Market Wrap: Stronger EU data & Weaker Asian Stocks but Sony Sounds Bullish
European indices boosted, Asia stocks cool after sustained rally
European stocks were mixed this morning amidst a flurry of economic data for the Eurozone, with the German DAX closed for the Reformation Day holiday. The FTSE100 and Euro Stoxx 50 looked to outperform the CAC40 in France and FTSE MIB in Italy. Q3 GDP figures came thick and fast earlier. Overall the Eurozone grew by 0.6% in the third quarter. It might not sound like much but it represents an improvement over Q3 2016, indicating the economic recovery has picked up the pace. We also saw a drop in unemployment across the Euro area, to 8.9% last month – the lowest since January 2009. French GDP was also up, but perhaps unsurprisingly the UK was lower than its peers, up just 0.4% for the quarter. In Spain, markets looked robust once again. Both the BATS Spain 35 and FTSE Spain indices rallied today, despite so many questions being left unanswered over the Catalonia crisis. Catalan leader Carles Puidgemont has allegedly fled to Belgium, but will this stop supporters of independence rising up once more? The prospect of civil unrest does not seem to be putting investors off Spanish stocks! In European equities the best performing stocks today were BP, Airbus, Just Eat, Croda International, William Hill and Beazley Group. In the US – Pfizer shares are surging premarket today after earnings beat the streets expectations for Q3. In Asia, the NIFTY slipped to 10,338 with significant losses for Infosys, Vedanta, Tata Motors, Larsen & Toubro and Bosch. Japanese markets slipped too thanks to losses in Pharmaceutical and manufacturing stocks. The Nikkei 225 and TOPIX were both down -0.04% and -0.28% respectively. Despite a worse performance for the broader indices, Japanese firm Sony has raised its earnings outlook, forecasting profits of $5.57 billion (630 billion Yen) for the year ending March, up from expectations of 500 billion Yen predicted 3 months ago. The share price is rising today off the back of the bullish words.
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