dpa-AFX NEWSTICKER (product sample)

24.03.2017

Merck KGaA : FDA Approves First Treatment For Rare Form Of Skin Cancer

NEW YORK CITY (dpa-AFX) - Merck KgaA (MKGAY.PK) and Pfizer Inc. (PFE) announced that the US Food and Drug Administration has approved BAVENCIO or avelumab Injection 20 mg/mL, for intravenoususe, for the treatment of adults and pediatric patients 12 years and older with metastatic Merkel cell carcinoma or mMCC. BAVENCIO is available for order now in the US. This indication is approved under accelerated approval based on tumor response and duration of response. Continued approval for this indication may be contingent upon verification and description of clinical benefit in confirmatory trials.BAVENCIO will be co-commercialized by EMD Serono, the biopharmaceutical business of Merck in the US and Canada, and Pfizer. BAVENCIO was developed, reviewed and approved through the FDA's Breakthrough Therapy Designation and Priority Review programs.The overall response rate (ORR) was 33% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 23.3-43.8%). Eleven percent of patients experienced a complete response (95% CI: 6.6-19.9%) and 22% of patients experienced a partial response (95% CI: 13.5-31.7%).Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
24.03.2017

Givaudan Shareholders Approve All Proposals

VERNIER (dpa-AFX) - Givaudan (GVDBF.PK), a Swiss manufacturer of fragrance and flavor products, said that the Annual General Meeting approved the 2016 Annual Report, the annual financial statements and the consolidated financial statement with 98.91% of votes and discharged the members of the Board of Directors with 97.89% of votes.With 79.59% of votes, it also approved the Company's compensation report on a consultative basis.The Annual General Meeting approved a distribution to the shareholders of CHF 56.00 per share. This is the sixteenth consecutive dividend increase following Givaudan's listing at the Swiss stock exchange in 2000. The amount will be paid out of available earnings as an ordinary dividend, taxable in Switzerland.After serving on the Board for over 18 years, first as CEO and then as Chairman for 12 years, Dr Jürg Witmer retired as Chairman and member of the Board. Calvin Grieder, newly elected Chairman, thanked Dr Witmer for his exemplary guidance and oversight as CEO and as Chairman, which created an environment for continued company growth and significant value creation for shareholders.All other current members of the Board of Directors were re-elected, each for a term of one year until the next Annual General Meeting in 2018, in accordance with the legal requirements and Givaudan's Articles of Incorporation.Manuel Isler, attorney-at-law, was re-elected as independent shareholder representative until the next Annual General Meeting in 2018 and Deloitte SA was re-elected as auditors for the financial year 2017 with Ms. Karine Szegedi Pingoud as lead auditor, partner.The Annual General Meeting approved the remuneration for the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee. In particular, it approved maximum aggregate amount of compensation of the Board of Directors for the term until the 2018 Annual General Meeting of CHF 2.95 million, by 95.20% of the votes; aggregate amount of short term variable compensation of the Executive Committee for the fiscal year 2016 of CHF 3.29 million by 96.68% of the votes and maximum aggregate amount of fixed and long-term variable compensation of the Executive Committee for the fiscal year 2017 of CHF 19.80 million, by 91.35% of the votes.Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
24.03.2017

Telecom Italia Q4 EBIT Rises

ROME (dpa-AFX) - Telecom Italia (TIAOF.PK, TI) reported that its EBIT for the fourth quarter 2016 totalled 954 million euros, 797 million euros higher than the fourth quarter of 2015, reflecting the improvement in EBITDA.EBITDA for the fourth quarter 2016 totalled 2.124 billion euros, 740 million euros higher than the same period of the previous year. In organic terms and net of non-recurring items, the growth amounts to 106 million euros, equal to +5.1%, an improvement of 12.6 percentage points compared with -7.5% in the first quarter of 2016.The sustained recovery in EBITDA, both in absolute terms and in terms of the margin of profitability on revenues, benefited from the cost recovery plan actions launched in the second quarter of 2016 by the Domestic Business Unit and in the third quarter in the Brazil Business Unit.Revenues for the fourth quarter 2016 totalled 5.086 billion euros and showed an improvement compared with the same period of the previous financial year, both in absolute terms (+245 million euros; +5.1%) and in organic terms (+28 million euros; +0.6%) reversing a negative trend that had persisted for 18 quarters. This positive result was driven by the Domestic Business Unit, which grew by 2.5% in organic terms compared with -2.6% in the fourth quarter of 2015. This result was helped by the introduction of innovative offers aimed, for example, at optimising use of the mobile network in off-peak hours and at retaining the customer base by offering new products that extend the reach of TIM services into adjacent markets.Positive signs are also coming from the Brazil Business Unit which, in a better macroeconomic and competitive context, is significantly slowing down the negative trend, limiting the reduction in revenues to 1.7% in the fourth quarter of 2016 compared with -15.3% in the first quarter of 2016. This recovery is linked to effective repositioning in the post-paid segment, with a strengthening of the main operational indicators.The 2017-2019 three year strategic plan envisages continuing the process of significant transformation of the company.The Plan strategy, focused on significant infrastructure investments aimed at increasing the availability and take-up of innovative services, leads to the following Group objectives being defined for 2017. It expects Domestic revenues and EBITDA to be low single digit growth.The company has devised a plan to achieve fibre coverage of 95% of the country in 2018, almost two years ahead of schedule. in 2019, there will be 99% coverage, thanks in part to wireless technologies, maintaining the capex specified in the strategic plan, bringing in a financial partner to be selected in the coming months for the projects in 'areas c and d'.Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
23.03.2017

Experian Fined For Deceiving Customers

DUBLIN (dpa-AFX) - The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Thursday said it fined Experian, one of the largest credit bureaus in the U.S., $3 million for deceiving customers about the use of credit scores it sold to them.'In its advertising, Experian falsely represented that the credit scores it marketed and provided to consumers were the same scores lenders use to make credit decisions. In fact, lenders did not use the scores Experian sold to consumers,' the CFPB said in a statement.Experian must pay a civil penalty of $3 million and also has to truthfully represent how its credit scores are used. Costa Mesa, California-based Experian is one of the nation's three largest credit reporting agencies. Experian markets, advertises, sells, offers, and provides credit scores, credit reports, credit monitoring, and other related products to consumers and third parties.CFPB has asked Experian to develop and implement a plan to make sure its advertising practices relating to credit scores and on Internet webpages that consumers access through AnnualCreditReport.com comply with federal consumer laws and the terms.Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
23.03.2017

GameStop Corp. Earnings Drop 3% In Q4

WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - GameStop Corp. (GME) announced a profit for fourth quarter that declined compared to the same period last year.The company said its profit dropped to $243.8 million, or $2.38 per share. This was lower than $251.6 million, or $2.40 per share, in last year's fourth quarter.Analysts had expected the company to earn $2.29 per share, according figures compiled by Thomson Reuters. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.The company said revenue for the quarter fell 13.6% to $3.05 billion. This was down from $3.53 billion last year.GameStop Corp. earnings at a glance:-Earnings (Q4): $243.8 Mln. vs. $251.6 Mln. last year.-Earnings Decline (Y-o-Y): -3.1%-EPS (Q4): $2.38 vs. $2.40 last year.-EPS Decline (Y-o-Y): -0.8%-Analysts Estimate: $2.29-Revenue (Q4): $3.05 Bln vs. $3.53 Bln last year.-Revenue Change (Y-o-Y): -13.6% -Guidance:Full year EPS guidance: $3.10 to $3.40Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
23.03.2017

Micron Technology Q2 Profit Climbs 10200%

WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - Micron Technology (MU) released earnings for its second quarter that gained ground compared to the same period last year.The company said its bottom line came in at $1.03 billion, or $0.90 per share. This was higher than $0.01 billion, or $0.01 per share, in last year's second quarter.The company said revenue for the quarter rose 58.7% to $4.65 billion. This was up from $2.93 billion last year.Micron Technology earnings at a glance:-Earnings (Q2): $1.03 Bln. vs. $0.01 Bln. last year.-Earnings Growth (Y-o-Y): 10200%-EPS (Q2): $0.90 vs. $0.01 last year.-EPS Growth (Y-o-Y): 8900%-Revenue (Q2): $4.65 Bln vs. $2.93 Bln last year.-Revenue Change (Y-o-Y): 58.7%Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
23.03.2017

KB Home Earnings Advance 9% In Q1

WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - KB Home (KBH) announced a profit for its first quarter that gained ground compared to the same period last year.The company said its bottom line came in at $14.26 million, or $0.15 per share. This was up from $13.13 million, or $0.14 per share, in last year's first quarter.Analysts had expected the company to earn $0.13 per share, according figures compiled by Thomson Reuters. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.The company said revenue for the quarter rose 20.7% to $818.60 million. This was up from $678.37 million last year.KB Home earnings at a glance:-Earnings (Q1): $14.26 Mln. vs. $13.13 Mln. last year.-Earnings Growth (Y-o-Y): 8.6%-EPS (Q1): $0.15 vs. $0.14 last year.-EPS Growth (Y-o-Y): 7.1%-Analysts Estimate: $0.13-Revenue (Q1): $818.60 Mln vs. $678.37 Mln last year.-Revenue Change (Y-o-Y): 20.7%Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
23.03.2017

SuperValu Moves Notably Higher On Upgrade By RBC Capital

WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - Shares of SuperValu (SVU) have shown a strong move to the upside during trading on Thursday, with the supermarket operator surging up by 13.8 percent. The jump by SuperValu comes after RBC Capital upgraded its rating on the company's stock to Outperform from Sector Perform.Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
23.03.2017

Disney Extends Robert Iger's Contract As Chairman & CEO To July 2, 2019

BURBANK (dpa-AFX) - Walt Disney Co. (DIS) said Thursday that its board has extended Robert Iger's contract as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer to July 2, 2019.'Given Bob Iger's outstanding leadership, his record of success in a changing media landscape, and his clear strategic vision for Disney's future, it is obvious that the Company and its shareholders will be best served by his continued leadership as the Board conducts the robust process of identifying a successor and ensuring a smooth transition,' said Orin Smith, Independent Lead Director of the Disney Board.Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
23.03.2017

Apple To Acquire Workflow App

CUPERTINO (dpa-AFX) - Apple Inc. (AAPL) has agreed to acquire Workflow, an iOS app for automating tasks, as well as its development team for an undisclosed sum. Workflow is a personal automation tool that enables the user to drag and drop combination of actions to create workflows for the iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch. Workflow won an Apple Design Award at the WWDC in 2015.Apple is acquiring Workflow along with its team of Ari Weinstein, Conrad Kramer, Ayaka Nonaka and Nick Frey. 'We are thrilled to be joining Apple. We've worked closely with Apple from the very beginning, from kickstarting our company as students attending WWDC to developing and launching Workflow and seeing its amazing success on the App Store,' Weinstein said.Workflow allows users to group together a number of actions to complete tasks. Workflow can be used to make animated GIFs from photos, make PDFs from Safari or any app with a share sheet, or be used to get all of the images on a web page. It shares some similarity with the service IFTTT on the web.In an unusual move for Apple, Workflow will continue to be available on the iOS App Store and will be free to download for all users.Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
24.03.2017

China Bourse Tipped To Open In The Red

BEIJING (dpa-AFX) - The China stock market bounced higher again on Thursday, one session after it had snapped the two-day winning streak in which it had picked up almost 25 points or 0.7 percent. The Shanghai Composite Index now rests just beneath the 3,250-point plateau, although the market is expected to head south again on Friday.The global forecast for the Asian markets is soft after the vote was delayed for the GOP plan to replace the Affordable Care Act - while falling oil prices add to the negative sentiment. The European markets were up and the U.S. bourses were down, and the Asian markets figure to follow the latter lead.The SCI finished slightly higher on Thursday as gains from the financials and properties were capped by weakness from the oil companies.For the day, the index added 3.33 points or 0.10 percent to finish at 3,248.55 after trading between 3,221.93 and 3,262.09. The Shenzhen Composite Index gained 0.71 points to end at 2,038.60.Among the actives, Agricultural Bank of China shed 0.31 percent, while Industrial and Commercial Bank of China added 0.21 percent, Bank of China collected 0.28 percent, Vanke spiked 1.80 percent, Gemdale skidded 1.71 percent, PetroChina shed 0.75 percent and China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) fell 0.52 percent.The lead from Wall Street is negative as stocks showed a lack of direction on Thursday as traders kept an eye Capitol Hill before ending in the red.The Dow shed 4.72 points or 0.1 percent to 20,656.58, while the NASDAQ dipped 3.95 points or 0.1 percent to 5,817.69 and the S&P 500 fell 2.49 points or 0.1 percent to 2,345.96.The choppy trading reflected continued uncertainty about the fate of the House Republican plan to repeal and replace Obamacare. Late in the trading day, House Republican leaders delayed a planned Thursday night vote on the bill amid a lack of support.If it fails, it could imperil President Donald Trump's other policies such as tax reform and increased infrastructure spending.In economic news, the Labor Department saw an unexpected increase in first-time claims for U.S. jobless benefits in the week ended March 18. Also, the Commerce Department noted an increase in new home sales in February.Crude oil futures were lower Thursday as the dollar firmed on rate hike chatter and surging inventories. WTI light sweet crude oil was down 35 cents to $47.69 a barrel, stuck near its lowest levels since November.Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
23.03.2017

Gold Stocks Under Pressure Amid Modest Drop In Price Of Metal

WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - Many of the major sectors are showing only modest moves during trading on Thursday, although considerable weakness is visible among gold stocks. Reflecting the weakness in the sector, the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index has slumped by 1.1 percent.The weakness among gold stocks comes amid a modest decrease by the price of the precious metal, with gold for April delivery slipping $2.50 to $1,247.20 an ounce.Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
23.03.2017

Commercial Real Estate Stocks Showing Strong Move To The Upside

WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - Commercial real estate stocks are seeing significant strength in afternoon trading on Thursday, with the Morgan Stanley REIT Index climbing by 1.2 percent.UMH Properties (UMH), Ramco-Gershenson Properties Trust (RPT), and Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust (PEI) are turning in some of the sector's best performances.Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
23.03.2017

The Swiss Stock Market Recovered Some Lost Ground

BRUSSELS (dpa-AFX) - The Swiss stock market ended Thursday's session firmly in positive territory, following the substantial losses of the previous two sessions. After a directionless morning of trade, the market climbed into positive territory in the afternoon along with the U.S. markets. Investors were in a cautious mood ahead of a crucial vote on healthcare reform in the U.S. Congress. The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote on the Republican plan to repeal and replace Obamacare later today. The GOP's ability to pass the healthcare bill is seen as crucial to efforts to address President Donald Trump's other priorities, including tax reform and infrastructure spending.The Swiss Market Index increased by 0.71 percent Thursday and finished at 8,628.64. The Swiss Leader Index climbed 0.63 percent and the Swiss Performance Index added 0.78 percent.The luxury goods companies turned in a strong performance after the start of the Baselworld watch and jewelry show. Swatch jumped 2.4 percent and Richemont gained 1.7 percent.Galenica increased 1.3 percent, recovering some of the losses from the previous day. Schindler advanced 1.8 percent, while ABB and LafargeHolcim rose 1.4 percent each.Insurer Bâloise gained 1.3 percent after its full year results exceeded analysts' expectations. The index heavyweights all finished in the green Thursday. Novartis and Roche increased by 1.0 percent each and Nestlé added 0.6 percent.UBS gained 0.5 percent, but Credit Suisse dropped 2.0 percent. The stock sank in the afternoon on reports that the bank is considering a capital increase of 'at least 3 billion CHF.'Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
23.03.2017

European Markets Finished Higher Despite Early Jitters

BRUSSELS/FRANKFURT/PARIS (dpa-AFX) - The European markets ended Thursday's session with gains. Investors were in a cautious mood ahead of a crucial vote on healthcare reform in the U.S. Congress. After a weak start, the markets inched into positive territory later in the morning and advanced further in the afternoon. The afternoon gains coincided with an upward move on Wall Street that brought the U.S. markets firmly into positive territory.The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote on the Republican plan to repeal and replace Obamacare later today. The GOP's ability to pass the healthcare bill is seen as crucial to efforts to address President Donald Trump's other priorities, including tax reform and infrastructure spending.Investors continue to monitor the latest developments in London after yesterday's terror attack around the Houses of Parliament. However, the attack has had little impact on the markets.Euro area economic recovery is steadily firming and the trend is likely to continue with growth firming and broadening going ahead, the European Central Bank said Thursday. 'The economic recovery in the euro area is steadily firming,' the central bank said in its latest Economic Bulletin. 'Incoming data, notably survey results, have increased the Governing Council's confidence that the ongoing economic expansion will continue to firm and broaden.'Overall, surveys point to a robust growth momentum in the first quarter of 2017, the bank said.The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index advanced 0.80 percent. The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone bluechip stocks increased 0.91 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, added 0.90 percent.The DAX of Germany climbed 1.14 percent and the CAC 40 of France rose 0.76 percent. The FTSE 100 of the U.K. gained 0.22 percent and the SMI of Switzerland finished higher by percent.In Frankfurt, BASF finished higher by 1.15 percent after Stahl agreed to acquire its leather chemicals business.In London, IG Group sank 4.60 percent after the online trading company reported a 3.8 percent fall in quarterly revenue.Home improvement retailer Kingfisher fell 1.62 percent, a day after warning of an uncertain economic outlook because of Brexit and the French presidential elections.Tesco, Britain's largest supermarket, rose 2.02 percent after reportedly removing Heineken beers and ciders from its shelves over a Brexit row with manufacturers.Next soared 8.08 percent. The fashion retailer maintained its profit forecast after reporting its first decline in annual profits for eight years.Digital security firm Gemalto tumbled 3.82 percent in Amsterdam to extend Wednesday's losses on a brokerage downgrade.Germany's consumer sentiment index is set to weaken in April, survey data from the market research group GfK showed Thursday. The forward-looking consumer confidence index dropped to 9.8 in April from 10.0 in March. The indicator was forecast to remain unchanged at 10.0.French manufacturing sentiment deteriorated in March after reaching its highest level in more than five years in February, monthly survey data from the statistical office Insee showed Thursday. The manufacturing confidence index fell to 104 in March, while it was forecast to remain unchanged at 107. Nonetheless, the indicator stood above its long-term average of 100.UK retail sales increased for the first time in four months in February despite high inflation squeezing purchasing power of consumers. The retail sales volume grew 1.4 percent month-on-month in February, reversing a 0.5 percent fall in January, the Office for National Statistics said Thursday. This was the first increase in four months and exceed the expected growth of 0.4 percent.A report released by the Labor Department on Thursday showed an unexpected increase in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits in the week ended March 18th. The report said initial jobless claims climbed to 258,000, an increase of 15,000 from the previous week's revised level of 243,000.The increase surprised economists, who had expected jobless claims to edge down to 240,000 from the 241,000 originally reported for the previous week.New home sales in the U.S. saw a substantial increase in the month of February, the Commerce Department revealed in a report on Thursday, with sales jumping to their highest level in seven months. The report said new home sales spiked by 6.1 percent to an annual rate of 592,000 in February after surging up by 5.3 percent to a revised 558,000 in January.Economists had expected new home sales to climb to a rate of 565,000 in February from the 555,000 originally reported for the previous month.Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
23.03.2017

Wall Street Enthusiastic Ahead Of Yellen's Keynote Speech

BRUSSELS/FRANKFURT/PARIS (dpa-AFX) - All eyes are on Fed Chair Janet Yellen's keynote address this morning. New home sales as well as jobless claims are also important for the day. The market is also closely watching the President Trumps effort to renovate healthcare legislation. Asian shares closed higher, while European shares are broadly up. As of 7.30 am ET, the Dow futures were adding 15 points, the S&P 500 futures were improving 4.50 points, and the Nasdaq 100 futures were up 6.25 points.U.S. stocks closed mixed on Wednesday. The Dow edged down 6.71 points or less than a tenth of a percent to 20,661.30, the Nasdaq climbed 27.82 points or 0.5 percent to 5,821.64 and the S&P 500 rose 4.43 points or 0.2 percent to 2,348.45.On the economic front, Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen will give opening keynote at Federal Reserve System Community Development Research Conference in Washington at 8.45 am ET. The Labor Department's jobless claims for the week will be issued at 8.30 am ET. The economists are looking for consensus of 240K, slightly down from 241k last month. The new home sales figures for February, prepared by the Census Bureau, the Commerce department and the Housing and Urban Development department will be released at 10.00 am ET. The consensus is for 565K, up from 555K last month. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) is expected to publish natural gas report for the week. In the previous week, it has reported a decline of 53 bcf. Kansas City Fed Manufacturing index for March will be released at 11.00 am ET. In the prior month, the index was at 14. Auction of Treasury's 2-year floating rate note, 5-year note, 7-year note will be held at 11.00 am ET. The Treasury's 10-year inflation index securities or TIPS will be auctioned at 1.00 pm ET. Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank President Neel Kashkari will give remarks at Federal Reserve System Community Development Research Conference in Washington, with audience and media Q&A at 12.30 pm ET. The Federal Balance Sheet for the week will be published at 4.30 pm ET. In the previous week the level was at $4.470 trillion. Money Supply for the week will be revealed at 4.30 pm ET. The M2 weekly change in the prior week was a deficit of $5 billionDallas Federal Reserve Bank President Robert Kaplan will participate in a discussion on the economic outlook and monetary policy at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs in Chicago, with audience and media Q&A at 7.00 pm ET. In the corporate segment, Accenture (ACN) said a non-cash settlement charge will reduce its fiscal 2017 earnings per share by approximately $0.39. Including the impact of the settlement charge, the company now expects earnings per share to be in the range of $5.31 to $5.48. Excluding it, earnings are expected in the range of $5.70 to $5.87 compared with the previous view of $5.64 to $5.87 per share. For the fiscal year, the company now expects net revenue growth to be in the range of 6 percent to 8 percent in local currency, compared to prior outlook of 5 percent to 8 percent.For the third quarter, Accenture expects net revenues in the range of $8.65 billion to $8.90 billion with 5 to 8 percent growth in local currency.Leoni AG said it expects sales of about 4.6 billion euros for the year with a growth of 5 percent. Consolidated EBIT is expected to be between 180 and 200 million euros. The company projects positive free cash flow despite higher capital expenditure of approximately 250 million eurosAsian stocks rose across the board on Thursday and closed higher. Chinese shares ended higher despite investor worries over tight liquidity in the interbank market and increased regulatory scrutiny weighing heavily on B shares. The benchmark Shanghai Composite index rose 3.33 points or 0.10 percent to finish at 3,248.55. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index closed 7.29 points or 0.03 percent higher at 24,327.70.Japanese shares ended a tad higher. The Nikkei 225 closed 43.93 points or 0.23 percent higher at 19,085.31. The broader Topix index closed marginally higher at 1,530.41.Australian shares closed higher, led by energy stocks. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index gained 23.50 points or 0.41 percent to finish at 5,708, while the broader All Ordinaries index rose 22 points or 0.38 percent to finish at 5,754.European shares are trading higher. CAC 40 of France is trading 9.03 points or 0.18 percent higher. DAX of Germany is climbing 43.51 points or 0.36 percent. FTSE 100 of England is up 0.73 points or 0.01 percent. Swiss Market Index is adding 2.23 points or 0.03 percent. Euro Stoxx 50, a leading Blue-chip index for the Eurozone, is up 0.32 percent.Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
23.03.2017

European Shares Fluctuate Ahead Of Yellen's Speech

BRUSSELS/FRANKFURT/PARIS (dpa-AFX) - European stocks were mixed on Thursday as investors tracked the latest developments in London after the terror attack around the Houses of Parliament and waited to see if U.S. President Donald Trump can close the deal on the Republican health care bill. It is feared that failure to repeal and replace Obamacare would delay work on the rest of Trump's legislative agenda, including tax reform.Investors also awaited remarks by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari for more clues on the outlook for U.S. monetary policy.The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index was up 0.12 percent at 374.51 in late opening deals after declining 0.4 percent on Wednesday on worries Trump will struggle to deliver his promises on tax cuts and regulatory reform. The German DAX was up 0.1 percent, while France's CAC 40 index and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 were down around 0.2 percent. IG Group shares fell nearly 5 percent in London after the British online trading company reported a 3.8 percent fall in quarterly revenue.Home improvement retailer Kingfisher fell over 2 percent, a day after warning of an uncertain economic outlook because of Brexit and the French presidential elections. Dutch digital security firm Gemalto tumbled 3.5 percent to extend Wednesday's losses on a brokerage downgrade. BASF was marginally higher after Stahl agreed to acquire its leather chemicals business.Tesco, Britain's largest supermarket, rose more than 1 percent after reportedly removing Heineken beers and ciders from its shelves over a Brexit row with manufacturers.Next Plc shares soared 7 percent. The fashion retailer maintained its profit forecast after reporting its first decline in annual profits for eight years.In economic releases, the day's reports proved to be a mixed bag. GfK's forward-looking consumer confidence index for Germany fell slightly short of analysts' expectations and a gauge of French manufacturing sentiment deteriorated in March, while U.K retail sales increased for the first time in four months in February.Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
23.03.2017

Asian Shares Rise Ahead Of Key US Healthcare Vote

CANBERA (dpa-AFX) - Asian stocks rose across the board on Thursday as investors monitored oil prices and kept an eye on Capitol Hill to see whether U.S. President Donald Trump can close the deal on the Republican health care bill. The latest reports suggest that House Republicans may not have the votes to pass their healthcare plan. The Republican plan faces an even tougher uphill climb in the Senate, raising concerns about what the GOP can accomplish even with a unified government.If the healthcare bill fails, it could imperil Trump's other policies such as tax reform and increased infrastructure spending.Meanwhile, markets largely shrugged off news of a suspected terrorist attack on Wednesday in London that left 5 people dead and about 40 injured. Chinese shares ended higher despite investor worries over tight liquidity in the interbank market and increased regulatory scrutiny weighing heavily on B shares. The benchmark Shanghai Composite index rose 3.33 points or 0.10 percent to finish at 3,248.55. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index closed marginally higher at 24,327.70.Japanese shares recovered earlier losses to end a tad higher as a weaker yen helped offset news that the head of a Japanese school at the heart of a political scandal received a donation of one million yen from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's wife in 2015.The Nikkei average closed 43.93 points or 0.23 percent higher at 19,085.31 after hitting as low as 18,973.75 earlier in the day. The broader Topix index closed marginally higher at 1,530.41.Banking and brokerage stocks closed mixed after falling heavily in early trade. Exporters Honda Motor, Hitachi and Mazda Motor rose between 0.3 percent and 1 percent as the dollar inched up from four-month lows against the yen. Australian shares closed higher, led by energy stocks. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index gained 23.50 points or 0.41 percent to finish at 5,708 after falling as much as 1.56 percent the previous day to post its largest single-day loss this year. The broader All Ordinaries index rose 22 points or 0.38 percent to finish at 5,754.Mining stocks ended flat to higher, with BHP Billiton rising over 1 percent. Oil stocks such as Woodside Petroleum, Santos, Origin Energy and Oil Searchrose between half a percent and 2.2 percent as oil futures rebounded in Asian deals after having touched their lowest level since November overnight on data showing record high U.S. crude inventories. The big four banks ended narrowly mixed. Gold miners Northern Star and Evolution dropped 1-3 percent as gold prices drifted lower on a firmer dollar. Sigma Pharmaceutical rallied 2.5 percent after releasing its 2016 results. New Zealand shares rose as the country's central bank held its benchmark interest rate at a record low 1.75 percent and reiterated that it would stay on hold for a 'considerable' period of time in the wake of global volatility and U.S. protectionism. The benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index edged up 1.72 points or 0.02 percent to 7,062.55, with Ryman Healthcare, Sky Network Television, A2 Milk and Metro Performance Glass climbing 2-4 percent. Singapore's Straits Times was moving up 0.3 percent after data showed the country's consumer price inflation accelerated slightly in February, in line with expectations. Benchmark indexes in India, Indonesia and Malaysia were up between 0.3 percent and 0.6 percent.The Taiwan Weighted inched up 0.1 percent after the government announced a T$882.4 billion ($29 billion) stimulus package to support the economy. Investors also awaited a rate decision from the country's central bank, with many economists expecting the bank to maintain status quo on rates. U.S. stocks rebounded on Wednesday from five-week lows hit the previous day, showing little reaction to falling oil prices, weak housing data and a suspected terrorist attack in London near the British parliament. While the Dow closed marginally lower, the Nasdaq Composite rose half a percent and the S&P 500 added 0.2 percent to notch its first gain in five sessions.Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
23.03.2017

European Shares Seen Ticking Higher Ahead Of US Healthcare Vote

BRUSSELS/FRANKFURT/PARIS (dpa-AFX) - European stocks are likely to open higher on Thursday, after U.S. stocks rebounded from five-week lows overnight, taking in their stride a fall in oil prices, weak housing data and a suspected terrorist attack in London near the British parliament.Oil futures rose in Asian deals after slipping back towards three-month lows on Wednesday as rising U.S. crude inventories underscored an ongoing global fuel supply overhang.The dollar recovered from seven-week lows ahead of a House of Representatives vote on U.S. President Donald Trump's healthcare bill later in the day. The latest reports suggest that House Republicans may not have the votes to pass their healthcare plan. The Republican plan faces an even tougher uphill climb in the Senate, raising concerns about what the GOP can accomplish even with a unified government.If the healthcare bill fails, it could imperil Trump's other policies such as tax reform and increased infrastructure spending.The pound also held steady after declining on Wednesday amid the first reports of the London attack that authorities are treating as a terrorist incident.On the economic front, U.K. retail sales data, consumer confidence figures from Germany and U.S. reports on weekly jobless claims and new home sales may sway investor sentiment as the day progresses. Investors also await remarks by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari for more clues on the outlook for U.S. monetary policy. Overnight, U.S. stocks closed mostly higher, with the Dow ending marginally lower, while the Nasdaq Composite rose half a percent and the S&P 500 added 0.2 percent to notch its first gain in five sessions. The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index declined 0.4 percent on Wednesday on worries Trump will struggle to deliver his promises on tax cuts and regulatory reform. The German DAX dropped half a percent, France's CAC 40 index slid 0.2 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 shed 0.7 percent.Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
23.03.2017

Asian Markets Mostly Higher Amid Cautious Trades

CANBERA (dpa-AFX) - Asian stock markets are mostly higher on Thursday in cautious trades following the mixed lead overnight from Wall Street amid ongoing concerns about U.S. President Donald Trump's ability to implement his policy agenda. Gains are modest in most Asian markets.The latest reports suggest House Republicans may not have the votes to pass their healthcare plan in a vote expected to be held later on Thursday. Failure to push ahead with the healthcare bill, Trump's first legislation since he took office, could imperil other Trump policies that are favored on Wall Street, such as tax reform and increased infrastructure spending.The Australian market is staging a modest recovery following the lackluster cues overnight from Wall Street. Nevertheless, worries about Trump's economic growth strategy continued to weigh on investor sentiment. Gains in mining and oil stocks helped offset weakness in banking shares.In late-morning trades, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is rising 5.90 points or 0.10 percent to 5,690.40, off a high of 5,698.30 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 5.10 points or 0.09 percent to 5,737.10. On Wednesday, the Australian market recorded its worst-one day performance since November 9.The major miners are higher. BHP Billiton is adding more than 1 percent, while Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals are advancing almost 1 percent each. Oil stocks are also up despite crude oil prices edging lower overnight. Woodside Petroleum is edging up less than 0.1 percent, Santos is rising 0.6 percent and Oil Search is advancing almost 1 percent.Meanwhile, banking stocks are weak. ANZ Banking, Westpac, National Australia Bank and Commonwealth Bank are lower in a range of 0.2 percent to 0.8 percent.The Australian Securities and Investments Commission cleared Commonwealth-bank owned insurer CommInsure of allegations its managers pressured doctors to alter medical opinions so that it could deny insurance claims, but noted that some its practices were 'out of step with community expectations'.Gold miners are also lower despite gold prices rising for a fifth straight session overnight. Newcrest Mining is losing almost 1 percent and Evolution Mining is down almost 3 percent.Sigma Pharmaceuticals reported a 5.3 percent increase in net profit for fiscal 2016/17 and confirmed it expects underlying earnings growth of at least 5 percent this year. Shares of the drug company are rising 5 percent.Washington H Soul Pattinson reported a 56 percent surge in profit for the first half of the year. The investment firm's shares are gaining almost 3 percent.Brickworks' shares are losing almost 1 percent despite the building products group recording a 35 percent increase in its half-year net profit.In the currency market, the Australian dollar is higher against the U.S. dollar on Thursday. In early trades, the local unit was trading at US$0.7680, up from US$0.7660 on Wednesday.The Japanese market is edging higher in choppy trading, tracking the mixed cues overnight from Wall Street and as investors await the results of a key healthcare plan vote in the U.S. Congress later in the day.In late-morning trades, the benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is rising 11.02 points or 0.06 percent to 19,052.40, off a high of 19,089.59 earlier. On Wednesday, Japanese shares plunged to close at their lowest level since late February.The major exporters are mostly lower on a strong yen. Toshiba is rising more than 11 percent, while Canon is edging lower by less than 0.1 percent, Sony is down 0.5 percent and Panasonic is losing 0.3 percent.Automaker Toyota is lower by 0.6 percent, while Honda is up 0.2 percent. In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is lower by 1 percent and Sumitomo Mitsui is losing 0.3 percent.In the oil space, Inpex is rising 0.6 percent and JX Holdings is rising more than 1 percent.Among the other major gainers, Tokai Carbon is gaining almost 5 percent and Sumco Corp is rising more than 4 percent. On the flip side, DeNA Co. is losing more than 4 percent and Japan Steel Works is down more than 2 percent. In the currency market, the U.S. dollar traded in the mid 111 yen-range on Thursday.Elsewhere in Asia, Shanghai, South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia and Taiwan are all in positive territory, while New Zealand is modestly lower.On Wall Street, stocks closed mixed in choppy trading on Wednesday amid uncertainty about the fate of the Republican plan to repeal and replace Obamacare. The latest reports suggest House Republicans may not have the votes to pass their healthcare plan in a vote expected to be held on Thursday.While the Dow edged down 6.71 points or less than a tenth of a percent to 20,661.30, the Nasdaq climbed 27.82 points or 0.5 percent to 5,821.64 and the S&P 500 rose 4.43 points or 0.2 percent to 2,348.45.The major European markets moved to the downside on Wednesday. While the French CAC 40 Index edged down by 0.2 percent, the German DAX Index fell by 0.5 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index slid by 0.7 percent.Crude oil futures edged a bit lower Wednesday, recovering from steep early losses after government data showed gasoline stockpiles continued to fall last week. WTI crude for May slipped $0.20 or 0.4 percent to settle at $48.04 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
24.03.2017

Japan Manufacturing PMI Falls To 52.6 In March - Nikkei

TOKYO (dpa-AFX) - The manufacturing sector in Japan continued to expand in March, albeit at a slower rate, the latest survey from Nikkei revealed on Friday with a PMI score of 52.6.That's down from 53.3 in February, although it remains above the boom-or-bust line of 50 that separates expansion from contraction.Individually, output, new orders, new export orders, employment, input prices and stocks of finished goods all expanded.Output prices and stocks of purchases slipped to contraction.Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
23.03.2017

New Zealand Trade Data Due On Friday

TOKYO (dpa-AFX) - New Zealand will on Friday release February figures for imports, exports and trade balance, highlighting a modest day for Asia-Pacific economic activity.Imports are expected to be worth NZ$3.99 billion, down from NZ$4.19 billion in January. Exports are pegged at NZ$4.20 billion, up from NZ$3.91 billion in the previous month. The trade surplus is called at NZ$160 million following the NZ$285 million shortfall a month earlier.Japan will see preliminary March numbers for the manufacturing PMI from Nikkei; in February, the index score was 53.3.Japan also will see final January figures for the leading and coincident indexes; the previous readings were 105.5 and 114.9, respectively.Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
23.03.2017

U.S. New Home Sales Jump To Seven-Month High In February

WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - New home sales in the U.S. saw a substantial increase in the month of February, the Commerce Department revealed in a report on Thursday, with sales jumping to their highest level in seven months.The report said new home sales spiked by 6.1 percent to an annual rate of 592,000 in February after surging up by 5.3 percent to a revised 558,000 in January.Economists had expected new home sales to climb to a rate of 565,000 in February from the 555,000 originally reported for the previous month.With the much bigger than expected increase, new home sales soared to their highest level since reaching an eight-year high of 622,000 in July.The sharp jump in new home sales was partly due to strength in the Midwest, where new home sales shot up by 30.9 percent to a rate of 89,000.New home sales in the West also showed a significant increase in February, climbing by 7.5 percent to a rate of 157,000.While new home sales in the South also rose by 3.6 percent to a rate of 313,000, new home sales in the Northeast tumbled by 21.4 percent to a rate of 33,000.The Commerce Department also said the median sales price of new houses sold in February was $296,200, down 3.9 percent from $308,200 in January and down 4.9 percent from $311,300 a year ago.The estimate of new houses for sale at the end of February was 266,000, representing 5.4 months of supply at the current sales rate.On Wednesday, the National Association of Realtors released a separate report showing a bigger than expected pullback in existing home sales in the month of February.NAR said existing home sales tumbled by 3.7 percent to an annual rate of 5.48 million in February after jumping by 3.3 percent to a rate of 5.69 million in January. Economists had expected sales to drop to 5.58 million.The bigger than expected decrease came after existing home sales surged up to their highest rate in almost ten years in the previous month.Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
23.03.2017

U.S. Weekly Jobless Claims Unexpectedly Climb To 258,000

WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - A report released by the Labor Department on Thursday showed an unexpected increase in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits in the week ended March 18th.The report said initial jobless claims climbed to 258,000, an increase of 15,000 from the previous week's revised level of 243,000.The increase surprised economists, who had expected jobless claims to edge down to 240,000 from the 241,000 originally reported for the previous week.The Labor Department said the less volatile four-week moving average also inched up to 240,000, an increase of 1,000 from the previous week's revised average of 239,000.Meanwhile, the report said continuing claims, a reading on the number of people receiving ongoing unemployment assistance, fell by 39,000 to 2.0 million in the week ended March 11th.The four-week moving average of continuing claims also dropped to 2,026,750, a decrease of 32,000 from the previous week's revised average of 2,058,750.Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
23.03.2017

ECB Says Eurozone Growth Momentum To Continue

BRUSSELS/FRANKFURT/PARIS (dpa-AFX) - Euro area economic recovery is steadily firming and the trend is likely to continue with growth firming and broadening going ahead, the European Central Bank said Thursday. 'The economic recovery in the euro area is steadily firming,' the central bank said in its latest Economic Bulletin. 'Incoming data, notably survey results, have increased the Governing Council's confidence that the ongoing economic expansion will continue to firm and broaden.'Overall, surveys point to a robust growth momentum in the first quarter of 2017, the bank said.The pass-through of the ECB's monetary policy measures is supporting domestic demand and facilitating the ongoing deleveraging process, the report added.The bank also noted that economic growth in the euro area could be dampened by a sluggish pace of implementation of structural reforms and remaining balance sheet adjustment needs in a number of sectors.The ECB Staff has projected 1.8 percent growth for this year and 1.7 percent for next. The pace of expansion is seen slowing further to 1.6 percent in 2019. The risks surrounding the euro area growth outlook have becomeless pronounced, but remain tilted to the downside and relate predominantly to global factors, the bank reiterated. The bank also repeated that there was 'no signs yet of a convincing upward trend in underlying inflation'. Measures of core inflation are expected to rise only gradually over the medium term.Headline inflation is set to slow to 1.6 percent next year from 1.7 percent this year. But the figure was seen rising to 1.7 percent in 2019. Regarding the global environment, the ECB noted that uncertainty remains elevated due to a number of factors including the design of the new US administration's policies and their effects on the US economy. The gradual re-balancing of the Chinese economy and future relations between the United Kingdom and the European Union also pose risks to the growth outlook , the report said.Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
23.03.2017

ECB Says Eurozone Growth Momentum To Continue

BRUSSELS/FRANKFURT/PARIS (dpa-AFX) - Euro area economic recovery is steadily firming and the trend is likely to continue with growth firming and broadening going ahead, the European Central Bank said Thursday. 'The economic recovery in the euro area is steadily firming,' the central bank said in its latest Economic Bulletin. 'Incoming data, notably survey results, have increased the Governing Council's confidence that the ongoing economic expansion will continue to firm and broaden.'Overall, surveys point to a robust growth momentum in the first quarter of 2017, the bank said.The pass-through of the ECB's monetary policy measures is supporting domestic demand and facilitating the ongoing deleveraging process, the report added.The bank also noted that economic growth in the euro area could be dampened by a sluggish pace of implementation of structural reforms and remaining balance sheet adjustment needs in a number of sectors.The ECB Staff has projected 1.8 percent growth for this year and 1.7 percent for next. The pace of expansion is seen slowing further to 1.6 percent in 2019. The risks surrounding the euro area growth outlook have becomeless pronounced, but remain tilted to the downside and relate predominantly to global factors, the bank reiterated. The bank also repeated that there was 'no signs yet of a convincing upward trend in underlying inflation'. Measures of core inflation are expected to rise only gradually over the medium term.Headline inflation is set to slow to 1.6 percent next year from 1.7 percent this year. But the figure was seen rising to 1.7 percent in 2019. Regarding the global environment, the ECB noted that uncertainty remains elevated due to a number of factors including the design of the new US administration's policies and their effects on the US economy. The gradual re-balancing of the Chinese economy and future relations between the United Kingdom and the European Union also pose risks to the growth outlook , the report said.Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
23.03.2017

U.S. Weekly Jobless Claims Show Unexpected Increase

WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - A report released by the Labor Department on Thursday showed an unexpected increase in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits in the week ended March 18th.The report said initial jobless claims climbed to 258,000, an increase of 15,000 from the previous week's revised level of 243,000.The increase surprised economists, who had expected jobless claims to edge down to 240,000 from the 241,000 originally reported for the previous week.Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
23.03.2017

UK Retail Sales Rise For First Time In 4 Months

LONDON (dpa-AFX) - UK retail sales increased for the first time in four months in February despite high inflation squeezing purchasing power of consumers. The retail sales volume grew 1.4 percent month-on-month in February, reversing a 0.5 percent fall in January, the Office for National Statistics said Thursday. This was the first increase in four months and exceed the expected growth of 0.4 percent.The latest retail sales figures will provide some reassurance that higher inflation has not brought growth in consumer spending to a complete halt, Paul Hollingsworth, a UK economist at Capital Economics, said. That said, the outlook for spending this year is certainly weaker than in 2016, the economist added. However, the underlying pattern as suggested by the three month-on-three month movement decreased by 1.4 percent for the second month in a row. This was the largest decrease since March 2010 and only the second fall since December 2013.It looks highly likely that retail sales volumes will contract over the first quarter - and very possibly markedly, IHS Markit economist Howard Archer said. Sales volumes will need to grow 3.2 percent month-on-month in March just to have been flat quarter-on-quarter.Excluding auto fuel, retail sales volume climbed 1.3 percent in February from the prior month, in contrast to a 0.3 percent fall in January. Sales were expected to grow 0.3 percent.Food store sales edged up 0.1 percent and non-food store sales climbed 1.8 percent in February after easing 0.3 percent each in January. Auto fuel sales recovered in February, up 2.9 percent.On a yearly basis, the retail sales volume growth accelerated to 3.7 percent from 1 percent in January. This was also faster than the expected 2.6 percent. The annual growth in sales volume, excluding auto fuel, improved to 4.1 percent from 2.1 percent. Economists had forecast a 3.2 percent rise. Bank of England Deputy Governor Ben Broadbent said Thursday the negative effects of the currency weakness on consumption are expected marginally to outweigh its more positive effects on other parts of demand.The policymaker noted that the weakness in sterling represents a sweet spot for exporters, but it is unlikely to last indefinitely. The Distributive Trades Survey published by the Confederation of British Industry on Thursday revealed that UK retailers reported a steady pace of expansion in sales volume in March and forecast it to accelerate in April. The retail sales balance came in at +9 percent in March, the same as in February, but well above the expected level of 4 percent.Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
23.03.2017

Bulgaria Money Supply Growth Eases In February

SOFIA (dpa-AFX) - Bulgaria's money supply growth moderated in February, figures from the Bulgarian National Bank showed Thursday.M3, the broad measure of money supply, climbed 7.3 percent year-over-year in February, slower than the 7.6 percent rise in January.At the same time, the annual growth in the narrow measure, M1, accelerated to 14.7 percent from 14.3 percent in the prior month.Data also revealed that net foreign assets grew at a slower pace of 19.9 percent yearly to BGN 50.68 billion in February, following a 20.8 percent surge in January.Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
23.03.2017

British Retail Sales Expand At Steady Pace: CBI

LONDON (dpa-AFX) - UK retailers reported a steady pace of expansion in sales volume in March and forecast it to accelerate in April, according to the latest monthly Distributive Trades Survey. The retail sales balance came in at +9 percent in March, the same as in February, but well above the expected level of 4 percent, data published by the Confederation of British Industry revealed Thursday.A balance of 6 percent said the sales volume was poor for the time of the year, the lowest since July 2016. Further, the survey showed that a net 10 percent said they placed fewer orders with suppliers. 'It's encouraging to see that sales volumes growth is holding up and expectations have strengthened,' Anna Leach, CBI Head of Economic Intelligence, said. 'However, retailers continue to be squeezed by rising cost pressures on the one hand, and intense competition on the other, which will limit their ability to raise prices,' she added.Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
23.03.2017

Dollar Little Changed Ahead Of Healthcare Reform Vote

WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - The dollar is turning in a mixed performance against its major rivals Thursday afternoon, but is little changed overall. Investors have been in a cautious mood ahead of a crucial vote in Congress on a healthcare reform bill.The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote on the Republican plan to repeal and replace Obamacare later today. The GOP's ability to pass the healthcare bill is seen as crucial to efforts to address President Donald Trump's other priorities, including tax reform and infrastructure spending.A report released by the Labor Department on Thursday showed an unexpected increase in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits in the week ended March 18th. The report said initial jobless claims climbed to 258,000, an increase of 15,000 from the previous week's revised level of 243,000.The increase surprised economists, who had expected jobless claims to edge down to 240,000 from the 241,000 originally reported for the previous week.New home sales in the U.S. saw a substantial increase in the month of February, the Commerce Department revealed in a report on Thursday, with sales jumping to their highest level in seven months. The report said new home sales spiked by 6.1 percent to an annual rate of 592,000 in February after surging up by 5.3 percent to a revised 558,000 in January.Economists had expected new home sales to climb to a rate of 565,000 in February from the 555,000 originally reported for the previous month.Euro area economic recovery is steadily firming and the trend is likely to continue with growth firming and broadening going ahead, the European Central Bank said Thursday. 'The economic recovery in the euro area is steadily firming,' the central bank said in its latest Economic Bulletin. 'Incoming data, notably survey results, have increased the Governing Council's confidence that the ongoing economic expansion will continue to firm and broaden.'Overall, surveys point to a robust growth momentum in the first quarter of 2017, the bank said.The dollar has risen to around $1.0785 against the Euro this afternoon, from an early low of $1.0804.Germany's consumer sentiment index is set to weaken in April, survey data from the market research group GfK showed Thursday. The forward-looking consumer confidence index dropped to 9.8 in April from 10.0 in March. The indicator was forecast to remain unchanged at 10.0.French manufacturing sentiment deteriorated in March after reaching its highest level in more than five years in February, monthly survey data from the statistical office Insee showed Thursday. The manufacturing confidence index fell to 104 in March, while it was forecast to remain unchanged at 107. Nonetheless, the indicator stood above its long-term average of 100.The buck has fallen to a 1-month low of $1.2515 against the pound sterling Thursday afternoon, from an early high of $1.2462.UK retail sales increased for the first time in four months in February despite high inflation squeezing purchasing power of consumers. The retail sales volume grew 1.4 percent month-on-month in February, reversing a 0.5 percent fall in January, the Office for National Statistics said Thursday. This was the first increase in four months and exceed the expected growth of 0.4 percent.The greenback slipped to a low of Y110.638 against the Japanese Yen Thursday, but has since bounced back to around Y110.075.Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
23.03.2017

Dollar Little Changed After U.S. New Home Sales

BRUSSELS (dpa-AFX) - Following the release of U.S. new home sales for February at 10:00 am ET Thursday, the greenback changed little against its major rivals.The greenback was trading at 1.0785 against the euro, 110.99 against the yen, 0.9926 against the franc and 1.2520 against the pound around 10:02 am ET.Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
23.03.2017

Dollar Steady Ahead Of U.S. New Home Sales

BRUSSELS (dpa-AFX) - The Commerce Department is due to release U.S. new home sales for February at 10:00 am ET Thursday.Ahead of the data, the greenback held steady against its major rivals.The greenback was worth 1.0782 against the euro, 110.95 against the yen, 0.9928 against the franc and 1.2516 against the pound as of 9:55 am ET.Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
23.03.2017

U.S. Dollar At Multi-month Lows Against Yen After Weekly Jobless Claims

BRUSSELS (dpa-AFX) - The U.S. dollar traded at multi-month lows against the Japanese yen in the European session on Thursday, as first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits unexpectedly increased in the week ended March 18 and investors focused on a healthcare vote in the U.S. House of Representatives due tonight.Data from the Labor Department showed that initial jobless claims climbed to 258,000, an increase of 15,000 from the previous week's revised level of 243,000.The increase surprised economists, who had expected jobless claims to edge down to 240,000 from the 241,000 originally reported for the previous week.Although Republican leaders have been working furiously to try to build support for the bill known as the American Health Care Act, the latest reports suggest that House Republicans may not have the votes to pass the plan.If the healthcare bill fails, it could imperil Trump's other policies such as tax reform and increased infrastructure spending.The Fed Chair Janet Yellen gave no hints on the economy and monetary policy in her speech at Washington and instead addressed problems of childhood poverty and its connection with financial problems later in life.Traders await new home sales data for February at 10 am ET, with economists expecting the rate to rise to 565,000.The greenback showed mixed trading in the Asian session. While the currency held steady against the euro and the pound, it rose against the franc and the yen.The greenback declined to 110.63 against the yen, a level unseen since November 2016. Continuation of the greenback's downtrend may see it challenging support around the 109.00 region.The greenback pared gains to 0.9918 against the Swiss franc, from a high of 0.9942 hit at 5:15 am ET. If the greenback-franc pair extends decline, it may challenge support around the 0.97 mark.The greenback was trading at 1.0785 against the euro, down from a 2-day high of 1.0768 hit at 6:30 am ET. The next downside target for the greenback is seen around the 1.09 level.Data from the European Central Bank showed that euro area economic recovery is steadily firming and the trend is likely to continue to firm and broaden going ahead. 'The economic recovery in the euro area is steadily firming,' the central bank said in its latest Economic Bulletin. The greenback held steady against the pound with the pair trading at 1.2509, following nearly 4-week low of 1.2527 hit early in the European session. The pair was valued at 1.2483 when it closed Wednesday's trading.Data from the Office for National Statistics showed that the UK retail sales increased for the first time in four months in February.The retail sales volume grew 1.4 percent month-on-month in February, reversing a 0.5 percent fall in January and bigger than the 0.4 percent expected increase.Looking ahead, at 12:30 pm ET, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis President Neel Kashkari is expected to speak about the US education outcomes and achievement gaps at the Federal Reserve System Community Development Research Conference, in Washington DC.At 1:00 pm ET, Swiss National Bank Governing Board Member Andrea Maechler will deliver a speech titled 'The SNB Investment Policy and its Peculiarities' at the Money Market Event, in Zurich.Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
23.03.2017

Dollar Ticks Down Following U.S. Weekly Jobless Claims

BRUSSELS (dpa-AFX) - Following the release of U.S. weekly jobless claims for the week ended March 18 at 8:30 am ET Thursday, the greenback edged down against its major rivals.The greenback was worth 1.0780 against the euro, 110.91 against the yen, 0.9932 against the franc and 1.2494 against the pound around 8:33 am ET.Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
23.03.2017

Dollar Steady Ahead Of U.S. Weekly Jobless Claims

BRUSSELS (dpa-AFX) - At 8:30 am ET Thursday, the Labor Department will release U.S. weekly jobless claims for the week ended March 18.The jobless claims are expected to come in almost unchanged at 240,000 for the week ended March 18.Ahead of the data, the greenback held steady against its major rivals.The greenback was worth 1.0779 against the euro, 110.96 against the yen, 0.9935 against the franc and 1.2494 against the pound as of 8:25 am ET.Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
23.03.2017

Euro Weakens Against Majors

OTTAWA (dpa-AFX) - The euro declined against its major counterparts in the European session on Thursday, as investors became cautious ahead of the upcoming healthcare vote in the U.S. House of Representatives, which is a major test of the President's legislative ability to deliver his pro-growth plans.The latest reports suggest that House Republicans may not have the votes to pass their healthcare plan. The Republican plan faces an even tougher uphill climb in the Senate, raising concerns about what the GOP can accomplish even with a unified government.If the healthcare bill fails, it could imperil Trump's other policies such as tax reform and increased infrastructure spending.Investors also await speeches from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari for more clues on the outlook for U.S. monetary policy. Survey data from the market research group GfK showed that Germany's consumer sentiment index is set to weaken in April. The forward-looking consumer confidence index dropped to 9.8 in April from 10.0 in March. The indicator was forecast to remain unchanged at 10.0.The euro held steady against its major rivals in the Asian session.The euro slipped a 2-day low of 1.0768 against the greenback, off its early high of 1.0805.The next possible support for the euro may be seen around the 1.06 region.The 19-nation currency slid to 119.46 against the yen, its weakest since March 1.If the euro-yen pair extends weakness, 118.00 is likely seen as its next support level.The single currency fell to near a 3-week low of 0.8605 against the pound, from a high of 0.8654 hit at 6:30 pm ET. On the downside, the euro-pound pair may find support around the 0.84 region.Data from the Office for National Statistics showed that UK retail sales increased for the first time in four months in February.The retail sales volume grew 1.4 percent month-on-month in February, reversing a 0.5 percent fall in January and bigger than the 0.4 percent expected increase.Following an advance to 1.0722 against the franc at 3:45 am ET, the euro edged down to 1.0697. Continuation of the euro's downtrend may see it challenging support around the 1.06 mark.Reversing from an early high of 1.4403 against the loonie, the euro dropped to a 2-day low of 1.4358. The euro is poised to target support around the 1.42 area.Looking ahead, U.S. weekly jobless claims for the week ended March 18, U.S. new home sales data for February and Eurozone consumer confidence index for March are slated for release in the New York session.At 8:45 am ET, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen will deliver opening remarks at the Federal Reserve System Community Development Research Conference, in Washington DC.At 12:30 pm ET, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis President Neel Kashkari is expected to speak about the US education outcomes and achievement gaps at the Federal Reserve System Community Development Research Conference, in Washington DC.At 1:00 pm ET, Swiss National Bank Governing Board Member Andrea Maechler will deliver a speech titled 'The SNB Investment Policy and its Peculiarities' at the Money Market Event, in Zurich.Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
23.03.2017

Pound Extends Rise On Upbeat U.K. Retail Sales Data

BRUSSELS (dpa-AFX) - The British pound continued to be strong against the other major currencies in the European session on Thursday, after data showed that U.K. retail sales increased for the first time in four months in February.Data from the Office for National Statistics showed that the retail sales volume grew 1.4 percent month-on-month in February, reversing a 0.5 percent fall in January and bigger than the 0.4 percent expected increase.On a yearly basis, retail sales volume growth accelerated to 3.7 percent from 1 percent in January. This was also faster than the expected 2.6 percent.Excluding auto fuel, retail sales volume climbed 1.3 percent in contrast to a 0.3 percent fall in January. Sales were expected to grow 0.3 percent. The annual growth in sales volume, excluding auto fuel, improved to 4.1 percent from 2.1 percent. Economists had forecast a 3.2 percent rise.In the Asian trading, the pound rose against its major rivals. In the European trading, the pound rose to nearly a 1-month high of 1.2527 against the U.S. dollar, a 3-week high of 1.2444 against the Swiss franc and nearly a 3-week high of 0.8605 against the euro, from early lows of 1.2463, 1.2365 and 0.8654, respectively. If the pound extends its uptrend, it is likely to find resistance around 1.26 against the greenback, 1.26 against the franc and 0.85 against the euro. Against the yen, the pound edged up to 139.14 from an early low of 138.39. The pound may test resistance around the 141.00 region. Looking ahead, U.S. weekly jobless claims for the week ended March 18, U.S. new home sales data for February and Eurozone consumer confidence index for March are slated for release in the New York session.At 8:45 am ET, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen will deliver opening remarks at the Federal Reserve System Community Development Research Conference, in Washington DC.At 12:30 pm ET, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis President Neel Kashkari is expected to speak about the US education outcomes and achievement gaps at the Federal Reserve System Community Development Research Conference, in Washington DC.At 1:00 pm ET, Swiss National Bank Governing Board Member Andrea Maechler will deliver a speech titled 'The SNB Investment Policy and its Peculiarities' at the Money Market Event, in Zurich.Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
23.03.2017

Pound Extends Rise Against Majors

BRUSSELS (dpa-AFX) - The British pound continued to be strong against the other major currencies in the European session on Thursday. The pound rose to nearly a 1-month high of 1.2527 against the U.S. dollar, a 3-week high of 1.2444 against the Swiss franc and nearly a 3-week high of 0.8605 against the euro, from early lows of 1.2463, 1.2365 and 0.8654, respectively. Against the yen, the pound edged up to 139.14 from an early low of 138.39. If the pound extends its uptrend, it is likely to find resistance around 1.26 against the greenback, 1.26 against the franc, 0.85 against the euro and 141.00 against the yen.Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
23.03.2017

Pound Rises After U.K. Retail Sales Data

BRUSSELS (dpa-AFX) - At 5:30 am ET Thursday, the Office for National Statistics released U.K. retail sales figures for February. After the data, the pound rose against its major rivals. As of 5:31 am ET, the pound was trading at 0.8616 against the euro, 1.2431 against the Swiss franc, 1.2512 against the U.S. dollar and 139.08 against the yen.Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX

dpa-AFX SENTIMENT INDICATOR


The dpa-AFX confidence index measures the ratio of high-to-other gradings of Dax-listed companies (based on a 30-day average). A value of 50 indicates that high and low gradings balance one another out. The graph shows the indicator in relation to the DAX chart.

dpa-AFX Analyser