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Asian Markets at Close Report

European Markets at Close Report

Feb 19, 2017

Asian Markets at Close Report | European Markets at Close Report | Wall Street at Close Report on February 17, 2017:


marketwatch.com

ASIA

Ese Erheriene


Global investors showed caution Thursday, as a weaker U.S. dollar and profit-taking sent major Asian stock indexes lower, despite a strong overnight lead from Wall Street.
Following a surge in regional equities Wednesday, appetite for risk cooled amid currency headwinds and broader global political uncertainty. The moves reflect a pattern of choppy trading in recent weeks.
Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average NIK, -0.48%   closed down 0.6% at 19,234.62, hitting a six-day low earlier in the session at 19,173.53 points. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 XJO, -0.35%   finished 0.2% lower, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index HSI, -0.31%   fell 0.3% and Korea’s Kospi SEU, -0.11%   ended flat.
“A week-long ‘Trump rally’ has possibly to come to an end,” said Jane Fu, a sales trader at CMC Markets.
Overnight in the U.S., the S&P 500 ended down 0.1%, capping its longest run of gains since 2013, after a week that saw the major U.S. indexes hit successive new highs. The Nasdaq Composite also fell 0.1%, though the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up less than 0.1% to a fresh high.
In Japan, real estate, energy, and auto stocks led the declines. Major property developer Mitsui Fudosan 8801, -1.43%   fell 3%, oil explorer Inpex 1605, -0.58%   lost 1% and Suzuki Motor 7269, -0.97%   fell 1.8%.
In Korea, Samsung Electronics 005930, +1.37%   shares fell after a court approved an arrest warrant for Lee Jae-yong, the company’s vice chairman and de facto leader of the Samsung conglomerate, as part of a wider corruption scandal that saw the country’s president impeached. The stock, which has the largest weighting on Korea’s benchmark Kospi index, was last down 1.5%.
Elsewhere, Singapore’s economy expanded 12.3% from the previous quarter on a seasonally adjusted and annualized basis in the October-to-December period, the Ministry of Trade and Industry said in a statement Friday. That was a faster pace of expansion than an initial estimate of 9.1%, helping push growth for the year to 2.0%, well above the 1.5% upper range of a government forecast for 2016.
Singapore’s Strait Times Index STI, +0.35%   rose 0.3%.
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Europe

Victor Reklaitis

European stocks ended slightly higher Friday, as big gains for Unilever PLC and Essentra PLC helped offset drops by Dutch storage company Royal Vopak NV and German insurer Allianz SE.
The Stoxx Europe 600 SXXP, +0.03%  inched up less than 0.1% to close at 370.22, leaving the index with a 0.8% gain for the week. On Thursday, the pan-European benchmark lost 0.4%, closing lower for the first time in eight sessions.
Analysts have been sounding upbeat about European equities after the Stoxx 600 logged its highest close since December 2015 on Wednesday.
“The broader uptrend is intact thanks to renewed optimism about the global growth outlook and supportive bottom-up corporate earnings,” said Ian Williams, a Peel Hunt strategist, in a note Friday.
Shares in Anglo-Dutch consumer-products giant Unilever PLC ULVR, +13.43% UN, +15.29% UL, +14.00%  soared 13%, powered by U.S. packaged-foods heavyweight Kraft Heinz Co. KHC, +10.74%  announcing that it made a merger proposal to Unilever that was declined.
Essentra PLC ESNT, +14.92%  finished 15% higher, even as the U.K. plastic and fiber products maker swung to a full-year pretax loss and cautioned that business conditions have worsened.
On the downside, shares in Royal Vopak VPK, -7.13%  slumped 7% after the provider of storage for the oil and chemicals industries said 2017 earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization “will not exceed the 2016 result.” The stock was the Stoxx 600’s biggest decliner.
On the economic-data front, the eurozone’s current account surplus narrowed in December from an all-time high the previous month, data from the European Central Bank showed Friday.
Investors on Friday also digested U.S. President Donald Trump’s lengthy press conference on Thursday, in which he said he “inherited a mess” at home and abroad, and blasted the news media.
National indexes: The U.K.’s FTSE 100 index UKX, +0.30%  added 0.3% to end at 7,299.96.
France’s CAC 40 index PX1, -0.65%  fell 0.7% to close at 4,867.58, while Germany’s DAX 30 DAX, +0.00%  was roughly flat at 11,757.02.
Other movers: Segro PLC SGRO, +3.15%  gained 3.2%. The U.K.-based real estate trust that owns warehouses posted a drop in 2016 pretax profit, but said demand is holding up and hiked its dividend.
Allianz SE ALV, +1.67%  closed 1.9% lower as a morning advance evaporated. The rally had come as the German insurance company raised its dividend, launched a buyback program and outlined the continued recovery of its U.S. fund manager Pacific Investment Management Co., or Pimco.
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Wall Street

Sue Chang, Joseph Adinolfi


Getty Images
Boeing shares basked in the glow of President Donald Trump’s visit to the aircraft maker’s South Carolina plant.
All three major stock indexes closed at records on Friday with the Dow Jones Industrial Average eking out gains to extend its record-setting streak to a seventh session.
With the exception of the Nasdaq Composite, the stock market had languished in negative territory most of the day but recouped losses toward the closing bell.
The Dow DJIA, +0.02% added 4.28 points to finish at 20,624.05 for a weekly gain of 1.8%. The S&P 500 index SPX, +0.17% edged up 3.94 points, or 0.2%, to close at 2,351.16, climbing 1.5% on the week. The Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.41% rose 23.68 points, or 0.4%, to end at 5,838.58, up 1.8% for the week.
“Bears are waiting for the other shoe to drop but when the market held up today and Nasdaq went positive, investors covered their short positions ahead of the weekend,” said Doug Cote, chief market strategist at Voya Investment Management.
The stock and bond markets will be closed on Monday for the Presidents Day holiday.
The euphoria surrounding President Trump’s proposed economic policies—fueled by optimism around the prospect of tax cuts and increased infrastructure spending—have helped to push U.S. stocks to all-time highs even as some of the enthusiasm had faded in recent days.
“We are seeing continued momentum in the rally, despite some occasional wobbles.” Richard Hastings, a macro strategist at Seaport Global Securities LLC. “Yes, we are concerned that individual investors are slowly getting more neutral, but the bias higher seems intact.”