Date: Friday 01 Jun 2012
- Global stocks hit year-to-date low
- US, UK, Chinese and Eurozone data disappoints
- Gold soars on QE3 speculation after weak data
Disappointing employment and manufacturing data from across the world sank global stock markets on Friday, meaning that May’s heavy losses for equities were extended. In fact, the MSCI World Stock Index slumped to its lowest levels of 2012 today.
While the value of the Footsie slumped by a whole percentage point today, the index came off its intraday lows after it was reported that Irish voters have backed the fiscal treaty aimed at making governments keep to strict budgetary guidelines. Thursday’s referendum, which was counted on today, saw 60.3% of the public vote ‘yes’ and 39.7% vote ‘no’. “I think this decision taken by the Irish people is a necessary step on the road to recovery but we now have to build on it,” said the country’s Deputy Prime Minister Eamon Gilmore.
Manufacturing purchasing managers' indices (PMIs) in the US, UK, Eurozone and China suffered falls in May, according to the latest data released today. While the US, UK and Chinese manufacturing PMIs remained above 50 (indicating expansion), the Eurozone PMI sank further below the 50-point mark.
Furthermore, non-farm payrolls in the US grew by just 69,000 during the month of May, according to data released by the Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS). That when the consensus estimate had been for an increase of 150,000.
The poor jobs data fuelled rumours today that the Federal Reserve will kick-start QE3 (third bout of quantitative easing) in the near future. “The focus will be on Fed Chairman Bernanke when he testifies to a Congress Committee next Thursday for hints of whether today's report might prove decisive in the FOMC's deliberations,” said analysts at Barclays Capital. This speculation prompted a weaker dollar this afternoon, causing the price of gold to soar by 3.1% late on.
Similarly, but in another report, analysts from that same bank indicate that they now expect the European Central Bank to announce new LTRO measures at its next policy meeting (this coming week).
Nearer to home, at least two large institutional players have today shifted their expectations and now expect the Bank of England to announce an extension in its own quantitative easing policy next week. These are Citi and Deutsche Bank. JP Morgan and Barclays also now see increased odds of the same.
Precious metals groups Randgold Resources and Fresnillo surged in afternoon trade, tracking gold prices higher. Elsewhere in the sector, mining peers Evraz and Vedanta still finished sharply lower. Financials were also mixed, with Lloyds and Man Group on the rise and Barclays and Legal & General finishing firmly lower.
BP surged after revealing that it wants to sell-up at TNK-BP, the joint venture it set up with a consortium of Russian investors, as speculation has run rampant in recent days of a breakdown in the relationship between the British oil firm and its partners. Jefferies maintained its buy recommendation for BP this morning, estimating that the 50% stake in the Russian joint venture is worth $30bn. Canaccord Genuity, Investec and Cheuvreux all maintained their positive buy/outperform ratings on the stock today.
ITV was a heavy faller after Investec downgraded its rating on the stock from hold to sell and cut its target price from 90p to 60p, citing deteriorating conditions in the TV advertising market.
Telecoms giant BT Group fell into the red after an earlier rise after saying that it has sold its application development services business in France to the Paris-listed IT services company, Osiatis.
Platinum group Aquarius Platinum had dropped nearly 12% to its lowest levels in over eight years Goldman Sachs slashed its price target for its Sydney-listed shares by 34%, due to problems over cash generation.
In contrast, gold mining peers African Barrick Gold and Petropavlovsk finished the day with strong gains as gold metals prices advanced.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 5,555.00p +6.93%
Man Group (EMG) 75.50p +3.57%
Severn Trent (SVT) 1,760.00p +2.27%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 141.80p +2.24%
BP (BP.) 402.00p +1.80%
Fresnillo (FRES) 1,371.00p +1.71%
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 25.72p +1.34%
United Utilities Group (UU.) 662.50p +0.84%
SSE (SSE) 1,332.00p +0.68%
Admiral Group (ADM) 1,045.00p +0.58%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Vedanta Resources (VED) 883.50p -4.90%
Evraz (EVR) 281.00p -4.84%
ITV (ITV) 69.45p -4.73%
CRH (CRH) 1,052.00p -4.62%
Amec (AMEC) 923.00p -4.45%
IMI (IMI) 846.50p -4.35%
Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,308.00p -4.32%
GKN (GKN) 175.50p -4.10%
Tullow Oil (TLW) 1,364.00p -4.08%
Weir Group (WEIR) 1,482.00p -4.02%
FTSE 250 - Risers
African Barrick Gold (ABG) 349.40p +6.04%
Petropavlovsk (POG) 388.10p +5.75%
PayPoint (PAY) 642.00p +4.56%
Cape (CIU) 249.50p +3.36%
Daejan Holdings (DJAN) 2,788.00p +3.14%
Rank Group (RNK) 120.40p +2.03%
Derwent London (DLN) 1,774.00p +1.72%
SDL (SDL) 638.50p +1.51%
Inmarsat (ISAT) 436.00p +1.47%
Electra Private Equity (ELTA) 1,607.00p +1.45%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Aquarius Platinum Ltd. (AQP) 64.80p -11.66%
Afren (AFR) 104.30p -10.16%
Ashtead Group (AHT) 212.20p -7.86%
Fenner (FENR) 348.00p -7.72%
Persimmon (PSN) 532.00p -6.34%
Morgan Crucible Co (MGCR) 262.60p -6.28%
Melrose (MRO) 398.50p -6.17%
Imagination Technologies Group (IMG) 462.90p -6.09%
Essar Energy (ESSR) 128.10p -5.95%
Bodycote (BOY) 356.70p -5.91%
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