Mainfreight: Part 4 - Delivering
MFT’s investor day outlined growth opportunities and the need for greater focus on sales and quality to lift business momentum
Earnings Pump, Clinton Trumps
Global markets endured volatility to close modestly higher, as corporate earnings reports see-sawed and ECB President Mario Draghi added uncertainty to the financial markets with his remarks on monetary policy.
US markets swing between green and red as earnings, data continue
US stocks bore instability in early trading as a mixed bag of economic data, the ECB comments, and the conclusion of the presidential debates kept investors cautious. The S&P 500 was little changed, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average had regathered +0.1% at the time of writing. Polls suggested that Hillary Clinton once again came out on top in the third and final debate against Donald Trump, which was filled with personal attacks and accusations.
Telecommunications shot lower to weigh on equities; Verizon trimmed -2.7% after releasing Q3 earnings in which the company lost 36,000 wireless post-paid phone subscribers. EBay tumbled -11.3% as the company weakened its holiday forecast, while American Express surged +10.5% after beating earnings and revenue expectations. Lululemon (-1.3%) dug into Wednesday’s rebound. Healthcare shared rose with Allergan (+2.2%) and Gilead (+1.7%) rallying.
European and UK stocks rebound as Draghi denies QE alterations
European markets rebounded from negative territory to close higher as the ECB delivered and earnings delivered a mixed bag. Mario Draghi met expectations by leaving rates unchanged, but shook markets after saying there were neither plans to taper nor extend QE measures. The Stoxx Europe 600 closed +0.2% higher, after being doing -0.8% in afternoon trading. The euro closed slightly lower after a volatile day. Banks rallied, with the Euro Stoxx Bank Index climbing +2.1% to close in on pre-Brexit levels. Among stocks, Nestlé clipped -1.1% as it lowered its annual forecast. GEA sank -19.0% after the German food processing machine maker forecast a sales decline in 2016.
The UK’s FTSE 100 managed to eke out a +0.1% gain despite a gauge of disappointing results. NCC cratered -35.0% after losing three large contracts that are still being quantified, while Keller Group sank -27.0% as the builder warned that profit will disappoint. ITV and Sky dropped -3.7% and -3.6% on a report that EU broadcasters will see weakness in advertising from Q3. WPP shed -3.6% as advertising peer Publicis Groupe’s sales missed expectations.
Asia boosted by crude rally, Japan closes at 5-month high on weak Yen
Asian stocks climbed as oil rallied and a weaker Yen buoyed Japan. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index closed +0.3% higher, with Clinton’s apparent victory adding to the optimism of investors. Japan’s Topix advanced +1.0%. GungHo Online Entertainment shone +17.0% after the Japanese game maker released details of its Seventh Rebirth game. Sharp added a further +7.7% to its +11% rally on Wednesday after saying it expects FY operating profits and net income to “improve drastically”.
ASX 200 gains modestly as results dig into energy gains
The ASX 200 edged up +0.1%, with energy companies contributing the most.
Crude, gold in the red, iron ore gains
WTI crude fell -2.0% to US$50.55, while gold slid -0.2% to US$1,266.68 and iron ore regained US$0.48 to US$58.90/MT.
AGM: IAG, SKC