Europe stretches its legs before Yellen report.
01:00, 11 februari 2014
· Av CMC Markets
A strong start to the week continues this morning, with the major European benchmarks in the green for the 5th day in a row before Fed Chair Janet Yellen takes centre stage this afternoon. Today’s mood could well indicate the market is expecting a consideration of recent unemployment data in her comments, with a couple of “nothing done” fed meetings preferable to bulls.
Whatever the outcome, on a day otherwise light on economic data, were likely to be dissecting her every word as much as ever and the event looks the most likely trigger for any potential movement for the day’s trade.
After yesterday drew somewhat of a blank from UK companies, today more than makes a mends, with a number of headlines from the heavyweights.
Kazakhmys stock flew to the top of the table following a strong update on full year production, but it was matters at home that seem to have really fuelled the move. The Kazakh Tenge has nosedived from 155.56 vs the dollar to 163.90 after the central bank announced that it will let the currency devalue to up to 185. With the majority of Kazakhmy’s costs paid in local currency the devaluation should in theory drastically improve margins, reflected in today’s move. With the stock having drawn a lot of short interest over the last year, a covering squeeze might have exacerbated the move somewhat as well. As for its main results, the firm impressed with production meeting or beating across the majority of its portfolio.
Barclays will no doubt come under even more pressure today, having barely managed to shake of a hangover from yesterday’s client data leak saga before reporting a slide in full year profits this morning. However they are likely to come under further attack for a controversial 10% increase in bonuses, especially on the same day it concedes that 7000 jobs will have to be cut this year. Pre-tax profits fell to 2.52bln which trailed estimates of just under 3, with a strong performance from equities and investment banking failing to offset weaker fixed income and currency revenues. All considered the stock dipped over 1% on the release.
Glencore Xstrata moved higher after strong production growth from its key copper division helped offset weaker numbers elsewhere. Copper output was up 32% in Q4, undermining the firms commitment to adding mines while competitors sell off assets. The stock was up 1% in early deals.
Babcock also headed in the right direction after an update this morning, up 2% after an astonishing increase in its bid pipeline. The firm has made good on its promise of significant long term growth opportunities, seeing bids increase from £3bln to £18.5bln in 6 months.
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