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08 Dec 2016 07:08 GMT+0 - Opening Wrap

In Asian Equity Markets Japan's Nikkei index closed at the highest level since last December on Thursday as upbeat Chinese trade data boosted sentiment, while Tepco shares rose on news Japan will increase an interest-free loan related to its Fukushima costs. The Nikkei ended 1.5 percent higher at 18,765.47, the highest level since December 2015. The broader Topix gained 1.5 percent to 1,512.69, while the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 also added 1.5 percent to 13,545.11.  The resource-heavy Australian market jumped 1.2 percent, as did MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific stocks outside Japan. An all time-peak for Samsung Electronics helped lift South Korea 1.2 percent.

 

In Currency Markets the euro edged up and traded near a three-week high against the dollar on Thursday ahead of a ECB policy decision, as the greenback lost momentum from the recent pull-back in U.S. bond yields. The euro edged up 0.2 percent to $1.0776, trading within sight of Monday's peak of $1.0797. The dollar fell 0.3 percent to 113.41 yen. Gains in equities and an improvement in risk appetite helped lift the New Zealand dollar, bolstered by upbeat comments on the economic outlook from the Reserve Bank of New Zealand. The New Zealand dollar rose 0.6 percent to $0.7207 and the Australian dollar was up 0.2 percent on the day at $0.7495. The dollar index stood at 100.02, back near a three-week low of 99.85 set on Monday.

 

In Commodities Markets oil prices edged up in thin trading on Thursday after steep falls in the previous session, supported by a weaker dollar, positive economic data and a drawdown in U.S. crude stocks. International Brent crude futures were trading up 4 cents at $53.04 a barrel after closing the previous session down 93 cents. U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices gained 14 cents to $49.90 a barrel after ending down $1.16. Gold futures for February rose 0.11 percent to $1,178.85 a troy ounce. Silver futures for March delivery fell 0.22 percent to $17.237 a troy ounce, while copper futures for March delivery edged up 0.04 percent to $2.648 a pound.

 

In US Equity Markets stocks rose on Wednesday, with the Dow industrials and S&P 500 hitting fresh records, as equities continued their march upward after the election of Donald Trump as U.S. president, and a new high for transportation stocks added to the bullish tone. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 1.55 percent, to 19,549.62, the S&P 500 gained 29.12 points, or 1.32 percent, to 2,241.35 and the Nasdaq Composite added 1.14 percent, to 5,393.76. Telecommunications and real estate, which are high dividend payers, posted the strongest sector gains. The S&P healthcare fell 0.8 percent. The Nasdaq Biotechnology index lost 2.9 percent, recovering from steeper losses initially after Trump's comments were publicized.

 

In Bond Markets the Japanese government bond yield curve flattened a touch on Thursday on relief after an auction of 30-year debt managed to attract some demand after early indications had suggested a weaker outcome. The benchmark 10-year yield was up half a basis point at 0.035 percent, but off an earlier high of 0.040 percent. The 20-year yield was down 0.5 basis point at 0.500 percent. The 800 billion yen ($7.06 billion) 30-year auction results were not particularly strong, with the bid-to-cover ratio, a gauge of demand, falling to 2.85 from 3.50 at the previous auction.

 

 

Economic Calendar

  • 13:45 GMT+0 EU Minimum Bid Rate
  • 14:30 GMT+0 EU ECB Press Conference
  • 14:30 GMT+0 US Unemployment Claims

 

US Equity Upgrades

  • 3M (MMM) UPGRADED TO SECTOR PERFORM FROM UNDERPERFORM AT RBC CAPITAL
  • AUTOZONE (AZO) UPGRADED TO OVERWEIGHT FROM NEUTRAL AT JPMORGAN
  • AVERY DENNISON (AVY) UPGRADED TO NEUTRAL FROM UNDERPERFORM AT BOFA/MERRILL
  • AVIVA (AV) UPGRADED TO OUTPERFORM FROM SECTOR PERFORM AT RBC CAPITAL
  • BANK OF MONTREAL (BMO) UPGRADED TO BUY FROM HOLD AT CANACCORD
  • CVR REFINING (CVRR) UPGRADED TO OVERWEIGHT FROM NEUTRAL AT JPMORGAN
  • ECOPETROL (EC) UPGRADED TO BUY FROM HOLD AT DEUTSCHE BANK
  • ENVISION HEALTHCARE (EVHC) UPGRADED TO OUTPERFORM AT OPPENHEIMER
  • GRAPHIC PACKAGING (GPK) UPGRADED TO BUY FROM NEUTRAL AT BOFA/MERRILL
  • JUNIPER (JNPR) UPGRADED TO OUTPERFORM FROM NEUTRAL AT CREDIT SUISSE
  • MERCADOLIBRE (MELI) UPGRADED TO BUY FROM NEUTRAL AT GOLDMAN
  • OIL STATES (OIS) UPGRADED TO OVERWEIGHT FROM NEUTRAL AT JPMORGAN
  • PATTERSON-UTI (PTEN) UPGRADED TO NEUTRAL FROM UNDERWEIGHT AT JPMORGAN
  • RIO TINTO (RIO) UPGRADED TO OUTPERFORM FROM NEUTRAL AT CREDIT SUISSE
  • UNITEDHEALTH (UNH) UPGRADED TO BUY FROM HOLD AT CANTOR
  • VALE (VALE) UPGRADED TO NEUTRAL FROM UNDERPERFORM AT CREDIT SUISSE

 

US Equity Downgrades

  • AMC NETWORKS (AMCX) DOWNGRADED TO SELL FROM NEUTRAL AT MOFFETTNATHANSON
  • ANALOGIC (ALOG) DOWNGRADED TO HOLD FROM BUY AT BENCHMARK
  • APTARGROUP (ATR) DOWNGRADED TO UNDERPERFORM FROM BUY AT BOFA/MERRILL
  • BEMIS (BMS) DOWNGRADED TO UNDERPERFORM FROM NEUTRAL AT BOFA/MERRILL
  • BHP BILLITON (BHP) DOWNGRADED TO NEUTRAL FROM OUTPERFORM AT CREDIT SUISSE
  • GLATFELTER (GLT) DOWNGRADED TO MARKET PERFORM FROM OUTPERFORM AT BMO CAPITAL
  • HD SUPPLY (HDS) DOWNGRADED TO HOLD FROM BUY AT SUNTRUST
  • HELEN OF TROY (HELE) DOWNGRADED TO NEUTRAL FROM OVERWEIGHT AT PIPER JAFFRAY
  • HUMANA (HUM) DOWNGRADED TO HOLD FROM BUY AT CANTOR
  • IDEX CORP. (IEX) DOWNGRADED TO SECTOR PERFORM FROM OUTPERFORM AT RBC CAPITAL
  • INTRALINKS (IL) DOWNGRADED TO HOLD FROM BUY AT STIFEL
  • JABIL CIRCUIT (JBL) DOWNGRADED TO NEUTRAL FROM BUY AT B. RILEY
  • KELLOGG (K) DOWNGRADED TO NEUTRAL FROM OUTPERFORM AT CREDIT SUISSE
  • LOUISIANA-PACIFIC (LPX) DOWNGRADED TO UNDERPERFORM FROM NEUTRAL AT BOFA/MERRILL
  • MGM GROWTH (MGM) DOWNGRADED TO HOLD FROM BUY AT DEUTSCHE BANK
  • MICHAELS (MIK) DOWNGRADED TO MARKET PERFORM FROM OUTPERFORM AT RAYMOND JAMES
  • MULTI PACKAGING (MPSX) DOWNGRADED TO NEUTRAL FROM BUY AT BOFA/MERRILL
  • NETAPP (NTAP) DOWNGRADED TO UNDERPERFORM FROM NEUTRAL AT CREDIT SUISSE
  • OXFORD INDUSTRIES (OXM) DOWNGRADED TO MARKET PERFORM AT TELSEY ADVISORY
  • SIGMA DESIGNS (SIGM) DOWNGRADED TO HOLD FROM BUY AT NEEDHAM
  • STATE AUTO FINANCIAL (STFC) DOWNGRADED TO NEUTRAL FROM BUY AT JANNEY CAPITAL
  • SYNCHRONY (SYF) DOWNGRADED TO NEUTRAL FROM OUTPERFORM AT WEDBUSH
  • VIRGIN AMERICA (VA) DOWNGRADED TO UNDERWEIGHT FROM NEUTRAL AT JPMORGAN

 

US Equity Initiations 

  • ABIOMED (ABMD) INITIATED WITH A BUY AT GUGGENHEIM
  • AXOVANT SCIENCES (AXON) INITIATED WITH AN OUTPERFORM AT OPPENHEIMER
  • BEACON ROOFING (BECN) INITIATED WITH A BUY AT SEAPORT GLOBAL
  • BEST BUY (BBY) INITIATED WITH A BUY AT LOOP CAPITAL
  • BIG LOTS (BIG) INITIATED WITH A BUY AT LOOP CAPITAL
  • CORELOGIC (CLGX) INITIATED WITH A SELL AT DEUTSCHE BANK
  • ENDO (ENDP) ASSUMED WITH A PERFORM AT OPPENHEIMER
  • GAMESTOP (GME) INITIATED WITH A BUY AT LOOP CAPITAL
  • INTERSECT ENT (XENT) INITIATED WITH A BUY AT GUGGENHEIM
  • KEMPHARM (KMPH) ASSUMED WITH AN OUTPERFORM AT OPPENHEIMER
  • LANNETT (LCI) ASSUMED WITH A PERFORM AT OPPENHEIMER
  • MALLINCKRODT (MNK) ASSUMED WITH AN OUTPERFORM AT OPPENHEIMER
  • MICRON (MU) INITIATED WITH A BUY AT CITI
  • NAVIENT (NAVI) INITIATED WITH A HOLD AT JEFFERIES
  • NEXEO SOLUTIONS (NXEO) INITIATED WITH A BUY AT SUNTRUST
  • NIELSEN (NLSN) REINSTATED WITH A HOLD AT DEUTSCHE BANK
  • OVASCIENCE (OVAS) ASSUMED WITH A PERFORM AT OPPENHEIMER
  • OWENS CORNING (OC) INITIATED WITH A BUY AT SEAPORT GLOBAL
  • PACWEST BANCORP (PACW) INITIATED WITH AN OUTPERFORM AT RAYMOND JAMES
  • SALLIE MAE (SLM) INITIATED WITH A BUY AT JEFFERIES
  • TEVA (TEVA) ASSUMED WITH AN OUTPERFORM AT OPPENHEIMER
  • VERISK ANALYTICS (VRSK) REINSTATED WITH A HOLD AT DEUTSCHE BANK
  • ZENDESK (ZEN) INITIATED WITH AN EQUAL WEIGHT AT STEPHENS

 

 

 

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