Markets are called to open flat this morning. This is what’s happening today:
• Fitch Downgrades SocGen, Agricole, BPCE Following Sovereign Cut
• IMF Calls for U.K. Credit Measures as BOE Stimulus Loses Power
• Greek Parliament Approves Austerity Measures to Release Funds
• Bayer’s Xofigo Significantly Improved Prostate Cancer Survival
• Scor Sees Net Pretax Loss From Alberta Flooding EU40m
EARNINGS All times CET, estimates where available:
• Nokia (NOK1V FH) noon, 7am, 2Q adj. loss-shr. est. EU.02
• Ericsson (ERICB SS) 7:30am, 2Q GAAP EPS est. SK0.93
• Akzo Nobel (AKZA NA) 7am, 1H adj. EPS est. EU1.62 (1 est.)
• SAP (SAP GR) premkt, 2Q adj. EPS est. EU0.75
• Carrefour (CA FP) 7:30am, 2Q sales
• Remy Cointreau (RCO FP) 7:30am, 1Q sales
• Hermes (RMS FP) 7am, 2Q sales
• Norsk Hydro (NHY NO) 7am, 2Q adj. EPS est. NK0.10
• Orkla (ORK NO) 7am, 2Q adj. EPS est. NK0.79
• Tele2 (TEL2B SS) 7am, 2Q adj. EPS est. SK1.17
• Actelion (ATLN VX) 7am, 2Q adj. EPS est. CHF0.87
• Wartsila OYJ (WRT1V FH) 7:30am, 2Q adj. EPS est. EU0.46
• Skanska (SKAB SS) 8am, 2Q adj. EPS est. SK2.21
• Ziggo (ZIGGO NA) 8am, 2Q adj. EPS est. EU0.33 (1 est.)
• Investor (INVEB SS) 8:15am, 7am, 2Q GAAP EPS est. EU0.40 (1 est.)
• Swedish Match (SWMA SS) 8:15am, 2Q adj. EPS est. SK3.50
• Alfa Laval (ALFA SS) 8:30am, 2Q GAAP EPS est. SK1.90
• Atlas Copco (ATCOA SS) 11am, 2Q GAAP EPS est. SK2.62
• Svenska Cellulosa (SCAB SS) noon, 2Q GAAP EPS est. SK1.75
• Modern Times (MTGB SS) 1pm, 2Q adj. EPS est. SK5.50
• Publicis (PUB FP) 7:30am, 7am, 1H adj. EPS est. EU1.05
• Anglo American (AAL LN) 8am, 2Q production
• London Stock Exchange (LSE LN) 8am, 1Q sales, IMS
• BioMerieux (BIM FP) premkt, 2Q sales
Asian stocks swung between gains and losses after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said U.S. asset purchases are not on a preset course and the International Monetary Fund said risks are rising for slower growth in China.
China Shanshui Cement Group slumped 9.8 percent in Hong Kong after saying first-half profit will drop at least 40 percent from a year earlier. SoftBank Corp., a Japanese mobile phone operator, jumped 4 percent on a report it will form a fuel-cell venture with Bloom Energy Corp. Woolworths Ltd., Australia’s largest retailer, fell 1.3 percent after saying it expects to lose A$157 million ($144 million) in the year ended June for its Masters home-improvement joint venture.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 0.1 percent to 135.78 as of 1:47 p.m. in Tokyo after rising as much as 0.4 percent. About five stocks gained for every three that declined.
“Bernanke’s testimony was in line with expectations and what he has been saying over the past week or two,” said Binay Chandgothia, a Hong Kong-based portfolio manager at Principal Global Investors, which manages $250 billion globally. China’s leadership “seems to be accepting a lower trajectory of growth and they don’t look like jumping in and taking short-term measures.”
The Asia-Pacific measure advanced 5 percent this year through yesterday, with consumer discretionary stocks leading the gain and energy shares falling the most among the 10 industry groups on the measure. The Asian benchmark gauge traded at 13.3 times estimated earnings as of yesterday, compared with 15.2 times for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index and 13.3 times for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index.
The Fed’s asset purchases “are by no means on a preset course” and could even be expanded should economic conditions warrant, Bernanke said in prepared testimony to the House Financial Services Committee yesterday.
“We’re going to be responding to the data,” Bernanke said. “If the data are stronger than we expect, we’ll move more quickly” to reduce purchases. If data “don’t meet the kinds of expectations we have about where the economy’s going, then we would delay that process or potentially increase purchases for a time.”
Japan’s Topix index rose 0.7 percent. South Korea’s Kospi index fell 0.4 percent. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index added 0.2 percent, while New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index slipped 0.2 percent.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was little changed and China’s Shanghai Composite Index dropped 0.5 percent. Taiwain’s Taiex Index lost 0.8 percent and Singapore’s Straits Times Index gained 0.5 percent.
Good day and happy trading!