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11 Jan 2017 07:20 GMT+0 - Opening Wrap

In Asian Equity Markets Japanese stocks ticked up slightly on Wednesday with gains limited ahead of a much-anticipated press conference by U.S. President-elect Donald Trump later in the day. The Nikkei index rose 0.3 percent to 19,364.67, after falling for the past three days. The broader Topix gained 0.5 percent to 1,550.40 and the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 rose 0.5 percent to 13,886.42. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific stocks outside Japan rose 0.5 percent, essentially returning to where it was just before the Nov. 8 U.S. presidential election. The gains were led by South Korean stocks, which scaled a 1-1/2-year peak as Samsung Electronic hit a record high, cheered by solid earnings published last week.

 

In Currency Markets the dollar edged higher against a basket of major currencies on Wednesday ahead of a news conference by U.S. President-elect Donald Trump in which he is expected to spell out more about his plans for the economy. The dollar index rose 0.2 percent to 102.18. The euro was down 0.1 percent at $1.0545 after brushing a 10-day high of $1.0628 overnight. The dollar firmed 0.3 percent to 116.100 yen. The Australian dollar was flat at $0.7372 after popping up to $0.7385 overnight, its highest since mid-December. The U.S. dollar's stall this week and rise in iron ore and coal prices have shored up the Aussie this week. The New Zealand dollar held steady at $0.6987, after touching a four-week high of $0.7048 on Tuesday.

 

In Commodities Markets oil edged up on Wednesday, lifted by reports of Saudi supply cuts to Asia, but gains were capped by a lack of detail about the reductions and because of signs of rising supplies from other producers. Prices for Brent futures were trading at $53.71 per barrel, up 7 cents from their last close. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were at $50.94 a barrel, up 12 cents. Spot gold was up 0.1 percent at $1,188.86 an ounce. Among other precious metals, silver was down 0.2 percent at $16.76 an ounce, after gaining more than 1 percent in the previous session, when it hit its highest in nearly four weeks. Platinum declined up to 0.4 percent to $974.10, and palladium fell as much as 0.3 percent to $762.22 an ounce.

 

In US Equity Markets  the S&P 500 ended the day unchanged on Tuesday as lower oil prices hurt energy stocks, offsetting advances in healthcare and financial sectors, while the Nasdaq ended at another record high. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended down 0.16 percent, at 19,855.53, the S&P 500 was unchanged at 2,268.9 and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.36 percent, to 5,551.82. Six of the 11 major S&P sectors ended higher. S&P Healthcare stocks gained 0.33 percent and the Nasdaq biotech index ended 0.8 percent higher, both enjoying their sixth session of gains in a row. Illumina rose 16.6 percent after the diagnostics company gave a strong quarterly forecast and launched a new product.

 

In Bond Markets U.S. Treasury yields held steady on Tuesday as solid investor demand for $24 billion of three-year government notes offset mild selling in bonds after Wall Street stock prices pared early losses. The yield on benchmark 10-year Treasuries was little changed at 2.381 percent as it bounced in a narrow 3 basis-point range. Two-year yields were flat at 1.194 percent, while 30-year yields nudged up 0.4 basis point to 2.972 percent.

 

 

Economic Calendar

  • 10:30 GMT+0 UK Manufacturing Production m/m
  • 15:15 GMT+0 UK BOE Gov Carney Speaks
  • 16:30 GMT+0 US Crude Oil Inventories
  • 17:00 GMT+0 US President-Elect Trump Speaks

 

US Equity Upgrades

  • BAIDU (BIDU) UPGRADED TO BUY FROM HOLD AT STIFEL
  • AMERICAN EXPRESS (AXP) UPGRADED TO OUTPERFORM FROM PERFORM AT OPPENHEIMER
  • ROBERT HALF (RHI) UPGRADED TO EQUAL WEIGHT FROM UNDERWEIGHT AT BARCLAYS
  • TWILIO (TWLO) UPGRADED TO BUY FROM HOLD AT CANACCORD
  • XEROX (XRX) UPGRADED TO BUY FROM NEUTRAL AT GOLDMAN
  • BARRACUDA (CUDA) UPGRADED TO NEUTRAL FROM UNDERPERFORM AT DA DAVIDSON
  • AVANGRID (AGR) UPGRADED TO BUY FROM NEUTRAL AT GUGGENHEIM
  • ILLUMINA (ILMN) UPGRADED TO BUY FROM NEUTRAL AT BOFA/MERRILL
  • NOW INC. (DNOW) UPGRADED TO POSITIVE FROM NEUTRAL AT SUSQUEHANNA
  • ALASKA AIR (ALK) UPGRADED TO BUY FROM NEUTRAL AT BOFA/MERRILL
  • MPLX (MPLX) UPGRADED TO OUTPERFORM FROM MARKET PERFORM AT WELLS FARGO
  • TIME INC. (TIME) UPGRADED TO OUTPERFORM FROM MARKET PERFORM AT WELLS FARGO
  • AMERICAN ELECTRIC (AEP) UPGRADED TO OUTPERFORM FROM MARKET PERFORM AT WELLS FARGO
  • E-TRADE (ETFC) UPGRADED TO BUY FROM NEUTRAL AT GOLDMAN
  • LPL FINANCIAL (LPLA) UPGRADED TO NEUTRAL FROM SELL AT GOLDMAN
  • AGRIUM (AGU) UPGRADED TO OVERWEIGHT FROM NEUTRAL AT ATLANTIC EQUITIES
  • TECK RESOURCES (TECK) UPGRADED TO OUTPERFORM FROM SECTOR PERFORM AT SCOTIABANK

 

US Equity Downgrades

  • ARAMARK (ARMK) DOWNGRADED TO EQUAL WEIGHT FROM OVERWEIGHT AT BARCLAYS
  • ARIAD (ARIA) DOWNGRADED TO HOLD FROM BUY AT JEFFERIES
  • NIELSEN (NLSN) DOWNGRADED TO EQUAL WEIGHT FROM OVERWEIGHT AT BARCLAYS
  • CF INDUSTRIES (CF) DOWNGRADED TO NEUTRAL FROM BUY AT UBS
  • EQUITY RESIDENTIAL (EQR) DOWNGRADED TO NEUTRAL FROM BUY AT JANNEY CAPITAL
  • SPECTRUM BRANDS (SPB) DOWNGRADED TO NEUTRAL FROM BUY AT BOFA/MERRILL
  • WILLIAMS (WMB) DOWNGRADED TO HOLD FROM BUY AT JEFFERIES
  • EQUITY RESIDENTIAL (EQR) DOWNGRADED TO NEUTRAL ON VALUATION AT JANNEY CAPITAL
  • SONIC AUTOMOTIVE (SAH) DOWNGRADED TO NEUTRAL FROM BUY AT CL KING
  • NEWMONT MINING (NEM) DOWNGRADED TO SECTOR PERFORM FROM OUTPERFORM AT SCOTIABANK
  • DISCOVERY (DISCA) DOWNGRADED TO UNDERPERFORM FROM NEUTRAL AT CREDIT SUISSE
  • CHEVRON (CVX) DOWNGRADED TO HOLD FROM BUY AT HSBC

 

US Equity Initiations

  • HERITAGE COMMERCE (HTBK) INITIATED WITH A BUY AT BREAN CAPITAL
  • EXPEDIA (EXPE) INITIATED WITH A SELL AT CITI
  • PRICELINE (PCLN) INITIATED WITH A BUY AT CITI
  • AEGION (AEGN) INITIATED WITH A BUY AT CANACCORD

 

 

 

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