European stocks rose on Wednesday, extending the breakout of trading ranges that have been in place since the end of the rout in late August. The German DAX recaptured the psychological 10,000 level while shares on both the French CAC and the UK’s FTSE 100
were seeing gains.
Stock markets have been encouraged by M&A activity with a new bid from AB InBev for brewer SAB Miller and a surge in oil prices, a proxy for rising demand which flies in the face of the gloomy global growth predictions from the IMF.
A basing of metal prices such as copper and silver alongside a rebound from the rout in Glencore shares has catalysed a huge about turn in the mining sector. Shares of Anglo American were higher by as much as 10% on Wednesday while Antofagasta shares rose after the copper-miner announced 300 job losses.
Shares of Tesco rose after the supermarket reported a smaller drop in operating profits than expected. As bad as seeing profits cut by more than half is, Tesco has actually performed better than expected in the first half of 2015. The way shares have been hit, it would suggest major fallout this year but CEO Dave Lewis reaffirmed that the supermarket is on track to make annual profits on par with last year. The turnaround, if it can happen, is going to take a long time- but if anything, these figures suggest it could be a little quicker than previously thought.
AB InBev’s revised offer for SAB Miller was described by SAB as “very substantially undervaluing the company”, with the brewer’s chairman calling it “opportunistic”. Shares of SAB Miller regained some of yesterday’s losses after announcing earnings and rejecting an informal offer. Investors are cheering SAB playing hard-to-get. For the kind of increase in the scale that a tie-up with SAB Miller would bring, AB InBev has limited options. Given the sluggish growth of the mega-brewers and competition from craft beer, SAB management are betting AB Inbev’s chief Carlos Brito and his team are willing to pay a big premium to get a deal done.
House builders including Taylor Wimpey and Persimmon reversed early gains to end up near the bottom of the FTSE with investors turning sceptical over Prime Minister David Cameron’s planned 200,000 “starter homes.”
ARM holdings shares benefitted from a surprise 80% surge in Samsung profits that should have been a boost to chip sales to the Smartphone maker.
The British pound leaped after UK industrial production strengthened more than expected in September, rising by 1.0% when a rise of 0.3% had been expected.
Futures point to a stronger open on Wall Street with the Dow Jones set to see a triple digit rise as it attempts a breakout to the highest levels since the rout in late August.
Shares of KFC and Pizza Hut-owner Yum! Brands are expected to see heavy declines at the open after reporting slower than expected sales growth in China. The food quality scandal in China continues to dent demand in the country that has been contributing the most to the restaurant chain’s growth.
USA pre-opening levels
S&P 500: 13 points higher at 1,992
Dow Jones: 102 points higher at 16,892
Nasdaq 100: 33 points higher at 4,339
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