News Column

European Markets Fall, Vodafone Drops After Results

May 20, 2014

PARIS (Alliance News) - Most European markets are trading lower on Tuesday, after mixed cues from Asia, with investors exercising caution ahead of the upcoming European parliamentary elections later this week. That said, losses were broadly limited amid lack of fresh triggers, although some earnings news impacted sentiment.

In economic news, Germany's producer prices fell for the ninth consecutive month in April, Destatis reported. Producer prices fell 0.9% on a yearly basis, the same rate as seen in March and February. The annual decline also matched economists' expectations.

UK's Office For National Statistics said house prices rose at a slower rate in March after a surge in February, trailing expectations. House prices rose 8% year-over-year to 252,000 pounds in March after a revised 9.2% rise in February. Economists estimated a 9.6% increase.

The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone bluechip stocks is falling 0.14%, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major UK companies, is losing 0.26%.

The German DAX, the French CAC 40 and the UK'sFTSE 100 are in the red, while Switzerland's SMI is marginally higher.

In Frankfurt, Lanxess is falling 1.5% and ThyssenKrupp is losing 1.3%.

Deutsche Annington is declining 5.6%, after stake sale by some investors.

Fraport is losing 1.4%. HSBC cut the stock to ''Underweight'' from ''Neutral.''

Fuchs Petrolub is falling 2.2%, following a broker downgrade.

MorphoSys is surging 6.4%. The biotechnology firm said the Food & Drug Association has granted orphan drug designation to MOR208 for the treatment of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia or Small Lymphocytic Leukemia.

Meanwhile, carmakers Daimler and Volkswagen are moderately higher.

United Internet reported increased earnings for the first quarter. The stock is surging over 6%.

In Paris, BNP Paribas is falling 2.3% and Credit Agricole is moderately lower.

Danone, Total and Technip are notably lower.

Vivendi is down 0.6%. The Paris Court of Appeal Monday overturned a lower court's decision that found Vivendi's former chief executive Jean-Marie Messier guilty of disseminating false or misleading information to the market and ordered to pay damages to certain shareholders and former shareholders.

Gemalto and Renault are gaining 2% and 1.6%, respectively. Insurer Axa is rising 1.5%.

In London, Vodafone is declining 4.1% after posting a wider pre-tax loss for the year.

Marks & Spencer is losing 3%. The retailer reported full year results.

Tesco is down 2.1%. Jefferies cut the stock to ''Hold'' from ''Buy.''

Cobham is falling 2.4%. The company has agreed to acquire US-based Aeroflex Holding Corp., a provider of high performance microelectronic components and test and measurement equipment, in a USD1.46 billion deal.

Meanwhile, Carnival PLC is gaining 4.4% and BT Group is advancing 2.5%.

Credit Suisse pleaded guilty before US federal prosecutors to one count of conspiring to aid tax evasion over decades and also agreed to pay about USD2.6 billion in penalties. The stock is gaining close to 1% in Zurich.

Piraeus Bank, a Greek financial services company, is gaining 9%, reportedly on a broker upgrade.

The Asian stocks ended mixed as investors sat on the sidelines awaiting cues from the minutes of the April FOMC meeting and preliminary factory activity surveys for China, the EU and the US due later this week.

In the US, futures point to a cautious open on Wall Street. In the previous session, stocks rose, with gains in small-cap and tech stocks and another drop in bond yields underpinning sentiment after a run of mixed economic data recently. The Dow edged up 0.1%, the S&P 500 advanced 0.4% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq added 0.9%.

Crude for June delivery is rising USD0.20 to USD102.81 per barrel, while gold is falling USD2.1 to USD1291.7 a troy ounce.

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Source: Alliance News