Forex, CFD, markets

Daily news of the financial markets

22-23 Aug 2006
Forex, CFD, markets
Russian Forex
Daily news of the markets
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Daily news financial markets: 2006 year
London market Frankfurt market Paris market Amsterdam market Forex
London market
London shares close down, off lows; NY fuelled by hopes of Iran talks
  • The FTSE 100 index closed 12.6 points weaker at 5,902.6, above the session low of 5,878.4 but having fallen from an opening peak of 5,939.2. The FTSE mid-cap index also ended in the red, but the FTSE Small Cap index managed to hold on to gains.
  • Wall Street recovered yesterday's losses, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average 30.30 points higher at 11,375.10 at the UK close, while the Nasdaq Composite climbed up 13.66 points at 2,161.41 and the S&P 500 index rose 4.45 points at 1,301.95.
  • In London, BAE Systems was the main casualty, losing 9-1/4 pence at 356-1/4, after the Financial Times disclosed that the defence group was among the top donors to candidates in US elections. BAE's negative share performance was exacerbated by profit-taking following last week's share price gains.
  • Also weighing on the downside were oil heavyweights, which were out of favour as crude oil prices retreated after an initial spike in response to concerns over the Iran-UN situation.
  • Royal Dutch Shell closed 20 pence lower at 1,947 and BP was down 3 pence at 616.
  • Elsewhere, Yell Group dipped 8 pence at 528-1/2 after Joe Walsh, president and CEO of Yellow Book USA, netted over 5 mln stg after selling 1,000,000 shares in the UK-based phone book company, at 5.35 stg each.
  • Old Mutual also closed in negative terrain, 2 pence lighter at 160-3/4, as equity market falls and a weak rand impacted the South African-based asset management group. Fund manager Schroders also suffered with the weak market, down 13 pence at 925.
  • And downbeat broker comment weighed on power generation firm Drax, which slipped 18 pence at 902, under pressure after Dresdner Kleinwort repeated its 'hold' recommendation and advised clients to switch into Scottish & Southern Energy.
  • Meanwhile, Kingfisher continued to suffer from a Dresdner Kleinwort downgrade to 'hold' from 'add' yesterday, slipping 4 pence at 230-1/2 today, while AB Foods was still smarting from Cazenove's recommendation cut to 'in-line' from 'outperform' on Monday, 12-1/2 lower at 843.
  • Among those reporting, Intercontinental Hotels fell back 6 pence at 898 as the group's robust interim results gave investors an excuse to take profits following recent strength.
  • The hotels group reported continuing operating profit of 107 mln stg for the six months to June 30, up from 82 mln stg last time and ahead of analysts' expectations of 96-104 mln.
  • In reaction, Merrill Lynch reiterated its 'buy' recommendation and 1,030 pence target, noting that the group made strong progress over the half with both EBIT and pretax profits coming in ahead of its forecasts.
  • Meanwhile, Persimmon also ran into some profit-taking, losing 16 pence at 1,260 after the morning's strong performance, when the housebuilder reported record interim pretax profits as it confirmed its integration of Westbury had completed ahead of schedule.
  • The group said pretax profits for the first half were up 16 pct to 271.5 mln stg with a raised dividend of 64.4 pence, prompting ABN Amro and Merrill Lynch to both reiterate their 'buy' recommendations.
  • Anglo American added 15 pence at 2,470, while Antofagasta climbed up 2-1/4 pence at 438 and BHP Billiton rose 6 pence at 1,056 ahead of the group's full-year results due tomorrow.
  • Among other blue chip gainers, takeover talk supported the financial sector, with Lloyds TSB up a penny at 523 amid rekindled age-old rumours that Bank of America is ready to pounce.
  • Traders were dubious, however, with phrases like 'old chestnut' and 'same old, same old' accompanying the chatter.
  • The story, however, breathed some life into Royal Bank of Scotland shares, up 8 pence at 1,772.
  • And property issues also held firm amid REIT conversion hopes as the sector reporting season continues tomorrow with interims from Slough Estates - British Land gained 17 pence at 1,362, Land Securities added 7 pence at 1,922, and Liberty International firmed 5 pence at 1,120. Slough Estates shares, however, lost 3-1/2 pence at 660-1/2.
  • Meanwhile, Diageo rose 5 pence at 956 after UBS upped its price target on the drinks giant to 1,130 pence from 1,050p ahead of full-year results due on August 31 and reiterated its 'buy' advice.
  • On the second-line, JKX Oil & Gas was in fine fettle, up 8 pence at 306, after the explorer announced a one-year gas sales agreement with Royal Dutch Shell in Ukraine.
  • In response, KBC Peel Hunt upgraded its recommendation to 'buy' from 'hold'.
  • Positive broker comment also lifted Taylor Nelson Sofres, 4-3/4 pence higher at 180, after ABN Amro initiated the market research group with a 'buy' rating and a price target of 210 pence per share.
  • Furthermore, the Financial Times reported there was vague talk WPP could be interested in bidding for the group.
  • And Tullow Oil benefited from an upbeat drilling update from its Mputa-1 discovery well in Uganda, which it jointly owns with Hardman Resources, which operates the well
  • The update prompted KBC Peel Hunt to reiterate its 'buy' recommendations on both companies' stocks. Tullow added 3-1/4 pence at 391, while AIM-listed Hardman added 4-1/2 pence at 65.
  • On the downside, Bodycote International remained the main mid-cap casualty, down 11-1/2 pence to 237 after in-line results from the engineering group.
  • In response, Numis cut its rating to 'hold' from 'buy' on valuation grounds following a strong run in the share price ahead of the numbers.
  • And finally, Gondola slipped back 5-3/4 pence at 320 after reports that its approach to acquire the Giraffe brand had been rebuffed.

  • Frankfurt market
    German shares close higher on Wall Street gains; Commerzbank leads gainers
  • The DAX 30 index was 23.58 points or 0.41 pct higher at 5,818.41 after moving between a low of 5,755.89 and a high of 5,831.86 this session.
  • The MDAX was at 8,075.92, 2.71 points or 0.03 pct, while the TecDAX was at 655.14, up 1.68 points or 0.26 pct. The DAX futures contract was at 5,832.00, up 18.00 points, while bund futures were at 117.84, up 0.54.
  • SAP added 2.22 or 1.53 pct at 147.60, Infineon gained 0.08 at 8.76 while Deutsche Telekom finished higher 0.13 at 11.57.
  • Deutsche Telekom said it had acquired 32.8 mln of its own shares last week for 365 mln eur as part of its buyback programme. It said the average price per share was 11.13 eur.
  • Financials were mixed but on the upside, Commerzbank led with a gain of 0.55 or 2.16 pct to 26.03, leading the overall blue chip stocks. Deutsche Bank was 0.75 eur or 0.85 pct higher at at 88.49.
  • Insurers were among the major losers, with Allianz down 1.14 or 0.87 pct at 130.10 and Munich Re easing 0.28 or 0.24 pct at 115.92. Allianz fell 1.44 to 129.80, as Cheuvreux downgraded its stance on the issue to 'outperform' from 'selected list' with an unchanged price target of 155 eur.
  • Volkswagen continued to be the worst performer till the end, sliding 1.07 or 1.69 pct to 62.37. BMW and DaimlerChrysler were higher, up 0.44 at 40.23 and up 0.10 at 41.16, respectively. Automotive supplier and tyre maker Continental lost 0.11 to 80.18.
  • Travel stocks were among gainers, with TUI adding 0.16 to 14.87. Handelsblatt reported that the tourism and shopping giant is considering dismissing management board members Sebastian Ebel and Eric Derby in response to its disappointing second quarter results.
  • ThyssenKrupp was up 0.40 at 26.80 as Die Welt reported, citing company sources, that it hopes to sell its US automotive operations ThyssenKrupp Budd Co in the next few months and is in talks with several "industrial partners" over the business.
  • On the MDAX, Fielmann added 3.31 or 8.26 pct to 43.40 while SGL Carbon fell 0.59 or 3.87 pct to 14.67.
  • Evotec led outperformers, adding 0.12 or 3.57 pct at 3.48. Singulus fell 0.15 or 1.39 pct at 10.62.

  • Paris market
    Paris shares close higher, recovering from lows with help from Wall Street
  • The CAC-40 index finished up 23.68 points or 0.5 pct at 5,128.33, near its session high, on volume of 3.4 bln euro.Among CAC-40 stocks, 28 closed higher, 10 closed lower and Accor ended unchanged at 46.54. Arcelor has been removed from the index following its takeover by Mittal Steel, and no replacement has yet been named.
  • On the Matif, September CAC-40 futures were trading 25.5 points firmer at 5,138.5.
  • After opening higher, the French market took a hit at midday with the release of Germany's ZEW index of economic expectations for August, which was much weaker than expected at -5.6, a five-year low that pointed to a "considerable economic downturn" in the months ahead.
  • The news doused optimism generated by the French economy, which grew by 1.1 pct in the second quarter according to a second estimate from statistics office Insee this morning.
  • Late in the afternoon, however, investors took their cue from Wall Street, though many investors are still away from their desks during the traditional August holiday month
  • Alstom chalked up the sharpest gains among blue chips, climbing 2.95 eur or 4.3 pct at 72.35 after winning a 560 mln eur power plant order from US utility Kansas City Power & Light. Bouygues, which owns 23 pct of Alstom, was up 0.44 higher at 40.20.
  • Lafarge also bucked the downtrend, rising 1.40 or 1.4 pct to 101.60 after La Tribune said at least 13 candidates are mulling bids for the company's roofing unit, valued at about 2 bln eur.
  • Electricite de France fell 0.27 to 44.93 on a report in Les Echos, which said the company plans to spend 3 bln eur in the next few years to replace French meters that monitor clients' power usage.
  • EADS dropped 0.22 or 1.0 pct to 22.55, the worst performer in the CAC-40 after being cut to 'sell' from 'add' by ABN Amro, which cited the risk of further dollar weakness to earnings.
  • Axa fell 0.26 to 28.43 after CA Cheuvreux cut the stock from its 'selected list' to an 'outperform' rating. Most other financial issues were also lower, with Credit Agricole off 0.21 at 32.64, Societe Generale down 0.70 at 125.50 and AGF sliding 0.35 to 97.55.
  • Index heavyweight Total finished 0.45 higher at 53.80 as investors anticipate further upside for oil prices amid the fragile truce between Israel and Hezbollah, and ongoing tensions between Iran and the West over the former's nuclear ambitions.
  • On the broader indices, the SBF-80 index closed 12.77 higher at 5,665.62 and the SBF-120 rose 16.11 to 3,700.75.

  • Amsterdam market
    Amsterdam shares close slightly higher on early Wall Street gains
  • The AEX closed 0.86 point or 0.19 pct higher at 463.82, after trading in a range of 459.99-465.38. Government bonds traded broadly higher, while the euro stood at 1.2806 usd, down from 1.2914 usd late yesterday.
  • Hunter Douglas, up 2.69 at 53.50, was the leading gainer after the window coverings maker reported sharp growth in second-quarter net profit and reiterated that it "remains optimistic" about the outlook for operations for the rest of the year.
  • Other risers included Ahold, finishing up 2.34 pct at 7.42, Wolters KLuwer adding 1.85 pct to 19.27 and SBM Offshore closing 1.68 pct higher at 21.73 eur while ASML was lifted by US tech stock gains, putting on 1.53 pct to 16.59. Philips climbed 0.46 pct to 26.34.
  • Corus advanced 1.68 pct to 6.07 after saying it will increase flat-rolled steel prices in the UK in the fourth quarter.
  • Heavyweight financials closed well off their intraday lows, with ING even managing a gain of 0.12 pct to 32.99. Aegon lost 0.07 pct to 13.74, ABN Amro slipped 0.65 pct to 21.38 while Fortis was down 0.1 pct at 30.07.
  • Other blue chip fallers included Buhrmann, down 0.7 pct at 10.0 and Royal Dutch Shell, easing 0.29 pct to 27.88.
  • By far the sharpest overall loser was midcapper Ordina, plummeting 12.88 pct to 15.36 after the IT services company posted "disappointing" first-half results, with Petercam lowering its stance to 'reduce' from 'add'. Over 1.8 mln shares changed hands, compared to Ordina's average daily volume of just 120,000.
  • Investment bank Van Lanschot also suffered after issuing first-half profits below analysts' expectations and warning it will be "difficult" to meet its target of at least 10 pct full year EPS growth. The shares closed down 8.26 pct at 72.75, after earlier falling to a low of 70 eur.

  • Forex Sterling Exchange Rates
    Day's Spread Market Rate
    USA 1.8873 1.8952 1.8888 1.8890
    Canada 2.1054 2.1213 2.1064 2.1072
    Denmark 10.9548 11.0138 10.9980 11.0073
    Norway 11.8134 11.9060 11.8547 11.8637
    Sweden 13.5162 13.5880 13.5565 13.5690
    Japan 219.27 220.20 219.98 220.17
    Switzerland 2.3170 2.3326 2.3297 2.3304
    Euro 1.4689 1.4759 1.4747 1.4749


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