dpa-AFX NEWSTICKER (product sample)

24.05.2017

Bunge Stock Jumps On Glencore Takeover Approach, Says Not Engaged In Talks

LONDON (dpa-AFX) - Shares of U.S. grains trader Bunge Ltd. (BG) climbed around 17 percent on Tuesday after the Swiss mining giant Glencore Plc (GLCNF.PK, GLNCY.PK, GLEN.L) confirmed that its agriculture joint venture has made an informal takeover approach. Bunge, meanwhile, said its not engaged in business combination talks with Glencore or its JV Glencore Agriculture Limited.Following Bunge's response, its shares fell around 3 percent in the extended trading. Both companies' responses were after a report from Wall Street Journal that stated that Glencore had made a takeover approach to Bunge. The proposed combination with Bunge is expected to give the Swiss miner a major presence in the U.S. agriculture market.Noting the recent media speculation regarding its approach to Bunge, Glencore in a statement said that Glencore Agriculture, its agriculture joint venture with two Canadian pension funds, has made an informal approach to Bunge regarding a possible consensual business combination.Glencore added that discussions may or may not materialise and that there is no certainty that any transaction will occur.While responding to Glencore's statement, Bunge stated that it is committed to continuing to execute its global agri-foods strategy and pursuing opportunities for driving growth and value creation.As per reports, Glencore and Bunge were in talks previously for a partnership in North America rather than a sale of Bunge.Bunge Chief Executive Soren Schroder reportedly said earlier that the grain trading sector was ripe for consolidation and that the company was prepared to take the lead in any dealmaking. Bunge shares settled on Tuesday at $81.70, up 16.6 percent. In the after hours trading, shares lost 3.37 percent to $78.95.In London, Glencore shares are currently trading at 287.25 pence, down 1.61 percent.Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
24.05.2017

HICL Infrastructure FY Pre-tax Profit Rises

LONDON (dpa-AFX) - HICL Infrastructure Company Ltd (HICL.L)·reported that its profit before tax for the year ended 31 March 2017 grew to 176.8 million pounds from the prior year's 157.2 million pounds last year. Earnings per share rose to 12.4 pence from 11.9 pence in the prior year.Total income was 178.6 million pounds up from 158.8 million pounds in the previous year.The Board is confident that the current pipeline will generate new investment opportunities.HICL announced a proposal to raise 205 million pounds through an issue of Ordinary Shares in the capital of the Company by way of tap issuance . The Issue will be made to qualifying investors* through HICL's corporate broker, Canaccord Genuity Limited.The net proceeds of the Issue will be applied in addressing the Company's net funding requirement, which currently stands at about 205 million pounds.The Directors will give consideration to increasing the size of the Issue in the event of material excess demand for New Ordinary Shares. At present, the Company has the ability to issue up to 162.25 million New Ordinary Shares by way of tap issuance, allowing it to raise a maximum of about 260 million pounds.Under the terms of the Issue, HICL intends to issue Ordinary Shares of 0.01 pence each in the capital of the Company, under authority granted by Shareholders at the Extraordinary General Meeting of the Company held on 20 March 2017.The company has announced its net asset value per Ordinary Share as at 31 March 2017, being 149.0 pence. This figure incorporates the fourth quarterly interim dividend of 1.92p in respect of which the Company's shares will go ex-dividend on 25 May 2017, and which will be paid to shareholders on the register as at the close of business on 26 May 2017. The closing mid-market price of the Company's Ordinary Shares on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange on 23 May 2017 was 174.4 pence per Share.The book-build is expected to close at 11.00 a.m. (London time) on Monday 5 June 2017 but may be closed earlier or later at the discretion of the Company and Canaccord Genuity.Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
24.05.2017

Pennon Group FY Pretax Profit Rises

LONDON (dpa-AFX) - Pennon Group plc (PNN.L) reported that, on a statutory basis, profit before tax was 210.5 million pounds for the year ended 31 March 2017 compared to 206.3 million pounds, previous year, reflecting non-underlying charges before tax of 39.5 million pounds during the reporting period. Profit to shareholders increased to 164.3 million pounds or 39.6 pence per share from 152.1 million pounds or 36.9 pence per share. Group underlying profit before tax was 250.0 million pounds, an increase of 18.3%, compared with 211.3 million pounds, prior year. Earnings per share before non-underlying items and deferred tax was 46.8 pence compared to 39.3 pence. Fiscal year Group revenue was broadly in line with last year at 1.35 billion pounds. Viridor's revenue decreased by 1.6% to 793.5 million pounds due to the expected decrease in construction spend on service concession arrangements as plants come on stream and lower landfill volumes, partly offset by the growing contribution of operational ERFs and increased revenues through contracts and collections. Excluding the change in construction revenue, Viridor's revenues would have increased from the prior year.For 2016/17, the Board has recommended a final dividend of 24.87 pence, up 7.6%. The final dividend will be paid on 1 September 2017 to shareholders on the register on 7 July 2017. Together with the interim dividend of 11.09 pence, this will result in a total dividend for the year of 35.96 pence, an increase of 7.1%.Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
24.05.2017

Vedanta Resources FY17 Loss Narrows, Lifts Dividend; Says Confident Of FY18

LONDON (dpa-AFX) - Vedanta Resources Plc (VED.L) reported Wednesday that its fiscal 2017 loss attributable to equity holders was $22.7 million, sharply narrower than last year's loss of $1.84 billion.Basic loss per share was 8.2 US cents, narrower than prior year's loss of 665.8 US cents.Underlying attributable profit was $3 million, compared to loss of $364.1 million a year ago. Underlying profit per share was 1.1 US cents, compared to loss of 131.9 US cents a year ago.Revenue increased 7% to $11.5 billion from $10.7 billion last year, driven by firmer commodity prices and volume ramp-up.EBITDA climbed 37% from last year to $3.2 billion, and adjusted EBITDA margin grew 36% from 28% a year ago, driven by firmer commodity prices and operational efficiencies. Further, the company announced a final dividend of 35 US cents per share, resulting in total dividend of 55 US cents per share, up from 30 US cents last year.Anil Agarwal, Chairman of Vedanta, said, 'We reached record production levels across several of our businesses and I am confident of continued successful ramp ups from our world-class assets. .. We remain committed to a consistent strategy and de-levering the balance sheet, and look ahead to FY 2018 in a stronger financial position and with more confidence than ever.'Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
24.05.2017

Britvic H1 Profit Declines; Organic Revenue Up 3.7%

LONDON (dpa-AFX) - Britvic plc (BVIC.L) reported profit before tax of 50.1 million pounds for the 28 weeks ended 16 April 2017 compared to 53.9 million pounds, previous year. Profit for the period attributable to the equity shareholders decreased to 38.6 million pounds or 14.6 pence per share from 40.6 million pounds or 15.4 pence per share. The Group noted that its first-half earnings were impacted by 5.8 million pounds of exceptional and other items. Adjusted earnings per share was 18.8 pence compared to 17.2 pence.First-half revenue increased 11.5% to 756.3 million pounds. Organic revenue was up 3.7% for the period. Simon Litherland, CEO, said: 'Britvic has delivered a strong first half performance driven by organic revenue growth in all our markets and successful management of input cost inflation. We have continued to make progress delivering our strategic priorities and have exciting commercial plans for the second half of the year. I am confident that we will deliver full year performance in line with market expectations.'The board recommended an interim dividend of 7.2 pence per share, an increase of 2.9% on the dividend declared last year. The interim dividend will be paid on 14 July 2017 to shareholders on record as at 2 June 2017. Britvic plc also announced that John Daly, currently Senior Independent Director and Chair of the Remuneration Committee, will succeed Gerald Corbett as Chairman with effect from 1 September 2017.Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
24.05.2017

Babcock International FY Pre-tax Profit Rises

LONDON (dpa-AFX) - Babcock International Group PLC (BAB.L) reported that its profit before tax for the year ended 31 March 2017 increased by 9.7% to 362.1 million pounds from last year's 330.1 million pounds, reflecting the growth from joint ventures and associates.Profit attributable to owners of the parent grew to 311.8 million pounds from 286.6 million pounds in the previous year. Earnings per share was 61.7 pence up from 56.8 pence in the prior year.Basic underlying earnings per share for the year was 80.1 pence, an increase of 8.0%. Underlying profit before tax increased by 7.6% to 494.8 million pounds from 459.7 million pounds last year.Archie Bethel, Chief Executive said, 'Our long-term contracts continue to provide us with excellent visibility of future revenues, and we have three-quarters of expected sales already in place for the current year. With our combined order book and near-term bid pipeline of almost £30 billion and our healthy tracking pipeline, we expect to continue to generate sustainable growth this year and over the medium term.'Statutory revenue for the year was 4.547 billion pounds, an increase of 9.3% from last year.Underlying revenue for the year was 5.217 billion pounds, an increase of 7.7%. The Babcock businesses, excluding acquisitions, delivered revenue growth at constant exchange rates of 4.9%.The Board therefore remains confident in the long-term future of our business and it is recommending a 9.6% increase in the final dividend per share for 2017 of 21.65 pence. If approved by shareholders at the AGM on 13 July 2017, this will give a total dividend for the year of 28.15 pence per share, an increase of 9.1%. The final dividend will be paid on 11 August 2017 to shareholders on the register at 30 June 2017.Looking ahead, the Board remains confident that the Group will continue to achieve mid single digit organic revenue growth at constant exchange rates with margins remaining broadly stable this year and over the medium term.Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
24.05.2017

Dixons Carphone FY Revenues Up, Updates Headline PBT Guidance

LONDON (dpa-AFX) - Dixons Carphone plc (DXNS.L), an electrical and telecommunications retailer and services company, Wednesday, in its 16-week trading update, reported that its revenues for the fourth quarter were up 6 percent, with 2 percent growth in like-for-like revenues.For the full year, revenues grew 9 percent and like-for-like revenues were up 4 percent, with growth across all regions.The group now anticipates that headline profit before tax will be in the range of 485 million - 490 million pounds, compared to its prior projected range of 475 million - 495 million pounds.The Group noted that gross margins were broadly stable across the year.Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
24.05.2017

Vodafone In Deal To Combine Malta Unit With Malta-based Cable TV Firm Melita

NEWBURY (dpa-AFX) - British telecom major Vodafone Group Plc (VOD, VOD.L) Wednesday announced an agreement to combine mobile operator Vodafone Malta Ltd. and Malta-based cable, broadband and pay TV provider Melita Ltd. The transaction values Vodafone Malta at an enterprise value of 208 million euros, and Melita at an enterprise value of 298 million euros.At completion, the Combined Company's net debt is expected to be approximately 345 million euros and Vodafone will receive an estimated cash payment of 120 million euros which will be used for general corporate purposes. Melita's shareholders will receive an estimated cash payment of 33 million euros.Vodafone joins with Apax Partners Midmarket SAS and Fortino Capital in the agreement.At completion, the current shareholders of Melita will own 51% of the Combined Company and Vodafone Europe B.V., the current shareholder of Vodafone Malta, will own the remaining 49%.The transaction is not expected to have a material impact on Vodafone's free cash flow or earnings.Following the deal, the combined company's mobile and enterprise business will operate under the Vodafone brand, distribute a wide range of services including Vodafone's global portfolio of products and services and benefit from access to Vodafone's extensive expertise in mobile and fixed operations worldwide.The combined company is expected to be able to generate cost synergies through the rationalisation of overlapping activities and greater network investment efficiency as the Combined Company introduces 4.5G, and subsequently 5G, mobile networks and gigabit-capable fixed networks.Vodafone stated that the the current CEO of Melita Harald Rösch, will be CEO of the Combined Company, while the current CFO of Vodafone Malta, Caroline Farrugia, will be its CFO.Vodafone will announce a new role for Amanda Nelson, the current CEO of Vodafone Malta, in due course.The transaction is conditional on approval from the Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority and is expected to close in the second half of the 2017 calendar year.Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
24.05.2017

Marks & Spencer FY17 Profit Down, Revenues Up; Maintains Dividend

LONDON (dpa-AFX) - Retailer Marks & Spencer Group Plc (MAKSY.PK, MAKSF.PK, MKS.L) reported Wednesday that its 52-week fiscal 2017 profit before tax plunged to 176.4 million pounds from 488.8 million pounds recorded in the 53-week last year.Basic earnings per share were 7.2 pence, down from 24.9 pence last year. On a 52-week basis, pre-tax profit fell 63.5 percent and earnings per share fell 70.7 percent.Adjusted profit before tax was 613.8 million pounds, compared to 689.6 million pounds last year. Adjusted basic earnings per share were 30.4 pence, compared to 35.0 pence a year ago.The company said the weak results reflected the expected decrease in Clothing & Home sales and increased costs of new space.Group revenue was 10.62 billion pounds, higher than 10.56 billion pounds last year. Revenues increased 2.2 percent on a 52-week basis and 0.6 percent on a 53-week basis.Fourth-quarter group revenue declined by 0.6% at constant currency.Further, the company said its maintaining a total dividend per share at 18.7 pence, taking into account the strong cash generation of the business.Looking ahead, for fiscal 2018, the company anticipates gross margin to be +25 to -25 basis points in Clothing & Home. In Food, the company expects input cost inflation will slightly outweigh operational efficiencies with a resulting decrease in gross margin of between 0 and -50 basis points.Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
24.05.2017

Kingfisher Q1 LFL Sales Down 0.6%

LONDON (dpa-AFX) - Kingfisher plc (KGF.L) reported first-quarter total Group sales of 2.86 billion pounds, an increase of 5.0% from prior year, on reported basis. In constant currency, sales were down 0.9%. Like-for-like sales were down 0.6% reflecting continued weaker sales in France and some business disruption from ONE Kingfisher plan. Véronique Laury, CEO, said: 'Strong performance in Screwfix and Poland continues, though performance in France remains weak. In addition, we are experiencing some business disruption given the volume of change, as we clear old ranges, remerchandise new ranges and continue the roll out of our unified IT platform. However, we are on track to deliver our Year 2 strategic milestones.'Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
24.05.2017

European Shares Poised For Lackluster Open After China Downgrade

BRUSSELS/FRANKFURT/PARIS (dpa-AFX) - European stocks are seen opening slightly lower on Wednesday after British Prime Minister Theresa May raised the U.K.'s terror threat to 'critical' from 'severe' and Moody's cut its sovereign credit rating on China, citing concerns over a slowing economy and growing debt. Asian stock markets are trading mixed as investors await the minutes of the Fed's last policy meeting later in the day for further clues as to the pace and timing of possible interest rate hikes through the end of the year.The U.S. dollar pulled away from recent 6-1/2 month lows after the Trump administration's 2018 budget proposal released Tuesday showed trillions of dollars of cuts to federal spending and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he hoped to get tax reform passed by the end of the year.Oil prices rose for a fifth straight session ahead of OPEC's key meeting Thursday, while gold held steady after falling in the previous session. Overnight, U.S. stocks rose for a fourth straight session as a surge in bond yields lifted banking stocks and investors shrugged off mixed economic readings on the housing market, manufacturing and services sectors. The Dow and the S&P 500 rose about 0.2 percent while the tech-heavy Nasdaq inched up 0.1 percent. European markets eked out modest gains on Tuesday as upbeat economic reports from Germany, France and the euro zone helped investors shrug off worries over U.S. political risks and the lack of progress on Greek debt talks.The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index rose 0.2 percent. The German DAX rose 0.3 percent and France's CAC 40 index gained half a percent while the U.K.'s FTSE 100 slid 0.2 percent in view of the terrorist attack in Manchester late on Monday evening.Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
24.05.2017

Asian Markets Mostly Higher

CANBERA (dpa-AFX) - Asian stock markets are mostly higher on Wednesday following the positive lead overnight from Wall Street after the Trump administration unveiled its first budget proposal.However, gains are muted as investors look ahead to the release of minutes of the U.S. Federal Reserve's monetary policy meeting later today. Investors also digested news that Moody's Investors Services downgraded China's sovereign credit rating to A1 from Aa3 and changed its outlook to stable from negative.The Australian market is modestly higher following the overnight gains on Wall Street after the release of President Donald Trump's budget plan. Investors are cautious ahead of the release of minutes of the Federal Reserve's latest monetary policy meeting.In late-morning trades, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is adding 8.90 points or 0.15 percent to 5,769.10, after rising to a high of 5,775.80 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 7.4 points or 0.13 percent to 5,810.20.Among the major miners, BHP Billiton is adding 0.4 percent and Rio Tinto is up 0.3 percent, while Fortescue Metals is losing more than 2 percent.Banking stocks are mixed. ANZ Banking and Westpac are down less than 0.1 percent each, while Commonwealth Bank is adding 0.3 percent and National Australia Bank is rising 0.2 percent. Oil stocks are mostly lower despite an increase in crude oil prices. Oil Search is down 0.2 percent and Santos is declining 0.4 percent, while Woodside Petroleum is edging up less than 0.1 percent. Gold miners are also weak after gold prices fell overnight. Newcrest Mining is declining more than 2 percent and Evolution Mining is losing more than 1 percent.SurfStitch shares are in a trading halt until Friday as the online sports apparel retailer assesses a A$100 million class action lawsuit filed against it.Ardent Leisure, the operator of Dreamworld theme park, said it is looking at potential development opportunities for the Gold Coast theme park's 'prime real estate'. The company's shares are adding 0.3 percent.Programmed Maintenance Services reported a turnaround to profit for the full year ended March 31 on a 21 percent increase in revenue. The labor hire and maintenance group's shares are gaining almost 3 percent.Sigma Healthcare is exploring legal action against My Chemist/Chemist Warehouse Group for alleged breach of a supply agreement. The company's shares are losing almost 26 percent.On the economic front, the latest survey from Westpac Bank showed that a leading index for the Australian economy declined in April, easing 0.12 percent. That follows the 0.08 percent increase in March.The Australian Bureau of Statistics said that the total value of construction work completed in Australia was down a seasonally adjusted 0.7 percent on quarter in the first three months of 2017, standing at A$46.416 billion. That missed forecasts for a decline of 0.5 percent following the 0.2 percent contraction in the previous three months.Australia will also see April figures for skilled vacancies as well as first-quarter data for completed construction work today.In the currency market, the Australian dollar is lower against the U.S. dollar on Wednesday ahead of the release of the U.S. Federal Reserve's policy meeting minutes later in the day. In early trades, the local unit was trading at US$0.7478, down from US$0.7494 on Tuesday.The Japanese market is rising tracking the positive cues overnight from Wall Street and as a weaker yen lifted exporters' shares. In late-morning trades, the benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is adding 100.96 points or 0.51 percent to 19,714.24, off a high of 19,782.81 earlier.The major exporters are higher on the back of a weaker yen. Toshiba is gaining almost 11 percent, Sony is rising more than 2 percent, Panasonic is advancing more than 1 percent and Canon is up 0.5 percent.Toshiba's Westinghouse Electric unit said it has reached a deal to borrow $800 million. In addition, the Nikkei business daily reported that Western Digital CEO Steve Milligan will speak with Toshiba President Satoshi Tsunakawa in Tokyo today to settle their dispute over the planned sale of Toshiba's memory chip unit. Among automakers, Toyota is edging up less than 0.1 percent and Honda is rising almost 2 percent. In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is higher by more than 1 percent and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is up 0.6 percent.In the oil space, Inpex is lower by 0.2 percent, while JXTG Holdings is up 0.5 percent. Among the other major gainers, Tokai Carbon is rising almost 4 percent, while Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings and Kansai Electric Power are advancing almost 3 percent each. On the flip side, Meidensha Corp. is down more than 3 percent. On the economic front, Japan will see preliminary May numbers for the Nikkei manufacturing PMI today.In the currency market, the U.S. dollar traded in the upper 111 yen-range on Wednesday.Elsewhere in Asia, South Korea, Singapore, New Zealand, Malaysia and Taiwan are also higher, while Shanghai, Hong Kong and Indonesia are lower. On Wall Street, stocks closed higher on Tuesday for the fourth consecutive session amid optimism about President Donald Trump's ability to implement his pro-business policy agenda. Traders largely shrugged off a report from the Commerce Department showing a substantial pullback in new home sales in the month of April.The Dow rose 43.08 points or 0.2 percent to 20,937.91, the Nasdaq inched up 5.09 points or 0.1 percent to 6,138.71 and the S&P 500 edged up 4.40 points or 0.2 percent at 2,398.42.The major European markets turned in a mixed performance on Tuesday. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index dipped by 0.2 percent, the German DAX Index rose by 0.3 percent and the French CAC 40 Index climbed by 0.5 percent.Crude oil futures inched higher Tuesday, ahead of U.S. inventories data that may show stockpiles continued to dwindle from record levels. July WTI oil settled at $51.47 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, up $0.34 or 0.7 percent.Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
24.05.2017

Japanese Market Rises

TOKYO (dpa-AFX) - The Japanese stock market is rising on Wednesday, tracking the positive cues overnight from Wall Street and as a weaker yen lifted exporters' shares. In late-morning trades, the benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is adding 100.96 points or 0.51 percent to 19,714.24, off a high of 19,782.81 earlier.The major exporters are higher on the back of a weaker yen. Toshiba is gaining almost 11 percent, Sony is rising more than 2 percent, Panasonic is advancing more than 1 percent and Canon is up 0.5 percent.Toshiba's Westinghouse Electric unit said it has reached a deal to borrow $800 million. In addition, the Nikkei business daily reported that Western Digital CEO Steve Milligan will speak with Toshiba President Satoshi Tsunakawa in Tokyo today to settle their dispute over the planned sale of Toshiba's memory chip unit. Among automakers, Toyota is edging up less than 0.1 percent and Honda is rising almost 2 percent. In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is higher by more than 1 percent and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is up 0.6 percent.In the oil space, Inpex is lower by 0.2 percent, while JXTG Holdings is up 0.5 percent. Among the other major gainers, Tokai Carbon is rising almost 4 percent, while Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings and Kansai Electric Power are advancing almost 3 percent each. On the flip side, Meidensha Corp. is down more than 3 percent. On the economic front, Japan will see preliminary May numbers for the Nikkei manufacturing PMI tdoay.In the currency market, the U.S. dollar traded in the upper 111 yen-range on Wednesday.On Wall Street, stocks closed higher on Tuesday for the fourth consecutive session amid lingering optimism about President Donald Trump's ability to implement his pro-business policy agenda after the Trump administration unveiled its first budget proposal. Traders largely shrugged off a report from the Commerce Department showing a substantial pullback in new home sales in the month of April.The Dow rose 43.08 points or 0.2 percent to 20,937.91, the Nasdaq inched up 5.09 points or 0.1 percent to 6,138.71 and the S&P 500 edged up 4.40 points or 0.2 percent at 2,398.42.The major European markets turned in a mixed performance on Tuesday. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index dipped by 0.2 percent, the German DAX Index rose by 0.3 percent and the French CAC 40 Index climbed by 0.5 percent.Crude oil futures inched higher Tuesday, ahead of U.S. inventories data that may show stockpiles continued to dwindle from record levels. July WTI oil settled at $51.47 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, up $0.34 or 0.7 percent.Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
24.05.2017

China Bourse May Snap Losing Streak

BEIJING (dpa-AFX) - The China stock market has finished lower in two straight sessions, giving away almost 30 points or 1 percent along the way. The Shanghai Composite Index now rests just above the 3,060-point plateau although it may find traction on Wednesday.The global forecast for the Asian markets is flat to higher, bumped into the green by support from crude oil prices. The European and U.S. markets were slightly higher, and the Asian bourses figure to follow that lead.The SCI finished modestly lower on Tuesday, with gains from the financials and properties providing support against losses from the broader market.For the day, the index retreated 13.73 points or 0.45 percent to finish at 3,061.95 after trading between 3,050.84 and 3,084.24. The Shenzhen Composite Index plummeted 38.75 points or 2.12 percent to end at 1,789.47.Among the actives, Agricultural Bank of China climbed 1.45 percent, while Industrial and Commercial Bank of China jumped 1.39 percent, Bank of China collected 1.38 percent, Vanke added 0.84 percent, Gemdale advanced 1.25 percent, PetroChina spiked 1.30 percent and Zijin Mining gathered 1.24 percent.The lead from Wall Street is cautiously optimistic as stocks were lackluster on Tuesday but ended modestly higher for the fourth straight session.The Dow rose 43.08 points or 0.2 percent to 20,937.91, while the NASDAQ inched up 5.09 points or 0.1 percent to 6,138.71 and the S&P gained 4.40 points or 0.2 percent at 2,398.42.Traders seemed reluctant to make big moves ahead of the release of the minutes of the latest Federal Reserve meeting later today. The minutes may shed some light on the outlook for interest rates ahead of the next meeting in June.Crude oil futures inched higher Tuesday, ahead of data that may show stockpiles continued to dwindle from record levels. July WTI oil settled at $51.47/bbl, up 34 cents, or 0.7 percent.Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
23.05.2017

The Swiss Stock Market Pulled Back After Weak Performance By Index Heavyweights

BRUSSELS (dpa-AFX) - The Swiss stock market ended Tuesday's session with a modest loss. The market got off to a weak start and slipped further late in the morning, before settling into a range. The weak performance of the defensive heavyweights pressured the overall market.The terror attack at a concert in Manchester, England yesterday had little impact on the market. The bulk of the European markets ended the session with small gains and Wall Street was also inching higher in early trade. Economic data from Europe was surprisingly strong Tuesday, while U.S. new home sales proved disappointing.The Swiss Market Index decreased by 0.25 percent Tuesday and finished at 9,061.76. The Swiss Leader Index slipped 0.06 percent and the Swiss Performance Index lost 0.19 percent.Shares of Credit Suisse were hard hit after the bank revealed plans for a capital increase. The stock tumbled 4.0 percent.Volatile bakery group Aryzta was also under pressure, falling 3.0 percent. The stock fell due to comments from Societe Generale. Clariant dropped 2.6 percent after announcing a tie-up with U.S. competitor Huntsman yesterday.Among the index heavyweights, Nestlé weakened by 0.9 percent and Novartis surrendered 0.4 percent. Shares of Roche ended the day unchanged.LafargeHolcim advanced 1.5 percent. The stock is continuing to benefit from the news that Sika CEO Jan Jenisch has been named as the compayn's new CEO. Sika climbed 1.1 percent, Lonza rose 1.0 percent and UBS added 0.8 percent.Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
23.05.2017

European Markets Clung To Modest Gains

BRUSSELS/FRANKFURT/PARIS (dpa-AFX) - The European markets got off to a positive start Tuesday, despite the news of the suspected terrorist attack at a concert in Manchester, England yesterday. Early gains began to erode in the afternoon, but the majority of the markets held on to small gains. Upbeat economic reports from Germany, France and the euro zone helped investors to shrug off worries over U.S. political risks and the lack of progress on Greek debt talks.Eurozone finance ministers hope to reach a deal on Greece's debt relief and release another tranche of bailout funds to the country in their June meeting, as they failed to reach an agreement on the matter with the International Monetary Fund on Monday.Greek lawmakers approved a reforms package last Thursday that includes pension cuts and tax hikes as demanded by the country's creditors to pave the way for the disbursement of bailout funds totaling more than EUR 7 billion and to begin talks on debt relief.Discussions over providing more bailout funds had stalled after a review mission to Athens returned in December without reaching a deal. The country is in dire need of bailout cash to meet debt repayment of more than EUR 7 billion due in July, or risk default.The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index advanced 0.32 percent. The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone blue chip stocks increased 0.52 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, added 0.28 percent.The DAX of Germany climbed 0.31 percent and the CAC 40 of France rose 0.47 percent. The FTSE 100 of the U.K. declined 0.15 percent and the SMI of Switzerland finished lower by 0.25 percent.In Frankfurt, BMW climbed 0.43 percent and Volkswagen finished higher by 0.21 percent.In Paris, Vivendi advanced 1.81 percent on a Wall Street Journal report that the media firm could float a minority stake in Universal Music Group.In London, Severn Trent rallied 1.76 percent. The water utility upgraded its dividend policy after reporting an increase in annual profits. HomeServe surged 10.75 percent after the repair and insurance firm posted a big jump in full-year profits and hiked its dividend for the year by 20 percent.Clariant dropped 2.55 percent in Zurich after announcing a tie-up with U.S. competitor Huntsman.Nokia jumped 6.43 percent in Helsinki after the network giant settled a patent dispute with Apple.Eurozone private sector growth continued in May, logging the fastest growth for six years in May, flash data from IHS Markit showed Tuesday. The flash composite output index came in at 56.8 in May, unchanged from April's six-year high. The score was forecast to fall slightly to 56.7.Germany's private sector expanded at the sharpest rate in over six years in May, flash survey results from IHS Markit showed Tuesday. The composite output index rose unexpectedly to a 73-month high of 57.3 in May from 56.7 in April. The expected reading was 56.6.The French private sector grew at the sharpest pace in six years in May, flash survey data from IHS Markit showed Tuesday. The composite output index rose to a 72-month high of 57.6 in May from 56.6 in April. Economists had forecast the score to remain unchanged at 56.6. A record high business sentiment, a one-year high economic growth and a six-year high growth in the private sector signal strong positive momentum of the German economy, the biggest in the euro area.As companies were upbeat about their future amid the improving current situation, the business sentiment index strengthened to a record high 114.6 from a revised 113.0 in April, the Munich-based Ifo institute reported Tuesday. Ifo business confidence score reached its highest level on record since 1991. The reading was expected to rise marginally to 113.1 from April's initial estimate of 112.9. Germany's economy expanded at a faster pace, as estimated in the first quarter, on domestic and foreign demand, data published by Destatis showed Tuesday. Gross domestic product grew 0.6 percent sequentially, in line with preliminary estimate and faster than the 0.4 percent expansion seen in the fourth quarter. This was the fastest growth since the first quarter of 2016, when GDP climbed 0.7 percent.The UK budget deficit increased in April, data from the Office for National Statistics showed Tuesday. Public sector net borrowing excluding public sector banks increased by GBP 1.2 billion from previous year to GBP 10.4 billion in April, this was the highest April borrowing since 2014.The expected level of PSNB was GBP 8.8 billion.After reporting an unexpected jump in U.S. new home sales in the previous month, the Commerce Department released a report on Tuesday showing a substantial pullback in new home sales in the month of April.The Commerce Department said new home sales plunged by 11.4 percent to an annual rate of 569,000 in April from an upwardly revised 642,000 in March. Economists had expected new home sales to drop to a rate of 602,000 from the 621,000 originally reported for the previous month.Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
23.05.2017

Street To Shrug Off Fears At Opening

BRUSSELS/FRANKFURT/PARIS (dpa-AFX) - The New Home Sales data, with a consensus for a decline and the Flash index are the major focus of the day. The political developments around the globe, and the fears after the terror attack at Manchester in U.K might be reflected on the Trading on Tuesday. The Asian shares closed widely higher, and European shares are trading in the greener zone. Early signs from the U.S. Future Index suggest that Wall Street might open with a positive note. As of 6.45 am ET, the Dow futures were progressing 39 points, the S&P 500 futures were adding 2.75 points and the Nasdaq 100 futures were climbing 9 points.U.S. stocks closed higher on Monday. The Dow rose 89.99 points or 0.4 percent to 20,894.83, the Nasdaq advanced 49.92 points or 0.8 percent to 6,133.62 and the S&P 500 climbed 12.29 points or 0.5 percent to 2,394.02.On the economic front, Redbook data, a weekly measure of comparable store sales at chain stores, discounters, and department stores, will be issued at 8.55 am ET. In the previous week, it recorded a growth of 2.4 percent. The flash Composite Purchasing Managers' Index or PMI for May will be released at 9.45 am ET. The economists are looking for composite consensus of 53.2, compared to 52.7 last month. U.S. Bureau of the Census' New Home Sales for April will be published at 10.00 am ET. The consensus for new home sales is 604K, down from 621K last month. Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index for May is expected at 10.00 am ET. The forecasters are looking for index at 15, down from 20.5 in the comparable last month. 2-year Treasure Note auction will be held at 1.00 pm ET. Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank President Neel Kashkari will participate in a conversation about 'Homeownership in Indian Country' at the CICD Roundtable - A Conversation about Building Economic Well-Being for Native Communities through Homeownership, in Minneapolis at 3.15 pm ET. Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank President Patrick Harker will give a presentation, with audience and Q&A in New York at 5.00 pm ET. In the corporate sector, Toll Brothers, Inc. (TOL) reported second-quarter net income of $124.6 million, or $0.73 per share compared to $89.1 million, or $0.51 per share, a year ago. Second-quarter revenues were $1.36 billion, an increase of 22 percent from prior fiscal year second quarter. Analysts expected revenue of $1.27 billion, for the quarter. Home building deliveries were 1,638 units, up 26 percent year-over-year. The average price of homes delivered was $832,400, compared to $855,500, prior year. Nokia corp (NOK) and Apple (AAPL) said that they have settled all litigation related to their intellectual property dispute and agreed a multi-year patent license. As per a business collaboration agreement, Nokia will be providing certain network infrastructure products and services to Apple. Apple will resume carrying Nokia digital health products in Apple retail and online stores.Asian stocks reversed early gains to end mixed on Tuesday. Chinese shares extended losses for a second straight session. The benchmark Shanghai Composite index dropped 13.73 points or 0.45 percent to 3,061.95 while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index closed 11.81 points or 0.05 percent higher at 25,403.15. Japanese shares fell. The Nikkei average ended down 65 points or 0.33 percent at 19,613.28 while the broader Topix index closed 0.16 percent lower at 1,565.22.Australian shares fell slightly. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 reversed early gains to end the session down 11 points or 0.19 percent at 5,760.20 while the broader All Ordinaries index slipped 8.40 points or 0.14 percent to 5,802.80.European shares are trading mostly higher. Among the major indexes in the region, the CAC 40 Index of France is climbing 32.78 points or 0.62 percent, the German DAX is gaining 60.88 points or 0.62 percent, the U.K. FTSE 100 Index is adding 14.18 points or 0.19 percent and the Swiss Market Index is declining 34.63 points or 0.38 percent.The Euro Stoxx 50 Index, which is a compilation of 50 blue chip stocks across the euro area, is progressing by 0.69 percent.Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
23.05.2017

Street To Shrug Off Fears At Opening

BRUSSELS/FRANKFURT/PARIS (dpa-AFX) - The New Home Sales data, with a consensus for a decline and the Flash index are the major focus of the day. The political developments around the globe, and the fears after the terror attack at the Arndale Centre in U.K might be reflected on the Trading on Tuesday. The Asian shares closed widely higher, and European shares are trading in the greener zone. Early signs from the U.S. Future Index suggest that Wall Street might open with a positive note. As of 6.45 am ET, the Dow futures were progressing 39 points, the S&P 500 futures were adding 2.75 points and the Nasdaq 100 futures were climbing 9 points.U.S. stocks closed higher on Monday. The Dow rose 89.99 points or 0.4 percent to 20,894.83, the Nasdaq advanced 49.92 points or 0.8 percent to 6,133.62 and the S&P 500 climbed 12.29 points or 0.5 percent to 2,394.02.On the economic front, Redbook data, a weekly measure of comparable store sales at chain stores, discounters, and department stores, will be issued at 8.55 am ET. In the previous week, it recorded a growth of 2.4 percent. The flash Composite Purchasing Managers' Index or PMI for May will be released at 9.45 am ET. The economists are looking for composite consensus of 53.2, compared to 52.7 last month. U.S. Bureau of the Census' New Home Sales for April will be published at 10.00 am ET. The consensus for new home sales is 604K, down from 621K last month. Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index for May is expected at 10.00 am ET. The forecasters are looking for index at 15, down from 20.5 in the comparable last month. 2-year Treasure Note auction will be held at 1.00 pm ET. Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank President Neel Kashkari will participate in a conversation about 'Homeownership in Indian Country' at the CICD Roundtable - A Conversation about Building Economic Well-Being for Native Communities through Homeownership, in Minneapolis at 3.15 pm ET. Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank President Patrick Harker will give a presentation, with audience and Q&A in New York at 5.00 pm ET. In the corporate sector, Toll Brothers, Inc. (TOL) reported second-quarter net income of $124.6 million, or $0.73 per share compared to $89.1 million, or $0.51 per share, a year ago. Second-quarter revenues were $1.36 billion, an increase of 22 percent from prior fiscal year second quarter. Analysts expected revenue of $1.27 billion, for the quarter. Home building deliveries were 1,638 units, up 26 percent year-over-year. The average price of homes delivered was $832,400, compared to $855,500, prior year. Nokia corp (NOK) and Apple (AAPL) said that they have settled all litigation related to their intellectual property dispute and agreed a multi-year patent license. As per a business collaboration agreement, Nokia will be providing certain network infrastructure products and services to Apple. Apple will resume carrying Nokia digital health products in Apple retail and online stores.Asian stocks reversed early gains to end mixed on Tuesday. Chinese shares extended losses for a second straight session. The benchmark Shanghai Composite index dropped 13.73 points or 0.45 percent to 3,061.95 while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index closed 11.81 points or 0.05 percent higher at 25,403.15. Japanese shares fell. The Nikkei average ended down 65 points or 0.33 percent at 19,613.28 while the broader Topix index closed 0.16 percent lower at 1,565.22.Australian shares fell slightly. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 reversed early gains to end the session down 11 points or 0.19 percent at 5,760.20 while the broader All Ordinaries index slipped 8.40 points or 0.14 percent to 5,802.80.European shares are trading mostly higher. Among the major indexes in the region, the CAC 40 Index of France is climbing 32.78 points or 0.62 percent, the German DAX is gaining 60.88 points or 0.62 percent, the U.K. FTSE 100 Index is adding 14.18 points or 0.19 percent and the Swiss Market Index is declining 34.63 points or 0.38 percent.The Euro Stoxx 50 Index, which is a compilation of 50 blue chip stocks across the euro area, is progressing by 0.69 percent.Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
23.05.2017

European Shares Steady After Upbeat Economic Reports

BRUSSELS/FRANKFURT/PARIS (dpa-AFX) - European stocks held steady on Tuesday as upbeat economic reports from Germany, France and the euro zone helped investors shrug off worries over U.S. political risks, another suspected terrorist attack in the U.K. and the lack of progress on Greek debt talks.The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index was up 0.15 percent at 391.74 in late opening deals after closing 0.1 percent lower the previous day. The German DAX was moving up 0.4 percent, France's CAC 40 index was rising 0.6 percent and the U.K. 's FTSE 100 was up 0.2 percent. Nokia shares jumped 6.5 percent after the Finnish network giant settled a patent dispute with Apple. Automakers saw widespread gains, with BMW, Daimler, Volkswagen, Renault and Peugeot climbing 1-2 percent. Severn Trent rallied 1.5 percent. The British water utility upgraded its dividend policy after reporting an increase in annual profits. HomeServe shares jumped more than 12 percent in London after the repair and insurance firm posted a big jump in full-year profits and hiked its dividend for the year by 20 percent. Vivendi advanced 2 percent on a Wall Street Journal report that the French media firm could float a minority stake in Universal Music Group. On the flip side, Switzerland's Clariant dropped 1.5 percent after announcing a tie-up with U.S. competitor Huntsman.Material stocks fell, with Anglo American, Antofagasta, Glencore and BHP Billiton falling between half a percent and 1 percent. In economic releases, Eurozone private sector logged the fastest growth for six years in May, flash data from IHS Markit showed.The flash composite output index came in at 56.8, unchanged from April's six-year high while economists expected the index to fall slightly to 56.7.Other reports on German business sentiment, German GDP and French manufacturing sentiment also painted a positive picture of regional economies. The pound slipped against both the euro and the dollar after official data showed Britain recorded a larger-than-forecast budget deficit in the first month of the new fiscal year.Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
23.05.2017

FTSE 100 Little Changed After Manchester Attack

BRUSSELS/FRANKFURT/PARIS (dpa-AFX) - U.K. shares extended gains from the previous session on Tuesday, although overall gains remained muted following last night's terror attack on the Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena. While basic resources stocks retreated, the pound's weakness against both the euro and the dollar helped to underpin gains among exporters.The pound hit an eight-week low after official data showed Britain recorded a larger-than-forecast budget deficit in the first month of the new fiscal year.The benchmark FTSE 100 was up 8 points or 0.10 percent at 7,504 in late opening deals after rising 0.3 percent in the previous session. Severn Trent rallied 1.5 percent. The water utility upgraded its dividend policy after reporting an increase in annual profits. HomeServe shares jumped more than 12 percent after the repair and insurance firm posted a big jump in full-year profits and hiked its dividend for the year by 20 percent. Astrazeneca shares rose half a percent. Citing results from a late-stage study, the company said its new benralizumab cut substantially the need for asthma patients to take problematic oral steroids.Material stocks fell, with Anglo American, Antofagasta, Glencore and BHP Billiton falling between half a percent and 1 percent. Rio Tinto slid 0.4 percent after launching an offer to buy back up to $2.5 billion of its U.S. dollar-denominated bonds.Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
24.05.2017

Finland Jobless Rate Rises For Second Month

HELSINKI (dpa-AFX) - Finland's unemployment rate increased for the second straight month in April, figures from Statistics Finland showed Wednesday.The jobless rate climbed to 10.2 percent in April from 9.6 percent in March. In the corresponding month last year, the rate was 9.8 percent.Moreover, the latest unemployment rate was the highest since May 2016, when it was 10.8 percent.The number of unemployed people rose to 279,000 in April from 260,000 in the prior month. A year ago, the jobless figure totaled 264,000.The youth unemployment rate, which applies to the 15 to 24 age group, rose to 27.4 percent in April from 23.9 percent in the prior month.The employment rate came in at 59.5 percent in April, up slightly from 59.4 percent in March.At the same time, the seasonally adjusted jobless rate held steady at 8.9 percent in April.Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
24.05.2017

German Consumer Confidence Unexpectedly Improves

BERLIN (dpa-AFX) - Germany's consumer confidence is set to continue its rising trend in June on the back of further improvement in expectations on income and economy, results of a survey by the GfK market research group showed Wednesday, defying expectations for stability.The forward-looking Consumer Confidence Index rose to 10.4 points from 10.2 points in May, the Nuremberg-based GfK said. Economists had expected the measure to remain unchanged.The results are an extract from the 'GfK Consumer Climate MAXX' study and are based on around 2,000 consumer interviews per month conducted on behalf of the European Commission. The economic expectation indicator increased for the third time in a row, rising 4.3 points to 34.8, to mark the highest level in two years. The income expectation indicator added 1 point to reach 58.5 points, hitting its highest level since June 2016, when the score was 59.6 points.Meanwhile, the propensity to buy indicator dropped 4.5 points to 55.7, shedding nearly all of the gains made in the previous month.GfK confirmed its private consumption growth forecast for this year at 1.5 percent, which was first predicted at the start of the year.Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
24.05.2017

Finland PPI Rises At Faster Rate In April

HELSINKI (dpa-AFX) - Finland's producer prices increased for the sixth successive month in April, and at a faster pace than in the previous month, figures from Statistics Finland showed Wednesday.Producer prices for manufactured products climbed 5.0 percent year-over-year in April, following a 4.8 percent rise in March.The PPI inflation was mainly driven by increased prices of manufacturing of basic metals and oil products, the agency said.Both domestic and foreign market prices grew by 4.3 percent and 6.0 percent, respectively in April from a year ago.The import price index surged 12.9 percent annually in April and export prices grew by 5.9 percent.On a monthly basis, producer prices edged up 0.2 percent in April, after remaining flat in the preceding month.Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
24.05.2017

Moody's Downgrades China Rating To A1, Revises Outlook To Stable

BEIJING (dpa-AFX) - Moody's on Wednesday downgraded China's long-term local currency and foreign currency issuer ratings by one notch to A1 from Aa3 and changed the outlook to stable from negative, due to concerns over the rising debt and slow growth and reforms as the government tries to implement a shift to economic expansion driven by domestic demand than exports.The rating downgrade was the first from Moody's since 1989. The country's outlook was lowered in March 2016 to negative.S&P rates China's at AA- with a negative outlook. Fitch has an A+ rating with a stable outlook. With the latest downgrade, Moody's has placed China on par with Japan.The downgrade reflects expectation that China's financial strength will erode somewhat over the coming years, with economy-wide debt continuing to rise as potential growth slows, the agency said in a statement. 'While ongoing progress on reforms is likely to transform the economy and financial system over time, it is not likely to prevent a further material rise in economy-wide debt, and the consequent increase in contingent liabilities for the government', Moody's said.The stable outlook reflects assessment that, at the A1 rating level, risks are balanced, the rating agency said. The erosion in China's credit profile will be gradual and will be eventually contained as reforms deepen, Moody's added.The agency also stressed that that the importance the Chinese authorities attach to maintaining robust growth will result in sustained policy stimulus, given the growing structural impediments to achieving current growth targets. Such stimulus will contribute to rising debt across the economy as a whole, it cautioned.The state-run news agency Xinhua reported that the Chinese Finance Ministry has dismissed the rating downgrade from Moody's saying that the move was based on the 'pro-cyclical' rating approach which is 'not appropriate'.'These viewpoints overestimate the difficulties facing the Chinese economy and underestimate the capabilities of China to deepen supply-side structural reform and expand overall demand,' Xinhua quoted the ministry as saying in a written statement.Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
24.05.2017

Japan Leading Index Climbs As Estimated In March

TOKYO (dpa-AFX) - Japan's leading index increased to a 21-month high in March as initially estimated, latest figures from the Cabinet Office showed Wednesday.The leading index, which measures the future economic activity, rose to 105.5 in March from 104.7 in February. That was in line with the flash data published on May 10.Moreover, the latest reading was the highest since June 2015, when it marked 106.2.The coincident index that reflects the current economic activity, dropped to 114.4 in March from 115.2 in the prior month. The preliminary score for March was 114.6.At the same time, the lagging index improved to 116.9 in March from 116.0 in the preceding month.Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
24.05.2017

Eurozone Leading Index Rises In April

BRUSSELS (dpa-AFX) - A measure of future economic activity in Eurozone increased further in April, survey figures from the Conference Board showed Tuesday.The Conference Board's Leading Economic Index, or LEI, for the euro area climbed 0.7 percent monthly in April, following a 0.6 percent rise each in February and March.The coincident index, which measures current economic activity, edged up 0.1 percent in April, after remaining flat in the preceding month.Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
24.05.2017

New Zealand Trade Data On Tap For Wednesday

CANBERA (dpa-AFX) - New Zealand will on Wednesday release April figures for imports, exports and trade balance, highlighting a modest day for Asia-Pacific economic activity.Imports are expected to be worth NZ$4.10 billion, down from NZ$4.31 billion in March. Exports are pegged at NZ$4.40 billion, down from NZ$4.65 billion in the previous month. The trade surplus is called at NZ$267 million, down from NZ$332 million a month earlier.Australia will see April results for the leading economic index from Westpac and numbers for skilled vacancies, as well as Q1 data for completed construction work.The leading index added 0.1 percent on month in March, while vacancies slipped 0.6 percent on month. Construction work is expected to fall 0.5 percent on quarter after slipping 0.2 percent in the three months prior.Japan will see preliminary May numbers for the Nikkei manufacturing PMI; in April, the index score was 52.7.The central bank in Thailand will wrap up its monetary policy meeting and then announce its decision on interest rates. The bank is widely expected to keep its benchmark lending rate unchanged at 1.50 percent.Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
23.05.2017

U.S. New Home Sales Pull Back Much More Than Expected In April

WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - After reporting an unexpected jump in U.S. new home sales in the previous month, the Commerce Department released a report on Tuesday showing a substantial pullback in new home sales in the month of April.The Commerce Department said new home sales plunged by 11.4 percent to an annual rate of 569,000 in April from an upwardly revised 642,000 in March. Economists had expected new home sales to drop to a rate of 602,000 from the 621,000 originally reported for the previous month.The upwardly revised figure for March reflected the highest rate of new home sales since it reached 727,000 in October of 2007.The bigger than expected pullback in new home sales was partly due to a steep drop in the West, where new home sales plummeted by 26.3 percent to 126,000.New home sales in the Midwest also slumped by 13.1 percent, while new home sales in the Northeast and South fell by 7.5 percent and 4.0 percent, respectively.The report also said the median sales price of new houses sold in April was $309,200, down 3.0 percent from $318,700 in March and down 3.8 percent from $321,300 a year ago.The Commerce Department said the seasonally-adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of April was 268,000, representing a supply of 5.7 months at the current sales rate.On Wednesday, the National Association of Realtors is scheduled to release a separate report on existing home sales in the month of April.Existing home sales are expected to dip to an annual rate of 5.68 million in April after jumping to a ten-year high of 5.71 million in March.Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
23.05.2017

Hungary CB Leaves Rate Unchanged

BRUSSELS (dpa-AFX) - Hungary's central bank on Tuesday left its key interest rate unchanged at a record low for a twelfth consecutive month in May as it expects growth to gain momentum in future and inflation to reach its target sustainably from the first half of next year.The Monetary Council of the Magyar Nemzeti Bank left the base rate unchanged at 0.90 percent, in line with economists' expectations.'In the Council's assessment, some degree of unused capacity has remained in the economy, but this is likely to be absorbed gradually as output grows,' the bank said in a statement. 'If inflation remains persistently below the target, the Council will stand ready to ease monetary conditions further using unconventional, targeted instruments,' the MNB added.The bank had cut the key rate by 15 basis points in March last year, which was the first reduction in eight months. Similar size cuts were repeated in April and May last year.The overnight deposit rate, which was lowered to negative last year, was unchanged at -0.05 percent.The overnight collateralized loan rate was also kept unchanged at 0.90 percent. The rate was last trimmed in November when it was cut by 15 basis points.The one-week lending rate was also held steady at 0.90 percent. The rate was previously reduced by 10 basis points in November.The Hungarian economy grew 4.1 percent year-on-year in the first quarter and the central bank forecast stable annual economic growth between 3 to 4 percent this year. Inflation eased to 2.2 percent in April mainly led by the decline in the price index for fuel, due primarily to base effects. The bank projected inflation to reach the 3 per cent level consistent with price stability in a sustainable manner from the first half of 2018.Capital Economics economist Liam Carson expects core inflation pressures to build over the second half of this year as space capacity dries up and fiscal policy continues to be loosened. The economist said this threatens to push the headline inflation figure above the central bank's 3 percent target. 'This could prompt the MPC to rein in extremely loose monetary conditions, initially via an unwinding of the National Bank's unconventional policy easing measures,' Carson said. 'That would push interbank interest rates up from around 0.15 percent at present to the benchmark rate of 0.90 percent by end-2017. Following that, hikes to the policy rate are likely in 2018.'Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
23.05.2017

German Ifo Business Sentiment At Record High; GDP Growth Improves

BERLIN (dpa-AFX) - A record high business sentiment, a one-year high economic growth and a six-year high growth in the private sector signal strong positive momentum of the German economy, the biggest in the euro area.As companies were upbeat about their future amid the improving current situation, the business sentiment index strengthened to a record high 114.6 from a revised 113.0 in April, the Munich-based Ifo institute reported Tuesday. Ifo business confidence score reached its highest level on record since 1991. The reading was expected to rise marginally to 113.1 from April's initial estimate of 112.9. The largest euro area economy expanded 0.6 percent in the first quarter, the most in a year on spending, investment and exports, a detailed report from Destatis confirmed earlier in the day.Elsewhere, the purchasing managers' survey suggested that the German private sector grew at the sharpest rate in over six years in May, driven by manufacturing activity. Today's strong German data add to the evidence that, not only the German economy, but the entire Eurozone economy could become the positive growth surprise of 2017, Carsten Brzeski, an ING DiBa economist, said. The development in the business confidence index combined with other key economic indicators, points to economic growth of 0.6 percent in the second quarter, Ifo said. Economic activity in Germany remains very brisk, the think tank added.The Ifo current conditions indicator came in at 123.2, up from 121.4 in April. This was also above the forecast of 121.0.Likewise, the expectations index improved to 106.5 in May from 105.2 in April. Economists had forecast the index to rise moderately to 105.4.Aided by the European Central Bank's relaxed monetary policy stance and a recovery in Western Europe, the German economy is going full steam ahead, Joerg Kraemer, a Commerzbank economist, said. For 2017 overall, the economist still expects 1.6 percent growth. In its monthly report released on Monday, the Bundesbank said that the growth is set to continue in the spring. According to Destatis data, GDP growth accelerated from 0.4 percent expansion seen in the fourth quarter. On a yearly basis, the calendar-adjusted growth eased slightly to 1.7 percent from 1.8 percent a quarter ago. Annual growth figure also matched the provisional estimate published on May 12. The expenditure-side breakdown of GDP revealed that household spending grew 0.3 percent, slightly faster than the 0.2 percent expansion a quarter ago. Likewise, growth in government spending improved to 0.4 percent from 0.3 percent. Gross capital formation declined 0.5 percent, in contrast to the 2.5 percent growth in the fourth quarter. Exports advanced 1.3 percent, but slower than the 1.7 percent expansion in the previous quarter. Similarly, imports climbed only 0.4 percent after rising 2.5 percent. PMI survey showed that the pace of private sector expansion accelerated for the third time in four months to a 73-month record in May, reflecting the sharpest increase in manufacturing output since April 2011, IHS Markit said.The composite output index rose unexpectedly to a 73-month high of 57.3 in May from 56.7 in April. The expected reading was 56.6.The flash manufacturing PMI climbed to 59.4, while it was forecast to drop to 58.0 from 58.2 in April. The indicator signaled the strongest performance since April 2011.On the other hand, the services PMI declined to 55.2 in May from 55.4 in April. Economists had forecast the indicator to rise marginally to 55.5.Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
24.05.2017

NZ Dollar Drops Against Most Majors

BRUSSELS (dpa-AFX) - The New Zealand dollar weakened against most major currencies in the Asian session on Wednesday. The NZ dollar fell to 1.5996 against the euro and against the U.S. dollar, from yesterday's closing quotes of 1.5946 and 0.7009, respectively. Against the yen, the kiwi dropped to 78.18 from an early high of 78.50. If the kiwi extends its downtrend, it is likely to find support around 1.62 against the euro, 0.68 against the greenback and 76.00 against the yen.Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
24.05.2017

Australian Dollar Falls Against Majors

CANBERA (dpa-AFX) - The Australian dollar weakened against the other major currencies in the Asian session on Wednesday. The Australian dollar fell to nearly a 2-week low of 1.0629 against the NZ dollar and a 2-day low of 0.7443 against the U.S. dollar, from yesterday's closing quotes of 1.0664 and 0.7475, respectively.The aussie dropped to 83.24 against the yen, from an early 1-week high of 83.71. Against the euro and the Canadian dollar, the aussie edged down to 1.5020 and 1.0075 from yesterday's closing quotes of 1.4953 and 1.0100, respectively.If the aussie extends its downtrend, it is likely to find support around 1.05 against the kiwi, 0.72 against the greenback, 81.00 against the yen, 1.47 against the euro and 0.99 against the loonie.Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
24.05.2017

Amended: Euro Mixed Ahead German Gfk Consumer Confidence Index

BRUSSELS (dpa-AFX) - Corrects story heading. Germany's GfK consumer sentiment data for June is due to be released in the pre-European session on Wednesday at 2:00 am ET. The forward-looking consumer confidence index is seen unchanged at 10.2 in June.Ahead of the data, the euro showed mixed trading against its major rivals. While the euro rose against teh yen, it fell against the U.S. dollar and the pound. Against the Swiss franc, the euro held steady. As of 1:55 am ET, the euro was trading at 0.8616 against the pound, 1.0916 against the Swiss franc, 1.1177 against the U.S. dollar and 125.19 against the yen.Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
24.05.2017

Euro Little Changed After German Gfk Consumer Confidence Index

BRUSSELS (dpa-AFX) - Germany's GfK consumer sentiment data for June was released in the pre-European session on Wednesday at 2:00 am ET. After the data, the euro changed little against its major rivals. As of 2:01 am ET, the euro was trading at 0.8616 against the pound, 1.0912 against the Swiss franc, 1.1175 against the U.S. dollar and 125.11 against the yen.Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
24.05.2017

Euro Mixed After German Gfk Consumer Confidence Index

BRUSSELS (dpa-AFX) - Germany's GfK consumer sentiment data for June is due to be released in the pre-European session on Wednesday at 2:00 am ET. The forward-looking consumer confidence index is seen unchanged at 10.2 in June.Ahead of the data, the euro showed mixed trading against its major rivals. While the euro rose against teh yen, it fell against the U.S. dollar and the pound. Against the Swiss franc, the euro held steady. As of 1:55 am ET, the euro was trading at 0.8616 against the pound, 1.0916 against the Swiss franc, 1.1177 against the U.S. dollar and 125.19 against the yen.Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
24.05.2017

U.S. Dollar Climbs Against Majors

OTTAWA (dpa-AFX) - The U.S. dollar strengthened against the other major currencies in the Asian session on Wednesday. The U.S. dollar rose to a 1-week high of 111.99 against the yen, from yesterday's closing value of 111.78.Against the Swiss franc and the Canadian dollar, the greenback advanced to 2-day highs of 0.9764 and 1.3537 from early lows of 0.9736 and 1.3510, respectively. The greenback edged up to 1.1177 against the euro and 1.2955 against the pound, from early lows of 1.1192 and 1.2977, respectively. If the greenback extends its uptrend, it is likely to find resistance around 114.00 against the yen, 1.00 against the franc, 1.37 against the loonie, 1.10 against the euro and 1.27 against the pound.Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
24.05.2017

Pound Rises Against Majors

BRUSSELS (dpa-AFX) - The British pound strengthened against the other major currencies in the Asian session on Wednesday. The pound rose to a 5-day high of 145.19 against the yen, from yesterday's closing value of 144.88.Against the euro and the Swiss franc, the pound advanced to 2-day highs of 0.8615 and 1.2670 from yesterday's closing quotes of 0.8626 and 1.2649, respectively. If the pound extends its uptrend, it is likely to find resistance around 148.00 against the yen, 0.84 against the euro and 1.29 against the franc.Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
23.05.2017

Dollar Rising Despite Disappointing New Home Sales

WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - The dollar is trading modestly higher against all its major rivals Tuesday afternoon. However, investors remain in a cautious mood following the terror attack in Manchester, England yesterday and the further developments that have come to light regarding the Trump administration.The latest controversy emerged from a media report that the U.S. President has requested two top intelligence officials in March to help him push back against the FBI's probe into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian government. The Washington Post reported Monday that Trump pressed National Security Agency chief Michael Rogers and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats to dismiss any evidence of collusion in the 2016 Presidential election.Traders are looking forward to the release of the Fed minutes on Wednesday for further hints about a rate hike in June. Other key economic data include existing home sales on Wednesday, weekly jobless claims and international trade on Thursday, followed by GDP, durable goods orders and consumer sentiment on Friday.After reporting an unexpected jump in U.S. new home sales in the previous month, the Commerce Department released a report on Tuesday showing a substantial pullback in new home sales in the month of April.The Commerce Department said new home sales plunged by 11.4 percent to an annual rate of 569,000 in April from an upwardly revised 642,000 in March. Economists had expected new home sales to drop to a rate of 602,000 from the 621,000 originally reported for the previous month.Eurozone finance ministers hope to reach a deal on Greece's debt relief and release another tranche of bailout funds to the country in their June meeting, as they failed to reach an agreement on the matter with the International Monetary Fund on Monday.Greek lawmakers approved a reforms package last Thursday that includes pension cuts and tax hikes as demanded by the country's creditors to pave the way for the disbursement of bailout funds totaling more than EUR 7 billion and to begin talks on debt relief.Discussions over providing more bailout funds had stalled after a review mission to Athens returned in December without reaching a deal. The country is in dire need of bailout cash to meet debt repayment of more than EUR 7 billion due in July, or risk default.The dollar dipped to an early low of $1.1267 against the Euro Tuesday, but has since climbed to around $1.1190.Eurozone private sector growth continued in May, logging the fastest growth for six years in May, flash data from IHS Markit showed Tuesday. The flash composite output index came in at 56.8 in May, unchanged from April's six-year high. The score was forecast to fall slightly to 56.7.Germany's private sector expanded at the sharpest rate in over six years in May, flash survey results from IHS Markit showed Tuesday. The composite output index rose unexpectedly to a 73-month high of 57.3 in May from 56.7 in April. The expected reading was 56.6.The French private sector grew at the sharpest pace in six years in May, flash survey data from IHS Markit showed Tuesday. The composite output index rose to a 72-month high of 57.6 in May from 56.6 in April. Economists had forecast the score to remain unchanged at 56.6. A record high business sentiment, a one-year high economic growth and a six-year high growth in the private sector signal strong positive momentum of the German economy, the biggest in the euro area.As companies were upbeat about their future amid the improving current situation, the business sentiment index strengthened to a record high 114.6 from a revised 113.0 in April, the Munich-based Ifo institute reported Tuesday. Ifo business confidence score reached its highest level on record since 1991. The reading was expected to rise marginally to 113.1 from April's initial estimate of 112.9. Germany's economy expanded at a faster pace, as estimated in the first quarter, on domestic and foreign demand, data published by Destatis showed Tuesday. Gross domestic product grew 0.6 percent sequentially, in line with preliminary estimate and faster than the 0.4 percent expansion seen in the fourth quarter. This was the fastest growth since the first quarter of 2016, when GDP climbed 0.7 percent.The buck briefly fell to a low of $1.3032 against the pound sterling Tuesday, but has since bounced back to around $1.2975.The UK budget deficit increased in April, data from the Office for National Statistics showed Tuesday. Public sector net borrowing excluding public sector banks increased by GBP 1.2 billion from previous year to GBP 10.4 billion in April, this was the highest April borrowing since 2014.The expected level of PSNB was GBP 8.8 billion.The greenback slipped to an early low of Y110.903 against the Japanese Yen Tuesday, but has since risen to around Y111.590.Japan's manufacturing activity expanded at the weakest pace in six months in May, preliminary data from IHS Markit showed Tuesday. The Nikkei Flash Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index, or PMI dropped to 52.0 in May from 52.7 in April. However, any reading above 50 indicates expansion in the sector.Japan's all industry activity declined at a faster-than-expected rate in March, after rebounding in the previous month, figures from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry showed Tuesday. The all industry activity index fell 0.6 percent month-over-month in March, reversing a 0.7 percent rise in February. Economists had expected a 0.5 percent decrease for the month.Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
23.05.2017

Dollar Mixed After U.S. New Home Sales

BRUSSELS (dpa-AFX) - Following the release of U.S. new home sales for April at 10:00 am ET Tuesday, the greenback traded mixed against its major rivals. While the greenback fell against the yen, it held steady against the rest of major rivals.The greenback was trading at 111.00 against the yen, 0.9718 against the franc, 1.1230 against the euro and 1.2990 against the pound around 10:02 am ET.Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
23.05.2017

Dollar Steady Ahead Of U.S. New Home Sales

BRUSSELS (dpa-AFX) - The Commerce Department's new home sales for April will be published at 10:00 am ET Tuesday. The consensus for new home sales is 610,000, down from 621,000 last month. Ahead of the data, the greenback held steady against its major rivals.The greenback was worth 111.13 against the yen, 0.9717 against the franc, 1.1232 against the euro and 1.2989 against the pound as of 9:55 am ET.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