, Petrofac and BG Group slid between 0.4% and 0.6%, after Morgan Stanley cut its rating on the sector to “Neutral” from “Overweight”.
Tullow Oil slid 0.2%, after both, HSBC and UBS cut its rating on the stock.
Insurer, Standard Life fell 1.2%, after Credit Suisse cut the stock to “Underperform” on valuation grounds.
Premier Foods dropped 4.2%, after the company reported a full-year loss of £339 million.
Building-materials maker, CRH slid 2.1%, following downbeat Chinese house-price data.
FTSE 100 edged down 0.1% to close at 5,961.1, while FTSE 250 ticked down 0.1% to end at 11,785.5.
European Trading Review
European markets slid yesterday, as investors took a pause and awaited more evidence of economic recovery, following the recent market rally to an eight-month high.
Carmaker, BMW declined 1.3%, after Goldman Sachs removed the stock from its “Conviction-buy” list.
Daimler and Volkswagen, slid 0.3% and 0.9%, respectively, after Bernstein & Co downgraded the sector to “Neutral” on Friday.
Transportation stock, DSV fell 2.0%, after UBS trimmed its rating on the stock to “Neutral” from “Buy”.
Food-retailer, Carrefour dropped 1.7%, after the company temporarily closed a store in China after alleged problems with meat labelling.
Equipment maker, Aixtron dropped 1.9%, after HSBC downgraded the stock to “Underweight”.
FTSEurofirst 300 index dropped 0.1% to settle at 1,105.6. German DAX Xetra 30 declined 0.1% to end at 7,154.2. French CAC-40 finished 0.5% lower at 3,577.9.
US Trading Review
US markets ended higher yesterday, after a steady reading on homebuilder sentiment index and Apple’s plan to return cash to shareholders through dividends, buoyed confidence among investors.
Online brokerage firm, E*Trade Financial gained 1.6%, after Wells Fargo raised its rating on the stock to “Outperform” from “Market perform”.
Citigroup advanced 1.3%, as the company sold its entire 2.71% equity stake in Shanghai Pudong Development Bank to institutional investors.
Apple added 2.7%, as it announced a quarterly dividend and authorized a $10 billion stock buy-back programme.
United States Steel soared 6.4%, and led the gainers on S&P 500 index, after UBS raised its price target on the stock, while peers, Nucor and AK Steel advanced 1.3% and 4.8%, respectively.
United Parcel Service rose 3.4%, after it raised its offer to acquire TNT Express NV by 5.6% to €5.16 billion.
DJIA edged up marginally to end at 13,239.1. NASDAQ rose 0.8% to close at 3,078.3. S&P 500 ticked up 0.4% to finish at 1,409.8.
Forex Trading Review
At 0400 BST today, the GBP is trading 0.1% lower against the USD at $1.5873, 0.2% lower against the EUR at €1.19990, and marginally lower against the JPY at ¥132.41.
The EUR is trading 0.1% higher against the USD at $1.3238, amid speculation that the Federal Reserve Chairman, Ben Bernanke, would reaffirm at his lecture at the George Washington University that a slow US recovery warrants near-zero interest rates.
The EUR is trading 0.1% higher against the JPY at ¥110.43.
The EUR is trading higher against most of its major peers, ahead of the release of a report that might show German services and factory output increased in March.
The AUD is trading lower against the USD, amid speculation that slower Chinese economic growth would lower the country’s export.
Yesterday, the EUR closed higher against the USD, as markets took a more upbeat view after Greece secured its second international bailout and following data that showed a rise in the Eurozone current account surplus. The EUR extended gains after the second of a two-part pricing of auction process to settle claims under credit default swaps issued on Greek debt was concluded.
The AUD/JPY ended lower amid fears about Australia’s export prospects, after BHP Billiton reported that steel growth in China has flattened off.
The GBP closed lower against the EUR, after UK household finance index fell in March.
Commodities Trading Review
In Asia, crude oil for April delivery is trading 0.4% or $0.47 lower at $107.62 per barrel.
Yesterday, crude oil futures for April delivery added 1% or $1.03 to end the session at $108.09 per barrel. This came after the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Christine Lagarde, stated that she sees hopeful signs that the world economy is stabilizing.
Crude oil prices gained value, as the dollar depreciated against the euro and on persistent worries about supply disruption from Iran.
Gold for immediate delivery is trading 0.3% lower today, at $1657.87 per ounce.
Gold for April delivery advanced 0.7% or $11.50 to settle at $1,667.30 per ounce yesterday. This came as bargain hunting by investors following the recent drop in prices and a fall in the dollar against the euro, increased the demand for the precious metal as an alternative investment.
Financial Trading News
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The above comments do not constitute investment advice and neither ETX Capital nor Clean Financial accept any responsibility for any use that may be made of them. Any prices or data are indicative and subject to change without notice; its accuracy is not guaranteed and should not be relied on.
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'American Shares: Apple Stocks Rise After Introducing Dividend' edited by ETX Capital, updated 20-Mar-12
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