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05 Jan 2017 18:37 GMT+0 - Closing Wrap

In European Equity Markets stocks hovered near recent highs on Thursday, with Britain's top equity index hitting a new peak following a rally in housebuilders and miners. The pan-European STOXX 600 index was up 0.1 percent, while Britain's blue-chip FTSE 100 rose 0.1 percent. Persimmon rose 7.2 percent after Britain's second-biggest housebuilder by volume said sales had risen 15 percent since Britons voted in June to leave the European Union.  The European insurance index fell 0.8 percent, pressured by Hannover Rueck, which fell 2.9 percent after JP Morgan cut its price target for the stock and RSA Insurance, which fell as much as 2.2 percent after the investment bank downgraded it to "neutral" from "overweight".

 

In Currency Markets the U.S. dollar was lower against a basket of the other major currencies on Thursday after Federal Reserve minutes that pointed to uncertainty over the potential impact of the incoming Trump administration's policies on the economy. The dollar was last down 1.65 percent against the yen and more than 1.1 percent lower versus the euro and Swiss franc. The dollar index lost 1.3 percent to 101.370. The Australian dollar touched two-week highs after data showing that activity in China's services sector rose to a 17-month high last month, with Aussie up 0.38 percent at $0.7309. Gains in China's yuan pressured the dollar lower as Beijing acted to shore up the currency ahead of President-elect Trump's inauguration.

 

In Commodities Markets oil prices fell on Thursday after a surprisingly large increase in U.S. inventories of gasoline and distillates, slamming the brakes on an early rally on news that Saudi Arabia had started talks with customers about reducing crude sales. U.S. crude stocks fell sharply to end the year, the EIA said, with a draw of 7 million barrels. The West Texas Intermediate crude was down 0.5 percent, to $53.02 a barrel. Brent crude was off 0.4 percent, to $56.30 a barrel, after hitting a high of $57.35 earlier in the session.  Spot gold was up 1.3 percent at $1,178.36 an ounce and spot silver was up 1.5 percent at $16.66. Platinum was 2 percent higher at $959 and palladium rose more than 1 percent to hit a near 4-week high of $747.80.

 

In US Equity Markets a  rise in technology stocks helped the Nasdaq eke out small gains on Thursday but was not enough to pull the S&P 500 and the Dow into the black as banks stocks weighed. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.27 percent, at 19,887.35, the S&P 500 lost 0.21 percent, at 2,266 and the Nasdaq Composite index was up 0.07 percent, at 5,480.63. Seven of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors were lower, with financials and consumer discretionary weighing the most on the broader index. Department stores Macy's fell 14 percent and Kohl's nearly 18 percent after the companies cut their profit forecasts. Nordstrom and J.C. Penney lost 10 percent and 6 percent, respectively. Online retailer Amazon.com was up 2.3 percent. 

 

In Bond Markets   U.S. Treasury debt yields slid on Thursday after data showed the U.S. economy created fewer private sector jobs in December than market expectations.  In early morning trading, the U.S. 10-year note was up 5/32 in price to yield 2.433 percent, compared with 2.452 percent late on Wednesday. U.S. 30-year bond prices were up 2/32, yielding 3.042 percent, down from Tuesday's 3.048 percent. The ADP National Employment Report indicated that U.S. private employers added 153,000 jobs last month, below economists' expectations for a job gain of 170,000.

 

 

European Equity Upgrades/Downgrades

  • B&M EUROPEAN RETAIL VALUE (BME LN) DOWNGRADED TO NEUTRAL FROM AT GOLDMAN SACHS
  • GSK (GSK LN) UPGRADED TO BUY FROM OUTPERFORM AT CLSA
  • G4S PLS (GFS LN) UPGRADED TO HOLD FROM UNDERPERFORM AT JEFFERIES
  • NEXT (NXT LN) DOWNGRADED TO REDUCE FROM HOLD AT HSBC
  • NEXT (NXT LN) UPGRADED TO NEUTRAL FROM UNDERPERFORM AT CREDIT SUISSE
  • ROYAL SUN ALLIANCE (RSA LN) DOWNGRADED TO NEUTRAL FROM OVERWEIGHT AT JPMORGAN
  • TULLOW OIL (TLW LN) DOWNGRADED TO NEUTRAL FROM OUTPERFORM AT MACQUARIE
  • LINDE (LIN GY) UPGRADED TO MARKET PERFORM FROM UNDERPERFORM AT BERNSTEIN
  • HANNOVER (HNR1 GY) DOWNGRADED TO UNDERWEIGHT FROM NEUTRAL AT JPMORGAN
  • AIRBUS (AIR FP) UPGRADED TO OVERWEIGHT FROM EQUAL WEIGHT AT MORGAN STANLEY
  • SAFRAN (SAF FP) DOWNGRADED TO NEUTRAL FROM OUTPERFORM AT CREDIT SUISSE
  • SWEDBANK (SWEDA SC) DOWNGRADED TO EQUAL WEIGHT FROM OVERWEIGHT AT BARCLAYS
  • DNB (DNB NC) UPGRADED TO OVERWEIGHT FROM EQUALWEIGHT BY BARCLAYS
  • UCB (UCB BB) UPGRADED TO HOLD FROM UNDERPERFORM AT JEFFERIES
  • TALANX GROUP (TLX DC) DOWNGRADED TO NEUTRAL FROM OVERWEIGHT AT JPMORGAN
  • AENA (AENA SM) UPGRADEDTO BUY FROM HOLD AT HSBC
  • LUPE (LUPE SM) DOWNGRADED TO UNDERPERFORM FROM NEUTRAL AT MACQUARIE
  • ACTELION (ATLN VX) DOWNGRADED TO HOLD FROM BUY AT JEFFERIES
  • ZURICH INSURANCE GROUP (ZURN VX) DOWNGRADED TO NEUTRAL FROM OVERWEIGHT AT JPMORGAN
  • NOVOZYMES (NZYMB DC) UPGRADED TO OUTPERFORM FROM MARKET PERFORM AT BERNSTEIN 

 


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